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WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #321 here.
It’s Episode 321 and we’ve got plugins for Classified Ads, Purchase Orders, Mailchimp Integration, Wholesale Pricing, PDF Documents and Auto Address Suggestions. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 321 and we’ve got plugins for classified ads, purchase orders, MailChimp integration, wholesale pricing, PDF documents, and auto address suggestions. It’s all coming up next on WordPress Plugins A to Z.
WordPress, it’s the most popular content management and website solution on the internet. And with over 30,000 plugins to choose from, how do you separate the junk from the gems? Join John Overall and Marcus Couch for this weekly unrehearsed conversation about the latest and greatest in WordPress plugins. This is WordPress Plugins A to Z.
John: Well, good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, wherever you happen to be hiding out there on the globe today. Coming to you direct from the Brewery Overlook at Eclipse 2017 Headquarters in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, I’m John Overall.
Marcus: And coming to you from Laguna Beach, California, where I only get to see a third of the eclipse, I’m Marcus Couch.
John: Oh, a beautiful one here. It’ll be a 92% for us.
John: At any rate, right off the top, you can get the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com and we’d appreciate you subscribing and reviewing us at Stitcher Radio or the iTunes store and you can follow us on Twitter at @wppluginsatoz and you can watch us live on our Screencast training videos and subscribe to us at YouTube. All the links are in the show notes.
Marcus: Awesome! Well, we promised a little format change last week and we’re going to dive right into it.
John: That we are! And today, we are reviewing our usual allotment of six great plugins. Stay tuned to hear them as there is no longer a fast-forward option and we’re going to jump right into one with the meat and potatoes.
All right, and first up the plugin I’ve got today comes from my own research at it is going to be helping you solve the following issues and it will be one that will be a training video. It is AWPCP – Classifieds Plugin. Now, not every site out there needs a classified section, but since I am heading into a new project that will require one, I am back at a plugin I’ve been using off and on for the past four years. This is a freemium plugin, one of the early plugins to adopt the model of freemium because they’ve been around for about five or six years and they’ve been doing quite well with it.
The plugin itself, it can be set up completely free service or you can have short-term free ads in it. You can add in paid ads sections or just run it as paid ads. It comes with a built-in PayPal integration and a couple of its mods allow for additional payment systems. You can add in additional fields, locations, you can lock this down to regions. There is a lot that this classified ad plugin does for you and it’s one of the better ones that I’ve used. (In fact, it’s probably the best of the ones that I use since I keep going back to it whenever I have to do a classifieds section.)
All in all, this is a pretty damn good classified ads plugin and all you’ve got to do to make it look pretty is get in there for the CSS at the end. The total value of it, I give this one a 5-Dragon rating.
Marcus: It must be really nice then! Wow, 5 out of 5. I’m stunned.
John: Yeah – knock it out of the park right off the top – what the hell.
Marcus: All right, okay. So anybody that does any business that is a B2B, which is a business-to-business transaction, I’m sure that it’s come about where they’ve had a company that said, “Can I give you a P.O. for this?” A P.O. stands for purchase order. Now, what happens is if I’m a business and John’s a business, and say I’m going to order $4,000 worth of XYZ – whatever it happens to be from John – I’ll tell John, “Hey, here’s a P.O. for that.” You use P.O.#18655. It could be my employee number, my company, it could be a set purchase order number that requisitions a specific amount on the P.O. that gets paid and it’s an easier way for accountants to kind of keep track of things.
Well, WooCommerce doesn’t have this built-in inherently. You actually have to use this add-on to do it. So this is called Purchase Order WooCommerce Add-on. It allows you to take and accept P.O.s it has a really nice interface in which you can take care of all that, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! That’s actually quite useful for those that require to take purchase orders, especially if you’re selling items that can be bought with purchase orders.
Marcus: Yeah, if it’s business-to-business, any sort of B2B operation, you’re going to want to use this because this question will come up and it’s almost like – it’s not really a credit situation. It’s not like a credit card or anything like that. You’re just kind of running a tab for the business, so to speak, and it allows them to easily do transactions with you that otherwise you wouldn’t have that capability. So it’s really great for you to use with clients or anything else – anybody that uses purchase orders, this will handle it.
John: Which is most businesses when I had my own retail businesses, purchase orders were a regular occurrence for me, especially with my bigger clients, because they’d buy on purchase order and I’d invoice them once a month, so hey —
Marcus: Right, right. And so if you don’t have purchase order capability for yourself or for your client (whichever the case may be), then you’re cutting yourself out of probably a lot of business.
John: Absolutely. All right, well that wraps that one up. Today I want to talk to you a little bit about are you having troubles with your WordPress website or do you have development questions you need answered? Then contact me, John Overall, and with my 20 years’ experience online and eight of those years dealing strictly with WordPress exclusively, I can help solve your problems, saving you time and money. You can contact me by visiting my website at JohnOverall.com. You can call (818) 850-7729 and get direct to me or send me an email direct to email@example.com.
Marcus: Yeah, and I’ve got something to talk about too, which is Smashing Magazine. Boy, I’ve gotten so many cool submissions by different people. I mean, just stuff in WordPress that I had no idea about, and I’ve got about 20 in the queue right now, which seems like a lot of articles but actually I’ll be done with that in about two weeks. So it’s time if you want to step up to the plate, if you want to contribute, if you want to submit yourself to Smashing Magazine as an author, it’s one of the largest web design resources out there.
A lot of changes coming to it, including building up the WordPress section, which I’m heading up. So if you’re looking for an outlet to talk about WordPress, write about WordPress, this is it. If you want to just go to marcuscouch.com/smashing, I have an author form there, a video there – everything you need to know to get started and how the process works. So check it out if you want to write for Smashing Magazine, marcuscouch.com/smashing.
John: And don’t forget, you can earn some money by doing that, folks.
Marcus: That’s right! You get paid.
John: That’s the best part. All right, now before we head on to our next plugin because today is the Eclipse of 2017, I wanted to give an eclipse update. We’ve started the show a little early today but right now, it is just starting into the eclipse here in Victoria, British Columbia. So the edge of the moon is heading over the sun and it’s going to last for the next two hours here.
John: So, looking forward to jumping out there after the show is over to get a good look. By then it’ll be about a quarter covered, so looking forward to that.
John: All right, next up, the plugin I’ve got here for you today is another one that I’ve used a lot in the past and I recently have to do a little work on a site to bring it forward. This one here is a pretty common one used by a lot of folks. It’s MailChimp for WordPress. This one you’ll see also as a training video coming down the pipe in the next week or two. This plugin here is one that helps you capture your emails on your website and integrate them into your MailChimp list.
It also offers up several paid add-ons. They do have a couple of free add-ons to go with it and the free version of it makes it pretty easy for you to set up some forms. You just go in, you create your form, and then you either insert it into your site with a shortcode or stick it into a sidebar with a widget. It also has seamless integration with comments section of your site, as well as WooCommerce, MemberPress, Events Manager, and more. They’ve got a lot of seamless integration into these so that someone signing up in your WooCommerce store, they’ve got a checkbox that automatically will add them to your email list. Same with when they leave a comment on your website, so you can collect more of those emails and get them directly put into your MailChimp list.
Now, the nice thing about it is the add-ons on this, one of the add-ons I always end up getting with it is the one that allows you to go in and do a lot of customizations to the form. This add-on is almost a must; it’s not very expensive, somewhere around $25-30, I believe (I can’t recall exactly at the moment), but well worth the money to make creating that stupendous form for your website.
So anyway, this is a great plugin. I thoroughly enjoy it and I use it every time I throw together a site, so go check it out: MailChimp for WordPress and I give it a 5-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Awesome. One of the other common components that you may run into in dealing with B2B – and you can sense a recurring theme here that I had some B2B work this last week – is wholesale pricing. A lot of people have asked for stuff like that so that you can implement kind of a “buy more, pay less” strategy or even the other way around if you want to create kind of a supply/demand scarcity model, or something like that. Well, this allows you to integrate wholesale pricing into WooCommerce.
You can set product pricing rules; which product depends on how many quantity is in the cart. You can use a total cart quantity or product quantity of each individual product and you can set the wholesale discount to apply only if other coupon codes or promo codes and discounts are not in the cart. Those are just options, by the way. You can set a discount as a blanket percentage off of the original price, affix discount, or set a different price directly on a per-product basis, based on quantity, and that’s pretty cool.
You could also set different pricing options based on user roles as well, so if you have clients or customers that have a specific user role like VIP customer – anything like that – maybe their discount is a little bit better. It’s called Wholesale Pricing WooCommerce (instead of the other way around), and I rated this a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. That’s always nice to offer up your clients some wholesale pricing, so —
Marcus: Yes, definitely. For you designers out there, these two plugins that I talked about, you add those into any B2B business site and half your troubles are already solved.
John: Mm-hmm, absolutely. All right, moving on here, we want to let everyone know this show is a value-for-value model show. Meaning if you get any value out of it, please give value back. And in that vein, we would like to acknowledge those that have supported the show in the past week. All donations $50 and over are read out and their note is published here. For those who come below $50, they will remain anonymous and we thank you very much.
This week we would like to give a big thank you to all our donors who came in under $50 and to those of you who set up weekly subscriptions, all those small subscriptions really help the show out. Here are the ways you can go out to help support the show: You can support us with something like say a $2.50 weekly subscription by going to Wppluginsatoz.com/donate, and we have several options there. But hey, $2.50 a week, man, show us what the show is worth to you.
This show is listener-supported and we use that money to help the show grow by doing lots of different things for the show, including things such as transcripts, bandwidth, hosting – all of those things there. That’s where the money goes right now; it’s definitely not going into our pockets.
Marcus: That’s right.
John: So feel free, drop over to wppluginsatoz.com/donate to learn how you can support the show, since we can use you in other ways. If you can’t afford money, hey, we have numerous ways in which you can support the show by helping us with the website, helping us with editing – numerous things there all listed up on the Donate page of how you could help us.
And also, if you can, if you want, you can use Patreon. Just go on over to our Patreon link in the show notes and create a monthly subscription there. Over the next month or so, Patreon is going to be revised as to some rewards for our listeners as we add in more stuff to the show. So stop in there and we thank you very much for your support.
John: All right, next up we have my final plugin for today. This one here is one for those of you that have to put PDF documents into your site. Sometimes that makes them kind of boring, especially if you’ve got a fancied-up site and you’d like your PDF documents to showcase a bit about what it does. This week here, what I’ve got is called Flowpaper. This is a plugin to make displaying your PDF documents as a flipbook and it’s very nice and easy to use.
You install it, activate it, and then you upload your PDF document, grab the URL for it, and then with a shortcode and a link button that they have in the editor, you click it and insert the link right into your post, wherever you want it to be. Then the PDF document is displayed as a flipbook. It’s very cool; you can do some minor customizations to it. You can change the default theme layout and you can also make it easier to read throughout the thing. At any rate, that’s all we’ve got for you on that one and I give it a 4-Dragon rating. Check it out: Flowpaper.
Marcus: Great! All right, I’m going to round it up here with another WooCommerce plugin. This is called Checkout Address Suggestions for WooCommerce, and I’m sure, John, you, like all the listeners out there have experienced this where they put in an address and it says, “Okay, how about this format instead?” just to make sure that it all works. Well, this plugin provides those suggestions. So what it does is you enter in an address – you know, street, state, zip, city – all that stuff.
How it works is it works with the Google Map jQuery API keys, which you’ll have to sign up for to use this, which is free, and it works on both billing and shipping suggestions. It checks out the address, it automatically fills in all the required fields when they do it, and it also works around the world, so it’s not just based in the US or Canada or anything like that. It actually has different shipping addresses according to their country. A great plugin; I used it, it was nearly seamless for me to integrate, and I give one a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: That’s cool! Now I know how they do that.
John: Well, I’ve seen it a lot. I said that would be a nice thing to add in and I just never bothered to investigate it further, so now you’ve just saved me the time and the hassle of investigating it any further. I appreciate that very much, especially since I’m in the middle of a WooCommerce project for another client right now.
Marcus: There you go.
John: All right, now we do have a little bit of WordPress news for you this week and in the world of WordPress here. Well, this one here is more along the lines of dealing with the security of your websites. Google started out this last week sending out emails to everybody warning them that if you are not using HTTPS, your users are going to start getting “Warning: Insecure” on any page that collects any text field, that be email, lists – it doesn’t really matter – anything – even if it’s just a blank text field for a form. If it’s not on a secure page, it’s going to get this big old warning —
John: — and people are going to panic, so this has already started. After that came out, I had a big rush of people during the beginning of the year when Google made its first announcements on this. I’m getting another big rush of people like, “Oh my God, we’re not SSL yet. What are we gonna do?” I said, “Don’t panic. We’ll get it sorted for you.” So anyway, it’s something you’ll want to take care of on your website if you haven’t already done it. And if you have problems doing that, feel free to get a hold of me. I’m pretty good at that now.
Marcus: Yeah, time to invest in somebody who provides SSL certificates, by the way, for all you investors out there.
John: Yes, absolutely. Plus, get a web hosting provider that provides the free SSL certs if you’ve got a good basic website. All right, next piece of news we’ve got here for you and this one here was an article that came across for me, mainly because I use Pretty Link and I need to use it a little bit more effectively than I do. This is an article from Pretty Link website and their blog on how to use Pretty Link to set up expiration in a link so that you can create a link and the link will expire if you’re going to create temporary links. So this one is kind of interesting and one of the things I’m planning to do is spend a little bit more time using Pretty Link as I’ve been paying for it for so long and I only use it to like a tenth of its potential, so something you will want to check out.
And the final piece of news we’ve got here is from Digital Journal, and this is something I sort of saw, although it’s not someone I would support, but a company called Plugin Forge is setting up another one of those “Let’s buy all the WooCommerce plugins and give them away for free” sites. So again, you’re going to see things like this happening after WooCommerce went and changed their pricing policy recently for renewals.
John: An interesting article though and something you’ll want to be aware of, especially when you go out, they’re buying plugins, they’re getting them. You don’t want to be buying them from a company that says, “Oh, we’ll just get them from WooCommerce and then we’ll pass them along to you.” Well, they won’t be supporting them properly, I’m sure and you could find yourself with troubles down the road. Not that it’s illegal for them to do it; it’s just morally ambiguous.
John: That’s it: morally wrong. Ambiguous.
Marcus: And, you know, especially if it’s WooCommerce plugins, who knows if they’re doing a – using like a sniffer program or something like that and actually —
John: Well, they could be adding code in there that turns your site into a spam machine, too.
Marcus: Yeah, that’s true.
John: There’s been a lot of that in the past when you get somebody else’s plugin from an unofficial site.
Marcus: Yeah, don’t be stupid. Don’t be downloading stuff from torrent sites or stuff like that. Just get it the right way. Believe me, you’re much better off paying for the license or getting your client to pay for the license. And by the way, that’s another thing, too. Here’s a lesson learned: always, always, always make your client pay for the plugins.
John: Oh, absolutely.
Marcus: Make them sign up for their own account to get it, do all that. They can share access with you. But I’ve run into a client that I haven’t done business with it two years and they’re like, “Hey, we need support on this theme that you got from ThemeForest…”
Marcus: It’s like, “Well, sorry, but you didn’t keep it up as far as your license and I’m not transferring to you. So if you need it, go buy it again.”
John: Go buy it again. That can happen. All right, well closing out today, one of the things we’d like to do, and this is going to be coming up in a future episode for the show. What that’s going to be is Marcus and I are going to be grabbing one of the plugins that the other of us have reviewed in the show. Then we’re going to do a quick, two-minute first impression of the plugin since we haven’t looked at the plugin and we’re going to try and load it up in a demo site and just quickly go through what this plugin says to me when I look at it in the first couple of minutes, whether or not it’s really viable or what I think about it, how easy it is to set up, how complicated – all that little bits and pieces. So it’ll be a little teaser as to what the plugin can do for you and we’ll display it live here on the YouTube video stream and also capture it for the further stream that gets put up later. So this’ll be an interesting addition to the show, so look forward to it when it comes.
Marcus: Yeah. In fact, that’s something that we’re going to be incorporating a lot more of is video, both in YouTube and probably on Facebook. You never know, the better off we do in donations, the more that this kind of stuff that we can do. But that also means that John and I can actually do some live Q&As with people that are looking for specific plugins and maybe we can find them live and go through them together.
John: Absolutely. All right, well closing out this episode here, I covered up the AWPCP Classifieds plugin, which I gave a 5 to; MailChimp for WordPress, which I gave a 5 to; and Flowpaper, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about great B2B Add-ons today: Purchase Order WooCommerce Add-on gets a 4 out of 5, Wholesale Pricing for WooCommerce gets a 4 out of 5, and Checkout Address Suggestions gets a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Excellent. And just a last little bit of promotions, don’t forget, we now have training videos up and online at WP Plugin Network. You can find them at the website; the links are in the show notes. Also, I’ve got one website I found kind of interesting during this last trip through everything. It’s a WordPress wiki. It’s called WordPresswiki.org. I’m not sure how new – well, maybe they’re gone.
John: Well, they were busy. They were there. Maybe they’ve exceeded their bandwidth? I don’t know.
Marcus: No, no, no, no, no. You can’t use “WordPress” in your domain.
John: Oh!!! Yes. Maybe they’ll come back with WPwiki?
Marcus: Yeah, good luck getting that now.
John: Yeah, no kidding. Anyway, it was kind of cool. When I was looking at the site the other day when I grabbed this link, it was like a collection of WordPress news from all over the place, and it was really kind of interesting. I was starting to dig into it but hopefully it comes back, because it didn’t look like a bad thing. It was nicely done, it had some advertising. But other than that, it seemed all right.
John: It didn’t seem like it was illegitimate in any way and it didn’t dawn on me. I keep forgetting you can’t use “WordPress” in the domain.
John: So they would’ve killed them real quick.
Marcus: Great idea, bad execution.
John: Bad execution: wrong domain. Choose again. All right, well that wraps us up. The usual reminders: don’t forget, you can go to the show and support the show by going to wppluginsatoz.com/donate. All the show notes can be found at wppluginsatoz.com, and make sure you subscribe to us and review the show over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes store. You can follow us on Twitter at @wppluginsatoz and please stop in at our YouTube channel. Watch us live every Monday morning, our screencasts that go up, training videos, and subscribe to us on our YouTube channel. We’d greatly appreciate it.
Marcus: And that’s how to watch us. Now how do they contact us, John?
John: And they can contact me on my website at JohnOverall.com, go to my website, the emergency WordPress supports, wppro.ca/emergency, or send an email direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcus: You can find me at my website, Marcuscouch.com, and it’s marcuscouch.com/smashing if you’re interested in Smashing Magazine. Find me on Twitter at @marcuscouch and remember, as John said, follow the show on Twitter at @wppluginsatoz.
John: And that’s all we’ve got for you now. Thanks for listening to the show. Take care now, bye-bye.
Thanks for listening to the show. This show is copyright by JohnOverall.com. So until next time, have yourselves a good morning, good afternoon, or a good evening, wherever you happen to be out there on the globe today.