Transcript of Episode 351 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 #351 here.


It’s Episode 351 and we’ve got plugins for Responsive Menus, MailChimp for WooCommerce, GDPR, Banners for Category Pages, Customer Support and Featured Category Widgets. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #351

Marcus:           It’s Episode 351 and we’ve got plugins for Responsive Menus, MailChimp for WooCommerce, GDPR, Banners for Category Pages, Customer Support, and Featured Category Widgets. 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 sunny shores of Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.

John:                And we have the usual great show for you here today, 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 few minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your time over on Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store, leaving us a review.

Marcus:           Yep, and remember, you can find us on YouTube. That’s where we’ve got some training videos and screencasts. You can watch us live every Monday – actually, the first Monday of every month at 10:00 Pacific Time, so check that out. Remember to the follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and subscribe to our newsletter. We’ve got some secret stuff for giveaways that not only are going to involve listening to the show, but you’re going to have to also subscribe to the newsletter, so get an early jump on it. Go to wppluginsatoz.com and subscribe to the newsletter.

John:                Yes, more stuff like that’ll definitely be coming down the pipe due to the new format of the show. Not every week is live. All right, well with that, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.

Marcus:           All right.

[Plugins lead-in music]

John:                All right, first off this week I have a plugin that has disappeared from the show notes – okay, that has just blown me out of proportion. We’ll pause for a moment. All right, well there we go – found it. All right, the first plugin I’ve got up today is WP Responsive Menu. This one here is another responsive menu. It’s kind of left over from the last episode I did where I talked about a responsive menu plugin and why you may or may not need to use a responsive menu plugin in this day and age of CSS and mobile-ready themes.

This is one that I had tested along the way. I found it wasn’t as good as the one I’d talked about last episode, but it’s still usable and it might be one you might want to consider looking at, because it has slightly different settings. And depending on what you’re working with, this one may work better for what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s an all right little plugin. Go give it a checkout. It’s called WP Responsive Menu and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice, very nice. All right, I’ve got a really nice plugin to bring to the table here first. It is called MailChimp for WooCommerce, and it’s two things that I love – not only in MailChimp, but also WooCommerce. This is the official MailChimp integration, so what it allows you to do is integrate your MailChimp mailing list with actual customers to your website – not just people that subscribe to a newsletter, but customers to your website.

Their purchase data, all that, is automatically synched into the MailChimp account, which makes it easier for you to send targeted campaigns and automatically follow up with a customer post-purchase. It also has recommended products that you can do. You can do recovering abandoned carts, so a customer that signs up has an abandoned cart, it can now email them with MailChimp and say, “Hey, you’ve left some things in your cart. Maybe you want to go back and purchase those.” It allows you to measure your ROI.

And guess what? It is completely free. It is MailChimp for WooCommerce and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.

[Dragon roar]

John:                A nice looking plugin. That’s quite useful if you’re running a WooCommerce website to help you recover some of that stuff. And the integration in this targeting? Very useful.

Marcus:           Yeah, very much so.

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

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Marcus:           There you go.

John:                And also to let folks know, we don’t have a contest running currently but we will have one starting by the beginning of next month, and it’ll be a doozy. I’m in talks with a couple of developers, so we’ll see what comes down the pike. And also to let everyone know, the winner of the last contest was Marty from letsbuildwp.com. He won the license from Foliovision, so congratulations to Marty.

Marcus:           Yeah, congratulations.

John:                All right, well that brings us up to our next set of plugins, and the next one I’ve got for you here is called WP GDPR, and there’s a really great article about this over at WP Mare. It talks about it but this is one you’re going to have to get ready for. It’s the GDPR, the General Data Protection Regulation (or Racket, as I’m considering calling it) that’s being implemented by the EU and it’s affecting everyone worldwide. If they have any clients that are in the European Union, which nowadays it’s pretty impossible to not have at least one client in the EU somewhere.

What this plugin does is it sets up a page for you to make it easy for people to request whatever information you have on them and to find a way to get easy access to it and for them to go in and delete it, etc. In other words, complying with the GDPR. I mean, the GDPR is becoming a big pain in the neck and also a requirement for everyone. WordPress is working on the core right now to add GDPR as well as your favorite form plugins. I know that my favorite, GravityForms, is working on something to deal with GDPR and there’s more coming down the pike. I’m sure WooCommerce is going to have to do something.

If you collect any data on your customers at all, it doesn’t matter what. You are going to be impacted by this, so it’s something you’re going to have to look at. This is a pretty decent plugin. It works and sets up pretty easily. I haven’t fully implemented it across our websites yet, but of course I will eventually have to. We’ve only got about another month left – about two months left – until the law comes fully into effect. I think it’s May 25th, isn’t it? Something like that?

At any rate, this is something you’ll want to take a look at and it’s WP GDPR, and currently I give the plugin a 3-Dragon rating, so go check it out.

Marcus:           Nice. All those regulations make me not want to do business in Europe. I’m sorry but…

John:                Oh, I know. I know. It’s like “Yeah, you’re from Europe? Go away. Don’t even talk to me anymore.”

Marcus:           Yeah.

John:                You know, “Go talk to your bloody idiotic politicians who are making it hard.” It’s not much better in the States. I mean, countries across the globe are starting to implement these similar policies and the States has its own problems right now with the law they’ve passed down there, holding internet providers liable for the content on their sites.

Marcus:           Great.

John:                That’s the new sex act law or whatever it’s called – sex trafficking law, supposedly.

Marcus:           All right, so the next one we’re going to talk about here is called WP Bannerized Categories, and what it does is this takes your category archive page and you can place a custom banner and link at the top of your category and your post pages. It easily updates the image through your category edit page screen and it supports a different image for each category.

So what you do is you use a custom post category positions with the template tag and a shortcode for including the image, wherever you want to put it, in a custom area, wherever you have that category template or post page template. It’s really nice; it supports a link for each category and a banner image that accompanies it. It’s really nice if you do different categories of blog posts and then reference that category page. Pretty cool – I rated it a 4 out of 5.

John:                Hm…sounds kind of interesting. It’s a different way of adding a banner image to your categories. Okay. All right, this show here – currently, we actually have a little listener feedback – one single question this week from Jez Dawes and the question is:

“I’ve been looking for a plugin that could be used to auto replenish stock in WooCommerce. We have a site, https://www.thesuppstop.com.au which has an eBay plugin connected and we want to keep the stock for the products at 30 in stock or thereabouts. Have you any memory of a plugin that would do that? It probably exists but I haven’t figured out the right keywords to search for it yet.”

I don’t have one. How about you?

Marcus:           No, I don’t know anything about eBay stock levels, so I’ve never done that. But maybe try Zapier, see if you can get some sort of a thing going between them?

John:                Hm…that could work.

Marcus:           That will update to a certain level. Give that a shot.

John:                That might work. Give that one a checkout, Jez. I don’t know. I’ll keep that one in the back of my mind if something pops up and in the coming weeks I’ll definitely bring it forward for you.

All right, and of course this show is a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give us some value back. And in that vein, we’d like to acknowledge our supporters for this show and anyone who donates $50 or more will get their note read out and published in the live episodes of the show. Their note will get published in the other episodes of this show as they get published for any donations that come in between the live shows. Currently this week we have none, but a big thank you to go out to all those that are $50 and under. You know who you are. And for those that have subscriptions over at Patreon, thank you very much for your small donations.

They really help us deal with things such as the transcripts that get published, the bandwidth for the servers. There’s a little bit time to go in there and do this and time to get in here and record, etc. So thank you very much to those that support the show with some cash. We greatly appreciate it.

Marcus:           Absolutely, thank you.

John:                Okay, and that brings us to our final set of plugins for tonight. The last one I’ve got here for you is one that was sent in to us by Mike Howard and it’s called KB Support or Knowledge Base Support. Now, this plugin is a support ticketing system or a helpdesk plugin that is full-rich features. It’s got lots to do; it’s even got some really great add-ons to it to allow you to go in there and set up a fully-functioning knowledge base system on your website.

If it’s something that’s not already built in with whatever plugins you might already be using, it allows you to manage and customize submission forms. It’s great for creating sequential ticket numbers. It creates email notifications to keep customers, admins, and agents up-to-date with whatever is happening with tickets. It’s got restrictive access to ensure only the agents and the assigned customers are able to view the tickets and correspondence. That way, it helps keep the information strictly between you and other people. It allows you to build up a knowledge base search area for people to go in and search for frequently asked questions or knowledge tutorials you need to give them and more.

This is a pretty robust system. It is a bit of a premium system for the add-on plugins. The plugin itself I believe is free but then the add-on plugins are available for it and you’ll want to go check this plugin out if you’re looking or considering a knowledge base for your website. So go check it out; it’s called KB Support and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.

Marcus:           Very nice! All right, let’s end this with another section here. You can tell what I’ve been working on this past week. This is called Featured Category Widget, and this is a lot like the category page that we just talked about except this is a corresponding widget that goes along with it.

So if you have a post that’s in a particular category, this widget will actually load something based on what that category or that custom taxonomy is and show items within a featured category. It really works well, check it out: Featured Category Widget and I give it a 4 out of 5.

John:                That’s kind of cool. That might be something that I exactly need for a problem with another client that I was just starting to work on solving this last week.

Marcus:           Well, that combined with the other one that I talked about is something that I used to kind of custom tailor a category page around. It was pretty cool.

John:                Yeah, I don’t need to tailor the category page, but what I have to do is I have to tailor it out. I’ve got some categories with a specific image that I need the image to show only on the pages that the category articles are showing. It’s something I hadn’t yet starting into solving, but this might be a step in that direction for me. All right, well thank you very much for bringing that to the table for me. It saved me some searching time.

Marcus:           [chuckle]

John:                Gotta love it when you bring something that I can use. All right, well that closes out this episode here. The plugins we covered here, I covered up WP Responsive Menu, which I gave a 3 to; the WP GDPR, which I gave a 3 to; and the KB Support, which I gave a 4 to.

Marcus:           And I talked about MailChimp for WooCommerce, which gets a 5 out of 5; WP Bannerized Categories – sorry – it’s a 4 out of 5; and Featured Category Widget, which gets a 4 out of 5.

John:                All right, and of course a couple of reminders for you. Don’t forget to stop in at our YouTube channel, check out the screencasts that go up there and also check out our training videos and more. And if you’re a developer and you’d like to support the show, please drop in to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contests, where you can submit a premium license for us to give away and create a contest around. You get a heck of a lot of promotions and advertising around that when you do it. We talk about your plugin a lot during the shows, so make sure you do that.

Other than that, just go sign up for the newsletter at wppluginsatoz.com, and that’s all we’ve got for you now. 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]