Transcript of Episode 394 WP Plugins A to Z

All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of  John’s discussion of the weekly plugins he has reviewed.

WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #394 here.


John:    It’s Episode 394 and I’ve got plugins for managing comments, Zazzle listings, rolling back updates, listing plugins, and ClassicPress Options, all coming up next on WordPress Plugins from A to Z!


Episode #394

John:    It’s Episode 394 and I’ve got plugins for managing comments, Zazzle listings, rolling back updates, listing plugins, and ClassicPress Options, all coming up next on WordPress Plugins from A to Z!

[Intro]

WordPress, it’s the most popular content management and website solution on the internet. And with over 80,000 plugins to choose from, how do you separate the junk from the gems? Join us for a weekly unrehearsed conversation about the latest and greatest in WordPress plugins. This is WordPress Plugins from 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. And I have the usual great show for you today but right off the top, you can find all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com.

And if you’ve got a couple of minutes, I’d greatly appreciate your time over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, or in the iTunes Store, leaving a review for the show and subscribing to it there. You can also subscribe and check out training videos, screencasts, and more here on our YouTube channel where I’m putting up stuff semi-regularly now.

Also, take a couple of minutes if you haven’t already done it and subscribe to the channel. Hit the notification bell so you know when things come out. Also, follow the show on Twitter @wppluginatoz and join us on our Facebook page at wppluginsatoz.com/facebook or go to the website and subscribe to the newsletter.

And of course, catch the show live every Thursday at noon here and Saturdays at 8:00 where I do another live show which is just a weekly roundup of WordPress news on 8:00 on Saturday evenings. That’s Pacific Time.

With all that, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.

[Plugins lead-in rock music]

All right, to start off I do have a couple of plugins that I have yet to use but, you know, I felt it was really important you guys might want to know about them and know they exist. These are plugins that have been sent to me over time by various developers and I’ve been unable to use them in any of my projects or make the time to go and give them a thorough testing in my sandbox website. But they looked interesting and I thought you’d like to know about them. They may be something of value to them.

First off one I have here was sent in by Mathias Blandin and it is a third-party freemium service and it’s called GraphComment and this is a plugin here that replaces your commenting system on your WordPress website – well, sort of actually replaces it. What it does is it allows you to have a Discus type of commenting system and if you want to gain control of your comments and you’re using Discus or any other third-party service (where your comments are not your own, but they’re stored on their servers), you might consider switching to this service here. This allows you to organize all your comments in multiple ways, it allows nice columns, but the best part is all the data is kept on your website – it’s kept in your WordPress database. So, if you ever decide to leave this system, you don’t lose all your comments, such as using a service like Discus.

So, everything is right there, located for you, easy to use. They’ve got their own graph comment administration where you can import and export comments. You can even – if you’ve got a previous comment on your WordPress website and you want to take them out to this system here, you can export them out to that. But this keeps all of your data under control and something you can use. It does look like it’s relatively useful, especially if you get a lot of commenting systems or you’re looking for a way to retrieve all of your stuff from social networks and get it back onto your website where it belongs. I’ve always been a big proponent of control your own data; don’t let somebody else control your data for you, and I do that to the best of my ability throughout all of my websites.

So, go check it out. It’s called GraphComment and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

So, the next one up I’ve got here, it was sent in by Mark HightonRdiley and it’s a freemium plugin and this one here is called NiftyGridZPro. And what this one’s for is if you use Zazzle or you know somebody who is a refer for Zazzle, and affiliate, and you want to sell affiliate programs through Zazzle, this might be of interest to you.

The plugin is kind of – it gives me a couple of questions with it. I mean, it does a great job from what they display and show of allowing you to create Zazzle grids and display them on your site. You can use it in multiple ways. One of the strange things with it this – and this is kind an unusual one that I’ve seen with plugins, if you use the free version, it automatically inserts their referral ID for Zazzle, so you would be setting this plugin up, so they can make money, which is a bit beyond me.

If you pay for the premium license which is, you know, $49 to $99, depending on how long you want the license for, then you can insert your own Zazzle ID. This is kind of a unique way I’ve seen for a plugin to be able to earn income. Oddball one – I can’t highly recommend it. It seems interesting. I do like the fact that they’re up front about telling you that their ID is gonna be in there. They’re not trying to sneak it by you in any way. It’s plain, bold, right in your face, and they tell you, so I give them kudos for that. So, for that I give them a nice middle-of-the-road 3 Dragon rating. It looks like it could be useful if you happen to use Zazzle in any way, shape, or form. So, go check that one out.

            Okay, currently this show, brought to you by…

Take the work and worry out of maintaining and caring for your WordPress website. JohnOverall.com has 20+ years’ experience and offers hosting, maintenance programs, emergency 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.

Absolutely, and think about me if you’re really tired of your current web hosting provider and you’d like high-quality hosting that doesn’t slow you down in any way. Check out JohnOverall.com – and it’s very limited. You have to apply to get hosting; you can’t just sign up and get it. I’m very selective about the clients I take on my servers.

Okay, and we are currently running a contest and our contests are powered by Simple Giveaways, who kindly provided us with the premium version of their plugin to run all of our contests. A very excellent plugin if you’re planning to run any contests or giveaways on your website, check out this plugin. It’s got all the features you need and in particular the most essential feature being the auto selection of randomization.

Currently, the contests we are a way a one-year pro license for WooCommerce Product Feed Manager. This is an excellent plugin that we reviewed back in Episode 388 of the show. It’s great for if you’re running a WooCommerce store and you want to push out all of your stuff to the different feeds such as Amazon and eBay and other places, this is a product that will help you push your products out to those different places. So, go check it out, go enter the contest. Just simply go to wppluginsatoz.com/contests to enter to be the winner.

Okay, the next up plugin I’ve got for you here is one that is very, very useful and helpful. It’s called WP Rollback. Now, everyone knows that sooner or later if you’ve had a WordPress website for any length of time, you know that sooner or later you’re going to do an update and stuff’s gonna break. It’s just gonna go wonky on you, white screen – just break something – and it’s usually due to an error in the plugin update. They happen. It’s not the end of the world; you’ve just got to undo it.

Well, most of the time and what you almost always had to do was you had to FTP in, delete the files, reupload the new files. It takes a little bit of time, not the end of the world. Well, what this plugin can do is help save that time for you. It is a rollback plugin that allows you to rollback to any previous version of a WordPress Repository plugin or a theme. It doesn’t work if you’re using premium plugins – it doesn’t help those in the least. But any other plugin, it’s a great little tool to have in your arsenal for helping to maintain and keep your website up-to-date if something goes wrong. Just click a button and it rolls right back to the previous plugin version that you had in there or you can select the versions that are available. You find a plugin, you select the version you want, click that, roll it back, and you’re done.

It can save you a fair chunk of time and make it real easy for you to do something right with inside your WordPress dashboard, and it’s something I could’ve used a few times a couple of years back. Now, I keep it in there just in case and it’s helped me out a couple of times, so go check this out. A fantastic little plugin. I give it a 5-Dragon rating.

[Dragon roar]

WP Rollback.

Listener feedback! I am just begging for listener feedback. Sooner or later, I’ll get some, so please give me some listener feedback. I love it – good, bad, the ugly – give me anything. Let me know how things are going. I’d really appreciate some feedback on how the sound is these days for all the regular listeners out there. I’d like to know if the sound has improved to a nice quality finally. I think it is, but I haven’t heard from anybody, so let me know. I would really appreciate it. Let me know on the show, send me a tweet, here on the Facebook page – any place. I’ve been working hard at getting the sound. I do have another microphone coming that’ll help me get me a little bit clearer of a voice, so that should be ready by next week.

This show, also a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. And in that vein, I’d like to acknowledge those who have supported the show over the past weeks. All donations $50 and over, they get their note read out here on the show. For all those under, I like to just thank you very much and they remain anonymous. This week here, I would like to just thank out the Patreon donors. Yes, I’ve been paid on that and I really appreciate it. Those small donations really help the show out. If you would like to help the show out, you can go to Patreon or simply go wppluginsatoz.com/donate to donate to the show. Select any amount you want and donate via PayPal. That would be greatly appreciated.

None of the donations actually ever make it into my pocket. They help pay the costs that the show incurs, such as transcripts, server bandwidth, etc. But I really appreciate all support in the show.

Glad the sound is reliable for you, [unclear – 12:36]. Really appreciate it. I’m also after the ones that pick it up through the podcast, because it’s a different recording that goes out through the podcast feed on iTunes. So — and you’re listening live, so with the live one, Google helps clean that one up for me quite nicely, even when I’ve messed it up in the past, they’ve cleaned it up amazingly. But I’ve been working on my one that goes out to the podcast feed.

Okay, final plugin I’ve got here for you before we get to the ClassicPress plugin. The next one up I’ve got is the Export Plugin Details. This is a nice, little, simple plugin and this one here has a use if you are a builder of websites – multiple types of websites. Like I have a set of about seven or eight plugins that goes into every website I build. They’re just basic plugins that do certain functionality that is needed on every website in my opinion, and this set of plugins is a list I have. It’s mostly in my head.

But if you’re getting ready to hire somebody or bring on another person or hire a freelancer to do some work for you in setting up a website, you want to make sure that they install exactly what you need. So, you can take from one of your base sites that you’ve built. You can then use this plugin to export out all the plugin details and that would be the plugin name, its description, the author, whether it’s active or inactive, it’s current version, updates available, new versions, etc. – export all the details out into a nice CSV listing that you can then manage. Then you can take that list and you can pass it on to someone who’s going to build a website.

Now, another way to do this would be if you’ve built up a client’s website and you’ve got 10, 15, 20 plugins or whatever you’ve used – I know I’ve used as many as 40 plugins or 50 plugins for a website – and you want to make sure that those plugins are maintained and you have a list of them, you could export this list out for something for you to monitor for your clients, so there’s lots of ways you could use this tool. So, go check this one out. It’s Export Plugin Details, a very excellent little plugin, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

Okay, and the final thing I’ve got for you today is ClassicPress Options, and yes, ClassicPress is going to become a thing. I am relatively certain that the ClassicPress community is continuing to grow and one of the things that points to that is that plugins are starting to appear specifically for ClassicPress. And as this continues to grow, that will shed a lot of light on their community.

This week here I’ve got another ClassicPress-specific plugin and it is called Carbon Copy. Now, this would be a similar plugin in from the WordPress community like Duplicate Posts, which is a plugin I use a lot. But this one here, it’s for simply duplicating posts, pages, and custom post types with a single click. It includes taxonomies, metadata, etc. and this is a nice thing to do. I know I use it a lot, especially when I do things such as using a template theme and I import test data to help me get the layouts they want. I will duplicate their page that they’ve created so that I can then modify the front page to my liking.

But if there’s something on that other page that I like that I might have deleted, I can go back and look at it and say, I like that. How did they do that? And then recopy that information. So that’s one of the great things that this tool does for you. It also allows you to duplicate and archive content or change content up and save the old versions of it in another format besides the revisions. And one of the things with revisions I do with many of my sites is I limit the revisions so that I don’t have this massive, over-bloated database. But having revisions is a good thing or having a duplicate page is useful.

At any rate, this is great for you ClassicPress users who might be starting to pick up the show, so come check it out. This plugin here looks great. I give it a 4-Dragon rating and it’s called Carbon Copy for ClassicPress.

That pretty much wraps everything up for this show here where I covered up the following plugins: GraphComment, which I gave a 4 to; the NiftyGridZPro, which I gave a 3 to; the WP Rollback, which I gave a 5 to; and the Export Plugin Details, which I gave a 4 to; and finally, Carbon Copy, which I gave a 4 to.

And a couple of quick reminders…don’t forget there is a meetup here in Victoria on February 20th and the meetup location you can find over on our Meetup page. Just go to wppluginsatoz.com/meetup and get all the information. I’ll be presenting about – brain – brain. I’ll be presenting about Disaster Recovery and Planning for WordPress. In other words, what do you do when things go wrong, when it hits the fan, and you’ve got to recover. Or better yet, how do you prepare so you can avoid disaster or be ready to recover from it with very little stress? The other thing that’ll be covered is we have Dean B. who will be presenting Email Systems and How to Use Them. He’s going to cover Exchange, Office, iMap, and POP systems, and how you use all them different email systems, so it should be interesting presentations.

If you can’t make the meetup, check it out here on YouTube. It will be live on our YouTube channel, so make sure you come check that out on the 20th of February.

And of course, a final reminder: be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel for more information and training videos that do go up. And a final note to developers: if you want to support the show, you’d like to donate a premium plugin, please just go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest and donate your plugin and we’ll create a contest around. You can get a bunch of free advertising, we get a bunch of things that help make our listeners happy by getting free, premium licenses.

That’s pretty much everything I’ve got for you today, so I’ll let my girl take us out of here. Take care now, bye-bye.

[Female speaker]

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 created by developers because you support the show. Help keep the show honest and unbiased by going to wppluginsatoz.com/donate and set the donation level 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 and hit the bell to get notification of all new videos. Also, follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz.

John can be reached at his website at JohnOverall.com or send him an email, john@wppro.ca. Thanks for joining us and have a great day.

 [Outro]

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.

[Child giggling]

 

[End of Audio]

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