Transcript of Episode 348 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 #348 here.


It’s Episode 348 and we’ve got plugins for Hello Bars, Product Assembly, Cleaning Yoast SEO, Removing Related Products, Removing Query Strings and Advanced Testimonials. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #348

Marcus:           It’s Episode 348 and we’ve got plugins for Hello Bars, Product Assembly, Cleaning Yoast SEO, Removing Related Products, Removing Query Strings, and Advanced Testimonials. It’s all coming up next 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.

Marcus:           And from the tall but mighty Beachside Bunker in Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.

John:                And we have the usual great show for you today, 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 Store, leaving us a review and subscribing to the show, which is as simple as hollering into your phone, “Hey, Siri! Subscribe me to WP Plugins A to Z Plugins Podcast.”

Marcus:           [clapping] Yeah!

John:                There you go.

Marcus:           It does work.

John:                Yeah, absolutely. And of course, you can check out our training videos and screencasts and watch us live on YouTube every first Monday of the month at 10:00 a.m., and we’ve got lots going on there.

Marcus:           Yeah, a lot of stuff going on. Hey, remember to follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz. Ask us a question even. Figure out, you know, “Hey, I need a plugin for something. What’s going on?” You can find us also, you know, on Facebook. We have our own Facebook group. There’s been tons of people that have asked us questions.

John:                Absolutely.

Marcus:           Even messages, and John and I both get those messages when you send us something, so check that out as well. And remember to subscribe to our newsletter at wppluginsatoz.com. That’s where we give you a little of the news that’s going on that we don’t typically cover in this show, because we want to make it all about plugins, because that’s what it is. So check out the newsletter at wppluginsatoz.com.

John:                Okay, and with that being said, I think it’s time to dive right into the meat and potatoes, so off we go.

[Plugins lead-in music]

All right, and the first plugin I have up here is called Hello Bar WP, and I think they put the WP to separate themselves from the Hello Bar plugin, which currently exists. When I saw this, I thought it was the regular Hello Bar plugin, which I’ve seen many times out there and I loaded it up and said, “Oh, wait. This one’s slightly different.” Not a whole lot different than the other one, but they could find themselves in trouble with the name but who knows? We’ll see how they go with that.

At any rate, what it does for you is like any other hello bar. It adds a new bar at the top of your WordPress page so you can add in there any kinds of information, sales tips, pieces – something to grab peoples’ attention. This one here is a freebie plugin though versus the Hello Bar 1, which is a freemium plugin, and this has quite a few functions that are included within the plugin itself. It’s real quick and easy to install, lots of color schemes to choose from, it’s mobile-ready, you can go in there and customize whatever message you need to have up there at the top, and in a few minutes you’re ready to go with something at the top of your page, showcasing whatever message you want people to catch.

At any rate, a really great looking plugin. It seems to be relatively easy to use. Go check it out. It’s called Hello Bar WP and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Doesn’t it sound like a country song? “Hello, Bar…”

John:                [chuckling] Yeah, “Hello, Bar WP.”

Marcus:           Yeah, and then you end up in jail and you’re saying hello to the bars in jail.

John:                [chuckling]

Marcus:           I don’t know. You write that country song; I get 10 percent. I just said it on recording right now.

John:                There you go.

Marcus:           Okay, so, you know, there’s a trend lately. Even if you go to the big box stores or things like that, you can – even Amazon has it – where if you get something big, you can actually have product assembly. Like either they can come to your house and assemble it or they’ll assemble it before they ship it, whatever it happens to be. But there’s really not an option like that for WooCommerce…until now. So Product Assembly Costs actually adds a product-based cost of assembling something at a product level.

So you can add it as a global fee, maybe it’s just one – one price fits all, in terms of the assembly cost, or you can make sure that it’s offered with every purchase of, you know, a difficult item or maybe it’s a computer components or things like that. Do you want us to build it for you before we ship it? You know, here, add an extra hundred bucks or whatever it happens to be.

So this is very comprehensive and it’s really cool for anybody that does assembly of products before shipping or local delivery or whatever it happens to be, and uses WooCommerce, so I rated this a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                That’s pretty cool. I like that because it’s becoming more and more common that you get something that you have to put together and sometimes they’re just not much fun to put together. Or, a surprising number of people don’t know how —

Marcus:           Right.

John:                — or have the tools.

Marcus:           Yeah, barbecue grills.

John:                [chuckle] Barbecue grills – that’s the worst. I always ordered one assembled, because —

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                — I’ve assembled one once and I went, “Yeah, never again.” Not that it was hard; it was just such a pain.

Marcus:           Yeah. I almost killed myself on a barbecue grill in Chicago. You want to hear the story real quick?

John:                Sure, sure. Why not?

Marcus:           Okay, so I turned on the gas to the grill and I hear it hissing, and I’m like, “I don’t know what’s going on.” And then so I lit a lighter —

John:                [laughing]

Marcus:           — and I bent down —

John:                Oops.

Marcus:           — and I noticed that a squirrel had eaten through the hose.

John:                Ooh.

Marcus:           And it was spraying gas out.

John:                Mm…

Marcus:           And I quickly turned off the lighter.

John:                Oh, you didn’t ignite it. Lucky you!

Marcus:           No…noooo.

John:                That would’ve been a hell of a fireball.

Marcus:           Yeah, and I would have probably burned to death in the balcony, and no WordPress Plugins A to Z, see?

John:                There you go, hey?

Marcus:           Full circle.

John:                All right, well —

Marcus:           Brought it back.

John:                — that brings us up to this show, currently brought to you by:

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Marcus:           Yeah. Hey, let’s talk about the premium plugin license that we’ve got going on. We’ve got a contest right now at wppluginsatoz.com/contests – with an S at the end. This month we are giving away the Foliovision FV Player Pro. It’s something that allows you to do pre-roll and post-roll when you’re embedding videos. It’s a really nice plugin worth I think about $75. We’ve got the contest running through April 1st and on the April 2nd episode of this show, we will announce the winner. So check it out at wppluginsatoz.com/contests.

John:                And for more details about the plugin, go check out the interview I did with Alex Kinnear, the founder of Foliovision. All right, well that brings us up to our next set of plugins, and the one I’ve got for you here is called Yoast SEO Cleaner.

And it turns out Yoast plugins leave behind some junk and doesn’t clean up after itself.

Marcus:           Huh.

John:                Surprise, surprise. At any rate, this plugin here was designed to clean up the WP options table and removes all the Yoast SEO cache validator entries, and that’s what it does. You turn it on, you go in and go into the settings for it, and it tells you how many entries need to be cleaned, and then you click a button. It cleans them out and then you come back to it at a later period in time and clean them out again. And according to the author, they just have a simple statement: “This plugin will be maintained until Yoast SEO Plugin starts to clean up its own mess.”

Marcus:           [chuckling]

John:                At any rate, a really great little plugin. I loaded it up on our site and found, yeah, there was some junk there that Yoast had, so I cleaned it out real quick and left the plugin to keep following up because it is the most popular SEO plugin and regularly used. So a really great plugin; check it out – and the Yoast SEO Cleaner – and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           That’s funny. Somebody out there had a grudge.

John:                [chuckling] Probably.

Marcus:           Geez. All right, well I’ve got something that’s kind of similar in terms of removal. This is for WooCommerce and it’s called Remove WooCommerce Related Products, and I’ve got a test site that I’ve been running and I’d sell nutritional supplements and vitamins and stuff like that. And I pull it in through a feed through WP All Import and it has keywords and things. I can’t believe how stupid sometimes WooCommerce pulls in these related products that are sometimes the exact same product that I’m looking at that page.

John:                Mm-hm.

Marcus:           Right? It just has no real logic to it and frankly, I’d kind of want to do that myself or maybe upsells within the cart, rather than that kind of thing, and this plugin took care of that. It’s Remove WooCommerce Related Products. You just install it. It’s an easy, lazy plugin that prevents those products from ever showing up down there automatically. You of course can turn it on on a page-by-page basis, but you can turn it off globally with this plugin. All right, it’s called Remove WooCommerce Related Products. It gets a 4 out of 5.

John:                Yeah, that’s a pretty cool, useful feature because sometimes you just don’t want the junk in your way.

Marcus:           Right, and what if your products are just one-offs, like services – service plans? I don’t need to see a related silver and gold plan if you’re on the platinum. No.

John:                Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. All right, well this brings us to the section here to talk about listener feedback. We don’t have any right now but if you would like to leave us some listener feedback, you can go to our website, wppluginsatoz.com, click the SpeakPipe in the lower right-hand corner, and leave us a voice message there. We’ll play it on the show and answer your questions. You can hit us up on our Contact page, you can go to our Facebook page, or our Twitter page. So any of those places there, you can get a hold of us and send us your questions and we will do our best to respond to them. And if you’ve got any feedback for us, we’ll happily take that also.

Marcus:           Yeah. Man, we used to get so many audio clips —

John:                We did!

Marcus:           — through SpeakPipe on our website, and it’s just dry. I don’t know what the deal is. I know there’s so many more listeners and you can do that thing mobile, too.

John:                Mm-hm.

Marcus:           You can go right there, so no excuse. You’ve got a phone in your pocket that can probably take care of leaving us a message, so —

John:                Absolutely.

Marcus:           — do that at wppluginsatoz.com. Show donors – we do have a value-for-value model, meaning that if you get any value out of it, we do request some value back in the form of monetary contributions, and we’d like to acknowledge those that support the show, and we do read that out on our live show which is the first Monday of every month. All donations of $50 and over are read out live and their note is published within the show notes. So all those who come in below $50, they remain anonymous and we thank them very much.

John:                All right, and this brings us up to our final set of plugins for this episode, and what I’ve got for you here on this one is called Query Strings Remover. And what this plugin does for you is it removes query strings from your static resources, automatically removing the strings from static resources like CSS and JavaScript files, and others, removing all the excessive stuff off the end of it, and it actually helps improve your site speed and overall score in Google PageSpeed, YSlow, Pingdom, GTmetrix, etc., etc.

And if you’ve got a cache enabled, all you’ve got to do is install this plugin, enable it, go clean out all your cache files, dump them all, and then let them rebuild properly, and it just improves your speed. And I actually tested it out on the wppluginsatoz site and I did notice a half-second page speed increase, which a half-second is an amazing amount of speed increase, and it also helps dramatically with your visitors, because a half-second can mean the difference between them staying and leaving.

So this is something you might want to check out. It seems to work well with all caching plugins. I know I use WP Fastest Cache on the WP Plugins A to Z site, so it works well with that plugin. I don’t know about all the others, but according to their FAQs, it works well with all known good-quality cache plugins in the WordPress Repository. So go check it out, the Query Strings Remover plugin, and I gave this one a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Nice. All right, I’m going to end this with a really cool thing. This is called Advanced Testimonials and, you know, there’s a billion testimonials and, you know, referral – whatever you want – referenced things out there. There’s tons, right?

John:                Yes, absolutely.

Marcus:           Tons of testimonial stuff. This one’s pretty cool. It’s made by Code Incept and you can find them at codeincept.com. It’s a free plugin and here’s what’s pretty cool about this. It has a few different layouts already, it’s multi-CSS, retina-ready, it’s got all kinds of cool little styles that you can put together, it has shortcodes so you can enable things, you know, like columns and styles and navigation arrows.

But here’s where [chuckle] here’s what made my mouth agape, you know, with shock is – the one thing I found out is that you can actually limit the shortcode to show testimonials based on a category that you set up —

John:                Oh!

Marcus:           — which is huge because when you add a bunch of testimonials to different pages of your different services or whatever, maybe you’re going for a specific demographic. Say I’m targeting real estate people, dentists, and cosmetic surgeons.

John:                Okay?

Marcus:           I don’t want the real estate person to be in the cosmetic surgeon testimonials; I want cosmetic surgeons in the testimonials for the cosmetic surgery page, right?

John:                Mm-hm.

Marcus:           And this allows you to do that.

John:                Nice!

Marcus:           We put a link to a really cool demo that Code Incept has on their website, and I rated this one a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                That’s kinda cool. I like the idea of being able to limit testimonials that way.

Marcus:           Right, because it lets them – let’s say I’m me or, you know, you’re you with JohnOverall.com and you’ve got different services that you do.

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           You do a maintenance service —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — you do, you know, removal of malware.

John:                Ah, yes.

Marcus:           You get testimonials for each one of those services —

John:                Well, I do.

Marcus:           — if you did —

John:                I have them all like that but they’re all showing at once right now, and this is —

Marcus:           Right!

John:                — something that I could probably use to separate out the testimonials based on —

Marcus:           Exactly.

John:                — the client type.

Marcus:           Exactly, so everybody that had WordPress sites that have malware that you’ve removed —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — from them. You know, take their testimonials and put it on that page —

John:                Yeah.

Marcus:           — that landing page of the service.

John:                Oh, that’s nice. I’m actually gonna have to make some improvements to the JohnOverall.com website. All right —

Marcus:           Yep.

John:                — I like that one. All right, well that’s closing out this episode. I covered the Hello Bar WP, which I gave a 4 to; the Yoast SEO Cleaner, which I gave a 4 to; and the Query Strings Remover, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about the Product Assembly for WooCommerce, which gets a 5 out of 5; Remove WooCommerce Related Products gets a 4 out of 5, and Advanced Testimonials gets a 5 out of 5.

John:                All right, and a couple of quick reminders. Drop in to our YouTube channel, check out the training videos that are there and also check out the screencasts as they go up. We’re – they’re fewer than there used to be but there’s still some really great ones there. And also if you’re a plugin developer who’d like to support the show, you can offer up a premium plugin license that we can give away. Just go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest and submit all the details there.

And that’s pretty much all we’ve got for you now, so 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]