All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.
WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for Episode #293
It’s Episode 293 and we’ve got plugins for Time Sheets, Locking Content, Instagram Feeds, GEO Targeting Cloning Sidebars and more. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: This week here I have a couple of great plugins, the first of which is called Time Sheets. Now, if you’re an employer or you have people who work for you – and I have a couple of people who work for me now. One of the biggest problems you’re going to have to face and deal with is time sheets, managing time sheets, and getting them to submit time sheets, unless you’ve got a punch card or something else. Well, this plugin makes that job a whole lot easier for you, especially if you’re doing some remote work with your people like I do. I have them in remotes; we don’t have an actual office. So they can either submit time sheets or they don’t get paid and sometimes they forget to submit their time sheets, so they don’t get paid – not my worry.
At any rate, this plugin here, Time Sheets, you set it up and you go through and do the configuration with it. I found it to be a fairly nice plugin for doing time sheets. The only thing I tripped across which gave me a little bit of grief with it is I wish they’d had a little more clarification in their setup of it into how you create the customers and how you create the jobs and other projects for the time sheets to be in there. You actually have to go into individuals and allow certain people to create or add this information so you can manage the time sheets.
It took me slightly longer than I had hoped to get it set up because of the lack of clarity in their instructions. But other than that, a really great plugin. It’s going to be really nice and smooth. You set it up on your website, you give your person a login to your website (which they probably already have) and only logged-in people can create a timesheet. You can set the time sheets on a page that your user can access and it creates the time sheets and automatically submits them. You can have them automatically submitted to your payroll department if you happen to have one of those or your bookkeeper – whoever does your payroll for you. At any rate, a great plugin: Time Sheets – check it out – 4 Dragons.
Marcus: Beautiful. All right, I’m going to talk about a really neat plugin that just came out. I’ve seen things like this before and this one seems to work much better than some of the other ones that I’ve experienced. It is called Content Locker and it’s a tool that helps you kind of take things to the next level. What it does is it come up with a screen that has Twitter, Facebook, and I think something else in terms of being able to share or like a page or whatever it happens to be. You get visitors to pay for viewing content by either liking, sharing, or signing up and spreading the word. It helps to not only build your own community and your exposure within the site, but you can do things like this.
Let’s say, John, I had a WooCommerce store and I had a coupon page or a promo code page that had all of the available promo codes that you could use in my WooCommerce store. Perhaps you can only access that discounts page if you like the website or share the website on Twitter, or something like that. This is a really good way to help popularize and spread the word about you, your content, and your products. And for that, I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! I like that idea and I’m going to look at implementing that on ours for the one plugin that we’ve got that is currently $5, but we’ve been giving away if you go back several episodes for the download code and you can only hear it as an oral download code. I actually had quite a few downloads with that plugin.
Marcus: Now, I say this with somewhat of humor, but I’m actually considering it. On my marcuscouch.com contact form, I get a ton of people that are like, “Hey, we’d like to do SEO for you,” or, you know, that kind of thing. I’m going to use that on my contact form.
John: There you go.
Marcus: Want to send me an email? You’re going to have to like me first.
John: [chuckling] Like me to send me an email.
Marcus: That’s right! I’m doing it.
John: Get all them SEO people to like you and promote you on their social networks, whatever they may be. [chuckling]
Marcus: Yeah! You’ve got to pay the price.
John: All right, the next plugin I’ve got here today is called Instagram Feed by EVM. This plugin here, it’s a freemium plugin. It was sent in to us by Amit Porwal of https://www.expertvillagemedia.com/. Now, to me it was another Instagram plugin that allows Instagram feeds onto your plugin. It looks to be a bit better than some I’ve tried, but I did run into a couple of things that concern me about this plugin.
One of the first was the need to create an access token from a third-party service called Out of the Sandbox. I’ve never heard of them but when I did a little research on it, it’s just a third-party service and since it was accessing your Instagram feed and all of your images, it said to me that they’re collecting all of your social info to allow you to use this plugin to display the information on the website – kind of convoluted to me. I’m not certain I would go with a method like this.
The next was their options. They had a provision for a pro version but they had no options for buying the pro version. So to me, come on, guys. If you’ve got a pro version, make it so it can be purchased or make it a value to have a pro version. Other than that, don’t bother to show it. You know, it started out to be pretty good, but, you know, kind of tough. I gave it a 3-Dragon rating. I almost gave it a 2 just due to the things I ran into that were kind of questionable. But other than that, you could check it out and if you’re comfortable with it, go for it. If not, well, take my word and say, “Nah, there’s other Instagram feed plugins.” So anyway, Instagram Feed by EVM, 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Very nice, very nice. Okay, so the next one is kind of a – anybody who uses Multisite knows what this is. This is called WP Jump and it’s really cool because what it does is it takes the admin bar and one section within the dashboard and it allows you to set up what other websites and other WordPress installations you have. So let’s just say I’m on marcuscouch.com and I have WP Jump installed.
I can go up to the admin bar and then have one of my other websites there that has a link to the WP admin page. So if I’m going to go from say marcuscouch.com to x2marketing.com, there’s something right in the admin bar up there that I can just go to the very next site, and that’s all it is. It just does that; it’s a link to all your different WP admin things and it allows you to jump from one site to the other. A very handy little tool and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: That’s a very nice little tool, this here. I’ve got standalone websites and that’s pretty much what happens when you’ve got a multiuse site.
Marcus: That’s right. Same thing.
John: It’s the same thing. That’s very nice. Does it give you the ability to auto login, or do you have to log in if you happened to be logged out of the other ones?
Marcus: It doesn’t do auto login and I don’t think I ever want that, because that means if anybody got credentials on one site, that they have them all.
John: Ah yeah, okay. Scary that way. Yeah, scary.
Marcus: It works with tools like Clef or —
Marcus: — you know, some of the other ones.
John: All right, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called Gocha GEO Targeting. Now, this is a premium plugin. It’s $39 and it was sent in to us by Marcin Gocha, it’s available at CodeCanyon. The link in the show notes is an affiliate link, just to let everyone know. While I did not activate this plugin because at the moment I just don’t have a use for it and I didn’t want to go through all of the work to set up and check something out on it at this point in time — I’m just really busy at the moment. I did check out their demos and also the way it looks and the information. It looked like a pretty useful plugin in that what it does for you is it helps you put your Google Maps onto a bit of steroids. You can add photos to them and different places, you can create complex correlations within the maps, be it for the ability of connecting photos and pretty much anything you want.
Their description, it’s got three functionality modes. It’s got a pretty decent interface from when I did check out the interface and see how it works. It seems semi-intuitive; you don’t have to go through all the settings if you’re going to set it up. Some of the default stuff will be perfect for a lot of people. It’s versatile in that it’s got basic modes and advanced modes. It allows you to create a gallery of images that will sit across the bottom of a map and people can click on the images and pop to different points on the map real quickly. So there’s a lot that it can do.
It looks like it could be quite the plugin if you have different stores you want to showcase, if you have different events around town you need to showcase with images – all sorts of things like that. Or if you’re a traveler and just want to showcase all your place you’ve been on the map with images. At any rate, it looks good enough. I give it a 4-Dragon rating and check it out. It’s called Gocha GEO Targeting.
Marcus: Great! All right, final plugin of the day. This is called Sidebar Content Clone, and it does exactly that. It’s a really handy solution for just duplicating or cloning all the widgets from one sidebar to another sidebar in just one click. It could also clear widgets from the sidebar in one click.
I used this just yesterday because I was working on a website that had a couple of different widget areas. It had a homepage sticky, it had a regular homepage, it had a posts sticky, a posts regular, and the same thing with the page, so there’s really a couple of different things. And if you wanted it on the homepage and also on individual posts as well, you had to kind of create the same thing twice. That’s just a waste of time in my eyes, so I used this plugin, Sidebar Content Clone, and I was easily able to copy over from one place to another with little hassles and no extra setup. So it’s called Sidebar Content Clone and I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: That’s a very useful plugin because I could use something like that on some of the themes I’ve been working on lately where you have different sidebars for different sections of the site, yet you want to use a lot of the same widgets in those sidebars.
Marcus: That’s it. That’s exactly what it does.
John: Yeah, that’s a very useful tool. All right, this week here I covered up Time Sheets, which I gave a 4 to; Instagram Feed by EVM, which I gave a 3 to; and did Gocha GEO Targeting, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about Content Locker, which I gave a 5 out of 5, WP Jump gets a 4 out of 5, and Sidebar Content Clone gets a 4 out of 5.
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