WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #320 here.
It’s Episode 320 and we’ve got plugins for Contact Form 7 Redirects, Dashboard Customizers, Post Title Formatter, 3D Text Effects, Link Monitoring and a new way to lock down and declutter the media library. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right, first up this week here I have a plugin that was sent in to us by Natalie Anderson, and this plugin is called Post Title Formatter. It was sent in to us to – well, as from the WP Plugins A to Z website where you can go if you’re a developer, you can submit your plugins for review and get them in here sooner than we might find them on our own. Anyway, first off this is a simple plugin; no configurations required for it that I can find.
Once it installs, it does a couple of simple things for you. It capitalizes the first word in your post title, as well as ensures that you have spaces after any commas, it removes any full stops at the end. It’s a pretty basic plugin. You just turn it on, activate it. The one thing I found with it if you do make these mistakes while you’re creating your post title, it doesn’t correct them in the backend; it only corrects them in the frontend for you, so you’ll always see those mistakes in the backend but it corrects them in the frontend. All in all, an okay little plugin. It can help you out with your post creation. I give it a 3-Dragon rating. Go check it out.
Marcus: Nice. All right, well a lot of us use Contact Form 7 because it’s free and Gravity Forms and those kinds of things are not free. One of the things that I like to buy Gravity Forms is that it could redirect to a different page once they are done submitting their form. And now I found this plugin called CF7 Redirect which does the exact same thing. It adds the option to redirect to any page you choose after the successful mail has been sent.
What it does is it does it without AJAX and any of those events. You just simply go to your forms settings within Contact Form 7, you choose the redirect tab, and you just set the page where you want to redirect it to. This plugin does require Version 4.2 or later of Contact Form 7, so if you haven’t updated in a while, this is a good reason to go and update. I gave this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! That’s a nice add-on for Contact Form 7. I see there’s more and more of those add-ons out there, so I think Contact Form 7 will pick up eventually.
John: I just don’t think it’s interfaced for creating forms.
Marcus: Yeah, I’m starting to fall – I’m starting to get a big crush on Caldera Forms lately. But Contact Form 7 is also something that I use.
John: Okay, next up I have another plugin. It’s called MM Dashboard Customizer. It was sent in to us by Maroon Melham and this is a plugin that will help you do some basic customizations to your dashboard. It is a pretty decent plugin. It helps you make some changes to your dashboard, such as you can customize the login page with your own colors and logo and background.
You can remove a couple of the annoying widgets in the dashboard itself. You can customize the page background for the login, change text colors, go in and adjust and change some widgets in there, you can tweak the header bar just a little bit in it, and you can also tweak the photo bar with your own customized message in there. One other thing it does for you: if you are in need to reset all of your plugins in there back to their default settings when they were first installed, there’s a one-step button to do that. But beware, once you do it, it’s unchangeable, so it’s a way to start over again if you need to.
All in all, a pretty great little plugin and from my little tweaks, it’s a nice way to do some quick customizations to the dashboard to kind of customize it up for yourself and for your clients – get rid of some of the stuff you know they won’t want to see, especially in that dashboard login area where you have all the added widgets that they will never use. So anyway, check it out. I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. It’s the MM Dashboard Customizer.
Marcus: Very nice! All right, this is a fun little plugin. It’s called 3D Effect Text and it’s a really simple plugin that just uses CSS to transform text, your title, your heading – anything like that. It just stands between two different shortcodes and it creates kind of a centered, raised lettering effect in 3D with some cool shadows and stuff.
It’d be great to use this on any kind of page that’s maybe a sale page or something that you just want to get that cool kind of over-the-top, not just bold but really fancy text, or showing it here on the screen for our video version of the show. But you can check it out for yourself on the WordPress Repository with the link in our show notes. It’s called 3D Effect Text and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Yeah, that’s kind of cool looking. I like that way that does that and it would be quite handy. It gives you – well, yeah. Adjust the colors and tweak it out the way you want it. Nice!
Marcus: Absolutely – everything, yeah.
John: All right, the final one I’ve got up here today is called Sur.ly. It was again sent in to us by Mike Champs and this is a third-party service that connects your website to monitor all the outbound links off of your website. Currently, this service is free. You never know how long that’s going to happen with a service though, because free means they’ve got to be getting something for it somewhere. There’s no such thing as “free.” But what it does for you is it monitors the outbound links of your website and when people click on the outbound link and follow it, it creates a toolbar up at the top that they then follow.
It checks where the link is going to see if it’s leading to spam or adult content or some other place you really don’t want your visitors to wander off to. But it helps keep them within your domain, thereby raising the length of time on your domain for SEO results and other such things. All in all, I’m not really sure how I feel about this plugin but it does seem to have some great uses. You might want to go check it out and, as I said, currently it’s a free service, so check it out. At current, I give it a 4-Dragon rating. It’s called Sur.ly.
Marcus: Hmm, that’s something that that Pretty Link plugin does as well. It’s that same kind of thing. Interesting. Okay, well I’ve saved the best for last here, John. I’m always one to bitch and complain about the Media Library and I’ve found a really cool companion plugin to this called Restrict Media Library Access. When you enable this, what it does is it restricts access for authors and contributors, not admins and editors – but authors and contributors so that they can only see their own Media Library uploads when they go to the Media Library, which is nice because it —
Marcus: — helps to prevent them from seeing system images and stuff that you use to actually create the website and stuff that other people have actually uploaded, so that’s really a cool thing. It does that by actually kind of tagging them as the individual person or the owner, actually, of the content. So it prevents them from seeing anybody else’s media, anything like that that belongs to other authors. So as a reminder, admins, editors and all that, you’ll still be able to see everybody’s uploads within the site. It doesn’t really work for you, but if you want to separate it out between your contributors and your authors, this is a great way to do it. It’s called Restrict Media Library Access and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very cool! I like that idea to restrict it to only the stuff they upload and you’re right, it does help clean up their library for them —
John: — versus the mess that’s usually left behind after you build a website. There’s always a lot of images in there.
Marcus: Yeah. If you had a sight where you had maybe 50 authors, it could get really confusing really fast and this is a great way to split that up.
John: All right, well that wraps it up. This week here I covered the Post Title Formatter, which I gave a 3 to; the MM Dashboard Customizer, which I gave a 4 to; and the Sur.ly, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about CF7 Redirect, which gets a 4 out of 5; 3D Effect Text, which gets a 4 out of 5; and Restrict Media Library, which gets a perfect 5 out of 5.