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 and Amber’s discussion of this weeks plugins that have been reviewed.
WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #470 here.
It’s Episode 470 with plugins for Singing the Blues, User Roles, SPRM Menus, Affiliate Life, Galleries and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Time to talk about the plugins. So first off, ClassicPress Options. I know I haven’t had a whole lot for ClassicPress Options in the last few weeks. But that is because I really haven’t had the time to do research for ClassicPress and because I’m not building in ClassicPress currently. I just don’t have anything there. If you’re a ClassicPress user listening to the show, provide me some content. I will get it out there and give you full-blown credit for providing that content. At the moment all I’ve got for you there is the usual resources over at ClassicPress Club, classicpress.net, CodePotent’s website, etc. All those links are in the Show Notes.
Well, let’s dive into the WordPress plugins section of the show. And what do I got for you first? First off, the one I’ve got for you is called JustRows Free. This is a very simple plugin that when plugged in allows you to collect the featured images from all your posts and then create a gallery for it to be displayed. You can create the order by date or other fields, the images are resized depending on what you need done, new images are appended to it, either with a button or infinite scrolling. Users can define multiple categories. You can also place a gallery through a widget or a shortcode, so it’s a pretty cool way to use all of those featured images you’ve been putting into your posts. (Now hopefully you’ve been doing that.)
A great little plugin. It looks like it’d do a great job. They do have a pro version of this plugin, I think. I kind of recall seeing that and at the moment this plugin gets a 4-Dragon rating, so go check it out. It is the JustRows Free plugin.
Amber: And the first one I’ve got for you is User Post Gallery – UPG. This one is also for a gallery. What’s really great is it actually links in with Lightbox, which last week’s show I was talking about. The events setting has a lot of cool choices on it. It’s great for those of you who know what you are doing especially. For those of you who are like me and still greed as spring grass, it auto-fills everything. But it is actually fairly clear on what you’re changing if you decide to play around with it. I managed not to break it, so it seems pretty good.
This works on AJAX and gives the users the ability to upload, edit, and delete – like actually delete – every media file attached to it, whatever they’re deleting on their own. And I’m not really clear on whether or not you are able to help your users retrieve things that are accidently deleted. I don’t think so, but I wasn’t really able to get a clear answer to that one.
It’s definitely a useful plugin if you’re running a site that kind of depends on users uploading content, like a trading platform for art or something along those lines. It gives them the ability to control what they’re putting up and taking down as they need to, and then you don’t have to do it for them. They give you the option as well to make visible or hide galleries you create for the frontend and have premade headings. That could be super-useful for your users. I give this a rating of 5 Dragons.
John: Slightly off-post there, because I discovered an error that I was starting to fix. It seems that while I had gone live with the show, I hadn’t switched the screen. Nobody’s been seeing anything that we’ve been talking about for the first half of the show. Not much I can do to fix that for those of you that watch live, and I’m surprised nobody in the comments section made note to me about the fact that it was stuck on the “Going Live” screen, which is like wow – surprised nobody said anything. But at any rate, we’ll continue on. That’s the way it goes when you do things live, something gets missed and it just makes it that much more entertaining.
The next plugin I’ve got for you here is called the Auto Affiliate Links. Now, this is a pretty cool plugin. If you do any auto-linking or if you do any affiliate programs, there’s other great uses for this also. But what it does for you is it allows you to go in and create links for specific keywords. Now, while this was designed for auto-linking of affiliate links, the other thing I see it useful for is when you talk about specific keywords, it’d be great for WP Plugins in that we talk about other shows in the past and we can set up the links to auto-search for keywords and link to certain shows for things that happened. You could do that with this in multiple ways. There’s more ways than just using it to connect to your affiliate programs.
It’s a pretty cool plugin, it’s free right out the box, does a lot of really great things for you. I didn’t notice whether or not they had a pro version. They probably do or if not, I bet they’re working on one. But it’s one that you will want to check out. It’s a great plugin to help with auto-linking throughout your site, so go check this one out. It’s the Auto Affiliate Links plugin and I have given this a 5-Dragon rating.
Amber: So the next one I have for you is called Hello Dolly. Apparently, this is a fairly well-known one. I came across this and I just had to say something. It seems like it could be an absolutely amazing plugin for the right people. But to be honest, it would drive me nuts. As soon as you activate it, a picture of Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet will pop up with random lyrics from the song on every page of your admin page. Again, it could be awesome for the right person but having something way up there in the way of my work, flashing randomly at me on every page, I’ve got to say it’s just frustratingly irritating. Can you even move it out of the way? I’m not sure.
I think that probably the amount of thought and imagination that was put into this is the best part. I give this a 2-Dragon rating.
John: Yeehaw! I haven’t been able to use that . Okay, so yeah, I didn’t know that they had changed out the Hello Dolly plugin like that. For the longest time, all it ever did was put the random lyrics up into the top right corner. There’s probably about a dozen different versions of Hello Dolly out there, too, people that have made different lyrics for different songs out there or different things, because one of the things about the Hello Dolly plugin if you don’t know, it was originally created as a sample plugin that you can use to base building a plugin for WordPress off of. And of course, it just became legendary status. It’s included with every install of WordPress. It’s already there. It’s the first thing I delete from WordPress when I install it, along with the Akismet plugin. Those two plugins are automatically default installed with WordPress and it’s one of the first things I delete from any install of WordPress I do.
But anyway, all in all, it’s a useful plugin but yeah, as Amber said, it can be a bit annoying.
Okay, next up what I’ve got for you is the Single Page Restaurant Menu for WooCommerce, or the SPRM Menu for WooCommerce.
Amber: I think I’m going to giggle every time I hear that.
John: Yeah, so that’s why I put it in here. It’s the whole reason it came about. It was just because of that. The acronym is S-P-R-M – yeah, there’s no other real way to pronounce it but that.
John: All right, so the Single Page Restaurant Menu for WooCommerce, what this one does for you, if you’re building out a restaurant website, you can actually use this to build out a single page display of your restaurant menu so people can order stuff through WooCommerce. Now, I know WooCommerce does have plugins and other things you can use to turn it into a full-blown ordering system for a restaurant, and it takes a long time to do it. I’ve never done one. I’ve researched them and the restaurant balked when I told them how much it would cost to do it, but that’s how life goes.
But it does look like a very interesting plugin. I’ve checked it out. They do have a pro version which gives you lots of layouts and other things you can do with it, page restrictions and more. They’ve got a lot of demonstration stuff on it to show you how it works. So go check this plugin out. At the moment I would give it a 4-Dragon rating based on simply because it’s got a pro version. But it could be something useful for you. Go check out the SPR Menu for WooCommerce.
Amber: And the last one I’ve got for you is User Role Editor. Now, this one is pretty interesting for me to look at. It seems to definitely be a writer-oriented plugin. If you have a user blog or site or a new site or something along those lines, then this can be really useful. What it does is it allows you to go through and change on a need basis, so it’s not you make a change and it stays that way forever. It’s whenever you need to change them, the user roles and capabilities.
You go in, check off the boxes you need, and press “Update Changes.” You can set up the site so that every new user has an automatic role and they sign up as well, and I think that it really works in a very large grouping. But I wasn’t able to really test that bit out.
The plugin offers specialized options, too: hiding certain frontend options until a person is signed in and is logged in properly. It works because I mean, everybody wants to have all the options, so they sign up just to see what else is available. It looks easy enough to use and makes sense if you have a customer-based blog or news site.
John: It’s an excellent plugin. I’ve never used this particular user role editor and user role editors are a great way to control the access to your site and when you’re not building out a full-blown membership system. One of the ways I’ve used this in the past is building out websites for nonprofits where they don’t need a membership system, but they need to give specific roles to different levels of users in the organization to prevent people from doing damage to the site or getting into areas of the site that they shouldn’t get into. So user roles have a lot of different things and if you can go in and define custom user roles, that makes this that much better of a plugin to define those custom roles and assign those. So, yeah.
Amber: Another thing about this plugin is it does work on multi-something. I’m sorry, I can’t remember.
Amber: That’s what it is. All you have to do is update it and it’ll sync all of your different sites at once.
John: There you go.
Amber: So I give this a 5-Dragon rating.
John: Excellent. I think she’s handing out 5-Dragons a little to often, but what the heck.
Amber: I’m trying.
John: Let’s hand them out.
Amber: Either that or I just keep finding the really cool ones.
John: Yeah, that could be, too. There are a lot of premium plugins out there. All right, well that’s what we’ve got there. This show is currently brought to you by…
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John: Absolutely. CMS Commander, great tool. As I’ve said before, I’ve been using it for about nine, ten years now. Very useful, worth the money you pay each month. It helps you manage all of those sites.
Okay, so listener feedback – we do not have any this week. But I was really hoping for some. Come on, folks. Get out there and send some listener feedback. Let us know what you think, you know. We’re working on minor format changes. You know, let us know what you think of having Amber here on the show. I think she’s a great addition to the show and she’s going to a fantastic job with this stuff as the time goes on.
All right, so with no listener feedback that means we’ve got to talk about contests. Well, we do have a contest; we just don’t have it fully written up yet. We’re still working towards that but it’s going to be from Christian at ShoutWorks. He’s giving us a subscription to give away ShoutWorks. That’ll all be written up and it’ll be published real soon. It might make the Newsletter or shortly thereafter. Stay tuned and we will have that up and running for you.
And also, we have an interview with him that we got delayed this week. It was supposed to be out earlier this week, but it got delayed due to circumstances beyond our control. But it has been edited and the notes are done. It will be published early next week, so make sure you stay tuned for that interview. It was a really great interview, learned a lot about what their system is, so stay tuned for all of that.
Amber: I did find that very interesting.
John: Yeah, well that’s right. She had to do all the Show Notes and the editing of it. Yeah.
Amber: It’s amazing how much I’m learning by doing all of your notes for you.
John: Yes, yes. You can learn quite a bit that way. Somebody’s got to do all the work. I just get to sleep and produce the show.
John: All right, well closing out this episode, I covered up the following plugins: the Single Page Restaurant Menu for WooCommerce, which I gave a 4 to; the Auto Affiliate Links, which I gave a 5 to; and the JustRows Free, which I gave a 4 to.
Amber: And I covered the User Role Editor, which I gave a 5; Hello Dolly, which I gave a 2; and User Post Gallery – UPG, which I also gave a 5.
John: There you go! I can see she kind of had balance to that giving that two 5s and a 2, eh? It sort of evens it out really well.
All right, well that’s really all we’ve got for you. A couple of quick reminders: You know, please remember to send some comments about, you know, Amber. Let us now how you think.
And I’m still looking to see about a meetup in mid-August. It’s still on the table. I haven’t completely removed it yet, so I’ll be letting you know probably the next two episodes whether or not it’s going to happen.
As I said, there is a new interview from Christian from ShoutWorks coming out. And if you would like to be interviewed for a show, simply connect with me at wppluginsatoz.com/interview.
If you want to find out more about my insanity, just go check out theroguestavern.com.
And that’s all we’ve really got for you, so – ah, before we do that – I almost ended up stepping over my girl again. You know, I’ve got to get my tequila up here with this new little hat. Isn’t that great? All right.
John: All right, its tequila shot time, so down the hatch. I’ll let my girl take us out of here.
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John can be reached at his website, JohnOverall.com, or email him directly at email@example.com. Thanks for joining us and have a great day.
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