WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #302 here.
It’s Episode 302 and we’ve got plugins for Google Calendar, Site Attack Blocking, Checking your Posts with Copyscape, WooCommerce Images and a plugin to list your stock portfolio. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Okay, the first plugin I’ve got this week here is called repubHub Headlines Widget. This was sent in to us by Dan Sauerhaft and I’ll be interviewing him later today (hopefully, if my recording equipment starts working). It’s at repubHub.com and the plugin is available in the Repository and it’s a pretty easy plugin for adding trending news and/or new articles from your specific sources to your website via a sidebar widget.
It adjusts the settings to allow you to drill down the specific categories and regions, limit number of articles to appear. It’s a pretty excellent way to add additional content to your site. Now, the content comes through repubHub’s system but they have a lot of news sources where they bring in content. A lot of it’s really great and useful, so if you want to check this out if you’re looking to add additional news, top stories, other bits and pieces to your website from a third-party source, it seems to be a pretty decent plugin, and we’ll know more about it after I interview Dan. So check it out: repubHub Headlines Widget and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Outstanding! Well, one of the things that I’ve done lately is installed a Google Calendar list for someone that has regular events. They wanted a way to not have to do it in an events calendar pro plugin or things like that. They just wanted their office staff to be able to add things to a Google Calendar and then list them on the site. So I found a plugin for them called Google Calendar List View, and what it does is it lets you put a shortcode down and you can display the list view of a public Google Calendar. But it worked great; the functionality itself worked perfect the very first time that I tried the shortcode. But it does seem to be unformatted out of the box, so you will have to make some CSS modifications to get it to work perfectly formatted within your site. But I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. It’d be nice to have your Google Calendar display in a decent way.
Marcus: Yeah, so it’s a really easy way for keeping a client out of the WordPress installation, adding their own events – anybody can use a Google Calendar and this one incorporates and merges that into your content perfectly.
John: Excellent. The next plugin I’ve got here is called WP Block and this plugin here is a security plugin. What it does is it helps you prevent some of the most common attacks simply by keeping your plugins, themes, core, and WordPress updated. But it also goes in and disables access to admin for everyone except admins and editors, disables the use of WP Scan, which is a tool that’s used by, you know, the hackers – mostly script kitties, and that’s a lot of the common attacks that happen to WordPress websites.
It helps block hackers from scanning your website for admin users, vulnerable threats, vulnerable plugins, and exposed files, and it’s supposed to help reduce the load on your server. It prevents access to sensitive files and a bit more. All you’ve got to do is install it, activate it, a couple of minor adjustments, and you’re good to go. So anyway, a pretty decent plugin – a nice, little security plugin to help tighten up your website a little bit with a minimal amount of effort. Check it out – it’s called WP Block and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: All right. The next plugin I have is for WooCommerce and it’s called WooCommerce Image Annotator. This is really neat, John. If you want to add more value to the products on your WordPress sites, get a little bit of extra pop when it comes to those images, this is the plugin for you. What it does is it allows you to actually open up one of your product images, annotate it (which means put notes on it). You know, you could put instructions: “Here’s number one, here’s number two, here’s number three…” all within the same image.
Or if you want to talk about sizes, colors, or anything like that, you can actually annotate, which means you don’t have to pull it into Photoshop and then type your notes and all that. You just actually type what it is that you want right in WordPress, then you can save it, display it, go back and edit it if you want to later, so it’s not a permanent thing, and it does not overwrite the original image.
Marcus: That’s very, very cool —
John: That is very cool.
Marcus: — so I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5!
John: Nice. Gotta like that. You can go through and add some really nice features to your images. I like how they show it in here in that you have your model showcasing the pieces and then you highlight those little pieces on the model.
Marcus: That’s right. So yeah, it could be – let’s just say you’re doing variable sizing, right?
Marcus: So if you have a shirt and you’re measuring the collar, you know, that’s number one. The sleeve, that’s number two and the width of the shirt – shoulders or whatever – so you could put those to different things down there and then they would know exactly what it is that they’re ordering.
John: Very nice! Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here today is called Stock Market News. Now, the developers of this actually by Stockdio actually create three different plugins. This is one that I’ve tested so far. I’ll probably test the other ones. But what this one does here, it is a little bit challenging to get set up. You have to go create an account on their site, then you have to get an API key and then get it set up, and then you have to choose the very specific stock exchanges and stock symbols and tickers.
But what it does once you get it working is it starts to display news, information, and there are other ones that will start to display stock reports – ticker reports – for you to let you know how the stocks are doing. Other than that, it’s a really great plugin. It allows you to monitor the market indices, currencies, commodities, are supported, even bringing in news and information about what’s happening in the world of stocks and investments. So all in all, not a bad plugin but due to the amount of effort it requires to get it set up, I had to set this one at a 3-Dragon rating. Check it out: Stock Market News.
Marcus: Yeah, I’ve recently become an investor in stocks and I’ll tell you what: I’m looking at stocks almost as much as I’m looking at plugins lately.
Marcus: I mean, it’s addicting. I just can —
Marcus: — watch it all the time. It’s pretty cool.
Marcus: All right, so the next one is used actually to – this one really comes in handy if you’re doing guest posts or stuff like that. It’s called Postscape, and if you’re familiar with Copyscape, Copyscape is a website that checks all the other content on the web to make sure that the thing that you are using is original, and that’s very, very important to make sure that you have original and not duplicate content on your site.
So what this does is it just adds a button to the WordPress editor and it allows you to do a quick scan of Copyscape with the content that you’ve actually got within the editor and give you a percentage of originality.
Marcus: So this is really good for people that submit guest posts. I have a client that runs an association and often the members actually contribute blog posts and quite often. I mean, one of the rules that we have is it has to be 100% original, and something like this really helps because it can weed that out, whether they’re just submitting some press release that they’ve already done or an article that they did about a year ago on their own blog that never went anywhere. This is the way to check that. It’s called Postscape and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice – very important to make sure your content is as original as it can possibly be. Getting harder and harder these days though.
Marcus: Yeah, absolutely.
John: So much information and content out there in the world, you know, nothing’s new under the sun, so you’ve just got to figure out a new way to present it.
Marcus: Except for this podcast.
John: Oh, true. True – this podcast is pretty unique in what it is.
Marcus: That’s right.
John: All right, well that wraps it up. I covered up in this episode repubHub Headlines Widget, which I gave a 4 to; WP Block, which I gave a 4 to; and Stock Market News, which I gave a 3 to.
Marcus: And I covered Google Calendar List View, which got a 4 out of 5, WooCommerce Image Annotator gets a 5 out of 5, and we just talked about Postscape, which gets a 5 out of 5.