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 #361 here.
It’s Episode 361 and we’ve got plugins for Mobile Invoicing, Site Caching, Fixing Yoast, Media Library Folders, Donations and Testing WooCommerce Payments. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 361 and we’ve got plugins for Mobile Invoicing, Site Caching, Fixing Yoast, Media Library Folders, Donations and Testing WooCommerce Payments. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-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 find all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com. And if you have a few minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your time, subscribing to us and reviewing the show over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store.
Marcus: Yeah, those reviews do help out a ton. So no matter where you are, please leave us a review. Also, remember to check out our training videos, screencasts, and watch us live every Monday – actually, the first Monday in the morning at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Also, you can follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and subscribe to our newsletter. That’s where we keep all the WordPress news. We don’t talk about WordPress news on this podcast because it’s all about plugins.
John: Absolutely and our newsletter goes out every Thursday now, pretty much like clockwork, so make sure you sign up for that newsletter. With that being said, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
And we have our usual great allotment of six plugins today and the first one I’ve got for you, it was sent in to us by Chris Donalds, and it’s a premium plugin with a free trial and it’s called CodeDragon SmartCache. I like the titled dragon; that’s what really caught me. So at any rate, CodeDragon SmartCache is one intelligent caching plugin and what it allows for is it allows for really fast, adaptive caching, automatic GZIP compression, browser caching. If you go with the premium version, you can then set up things along the lines such as include the WordPress core files , you can get Google closure, you can prevent loading of J-query, migrate, and more.
This is another in a long list of caching plugins that are out there. The free version seems to be pretty decent, it works pretty well. I only tested it on my dev site; I didn’t put it into a live site, because all of my live sites seem to be working well with the caching I have now. But it is something to consider if you haven’t added caching to your website. This is one you might consider when you’re going through and testing which one to check out. It allows you to save lots of time, improve your speed and performance, and of course with the speedpocalypse that’s coming down the road real soon, this is something you really want to think about.
So anyway, a really great looking plugin. I gave it a 4-Dragon rating. Go check it out: the CodeDragon SmartCache.
Marcus: Very nice! And you’re not kidding about speedpocalypse and those that are regular listeners to the show and listen right when the show comes out, you know this well ahead of everybody else that’s a designer and developer. Believe me, it’s not top of mind to them right now.
John: No, it will be. It will be in a couple of months when the deadline finally hits.
John: And suddenly —
Marcus: And it’s —
John: — it’ll be out there, especially when their SEO starts tanking.
Marcus: Yeah, and it’s also something to remember when you’re pitching clients, right?
Marcus: Look, your website – now, it’s not just design. You know, I used to tease clients and go, “What, did you have your kids make this website for your business? What’s going on with this thing?” And, you know, it was kind of calling them out but it was true. Now, even if they have a good design, maybe you can go to them and go, “Hey look, here’s the problem. Your website is aesthetically great but the speed sucks and you’re gonna lose for that.”
Marcus: “Loose big time.” All right, I wanted to bring to light a plugin that – I’m bringing this in untested, because I don’t have a device that can test it. But I’ve looked around and looked at a video of it, and it looks pretty good, so I wanted to talk about it on the show. It’s called Invoice on the Go and it is billed as the only WordPress invoice system that has its own Android app. So you can actually create invoices in your computer or directly using your phone and what happens is it actually goes into your WordPress site. So it has client services and invoice management, it creates invoices like I said on your system or on your phone, it then emails that invoice over to your clients, and it has PayPal support so that your clients can pay you directly.
So all you have to do is install this plugin, install the app, associate the two together, and that’s it. It’s automatic; no price to it, nothing like that. I would’ve given it higher ratings than this, but again, I did not get a chance because I have Apple products and not Android, so I rated this one a 3 out of 5. But if you have Android, definitely worth checking out.
John: Absolutely. It looks like it’s a pretty nice one. The invoicing system I use actually has its own app for both Android and Apple. So I use WHMCS for doing my invoicing, so…
John: So that is a paid premium piece of software and it —
John: — sits separate and apart from your WordPress website, though you can integrate it.
John: It took me a while, but I finally have it fully integrated in my site now, which is nice and it looks like my WordPress website but it goes to my invoicing system. So anyway, it does look like a really great one if you don’t have a lot of money or you’re looking at an easy way to set up invoicing. This looks like a really nice way to go.
Marcus: Yeah, it’s free —
Marcus: — and takes about five minutes to set up.
John: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, and this show here currently brought to you by…
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And of course, what else have we got here? Well, that brings us up to our second set of plugins and the next one I’ve got for you here is another one that I’d done for testing out and organizing your media files. This one here was Organize Media Library by Folders. Now initially when I went to test it out, I was thinking it was like the other two I’d previously tested in the last show or talked about in the last show in that it would help you categorize and organize your media library.
But what this one does is in particular, it helps sort all your media files into separate folders on your website. Now, doing that, I’m not entirely certain of the uses of it, because WordPress already sorts them by year and month for you if you have it set up properly. Additional sortage by folder type, such as data or PDFs or other things might be useful for you. It depends on how you organize your website up. So I thought it might be a good one to bring forward and mention, even though it didn’t do exactly what I was after when I was doing all of that testing. Check it out, it’s called Organize Media Library by Folders, and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Hm, a good start – good start. All right, well, John, have you heard about what happened with Yoast?
John: I did hear something about it. They were having problems updating – or upload something or another. I don’t recall exactly but I did hear they had a problem.
Marcus: Well here’s what happened is they incorrectly made every attachment have its own URL page, and so Google when it went in to index suddenly realized that you now have 14,000 more pages than you did yesterday.
Marcus: Thanks, Yoast! So this is an official plugin from Yoast called Search Index Purge, and it is to purge attachment URLs out of the Google index as fast as possible. It helps sites that might’ve suffered from having too many thin content pages in the search index by removing them in the fastest way that Yoast can. I rated this a 4 out of 5. It’s a great plugin and a perfect solution, but it’s kind of a dumbo mistake and so I – I can’t call this the perfect plugin, right? It’s the perfect band aid to —
Marcus: — hitting your own head against the wall.
Marcus: But it works well. So it’s called Yoast SEO Search Index Purge. If you use Yoast, you review this and it’s rated 4 out of 5.
John: Excellent. I kind of like that idea for helping to clean up the mess. Thanks, Yoast. But yeah, I heard about it but I guess it’s a good thing that I’m a little slow in doing my updates and I completely missed that version on all my websites.
John: I missed that problem. Okay, well this brings us to listener feedback and donor support. And of course, we love listener feedback and if you’d like to leave some here for us, we’d greatly appreciate it. You can do that by going to the Contact page, sending us an email there, going to SpeakPipe, giving us a voicemail there, sending us a direct message. Anyway, you can also reach out to us on Twitter and our Facebook page and our YouTube channel. You can reach out in all of those places there and we will get to you. Not always, but we get to you as rapidly as we can and we try to bring them back over and include them in the show, so give us some listener feedback. It really helps the show, it helps give us a little more content for you, information for you. Think of it as tapping the minds of some very expensive guys and getting some free advice.
So with that being said, 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 like to acknowledge those who have supported the show with $50 donations or over by reading out a note and linking to whatever they have in that note for them. And for those that come in under $50, thank you very much. We leave you anonymous and we like to continue to thank those who have supported the show with donations under $50 a month. It really helps the show and offsets the costs that are required to run this show, such as server bandwidth, transcripts, and other miscellaneous things that go just in the basic support of having a podcast, so thank you very much.
Marcus: That’s right, we are not – we don’t an Australian accent, asking for $400 a month. We just want a donation every now and again, so we do appreciate everybody who has contributed thus far. But if you love the show like a lot of you do, you owe it to yourself to contribute and donate to WordPress Plugins A to Z, so we thank all the supporters out there. Without you, this show could not continue.
John: Absolutely. All right, and our final set of plugins we’ve got here for you today, the last one I have, it was another one that was sent in by one of the developers out there. It was sent in by Rebekah Pillay and it’s called Donorbox. Now, this one here is another in a long string of donor systems you can use on your website to collect donations. This is a third-party system and the plugin helps you integrate into the third-party system called Donorbox, and Donorbox is a pretty decent one from what I can tell. I don’t use it and I didn’t set up an account there, but they charge a lot less than most of the other ones such as Patreon and Stripe and just going straight PayPal – well, they charge you the full PayPal price, because it seems like they run everything through PayPal Merchant.
But at any rate, if you’re looking for a nice way to create a Donorbox and a donor platform system, this might be something you’d look into when you’re going that route, see what it is, see if it fits with what your plans are for your website. It does seem to be pretty decent from as far as I can tell. Go check it out. It’s called Donorbox and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: That’s cool. We should really do kind of a review set of one of these one day.
John: Oh, there’s a lot of them out there and —
John: — some are good, some are not so good. I’ve heard good and bad on different ones. This one here is kind of a new one. I don’t know if it’s really new-new, but it’s one that I had never really heard of until the developer sent us the plugin to ask if it’d be put into the queue for review, so…
Marcus: Yeah. Well, the last plugin that I’ve got here is something that if you run any kind of WooCommerce site, you owe it to yourself to do this. It is called Fake Pay for WooCommerce, and what it is, it’s a payment gateway that actually is a test environment that allows administrative users to check out without having to enter any payment information. So you just simply choose Fake Pay as the payment option on checkout and it processes it as if you actually paid.
Now, this is good if you have a membership site and you want to see the sequence as to what happens after somebody pays. Most people don’t test that.
Marcus: Most people don’t test the Thank You process or the onboarding process after payment, because they don’t want to go through and, you know, actually go through the testing and pay, because, you know, who wants to charge their own card for their own product, right?
Marcus: Or, you know, have to void it or any of those things. So this allows you to do it. You just put Fake Pay as your checkout and you have to, by the way, be the administrator to see Fake Pay, so it’s not like somebody could just put Fake Pay and actually make an order. So check it out, it is called Fake Pay for WooCommerce – vital for testing WooCommerce or sequences, and I gave it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: That’s kind of cool. This is another one. I’ve seen a few like this and one of the problems I saw with the ones that I have looked at in the past is that a regular user could still see that payment option when they were going to test it and everything —
John: — so that could be a bit of a problem.
Marcus: Yeah, and a lot of people use this like fake MasterCard number 4111 1111…, you know.
Marcus: Sixteen ones or whatever —
John: Yeah, you’ve got to have things set up in a full test environment then, but yes, that’s pretty nice. It’s especially useful if something’s going wrong in your already live environment, because then you can’t use the fake MasterCard number because if you’re processing proper credit cards, you know.
Marcus: Right, exactly.
John: Anyway, yeah, go check that one out. All right, well closing out this show here, I covered up the CodeDragon SmartCache and I gave it a 4; the Organize Media Library Folders – I gave it a 3; and then the Donorbox, which I gave a 3 to.
Marcus: And I reviewed Invoice on the Go, which gets a 3 out of 5, but only because I don’t have an Android device and I can’t test it properly. Yoast SEO, the Search Index Purge – the dunce cap of the SEO industry right now gets a 4 out of 5, and Fake Pay for WooCommerce gets a 5 out of 5.
John: Okay, and there’s a couple of reminders. I’d like to say thank you very much to those of you that showed up at the WordPress Meetup here in Victoria last weekend. It was great fun, enjoyed ourselves, and we’ve got more meetups coming and starting in September, I will be providing training session meetups where I will be giving presentations for half an hour to an hour long and I’ve already lined up a couple of local developers to come in and present things, so a lot is going to be happening with WordPress Meetup Victoria. So if you live on the island, you might want to get involved and check it out.
Marcus: Hey John, for those of us who don’t live on the island, why don’t you consider streaming those on like Facebook Live or something?
John: That’s something I may consider getting set up and doing.
Marcus: Yeah? Good.
John: I hadn’t thought about that and since I’ve got a couple of months to prep and test for it, I might actually see what I can accomplish with that, because that would be a good idea to stream those things out onto our Facebook channel.
Marcus: Yeah, or YouTube. It could go right onto our YouTube channel.
Marcus: That might be cool, too.
John: Yeah, I could put them up on the YouTube channel. But those are definitely coming and it’s going to happen because I took over the meetup group here in Victoria a couple of months ago and it’s taken me a couple of months to get it organized. I had a meetup last month; I just had one for June, and July and August, nothing happens in July and August here in Victory. It’s like tourist central; everyone leaves town that doesn’t have to be in town, and I don’t blame them. They all come back in September and that’s when everything starts rolling again here, so –
John: — and that’s when they will start happening.
Marcus: You know, I’ve also thought of doing this on maybe our Facebook page or something like that. I, coming up here in the next month, have to make about six different kinds of websites for projects that I’m involved in.
Marcus: I’ve thought about livestreaming me starting from a blank WordPress install —
John: Now there’s an idea.
Marcus: — and talking about the ideas and things that I want —
Marcus: — and pretty much knowing going in not what I want in terms of the plugins, but how do I choose it? How am I testing it? What am I looking for? And that would probably be a three-hour long stream, but it might be fun.
John: Yeah, you might get a few people to tune in and tune out and some will tune back in. But yeah, it would be quite a good thing.
John: All right, and going out also, stop in at our YouTube channel, check out our screencasts there, and you might just see live streaming from WordPress Meetup Victoria, so I think I will work to make those happen. I hadn’t given it much thought.
And also, a note going out to developers, if you would like to support the show, you want to offer up a premium license to give away, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest, leave all of your details there for everything you want us to showcase about a contest for the plugin, giving away a premium license. And also, you can submit plugins for review on the website and I will get them into the queue to be reviewed.
And that’s all we’ve got for you now, so take care, bye-bye.
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 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.
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.