Transcript of Episode 408 WP Plugins A to Z

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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 #408 here.


It’s Episode 309 and we’ve got plugins for Social Sharing, Top 10 Posts and a Thumbs Up/Down button. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #408

John:    It’s Episode 408 and I’ve got plugins for Syncing WooCommerce and QuickBooks, Metric Conversions, Importing/Exporting Users, 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, I’m John Overall. And I have the usual great show for you today but of course right off the top, don’t forget 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 the iTunes Store, subscribing to the show and leaving reviews there. They really do help the show out.

And also watch it every live – there we go, tripping over my own tongue already. You can also watch the show every Thursday at noon live here on YouTube, where you can subscribe, check out our training videos, screencasts, and extra shows that get up here on the channel.

You could follow me on Twitter @wppluginsatoz. You can also join me on my Facebook page at wppluginsatoz.com/facebook. And if you’ve got a couple of minutes, I’d greatly appreciate your time going over and subscribing to the newsletter where my marketing manager does a beautiful job at getting that newsletter out every week. She is quite fantastic in the work she does for it. And if you have suggestions for it, we’re always open to add more stuff to it.

All right, with all of that being done, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.

All right and starting off I have a plugin for you here that I have yet to use but thought that you might want to know about it. And keep in mind, the rating for it is based on the descriptions of the plugin off their site and using a demo if it’s available.

Today’s plugin was sent in by Erick Jessen and it’s called Infinity Sync. This is a WooCommerce to QuickBooks integration plugin. It helps you connect up the industry standard accounting software with your WooCommerce website, thereby helping you sync up your data in real-time. It makes the accounting really simple and easy, knowing that you sell something that gets automatically placed in your QuickBooks, allows for you to really trust the numbers in there to some extent (as much as you can trust data anyway). It looks like a very interesting plugin. I myself don’t use QuickBooks; I pay an accountant to do all of that for me. But hey, here’s an idea. If your accountant has it, maybe you can connect it up with them. It might work well – I don’t know.

At any rate it does look like a very interesting plugin. Now, there’s one thing with it: it is a third-party premium plugin and you use a third-party platform for transmitting your data as far as I can tell from reading the stuff over on their site, so it does have that drawback going for it, plus it’s fairly pricey. It’s somewhere in the neighbourhood of $69 a month, so you might want to – you’ve really got to have a lot of sales off your site before you consider this, at least as far as I’m concerned.

At any rate, it does look interesting enough. Go check it out. It’s called Infinity Sync and I give it a 3-Dragon rating.

All right, and a little bit of WordPress – well, not sort of WordPress news. This one here, I’ve seen a lot of articles this past week discussing the issues around restoring websites after they’ve crashed and how people – do they have a proper backup system in place? Do they have a proper restore process in place for it? And this is something a lot of people don’t think about on their website until unfortunately it’s too late, and this creates a lot of grief for people. They’re not backing up their websites regularly and then what happens is you can have something that happened at A2 recently in that they had their Windows server outages – crashed down – and when they had to restore all their client sites to it, many of their clients found that the data that was stored on the servers themselves was either corrupt or it was too old or it wiped out sites or restored people to the point where they’d lost weeks or months’ worth of data.

I read one article where a guy had lost eight months’ worth of data and work on a website, all because he didn’t have a proper backup system in place for himself. So you should be backing this stuff up to your own local computer or a local data storage device – something away from the server. Don’t depend on this hosting provider to provide your backups. Most hosting providers, and having done this for oh, almost two decades now, most hosting providers do not guarantee – all of them – none of them. Even my hosting service, I can’t guarantee the backups I make off of my servers for my clients. You can’t guarantee the backups. I do provide lots of them; most hosting companies don’t provide backups unless you manually make them, and then they wipe them out after seven days, 15, or 30 days, they wipe out that backup file, so you will have needed to download it.

Some of them say they make the backups but when they go to restore it, it’s old data, it’s corrupted, it’s mismatched. I’ve seen this many times helping people recover from catastrophic failure. So you’ll do want to have a plan in place and think about that for your own personal websites and your clients in particular. If you don’t know how to do it, hey, you might hire someone like JohnOverall.com to go in there and manage the site, monitor it, and make regular backups of the site that are off-server and exactly what you need, so this is something to think about and this has been in the news a lot this week dealing with all of the backups and what people should be doing for that.

All right, and a little bit of promo. This show brought to you by:

Are you tired of the same old web hosting? Not having the resources you need to run your website properly? Having a lack of control? Then you need JohnOverall.com web hosting, providing you with all the resources you need to smoothly run your WordPress website or ClassicPress website. With strict limits on the number of clients allowed per server, JohnOverall.com provides high-quality, fast server performance. Visit JohnOverall.com for web hosting that won’t slow you down.

Absolutely. Come visit me for all your WordPress and ClassicPress hosting needs.

All right, and we do have a contest this week and the current contest is for – let’s bring it up, because I didn’t put it in my show notes again. We are offering up a license for Discount Suite for WP – or, let’s see what we’ve got here – WooCommerce All Discounts. Win a license for WooCommerce All Discounts. It is a one-year license for it and it is a really great plugin. I reviewed this plugin a while back, back in Episode 406, and currently that contest is live on the site, so go over there, enter your name, email address, and win a copy of that contest. If not, well, go check it out and just buy the plugin anyway – a great plugin. I seem to recall giving it some really good rankings on that.

And currently all the contests are powered by our Simple Giveaways plugin. They were kind enough to provide us with a premium license to run all of our contests. This is a fantastic plugin if you’re considering running any kind of contests. It allows you to do all kinds of things. It even does the automatic random selection of the people that enter the contest for you, saving you the grief of hmm…how do I pick?

All right, next up I have for you Length Converter. This is a really nice plugin. I was all set to give this plugin a top, glowing ranking until I discovered one big flaw in it. While this plugin is really great and simple and works and does exactly what it’s supposed to do, which is it converts lengths from meters to feet or feet to meters. I mean, they’ve got a really great here, you put it in it here. It tells you – you put a number in here, either centimeters, meters, feet, yard, and it tells you how many kilometers, inches, feet, yards, and miles it is. It’s a really excellent plugin. It works really well.

One flaw in it, it does not have a shortcode. And without the shortcode, I couldn’t use it on a page. Now they said, “Ah, you don’t need that. You can just use a page builder.” Well, the page builder I’m using for building a website right now being WP Bakery where I’m actually using this plugin, it didn’t work with WP Bakery, so I couldn’t stick it on a page. It would only work in its widgeted format, which didn’t go with the design of this page. So that was one flaw in it.

I like the plugin so much, so I’ve decided to fork it, improve it a little bit, and we’re going to add in the shortcode to it and it’ll be one of the new plugins that’ll be offered by Plugin Dynamics, a joint venture between DeWolfe consulting and JohnOverall.com, where we are putting together and we’ve been developing a couple of plugins over the last year. Those plugins will be coming out in the next coming months along with an additional website for Plugin Dynamics, a nice, new business venture. So stay tuned for that. That’ll be coming up and you’ll hear more and more as we get closer and closer to launching it, and this will be one of the free plugins we offer up along the way, since I’m gonna – since we’re forking it off.

At any rate, go check out this plugin. It’s called Length Converter – a very fantastic plugin for the most part, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

All right, listener feedback – I do like listener feedback and all you’ve got to do is come visit wppluginsatoz.com on the Contact page and send and email with your feedback for the show, questions, answers – anything along that line – I’m always looking for that. Or you can hit the little SpeakPipe button in the lower corner, leave me a voice message that will be played on the show.

This show is also a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of the show, I mean if I help save you five, ten minutes, what’s that worth to you? Is it worth $5? $10? Anything out there, you know, please give some value back to the show. I like to acknowledge all those who support the show with donations. Anything $50 and over is – they get their full acknowledgement and a note read out here. All those who come below $50, they remain anonymous and I thank you very much for that.

I’d like to thank all the donors that have provided the small donations on a weekly basis. They are rather helpful. None of the money ever makes it into my pocket yet – eventually, maybe – but right now it just doesn’t even quite cover the costs that occur, which is the transcripts that I pay to have done, the server bandwidth, etc. So please, if you find any value in this show, give some value back.

And there’s more than one way to give value; not just by cash. You can give some value back by providing me with artwork. I’m always looking for a – what is it now? – 3600 x 3600 square images that I can use of my iTunes art, which changes on a regular basis. That’s the show’s artwork and I will acknowledge the artist and that and I haven’t finished the way for people to donate that artwork to me yet, but that is coming. It’s always amazing how little time is in the day. So any way you can help out the show, please do. Give some value back.

Okay, next up I have for you a plugin for importing and exporting users for WordPress it’s Import Export WordPress Users. This plugin here is the second; I talked about one last week in last week’s episode, which was eh, so-so, and it didn’t quite do what I wanted with the site that I’m getting ready to launch that’s a membership site. This one here worked out perfectly, and what I found it to be excellent for in particular, I was building a website using the Ultimate Membership plugin and I needed a way to import new members. That plugin’s one flaw, while everything else fit the bill for what I needed, it did not have its own built-in ability to import and export users. I needed an extra plugin for that, so I went searching.

This one here worked perfectly in that one of the great things is I had a few members in here, but I needed to import another 30 or 40 into the system. This one exported all of the old ones out, which gave me a nice CSV file with all the table headers in it that I could add all the new members into, and then I reimported that file right back into WordPress. So I worked beautifully and did exactly what I needed it to do.

Now, they do have a premium version of this plugin of course, which allows you to import extra metadata for it, and they did design this plugin to be used for WooCommerce, but it works well with other things. Now, the premium version I didn’t use; I didn’t need to go that far. I didn’t have enough members to justify the extra costs, because I only had to enter a little bit of extra metadata for the users. But if you have a lot of metadata aside from the standard fields in your user fields, you might consider going to their premium version.

But all in all, a fantastic plugin. It would get a 5, but of course having a premium version always knocks a point off it if I don’t get to test out the premium version. Go check it out. It’s Import Export WordPress Users, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

And finally here I’ve got some ClassicPress options, and of course ClassicPress – I believe this segment of the show is going to just grow as time expands out. The time for the ClassicPress, right now they’ve limited the number of dedicated plugins for ClassicPress, so it’s getting harder and harder to find which ones to review, but I know this is going to grow as time moves on. I’m really enjoying the interactions I’m having with the ClassicPress community and actually, I’ve got an interview scheduled later today with a ClassicPress community member, and that interview will come out next week.

So at any rate without further ado, what I’ve got for you this week is Username Protection from CodePotent, and this is a ClassicPress-specific plugin. And what it does for you is it’s a plugin that removes the anonymous access to usernames in ClassicPress to help mitigate the brute force attacks. For visitors who are not logged in, usernames are removed from the REST API, feeds author page and prevented from exposure through other common vectors of discovery.

And one of the great usefulness of this is if you can keep the username hidden and away from the hackers and bots and everything, it helps prevent brute force attacks against your website. It looks like a very excellent plugin. I have yet to actually use it, but it will be something that goes into all of my ClassicPress websites of which I currently have three, and that number is slowly going to grow over the next while, I’m sure.

An excellent plugin – go check it out. You can download it off this Github page (there’s a link in the show notes to go get it), and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

And a little bit more on the ClassicPress community… another great little article I tripped across today, it’s an older article but I think it’s rather relevant as far as ClassicPress goes. This came from November. This talks about the issues that happened in and around the mandatory or the cramming down everyone’s throats of Gutenberg, and how you might want to consider rebelling and heading out into the world and trying ClassicPress.

If you’ve got particular styles of websites you’re working with, ClassicPress is definitely where you’re gonna want to be, and that’s why I’m going to be probably straddling the WordPress/ClassicPress world for a while. I’m eventually gonna have to make a choice between the two and we’ll see how that goes in the next year or two as ClassicPress grows.

At any rate, that’s what I’ve got for you today. Closing out the show, I covered up in this episode the Infinity Sync plugin, which I gave a 3 to; the Length Converter, which I gave a 4 to; the Import Export WordPress Users, which I gave a 4 to; and for ClassicPress, I covered up the Username Protection, which I gave a 4 to.

And a couple of quick reminders… The next WordPress Meetup in Victoria is on May 21st, so that’s next Tuesday. That’ll be before the next show, so make sure you go check that out. It will be broadcast live at 6:30 p.m. on this YouTube channel. If you happen to be in the Victoria area, please come down and visit us. This is a presentation being given by Shawn DeWolfe Consulting on managing your WordPress website – pitfalls, things you want to deal with, how to keep yourself secured and safe – all kinds of stuff, so come check it out. Shawn is a really great speaker and presents really well.

Also, be sure to check out an subscribe to the YouTube channel for WP Plugins A-Z, where you can find training videos, screencasts, and of course, the live show every week here at 12:00 on Thursdays.

And if you have suggestions for plugins you’d like to have reviewed, please submit them on the website at wppluginsatoz.com/submit, and you don’t have to be a developer to submit a plugin to me. If you’ve got one that you think I should know about or you think other people should know about, please feel free to submit it. I’m more than happy to take those submissions.

If you are a developer and you would like to sponsor a contest for the show, please go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin-contest and submit your plugin for a contest.

And that’s pretty much I have – everything I have here. So for those of you on the livestream right now, hang around after the credits. I’m more than happy to chat with you and answer a few questions and anything along that line.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got, so I’m gonna let my girl take us 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, john@wppro.ca. 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.

 

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