WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #297 here.
It’s Episode 297 and we’ve got plugins for Interactive Flip Books, Tax Reports, Help Desk within WordPress Admin, Demo Site Creation, and the highest regarded plugin I’ve ever used. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right, this week here the first plugin I’ve got for everyone is called Tax Report for WooCommerce. This is a pretty nice plugin. Now again, tax time in at least North America – I don’t know about the rest of the world and their tax reporting, but it happens in March/April – but we do, so you start thinking about your taxes. And of course, if you run an online shopping store, you’re going to have to charge and collect taxes, depending on where you’re located. Here in Canada, we have to collect GST, HST, and MPST. Depending on the product and everything else, it varies which one you’re collecting. So you have to collect all that information, report those taxes, and eventually you’ve got to pay them out. Yes, the government always wants their share of the pie.
What this plugin does is it makes that job of reporting a whole lot easier for you. It goes in there and it brings up the reports on the taxes you’ve collected, where they’ve been collected on, and it tells you how much you have owing to the government. It’s a very simple plugin; it looks like it does a great job and I had to give it a 4-Dragon rating. So check it out: Tax Report for WooCommerce.
Marcus: Very nice. Okay, I want to talk about a plugin that is on the Repository but it’s also a premium plugin. I’ve reviewed the premium version. It is called Interactive 3D Flipbook and it is very impressive. It allows you to import images, PDFs, or even HTML files as a flipping book. It can be used for demonstrations of magazines, books, cars, brochures, booklets – any of that kind of stuff. It’s better than I’ve seen on any other magazine site, any media site – anything. This is the coolest 3D flipbook I think I’ve ever seen. And not only does it have that straight overhead view, but it also has the flipbook as if it’s laid out on a table in front of you.
Marcus: And you can flip through it like that. Really great plugin. It’s priced at $24. I do have a link in the show notes and it’s pretty amazing. There’s a great demo on their website and on CodeCanyon as well, and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! That can be quite cool, especially if you do a website that has digital editions of their product.
Marcus: Not just that, but you could also do brochure templates, right? Everybody looks at those brochure templates sometimes on CodeCanyon and all the rest of it and Graphic River, you know, where you just get those Photoshop templates of maybe proposals —
Marcus: — or those kinds of things. You can maybe put a generic flyer, brochure, whatever you want to do – a catalogue even if you’re an e-commerce company, and put it together in a flipbook. It looks really cool.
John: Cool. Okay, the next one I’ve got up here is called WP Demo Buddy. This is a plugin that allows you to create demos and a demo section on your site for any of your own plugins, themes, or other miscellaneous things. I haven’t had a chance to give this a full test yet, but it’s something that may be coming to the WP Plugins A to Z site as a way for us to demonstrate some of the better plugins we get or the premium plugins we get, so that people can check them out and see if it’s for them.
It uses shortcodes to enter, it creates a secondary section, and it’s auto-cleaning. In other words, after if you set an expiry timer on the demo after someone has messed it up completely, it automatically wipes it out and resets it back to zero so that it’s nice and fresh on a regular basis for people to go in and mess with it. It allows you a way to get in there and set up promotions in the demo so that people can go in there and buy it once they decided they want it, link off, and go buy it from wherever it needs to be bought from.
All in all, it looks like it’s going to be quite the cool plugin to be using and checking out for setting up demos of plugins and themes to sell them. So anyway, this is one of the big things that I’ve always kind of complained about with premium plugins is that sometimes they have no demo for me to actually test – and I’m talking the demo to get into the backend to test, not what the customer sees, so I end up buying them to find out, oh God, I just wasted my money. So anyway, check this out: WP Demo Buddy and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Interesting. Yeah, I’ve reviewed that on a different show and I love it. By the way, John, breaking news – breaking!
John: What’s that?
Marcus: We’ve never had this on this show – breaking news.
John: Breaking news, all right. Ding, ding, ding, ding!
Marcus: WordPress 4.7.3 has just been pushed. It is a security release for all previous versions. They strongly encourage you to update and it patches six immediate security issues, cross-site scripting, and a bunch of other stuff. So update.
John: Update now! All right, I can see all of that coming this afternoon as I open my email back up and all of a sudden I’ve got dozens of emails of all the sites that auto-updated.
Marcus: That’s right. Okay, so I was approached on Facebook by Marette Aminov and he told me about his plugin called Catchers Helpdesk and Ticket System Plugin For Support. This is basically a helpdesk ticket thing that runs right within the WordPress administrative area. Each help request sent to support email becomes a helpdesk ticket – now, that’s key – each email that’s sent to your support team becomes a helpdesk ticket in the WordPress backend.
John: That’s nice.
Marcus: You can categorize, prioritize tickets, and assign them to different people in your team, either manually or automatically, and there is no conflict between two people trying to answer the same ticket because you already know if one person on the team has already taken that ticket. This is the best internal WordPress support ticket system that I’ve ever seen. It rivals things like Zendesk in terms of what it can do. It’s $49, it’s on sale at CodeCanyon. This is an outstanding plugin and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! Yeah, that would be very nice. Every other helpdesk I’ve ever tried has been mediocre at best.
Marcus: Yeah, this one’s really good. They did their work on this one.
John: All right, the final one I’ve got here today is Amount Left for Free Shipping for WooCommerce. What this one’s for is if you’re running a WooCommerce store and you have shipping and you offer up free shipping after they spend so much money, this is a nice little simple plugin that then drops the amount they’ve got to go before they get free shipping into their shopping cart, the little mini cart if you’ve got one on there, and on the checkout page.
It’s one of those plugins to help encourage people to spend more money on your website by moving up to that level to the free shipping, because people for some reason think free shipping is free and it’s a really great idea. So anyway, a great little plugin. Check it out, it looks like it’s going to do great for those running a WooCommerce store and offering up free shipping, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating: Amount Left for Free Shipping for WooCommerce.
Marcus: All right, okay. I teased it in the show – in the opening – the highest regarded plugin I’ve ever used, and this is it. It’s called WP All Import. You might’ve heard of it. It’s been out a couple of years. What it allows you to do is to take any kind of XML or CSV file and imports that information into WordPress – into page titles, descriptions, custom fields, anything like that.
Let me tell you how I used this, okay? I have infinite tools that allow me to scrape, right? You know, you better be careful if you’ve got a website that I’m interested in, because I’m going to scrape every link you’ve got, I’m going to scrape every product you’ve got – all that. This then allows me to take all that data or even affiliate data fees that have like 10,000 products in them, image links, and all of that stuff, and create posts. And not just posts; if I have a product data feed from affiliates that has a product ID, description, category, and all the rest of it, I can have it import straight from an FTP of an affiliate FTP (like Commission Junction or one of those that updated every single day) and it will create WooCommerce products out of every single one of them. It can even have the option to cloak the link so that somebody isn’t getting your affiliate data or your affiliate code.
Here’s the beautiful thing about it is that tomorrow you can set the template to look at the exact same feed and update the information that was already there, and it does it autonomously, which means you don’t have to touch it. And here’s another thing: say if a product is in the feed for today and tomorrow but on Friday it ends up not being in the feed anymore, it recognizes that and takes the product out of WooCommerce for you.
Another great thing is it allows you to adjust the pricing. So if I wanted to pull in a bunch of data and say, give me a 20% markup on everything in WooCommerce and add that to the price, it’ll do that.
Marcus: It’s an amazing piece of software. I bought the entire elite bundle that has WP All Import and All Export. I’ve just barely scratched the surface of what this thing can do. I have so many websites, so many directories, so many things that I want to do, and this is an amazing piece of software that I was happy to chuck down $250 for. It’s probably the most I’ve ever paid for one single suite of plugins and I rated this a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Nice. That has lots and lots of opportunities for use, especially importing data.
Marcus: Mm-hmm. It’s great.
John: Very nice! All right, well I covered up in this episode here Tax Report for WooCommerce, which I gave a 4 to; WP Demo Buddy, which I gave a 4 to; and Amount Left for Free Shipping for WooCommerce, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And running the tables with all the premium plugins, I’ve got 3D Flipbook, 5 out of 5; Catchers Helpdesk and Ticket System gets 5 out of 5; and WP All Import would get a 6 out of 5, but I only have five, so I can give it a 5 out of 5.