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WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #364 here.
It’s Episode 364 and we’ve got plugins for Team Sliders, Free Shipping Notifications, Facebook Feeds, Media File Management and a Page-based Theme Switcher. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 364 and we’ve got plugins for Team Sliders, Free Shipping Notifications, Facebook Feeds, Media File Management and a Page-based Theme Switcher. 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: Excellent. I hope you guys had a great Fourth of July down there.
John: I heard it was a really great time in many places. Many of my friends posting up on Facebook, so Happy Fourth – belated for everyone, even though we did remember it in the last show. So at any rate, we’ve got the usual great show for you today and 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 at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store, leaving us a review and subscribing to the show. It really helps out.
Marcus: That’s right! And hey, if you use YouTube, you can check us out live the first Monday of every month at 10:00 Pacific Time on YouTube. Go to our website and you’ll find out more about where you can find us and once you’re there, you can also check out the training videos, the screencasts, and everything else that we’ve got to offer. On Twitter you can follow us @wppluginsatoz. If you’ve got a question or a plugin that you need, let us know. And also subscribe to our newsletter; that’s at wppluginsatoz.com and that goes out every Thursday. That’s where we keep all the news-related stuff about WordPress. We don’t like to talk about that here on the podcast. We like to keep it all about the plugins.
John: And please subscribe to the newsletter. There are some treats coming that will only be in the newsletter, so stay tuned for those. Okay, well with that, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
All right, first up here a plugin I’ve got today is WP Team Showcase and Slider Pro. This is the team showcase plugin I opted for as a replacement after I talked about the failed plugin in the last show that was just problem after problem. This plugin did not have those issues. It is a premium plugin, so you will want to consider it and it’s not that much. It’s about $40, so it’s well worth the money if you want to save yourself lots of headaches.
It’s set up very easy. It has excellent display of all the content, creates the grids perfectly, has multiple choices for how you can display the popups, has multiple choices for the types of grids and displays you can do. There’s a lot that this plugin has going for it and makes it really easy to set up and showcase your team in multiple ways. I use this for a client of mine who needed to showcase an executive board that changes every year or so.
So this is something you want to look into if you want something swift, easy to set up and change, especially if it’s something that has to be changed on a regular basis. So go check it out: WP Team Showcase and Slider Pro and I gave it a 5-Dragon rating.
John: Wrong button.
Marcus: Yeah! A little slippery on the buttons there.
John: Yeah, fat fingers.
Marcus: Okay, so – man, I’ve been doing a lot of WooCommerce stuff, especially this month. And one of the things that I see, you see it on – I don’t know if you have Amazon Prime now, John —
John: I do.
Marcus: — but Amazon has this thing. Yeah, so you’ve got to order X amount and they’ll deliver for free. Walmart does it here in the States, all kinds of other retailers do it. You have to order X amount —
Marcus: — before —
John: that’s not us.
Marcus: — you get free shipping.
John: That’s not our Prime. Our Prime’s different.
Marcus: Oh! No, it’s Prime Now, actually.
John: Oh, Prime Now, okay.
Marcus: Yeah, that’s when they deliver it right to your house within two hours.
John: Oh, we don’t have that. Nope, Canadians aren’t that worthy.
Marcus: Okay, well the concept is the same no matter what. Sometimes you need to have a certain monetary threshold —
Marcus: — in which people can then get free shipping, right? How many – you know, order $35, $99 – whatever it happens to be. This plugin, Free Shipping Notice for WooCommerce, does actually that. So you can now incorporate that into WooCommerce. It has individualized, so it can do it based on a cart total. You can do total customization of this, have a free shipping minimum applicable to only the countries that you happen to ship to. So if somebody in say Europe orders something from my store for just, you know, $20 or whatever the threshold happens to be, what if the shipping costs me $140 for that?
Marcus: So I want to be able to set that so it does that. It also has geolocation, whether that applies at all, so you can just do a geo-based and they won’t even see it, and it is mobile-friendly and compatible with all mobile devices.
Marcus: So a really nice plugin if you want free shipping, if you actually do shipping within your WooCommerce store, and I rated this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice. I like that. It might be something my current WooCommerce client would consider using. Okay, well let’s roll on into this show here currently sponsored and brought to you by…
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And we also do have a current contest running where we are giving away a premium plugin license for WP Nearby Place and it’s an excellent plugin. We’ve discussed it in the last show and we’ve got an interview. You can go find out a little bit more about the plugin. There’s links in the show notes for the in-depth interview. And we’re giving away a premium license for it and the date for the end of the contest currently is the end of the month, but there may be a couple of surprises and you’ll have to check the newsletter for the additional surprises for it, so stay tuned for those. But go check out the contest by going to wppluginsatoz.com/contests.
And if you’re in a hurry to get the plugin, use the 25% off coupon code for WP Nearby Places. The coupon code is FLASH. And all contests currently powered by the Simple Giveaways plugin. Go check them out. Links are in the show notes.
Marcus: Cool. Yeah, we’ve got a lot of cool stuff coming up.
John: Yep, absolutely. Yeah, that brings us up to our next set of plugins here, and the next one I’ve got here – this one came about – I have a photography client and he was looking for a simple way to deal with his photos. Of course, he puts up photo galleries on Facebook all the time and then he had to get into those websites, so he was doing double duty work and he didn’t want to try and put them on his website and then have to get them copied to Facebook. He just puts in the Facebook shares and gets more play there.
So I went hunting and of course I’ve realized there are Facebook feed plugins out there. There’s a couple. It’s been a couple of years since I’d used one, so I went hunting and did some research and I thought I’d found a really great one, the WD Facebook feed. This one was from the Web Dorado and it is a premium plugin and I checked it all it. It looked good; everything I could do with their demo seemed like it was going to fit the bill. So I went ahead, bought it for the client, and installed it. And initially, it installed beautifully. It worked like a charm. It was great, all was done, I wrapped it up, closed it up, sent it to him, and said, “Hey, all done. Go check it out.”
The next morning, I went to double-check it because I like to double-check my work the following day to make sure it’s working. Well sure enough, something had gone wrong overnight with the plugin and all it was doing now was it would only display the photo album title. It wouldn’t display any of the images. So I go back in, dig through the plugin, and all of a sudden it’s getting errors from Facebook and I’m like, “What are these?” I go into their support to find information. They don’t really have a lot – no forums or anything to deal with. So I ended up emailing them for some support, telling them exactly what I’d done, where they had told me to create a Facebook API, etc., etc.
They sent back, “Well, go build a Facebook API. Follow these instructions.” All right, fine – I’ll go do it again – what you did. Still no problems, sent back to them. They sent back and they said, “Well, we’re updating the plugin,” because Facebook had made some changes a few weeks ago and I guess they suddenly caught up. So I’m like, “Okay.” I wait a few days. It takes them a week and a half to get the plugin update to me and then they have a whole new set of instructions for the API. You’ve got to do it a completely different way. So I go through all of that, all of that rigmarole, and still it won’t work – exact same errors.
Send it back to them and they come back to me and say, “Well, did you do all of this?” Yes, I did that. “Well, do all this…” and I did all these things and still nothing. So I went back and forth, back and forth. Finally, I just surrendered. This plugin here was not going to work, no matter what I did, no matter how I created the APIs. They couldn’t give me any information or any support towards the plugin, so I threw in the towel, said, “Okay, I’m done with it and that’s all I can do, folks.”
So unfortunately, this one here goes all the way to the bottom.
Two-dragon rating for WD Facebook Feed. Avoid it, folks.
Marcus: Wow, and that’s the debut of that sound effect.
John: Yeah, I know. That’s a cool sound effect though. It worked well.
John: Gonna make me want to hunt down some number twos for a while.
Marcus: All right. John, I’m just gonna say it. What the number one complaint about WordPress that I have? What section?
John: The media library of course.
Marcus: Hey! Ding-ding!
John: I think —
Marcus: We need a sound for that now, too.
Marcus: Okay, so I found this thing called FileBird and I checked it out and it’s really nice. It’s a media library category and folders file manager. Now here’s what I liked about it. It’s drag-n-drop, so you can move – you can put things in folders – images in different folders and rearrange the folders. You have full control in your tool bar as well. You can have unlimited folders and subfolders and organization things.
Now here’s the cool thing that I liked, John, and is excellent at doing the things that I like to do on Windows, which is right-click things. So you can right-click your mouse right there and quickly create, rename, or delete folders just like what you do on your typical computer. So it really acts as kind of a file media library explorer, so to speak. Really cool – it’s called FileBird and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Nice! Excellent. Anything that helps the media library is a plus in my book, because that definitely needs some help and work.
Marcus: So developers out there, take a look at FileBird, see the stuff that it does, then take a look at the plugins that allow you to do hashtags and little notes and subtags and all that kind of stuff with images —
Marcus: — and media that you upload. Merge these two plugins together and you’ve reinvented the media library just as I want it.
John: Absolutely. Okay, now we do like listener feedback and this section here is sponsored by WP Nearby Places, where you can customize your Google Maps to skyrocket your search engine rankings with WP Nearby Places. WP Nearby Places lets you easily create Google Maps for your website with your specified location at its center. Your site visitors will have the ability to quickly search what’s around your specified location like no other mapping plugin.
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For details all about their licensed versions that are available, including the add-ons, go check them out at wpnearbyplaces.com. Show off your neighbors by categories, featured neighborhoods, the most exciting feature is the ability to feature all your neighbors around your website in your map of Nearby Places. This allows you to create ads and sell those ads in and around your site. Show off the wineries, parks, or famous restaurants nearby you, so go check it out: WP Nearby Places.
Marcus: Yeah, that looks cool. I know that we put in for a license for me —
Marcus: — to come check that out, so.
John: I actually haven’t sent an email yet, so I will get —
John: it in tonight. I know, it’s been a really busy week.
John: I have been buried in work all week.
John: So – okay, so listener feedback – we do have a listener feedback, an audio clip this week from Frank Branker, so take it away Frank…
Test…Hi, John. I am looking for something similar to a blog manager where I can categorize and post a series of pages. Let’s say I would like to have two blog managers, the second one I wouldn’t call it ‘blog,’ so I’ll categorize it to something else. But that’s the look and feel I’m looking for. Any suggestions? Frank Branker, pro –
Marcus: You broke the sound board!
John: I did hit everything on the sound board at once. Yeah, that just trashed it. Sorry about that but hey, not really. At any rate —
John: — thanks, Frank. That was a really good question and as far as I can tell what you’re looking at is you’re looking at something that’s gonna create you custom post types, and there’s many plugins out there for it. I don’t know the specifics of it because you weren’t very clear on the specifics. If you get this, please send back an email or something with more specifics on what you’re looking for and then I can probably help you out. I don’t know, from that did you get anything, Marcus?
Marcus: No, but here’s the thing by the way, and this applies to everybody who asks us anything about plugins. If you see something you’re trying to do or recreate, give us the link to that site.
John: Oh, absolutely.
Marcus: Say, “Hey, look at this thing on this site and here’s the URL it. What’s the cool plugin to do that?” That’s really the only way that I can disseminate it. I can make anything with plugins. I can bridge – you know, I’m the duct tape guy when it comes to plugins. John, I know that you are, too.
John: Oh, yeah. I’ve bridged a lot of things with plugins.
Marcus: I will find a way.
Marcus: One way or the other and, you know, just – that’s the only thing I ask. So I wish I knew a little bit more. If there’s a pagination thing of a series of posts, I’d have to see how he’s categorizing it, how the date structure is, if that matters or if it’s a series, or if you can see Post Number 2 before Post Number 1 —
Marcus: — of if it’s a technical manual or things like that that need to be indexed as far as the Table of Contents. We need to know a little bit more, so tell us more, Frank.
John: Absolutely. So feed us a little more info, Frank. So thanks for the question though and for all the rest of you out there listening, send us those questions via SpeakPipe. That’s how that one came in. We will get them on the show and we will answer them to the best of our ability.
All right, this show here, value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. And in that vein, we’d like to acknowledge those who have supported the show in the past. All donations $50 and over are read out and their note is published here if they provide one. For those who come in below $50, thank you very much. You remain anonymous but we still thank you very much for your support.
This week here, we did have another donation from Jezweb Pty. Ltd., who gave us $50 donation. The donation is on behalf of Vital Building & Pest Inspections at vitalbuildingpestinspections.com.au, a service industry in Australia – in Sydney, Australia. A WordPress website hosted and maintained by Jezweb.com.au., so go check him out and it’s a really nice looking website. Thanks, Jez and thank you very much, Jez. We really appreciate all the support you’ve been giving the show.
Marcus: Yeah, and if it seems like yeah, we are getting new sites all the time that get developed by Jezweb, that’s good karma coming back to him, you know?
John: Oh, absolutely.
Marcus: And there’s no secret as to why they are getting all these great projects where they work and what they do. So if you want the same for your agency or development service or whatever it is that you happen to do, please contribute. We give a lot to the community and all we ask is just a little bit back to help offset some of the costs.
John: Yep, and he gets a nice link for that show feedback out, because they are follow links. They’re not no-follow links from our site.
Marcus: That’s right, that’s one of the perks actually of donating $50 or more, so give it a shot.
John: Okay, and you can support the show by going to wppluginsatoz.com/donate, so there’s several ways you can donate there. And also you can do it through Patreon. There’s links on the website to Patreon and thanks a lot to our Patreon donors. We got your donation for this month and it was much appreciated.
Okay, that brings us up to our final set of plugins for today. And the final one I’ve got here today is called Custom Facebook Feed Pro. Now, you can get the free version that they offer. They offer a freemium version so you can test it out quite well. I went straight to the pro version. It seems I’d bought from these guys in the past another plugin, so I went ahead and got it from them and this one here solved my Facebook problems in under an hour.
Initially after I set it up, I had a minor issue similar to the problem I was having from the other plugin, so I thought I was in failure zone. But when I went to their support for the help, they had listed out not only all the errors but ideas and ways on how to get them fixed, along with an easy way to create your token you have to create through Facebook. These guys made it a dream to get it installed.
The plugin worked like a dream. The layout was actually much better than the other plugin. The layout was more controllable. It allowed you to do a better layout, create multiple feeds. There’s a whole lot that this plugin did that the other one didn’t do, and unfortunately I missed this one in my research so hey, that happens. But I caught it in the end and these guys here get kudos for their high-quality work and their ease of installation and they get a 5-Dragon rating for the pro version.
And for the freemium version it gets a 4 because freemiums always get a 4. They get one down for the pro, but I used the pro so I gave it the 5.
Marcus: Wow, I’m gonna have to check this out.
John: This one works like a dream and it’s well worth the – I think it’s $40 for this plugin versus the other one was $25, so I ended up pitching $25 into the trash even though I did ask them for a refund, and they never responded to that. I think I asked them three times for it and they just – they avoided the question entirely.
Marcus: Wow, what did you do? Go through PayPal or anything?
John: Ah yeah, I always go through PayPal.
Marcus: Oh, you can get it back.
Marcus: Just dispute it.
John: Well, there’s an idea.
John: I may give it a try. It was just such a pain in the neck it might be worth it for me to do it.
John: At any rate, check that one out, folks.
Marcus: Yeah. So I have been working on something on the backend that I’ll probably announce next month that’s very heavily WordPress-related and I needed to find a way to within my install have a couple different pages that I could switch the theme on, because there’s just some things that a plugin can’t do. I need a full theme framework in order to run something.
So how did I actually achieve this? I found this plugin called Switch Theme that allows you to load a different theme for specific pages both in a permanent way and also to use as debugging your theme, so you can copy a specific page and then change that copy to be on say the default theme and see if it screws up and debug it and see if it still works. Or make it look – you know, check it on a different theme in terms of how a specific plugin outputs. You can do that.
So you’ll find a section for each single page and post within the meta box section and then you can select the theme that you want to activate just for that page. You can click on the related checkbox to decide if you want all visitors to see that or just you as the administrator, which is really nice that you have that control. This is really nice in terms of how it runs. It doesn’t have any backend controls as far as that theme, so you gotta kind of set it up and then switch themes and then it kind of picks up the old load for it, but this works really, really nice.
It really didn’t give me any setup problems at all. It’s just an amazing plugin and it came along at the right time. It’s called Freesoul Switch Theme and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very cool. So it actually works. That’d be the first theme switcher plugin that actually works, because I’ve tried a few of them in the past because I —
Marcus: That’s what I’m saying.
John: I really wanted that to happen and that would be nice, so I’m gonna have to try it because I still have a couple of things that I wanted to use a different theme on specific pages for it.
Marcus: Now imagine having a page —
Marcus: — and then taking a few backend themes like the common ones, like Divvy and XTheme.
Marcus: You know, and stuff with Elementor built-in and all of that and then being able to just kind of switch the exact same page without having to go through that process of actually switching the entire theme of the entire site to where fronted people are seeing something that shouldn’t even be there.
Marcus: So this is great all around.
John: Very nice. Okay, well that’s a wrap for us. I covered up in this episode the WP Team Showcase and Slider Pro, which I gave a 5 to; I covered up the WD Facebook Feed, which I gave a 2 to; and then I covered up the Custom Facebook Feed Pro, which I gave a 5 to.
Marcus: And I talked about the Free Shipping Notification for WooCommerce which gets a 4 out of 5, FileBird for your media library gets a 5 out of 5, and we just talked about Freesoul Switch Theme, which also gets a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: And that’s all we’ve got for you here, but be sure to go check out our YouTube channel for screencasts, training videos, and more. And a note to developers who would like to support the show. If you’d like to offer up premium licenses to give away, go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest. And that’s all we’ve got for you now. 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 email@example.com. 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.