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 #368 here.
It’s Episode 368 and we’ve got plugins for Content Curation, Sale Countdown, Clickable Maps, Reviving Old Posts, Printed Product Flyers and Editing User Roles. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 368 and we’ve got plugins for Content Curation, Sale Countdown, Clickable Maps, Reviving Old Posts, Printed Product Flyers and Editing User Roles. 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 sweltering shores of Laguna Beach, California, I’m Marcus Couch.
John: Yeah, I hear it’s sweltering quite nicely down there in Southern California.
Marcus: That’s all right. I’ll take sweltering over burning down to the ground any day.
John: Well, there’s that problem, too. We don’t have that up here; it’s been rather nice.
John: In fact, it’s been cool and overcast and about 70 degrees for you.
Marcus: Wow. Our water temperature in the ocean is that right now. [laughing]
John: Oh yeah, not ours. All right, well at any rate, welcome to the show and of course right off the top, don’t forget 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, the iTunes Store, leaving us a review and subscribing to the show there. And also take a few minutes, go over to YouTube where you’re watching this right now hopefully and check out our training videos, screencasts. There is actually a new training video up there so hey, subscribe to us there also, so check us out.
Marcus: Right. And if you use Twitter (which most of us do), check us out at @wppluginsatoz. You can also subscribe to our newsletter. That’s where we keep all the news, all the pertinent information, all the discounts, all the cool stuff related to plugins, but we talk about the news in our newsletter because we like to keep the plugins right here on the show.
John: Absolutely. With all that being said, it’s time to dive right into the meat and potatoes.
[Plugins lead-in music]
All right, first up here I am revisiting a plugin I gave a fantastic review to a few years ago when I first started using it. It’s called Curation Suite, and this plugin used to be one of my favorite plugins. It was a great tool for bringing in news and information to your website. It was great for curating the news segment that we used to publish on a continuous regular basis at WP Plugins, and I’ve used it for many other areas.
Now, that being said, it’s a great plugin. I’ve had it for about four years. I bought into it back when they first started and they were giving out a lifetime kind of license and they grandfathered me in, which was really cool. I like when companies do that when they give out these really inexpensive licenses then they get successful and they grandfather in the original people.
But about six months ago, I started having some problems with the functionality. It was creating problems and the updates weren’t coming as well. And I started and I reached out to contact the support, and they had always been fantastic in the past whenever I had any issues, so I expected more of the same from them. Well, not so much this time. I reached out to them through their support system and since it was low-priority item for me, I didn’t give it much thought. I actually kind of lost track of it and a couple of months went by and I finally had the time to come back to it again, and I realized they never responded to my ticket. And so I reached out to them again for the same problem.
This time, I gave them a week or so – still no response – so I reached out with a brand new support ticket. No response again, and so at this point here, I really wanted to get this plugin working and functioning properly for my sites again and I also wanted to use it on a new site and I was unable to get it to set up. So I’d reached out through that; I found their email address, which is hard to find on their website. I emailed them directly, still no response. I reached out to them through Twitter, Facebook, every possible channel that they have available off of their website for contact.
I did this over the course of two months trying to get some help and support. I got zero – zero help and support – not even a contact to say, “Hey, we’re trying to solve a problem.” And yet every time I go to their site, they’re always trying to upgrade me to their new system and other stuff, so I finally just surrendered to it. I had to pitch this plugin out and unfortunately, I have to reach back and yank that 5-star review they had and drop them all the way back down to a 2 and recommend you don’t use it.
[sad horn tone]
John: I hate doing that to someone. But when I tried as hard as I did to get the support and I got nothing —
Marcus: Yeah. It turned all of your enthusiasm to anger, and that sucks when somebody does that with little to no support on their end. It would’ve taken two minutes to respond to you.
John: Yeah, and considering I reached out through all their social media channels – I didn’t reach out publicly because I’m not really big on trying to publicly shame someone until it gets to this point where I just put it into the show and that’s all the —
John: — shaming they get.
Marcus: Well, let’s hope to – let me put a little sugar in this —
Marcus: — sour lemonade right now with one of my plugins. I had a project that I was doing for a friend and I came across this plugin called Interactive US Map, and it’s a premium plugin. I did pay for it. It was $29 at CodeCanyon. Basically, here’s what the whole thing was is they have a charitable organization in which they have a cause and they have different I guess activist things that you can do based on what state you’re in, right?
So this did exactly what I needed it to do. It put a graphic U.S. map up on WordPress. I inserted it with just a shortcode. It allowed me to do a description on the hover in terms of when they hover over any state or things like that. I can change the image, I can change the text, and then I can change what happens when they click the link and what page it goes to, so I literally set up 50 pages with a bulk page creator. And from that, I mapped it all. It took me maybe 10 minutes to copy all of the URLs and the state names and everything else into the editor and boom, it worked with just a shortcode. It was out of the box ready to go.
The thing I like about this plugin is beyond the functionality of it, it’s got a visual editor, so there’s really no coding whatsoever that you need to do. Very easy to do – you can do up to three different kinds of map variants within the plugin. You can use it on – it’s totally responsive, so you can use it on desktop as well as smartphones and graphically, it looks pretty amazing on either one, and this is a one-time purchase. There are no subscription fees, annual renewals, licensing, anything like that. Once you buy the plugin from them, it’s yours and you get free upgrades for life.
So for $29 to solve a problem that a friend needed on their site and literally had no way to do this, they had been searching for probably three years for something like this and I finally found it. I found it on CodeCanyon. It is a premium plugin – again, it’s $29. It worked absolutely perfect for me. If you want, I left a link in the show notes as far as a YouTube video that you can watch and see how it works yourself. It gets from me a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: That’s quite the plugin. I seem to recall running across this plugin a couple, three years ago when it was in its first original forms.
Marcus: Yeah, so by the way, it’s not limited to just the U.S.
Marcus: They have other variants on their site.
John: Oh, yeah. I’ve been skimming around there and it’s nice.
Marcus: Yeah, so let’s just say I was using the State of California and I wanted to click on the individual counties within California. I could do that, so that’s what’s pretty cool about this plugin is they have different variations. You could use Europe, Africa, the U.K. – any of those particular things, so they’ve mapped it all out for you. There’s really nothing else that you have to do other than put the destination links and alter what colors you want for the map itself and what the hover colors are. It’s an amazing plugin – well done. The site is wpmapplugins.com, so you should check them out.
John: Yeah, it’s very nice and it looks like it might help me with – I just took on a new project last week and they’ve got something similar to sorting out the state fair, and so I think this’ll be a very useful tool.
Marcus: Yeah, it’s beautiful.
John: Excellent! Well… [garbled speech]
Marcus: Easy for you to say.
John: Yeah, there goes my tongue. My brain just —
John: — exited the head. Anyway, this show here currently brought to you by…
With all the changes in website requirements, pulled, compromised, and abandoned plugins out there, now is the time to update and upgrade your WordPress website. JohnOverall.com has 20+ years’ experience and offers hosting, maintenance programs, support, and more to keep your site up-to-date and running smoothly. We offer free estimates and only bill you for the time used, not by the block. While you’re caring for your business, let JohnOverall.com care for your website. Think of us when you think of WordPress. Visit JohnOverall.com.
All right – well, and don’t forget —
John: — visit JohnOverall.com. I can sort out everything you need.
Marcus: There you go. Hey, I got an announcement, John.
John: Do you? What is it?
Marcus: I started a new podcast.
John: Excellent! What’s your new podcast?
Marcus: Yeah, so this is kind of a regional thing, so any of you that are Chicago Bulls fans, I just started the Bulls Podcast, and I’ve actually already got two episodes in the queue, and the reaction’s been pretty amazing. I never really thought I’d be a sports podcaster —
Marcus: — and you’d be surprised as to how fast I talk in the podcast.
Marcus: [laughing] It’s amazing! Like rattling off stats like I’m on ESPN. It’s great.
John: There you go. [Inaudible – 10:54] your career.
Marcus: Check it out: bullspodcast.com.
John: All right, a new future career for you. That’s a nice one. Repeat that again; I think I stepped on you.
Marcus: Yeah, it’s bullspodcast.com and it’s also bullspodcast on social, Twitter, Instagram, blah, blah, blah – all that.
John: Excellent. Okay, and for July’s contest for the WP Nearby Places license, we do have a winner. He has been notified, so thank you very much for everyone who participated. And coming up this month, we do have another premium license giveaway for WP Nearby Places. It’s in the process of getting set up and should be ready later this week, so make sure you get in there and register and sign up for the contest.
Marcus: Great, and I know you had that interview with the developer, Albert Harlow.
Marcus: And I got that link in the show notes. Hey, also if you don’t win the contest or you didn’t win the contest, you can use the coupon code FLASH and you’ll get 25% off of the plugin, so check that out.
John: Absolutely. And of course, the contests are powered by Simple Giveaway Plugin, who were kind enough to give us a pro version of their plugin to use for all the contests, so check out that plugin. It’s a fantastic plugin. It works very nicely and worth the money.
John: Okay, and this brings us up to our next set of plugins, and the next one I’ve got for you here is Revive Old Posts – Auto Post to Social Media. Now, this is an older plugin but it is kept up-to-date and it still works quite well. And if you have a site that has a buildup of content that’s still relevant – just older content, which we happen to have at WP Plugins – this plugin here helps you get that content back into the wild for people to see and view.
It lets you queue up posts to be scheduled and post to Twitter and Facebook, sort of. Facebook’s been going through so many changes, they’ve made it harder to auto publish lately, so that’s something you may have to dig into a little bit. But the Twitter portion still works quite well until Twitter starts messing with their system.
At any rate, you will have to look for some workarounds for Facebook, but all in all, a pretty great plugin. It’s really nice for getting your content out there to help keep people coming back to your website. Go check it out: Revive Old Posts and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Nice. Yeah, I’ve used that one myself. It’s really nice – especially in Twitter, because then you can maintain an active presence and social —
Marcus: — and not really have to do anything.
John: Yeah, and I recently connected it up for a client’s website that they needed to get some of their old content back out into the wild, and that’s why it —
John: — came back to my thing. I know I may have reviewed this sometime in the past, but it’s hard to say. I mean, after 368 shows and —
John: — 10,000 plugins we’ve reviewed – not quite that many, but pretty close.
Marcus: [chuckle] Cool.
John: We’ve done thousands of plugins, I know that.
Marcus: That’s for sure. Okay, the next plugin I have is called Countdown WooCommerce Sale, and this is pretty unique. You know, we’ve used a lot of countdown timers and things before, but this is a pretty simple timer add-on to WooCommerce that actually counts down the remaining time in a sale. So once the timer reaches zero, the sale ends and the price is automatically adjusted back to full price.
Now, it’s really cool and I was inspired actually to research this based on Amazon Prime Day. I looked at all these windows that they had and it had like, you know, “16 hours left in this sale…” “12 hours left in this sale…” “Oh, this one’s gonna end in 30 minutes,” or whatever. So this does exactly the same functionality. So for retailers or developers out there, this is kind of your chance to run that Sale of the Day so you could alternate between different products and it has a nice little box that goes underneath the product image and basically says how much time is left.
This allows you to do a fixed discount amount, a discount percentage, discount rate, the date of the sale finished – all that stuff is displayed within the timer. A really nice plugin and I think anybody that’s got a WooCommerce store should probably think about something like this, even if you’re gonna make it so that every product might have a sale or at least your most popular. That increases the demand because it kind of gives a scarcity of that particular sale and you might get a lot more purchases from the consumer out of that.
It’s called Countdown WooCommerce Sale and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very cool. I like that. I’m gonna have to talk to my client that I just finished a launch in their WooCommerce site about this one.
John: Absolutely – really nice tool there. They will be having sales on their products.
Marcus: Yeah, this is perfect so you can kind of set it and forget it in terms of a start date, end date, all that. Preload it and you’re off and running.
John: Start date and end dates? So you can – you set them in advance and it just…?
John: Oh, that’s really nice for someone who has a store with a lot of products they can set up a whole system of sales for a month.
Marcus: Yeah, I wish you could do – like okay, on the first of the month, this is on sale. On the third of the month, this is on sale. You can’t do that.
Marcus: But hey, for you plugin developers out there, that’s a fork you might want to think about.
John: There you go. Okay, this show here, we like listener feedback. And if you have any for us, please go to our Contact page, hit us up on SpeakPipe, lower right-hand corner of the website. Or, send us an email or contact us through our Facebook page or through…Twitter! There’s the word I’m looking for. [laughing]
John: So contact us there and send us your questions and feedback. We’d greatly appreciate it, and thinking of feedback, a couple of people on the livestream. We’ve got Favorite Grampy and Larry, and Larry said, “Congrats, Marcus on your new podcast,” so…
Marcus: Thanks! Thank you very much and hi, Manny.
John: Yeah, hi Manny.
Marcus: I’m so jealous of Manny. I’m like dieting right now and he has pretty amazing content of him going to different Disney things and all that.
John: Oh wow. [chuckling]
Marcus: Eating all the food that I’ve not been able to eat all year long, so…
John: There you go.
Marcus: Thanks, Manny for spoiling my appetite.
John: Show us all the good stuff at Disneyland.
John: 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 would like to acknowledge those who have supported the show in the past month. All donations $50 or more are read out and their note is published here. Those that come below $50 remain anonymous and thank you very much.
And over the past month, we had a couple of donations that came in from Jezweb Pty. Ltd. and one of them came in on July 9th and he sent us in $50 with the following note:
“This donation is on behalf of Jennings Print Group https://www.jenningsprint.com.au who provide print and signage services to businesses in Australia. It is a WordPress website created by Jezweb https://www.jezweb.com.au”
And on July 17th, he sent in another $50 for us with the following note:
“This donation is on behalf of Lakeside Air https://www.lakesideair.com.au who are a leading Daikin Air Conditioning installer in Newcastle Australia. It is a WordPress website created by Jezweb https://www.jezweb.com.au Thank you for continuing to review and discover new WordPress Plugins. Jez”
So thank you very much, Jez. We really appreciate your support of the show. It really helps us out and helps cover the expenses that are necessary for us.
John: And for those of you under $50 and are Patreon donors, thank you very much. We did get the donation that came in there. It’s small but hey, every little bit helps us out, so thanks very much for all your support.
Marcus: Absolutely. Yes, we appreciate everything. There are a number of ways that you can support the show. Just go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate. We are a totally listener-supported show, so make sure you help us out.
John: Absolutely. Okay, and our final set of plugins today…the last one I have for you is called User Role Editor and this one here I recently ran into when working on a new project I took on and in it, they had some really unique settings for their user roles, and in particular, the one I found most fascinating was it’s a membership site. Certain levels of memberships get different widgets in there.
Now, there’s multiple ways to do it, but I hadn’t really thought about using a role editor to deal with that, and that’s one of the really neat things that this plugin does. You can assign widgets to only show up at certain role levels in the site, thereby giving your different members different access to different things along the way. It also allows you to go in and create new roles and to adjust the roles for any user level except the administrator. The administrator must always have all the roles.
But other than that, it’s a really great plugin. It’s does some fantastic work. It does have a premium version, so because I was using the free version, I had to knock one point off of it. But the premium version is probably worth the money if you need the extended capabilities of it. But at the current rate of it to allow you to customize so many different areas of the website just based on user role, check this one out: User Role Editor and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Nice! I have used that one myself.
John: I didn’t – I never thought about the thing of controlling widgets with the user roles. I’d always used different plugins for it.
Marcus: Hm…yeah, that’s actually something that’s very, very handy.
Marcus: All right, I’m going to wrap it up here with a pretty cool plugin that you can use for WooCommerce. It’s called Print Flyers Lite, so this is a lite version of a premium plugin. What it allows you to do is print product flyers straight out of WooCommerce. So there’s different options that are available via different dashboard settings that help you control the appearance of the printed page, like you could change the size and position of the featured image, choose the fonts.
You can choose to show the SKU – you know, the product id – or not. The in-stock status or not. It is not a perfect kind of, you know, designed formatted PDF but I’ll tell you, it’s a heck of a lot better than just printing the webpage verbatim. It allows you to get a really nice printed view in which somebody can actually print out what your product is, what it does, a full description, a couple of different images in there, and it’s a really nice presentation.
It’s called Print Flyers Lite and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: That’s kind of nice. I like the way that works, so…
John: They got a lot of good tools for that one.
Marcus: Yeah, it’s just another add-on, so all you developers out there that are developing a WooCommerce site, this is something you can actually say that you do as well, which is, “Hey, I not only want to do the WooCommerce site and put all those cute, little sale timers on it with that other plugin that we talked about. But hey, if anybody wants to print anything out, here’s what a typical WooCommerce site prints out as you print the webpage and then compare it to using this plugin.”
Marcus: I think this plugin will help.
John: All right, well that closes out this episode here for us, and I covered up Curation Suite, which I gave a 2 to; the Revive Old Posts – Auto Post to Social Media, which I gave a 4 to; and then the User Role Editor, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I reviewed the Interactive U.S. Map premium plugin, which I gave a 5 out of 5, Countdown WooCommerce Sale gets a 5 out of 5, and Print Flyers gets a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice roundup today. And a couple of reminders…now one, I would like to mention this is mostly for the Victoria area, B.C., the Victoria WordPress Meetup Group which I run, and I wanted to let folks know, especially the listeners out there. Going into September, I will be starting to make presentations at the Victoria WordPress Meetup, giving two one-hour presentations per session. And what I’m going to do is I am going to record these sessions.
I’m going to make an attempt at livestreaming them but I don’t know if that’ll work, but they will be recorded and they will be put up on our YouTube channel. There are different sessions about the different things that WordPress can be. For example, the first session I’m giving in September is going to be how to set up WordPress basics and then how to properly set up and configure to the Yoast SEO plugin. Then there’s going to be more in I’ve also got some guest speakers that are coming in, some developers from in and around the Victoria area that’ll be presenting. So anyone who’s interested in it, you can find us on meetup.com and it’s the YYJ WordPress Meetup Group, so check it out.
And if you’re a listener here on the island or even over in Vancouver and you want to come over to the island and visit, hey, check us out and come visit and check out the Victoria WordPress Meetup Group.
Marcus: Nice. Yeah, I look forward to seeing that actually if you can manage to – if you’re gonna go live with that or recorded. That’ll be great.
John: I’m starting to experiment with how I’m gonna pull it off and get it all together, so —
Marcus: Do you have good Wi-Fi at the location?
John: I’m not sure. Most of the locations have good Wi-Fi. They’re happening in the rec centers and the schools and other places where there’s good Wi-Fi. If we don’t have it, I have high-quality internet on my phone or my iPad, so —
John: — anyway, I can pull it off. All right, and be sure to check out our YouTube channel for screencasts, training videos, and more. There’s a new training video up there right now I did last week on how to set up products in WooCommerce, so go check that out.
And a note to developers who would like to support the show: if you’d like to offer up a premium license to give away, go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contests.
And that’s pretty much 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.
[End of Audio]