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 #481 here.
It’s Episode 481 with plugins for Multi vendors, Dinosaurs, Pandas, Auto Images, Switching Places, Finding Yourself, and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: The first one I have for you here is called Ivory Search – WordPress Search Plugin. Now, this one here, I may or may not have reviewed it sometime in the distant past, and I might not have given it an overly-great review. I seem to recall it a year or two ago, and it was only so-so.
But I recently saw it when I was needing a better search function for a project that I’m currently working on. I needed something that was going to do the job better. It seems that they have improved this up quite nicely. It’s still got a premium version which I haven’t tried or tested yet. So this is all on the free version of the plugin, which is available. Starting with that, what you can do once you download it and install it, you do have to activate it through their activation system. It’s really quick and easy. Click a few buttons, you get an email. Click another button and it’s activated.
This one here, what it does do is, it replaces out the WordPress Search function on your site for a better search function. You do have to put in the form that they provide. But one of the nice things about this, it allows you to create the search function and search in multiple ways, customize the form up to what it will search, and how it will display. It produces an AJAX display and pops it off to the page itself.
If you go to the premium version, you can granulize the search function of it all the way down to specific dates and other things. You can create multiple forms that can be placed on multiple pages for doing specific multiple types of searches. It really has a lot of advantages. What’s burning in here?
Amber: I don’t know. I’ll go check.
John: I smell something burning for some reason. No, I’m not losing my mind. Anyway, sorry about that, folks. That’s what happens when you’re live. You get sidetracked in a house where you’ve got little girls who are doing anything.
Amber: I think the kids made some toast.
John: Yeah, okay, as long as I know what it is. It doesn’t smell like toast, it smells like sugar. At any rate, it’s a really great plugin. One you’ll want to go check out. I’d go check this one out, the Ivory Search plugin, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating. And now, we’re going to hold here. I’m going to have to babble on for a minute and carry on, carry a tune because Amber has wandered away from the keyboard. Unfortunately, we do this live to tape. I really don’t do anything else but live to tape. Yes, we are in the same room surprisingly.
All right. So what do we do here? We got a couple of — no, we got no real comments. Shaun had made a comment about some being a pain in the ass, probably going back to when I was talking about the new changes to WordPress. All right. Do we get you back?
Amber: Just about.
John: All right.
Amber: Just double-checking on the kids, making sure they weren’t getting into anything.
Amber: All right. So my plugin turn?
John: Yeah, your plugin turn.
Amber: All right. The first one I’ve got —
John: I’ll edit this out. Don’t worry. We’ll clean it up.
Amber: All right. So the first one I got for you is Auto Featured Image. I found this plugin while trying to figure out a way to insert a featured image capability into a client’s site. It was Divi. So Divi doesn’t have the best options I found.
John: Divi does not have very good options, period.
Amber: And while this works on my test site, it didn’t do much on Divi. So it doesn’t really work with Divi, but it does work with most major themes. I found this fairly straightforward to use. You plug it in, and you can set up the plugin itself on the actual settings page. You get to set up the featured image yourself or you can choose one of your images to be featured. You can also set up the background color, customize the process of generation, use filters on your photos. There’s a lot of different things you can do with this plugin. That was all just for the free version.
The pro version gives you more options, but all it does is it has these bars that have the word ‘pro’ on it. So I couldn’t really figure out what else it would do. It doesn’t explain it very well on the site. I did like how easy it was to set up. It’s great for a starter. It gives you just enough to get going with the free version. So if you need something quick, you need to get something going, this is a great plugin for starting out. It’s not something I would recommend to use long-term though. It doesn’t give you quite enough for long-term use on your sites. So yeah, the pro version does offer a lot more. If you want to pay for it, go for it, it’s not too expensive. They keep it well-updated. I rate this at 4 Dragons.
John: Very nice. I didn’t really look into that one too much. Okay, the final one I’ve got for you — well, not final, the next one.
Amber: I know.
John: I’m trying to jump ahead today in this show. That’s what it is. I’ve been thrown off balance by that smelling burning toast now. No, it’s not a stroke. All right, the next one I have for you is Post Type Switcher. This one here, I know I’ve covered this one in the past or I’ve covered a similar one to this in the past. This is a plugin you pop in. It allows you to switch your post type from one post type to another, meaning pages to post, to custom post types, to products, to all, whatever custom posts types you have on your site, you can switch that post to that. It comes in really handy, especially when you’re redesigning or redeveloping a website that already has content in place. Maybe some of the content was created as pages, and now it needs to be converted into a post that needs to be categorized together, which is what I used it for this time.
I’ve used it before to rescue custom post types when I’m getting ready to get rid of a plugin that creates a custom post type, and I need that data rescued. I switch them to a regular post type so that we can rescue at least the content data, maybe not necessarily the custom field data. So there is a lot of ways to use the Custom Post Type Switcher. It is a free plugin, works fantastic, out of the box. Does exactly what it’s supposed to do, and it can save you tons of time of having to reduplicate content in another format for your website. If you are doing that, redeveloping, or maybe you created a post one day and realized, oh man, I created it as a page, download this and go convert it back to a post or vice versa. Go check this one out. It is Post Type Switcher, and I give it a 5-Dragon rating.
Amber: I’m so glad your buttons are all working now.
John: So am I. But you know, they’re going to quit working now that you’ve mentioned that, right?
Amber: They got praised. Now they’ll be happy.
John: Okay, sure.
Amber: That’s the way it works. All right, so the next one I got for you is Dinosaur Game. See, I have this friend who’s been asking about attaching games to your website. So I decided to look a bit more into it, and I have found a few, like, there is a couple where you can earn money. There’s a couple that kind of ping you around the site. That one was interesting. This one I saw it and I recognized it immediately. Both of my daughters love this game. It is one of those irritating games that parents look at and dread for when the kids find it again and start playing it again. Luckily, you can turn the sound off though.
For this, you plug it in, and you put a shortcode of Dinosaur Game into wherever you want this to appear on your site. You might want to make a note on there as well saying that the person has to press a spacebar for jump and also to start the game. It’s a total freebie, and it will very likely hook a bunch of people onto your website just so they can play the game. And I rate this at 5. It’s fun.
John: All right.
John: Yeah, a little fun games like that. Just think if you get them hooked to the page, you put some rotating ads in there and make a few bucks.
John: Okay. The next one, I think this is the final one I’ve got for you today. This is a brand new WordPress plugin just basically released six hours ago, so it’s fresh off the table.
John: It is called Mercado, and what it does for you is it is an add-on for your WooCommerce website that will allow you to turn your WooCommerce website into a WooCommerce marketplace, allowing you to let other people sell using your WooCommerce store. You collect a commission off of it. They get their own storefront. They get their own desktop and display areas so they can put their products in. Their particular files are separated and sorted out from anyone else who has a store.
It’s a great way if you happen to have one of those premium domain names like bioorganicdirect.ca or something, and you want to set it up and let multiple people sell their products from your store. You can set it up and let them set their store and you make a commission off of just collecting the money and they do all the shipping and everything else. It’s all their problem. All you do is collect money for providing the website space.
Really cool plugin, it offers a lot out the get-go for a free plugin. It has a premium version, but just right out the front, you get dashboard live report, separate vendor sites, the vendors get to control their sites, export the orders in a CSV. No reloading the dashboard. You can set up multiple commissions for it, meaning, like, you can have different commission levels for different vendors, and depending on what they are selling. You know, they can withdraw their money. It’s lots of things in this, and that’s in the free version and then they’ve got a premium version that adds even more stuff to it.
So, if you’re looking for something like this, you might want to check it out and see if it will fit the bill for you. This is the advantage of periodically going into the link I have on the site that takes you to all the new plugins that have been recently released in WordPress. So, I picked this one up, and it’s a pretty great one. I got to give it a 4 right now because I haven’t had a chance to give it a full-blown test with the premium version. But go check it out, it is Mercado – Turn Your WooCommerce into MultiVendor MarketPlace.
Amber: That’s bloody brilliant.
John: Yeah, well, I knew it was going to be in existence soon. I have been waiting for something like this to show up for a particular pet project I want to do.
Amber: That’s brilliant. I’m definitely going to be testing that one out.
John: So eventually, I’ll get it fully tested, but I know you have a pet project you’re working on which is exactly what you wanted for that pet project.
Amber: Exactly, yeah.
John: And one day, we’ll announce what that pet project is because it’s a pretty cool pet project. She’s been working on it for a couple of months.
Amber: All right, so the last one I got is Halloween Panda. I did warn everyone I was going to be doing at least one Halloween thing until Halloween. So yeah, Halloween Panda. I don’t know why pandas are so popular now. They are just showing up everywhere. Halloween Panda is actually really cool though despite the weird name.
First of all, it’s a total freebie. You plug it in, do up the settings, they even have carrot jack-o-lanterns for some reason in the options, and you let it go. You can choose a snowfall, which is actually bats and pumpkins, a screen decoration, and a pop-up. You can have all three together, you can have a combination of them, you can enable, disable. It’s actually really cool.
The pictures that they have aside from the weird jack-o-lanterns carrots — I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ll get over that one. Asides from the carrots, it’s really awesome pictures. I really liked it. It’s a lot of fun. Definitely go check this out if you’re into Halloween. I rate it at 5 Dragons.
John: That’s a pretty cool little plugin. It’s always nice to see some of the oddball stuff that is out there and exists in the WordPress repository. There is a lot of strange stuff in the repository that’s collected over the years.
Amber: I seem to be excellent at finding the weird ones.
John: You are. You are much better. I used to be able to find them, but I haven’t really made the effort. Maybe it’s because I’ve gotten blasé about it, and I just don’t look as well.
Amber: I need to find more jokester ones.
John: That will be kind of cool. All right. Well, this show currently brought to you by
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John: Absolutely, nothing but the highest quality hosting. Okay. Contests, we do have a new contest coming. Thanks again to Charlie out there who is helping us get this thing in order and he’s gotten us lined up with a contest. And I’ve got to show him a little bit about how to use some stuff on the site to get the contest up and promoted. But by next week, we will be having a new contest ready to rock and roll and we’ll be letting you know all about it.
John: Stay tuned and we’re getting back to the contest. Thanks again, Charlie, for helping us get off the ground with it. That’s the way you can help, folks. There’re lots of things, little things that need to be done for the show that I don’t make any money on. I don’t have the time to get to them because I have to earn a living. I have got to feed myself. For some crazy reason, people want me to pay them money when I ask for groceries. It’s silly, I know.
All right. So covering up in this episode of plugins, what I covered was the Ivory Search a WordPress search plugin, which I gave a 4 to, the Post Type Switcher, which I gave a 5 to, and the Mercado – Turn Your WooCommerce into a MultiVendor MarketPlace, which I gave a 4 to.
Amber: And I covered Auto Featured Image, which I gave a 4 to, the Dinosaur Game, which I gave a 5 to, and Halloween Panda, which I also gave a 5 to.
John: Okay. And I want to give a quick thing. Thanks, Hemdian. He’s made a comment “That’s good timing on the Post Type Switcher.” He’s got a bunch of pages he needs to change the custom post types.
John: There you go, brilliant. Excellent, glad to hear it’s good timing for you. Okay. I’m going to give you a couple of quick reminders of things because we’re going to go into our question and answer segment, and partway through that we will cut it off for the closing credits, and we’ll pick it up afterward only on the YouTube channel.
Okay. So a couple of quick reminders, there is no meetup currently planned. We’re trying to figure out something around that. I’ve just not had the time. I’ve been so focused on many other aspects of my life and we’re going to be bringing that back together real soon. So don’t worry, folks, that will happen.
If you’d like to be on an interview show, just reach out to me at wppluginsatoz.com/interview. You want to find out more about what I’ve been spending my time on, go check out TheRougesTavern.com.
Okay, so we still need an intro for this question and answer. Here’s a good one.
John: That will work. All right. We’ve got a question and answer segment coming up here, and Amber is going to start this off by asking some questions or a question and see if we can get a discussion going.
Amber: Well, this time around, I don’t really have any particular question. It’s more of an interest in what would someone who is brand new entirely to the Internet, everything, what would they need to know about setting up their own website? Like, what would you want them to know before they come to you and tell you about this amazing idea that they have, what would you hope that they would know about first?
John: Well, the first thing they need to do — know about and have is their domain name.
Amber: And how would you get that?
John: The best way to get it is you can go to — I recommend GoDaddy or you can buy in from JohnOverall.com where I’m actually a GoDaddy reseller. Buy in from me. I make an extra buck on the domain. You don’t pay me more. You pay the same price for the domain as GoDaddy. They just give me the buck instead of keeping it themselves.
Amber: Oh, cool.
John: So you can go that. There is a link off my website to buy domains through my reseller platform, but you buy a domain. You must have your domain before you can start on anything because I’ve seen it happen more than once, people get a great idea and they get started on it. And then you say you bought your domain? They go look for a domain and the domain is gone. And they can’t get even a decent variation of the domain they want, meaning that they have to change the whole layouts of their business or the name of their business or whatever they’re going to do because they need a domain to match it. So you start with your domain before you do anything else.
Amber: All right. And what would you want them to know next? Like, what is the next step after that?
John: Well, the next step after that is to have a bit of an understanding on what they want for a site, what their site is going to do? This is the big one. What’s their site going to do? Is it going to be an e-commerce website? Is it going to be just a blog? Is it going to be information? Is it going to be interactive for people? Are they going to try and connect with their clients?
Now, starting fresh from scratch, I’m guilty of this myself from way back in the day when I first started — phone isn’t ringing off the hook. Did you answer my question? I don’t know what question it was. Your phone isn’t ringing. I missed that, Shaun. You’ll have to give me what the question is.
Sorry, at any rate, they have to know what their website is going to do and how it’s going to work forward. That is always a big one, so they have to sit down and do some planning. I’m more than happy to sit with them and help them figure out and plan it and figure out how it’s going to work. That’s where I was going with this also is, they got to realize that getting out the gate, they’re going to have zero-to-little traffic. It can take months to gain traffic unless you happen to have something that catches fire really quick. It takes time. You got to market, push, drag things out, talk to your friends, family, try to get the media to pick you up. It takes a lot to get something out. It’s not as easy as “build it and they will come.” That only happened in one movie that I know of. That’s the only place I’ve ever seen it actually happen was in Field of Dreams. He built it and they came, but that wasn’t exactly what it was.
I think before we go much further, we’ll call a split at this point and those of you listening on the podcast will have to pop over to the YouTube channel to catch it. So I’m going to let my girl do the credits. Hang around after the credits, folks, and Amber and I’ll pick this up afterwards.
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