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WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #365 here.
It’s Episode 365 and we’ve got plugins for Counter Widgets, External Post Links, Space Invaders, Google Fonts, and Social Proof. It’s all coming up next on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 365 and we’ve got plugins for Counter Widgets, External Post Links, Space Invaders, Google Fonts, and Social Proof. It’s all coming up next 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 Beachside Bunker in Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.
John: And we have the usual great show for you here today. But 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 at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store, leaving us a review and subscribing to the show there.
Marcus: That’s right! You can also find us on YouTube the first Monday of every month at 10:00 Pacific Standard Time. That’s when we go live with the show. That’s the first Monday of every month. Also, you can check out our training videos, screencasts, and all kinds of other stuff. If you are on Twitter, you can follow us @wppluginsatoz. Ask us any question about plugins, reactions about stuff. We love socially interacting with folks on Twitter. Also remember to subscribe to our newsletter. That’s where we keep all the news, we have all the contests, and all the goodies that you’re gonna get only by subscribing to the newsletter, so make sure you check that out at wppluginsatoz.com. We keep all that stuff there because over here, all we talk about is plugins.
John: Absolutely, and also you can find out more about the live show by liking our Facebook page. We get notifications go up there regularly to remind everyone, so go check out our Facebook page, too. And with that, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
And first up today, the plugin I’ve got for you is Jellyfish Counter Widget. Now, this is one that I think I reviewed way, way back in a while and you, Marcus, were looking for this a week or two ago and —
John: — I went hunting for it and I went, “Oh yeah, this is it,” and so I decided hey, why not? Throw it back into the review lineup so people can check it out. It’s still a useful plugin; it’s still quite viable. It’s a couple, three years old, so it’s a little bit out of date but it still seems to work well. And what it does for you is it creates counters that you can put on your website. Different kinds of counters: speedometer kind of counters or you can count down or count up. You can have it count out up to a specific number. You can start it at specific numbers. You can give it fancy-looking counters. There’s a lot it does and it’s basically all around counters and you can customize it with your own CSS and Java – just a whole lot of stuff.
It’d be nice if it was brought up to date. Who knows? It may not actually require any updating but they should at least give it the appearance of being brought up to date so it’s not looking like it’s three years old, sitting in the WordPress Repository. But currently, it still works well. Go check it out: Jellyfish Counter Widget and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Yep, I bugged you on Skype about that.
John: You did.
Marcus: I have a need.
John: And I went hunting for it. Yeah, that’s pretty much it.
Marcus: I have an organization that is counting the actual number of cases that happens for this particular procedure and how many of these procedures get done every year, and it’s in the millions.
Marcus: And it’s interesting to watch it count, so it really worked well for me. It was exactly as my client had asked for. It was really cool.
John: Yeah, I have a client that it’s actually used on their website, which is how I remembered it because of their website.
John: And they use it for counting the number of deforested areas – acres being deforested per year.
Marcus: Yeah. My next plugin – or the plugin – the first plugin – is called Lenix Post External Link. Now what it does is it gives you the option to replace any post on the site with an external link by replacing its link on the archive page to whatever external link this happens to be. You can open it in a new tab or whatever you want to do. All you have to do is edit the post and enter the external link kind of in the meta data at the bottom and it will go ahead and send it there instead, which is kind of cool.
There’s a lot of applications for it. Here’s what I did on a – I won’t say client, but somebody who needed some help. They needed help forwarding their old store page over to their Shopify page —
Marcus: — and didn’t want to do any crazy redirects or anything like that, and it was pretty easy to do. I just used this plugin and on that same page that it had their store with WooCommerce, I instead put this in and it sent it right over there with all navigation pointing that way. Really nice plugin – Lenix Post External Link, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Yeah, that’s actually quite useful. I know a few times that I could’ve used this plugin instead of creating crazy redirects.
John: I’ll keep this one in mind the next time that comes up, because it comes up more often than you think.
Marcus: It does.
John: All right, well this show here currently brought to you by…
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And to let everyone know, we do still have a contest currently running, running through ‘til the end of July, and it’s from WP Nearby Places and they’re giving away a premium license for the WP Nearby Places plugin. It helps you create very useful Google Maps for all of your site visitors. It’s a great plugin. Just go over to wppluginsatoz.com/contests for more and enter the contest. It’s very simple to enter; all we need is your name and email address. And if you send out a link to all of your friends, you can get additional chances to win the contest. For every time a friend of yours comes through your link, you get two additional entries into the contest so hey, get out there and share, share, share!
And if you’re in a hurry for the plugin, use their discount code – 25% off for WP Nearby Places with the coupon code FLASH. And all contests run on wppluginsatoz.com are powered by the Simple Giveaways plugin. A very nice plugin. They were kind enough to supply us with the pro version for use on the website.
John: And that brings us up to our next set of plugins, and the next one I’ve got for you here is another one from the Jellyfish plugin developers, and this one’s a bit older but still works and it’s really quite cute. It’s called the Jellyfish Invaders, and it’s basically like having little Space Invaders on your website. You can’t go pew-pew ‘em, but they do bounce around and you can lock them into specific blocks with the code. So if you want a specific area you just want to bounce ‘em around, they’ll bounce around and give some entertainment to your friends. And who knows? Maybe you want to go back to 1998 and build a really bizarre website.
So anyway, a cute little plugin.
John: Just a lot of fun – nothing special. Go check it out: Jellyfish Invaders and I gave it a rating of 3 Dragons.
Marcus: Nice! I would like to play some Space Invaders though on a widget if that’s possible.
John: I’ll have to find it again. It’s —
John: — things like that pop up from time to time and then I set them aside and then forget about them.
Marcus: Yep. All right, my next plugin is called Flip Counter and it’s much like – it’s kind of the need that I needed before, John, but you found that plugin for me. But I tested it, I thought hey, let’s bring it to the show. What it is, it’s a simple countdown or even a count up timer that’s easy to set up and pretty quick to implement. You just have to enter in the count setting that you want and it works right out of the box. It’s great for showing the deadlines to special offers, store sales, or anything else you are counting down to.
Pretty cool – it’s called Flip Counter. It works well on landing pages and things like that. It didn’t work for the need that I specifically had, but I’m gonna keep this one on the back burner for later. Flip Counter gets a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! You never know where you might be able to use it.
John: Okay, and of course this show here, we love listener feedback. And none this week, but we’re looking for it so you can contact us, give us your feedback via any of the social media platforms or through SpeakPipe in the lower right-hand corner of our website, or send us an email through our contact page. Send us your questions and we will get you responses for them, or just send us the kudos or even if they’re not so kudos, so send it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
This area here, also sponsored by WP Nearby Places. 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. Using the power of Google Maps, WP Nearby Places also uniquely breaks down neighborhood locations by categories, such as restaurants, parks, police, and depending which version you purchase, provides the location’s name, address, URL, website address, phone number, and distance in miles or kilometers from the central location.
There are three versions available: the basic version which is free and available through WordPress.org, the pro and premium version, which is on their website. Check out all the details about their license versions at wpnearbyplaces.com. You can show off your neighbors by categories, featured neighbors. The most exciting feature is the ability to feature neighbors on your website and in your maps of nearby places. There are places in any neighborhood where they are the main event, the main attraction of why someone would travel to that neighborhood. For instance, Starbucks – lots of neighborhoods, a winery, a park, a famous restaurant, and you get the bonus of even selling those advertising spaces around because you can select all of the nearby neighbors that you want to showcase, so you can use that as an added revenue stream.
So go check it out: WP Nearby Places.
And this show, a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. And in that vein, we would like to acknowledge those that have supported the show in the past week. All donations $50 or over are read out and their note is published here. For those who come in below $50, they remain anonymous and we thank you very much. This week here, we would just like to thank all our donors who came in under $50 and for those who have set up regular, small subscriptions, thank you very much through Patreon and other sources.
And if you want to support the show, go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate.
Marcus: Yeah, that goes a long way when you donate. Even if it’s a small amount, we do appreciate everyone’s support.
John: And the money doesn’t go into our pocket. It goes to pay for the expenses of the website.
Marcus: Yeah, I wish it went to our pocket.
John: Yeah, well…
Marcus: Come on, I need 20,000 people to donate $5 this week. Come on!
John: That would be great! Buy a new house!
Marcus: We’re holding a drive, John! We’re gonna get a telethon going.
John: God says I need a new plane!
John: Please donate! God says I need a new plane!
Marcus: Now look…
Marcus: Here’s how it works, folks. If you want to donate, great. If you don’t want to donate —
Marcus: — and you still enjoy the show —
John: Still enjoy the show.
Marcus: — and propagate the formula. Let other people know about it.
John: Yeah, let everybody —
Marcus: Tell other people about the show. Leave us reviews, all that stuff.
John: Absolutely, just tell other folks about it. We don’t whine about donations anymore; we just like to mention them.
Marcus: Yep, that’s it.
John: All right, and this brings us to our last set of plugins here. The last one I’ve got for you today is called Embed Google Fonts, and this is a pretty straightforward plugin. It’s really simple and easy to use and what its main goal is is to automatically replace registered Google fonts from themes and plugins with local versions so they load directly from your server. This could save you some really decent speed on your website, so it’s something you want to look into to see.
What it will do is when it loads up, it goes in, looks at your theme that you’ve got active and the plugins you’ve got active, and looks to see if they’re using any Google fonts. And if it is, it tries to download them and then cache them into your local website so that now whenever the fonts are served, instead of going from your website to Google to get the fonts to bring them back to your website, it serves them directly from your website, which may cut down anywhere from, you know, a fraction of a second to a second or two of load time, which can be very important in today’s age of speed is all important for website loads.
So go check this plugin out. It seems to be pretty good. I’ve loaded it up. I haven’t noticed any speed improvements yet, but who knows? We’ll see what happens when I get more tests into it. And currently, check it out: Embed Google Fonts. I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Yeah, that’s the same – that’s one of the plugins I checked out lately too, and it’s really, really nice. I liked it.
Okay, finally we’re gonna talk about something called Social Proof, and if you’ve signed up for a webinar or looked at an e-book or any of those things, sometimes you get these little popups that say, “Hey, John Doe from Los Angeles just purchased whatever…” – purchased something. Or, “They registered for the webinar,” or whatever it happens to be.
Most sites that are out there that use that have a really expensive script. It’s a service called Proof.
Marcus: And here is the WordPress version of that. It’s called Real Time Social Proof and what it does is it shows popups of recent sales and signups in the bottom left corner of your sales page, and you can configure the pages on which ones you want to show, the real time social proof. It’s performance-oriented, so it only loads on the pages where you want it to load and you can have an option to show an alternative action that your users take on your site. So it’s pretty cool to increase stuff like webinar signups, product sales, and landing page conversions. It’s really nice and it’s free.
It’s called Real Time Social Proof and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! All right, well that wraps us up here and I covered up in today’s show the Jellyfish Counter Widget, which I gave a 4 to. Then I covered up the Jellyfish Invaders, which I gave a 3 to and then wrapped it all up with Embed Google Fonts, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I covered Lenix Post External Link, which gets a 4; Flip Counter, which gets a 4, and Real Time Social Proof also gets a 4.
John: Absolutely, and a quick, final reminder: 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 want to offer up a premium license to give away, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contests.
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 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.