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 #353 here.
It’s Episode 353 and we’ve got plugins for Callbacks, WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing, Responsive Sliders, To-Do Lists, Table Reservations and Plugin Activation Tracking. Those plugins and listener feedback, all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 353, and we’ve got plugins for Callbacks, WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing, Responsive Sliders, To Do Lists, Table Reservations, and Plugin Activation Tracking. These plugins and listener feedback 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 have the usual great show for you today but 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 there.
Marcus: It’s really easy to subscribe to the show. You just go, “Hey, Siri!’
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Marcus: It thinks I said, “8Z,” instead of A to Z.
John: Yeah, your voice is off a little.
Marcus: Yeah, sorry Siri. You don’t recognize – think I’m a stranger because of my scratchy voice the last few weeks. Anyway, ask Siri. She’ll get you there. Remember also, you can check out our training videos, screencasts, and watch us live on YouTube the first Monday of every month at 10:00. Check us out at YouTube, follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz, and remember to subscribe to the newsletter at wppluginsatoz.com because all our future giveaways are done not only through the show, but you have to subscribe to the newsletter for the special links and things like that. So make sure you get subscribed up and that way you can start to win some stuff.
John: Absolutely. All right, with that being said, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
All right, we have our usual great allotment of plugins and first up I have a plugin that was sent in to us by Evgeniy Sidorov and it’s a premium service plugin starting at $14 a month and it’s called Callback Tracker. Now, the plugin is available over at wordpress.org and what the plugin does for you is it helps you easily connect to the callback tracker service where you have to sign up for an account. They have a temporary account; I think you can sign up for free so you can give it a good test.
It starts at $14 a month but what it does for you is it sets a floating phone icon on your website so if people click on it, they can enter a callback phone number. Or if they mouse off the page and they go heading somewhere else, they get a popup over on the page that asks, “If you would like to receive a phone call within the next 24 seconds or so, enter your phone number,” and then it calls back. The service automatically makes the phone call to the number that they present and then it dials your phone to connect you.
A really great service to try and connect you to your customers, and if you’ve got a service that depends upon people calling you for reviews or estimates or other such services, this could be a very useful plugin for you to implement on your website to encourage more people to enter their phone numbers and connect with you so you can get directly to them and talk to them. A really great plugin; it sets up pretty easily, it’s very helpful, and allows for nice accessibility. Go check it out. It’s called Callback Tracker and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Nice. Okay, now there have been at least 10 different times, John —
Marcus: — I’ve been asked about dynamic pricing plugins for WooCommerce, and I think I’ve finally found the granddaddy of them all. This is called WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing and Discounts. It does exactly what it says. It does product price adjustments – this is all rule-based – percentage discounts, fixed discounts, fixed prices, bulk pricing, tiered pricing, buy X and get X (that could be a discount; a buy one, get one at a fixed price), full cart discount based on what’s in it (a percentage, a fixed discount), tons of different cart conditions, purchase history conditions, customer conditions (are they a new customer, are they an existing customer), a wide range of product filtering, rules, all that kind of stuff.
It’s pretty awesome. I would give it a perfect 5 out of 5, but there is a pro version to this and so I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Now, that’s pretty cool!
John: If you’ve got a really good, extensive store, this can be quite useful to help increase your sales. So yeah, something you want to go check out.
Marcus: Yeah, it’s called WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing and Discounts.
John: All right. Well, that leads us on to this show currently sponsored by:
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Absolutely. Give me a call. I can help sort out all your WordPress issues. And also, just a quick reminder for you folks. Hey, you want to get in on the contests? Make sure you sign up for our newsletter, which has all the latest contest information. You can sign up over at wppluginsatoz.com. Just click up on the “sign up for the newsletter” button.
And this brings us up to our next set of plugins. The next one I’ve got for you here is another one that was sent in to us by Solwin Infotech. It’s a premium plugin; it costs $20 and it’s called Avartan Slider WordPress Plugin. The plugin is available through Envato and it is a slider plugin that is on the scale of revolution slider. It seems to be a very excellent slider with some drag-n-drop options. It’s got autoplay sliders, animation, transition, the usual slide layouts, allows you to embed multimedia from YouTube, Vimeo, and more. It has duplicate slide elements.
All in all, it looks to be a really great slider plugin. I haven’t given it the full test because I’m kind of, you know, attached to Revolution Slider, but hey, this is an option if you’re not attached to something and it’s something that you might want to give a good checkout. The price on it, quite affordable, so go check it out. It’s called Avartan Slider and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Nice! Very nice. All right, I’m going to talk about something revolutionary here. John, as an administrator, this is called WP To Do, and this is a full-blown to do list and task management system that integrates into your admin panel. It’s a full-featured to do manager that makes it possible to add requests to the list to assign different registered users with different tasks of things that they’ve got to do. The different tasks can be edited, assigned a due date, you can even manage by status and importance. The assignees get notified automatically by only need, globally, or by sending a personal comment or reminder.
It’s great for a lot of people that are collaborating on a different site. I only wish I had it to do recurring tasks, like maintenance or a monthly posting task, or something like that, to list right within WordPress somebody’s actual tasks. It’d be great for clients as well, so check this out. It’s called WP To Do and I gave it a 4 out of 5.
John: That’s kind of cool. I like that. That’ll be something for me to consider looking into during development of websites.
Marcus: Yeah, and wouldn’t it be great for yourself? Like if it’s just one person using a website, maybe not. But maybe.
Marcus: Like I said, if it had recurring, I would give this a 5 out of 5. But because it doesn’t do that, it doesn’t give me that monthly notice on the first every time that says, “Hey, come in and fix this.”
John: Yeah, come in and —
Marcus: And then check off that you did. It doesn’t do that.
John: No. That’s kind of nice when – yeah, make that a suggestion to the developer as an add-on item.
John: All right, well this bring us up to we’ve got some listener feedback. You want to take this?
Marcus: Yeah! Yep, and this was a question. It came in from Tjobbe Andrews. He’s from the UK. He says:
Help! I need to recategorize 1,200 products!
Basically, I inherited a website and almost every product is in the wrong category, and it would be much easier for me (I think?) to just start from scratch and put every product in a new category from scratch. Can this be done “offline” – i.e. on a test / dev server – and then used to overwrite the live server? So in effect I create the new categories on the test server, and I want to tell the live server what the new categories should be. How would this be done, physically?
Forget what you just said. Just forget everything you just said there. You need to get – if this is something that you’re serious about doing, go get WP All Import and WP All Export also. They can do this entire task in about 30 seconds. You download it all through WP All Export, you change it with Excel – whatever you want to do. You give it a common thing, like the slug or whatever it happens to be, you re-import it back in, and you’re done. That’s all you gotta do: wpallimport.com. It’s where you check that out.
John: Yeah, that sounds a whole lot better than what I was thinking in my head.
Marcus: Hm…yeah. Just do it that way.
John: Yeah, there you go. That should help you out there, Tjobbe. Okay, and of course this show, value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, we ask that you give some value back, meaning a little bit of cash to help support the show. For any donations coming in $50 or more, they’re read out on our monthly live show and the note is published with the appropriate show the donation comes in.
And this week here, we would like to thank those who came in under $50 and thank you very much for your support of the show. Your small subscriptions in the little bits really help us with things such as the transcripts which get published up as they come to us, and also with things such as bandwidth, server support, and a little bit of time to get in there and deal with the website, so thank you very much to all those that support us.
And of course, that brings us to the final set of plugins we have here for the show today. The last one I’ve got is another one that was sent in to us by Ivan Zambouka. This one is called Table Reservations. Now, if you’re doing any development for people who have a small restaurant, a café, a coffee shop, or any place that takes table reservations and they don’t want to spring for the open table reservation system or the other big systems that cost big money, this might be a little perfect solution for them.
It allows you to set up a reservation system which allows people to go up to the website, select tables for reservation, prevents tables from being double-reserved and booked. The reservations are managed from within the WordPress dashboards. Email notifications go out to both the admin and the guest. It has a well thought out mobile experience for users and customizable colors and it’s WP Baker Visual Composer-compatible. So here’s some really great features for it.
It looks to be a great plugin if you are using a system that needs table reservations, so go check it out. I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: How’s it work on other things, like salon bookings and stuff like that?
John: I couldn’t tell you how it was. It’s designed for restaurants, cafés, night clubs, etc.
John: So it may or may not work for those, but it’s not something I gave much thought to, so…
Marcus: Hm…all right. Well, I’ve got another great, lazy plugin to end the show. This is called Plugin Activation Info. This is something that a true WP Plugins A to Z listener would love, and I think out of anybody, our listeners love this plugin. What it does is this.
On the plugins screen, it adds a brand new column that says, “Last activated by ,” and it tells you their username and when they activated it. So John, if I’m doing a client site for you and I come in there and I can see that you’ve activated Hello Dolly on March 10th —
Marcus: — this is gonna keep a log of that and I go, “John, what are you thinking here? You’re not supposed to load Hello Dolly. What’s wrong with you?”
Marcus: So remember now, it’s cool to do this but it only keeps track of what has been activated after you install this plugin, so it’s memory only starts right when you install this and activate it.
Marcus: You can’t track plugins that were activated before you installed this plugin, so it’s really good for a brand-new site.
Marcus: To take a look and see who activated what plugin when.
Marcus: Very cool, lazy plugin that keeps track of whose been playing around in my plugins on my WordPress site, and it gets a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Yeah, that’s kind of cool, and it could also be useful if you’re just working on a website yourself and you’re doing some debugging and you forget which ones you turned on an off when —
Marcus: That’s right!
John: — which happens. I do that a lot. I’m debugging. “Did I turn that one off? Shit, I lost track of the 42 plugins on this website.”
John: So it’s actually – that’s got a lot of good uses and features.
John: All right, well closing out this episode, I looked at Callback Tracker, which I gave a 4 to; Avartan Slider WordPress Plugin, which I gave a 4 to; and then Table Reservations, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I reviewed WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing and Discounts, which gets a 4 out of 5; WP To Do, which gets a 4 out of 5; and Plugin Activation Info, which gets a 5 out of 5.
John: And a couple of quick reminders: Stop into our YouTube channel, check out our screencasts, training videos, and more that gets going up there. Also, a note to developers who would like to support the show, if you’d like to offer up a premium license to support us and give away and create a contest, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest.
And that’s all we’ve got for you. Take care, bye-bye.
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John can be reached through his website at www.JohnOverall.com, or send him an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Marcus can also be reached through his website at marcuscouch.com or Twitter @marcuscouch. Thanks for watching and have a great day.
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