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WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #374 here.
It’s Episode 374 and we’ve got plugins for Change History, Login Modals, YouTube Embeds, Emailing All Users, WooCommerce PDF Invoices and Member lists. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Marcus: It’s Episode 374 and we’ve got plugins for Change History, Login Modals, YouTube Embeds, Emailing All Users, WooCommerce PDF Invoices and Member lists. 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 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 here today, 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, and in the iTunes Store, subscribing to the show and leaving us reviews. They really help the show out when you take a few minutes and give us a review.
Marcus: Yeah, we are slipping in the rankings a little bit, so we do need your help to kind of push that satellite back up in the air.
Marcus: We do appreciate that. Check out our training videos, screencasts, and watch us live on YouTube the first Monday of every month at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. We’ve got a lot of cool stuff on YouTube. Also remember to follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz and subscribe to our newsletter from our website, wppluginsatoz.com. That’s where we keep all the WordPress-related news because this is where you’re gonna find the plugins.
John: Absolutely. And of course, with that being said, it’s time to dive right into the meat and potatoes.
First up today I have a plugin for those of you that are in need of setting up tracking on your WordPress websites. You want tracking for if you build out a website for a client, then you’re responsible for maintaining it and keeping it up to date. Maybe your client decides to go in there one day and do some updates and it breaks, and then they go, “I don’t know. I didn’t do anything,” well this is a plugin that can go in and see, “Oh, you updated this plugin and it shouldn’t have been updated yet,” or they did something. It tracks all kinds of things in there from posts and page changes to plugin updates and theme updates. Anything that’s done to the database, this plugin tracks it for you.
It’s a very simple one. It gives you a simple display. It keeps the data for 60 days or more; you can delete it as you need to. Go back and review and see what was done or changed and who did what and where. It’s a really great plugin for doing the tracking. I use it on a couple of websites so I can keep track of what’s happening with them.
A nice little plugin. Go check it out; Simple History and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Yeah, that’s very valuable. Any client site, you should be adding that in there.
John: Yeah, I —
Marcus: Just to make sure.
John: — started adding it to all client sites that I do maintenance and monitoring on.
Marcus: Nice. All right, the first one I’ve got out of the gate – last week, I talked about bringing some Envato Elements plugins to light and I’m gonna continue with that trend. This one is called WordPress Modal Login. Now, a modal is what we used to call a lightbox. It was these things that just kind of pop up in front of you, which is pretty cool. This allows you to not even have to worry about a dedicated page in terms of your login. I know, John, in weeks past you had talked about modifying and customizing the login. This actually just creates kind of a popup modal, which is pretty cool, so that you just – they just click log in or something like that on the site and this pops up.
So you can also register with this, too. So what does it do? It pops up, it’s custom, it also has things like, you know, forgotten password and all that kind of stuff so you can completely customize the new user’s registration email. And the really cool thing is it actually protects registration by using the Google ReCAPTCHA formula, so that’s like click on everything that has a stop sign on it or a click on all the pictures that have a storefront —
John: Oh, yeah.
Marcus: — and things. I’m sure you’ve seen things like that.
John: Oh yeah, that’s quite annoying.
Marcus: Well, it is but it also keeps the hackers out.
John: It does.
Marcus: And if you’re using it on one of your own sites —
John: I —
Marcus: — it’s probably pretty valuable.
John: Yeah, I use it on several. I still find it annoying.
Marcus: Yeah. So this does everything that your typical process would do but it allows you to customize the look and feel and it’s translation-ready. It does everything else that you need it to do for registration but it does it in a cool popup kind of modal style. It’s called WordPress Modal Login and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: That’s kind of cool. That’s better than having them send it to the login page.
John: Keep them right there in front.
Marcus: Exactly, and they can log in from anywhere with just one click and then the modal pops up.
John: Nice. Okay, well this podcast currently brought to you by…
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Marcus: Yes, and once you’ve got that website down, you’re gonna need some marketing services, and my company, X2 Marketing is a full service digital marketing and brand development agency. So whether you’re just a one-man band or a one-person shop, or whatever it happens to be, or you’re an enterprise-level company or somewhere in between as a small business, I can help you out with WordPress solutions, click funnels, landing pages, social campaigns, SEO, paid ads, and even InfusionSoft management – all that stuff. So visit x2marketing.com and get in touch with me about your digital marketing needs.
John: Absolutely. And of course, we are currently running a contest through to the end of the month. The last day of September, September 30th is the final day to enter the contest. We’ll be announcing the winner on October 1st at the live show and we are currently giving away an ultimate bundle license provided to us from Book List at wpbooklist.com, so the plugin is WP Book List. And what it is is a plugin that strives to be the ultimate book management tool, whether you’re an author, publisher, librarian, or bookstore owner or simply a lover of books. WP Book List has something for you.
It allows you to scour Amazon and other sources to download information about the title, cover images, publication date, etc. And it also allows you to customize the area up including the ability to use the popular Amazon Affiliate extension, so you can bulk load information simply by scanning a book and uploading it to your book list. So go check this out at wpbooklist.com and take a few minutes, enter the contest at wppluginsatoz.com/contests.
And if you’re in a hurry to get the plugin, we’ve got a $12-off coupon for the WP Book List. Just enter the code: ULTIMATE20 – all caps – and save. Go check it out.
And all our contests are powered by the Simple Giveaways plugin, and we thank them very much for providing us with the plugin to service up all of these contests. Thank you very much.
Marcus: I had a great idea for this just now.
John: What’s that?
Marcus: I’m gonna enter because I want to win this.
Marcus: So —
John: You’re not eligible.
Marcus: Hey! Why aren’t I?
John: You’re a host on the show, man.
Marcus: So? So what?
John: We’ll ask the developer for a test version for you.
Marcus: Well okay, but in the meantime I am gonna enter, so you guys out there better enter or else I’m gonna win.
Marcus: So you’ve gotta spoil it for me. I have something that I’m working on right now where I have a ton of different kinds of tools and resources, but I never really thought of putting like a reading list together.
Marcus: And this is more marketing-based and —
John: Oh, that’s nice idea.
Marcus: — and different things like that. And now that I’m looking at this again, I think that would be a great thing to use, because then you could add new stuff all the time to it. So —
John: Yeah, you could.
Marcus: So I’m gonna check this one out myself.
John: Yeah, that’s another excellent list for this plugin. I was trying – I was thinking of using this plugin for my Hike Club for Men where I’m starting to read books that were relative to the group.
Marcus: Mm-hm, yeah.
John: All right —
Marcus: I think this would work.
John: It’s a great plugin. It’s got a lot of potential. So at any rate, this brings us up to our next set of plugins, and the one I’ve got for you next is called Embed Plus YouTube Plugin. Now many years ago, I reviewed an early version of this plugin. I can’t remember what they called it back then, but it was created by the same guys here. But they’ve updated this plugin over the years and their most recent updates have been fantastic.
What this plugin is used for is to embed YouTube videos on your site. I currently use it on the WP Plugins site and JohnOverall.com to embed all the YouTube videos, and it allows you to go in and quickly embed a single video or it allows you to go in there and embed playlists or channels or anything else. And if you embed channels in there or playlists – like for example the training playlist of videos I embed. You embed the playlist in there and then what happens is every time a new video is uploaded it your YouTube channel, on your website it automatically updates the page to the latest training video at the top and puts the older ones underneath in the list.
So it’s very fantastic for making some automation stuff on your site so you don’t have to go in and update your pages all the time. The other thing is if you opt for the premium version (which is what I currently use), it gives you even more flexibility and layout in the design and tweaks that it will do for you.
All in all, this is really fantastic and one of the things they recently added to the plugin is a way to monetize the videos you display on your website without depending on YouTube to help you monetize them. It’s kind of an interesting thing. I’m not sure exactly how it works. I haven’t signed up for the service yet, but it’s something I’m inquiring into.
At any rate, a fantastic plugin since I reviewed and used both the free version and the premium version. Currently, I give it a rating of 4 for the free version, which of course loses one, and then a 5 for the premium version.
Marcus: Beautiful – that’s pretty cool. Does it allow you to import somebody else’s channel?
John: Oh, absolutely. You can import any channel you can get. I’ve used it on other websites to import other playlists from different YouTube channels.
John: All in the same website.
John: You know – so yeah, if it’s publicly available on YouTube, you can put it on your site. All you’ve gotta do is go create a YouTube API key.
Marcus: Pretty cool. All right, this plugin is called Email All Users. Wanna take a guess as to what it does?
John: Emails all your users?
John: Ah, how about that? A title that actually tells what it does.
Marcus: It gives a little admin widget which actually you can send a mass email to all your registered users in your WordPress site. Really easy to do. You can change the subject and the mail to, link titles, all that stuff. It then creates that mail to link which includes all the users on your website.
So if you have this install, it basically allows you to contact everybody, which is pretty cool. It’s called Email All Users – semi-lazy plugin, because you still have to type the email in – but I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: That’s pretty cool. You could use that if you’ve got a big list in your e-store or something to send out a mass notification real quick or something.
Marcus: Right, flash sale.
John: Flash sale. Hey, flash sale! We’re selling off something here. Come spend your money now.
Marcus: Yeah, or if you had your historical plugin, you could say, “Hey, I know you’ve changed the site, people.”
John: There you go.
Marcus: Pretty cool.
John: Okay, and listener feedback. We do love listener feedback and if you’d like to leave us some, hit us up on our Contact page, hit us up at SpeakPipe, leave us a voicemail message. Hit us up on your social media, be it Twitter, YouTube, or Facebook. We do try to get back to you as fast as we can. And if you’ve got questions, we will answer them. Sometimes it may take a little bit but you get some free advice out of it, so hey, check it out and hit us up.
And we also like to acknowledge this show is a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. And for that, we like to acknowledge donations over $50 with their notes read out and currently we have none at the moment. But at our live show, we read out any that arrive in.
And if you’d like to support the show, please go to our website at wppluginsatoz.com/donate, and there’s multiple ways you can support the show there.
Hey, and that brings us to our final set of plugins for today. And the last one I’ve got for you here is one I’ve been using for quite some time on a client’s website and I’m surprised I never got around to reviewing it. It’s called Members List and it’s a freemium plugin I’m currently using the free version on my client’s website and what it’s for is some of my clients that have membership websites, they’re groups. What they need to do is they need to showcase their membership list to other members within the group so they can look each other up, look up their images, their names, their address, phone numbers, emails, etc., so it’s shared within the group. This isn’t for like an e-commerce store or something.
But what it does is it allows you to create a very nice looking display of members in your site and someone can go into the list and they can sort the list alphabetically by first and last name, they can sort the list by email, phone number, address. There’s multiple ways to sort the lists with just a click of a button, which makes it very easy to find who you’re looking for. It also has the capability of in the free version with CSS and a little bit of work with CSS, you can customize the layout of the list.
Now, if you go to their premium version, they have some premade templates for you that make it a whole lot better and they have a few other features in there. But I really didn’t need those features; I just needed the list and of course do a little CSS to make the list look good.
At any rate, it’s a really fantastic little plugin. It’ll help you out if you’ve got one of those membership sites that the groups need to share their membership list with each other, make it easy to look them up. Go check this out. It’s called Member List and it’s a freemium plugin and you’ve gotta download the plugin directly from their site – it’s not available at wordpress.org – and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Very cool. I like that. Okay, continuing with our WooCommerce theme (or at least mine) you could tell what I’ve been working on . So this one is called WooCommerce PDF Invoice and More, and I’ve reviewed some PDF invoice plugins before, but I think this one really takes the cake as far as functionality. What it does is it’s an extension that automatically adds on to WooCommerce and this can generate not just an invoice, but it can also do the packing slip, it can do like a delivery ticket or whatever it is that you set up, and it can also do a numbering system with custom formatting to sync with your back office as far as what the invoice numbers are.
Marcus: Pretty cool. You can customize the date, you can do custom currency so it’s gonna work around the globe, no matter what currency you use. It has a templated footer section where you can put your business slogan or logos or anything like that to really customize it out. And it also gives the ability to have their customers retrieve and download old invoices from their My Account page when they log in, which is also pretty key because otherwise somebody might call you and say, “I need the invoice for this,” or “I need the packing…” You know, whatever it happens to be.
The thing I thought was really cool too is the admin options that are involved in this so you can look up invoices on the backend from that. You can send an email from the order table with an invoice attachment on it. And this is pretty key – this is where it came in handy for me – is that you can have it auto-generate invoices and packing slips and things like that based on when the order comes in real-time, and it sends the PDFs as attachments.
So I have this printer; it’s an old Brother multifunction printer, but I think a lot of printers do this.
Marcus: Where you can assign an email address to your actual printer, and if you email it something that has a PDF attachment, it prints it out.
John: Oh, cool!
Marcus: So this could be a good solution for somebody – pending it has that functionality. So I thought this was a perfect plugin but I was fooled because there’s also a pro version of this as well that does way more stuff than that even. I was shocked because the free plugin itself did everything that I needed it to do.
Marcus: So this is really cool. I would’ve given it a perfect 5 but there’s a pro version that I didn’t review, so I’m gonna give this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Excellent. Yeah, I was surprised you’re going through all that and that’s a free version? Like every PDF plugin I’ve tested for WooCommerce is lacking half that stuff.
Marcus: Yeah. And all those things I mentioned —
John: In various stages.
Marcus: — that’s in the free version.
John: Yeah, it’s various stages, it’s lacking half that stuff so they’ve never been what I needed, and this is exactly what I need for my client that has the brick and mortar store —
John: — to go with her e-commerce site, so for printing the invoices.
John: Because the WooCommerce invoices basically suck and —
Marcus: Yup, and so for me, I combine this with a – there’s a service-based website —
Marcus: — that I’m putting together.
Marcus: But they have to have a $100 deposit to book their time.
Marcus: So what it does is it’s gonna take the $100 deposit and then it emails the invoice for the rest of the balance.
John: Very cool. That is very nice. I like that. Go check that one out, folks. All right, well closing out this episode, I covered up Simple History, which I gave a 4 to; the Embed Plus YouTube Plugin, which I gave a 4 and a 5 to; and the Members List plugin, which I gave a 4.
Marcus: And I talked about the WordPress Modal Login, which gets a 4 out of 5, Email All Users gets a 4 out of 5, and WooCommerce PDF Invoice and More gets a 4 out of 5.
John: And of course a couple of quick reminders and promotions…please check out the Victoria WordPress Meetup group on October 9th and we have a special guest speaker coming in, and he’s going to give a presentation on using GravityForms and all the multitudes of ways you can use GravityForms to enhance your website. It’s gonna be a fantastic show and it’s gonna be again livestreamed, so make sure you check it out and save the date.
And also, go check out our YouTube channel for all screencasts and training videos and more. 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, please 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.