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WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #295 here.
It’s Episode 295 and we’ve got plugins for Mobile Click to Call, Scrolling Widgets, Manual Payments for WooCommerce, Sticky Audio Players, and Featured Content. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Episode # 295
John: This week here I’ve got pretty nice plugins out. One of them comes to me because of a connection I had. It’s called Toolset Types. Now, I think I might have reviewed it a couple or three years back when I actually used it once upon a time, but I’d long since forgotten about it because I started doing things other ways. But during a recent project I was working on, I came across an issue setting up a very specific display in a theme for the archives. It was driving me mental and I found a solution to it, but it wasn’t the solution I wanted.
While I was working through it, one of our listeners out there, David – you know who you are. If you want me to announce it all out David, I’ll give the whole world credit to you. But David is one of our listeners. He’s volunteering some time for the WP Plugins A to Z site to help us develop our theme because the theme I used on our site is what I used in my client’s site and he happens to specialize with that theme, which was a really great thing. After talking to him about some things for the WP Plugins site, I mentioned my project and he had a solution for me that involved using the Toolset Types.
So what happened was after I talked to him, I realized it’s easier just to hire him, so I hired him to do the job for me on this project. A couple of hours later, he solved it for me. All we have to do is some fine-tuned tweaking and it’s great. But when I went and looked at Toolset Types, it’s a great plugin. You can create all kinds of custom post types, fields for many different uses such as custom searches, you can customize WooCommerce websites, custom templates, post types, and more.
It’s a really great plugin. It is a premium plugin that starts at $69, so you’ve got to spend some money but well worth it. The time it saved on this project here and how it’s impressing and helping my client is well worth it and well worth paying David the time necessary to do the job and help out my clients, so this plugin hit a 5-Dragon rating. Check it out: Toolset Types.
Marcus: There you go. That’s nice! I like it how things work out like that and I’m looking forward to seeing the changes on the site, too.
John: Yeah, well they’ll be coming over time. But David can’t spend any money with us, but he’s volunteering time which is just as good.
Marcus: That’s value, absolutely. That’s awesome, thank you. All right, so the first plugin that I’ve got today is a mobile-based plugin. A lot of us are kind of realizing that mobile first is the way to go when it comes to design because so much traffic is now migrating over to mobile.
Marcus: In some instances, it’s dominating, you know. The desktop seems to be dying as far as surfing the internet goes. So this is called Really Simple Click To Call Bar, so what it does is it’s a plugin that leaves kind of a sticky bar on the bottom of any of your responsive sites and it only displays in a mobile device. What it does is it adds a customizable click to call bar at the bottom for all your mobile users that just have to click it one time and it calls your business. It’s great for small businesses, restaurants, retail stores, or any kind of lead generation that relies strictly on phone calls, or at least dependent on some phone calls. It’s called Really Simple Click To Call Bar, great plugin, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! Yeah, I had something similar to that for quite a while on another plugin years ago.
John: But yeah, that’s definitely nice. Oftentimes, I’ll look up a website and I’m looking specifically for their phone number and if it has that button, it’s like sweet. I just hit the button and call them.
Marcus: That’s right.
John: All right, next up I have here is a plugin called WP Featured Content and Slider. It has both a free and a pro version. I ended up testing the pro version which starts at $9, but the free version, all it is is a slightly lesser bits of the pro. Anyway, while working on another project during last week, I had been running into another issue displaying featured content just the way I wanted to in a slider I’ve been trying to work with, Revolution Slider, to get this display. But the display wasn’t quite what the client wanted or what I was after.
While doing some research for something else, I tripped across this plugin here, and this plugin allows you to pull that content for your featured content for your news and other bits and pieces that you’re going to display, and create some really nice carousel sliders for that information. It allowed me to create the display just the way my client wanted.
Now, the free version didn’t have everything but the paid version definitely had what I was after. It offered the ability to create this great layout, content from your posts or custom post types, place it where you want it with a shortcode or with a widget. All in all, a really great plugin. It’s from wponlinesupport.com and I had to give this one a 5-Dragon rating. It’s WP Featured Content and Slider.
Marcus: Wow! That’s two five-in-a-rows there for you – five stars – I love that.
John: They don’t happen very often with me. But once in a while, they just manage to knock it out.
Marcus: Yeah, and I’ve been very discerning about my ratings lately, so why not now? The next one I want to talk about is something that happens quite a bit, actually. Sometimes, it’s necessary for you to have to manually get involved with the credit card process and this plugin is called WooCommerce Manual Payment. What it does is it adds a payment form to the WooCommerce edit order page. There’s no real need to leave the backend at all for this; you just fill in the credit card information manually and then click ‘process payment’ and that’s it. It’s completely secure, the credit card information never hits your server, it goes right to your payment processor, and it allows you also with the pro version of this plugin to do manual refunds, which is also something that’s somewhat difficult sometimes when dealing with WooCommerce. So if you’re hands-on and maybe you’re even wanting to just keep a credit card on file and ding that card every month for services to a business or a person that you do work for, this is a great way to do that as well. It’s called WooCommerce Manual Payment and I reviewed the free version of it. (There is a pro version.) I rated this a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. That could definitely save some people some time.
John: The final plugin I’ve got this week is another plugin from WP Online Support and it’s a pro version that I tested, but they do have a free version. They have free versions of all of their plugins available at the WordPress Repository. But their pro version is very nice, their prices are very affordable. This one here started at $16 for the plugin. The plugin, being from the same developer – but it also solved another issue that I was having on another project. (Yeah, my last week was pretty busy, which explains everything.)
I was trying to create a good, clean news ticker for the website and it kept coming up with, you know, ones that weren’t fitting the bill quite right. This one here offered up several different layouts, it pulls from its own custom post type for news, which is not exactly what we were looking for, but it was close and better than what we were being presented with. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty decent plugin. I really wanted to rate it at a 5 but it just didn’t have all the functionality I was chasing, but gave it a 4-Dragon rating. A pretty great plugin: WP News and Scrolling Widgets.
And as a side note about these two plugins I recommended from the same developer, if you find that any of their plugins are worthwhile, they also offer themes and they have a theme and plugin package that starts at $69, which is what I ended up purchasing. I could see myself using a couple of their other plugins down the road or even one of their themes. Anyway, check it out and no, there’s no affiliate or kickback on this one; this is just I found a really good service worthwhile, so I thought I would just let everyone know.
Marcus: Great! All right, the last one that I’ve got is something that I’ve been just kind of thinking about, mulling over, how I could actually add audio tracks that could be switchable throughout my site, and I came up with this cool plugin. It is called Themify Audio Dock and what it does is it allows you to play music, podcasts, spoken word – anything you want – any kind of mp3 file on any WordPress site, using the audio dock. So you could put an unlimited number of tracks, put your own custom titles in, choose any kind of color that you want for the bar and the text of the track.
This is a great plugin for bands, artists, or any kind of user that wants to set the right mood with music in their browser. It’s really nice, because you can actually kind of skip through the different tracks and it doesn’t matter if you navigate to another page; this sticky bar with the tracks on it stays intact.
Marcus: And it’s really nice. It’s not necessarily a podcast catcher, because it doesn’t work on any feeds or anything and you do have to manually add in all of the tracks. But I thought it was a really great plugin. It’s one of the best that I’ve seen in terms of audio and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Perfect – very nice. Well, at least we wrapped it up with a 5.
John: And I also wanted to make a quick mention, because I was just taking a look at the audio dock there. I’m noticing more and more plugins when they display content, they’re starting to make mention that they’re fully responsive across all mobile devices.
John: And that was one thing that I forgot to mention about the previous two plugins I had done was that they are mobile-responsive, too, which really saves you a lot of grief down the road, especially nowadays that everything needs to be mobile-responsive.
John: Okay, well that pretty much wraps it up. I covered up in this episode here the Toolset Types, which I gave a 5 to. I covered up the Featured Content and Slider, which I gave a 5 to and the WP News and Scrolling Widgets, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about Really Simple Click To Call Bar for your mobile sites and I rated that a 4 out of 5, WooCommerce Manual Payment gets a 4 out of 5, and Themify Audio Dock a 5 out of 5.