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 366. See complete show notes for Episode #366 here.
It’s Episode 366 and we’ve got plugins for Canadian Postage, Scanning Malicious Code, Removing Yoast Comments, Business Directories and Editing Images Within WordPress. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 366 and we’ve got plugins for Canadian Postage, Scanning Malicious Code, Removing Yoast Comments, Business Directories, and Editing Images Within WordPress. 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 with all great plugins for you. But right off the top, you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com. And if you have a few minutes, we’d greatly appreciate your time over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store, subscribing to the show and giving us reviews there.
Marcus: Absolutely! And on YouTube you can find us the first Monday of every single month at 10:00 Pacific Time. Here’s a special hint for you: if you go to our Facebook group, if you like it, then you can actually get notifications as to when we go live so you can see it for yourself and even interact, ask us a question – any of those things.
Also on YouTube, that’s where we have screencasts, tutorials, training videos, and more. Follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and subscribe to our newsletter. That’s where we have special contest links. We’ve got all the news related to WordPress, all the special stuff, comes out every Thursday. Check out our newsletter over at wppluginsatoz.com.
John: That’s it! And with that all being said, it’s time to dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
And first up, the plugin I’ve got for you today is Canada Post (BASIC) WooCommerce Extension. Now, I’ve been doing a lot of WooCommerce these days and working through a client. We’re just getting her finished and ready to launch and this one here of course, being a Canadian client and shipping from Canada, well, the best way to ship from Canada is Canada Post. And it’s really nice to have a plugin that helps when your client buys the products, puts them in their shopping cart, and then they have an idea on what the shipping costs are going to be.
Now, this plugin here does have a premium version which allows you to access even more, senses instant labels, instant connection to Canada Post if you have an account with them to book the shipping, etc., etc. But the basic version is usually more than adequate for most stores where it produces the costs, tells the client how much it’s going to cost, and produce a basic label for you to prepare to take over to Canada Post.
Excellent plugin, really easy to get set up. The one caveat to using it is you’ve got to make sure when all your products have height, weight, and all the dimensions in it. So other than that if you don’t have all of the dimensions and the weight in the product, then it won’t show Canada Post as a shipping option. Other than that, a really great plugin. If it didn’t have a premium version, it would’ve got a 5, so we knock one off and we give it a 4-Dragon rating. Go check it out: the Canada Post (BASIC) WooCommerce Extension.
Marcus: Very nice. The next plugin I have here is a malicious code scanner and it is a plugin that was created by Magda Sicknick, and they created this – I’ll quote them: “Because my own WordPress site got hacked and I needed a quick way to track down files which have had code injected into them.” So what this plugin does is it actually scans your code on your site for specific keywords that are typically found to be common within WordPress code injection situations, and it actually reports back those vital results for you.
So it’s kind of a necessity out of need plugin that someone developed this and it’s very simple, really easy to use, doesn’t require all that bloatware or all those other things. It just kind of looks for the basic signs if there’s anything that might be infected. It’s called Code Scanner and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: I’m gonna have to add that to my arsenal of stuff for when I’m fixing hacked WordPress websites.
John: That will be quite nice because a lot of times I just do manual scanning because I pretty much know where the hackers put their stuff until they start changing it up again.
John: All right —
Marcus: So this searches for keyword-based, like pharmaceutical stuff or whatever the typical kinds of —
John: Yeah, there’s a lot of —
Marcus: Hacks —
John: There’s a lot of typical hacks that go into —
John: — WordPress websites because they don’t want your information; they want your website for spamming and sending out emails and SEO spam, etc., etc. That’s what they want your website for more than anything else.
John: It just creates a mess of your content is all it ever does. Okay, and this week we currently still have a contest running until the end of the month and WP Nearby Places has provided us with a premium license to give away. If you’ve been paying attention to the newsletter, you will have saw some surprises there, so make sure you’re registered for that.
So we’re giving away a premium license for the premium version of WP Nearby Places. It’s a really excellent plugin. I’ve used it myself and it helps you produce Google Maps for your site visitors. So go check it out at wppluginsatoz.com/contests for more information. And if you also take a few minutes and go check out the interview I did with Albert Harlow from WP Nearby Places where we discuss the plugin a bit more in depth. There’s a link in the show notes to that.
And if you’re in a hurry to get the plugin, use the coupon code FLASH for WP Nearby Places to get 25% off the plugin, so go check it out.
And also, all contests on wppluginsatoz.com are powered by the Simple Giveaways plugin, so thank you very much to them for supplying us with the premium version of the plugin.
Marcus: Yeah, we’d love the support that all the developers out there are showing to the show.
Marcus: So we thank them very much.
John: Lots of support from the developers from the show and we really appreciate it.
That brings us up to our next set of plugins, and the next one I’ve got for you here is —
Marcus: Doesn’t support a developer
John: It doesn’t support a developer. No, but what it does is it helps clean out some extra bit of – an extra line of code in your website. It probably doesn’t save you much in speed but it’s to remove Yoast SEO comments, because they are just comments at the bottom of your website. If you use the Yoast SEO plugin, at the bottom of every page you get a tagline that says, “This site is optimized with the Yoast SEO plugin.” This plugin does nothing more than remove that line.
You plug it in, turn it on, and that line vanishes from your website. It’s a way to hide what plugin you’re using. It’s kind of a useful way that way. At any rate, I give it a 5-Dragon rating because it is one of those quick, easy, and lazy plugins.
Marcus: Yeah, that’s pretty lousy that Yoast does that.
John: He does a lot of things, you know. His plugins – great. Some of the things he does are great, but some of the things he does just make me shake my head. Really? Really, Yoast?
Marcus: Yeah. Yep, all right – finally, I needed to do a business directory and I didn’t want to use a business directory theme. I just wanted a cool plugin to do it and it was simple because I only needed to put six business in that were around one specific town. So I used HSW Directory. It is a free business directory plugin with premium features included. It actually requires the Advance Custom Fields plugin, so if you don’t have that – which you can get at the Repository. You can’t get the premium version but you can definitely use the regular free version.
It helps to list any kinds of business. It’s map box powered, so it’s got mapping and geolocation, address finders, easy templates, customization, and auto-map stuff, so this is a quick and easy kind of free thing that if you had more than I’d say five, six, maybe ten businesses, you probably would want to use something a little more heavy-duty. But for simple business listings or maybe you have a small membership where you want to list a few people that might not even be location-dependent, this is a great way to do it. It’s called HSW Directory and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Yeah, that’s a pretty cool looking plugin.
John: Okay, well that brings us up to listener feedback and donor support. We really like listener feedback and if you would like to support the show and give us some feedback, you can go to our website and click the SpeakPipe in the lower right-hand corner or send us an email through our contact page or contact us via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube – any of our social media spots that we’re at. Go check it out and send us information and your questions. We really like ‘em.
And this section here is sponsored by WP Nearby Places, where you can customize your Google Maps to skyrocket your SEO, 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 map theme 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 on which version you purchase, provides the location’s names, address, URL, website address, phone number, and distance in miles or kilometers from the central location.
There are three versions available: basic, which is free and available through WordPress.org, pro, and premium, which is offered up at their website, so details about all their licensed versions, check out their website at wpnearbyplaces.com. You can show off your neighbors by categories. Featured neighbors – the most exciting feature is the ability to feature all the neighbors in and around your website or your business, and this is an excellent feature that allows you to pick and choose the neighbors in and around you that you want to showcase. You can just pick them because you like them or you can try to sell them the ad space to help earn a little bit of extra revenue for your website. So go check it out: WP Nearby Places.
Marcus: Yep, I’m looking forward to checking that out, by the way. I can’t wait.
John: I know; it’s coming your way. It is. All right, and this show here is a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give 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 their notes. And for those that are $50 and below, they remain anonymous, and this week we would like to thank all of those who came in under $50 and those who have set up small subscriptions, so thank you very much for your support of the show.
The money we collect from there does not go into our pocket. It goes to support the show by paying for things such as transcripts, bandwidth, server space, etc., etc. All of the general things that are required to just maintain and operate a website. Believe it or not —
Marcus: Oh, can I say one of them? Can I say one of the cool things that we’re doing?
Marcus: Is we are taking portions of our transcript of the reviews of plugins that we get in the repository and we’re having one of our staff people actually go in and put that review in the plugin review section within the Repository.
John: Oh, yeah! That’s being —
Marcus: So that we’re providing some feedback to the developer themselves and so that other people can say, “Wow, these guys really did their stuff in their conversation.” We literally paste the whole conversation verbatim into the review box so that people can get our full take on it.
John: Yep, there you go. Yeah, that just started a couple of weeks ago when I hired on the second person to my staff.
Marcus: Yeah, nobody else is doing that.
John: I put her to work doing that.
John: All right, and if you want to support the show, go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate. Lots of choices there for ways to support the show.
And this brings us up to our final set of plugins for this week, and the last one I’ve got for you here is another WooCommerce plugin. It’s called WooCommerce Product Disclaimer and this one here is a very useful one to have. If you have products that you sell that are one-off, once someone buys it and pays for it, there’s no refunds, etc., etc. Or it has special things that require with it and you need to make sure the client has acknowledged that information before they actually finish purchasing it. That’s what this plugin does.
So the moment they click on it to add it to their shopping cart, a window pops up with a disclaimer that you’ve set and they have to accept that disclaimer before it can be added to the shopping cart. So this is a way to ensure that you don’t get blowback from people that haven’t read the fine print or that pretend they haven’t read the fine print. Because even if they don’t read that fine print, they click the ‘accept’ button, which means they should have read that fine print.
So it’s a very useful plugin. I use it for my client’s site because they have a few products that are specific that way and we needed to control that. So anyway, easy to set up, useful plugin, free in the Repository. Go check it out: the WooCommerce Product Disclaimer and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: It’s funny, I just had the conversation with my wife today. I said, “In my next life, I’m coming back as an intellectual property lawyer.”
John: That’s probably the biggest growth area for the next few years.
Marcus: Oh, for the next few? Come on, all the devi- — we’re gonna be device-heavy and tech-heavy for the rest of our lives.
John: Ah, that’s true. True.
Marcus: I mean, it’s gonna need a disclaimer.
John: Oh, yeah.
Marcus: All right, so this is probably one of the most groundbreaking plugins I’ve ever brought to the show. I’m not saying that lightly and I’m also saying this at the end of the show, so thank you for listening to the end of the show. I’m rewarding you right now with one of the most excellent plugins I’ve ever seen for WordPress. It’s called WP Imager and what it is is it’s an image editor – yeah, an image editor that lets you create all kinds of images with effects like adding circular text or curved text, gradient backgrounds, gradient text. You can take a screenshot on your desktop and paste it into the editor on WordPress.
Here’s what it’s got. It’s got the typically whizzy wig editor, it has layers like Photoshop does (hide, lock, sort – whatever you want). It can use icons from Font Awesome – there’s 500 of those. There’s 700 different Google Fonts you can use in this image editor. That’s something I don’t even think Photoshop does. I think you’ve got to download them one-by-one.
John: Yeah, you gotta have them all installed on your computer.
Marcus: It’s got a color palate with material design. It does circular, curved text, stroke, shadow, fill with your text. It draws custom shapes, polygons, you could upload images to put within the image, it does cropping, resizing, rotating, transparencies, transformations, you can blur stuff, gradient, radial, stripes, container shapes, you can alter by points, and it still does undo and redo, and then you can download the image right to your computer and check it out and, you know, give it to somebody for approval or do whatever you want to do with it.
It’s awesome. Really.
Marcus: It’s WP Imager and it gets a 5 out of 5.
John: Yeah, I was just reading through some of the features in it. It looks to be quite nice. It looks like a lite version of Photoshop for WordPress.
Marcus: Yep, that’s exactly what it is.
John: Yeah, it’s something.
Marcus: Thank you, people listening to the end of the show.
Marcus: This is your reward. I’m not telling anybody else about this.
John: Yeah, very —
Marcus: It’s just on the end of the show.
John: There you go.
Marcus: It’s for you guys. Don’t tell anybody.
John: Don’t – don’t spread the word yet.
John: All right, well that brings us up to wrap up. I covered up in this episode the Canada Post (BASIC) WooCommerce Extension, which I gave a 4 to. I covered up the Remove Yoast SEO Comments, which I gave a 5 to. And then I covered up the WooCommerce Product Disclaimer, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about the Code Scanner, which gets a 5 out of 5, HSW Directory gets a 4 out of 5, and WP Imager – if I could give it a 6, man, I would.
John: Yeah, wow.
Marcus: But it gets a 5 out of 5.
John: Yeah, I’m gonna have to give that a shot because that just looks like it’d be very nice. I want to see what kind of images it produces. So yeah, I’ll keep that one in there.
Marcus: Well – okay, how would you and I use it? Well yeah, covers of our —
John: Oh, I’d use it for the – I’d use it for all the featured images in our podcast that are —
John: — that I’ve got to change in Fireworks every week.
Marcus: That’s right.
John: So it’s like I’d use it for that. If I can do that and put one up there and use that same image to edit it and save a new one each week, it would save having to open Fireworks, edit, save the image, upload the image. Right there in WordPress?
John: It could probably save —
Marcus: Just —
John: — five.
Marcus: — save it right to the Media Library and you’re done.
John: Yeah, you’d probably save five to ten minutes of time per post.
John: Which adds up to a lot of time over the course of a year. I mean, consider this is Episode 366, so we now have over seven years of episodes —
John: — is what we’ve got of weekly episodes. So that’s a lot of time.
Marcus: And also, some people don’t have Photoshop or Fireworks or things like that.
John: Yeah, that’s true.
Marcus: Or they don’t have them on their computer.
Marcus: This is all browser-based.
John: Yeah, that’s expensive software. I know; I bought mine.
John: Okay, well that’s a wrap up for it and be sure to go check out our YouTube channel for screencasts, training videos, and more. And if you’re a developer out there and you want to support the show and offer up a premium license to give away, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contests and give us all the details.
That’s all we’ve got for you now. 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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