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 #341 here.
It’s Episode 341 and we’ve got plugins for WordPress Galleries, Cryptocurrency, Advanced Gutenberg, WooCommerce Shipping Distance, and Disabling Multiple Processes for Improved Site Speed. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 341 and we’ve got plugins for WordPress Galleries, Cryptocurrency, Advanced Gutenberg, WooCommerce Shipping Distance, and Disabling Multiple Processes for Improved Site Speed. It’s all coming up next on WordPress Plugins A to Z.
Marcus: Damn yoooouu!
John: I pushed the button and it —
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 today from Glitchland in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, I’m John Overall.
Marcus: And proving that we’re actually live and from Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.
John: I was irritated. I went to push the button and all of a sudden my entire list vanished.
Marcus: All right, well we’ve got a blooper for Show 400 now.
John: There you go. All right, well welcome to the show and of course, right off the top, 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 over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes stores, subscribing to the show, and leaving us a review there.
Marcus: Yeah, we’ve got a YouTube channel, too! Check that out. We’ve got some training videos, screencasts, you can watch some of the old episodes with John and I reviewing plugins, and then John goes and tries one out – one of the ones that I’ve done. It’s pretty cool.
Marcus: Also, remember you can follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and subscribe to our newsletter which comes out every week, and that’s where we put all the news that we don’t necessarily think is plugin-related, but it is WordPress-related and it’s valuable, and that’s when we send it out to you. So subscribe to our newsletter on our website, wppluginsatoz.com.
John: And with that, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
And this week here, the first plugin I have for you is for all of you out there that are super-excited about the Cryptocurrencies and whatever they’re currently doing, whether it’s up, down, backwards or forwards, or maybe they’ve completely imploded. Who knows, day from day, hour from hour. First it’s, you know, $5,000 then it’s $10,000, then it’s $20,000, and now it’s back to $10,000, $14,000 – I don’t know. Pick a number. Any number is good.
At any rate, what this plugin is for is if you have an interest in cryptocurrencies or looking to trade in it, well, now you can easily look up the current rate for all that true imaginary money with this plugin. Set it up as a shortcode and enter that shortcode wherever you want the tables to appear, and it pulls in all the top numbers for cryptocurrencies and displays them on your website in a sidebar or on a page, and brings in all the currencies that everyone just loves right now, including – what are they now? We’ve got Bitcoin, we’ve got Dash, Cardano, Ethereum, Ripple, Cardano, Litecoin, Nxt – you know, pick ‘em. There’s tons of them.
Marcus: I like to use real money.
Marcus: But anyway…
John: Yeah, so do I. But there’s a lot of people that think this is money. So at any rate, I thought it would be a cool little plugin to bring out some people that want to track it and every once in a while, I just get curious as to what people are paying for this stuff. So I want to know what it is and stop looking it up in Google. You can put it on a website and just go to your website and look at it – kind of cool. At any rate, go check it out: Cryptocurrency Price Tracker Widget and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Nice, nice. Okay, let’s talk about galleries! I love galleries; it’s where you get all kinds of cool stuff out there. There are so many gallery plugins out there. I don’t know how many. John, search – search the Repository for gallery for me real quick while I’m talking about this.
John: There’s probably hundreds of them, all right.
Marcus: Okay. So this is – the thing is every WordPress gallery pretty much looks like every WordPress gallery, right? They all look the same. This plugin, WordPress Gallery Extra, actually uses a different kind of an algorithm altogether to make a lot more interesting image grids. It’s fully responsive and it adapts to the browser using animation. Even on mobile devices, it can use hardware acceleration that takes advantage of the CSS3 properties of the plugin.
So what do you get? You can get columns, galleries, justified masonry, mosaics, sliders. You can do a drag-n-drop as far as the gallery builder, it’s compatible with AJAX, it’s translation-ready, it works with all these templates, and you can also do a video and an audio gallery with this plugin. I thought it was pretty cool.
John: That’s kind of cool.
Marcus: It handles everything as far as image tags, categories, sizes – all that kind of stuff. Here’s the deal: I think it’s the absolutely perfect plugin. But in keeping with my style for the last, you know, 300-plus shows, I have to take one point off because there’s a premium plugin that’s attached to this.
John: Oh, okay.
Marcus: So the free out of the gate plugin is pretty awesome and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: That’s pretty cool. I like it. It’s got lots of features and I did go look it up. There are 214 times 14 galleries in the WordPress Repository. There’s 214 pages of 14 plugins per page.
Marcus: Yeah, well they should have erased them all and keep this one.
John: Yeah, good luck with that. So yeah, it does look pretty cool; I like it. It’s one to consider and put into my repertoire of gallery plugins, because I remember testing a whole bunch of them about 20 episodes back.
Marcus: I remember that as Gallery Day.”
John: Yeah, it was Gallery Day, because I was looking for one of our listeners out there had a question about galleries and wanted a specific style. It looks like this one provides this specific style, too. And this is a relatively new plugin so it didn’t exist, so I don’t feel bad about not finding it.
John: All right, well this show here is brought to you by the following…
“Twenty 2018 is a year of growth. Your website should reflect the growth and change within your business. Show your customers where you are going in 2018 by letting JohnOverall.com work with you to update your website. Let JohnOverall.com take the work and worry out of maintaining and caring for your website with our maintenance program, hosting, emergency repair services, and more. 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.”
There you go. Brought to you by JohnOverall.com.
Marcus: That’s how I talk in normal conversation.
John: Yeah, I’m working on my radio voice for commercials.
Marcus: All right, good job, man. It’s coming along. So anybody listening to this show has a passion for WordPress. Why not write about something that falls in line with your passion with WordPress? I’m now the WordPress Editor for Smashing Magazine, one of the biggest web design resources online and I am recruiting and looking for folks to author great articles about WordPress.
It helps you get a lot of exposure to yourself, your work, your company. You can visit one of – you know, all kinds of different avenues in terms of tutorials and all kinds of great article subjects that are out there. We have very prominent people that have already written articles and are some that are in the fire just getting started out, so join them. Visit marcuscouch.com/smashing and it autoreplies back with more information. There’s a video there that tells all about it. It’s a great opportunity to contribute to the WordPress community, get exposure, and get a few hundred bucks for the effort. Check it out at marcuscouch.com/smashing.
John: Very good, and the articles there are quite usable and readable. In fact, one of them is gonna help me extract stuff from a WordPress MU site. There’s a really —
Marcus: Oh, that one!
John: — yeah.
Marcus: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I remember doing that one.
John: Yeah, it’s a great article, man, and I’m actually gonna have to do that real soon to a client that’s on an MU site. I’ve got to extract them out of that MU site.
Marcus: Yeah, I would say Smashing Magazine, the stuff that we’re aiming for WordPress-wise is tutorial-based; how to do stuff.
John: Good quality stuff to learn how to do things that you have a notion, but you don’t have all the details.
John: And this articles – every article I’ve read from them provides lots of good details on how to do something.
Marcus: Yeah, and it’s not just like a guest post thing.
Marcus: I’m – I am one of three editors that it goes through, plus there are two reviewers in the process also, so five people help you edit your article.
John: Absolutely. All right, well we also want to make mention we are in the middle of a contest giving away a premium license from Foliovision. The license is for their FV Player Pro plugin, which allows you to play videos from YouTube, Vimeo, and many other sources. It allows you to then enter overlay ads. You can even put Google text ads in there, too. It takes down Google Analytics, it has Lightbox, Social Sharing, HLS Stream, RTMP Streaming, and more.
This is a flow player video player plugin that enhances the videos you play on your website, so you’ll want to check this one out. You can enter the contest. It’s a free one-year license for – valued at $75. All you have to do is go to wppluginsatoz.com/contests and leave us your name and email address, enter the contest. And then if you share it out on all your social media and any of the people you share it out to using the unique link you get, you can get two additional entries into the contest, increasing your chances of winning this license, so go there now: wppluginsatoz.com/contests.
Marcus: Awesome. Yeah, I’m looking forward to playing around with that thing.
Marcus: You know, I think even we have uses for that. We do a lot of YouTube videos.
Marcus: We should put that on our site and then put, you know, “donate” and also “sign up to the newsletter” ads – stuff like that.
John: Oh, absolutely. That’s where I’m gonna – gonna test it. That’s where I want to test is on our site, because that’s the biggest place I use videos right now.
John: All right, well this brings us up to our next set of plugins, and the next one I’ve got for you is another Gutenberg plugin. Yeah, everyone’s gonna get sick —
John: — of these Gutenberg plugins. I can —
Marcus: We need a Gutenberg theme, like everyone will drop in.
John: Yeah, we might have to come up with —
Marcus: Another Gutenberg plugin!
John: Yeah, there you go. I just – I can see lots of these things appearing, because these one seem to appear out of the blue. These were all suddenly relatively new in the WordPress Repository and there just seemed to be a whole bunch dropped at once. And I’ve heard recently that someone out there has released a Gutenberg training video seminar that you can get for – to learn how to build for Gutenberg. So more and more stuff is coming out about Gutenberg, so I think it’s – it’s coming, whether we want it or not. It’s coming, so if you’re gonna stay in this particular environment, you’re gonna have to – like me – suck it up and learn to embrace Gutenberg —
John: — and, you know, I rail against this kind of change. But eventually I kind of accept it. At any rate, this plugin here comes from Advanced Gutenberg, and this plugin has some advanced features. It’s built by Joom United, which to me indicates they were Joomla – a tough one to get out for some reason – Joomla plugin writers at one point in time or another. They might still be. Does Joomla even exist?
Marcus: Says the WordPress guy?
John: Well, funny thing —
John: — funny thing is Joomla is almost what I went with when I first started back —
Marcus: Me too!
John: — into this industry. I worked with it and then I discovered WordPress and said, “Why am I wasting my time on Joomla?”
John: And so at any rate, this plugin here creates – creates edition profiles, assigns user groups, you can create additional tools per profile, you can activate Lightbox, display alt information as Lightbox captioning galleries. The plugin is based on the official Gutenberg plugin, which is under active development, so you’ll want to be careful with it. This plugin is constantly in development, so it’s evolving as Gutenberg evolves.
At any rate, it looks kind of interesting. It looks to add a whole lot of additional tools to your Gutenberg setup, so go check this plugin out if you are experimenting with Gutenberg, and currently I give it a 3-Dragon rating right down the middle of the road, so it may go up. I’ll be coming back to a lot of this stuff as Gutenberg goes live, I’m sure. So check it out: Advanced Gutenberg.
Marcus: Great! Okay, we had a question from a listener. Sorry, because I talk so loud – sorry.
John: Yeah, you’re doing good.
Marcus: I’m excited about this plugin. We had a question from a listener that was asking about how to use WooCommerce Shipping and figure it for local deliveries, and I was stumped. I couldn’t figure anything out as far as what they wanted, but I finally found it. This is called WooCommerce Shipping Distance Matrix, and this is not good for – if you think it’s like oh, what UPS zone am I in? No, it’s not that. What it’s good for is local delivery, like flowers, food, beverages – whatever. It’s not limited to just those, but anything that’s like a local delivery.
So what it does is you set the shipping cost by the product shipping class, you can set distance ranges. Maybe I want to go only so far out from my business to actually deliver something. You can set the origin info, the place that you’re starting from in the system, and then it takes Google Maps distance API and it figures where they want it delivered. It calculates in either miles or kilometers, depending on which unit you use, and then you can also set the travel mode, whether you’re going to drive it, walk it, bike it, whatever.
You set route restrictions, so you’re gonna avoid tolls, highways, ferries – you know, all that kind of stuff – and then you calculate per mile or per kilometer or whatever how much that’s going to cost in delivery. So you can set a set – you know, limit – as far as how far out you’ll deliver or even a minimum as far as how far out you’ll deliver. This is translation ready, so it works on any language or any website. This is an awesome plugin and I rated a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: That is so awesome. I have flower clients that could use something like this for their local deliveries.
Marcus: Mm-hm, definitely.
John: That’s quite awesome.
Marcus: Right! You could say if you are, you know, within one mile, it’s free. If you are outside of that range, then it’s gonna cost you.
John: Yeah, you know, up to five kilometers free. Up to five to ten kilometers, you know, $10. Ten to 20 kilometers is $30, and whatever. Set the distance you’re gonna go from your business, that’s nice. That is a good plugin for anyone who runs a local delivery business.
Marcus: Absolutely, and that could be a supplier or it could be anything like that, you know?
Marcus: You know, if you don’t have a specific route that you go deliver all of your supplies, this is perfect.
John: Yep, quite excellent.
Marcus: And hey, John, you know, where I live, marijuana is legal and soon to be your whole country, so…
John: You look at it as it’s gonna be completely legal in —
Marcus: Yeah! Look up your local dispensary and see if they’ll do this.
John: Less than six months, man. Less than six months. Well, the problem here is the government is controlling the pot – the pot sales here. They want to keep the pot sales in the government-controlled liquor stores.
Marcus: Oh, geez.
John: Yeah, Canada is bizarre how they do many things. Yeah here, legalize pot. Now you’ve got to go to the liquor store, which is only open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. to buy your pot.
John: But you can go buy your booze everywhere else until 11:00, 12:00 at night, hey, it’s all good.
John: You know?
John: Weird – we have weird, archaic, strange liquor laws and the pot laws are just gonna follow suit. But at least it’s gonna be finally legal.
Marcus: That’s true.
John: That’s the big thing; it’s no longer gonna be a crime to get – to get caught with an ounce of weed or smoking a doob on the street. It’s no longer gonna be —
Marcus: Yeah, and by the way —
John: That’s true.
Marcus: — I want to say something right now. To you designers and developers out there that are always looking for new clients, that’s it right there.
Marcus: Dispensaries and stuff like that in California —
John: All the new marijuana stores —
Marcus: — and all the other places that do recreational. You’d better start getting into that market, because those guys have money.
John: Mm-hm, absolutely. And they have cash!
Marcus: Even better!
John: Which is of course because – because it’s federally illegal across the states. They can’t actually use a bank, so they can’t get credit, so they could only go to a credit union which is inside the state. They can’t use a bank that is across the – goes across state lines.
John: And they can only deposit cash. In fact, I read something about Colorado. When they paid their taxes, they had to take pot-smelling cash down to the tax office to pay their tax bill in cash, and it just reeked of pot because it was a pot shop. So yeah, I thought that that was quite comical.
John: At any rate, there’s enough aside for us and that brings us to the point here where we are always looking for feedback from our clients. And as you just heard, that last plugin Marcus did came because one of you guys – one of our listeners out there asked about a type of plugin or something that can help them. That’s the sort of service we provide you. Just go to our contact page, send us a message there, send us a SpeakPipe. You can go to our Facebook page and leave us a message there where we’ll respond to it. All that stuff there, we like to make this show a bit interactive.
And of course, this show is a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. And that value, to give it back, you can just go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate, leave any amount you want there. There’s lots of buttons to click on to leave us an amount. The money goes to support the show by creating the transcripts that go up, paying for the bandwidth, paying for the hosting – all of the essential things that help run a website. That stuff costs money, believe it or not, so please support the show at wppluginsatoz.com/donate.
Marcus: Yeah, and thank you to everybody who helps us out. We do appreciate that.
John: Yep, all those donations we do get – we do get small donations on a regular basis. There’s still a couple of Patreon donors out there and although I’m still looking at whether or not I’m gonna keep Patreon running, but at the moment it still is, and any of the other smaller donations, thank you very much for those small donations. We really appreciate them.
John: All right, and our final set of plugins here today, and I’m going to close this out with another Gutenberg plugin.
Marcus: Ah, we need a jingle!
Marcus: I keep saying that.
John: And this one comes again from GutenKit. This is the guys I talked about in the last show that have created a whole bunch of plugins in a complete kit that they are still beta testing, which will probably go live eventually. It looks like it’s gonna be a premium plugin add-on just judging from the way they’re pulling this together. They’ll have these freebies in the WordPress Repository and then an entire kit inside as a premium add-on somewhere. This is what it’s looking like from my point of view and perspective.
At any rate, this one here is if you use pricing tables, and I know a couple episodes back, I talked about a pricing table plugin, this here is another pricing table plugin. I don’t know exactly how it’s gonna work in Gutenberg, because I haven’t yet tested it. But it’s nice if you have a block – you can just block it in, add it, go edit your pricing table, all set up, and have it within the Gutenberg framework. So go check this out if you’re playing with Gutenberg, and remember, don’t do it on a live site, because Gutenberg is not live ready yet, and I give this one a 3-Dragon rating: Gutenberg Pricing Table Block from GutenKit.
John: That’s a lot of Gutens.
Marcus: Yeah. Right now I’m Guten-free.
John: There you go.
Marcus: And I will be.
John: I can see those jokes coming.
Marcus: Yeah, I had to start one. I had the start the first.
John: You had to start with the first one.
Marcus: Okay, so the final plugin that I’ve got here is called Whippet. (Whip it good!) So Whippet is actually named after the Whippet dog, which is kind of like a little miniature greyhound, I think they are.
Marcus: And a couple weeks back a talked about, you know, some of the favorite kinds of plugins that I like are the Swiss Army knives that do like 50 things in one, and this is one of those. So here’s what this thing does – I’ll try and get through this list fast.
Marcus: It removes the XMLRPC code, which is what you use to like remote publish or press this or whatever, remove the WordPress API from code if the WPJSON is disabled, disable the Google Maps embed, disable WooCommerce scripts, disable WooCommerce reviews, defer WooCommerce cart fragments, remove the WordPress API from the header, disables pingbacks, disable emoji, disable embeds, remove query strings, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah….
John: Yeah, that’s quite the list here.
Marcus: Yeah, it does tons of stuff. Disabling RSS feeds even, or remove RSS links – those kinds of things – all of it. Does it all, really cool, check it out. It’s called Whippet and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: This is a sweet plugin.
John: It just turns off a lot of the things in one smooth motion that some of them I have to disable with code or extra – extra information to disable them —
John: — and you might have a need for some of them, but you don’t have a need for a lot of these anymore. A lot of these things here that it disabled, all they do is slow down your site and create —
John: Issues and holes for your site, and yeah.
John: Oh, this is nice. I can see this becoming a standard in my development.
Marcus: Yeah, you know what also this thing does? You can change the interval that it auto-saves.
John: Oh, that’s nice!
John: Because that can be done with code. You have to have code to do that, and I’ve done that a lot because I’ve had sites where the auto-saves are using up resources. If someone’s on a cheap shared hosting service —
John: – the auto-saves and the pings that occur because of those can actually use up resources and cause you to have slowdowns and blockages and CPU lockouts from the hosting provider.
John: And it’s just you editing a document; it’s not you actually doing anything, so —
John: — so I’ve had to go in and change the length of time for auto-saves and also change the number of auto-saves that can keep and all that sort of thing. But yeah, this is nice that it does this.
Marcus: Yeah, it also does something cool, which is disable or limit post revisions.
Marcus: So it’s – this thing, like I said —
Marcus: — Swiss Army knife.
John: The Swiss —
Marcus: This thing does 50 things.
John: It’s a Swiss Army knife and yeah, the name is really appropriate.
John: How about that? A plugin that actually named itself well. Wow! That doesn’t happen too often.
Marcus: Yeah, I think – let’s come up with the worst plugin names ever list.
John: Oh, we’ve got ‘em. We’ve reviewed some of the worst plugin names ever.
Marcus: I know.
John: Good plugins but horrible names.
John: We reviewed them. They’re out there in one of those 340 previous episodes we’ve done.
John: All right, well closing out this episode, I covered up the Cryptocurrency Price Tracker Widget, which I gave a 3 to; the Advanced Gutenberg, which I gave a 3 to; and the Gutenberg Pricing Table Block, which I gave a 3 to.
Marcus: And I talked about the WordPress Gallery Extra, which gets a 4 out of 5 (which would’ve got a 5 if it wasn’t premium also); WooCommerce Shipping Distance Matrix gets a 5 out of 5; and Whippet gets a 5 out of 5.
John: Whip it good… sorry. It’s stuck in the head.
John: You know, you come from the 80s, you’re stuck with something like that.
Marcus: Yeah, at least they got a theme if they need it.
John: Yeah, there you go. All they’ve got to do is go pay the fee. All right, that wraps us up and of course you can go check out our YouTube channel where we have screencasts, training videos, and more up there and subscribe to the YouTube channel. And a note to developers out there: if you would like to support the show and offer up a premium license for a giveaway, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/contests, where you can leave us all the information for what you’d like to do and we’ll create a contest around your plugin license and share it with all our listeners out there. And that’s all we’ve got for you now so take care, bye-bye.
Reminders for the show:
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