WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #300 here.
It’s Episode 300 and we’ve got plugins for Synchronizing Posts Between Installs, User Chat, Exporting Comments, Dynamic Content, and WordPress powered by IBM’s Watson. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right, the first plugin I’ve got this week here is called Watson Finds, and this one was sent in to us by one of our listeners out there, a developer named Alfredo Gutierrez – hopefully, I got it right.
Marcus: Or at least that’s the alias that Watson picked when —
John: That’s it. It might be.
Marcus: — added its own plugin into the matrix.
John: Who knows? Anyway, the lowdown on this plugin is I hadn’t had a chance to firstly test it, but I did do the review on it and read it all over. What they’ve got in this plugin is it goes through and looks at the content that you’ve put into a post and then you hit a button, and then it uses Watson to analyze your plugin for emotional feeling. It decides whether the content you’ve written is going to present joy, sadness, anger, disgust, fear – any of the emotions to bring the intensity score of the emotion up; what kind of emotion you’re trying to get across in your content.
Using this, you can help tailor your content in such a way to get more of an impact with your users. It looks to be a pretty interesting way to help guide your content of your site and guide the emotions of what the people are reading the content to, try and get them to respond. There’s certain kind of emotions you trigger in someone when they’re reading something to get them to do something else, either on your site, donations, or whatever. I mean, after all, the media and advertising industry has been using this technique for years. But using the artificial A.I. of Watson, this might actually help get you bumped up in there.
At any rate, it looked to be quite an interesting plugin. Check it out. I know I’m going to get it installed and start checking it out and seeing what kind of emotions we’re projecting off of the WP Plugins A to Z site. But at the moment I give this a 4-Dragon rating. Check it out: Watson Finds.
Marcus: Yes, I’m very, very interested to put this thing through its paces.
Marcus: That seems this is coming and it’s better to kind of look and embrace and see what this is doing to our sites. I’m sure it’s only a matter of years where we can just ask Watson to write a blog post for us.
John: Oh, Watson’s already writing them out there. It’s quite funny.
Marcus: Yeah. So today I’m going to talk about some of the actually most requested plugin types that I get offline, okay? So this is like Twitter direct messages or Facebook chats or something like that, so here’s some plugins that foot the bill. The first one answers the question of “How do I sync from one WordPress install to the other automatically?” so that I don’t have to just export out of the tools section in the admin and have to do import/export, get some weird, whacky plugin to do RSS-based importing, where you never get things right, none of the fields match up, or you know, any of that stuff. So we’re going to talk about WordSync, and WordSync allows you to synchronize posts, pages, users, taxonomies, attachments, and settings between two WordPress installs. I’m not talking about multisite, either. This is two individual WordPress installations.
So here’s how it works. After you set up the link between two sites, you get a secret key that you share between the two and you perform a sync on the target site, which will show all the changes that you need and bring all of it over. You can sync all kinds of things — I mean attachments, all that stuff. Interestingly, I want to try it with multisite and I actually want to do it to where I’m taking from the WP A to Z site, John, and bringing it to my own site.
Marcus: I wonder if that would work.
John: Oh, probably.
Marcus: Cross-pollinate —
John: Yeah, we’ve got it —
Marcus: — blog posts, you know?
John: We’ve got a syncing plugin already installed on WP Plugins A to Z —
John: — because I already use it to sync between two sites.
Marcus: Cool. But anyway, this handles all of it: updating the slug, all of that, the attachments, users, posts —
Marcus: — all of that from one site to the other automatically, without any conflicts, and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice. Very nice, yeah. Syncing is a very useful tool. Yeah, well we have a synching plugin; it’s not this one, but I can’t remember which one we’re using, but I do use it between WP Plugins and another site when I’m needing to put some similar data on both sites.
Marcus: Mm-hm. And this is especially good if you work with different data feeds —
Marcus: — and I’m starting to get into dynamic kind of product population based on Amazon and affiliate sources and things. Synching is a huge deal, especially when you want to sync prices and all of that kind of stuff. The biggest problem that you run into by the way with synching is if what if you delete it off of one site? Does it delete it off the other site?
John: Well, I would hope not. But —
Marcus: Yeah. Well, maybe you want it to?
John: Well, that could be —
Marcus: Maybe you want to update it?
John: That could be useful. Or you could – I know the one I use is that if you do update a post on one site, you can just hit a button and it will go sync the other site for you —
John: — on the same post that was already done.
John: So next up, I have a plugin called Magic Conversation for Gravity Forms. It’s a freemium plugin and it’s priced from free to $39, depending on what you need and want. It’s a pretty interesting plugin, another one I haven’t had the time these last weeks or so to do any real testing of plugins. But it looked good, so I thought I would check it out and check out their demos of it.
What it does for you is it creates a simple chat bot sort of on your site using Gravity Forms. So those little chat plugins you see on many sites where you click the bottom right corner and they say, “Chat to me now,” well, that’s what this plugin creates for you, but it does it using a Gravity Form. It converts a Gravity Form into a conversation form, so you can go back and forth with the user off of one Gravity Form and it keeps a trail of it all in the Gravity Form for you. You can also set the form up to have a questionnaire that they need to fill out before they could start talking to you. You can ask their name, email, other bits and pieces, have they done A, B, and C before trying to contact you for whatever problem they’re having – many things like that.
You can control the styles, adjust it, and all in all, it looks to be a pretty decent plugin if you’re looking for a very simple chat solution on your website, instead of using a fancy full-on, full-blown chat plugin or chat service. So anyway, check it out. It’s called Magic Conversation for Gravity Forms and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. Plus, I need to mention it was sent in to us by Russ Mate, so thanks a lot, Russ.
Marcus: Thank you, Russ! I’m going to check that out myself. Obviously, I’m interested in seeing how Watson and Skynet and all the rest of it is going to fit into our WordPress installations. Pretty cool.
Marcus: Okay, John. Celebrating Episode 300 again here, one of the other questions I get all the time is, “How do I geo-modify my targets or my target content based on where somebody is from?” Okay, how – not just language but maybe offers or “How do I redirect them,” anything like that, right?
Marcus: So I found a plugin called IfSo Dynamic Content and it provides the ability to show the visitors of your site the content that fits them most, based on a set of rules that you put together. So it has a full visual editor so you can see all the content based on what it happens to be. Maybe you want to give a different video to somebody coming in from one country or the other.
Here’s what it allows you to do. You set conditions; there’s no coding involved in this. You just set conditions in which you’d like to do this. This is kind of like Outlook rules or Gmail rules. You set what customized content you want and then the rules are like geo location —
Marcus: — so you can get down to countries, cities, areas. You can also make a rule based on referral source. So if they came from Yahoo or Facebook from Germany, send them this, right? It also does insight remarketing, so you can also serve up ads based on the country they’re from and things. It generates special links so that they get personalized content as well so that you can also, you know, send ads and things. It also is date and time dependent too, so you can actually just create campaigns and only do it during specific times. That way, you can differentiate.
So it’s pretty cool. It’s called IfSo Dynamic Content and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: That’s a very nice plugin and this one’s completely free it looks like.
Marcus: It is.
John: That’s sweet! That’s a pretty powerful plugin for being as free as it is. All right, finally I have here today a plugin which again was sent in to us by Mithu A. Quayium and it’s called Shortcode Maker. This is another plugin for creating a shortcode on your website. Now, the thing I found amusing when I was going through and checking this plugin out – and this ties back into our first plugin with Watson – is that the YouTube video was made with an artificial bot. Absolutely, when you listen to the voice in it, you’re going, “Oh, that’s absolutely an artificial bot voicing it for it entirely.”
John: It’s really kind of interesting. So at any rate, it’s an interesting plugin. They do the shortcode creation a little differently than other shortcode makers that I’ve seen in that what they use is a standard custom post type with the addition of attributes. It looks to be pretty good and useful if you’ve got some basic content that goes into most pages of your website and it has to be changed occasionally site-wide, so you can just go change it in this one place. You can create pretty much any type of shortcode you want by just creating a title, it creates a shortcode, you use the post area to put your content in there, whether it’s going to be text or whether it’s going to be something else. You can also create shortcodes within shortcodes with it.
So all in all, it looks like it could be a fairly useful plugin for a lot of basic shortcode making, but none of the fancier shortcodes like what we’re using on the WP Plugins A to Z site. So anyway, check it out. It’s called Shortcode Maker and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Cool. All right, so I’m going to end it on Episode 300 here with another thing that I get asked a lot, and this is a pretty lazy plugin.
John: Sweet, we love lazy plugins.
Marcus: Yeah. So this is called Export Comment Emails and the question I always get is, “How can I export the emails of the people that commented so that they could be added to my newsletter?” A very good question. So what this does is when a site visitor leaves a comment on your WordPress site, you want to export them to not just an Excel sheet (which you can do, by the way) or a CSV, you want to be able to maybe do specific date ranges, like “Give me the people that are in the last week so that I can add them.” Maybe this is for clients, too – people that do reviews of products or, you know, you want them to have a different element of customer service if somebody leaves negative feedback.
But you also want it to interact with things like MailChimp and ConvertKit and all of that, and this allows you to do that. So this is fully automated, it’s really cool. It takes all the post comments that you have, adds them right into your subscription funnel for all kinds of different email installations, but also allows you to export them into Excel or CSV, which then you can import those email addresses into a custom audience and do Facebook advertising with them as well, which is key.
Marcus: It is key. So it is perfect, it is a lazy plugin, and I rated it a 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! Coming in with a full house today. Nice work.
Marcus: Yeah, yeah.
John: All right, well I covered up on this episode here, I covered up Watson Finds with a 4, a Magic Conversation for Gravity Forms with a 4, and then Shortcode Maker, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about WordSync, which allows you to go from one installation to another – gave a 5 out of 5, IfSo Dynamic Content, it’s kind of a rule-based content server and it’s also a 5 out of 5, and we just talked about Export Comment Emails, which gets 5 out of 5.