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 #399 here.
It’s Episode 399 and I’ve got plugins for Instagram Widget, Protecting Posts, Header Bars, Limiting Access, Vegas lighting, and Classic Press Options, all coming up on WordPress Plugins from A to Z!
John: It’s Episode 399 and I’ve got plugins for Instagram Widget, Protecting Posts, Header Bars, Limiting Access, Vegas lighting, and Classic Press Options, all coming up on WordPress Plugins from A to Z!
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 and talking to you on my new microphone that made its epic world tour, starting in Barcelona, Spain, heading up to Leipzig, Germany, East Midlands, Great Britain, hung out in London for a couple of days, back to East Midlands where it headed across the pond to Cincinnati, Ohio, hung out there for a couple of days, and then finally arrived in Vancouver yesterday, arriving here to Victoria, British Columbia today. I hope you all enjoy this new sound, and this microphone is a world traveler.
So of course, right off the top, you can get 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, and in the iTunes Store, subscribing to the show and leaving me reviews. They really help the show out and I greatly appreciate your time for doing that.
Also, subscribe and hit the notification bell if you’re listening to us on YouTube, or just do that so you can get the training videos, screencasts, and all the extra shows that eventually show up here.
You can watch live every Thursday at noon. I do this show live on YouTube and check me out. It’s a really great time. Lots of people show up from time to time; sometimes a lot, sometimes not so many. But hey, it’s always fun for me. And there’s also an occasional live show on Saturday nights at about 8:00, depending on what’s happening with my weekend. This weekend? No, I’m going away. I’m getting away out to the forest – escaping technology for 36, 38, 40 hours.
With all that being said, well, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
[Plugins lead-in rock music]
All right and starting us off I have a couple of plugins that I have yet to use but thought you might find useful. These are plugins that have been sent in to me by developers. I’ve not been able to find any use for them, I’ve not had time to get them into a test site to test them out, but I thought you might want to know a bit about them.
The first one was sent in to us by Herman Schutte and it’s a freemium third-party plugin. This one here is called SnapWidget WP Instagram Widget, and what this plugin does for you and what they have to say is it’s an Instagram widget plugin that’s easy to use and embed your SnapWidget Instagram Widget into your website or blog to display your Instagram photos. And what you need to do with them is you need to install this plugin into your site and then you have to go over to SnapWidget and get yourself an account with them. They have assorted pricings from free all the way up to a developer plan.
It looks like a really good plugin if you use Snapchat a lot – or Instagram, not Snapchat – let me get that straight in my head. If you use Instagram a lot, this is a way to embed them into your site using a third-party service. You create the SnapWidgets over there, then you import the shortcodes into your website using this plugin. I don’t know why they don’t just give you code, but this might be a little easier for people.
There’s a lot that it can do. It’s got both pro and free versions and services you can use via pro. If you do use the free service, the links that are created in your photos off your website go to the SnapWidget website, whereas if you go to the pro, the links you create with your photos go directly to your Instagram profile. So pros and cons with it, you know. Of course, anytime you get something for free, there’s generally a cost to it in some other way.
At any rate, it looks interesting enough and it might be useful for folks, so go check it out. It is called SnapWidget WP Instagram Widget, and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.
All right, next up we’ve got one here that was sent in to us by Tim Van Onckelen. This is a free plugin and it’s called Super Access Manager. This is a plugin that if you’re running a simplified membership type of site where you want to limit access to posts and pages, you can control access across posts and pages, custom post types, you can make posts available on a user role basis, you can make it available only for visitors or registered users, create personal pages, auto-hide pages and menus. You know, it uses the shortcodes to show all user pages. There’s a lot of little things you can do to this, but it is for the simplified version of a membership site and controlling posts.
I do have a couple of ideas on where it could be used. I work with one particular client that they have a simplified version of allowing special posts to different people on the site. I don’t know if it’s going to work fully, but it’s along the idea of what I’ve been looking for, so it’s something you may want to go check out. It’s called Super Access Manager, available from xeweb.be, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating. Go check it out, folks. Very interesting little plugin.
And currently, this show is 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 if you’re tired of WordPress hosting that slows you down, come visit JohnOverall.com for WordPress hosting that won’t slow you down.
And contest-wise, we announced the winner to the contest last week and we do have a new contest going out right now. We are giving away a one-year expert license for Graph Comment, which is a free and powerful commenting system for great discussions. The one-year license gives you more advantages to it, so it’s a freemium model plugin. No more disorganized discussions piled on several pages. With Graph Comment, your audience can easily follow the relevant discussions.
It inserts all the comments into your WordPress database, which allows you simply if you want to revert away from their third-party system back to your default commenting, you don’t lose any of the comments like you do with some of the other third-party systems out there.
For more information, go check it out at graphcomment.com. It’s a really great plugin. I believe we reviewed this one. I’ll have to go look it up, but it’s one that I have reviewed some time in the past, and we are giving away a one-year expert license for it, so go sign up for the contest at wppluginsatoz.com/contest to enter the contest. All we need is your name and email address and hey, you might even like to sign up for the email list at the same time.
The next plugin I’ve got up here for you is called MS Header Bar. This one here will allow you to create header bars – multiple styles of header bars – across your website. Now one unique thing about this, I’ve played with a lot of different header bar plugins in the past, such as HelloBar and a few others. A lot of them would just go site-wide or a little touchy on individual pages. This one here is made to create header bars for specific pages or posts throughout your site.
What you do is you go in there and you create – it uses custom post types. You create the header bar, it creates a shortcode for you where it actually creates a meta block in your post area that you then choose the header bar that you’re looking for to display on that particular page. And you can create all kinds of different header bars, from social media header bars, to countdown timers, to email forms, to popup messages, to just plain messages. You can add colors to it. There’s a lot of little miscellaneous things that goes into this plugin.
All in all, it’s pretty easy to use and set up and you activate it on a per-page basis, so create the specific headers on a specific page and use it across your site. There is even a way to, you know, bulk load it. So go check this plugin out. It’s a pretty decent plugin and it’s called MS Header Bar – Create Beautiful Header Bars to Show Notifications, Call back, Timer, Offers, Coupons and Collect leads and More. That’s their full title; that’s not me just making that up. So all in all – and I give this plugin a 4-Dragon rating, so go check it out.
Okay, listener feedback – I do like listener feedback when I can get it, so please take a few moments, drop in to wppluginsatoz.com. Go down into the lower right-hand corner, click the button, send me a voice message via SpeakPipe. Hit our Contact page up, send me an email – multiple ways to get a hold of me. You could also contact me through the Facebook at wppluginsatoz.com/facebook or on Twitter @wppluginsatoz. So there’s multiple ways and I’ll be happy to take your feedback, use it on the show. As me questions. I’ll answer them to the best of my ability. Think of it as a way to get some free advice from a very expensive professional.
This show, also value-for-value model, meaning if you’re getting any value out of it, please give some value back. If the things I talk about save you even five minutes, what’s that five minutes worth to you? A cup of coffee, maybe? Maybe the price of a beer? Hey, give that back by going to PayPal, going to wppluginsatoz.com/donate, and donate that $5, $8, or whatever it is. Or sign up at Patreon and create a monthly Patreon donation that comes in.
And I’d like to thank all of the monthly Patreon donations and the other small donors that have been donating the small $5 and $10 amounts. Thank you very much. That money is greatly appreciated and helps support the show by doing the things such as transcripts, paying for the bandwidth, the server space, etc.
Any donations though that are $50 and over, they get a note read out here on the show; everyone else stays anonymous. Thank you very much for all you donors. I greatly appreciate your help.
Okay, the final plugin I’ve got for you here today… this one here is called Neon Lights. So you want to add some Vegas style to your – old Vegas – I should’ve put that in the header – old Vegas style neon text lights or old “Get your kicks on Route 66,” you know, all the old neon lighting across the world used to be – and neon lighting is making a big comeback. Well, you can go create neon text with this plugin.
It creates some pretty cool neon text effects in here. You can have the lights flash, you can make one letter burnt out so that it gives you that effect of, you know, partially lit and flashing, like it’s dying. It does all kinds of cool things. You can go in there and set up those timings, choose multiple colors for your text, what the forward color is, back colors – there’s a whole lot of really cool things it does.
I’ve been playing with it. I don’t know exactly how I’ll use it. I don’t know where I’ll be able to use it, but I just found it cool. And if you happen to have a site that is just crying for neon text, go check out this one here, Neon Lights. And just because it’s cool, simple, and free, I give it a 5-Dragon rating.
Go check it out: Neon Lights.
All right, and ClassicPress options. What do we have this week? And of course, ClassicPress has come into existence simply due to the misstep (I believe) that WordPress has made. While I’m still going to use WordPress and I still like it, I still believe it was a misstep to force Gutenberg into the core. At any rate, ClassicPress is out and they are on Version One Official and they are moving forward, so plugins are starting to move in that direction and I believe that more and more of it’s going to occur.
This week here, what have I got for you? (And I may have talked about this plugin before, but I don’t know if I talked about it in relation to ClassicPress), and this is the Health Check and Troubleshooting plugin. This is a plugin here that gives you a whole bunch of information about your site. It tells you everything that’s happening in your site from your PHP version, your MySQL version, what add-ins for PHP are missing from your install that you should have. It’s got a debug mode, so you can go in and debug issues. It does a lot of troubleshooting information and site info that developers need from time to time when they’re trying to figure out what’s going on.
So this is a really great plugin. I already know it works well under WordPress. I’ve used it a couple of times on there and just something to go check out. So go check this one out: Health Check and Troubleshooting, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating. So go check out this plugin – really great and useful and it does work in ClassicPress to give you all of the information you need for your ClassicPress install.
That wraps up everything and, in this episode, I covered up the SnapWidget WP Instagram Widget, which I gave a 3 to; the Super Access Manager, which I gave a 4 to; and the MS Header Bar, which I gave a 4 to; the Neon Lights, which I gave a 5 to; and the Health Check and Troubleshooting, which I gave a 4 to.
Now I’d also like to put another reminder out there, a special thanks out to Steve Schmidt, who was the designer of the logo we currently use at wppluginsatoz.com. I know I’ve thanked him once before, but I just wanted to re-acknowledge him because that logo is pretty cool, and I get lots of really good complements on it and I gotta go, “Hey, I didn’t do it.” One of my listeners did, so thanks a lot, Steve, if you’re still listening to this show. And you can find him at NowOwl.com and I really appreciate the generous donation of the logo.
Okay, and the next WordPress Meetup for Victoria is on April 3rd and it will be broadcast live on YouTube. For the location information, go check it out and the next seminar is going to be on WordPress 101 information, so go check that out. I’ll be broadcasting it live and I’m pretty sure the broadcast will go out much better than the last couple. I get better every time I do it. I always find something I forget or don’t know or some little tweak. It’s really actually harder than you think to broadcast live, especially if you’re using an iPhone, and I’ve got to step up the game and get it up to an actual camera. But that costs money, so I can’t quite do that yet. So go check it out. It’ll be on April 3rd and if you happen to be in the Victoria area, come on down and join us. It’s only $5. Help me pay for the cost of the room.
Okay, and be sure to check out and subscribe to the YouTube channel. Hit that notification bell right down there somewhere – there you go, it’s right down there. There we go. Hit that notification bell; that way you get notifications of when we’re going live and when new videos are uploaded to the site.
And that’s all I’ve got for you, so I’ll let my girl take us on out of here.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for joining us 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]