Transcript of Episode 346 WP Plugins A to Z

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 #346 here.


It’s Episode 346 and we’ve got plugins for Embedding PDFs, Database Boosting, Clean-Up and Migrations. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #346

John:    It’s Episode 346 and we’ve got plugins for Embedding PDFs, Database Boosting, Cleanup and Migrations of Databases, all coming up on WordPress Plugins A to Z.

[Intro]

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. And today we don’t have Marcus with us, unfortunately. He has some personal stuff he’s got to take care of and because we promised a live show, well this is it. Live show is going out there, one way or another.

At any rate, we – well, I still have a nice collection of plugins for you today. I brought four to the table today. They kind of rounded out a little bit and showcase a few things. And of course right off the top, don’t forget you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com, and if you’ve got a couple of minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your time on Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store, subscribing to us and leaving us a review. All of that is greatly appreciated, and remember from all the previous shows, it’s as simple as going to your phone saying, “Hey, Siri! Subscribe me to WordPress Plugins A to Z podcast,” and you’ll have it.

Also, check us out on YouTube where if you’re watching now, you can be checking out the – also the YouTube channel later, where we have training videos and more there. And follow us on Twitter @wppluginsatoz, and this is where we acknowledge, talk to people, put out bits and pieces in the show – all those sorts of things there. And also, take a couple of minutes to drop on over to our website and subscribe to our newsletter. So with that being said, I’m going to dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.

[Plugins lead-in music]

Okay, so first off the first plugin I’ve got for you today is a plugin to help clean up your database in your WordPress website. Now, one of the things that happens the longer you run a WordPress website, the more often you have to get in there and deal with the database that becomes a bit of a mess. You know, you put in plugins, take out plugins, some plugins clean up after themselves, some don’t, you get database bloat by doing revisions to your posts – all of those things there help increase the overall database bloat of your website. And today, I have several plugins to help clean that up and we’re going to be discussing them.

But the first one here is WP DB Booster and this one here is one that allows you to get in there, dig around in your plugin – in your plugin – dig around in your database and showcase the things that happen in there. It allows you to clean up draft posts, toss out your trash, clean up unused tags, pingbacks, clean up duplicated orphaned meta data and more. It’s got numerous different things you can get in there and do, and it’s also got a JQUERY optimized here for you to come in and see where you’ve got data – excess data – in what databases and tables. It gets in there and – oop, here we go. Little by little we get our brain moving here.

So at any rate, we’ve also some other great – it’s also got some other great tools that shows you all the database tables that are in your site. It gives you a log on what’s been occurring in your site, gives you some statistics as to what is occurring, and what tables are using the most amount of space, analysis of the log files to go through, and it gets in there and helps you show a system status. It gives you a system status page to show you what the system you’re running on and how good it is set up.

All in all, this is a pretty decent plugin and it’s one that you might want to go check out if you’re in need. Well, virtually everyone’s in need to have their databases cleaned up, especially if their site’s been running for more than a couple of years. This one helps you clean up that mess, nicely organized, and simplified.

Okay, that brings us up to – well, this show brought to you by:

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-plus 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.

Cha-ching! Well now, that sound doesn’t work. We’ve gotta come up with a better sound for this. So yes, brought to you by me: supported by JohnOverall.com and you our listeners out there who we will talk about here in a little bit. And right now I do want to mention that we currently have a contest running on wppluginsatoz.com and this is for the Foliovision plugin.

Now, we were running this contest at the beginning of the year and it was moving along quite nicely. But I had to do some changes to the WP Plugins A to Z website and one of the things that occurred along the way is a couple of years ago, we were working on some things and I had moved the WP Plugins website into a MU environment – a Multi-User environment, multisite environment. And what occurred is I needed to get it out of there, because half of the MU environment was having problems and I needed to rescue the WP Plugins A to Z site, and so I had to migrate it out of there. And during the course of the migration, somehow I managed to break the contest plugin that we used for running the contests, and I lost all the entries for the contest, and I’m very sorry for those of you that have entered the contest.

Please go back and reenter the contest. We have restarted the contest again and now we’re running it through until April 1st, and on April 2nd, our next live show, we will be announcing the winner. So we’ll have this one a little more coordinated than we had previously, so that helps also. At any rate, it was just due to a simple – well, mistake that occurred during transfer of the database, and those sorts of things happen when you’re moving websites. Sometimes you break stuff and all you can do is get in there and fix it up and redo it.

So currently, we do have the contest running for Foliovision’s plugin, their FV Player Pro plugin, where you can get a one-year premium license from that valued at $75, and the contest runs until April 1st. So head over to wppluginsatoz.com/contests and go enter the contest there. All we need – all you need to do is enter your email address and then just go ahead and decide to join the contest. It’s a very simple thing to do. Just enter your email address, share it out. You can get two additional email entries for every referral you send to the contest. That way, you can increase your chances of winning. So go check out the contest at wppluginsatoz.com/contests.

And next up in the plugin list I have here for you is WPDBSpringClean. Now, this plugin here is something I had reviewed way back in almost exactly six years to the day, actually. I went and looked it up. I happened to review it back in Episode 61 on March 6, 2012, so a day after this show, so just one day shy of six years. At any rate, this plugin here is a fantastic tool for helping clean up your databases unlike any other database cleanup plugin out there. Every other database plugin out there helps you remove the bloat in your database. But one of the things that happens with numerous plugins is that when they remove themselves, they don’t remove any extra tables they might have created. So you can be going along, remove plugins. I’ve discovered it myself if I remove plugins that I’ve forgotten about, a year or so later I’m looking and I suddenly look at the database and I’m thinking, “Wait a minute. What’s that table? It’s like I removed that plugin,” go check, yep. The plugin’s gone. The tables are there. So you can go manually remove the tables. But this plugin saves you that grief of manual removal.

All you need to do with this plugin is load it up, tell it to do a search, and it will compare all the plugins installed on your site with the database tables and see if they are actively being used. Now, it’s not 100%, so you’ve got to be careful when you use this plugin. Make sure you take a full database backup before messing with it. But so far I’ve had a 99.9% accuracy rate where it shows me the tables that aren’t being used, I hit delete those tables, and poof, instant cleanage of my database and removal of junk tables. Fantastic plugin; I really enjoy it. It is old and it hasn’t been updated in five years, but it still works exactly the same way it does before. So basically what you do with this is install it, use it, uninstall it, and away you go. And I still have to, even with as old as it is, I still have to give this plugin a perfect 5-Dragon rating.

[Dragon roar]

So go check it out: WPDBSpringClean.

 

Okay, well we’ve got here time for listener feedback. Well, at this week here, we don’t have any listener feedback for the show, but we will be bringing forth more questions. I’ve had a couple of questions in email in the last couple of weeks, but I haven’t had time to get them into the show. But they will be coming forward and we will be answering them here live on the show. And we look forward to your feedback. You can send it to us via our Contact page at wppluginsatoz.com or you can click the SpeakPipe button at the bottom of the page, or just send an email direct to john@wppro.ca, and we will get your questions answered as quickly as we can. Hey, think of it as free advice from professionals. Marcus and myself, we’ll look at the questions and one of us will get them answered for you.

Now this show, being a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, we simply ask that you provide some value back. And in that vein, we would like to acknowledge those who have supported the show in the past couple, three weeks, because we are now doing live shows only once a month and every other show is prerecorded. What happens on the prerecorded, if someone donates, we will acknowledge them in those show notes, but when we come to the live show, we will acknowledge you live again to acknowledge your contributions to helping support the show.

All donations help support the show by dealing with the essential expenses of any business, which are hosting, bandwidth, transcripts which we still do and we now have all the transcripts up-to-date on the website. So we get all of that up-to-date, all of the stuff, and it helps – the money that is donated helps support those areas. It doesn’t cover the costs entirely, but it does help with those costs and we greatly appreciate it.

So this week here we would like to acknowledge $50 from Jezweb Pty. Ltd. and a little note with this one:

“This donation is on behalf of Neatspiration – http://www.neatspiration.com a WordPress website with WooCommerce built by Jezweb http://www.jezweb.com.au in Australia.”

And this is a pretty interesting website, Neatspiration, which – yeah, it’s a really nice looking – nice looking website. And I seem to have a little bit of bandwidth issues on my computer today. That’s quite all right. Oh, it’s a household cleaning place. All right, very nice! But we do have some loading issues with my computer. Household clean, organizing brands that are made to last for your safety. Hey, there you go – very nice site. Thanks, Jez! We really appreciate your support of the show.

And a big thank you to those donors who came in under $50. You know who you are and we thank you very much for that. And if you would like to support the show, you can go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate and donate to the show there. So thank you very much for everyone out there.

Okay, and finally today, what do I have for you? I have a couple more plugins to wrap it up. And wrapping it up today, the first plugin I have – and this is one that I had been looking at off and on for the last couple of years and been wanting to look at. There is a free version out there. It’s WP DB Migrate or WP Migrate DB is the free version. But what I looked at was the WP DB Migrate Pro. This plugin here is from Delicious Brains and this plugin, what held me off on it for the longest time is the price. This is an expensive plugin and I needed to justify the cost. Now if you are doing more and more development or lots of development and you start redeveloping websites. which is something I’ve been doing a lot of in the last year is redeveloping websites, taking current sites, redeveloping them, bringing them up-to-date, changing themes, changing things around. Well, you definitely have to be using a dev site to do this on. You can either be a local dev environment or a server dev environment, one of the two.

At any rate the biggest challenge faced by redeveloping sites is getting the accurate database from the live site into your dev site and keeping all the links accurate so nothing breaks along the way, and that can be challenging. What this plugin does for you is this plugin allows you to go into your dev site – well, go into your live site, install this plugin, activate it – then get yourself a little code that you then install this plugin into your dev site, use the little code to connect the two, and from your live site, you can pull all of the data down to your dev site. It goes and finds the paths from the site you’re pulling the data from and remaps it to the new paths of your dev site so that you can remap all the paths along the way and then import that data, and it just works like a charm.

The other beautiful thing about this plugin is when you go into the pro version and buy the developer’s version of the plugin (which is $250, but hey, worth every penny). Then what you can do is you can also use it to import all media files from your live site down to your dev site. So you not only have all the database data; you get all the media files and it rechanges the media file links to allow for that new mapping of everything.

Now, one of the reasons I wanted this plugin so badly was I found out that it also has support for Multisite, and that Multisite support is a fantastic thing. It allows you to either extract a single site out from Multisite, thereby taking care of all that mapping that happens in Multisite – all the site uploads, site names, site number, and then where all the media files are in different directories, plugins are in slightly different directories. Everything is slightly different in an MU site and migrating out of an MU site is a challenge at best, and it takes forever to fix all the little issues.

This plugin solves that problem. It takes care of the issues there, goes through, does all the remapping from you, and I just got an email from them the other day. They’ve just recently released a beta version of this plugin that will not only allow you to get your media files and your database, but now it’s going to allow you to get your plugins also at the same time. So it’s going to move plugins for you too, from your live site to your dev site. And then if you want to push it back the other direction, you can push this stuff all back the other direction. It’s another great way of if you’ve got a live site that you’re just doing minor tweaks on, you’d bring it down, make the changes, and then push it back up to your live site.

This plugin here just makes those tasks so much easier. It saved me hours and hours of time when I extracted the WP A to Z site from the MU site. Now granted, I did break something along the way, but that was due to my own mistake; it wasn’t this plugin that caused that breakage. It was something else that occurred to me. At any rate, fantastic plugin. This is one you definitely want to check out: WP DB Migrate Pro. Worth every penny if you’re doing any amounts of development, and of course this one here – homerun, knocked it out of the park – 5-Dragon rating.

[Dragon roar]

Check it out: WP DB Migrate Pro.

Okay, and the final plugin I’ve got for you today, this one here is called PDF Embedder. And if you’ve worked WordPress for any length of time, you’ll know that embedding PDFs into a WordPress page or a post is problematic at best. There have been plugins out there that have sort of helped you embed it. They’ve used things like Google Docs and other miscellaneous ways to embed a PDF. They were never very clean or very accurate. Sometimes, they weren’t even hosted locally in your environment. You had to upload the PDF somewhere else and then embed that. It was – they’ve had lots and lots of challenges along the way.

This one here is one that actually allows – oh, and if you’ve used the native WordPress for PDF, it doesn’t actually embed the document; all it does is embed a link for people to click to load up the PDF inside another browser window. You want something that will embed it directly on your page and have some control over what they can and cannot do, zoom size, print, etc., etc. Well, the free version here doesn’t give you a print button, but it does give you a really excellent display of the PDF onto your page. It makes it look clean, natural, part of the page. It gives them the ability to zoom in, zoom out, scroll around – all of the standard things for seeing a PDF embedded into a document itself.

Now, I myself jumped to the pro version of this. It’s well worth it. It’s only about $25 and it allows you to then add a print button to it and then some controls. Now, you can go to their extra pro version which will allow you to actually lock down the PDF file so they can’t download it or even view it in any other method than what you have embedded onto your site, giving you some controls over your PDF if it’s a document you want to have limited kind of access, too.

All in all, fantastic plugin. I have to give the free version a 4-Dragon rating based upon being free and the pro version, well, they knocked it right out of the park with a 5-Dragon rating.

[Dragon roar]

So go check it out: PDF Embedder, and it is a fantastic plugin and that would be all I’ve got for you today. So closing out this episode, I covered up the WP DB Booster, which I gave a 3 to; the WPDBSpringClean, which I gave a 5 to; the WP DB Migrate Pro, which I gave a 5 to; and the PDF Embedder, which I gave a 4 and a 5 for the pro version. Go check ‘em all out.

And of course, a few reminders to wrap up the show: Don’t forget, stop in at our YouTube channel where you can check out our screencasts when they get up there and you can also go check out the training videos that are there. Eventually more will show up as I get the time to deal with them. Now that I’m focused on my business, I’m actually doing more work than I have been in a long time and it’s pulling me away from it. I’m still doing the show because I thoroughly enjoy the show and it’s great to share all this stuff out there with folks. And also, sign up to our newsletter where it goes out once a week where the newsletter is slowly improving with more and more information and tidbits to help people out with their business and with WordPress in general.

And of course, the usual reminders: Please stop in at the show, wppluginsatoz.com, donate to donate to the show. Show notes can be found at wppluginsatoz.com and stop in at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, iTunes Store, and subscribe to the show and leave us a review. And you can contact us. You can contact me on my website at JohnOverall.com or send an email direct to john@wppro.ca. And for Marcus, you can always reach him on his website at marcuscouch.com or contact him on Twitter @marcuscouch.

And that’s all we’ve got for you. Take care, bye-bye.

[Female speaker]

Reminders for the show: All the show notes can be found at wppluginsatoz.com, and while you’re there, subscribe to the Thursday newsletter for more useful information directly to your email inbox. Wppluginsatoz.com is a show that offers honest and unbiased reviews of plugins by developers because you support the show. Help keep the show honest and unbiased by going to wppluginsatoz.com/donate and choose one of the weekly donation levels or make one that fits your budget. Help us make the show better for you by subscribing and reviewing to the show at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store. You can also watch the show live on YouTube, check out the screencasts and training videos, and remember to subscribe to us on YouTube, or follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz.

John can be reached through his website at www.JohnOverall.com, or send him an email to john@wppro.ca. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.

[Outro]

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.

[Child giggling]

 

[End of Audio]