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 #483 here.
It’s Episode 483 with plugins for Images, Delivery Dates, Gifts, Partial payments, Favourite Boxes, Barcodes, and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right. So first off, we try to talk about the ClassicPress options. We haven’t had any for a while. I haven’t been doing any ClassicPress work, so I don’t have time to go dwell into that zone, still hoping that someone out there who uses ClassicPress will supply us some information. We’ll take whatever you can get. So in the meantime, it is just the usual ClassicPress resources; our ClassicPress Club News, the Forum Websites, Code Potent’s website, all of those areas.
So moving into the WordPress — that didn’t really work so well. Drop that one back, back the tongue up. All right. Now we’re at it. WordPress plugins, what we have for WordPress plugins for you here? First off, the first one I’ve got for you is called Deposits and Partial Payments for WooCommerce. This one here is a nice little plugin that allows you to take partial payments or full payment on products in your WooCommerce store. It’s a plugin that’s split in two pieces, the freemium and premium version.
The freemium version allows people to make a deposit on a single order, either partial deposits on products or pay for it in full. They can’t do both. The premium version allows them to add a deposit and regular products into one order, so they can do both. There is a good split there for it. It is very useful if you’ve got something like temporary memberships or small fees, or you got products and allow people to put a deposit on to pay it in full and get shipped, all kinds of ways you could use this if you’re running an e-commerce store through WooCommerce. Great little plugin. It’s one I would suggest you check to out if it’s something that you can use in your particular world. Go check this out. It’s called Deposits and Partial Payments for WooCommerce, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Amber: I never even thought about that as being a possibility online, doing a partial payment.
John: Well, I’m sure people have but this is the first time I’ve actually seen a plugin for it.
Amber: It’s cool. All right, so the first one I’ve got is Select Delivery Dates Woo. For this one, it is a plugin designed for the convenience of the customer. I wasn’t able to fully test this one out though it seems fairly straightforward. A bit of warning though, when you do go to plug it in, it is pretty far down the page. So, don’t give up if you don’t see it within the first couple of rows when you’re looking for it. It’s there just, kind of hidden. It’s a total freebie and it’s a brand spanking new.
What you do is you download it and it just automatically becomes an option for your customers where they can choose a delivery day. Now, if the general delivery date takes 8 to 12 business days, the customer can’t say, have it delivered the next day. What ends up happening is they are given a timeframe in which the delivery can be made, and they get to choose what day that they want it to be delivered to them, which would be really cool. It seems like a total steal right now. Hopefully, it doesn’t have any issues going on. I rate this at 5 Dragons.
John: Sorry, I had to do that. All right. Next one I’ve got here for you.
Amber: I can’t help it if I find all the good plugins.
John: Yes, I know. You’re just too kind. The next one I have for you is called WP Image Sizes. Now, this can be a very useful plugin for you. What it’s designed to do for you is it’s designed to help you gain control of all the massive numbers of images that are created every time you upload an image to your WordPress website. You upload one image and depending on your theme, it will create anywhere from three additional which is the default in WordPress, three additional ones, which is the thumbnail, the square, and then a larger square. And then, if your theme is there, it will create multiple numbers. I’ve seen some themes create as many as 10 or 12 additional images once you upload one image.
And then, once you exit that theme, rebuild, all those images are still there taking up storage space. This is a plugin which can help you clean up that storage space, determine which images are created of all the options that are available for your theming system. Maybe you don’t use certain size images ever for anything, and you don’t need them being created. You can control that with this plugin. It will also allow you to get in and choose to have, if you get the premium version, the pro version, you can choose to have it recreate images on the fly. In other words, maybe you’ve got a certain size image and one page forgot to create them. The first time that page is loaded, it will create that image again fresh and new for you. So, it’s a really great tool, a very useful one. Because it does have a premium version, I have to slap it down and give it a 4-Dragon rating but go check it out. It is called WP Image Sizes.
Amber: It seems like it could be really useful. And I’ve got —
John: Don’t tell me, Amber. Don’t tell me it’s a Halloween plugin.
Amber: It sure is, come on. It’s Halloween this weekend. I warned everyone I was going to be doing this all month, at least one. So this is Halloween Box. So, this one, what it does for you is, it turns your posts into like a black box, and it has some nice pumpkins at the bottom. I think they are tasteful. Very simple, another total freebie and also brand new, which I was surprised. Guess I shouldn’t be, it’s close to Halloween, so all the Halloween plugins are coming up. It’s pretty easy. You download it, activate it, and it just automatically does its own thing. I like it. It’s easy, it’s tasteful, and I rate it 5 Dragons.
John: Very nice.
John: I’m going to wear that one right out.
John: All right. The next one I have for you here is called Order Barcode Plugin. This one here is another WooCommerce plugin and what it does for you is it generates each and every individual order, it generates a unique barcode for each order, and this barcode can be used in multiple ways. One nice thing is it has integration with the WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips plugin, which is a pretty common plugin when you set up a WooCommerce store so that you can create PDF invoices and packing slips.
When it’s done, it creates a unique bar code that can then be used in a scanning system for scanning and tracking purposes, for helping to keep an eye on a list of what your orders are, where they are at. And with the unique barcode, it makes them all that more unique and useful. Great little plugin. It is a brand new one, fresh out the window. It’s only been out like a week or two. Nice little plugin. They have got a couple of things left to deal with on it, but you might want to go check this one out. So I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Amber: Barcode plugin. All right, the last one I have —
John: Don’t tell me, Amber — don’t tell me it’s a Halloween plugin.
Amber: No, actually it’s not.
John: No? Oh darn!
Amber: It’s not a Halloween one although I did find it because I was searching for Halloween. It has a Halloween option, but it’s actually designed as a gift one. So, it has a Halloween option, but it also has Easter and like everything. It has all the major holidays, and it’s got percent sign and a little gift box, all kinds of things. It’s called Gift Hunt. So yes, it could be a Halloween one.
It does have a pro version, but the free version is pretty awesome. Sorry, I got lost there.
John: Brain loss.
Amber: Brain loss, yep. It’s the new little things you got. They are messing me up, man.
John: Yeah, I’m throwing it off.
Amber: So what this does as I have mentioned before, it creates a gift pop-up for anyone who spends long enough on your site. So, it doesn’t just automatically pop up when people get to your site. People actually have to be looking at your site and going through things, and then, eventually, it pops up. I’ve seen this a couple of times. You don’t need to have WooCommerce or any specific theme either. Just it works with WordPress.
What happens is the person will click on the gift. They will fill out a form with their info which you can then collect to grow your business, and they get a gift of your choosing. So, it can be very useful for both parties here. It’s a bit a long-form for you to fill out when you first download it, but it’s worth it. Because once you fill it out, that’s all it is, and you can change the little icon that appears on the person’s screen depending on the season or you can just deactivate it when you don’t want to have it going on.
I definitely recommend this for people who want to grow their business. And also, the fact that you could make it fit any season is pretty cool, but Happy Halloween everyone, got to say it.
John: And what’s the rating on that one?
Amber: Four dragons.
John: There we go. Well, that’s it. You’re in this last show before Halloween.
John: So no more Halloween plugins. I guess you can start working on Thanksgiving and Christmas plugins.
Amber: No, they are not nearly as entertaining. I only like Halloween. It’s the one holiday I actually like.
John: Yeah, it’s not truly a holiday. It’s just a day of going out and begging for candy.
Amber: Yeah, it’s my holiday.
John: Okay. All right, well, that’s all we got for the plugins on it. This show currently brought to you by…
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John: Absolutely. I got to change that up. It’s actually exclusive webhosting that won’t slow you down.
Okay, we do have a little bit of a listener feedback this week, a little bit of questions. So off we go with that. It goes,
“Hello from Ladysmith, John! Hope you are well down in Vic. I continue to be entertained by your podcast with your daughter, great addition. What is your opinion of the Wordfence plugin? I was told once by a webhost that it is a resource hog, but I am watching their weekly YouTube live and considering bringing it back into my recommended plugins. I used to have it on a lot of sites but removed it. Any advice is appreciated, or maybe if you have an anti-malware favorite plugin. Thanks. All the best, Paul.”
All right, Paul, well, I did send him an email back and let him know what I thought. And it is Wordfence. I’ve been using it for years, way back, probably five or six years at least, maybe longer. I thought it was great. They did have a resource issue for a while. I learned how to adjust all the settings to eliminate the resource problem. And not too long ago, about six months or a year so ago, they finally figured that out on themselves for the startup and the setup of it to have certain things turned off to keep it from sucking through the resources.
I did a great interview with — I can’t remember her name, from Wordfence earlier this year. You can find that in the interview section of the website. It’s a really great interview, and we actually touched on that particular problem in the interview. And she explained what they had done to address that issue. It really doesn’t have a resource issue problem anymore.
And, of course, Wordfence, I find it to be a very useful tool. I even use it when I’m cleaning up a hacked website that comes to me. Their site’s been hacked, and I clean up everything else. I’ll run Wordfence through it, and sometimes it will find an occasional file that I missed in my cleanups. And it does help prevent attacks against the site. Nothing is perfect. But it does slow things down, stop them, notifies you of issues. Sometimes it can be a little over-enthusiastic in its notifications, but it is a great plugin, and I’ve been using it for quite some time. So I recommend using Wordfence. It does its job well.
Okay. And we do have a contest. And I would like to give acknowledgments to Simple Giveaways, which powers our plugin or which is the plugin that powers our contest. They were kind enough to provide us with a premium pro version of their plugin, and it works very well for running all kinds of contests on your site, collecting email addresses, and additional information.
This plugin has grown up quite nicely. I’ve been using it since it was relatively new. I might have even been using it when it was listed first as a brand new plugin in the WordPress repository, and I’ve watched it grow up, so it’s been a really great plugin. I do want to thank Charlie for coming to the aid of the show and helping us out with our contests and getting them organized. We now have at least two or three more contests all ready to go after this one is over.
The current one we have running runs from October 22nd until November 3rd. The winner will be announced on November 5th, and I am so thrilled to see how many people have been entering the contest. It is a license for Fluent CRM, a self-hosted email marketing automation plugin for WordPress. It manages your leads and customers’ email campaigns, automated email sequences, learner and affiliate management, and monitor user activities, and many more in one place without ever having to leave your WordPress dashboard. A few of the features are email campaign management, email sequencing, 360-degree view while integrating with several third-party tools, and a few webhook connectors. Yeah, I’m not really sure what I said right there but it just sounds cool.
All right, this is a lifetime license. The lifetime licenses are not available to purchase, so the value of this giveaway is not just one-year license. This is every year. It’s $129 a year for life. This is a unique giveaway item, so you’ll want to sign up to see if you can win this contest. Tell others. Bring them in. Listen to the show. Tell them all about it. If you want more information, go to Fluent CRM’s website and find out more about this plugin. To enter, all you got to do is go to wppluginatoz.com/contests and check out Fluent CRM’s plugin, and sign up to win the free license.
Okay. So before we dive into the Q&A section, let’s cover off a couple of last-minute things. The plugins I covered in this episode were Deposits and Partial Payments for WooCommerce, which I gave a 4 to, the WP Image Size, which I gave a 4 to, the Order Barcode plugin, which I gave a 4 to.
Amber: And I covered Select Delivery Dates Woo, which I gave a 5, Halloween Box, which I gave a 5, and Gift Hunt, which I gave a 4 to.
John: And a couple of other quick reminders. I want to let everyone know, we’re going to have a special guest next week on the show. We’ll have a third party here. I forgot I even offered that up and it seems somebody signed up for it, took advantage of it, and now they’ve booked themselves in to be a special guest on the show. They’ve even provided their plugins they want to bring to the table and granted their plugins that they developed. But you know, I really don’t care. You want to showcase your own stuff, if you’ve got three of them to showcase, bring them along. This is what it’s going to be. It will be entertaining. It will be interesting to have a third party on the show. We haven’t had a third guest in a long time. So this will be lots of fun. So, tune in next week for the fun of it.
No meetups planned at the moment; we’ll let you know when they come back online. If you’d like to be on an interview show, go check out the links in the Show Notes and get interviewed. You want to find out more about how insane I am, go check out TheRougesTavern.com.
All right. Let’s move into, we need a question and we still haven’t done. Here we go. Here’s your question-answer segment.
Amber: Sure. I suppose that one works.
John: It works today.
Amber: I don’t like it as much as when we had last week, but I don’t remember it was.
John: I don’t remember either. We’d have to — no, that wasn’t it. No, no. No, I don’t remember. I’ve got so many random links and I changed quite a few of them this morning making room for the new ones. Anyway, let’s go. Off we go with the Q&A segment of the show. And don’t forget, we’ll split this midstream and it will be cut off for those of you listening on the podcast, and you’ll have to come to the YouTube version to hear the rest of it.
Amber: All right. So the first question I have for you is what exactly is caching?
John: Caching. All right. Cashing, that’s where you reach in your pocket, you pull out that weekly bit stuff like coins, that’s cashing, and you cash out and leave. No? No, okay. All right. Caching for WordPress, or actually caching for the Internet. There’re multiple types of caching out there. And the caching systems all basically work the same. They take data because when they have to get data from the database, it takes longer to get the data. They have to make a call to the database. The database has to look it up. It has to retrieve and return it. Well, caching goes, hey, this data is called an awful lot. It says, okay, I’ve got this data. I’m going to stick it in this special storage spot. So next time someone asks for it, I just show that to them, and I don’t have to go all the way back to the database and get that information. Does that make sense?
Amber: Yeah, that makes sense.
John: Okay, well, let’s explain a little bit more about the types of caching there is then that is used to give what exactly is caching. There is memory caching where the data is stored in active memory on a server, which isn’t always reliable because active memory is often wiped on servers as it goes along. There is disk caching, which it’s stored in different sections of a hard disk cache, and that’s a little more reliable.
What’s more often the case in particular with WordPress is, what happens is, WordPress is a PHP system, but what’s delivered to your website or to your web browser is HTML. So when it goes and gets all the information from the database, it combines it with all the PHP files and it produces an HTML file, and that’s what your web browser looks at.
What they do is with the caching systems in place, they take that HTML file and they store it as an actual file name, like, say, let’s go to the front page of your website. They store it as the front page in a particular file structure in your WordPress uploads folder under caching. So the next time someone hits the front page, it goes and looks in that file for the front page, and it goes how old is that file? Well, that file is only like a few hours old. It’s still fresh. Let’s show that to them.
John: And thereby it saves seconds. Over it goes, oh, that stuff is several days old. We need to get fresh data. And it goes all the way back to the database, gets the information, combines it back with the PHP files, and then, returns it all out, chews it, spits it all back out, and sends it back to an HTML file being stored in the storage spot, a database.
Amber: Okay. So that’s how what the caching is on your computer, but what about caching on WordPress?
John: That is the caching on WordPress.
John: That’s not your computer.
John: On your computer, it’s a whole other thing. So that will take us into another segment of it. So what I’m going to do is, I’m going to split it right here because once I answer all of this, this will be done. We’re going to split it right here. We’ll play the outro for my girl and let her take us out. And you want to hear the rest, stick around after the outgoing credits and you will catch the rest of it. For those of you on the podcast, you got to wander all the way over to our YouTube channel and listen to the other half of this. So let’s do that. And as she takes it out, it is time for me to get my tequila shot out of the way. I do like my tequila shot. It’s a great new habit. Well, maybe habit’s not the right word for that. Tradition, there we go. It’s better than a habit. So let my girl take us on out.
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John can also be reached at his website, JohnOverall.com, or email him directly at 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.