All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.
WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #339 here.
It’s Episode 339 and we’ve got plugins for Avoiding Duplicate titles, Login Register, Update Reminder Removal, Pricing Tables, Review Placement and Social for Gutenberg. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 339 and we’ve got plugins for Avoiding Duplicate Titles, Login Register, Update Reminder Removal, Pricing Tables, Review Placement, and Social for Gutenberg. 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 60,000 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 in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, I’m John Overall.
Marcus: And from the sunny shores of Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.
John: And we’re with you again for another fine, fun-filled, exciting episode of WP Plugins A to Z. Right off the top, don’t forget you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com and if you’ve got a few minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your time stopping into the Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or the iTunes Store, leaving us a review, and subscribing to our show there. It really helps us out.
Marcus: That’s right, and you can visit us on YouTube to check out the training videos, screencasts, all of the live shows that we do, all wrapped up into one channel. Remember, you can follow us on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and go to our website to subscribe to our newsletter where you’ll find a lot of the news and other non-plugin related WordPress items that we don’t discuss on the show.
John: Absolutely, and there’s also a lot of stuff there that starts to appear. The newsletter is gonna start changing pretty soon. There’s a few changes coming to it when it starts arriving in the next week or so. All right, well let’s take that and dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show, so off we go.
[Plugins lead-in music]
Okay, and today we have our usual allotment of six great plugins, and right off the top the one I’ve got for you today is called WP Login Register. This plugin here is one that is useful for those of you who need to know who is logging into your WordPress website. If you’ve got multiple administrators or sub administrators and you want to keep a tracking log of when they’re logging in and sort of what they’re doing, this is a great plugin for you to do that.
It creates a dashboard widget and a page for tracking all of that information: their IP address, when they log in, etc., etc., and only the administrator who installs the plugin can actually see the information. So it’s a pretty useful plugin if you need to know and you need to keep some tracking information going, so you might want to go check this one out. It’s called WP Login Register and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Nice! Nice, good start. And another thing, by the way that you can do with that is – I’ll just take a second, John, to tell you what I do.
Marcus: With all of the websites that I have and all the client websites —
Marcus: — I go through Zapier and go into Slack, and I have a Slack channel that’s only for my WordPress installs.
John: That’s neat.
Marcus: And so what happens is anytime anything significant happens —
Marcus: — like a login or things like that, or an update, or any of those things happens with any of my websites anywhere, it sends out a little ping or an alert or instant message – whatever you want to call it – on Slack. And so I have Slack notifications going to my phone, which means I can see on my phone anytime anybody ever logs into anything, so that’s a great way to do it too that’s not just a log.
John: That’s nice. Excellent.
Marcus: Yeah. All right, so let’s get into my first plugin of the day. John, how many times have you published a page or a post that ends in -2?
John: Oh, once in a while.
Marcus: [chuckling] That would be a duplicate title, right? And this helps you avoid that stuff. This plugin is called Avoid Duplicate Titles and it will detect duplicate titles across all public post types, including galleries and custom posts you might have created, and it not only alerts you, but it prevents you from publishing it. It just saves it as a draft, so it tells you, “Hey, this is a duplicate title.” It never publishes that, so you never get that -2 stuff and it’s great. I think this plugin is fantastic. I don’t know why this is not a part of WordPress.
John: Yeah, it should be. It should be something in the core.
Marcus: Yeah. So these – you can, by the way, publish if you really have to. I mean, in the settings you can change all the stuff, too. It just kind of detects that uniqueness, so check it out. It is called Avoid Duplicate Titles and I rated this a 4 out of 5.
John: That’s kind of nice. I like that it works with galleries, because oftentimes when you’re doing images you might have the same title and you want to keep them —
John: — from being duplicated and give them something else unique. Spread that knowledge out.
Marcus: Yes, no longer are you allowed to use Logo 50 million times in your site.
John: [laughter] No, mine are all labeled Logo 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…. oh, I finally got it right at 10!
John: [chuckling] Okay, well that brings this show – this show here is brought to you by the following people:
With all the changes in website requirements, pulled, compromised, and abandoned plugins out there, now is the time to update and upgrade your WordPress website. JohnOverall.com has 20+ years’ experience and offers hosting, maintenance programs, support and more to keep your site up-to-date and running smoothly. We offer free estimates and only bill you for the time used, not by the block. While you’re caring for your business, let JohnOverall.com care for your website. Think of us when you think of WordPress. Visit JohnOverall.com.
John: I don’t have the lightning bolt yet. It’s coming…[chuckling]
Marcus: Darn. All right, well we’ll get to it. Okay, so anybody listening to the show, you love WordPress. God, if you listen to a plugins podcast, you’re in deep into the weeds.
John: Oh, absolutely.
Marcus: Very deep!
Marcus: So why not write about it? Don’t waste your time on a blog or any of those other stuff. Get right to the heart of the matter. Get to one of the biggest design websites online. That’s Smashing Magazine, where I just happen to be the WordPress Editor. And if you’d like to write for Smashing Magazine, just go to marcuscouch.com/smashing and I’ll reply back with some more info, the guidelines, all that kind of stuff. It’s a fantastic opportunity for those who want to contribute to the WordPress community, get exposure, and get a few hundred bucks for the effort, too. So check it out: marcuscouch.com/smashing.
John: Absolutely, and the articles are well worth reading if you’re looking for WordPress information, so you might want to check those out, too.
John: All right, and currently we are in the midst of a premium plugin license contest. We have a premium license being given away by Foliovision. It is for their FV Player Pro plugin, and this license here gives you a year-long license for a player that allows you to insert overlay ads into YouTube videos that you play on your site. It gives you better playback and feedback control for multiple sources of videos. It’s an excellent plugin so far as I’ve read. I haven’t finished testing it yet, but pretty soon this plugin will be coming to the show for a review. So go to wppluginsatoz.com/contests and enter your info to enter the contest and win that license. The contest will be running from now until February 14th.
John: So plenty of time to get in there.
Marcus: Yeah, absolutely. And we have that plugin – I’ve yet to try it, but it’s on my list to get to.
John: Oh, we’ll have it done here before the contest ends. We’ll have it reviewed. And I’m also getting an interview lined up with the developer. I can’t remember his name right now.
Marcus: Yeah, well I wanted to – this is the one thing that I think we should do the video screencast and really give it a proper review.
John: Yeah, well we’ll —
Marcus: There’s some questions I have on it. Like can it wait until it shows an ad? Or, you know, how does it work?
John: Bits and pieces I’ve read from their website, you can wait, and it shows an overlay ad.
John: It’s just like a pop-up like you normally see, but it’s your own controlled overlay ad that looks like it shows up in the lower third of the window for the player.
Marcus: Yeah. You know what I think this is awesome for?
John: There you go. There’s another great use for it.
Marcus: Yeah, webinars. Okay, well that’s something we’re gonna check out. So if you want to win that license, you know what to do.
John: Go check ‘em out and you can check out their product at foliovision.com.
Marcus: Yeah, so wppluginsatoz.com/contests and register to win.
John: All right, well that brings us to our next set of plugins, and the next one I’ve got for you is a pricing table for WP Bakery Page Builder, or Visual Composer, as it was formerly known. Now, oftentimes you need pricing tables, you know, to compare your prices. Maybe you’ve got a web hosting business; you’ve got three levels of web hosting available. You want to create a pricing table for it or any number of products to create pricing tables for.
This helps you create pricing tables very fast and easy if you have a theme using WP Bakery, and it is a pretty popular plugin. I see it on most of the premium themes I use nowadays. This is the builder of choice, and this I’m sure is one of the reasons. You can get additional plugins that insert additional features into it. Now, the pricing table has multiple styles to choose from. It works well with most of the themes using WP Bakery. The tables are 100% responsive and they allow for custom layouts, custom headers, and external linking, so you can truly customize up the tables the way you want them to be to fit your website look and feel.
All in all, a pretty great plugin add-on for WP Bakery and it’s called Pricing Tables for WP Bakery Page Builder and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: I hate that name…but…[chuckling]
John: WP Bakery?
John: I liked it better as Visual Composer.
John: I don’t know why they changed.
Marcus: It’s classier.
John: It was classier, but they changed the name —
Marcus: I don’t want to go to a bakery. That’s carbs, man.
John: Mm…I know.
Marcus: It’s gonna bloat me.
Marcus: Bloat me with code.
John: Bloat you with code. That’s the accusation of Visual Composer.
Marcus: That’s right. So here’s another thing that’s pretty cool that I got this week. It’s called Dismiss Update Nag, and that’s the one thing that I hate, especially when it comes to sites such as client sites and they have to log into the backend and they see endless things that say “update this” “update that.”
Marcus: And then they call me at odd hours going, “Hey, do we really need to update this? I think you should update it,” or “I updated it for you,” and you didn’t want them to.
John: Yes. [chuckling]
Marcus: That kind of stuff. This plugin is called Dismiss Update Nag, and it does exactly that. But here’s the cool thing about this too is you can take the PHP file that comes with this plugin and actually copy it into your plugins directory or plugins folder – just the PHP file.
Marcus: And you don’t even have to install a plugin.
John: Oh, you stick it in the MU directory?
Marcus: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So what it does then is it loads by default so then there’s nothing for your client or you or whomever to have to disable or enable or —
Marcus: — anything like that. It just dismisses those top admin things that kind of look like, you know, a secondary admin bar. Sometimes you can get enough of them it puts your actual working area like halfway down the page because there’s so many of ‘em.
John: Oh, yeah.
Marcus: So this gets rid of all those. It’s really handy; nice that you could do a direct install too, without having to go through the plugins. It is called Dismiss Update Nag and it gets a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Yeah, that’s much better than the last one I tested. I ended up eventually disabling the last one because it wasn’t working fully, but this is much nicer. It just turns it right off.
John: And I can see this becoming a staple for all of my client sites so that they no longer see those nags.
Marcus: Yes, yes, yes.
John: Because they’re always a pain because they’ll pop up in between your updates and your client gets worried. Yeah, quite a pain.
Marcus: Yeah. I mean, I’ve had it to where I’ve literally updated a site – a client site – say, on a Wednesday. And then Thursday an update to a plugin comes out and it says something.
Marcus: And they call, “Yeah, I thought you updated this site? You’re supposed to stay on top of this.”
John: Yeah, well I am on top of it.
John: But in 24 hours, sometimes several —
John: — plugins will release updates while I was sleeping.
Marcus: Exactly, so this is great for that.
John: All right. All right, well, that brings us to a little bit of listener feedback. If you’d like to contact the show, send us some feedback, go to wppluginsatoz.com/contact or you can leave us contact info on our front page in the lower right corner – the SpeakPipe. And also this show, value-for-value model, meaning you get some value out of it, please give us some value back and you can do that in various places on the website. You can go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate and leave a donation for us. We really appreciate it. It helps the show with some of the expenses such as transcriptions, bandwidth, server hosting, etc., etc. – all of the basics that are required just to keep a website up and running.
Marcus: That’s right.
John: And with that said, we’ve got nothing else in that area today, so let’s head on to our last three – or last two plugins.
John: Last three? Last two. All right, last one I’ve got here for you today is called Social Block, and this one here is one of the first plugins I’ve seen for Gutenberg, and of course Gutenberg is coming, whether I want it to or not, and I’m not overly a fan of it at the moment, but I’ve bitched about a lot of the things that have changed in WordPress over the last eight years and eventually I came to accept them, because they’re being shoved down my throat. (And pretty much Gutenberg is going to be shoved down our throats whether we want it to or not.) And when I see plugins showing up ahead of the full Gutenberg release, it’s starting to make me wonder if there’s maybe something to this.
So the Gutenberg plugins I’ll be bringing you in upcoming episodes. I haven’t tested yet because I haven’t quite dug into Gutenberg, but I thought it was important to bring these to light to let people know that Gutenberg plugins are being developed, and it’s something you’ve got to be aware of. It will probably be two years out before a full-blown have-to-use Gutenberg, but you may as well start getting ready for it. So that being said, this is the first of the Gutenberg plugins I’ll be bringing in the next few episodes, and this one here is a simple plugin block.
It’s a Social Block plugin and it allows you to create those social share icons at the bottom of your page for, say, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ — all the whole list of them – seven or eight of them. And in the way it works, from what I can see, is you click on it, it pops up the block, you choose the ones you want to – social areas you want to share, people to share it to – click it, save it, and it’s done. Nice, simple, straightforward little plugin. It looks like it will work fine in the Gutenberg system if they get it all worked out.
But anyway, pretty straightforward. If you’re gonna experiment with Gutenberg, do not put it on a live website and make sure it’s in a test area, and that way you can test these sorts of things. So go check this one out if you’re doing that. It’s called Social Block and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Now, I will say Gutenberg – here’s Gutenberg in my brain, like how I think of it.
Marcus: I use Cornerstone. I’ve talked about Cornerstone, which is the paid plugin by Themeco.
Marcus: I love it and there’s also another plugin that I use called Essential Add-ons for Cornerstone. I like it because it gives me a lot of different functionality and it does a lot of what Gutenberg does and it’s been doing that for the last couple of years.
Marcus: What I’m excited about Gutenberg is the fact that already plugins are coming out for it.
Marcus: I don’t get that with Cornerstone.
Marcus: I don’t get 50 new kinds of plugins that work with Cornerstone or within it or things like that, so that’s why I too am watching Gutenberg to see exactly what it’s capable of. Do I think that it’s a tool that can outpace what I have already been using? Not yet.
John: No, definitely not yet.
Marcus: But will it? Yeah, and it probably will this year sometime. Now, will then Cornerstone start using Gutenberg stuff? Maybe – I don’t know. But —
John: They’re gonna have to. That’s basically what it’s going to boil down to; all these people are gonna have to embrace —
John: — Gutenberg or WordPress is gonna fork off.
John: It’s one of two ways it’s gonna go, because Matt has made it clear that Gutenberg is the future of WordPress.
Marcus: Yeah, well…
John: And the only way it’s gonna change is if a section of the community splits off and takes the current WordPress and creates a new system that continues the WordPress as it currently exists and Gutenberg becomes the new platform that people migrate to. So…
Marcus: Well, take that with a grain of salt, because last year Matt said REST API was the big thing, and the only big advancement in the REST API that we’ve had in the last year is plugins to disable it.
John: Yeah, plugins that disable it. But the interesting thing about Gutenberg is how I’m beginning to understand it myself is I understand it in the same way you do with the theme builders that I use and the themes I work in. They’re similar to the blocks that Gutenberg is talking about, and those blocks in Gutenberg are supposed to be built right into the editor —
John: — of the system.
John: It’s just that more of the things that we use as plugins are going to become blocks versus plugins.
Marcus: Right, right.
John: And so —
John: — it’s really kind of an odd system and I haven’t wrapped my head around it. But at any rate, that’s where we’re headed, so…
Marcus: Yeah —
John: Check out that.
Marcus: There’d be a lot of Gutenberg plugins coming soon, believe me.
John: There is. Well, I’ve already seen quite a few in the Repository and I’ll be bringing those forward – bringing the ones forward I find in future episodes.
Marcus: All right, looking forward to that. And the final plugin here for this show is called Total WP Reviews, and it allows you to do two different services at the same time. You can show your Facebook page reviews, which for businesses, if you don’t have a business Facebook page and you’re really throttling that for your reviews, you’re crazy because that is – yeah, Yelp! Is great, but I can’t share Yelp! with a hundred other people that I’m friends with or in a group or whatever, you know. I just can’t. I can’t tag somebody that I know. I can’t tag my wife. You know, none of those things.
So this actually, with a shortcode, allows you to put in your Facebook page reviews, as well as your Google Places reviews – all in one place. And this is self-updating content that updates as new reviews take place on other Facebook or Google reviews. So check it out; it is called Total WP Reviews and I rated this a 4 out of 5.
John: I like that. I’m going to have to put that on my website and on the WP Plugins, because we’ve got some really nice Facebook reviews and Google Places reviews for our sites.
John: Those two sites. It’d be nice to showcase them on the website.
John: All right, well, that wraps us up and this episode here I covered up WP Login Register, which I gave a 3 to; and Pricing Table for WP Bakery, which I gave a 4 to; and then Social Block, which I gave a 3 to.
Marcus: And I discussed Avoid Duplicate Titles, which gets a 4 out of 5, Dismiss Update Nag gets a perfect 5 out of 5, and Total WP Reviews gets a 4 out of 5.
John: And a couple of reminders: be sure to check out our YouTube channel where we’ve got screencasts and training videos and more. Go check it out there and links in the show notes. And a note to developers out there: if you would like to support the show and offer up a free premium license to give away, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest, and that’s all we’ve got now for you, so take care, Bye-bye.
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