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 #487 here.
It’s Episode 487 with plugins for Sold Out, Video Conference, Protection, Good-Bye, User Guide, Shipping Options and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right. First off, we got ClassicPress options. We do have a couple of things from ClassicPress, and ClassicPress, of course, is the growing fork of WordPress that is starting to come to its own for some aspects. It’s still there, it’s pretty decent. I like that they’re still growing, putting out recent updates, et cetera. It will be a contender for WordPress, I believe, in the next five years.
First thing we’ve got from you here though, is we have a theme that is specifically built for ClassicPress. It is called the Canuck CP 1.0.2. It was released by Kevin’s Space. Really cool item here, one check out. If you’re using ClassicPress, this is a theme that was built for ClassicPress based upon the Canuck theme from WordPress but removed all the Gutenberg crap, so go check this one out if you’re using ClassicPress. It could be a really cool theme for you to build out your website.
Another piece of news from this is that if you are on a hosting provider – no, that wouldn’t be me. I don’t offer Softaculous as an auto-installer. I quit using auto-installers years ago because I realized they were no more headache than they’re worth, but there’s still companies out there that are using auto-installers like Softaculous. Softaculous has recognized ClassicPress as an authentic system, and they want you to – you can use Softaculous to install ClassicPress into your site. So go check that one out.
Amber: Softaculous makes you think a soft ice cream.
John: Yes, I know. Okay, so next up, the usual ClassicPress resources, the ClassicPress blog, the ClassicPress forums, go check all that information out. I am tripping over my tongue today horribly. Let’s try this again. Okay, first plugin I’ve got, it is WordPress plugin time. The first one I’ve got for you here is called Email Encoder – Protect Email Addresses. Now, one of the biggest problems of the Internet out there, of course, if you’ve got a website, the moment you place an email address on your webpages somewhere, the spam bots arrive, quickly harvest that email address, and pretty soon you’re —
John: Yeah, that’s the word, you’re covered in spam. I can’t understand why my tongue won’t work on that word, but we’ll —
Amber: Just scream a couple of times. Shake it out.
A really great plugin. It makes it really easy to set it up to help protect the email addresses off of your website, and this works for all email addresses, or even if you create mail to links on your website. So go check this one out. It’s called Email Encoder—God, I’m just having a hell of a time here—Email Encoder – Protect Email Addresses. And I give it a 5-Dragon rating.
Amber: Actually, it reminds me of one of the plugins I covered before the Bad Bots one. I still have that running, and it’s still doing really well. I only get an update about once every week or so, and it’s not sometimes not even that often. I figured I’d mention it that those two in tandem might be a good pair.
John: Well, they probably would be.
Amber: First one I have is MC Good-bye Howdy. I really like this one. This plugin is all about removing the Howdy so-and-so at the top of the page for your WordPress dashboard. I mean, my dad probably loves the Howdy – what was his – cowboy personality — no?
Amber: Well, for me, it’s always kind of reminded me of Woody from Toy Story. Every time I see it, I’ve got a picture of him in my head.
John: That’s horrible.
Amber: I have kids, man. I think of movies and my mind automatically goes to all the young kid Disney movies. It’s like they’re stuck, and they’ll never get them out.
John: Yeah, I’ve got a few of them there when you were a kid.
Amber: So this one is just — it’s awesome. It actually gives you multiple options. There is daypart, which connects to your time of day with a Good Morning or Good Afternoon, random international greetings. I’ve only seen French and Spanish, although I also saw Hawaiian also. I’ve seen those so far and I’m — I’ve been leaving this one on just to see how many international greetings there are. Random positive phrases, the first one I got was “You’re a superhero.”
Amber: And the last one, this is also the best one in my opinion. You can create a greeting of whatever you like, totally personalize it, and there are no restrictions. I’ve tried everything, every word I could think of. And it popped right up, no problem. I like having these options. This is a really fun one too. I could see a bunch of fun jokes being played with this one.
John: Oh, absolutely.
Amber: So I give this one a 5-Sragon rating.
John: Sounds like it could be very entertaining if you got a couple of different admins tied into the website.
Amber: So much fun.
John: Okay. The next plugin I’ve got for you here today is called Easy Options Hide Shipping Method per product for WooCommerce.
John: I know, it’s a long one. They probably could have shortened it to make Shipping Methods Optional WooCommerce or something, you know.
Amber: Even that’s kind of long, but a lot better than this.
John: It’s better than this one. This one’s almost — there’s a tongue twister, I had to slow down really hard to read that one out. At any rate, it’s a great little tool, simple and effective. If you’re running a WooCommerce site and you’re offering multiple shipping options, but sometimes certain products you don’t want to ship out through certain shipping options, you set this on a per product basis to hide that. Say you do a local pickup and UPS shipping and for some products, you won’t ship them, but they can come local pick them up. You can hide the UPS shipping option so that they only have the option for local pickup. They must come to pick it up. So that’s basically how it works.
Really great, simple plugin. This developer here I was looking through. This is a brand new plugin. It’s less than a couple of weeks old, but he released a whole slew of simple WooCommerce plugins much as this. So you might want to check his portfolio in the WordPress Plugins site, but at any rate, this one here is a really great tool, and it’s – I think it’s something I may have to use on an upcoming project for WooCommerce I’m doing, which will have multiple shipping options. Anyway, go check this one out. At the moment, I give it a 4-Dragon rating. Go check it out, Easy Options Hide Shipping Method per product for WooCommerce.
Amber: As easy to use as the name is hard to say.
John: Yeah, absolutely.
Amber: Next one I have is Custom User Guide. This one is a brand new, hot off the press, neat little plugin. I found it while I was browsing the new plugins for my pet project. It’s actually pretty fun to use. I plug it in, go to the user guide on the left, and start making your interactive user guide. Now, I tried like five different ways to explain exactly what you do, but I had a really hard time explaining it, so I have to say just go and play with it and figure it out. It shows you how to do it and what to do. It’s actually really easy, just really hard to explain. I don’t know why I have such a hard time explaining it though.
It’s designed to work with both PC screens and mobile screens, which is very useful. It removes the need for you to tweak it yourself and make it work on both types of screens, which I thought was pretty cool. You can also set up such just PC or just mobile as well. And now, since this is still really new, I don’t know what sort of kinks still need ironing out. There does always going to be something down the road, but I will keep an eye on this plugin as I keep using, and I’ll get back to you about it, though, if anyone else out there could give it a go and let me know what they think. That’d be awesome. I would love to hear back about any of the plugins I cover from another point of view. So go check it out. I rate this at 4 Dragons.
John: Excellent. Well, from what I can see of the plugin itself, it looks like it’s a tool tips. It gives tooltips to different parts of your site for when visitors hate your site, you pop-up a little window and says, click here for your account page, you know, click this to do that, you know, there are tooltips on so that people can find their way around your website a little easier. So it does look like it’d be an interesting plugin if they’ve got it nicely ironed out the kinks.
Amber: I haven’t found any kinks yet, but then again, maybe I just don’t know how to purposefully break things yet.
John: Well, you’ll get to that. All right, the next one I have here for you is called Sold Out Badge for WooCommerce. Now, this is a very useful one. Now, I can’t remember if the latest WooCommerce has the Sold Out badges automatically now, but for a long time, WooCommerce didn’t really have a Sold Out badge or one you could control when your products were out of stock. This is a plugin to deal specifically with that issue of when you’re selling stuff via WooCommerce, so when the products run out of stock, you can slap up a Sold Out badge, so people know you sold out that product.
That can be beneficial in many ways. One, it could be indicate to visitors, like this is a really hot product. It’s all sold out, come back later when we have more, or you know, just as an indication that, hey, this is the last one or it’s sold out. The great thing about this one though is this particular plugin makes it really easy to change the term ‘sold out’ to anything you want. You can change the words anything out to say, such as like, this was a really hot product. We’re sorry; we’re sold out right now, but more are coming. You can put that as a badge that pops up there over the product thumbnail.
So a really cool tool, and it does come in useful when you’re building out a WooCommerce website to help ensure that people don’t try to buy a product that’s not in stocks, and as they see sold out, they’ll understand it. But it does also indicate, if you’re selling products like, hey, this is a hot product, and people have this, you know, shortage mentality, think toilet paper, toilet paper runs out, everybody ran to the store to buy more, and it ran out, even more, you know. So same problem. When people get a scarcity mentality, they want to buy it. So that’s a very useful item that can be used on your site. So anyway, go check this one out. It’s called Sold Out Badge for WooCommerce, and I give it a 5-Dragon rating.
Amber: So do you need to place this on your sold out items individually or does it just —
John: It’s automatic.
John: The moment the item is out of stock, this automatically pops up.
Amber: Oh, that’s awesome.
Amber: Last one I’ve got is, Hello I am Here! Video conferences.
John: I’m not here, I’m gone.
Amber: This could be a very useful plugin if you’re getting a bit tired of the extreme lagging that’s been happening with the various conferencing sites. I know that both of my daughters have had issues when they are using this ridiculous one. What’s it called again?
John: Zoom – sucks wind.
Amber: That’s the one. For some reason, their entire school decided like —
John: Everybody for some reason – everybody decided Zoom was the way to go as soon as the pandemic took effect.
Amber: Half the time what ends up happening is they log in, and the connection is lost. It’s ridiculous.
John: I see their quality is just as good as it was when in the beginning. Yeah, I bet the security is not much better either still.
Amber: Pobably not; that’s why they’re on a separate network from me. But this is pretty easy to set up. I wasn’t really able to fully test it out because I don’t have anyone to contact really, but it does seem to be pretty good. It’s well-updated. I’d love it if somebody out there were to test it themselves if they have someone they can check it out with.
All you need to do is take the shortcode and add it into any page, or you can create a whole new page and insert the shortcode. Send the URL to the person or persons you are wanting to link with, and off you go. It seems to be a good way to get around having used one of the ridiculous bigger companies out there right now. Now there is a paid version, and apparently, paying for it is the only way to get around the jitsi logo floating about. Anybody out there winds up using it, let me know. I rated it at 4 Dragons.
John: Very nice. Okay. This show currently brought to you by…
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John: Absolutely. And my last server with space on it is starting to fill up, so if you want quality hosting, you better get in quick because once it’s filled, I’m not opening up another server. All right. Next thing we got contests. Our contests are powered by the Simple Giveaways plugin. They were kind enough to supply us with the plugin to run our contest, so thank you very much to you guys. It’s a really great plugin. I’ve been using it since it was brand new hot off the presses, and it has grown so nicely over the last three years. So if you’re looking for a plugin to run your contests on your website, go check out the Simple Giveaways plugin. No, they don’t give me any money. They just gave me the free plugin.
All right. I do want to thank Charlie again for coming to the aid of the show and getting our contests all pulled together and organized, and they are happening, and we have a long list of contests coming up through the New Year. Thank you very much, Charlie. I greatly appreciate your support of the show. And that’s what I mean, folks, lots of ways to support the show besides sending in your cash, this was one of them.
There is a new interview out right now. We have an interview with Arindo Duque from WP Admin Pages Pro and WP Ultimo. The plugin was reviewed in Episode 484, and we did have a contest where we were giving away this plugin. So it’s a really great plugin. Go check out the interview. It’s a really good interview. We talked about those plugins and a few other things. And we do have a new contest out right now. We have a contest out for a Cart Lift for the plug – one more time, let’s try this, back this up and – back the bus up for a second.
Amber: I need a beep, beep, beep. There you go.
John: All right. I skipped over a spot there. That’s what threw me off. I wanted to say thank you to – we did have a contest winner for the WP Admin Pages Pro. The winner was Shahbaz Qureshi.
Amber: Qureshi. That’s probably closer, I think.
John: There we go. So congratulations to him though, if he doesn’t reach out to me soon, he’s going to lose that license and we’ll recycle it. Because I send out an email, if you don’t respond in two weeks, we recycle the license. So if you’re listening Shahbaz, you better reach back out to me. I’ve sent you a couple of emails now.
All right. We do have a new giveaway contest for you started last week. We’ve got one more week left running in it where you can win a lifetime license for Cart Lift. It’s valued at $249 from RexTheme. And I did do an interview with the fellow from RexTheme last week I believe, and that will be released this next week. So coming up soon is an interview with him.
This plugin here, you can help win back over 20% of your abandoned customers. Recover over 20% of your abandoned cart customers with an automated email campaigns that are sent out. This is a plugin. So what happens? People go, they hit your store, they load up their cart, they get sidetracked, or they go, “Oh, I want to think about this.” And they close the window. They’ll get an email back that says, hey, you left all this stuff in your shopping cart. Do you want to buy it? And maybe they’ve gone, “Oh, well, maybe I do.” Actually, they log on, follow the link, and they buy all this stuff.
Now, I’ve done things like that myself. I loaded up my shopping cart, I get sidetracked, or I go on, I’m not sure I want to spend the money. Go Think about it, and I’ve had one or two of those, send me an email and go, you know, actually, I think I want to buy that stuff. So it is a good thing to do. It could help you gain back even if it gets you back just a couple of shopping carts, it’s well worth the money for the plugin. And just think, if you enter the contest, you could win this lifetime license, which is a $250 value.
Now, the other thing is Sultan from RexTheme was on episode 485. That’s why I remember it. I did an interview with somebody else last week, or this week, which is coming up next week. Episode 485 is where I did an interview with Sultan – or not an interview, but he was a guest host on the show for that show, and he talked about Cart Lift and several other of the plugins that they produce.
Amber: That was fun.
John: Yes, it was actually a really interesting episode. So if you’re a developer or just someone who wants to get involved in show business, reach out to us and you can be on the WP plugin show as a guest host. The only requirement is you bring two plugins to the floor, and you’d be ready to talk about them and be ready to talk about everything else. I’ll get you all the information you need so that you’re included in what’s happening in the show. All right. Go to wppluginsatoz.com/contest to enter the contest for more information.
Hey, and I covered up this episode, the plugins I covered was Sold Out Badge for WooCommerce, which I gave a 5 to, The Easy Options Hide Shopping Method Per Product for WooCommerce, which I gave a 4 to. Wow, I got through that with one try. The Email Encoder – Protect Email Addresses which I gave a 5 to.
Amber: And I covered Hello I am Here! Video conferences, which I gave a 4 to just because it was such a happy title. Custom User Guide, which I gave a 4, and MC Good-bye Howdy, which I gave a 5.
John: All right. And a couple of quick reminders before we move into the Q&A segment of the show, is there’s no meetup plan currently, maybe in the new year, maybe a Christmastime. Who knows? Life could change.
You want to find out more about my personal insanity, go check out the roguestavern.com, a really great place to visit.
If you have any suggestions on plugins or would like to have stuff reviewed, please submit them to our website at wppluginsatoz.com/submit.
And it is Q&A time for us right now. This is the segment of the show that we split in two. The first half is here for those of you on the podcast listening through your podcast app. The second half of the show, you’ve got to go listen to the YouTube version of the show to get the last half of it. So you can just basically speed forward to the end if you’ve already listened to the show on your podcast app. At any rate, let’s take it away. Amber, you have questions. What do we got this week?
Amber: Where’s my jingle?
John: Oh, your jingle?
Amber: Yeah, I like my jingle.
John: Yeah, I got to learn where it’s at. There it is.
Amber: Yay! Oh, actually all my questions are essentially aimed right at you today.
John: Oh, goody.
Amber: Yep. First question is, is there — no, oh it got put in here backward? What the heck? Okay.
John: Well, that’s the way I copied them. That’s your fault, not mine.
Amber: But it’s at the bottom of the list, the first one.
John: Read them from the bottom up then.
Amber: How do you do that?
John: I didn’t, I copied and paste exactly what I got from you.
Amber: No, no.
John: I don’t type.
John: You know, I don’t type.
John: So if I copy and paste it, I can’t reverse it, I’m sorry. I don’t copy them one at a time. They’re in a group; I copy and paste them in this group.
Amber: Oh, I know what happened. This is my question from last week, and I have that down at the bottom now.
Amber: Okay, how did you get started in WordPress?
John: How did I get started in WordPress?
John: Oh, that’s a good question. I need that one. That’s not a great question. How I got started in WordPress was I just sold my computer store, and I was deciding to go back into the computer – the web development industry. I was in the development industry in early 2000s, and then, in the mid-2000s, I bought a computer store thinking I would like to be in retail business, and I stayed in it for about three years and realized I need to get out of retail because, well, I hate people. So I don’t hate people, but dealing with the public is really hard.
At any rate, what happened was as after I sold my computer store, I was looking for something to do, and I saw that there was multiple CMS systems at that time. There was Joomla, Drupal, and WordPress, all three were quite good. And I started experimenting with them, seeing which one would be the most intuitive one to use, one that I could create websites, turn it over to clients because I didn’t want to have to manage and maintain their websites. I wanted to build websites, turn it over to them, and they get to deal with the mess. It’s all theirs until the next time they need it built or if they need it fixed from being hacked.
So that’s how I got started WordPress. I checked out Joomla. I found that wasn’t very intuitive. Drupal, I found was designed specifically for developers. It’s designed for geeks. The average person will never understand Joomla no matter how hard they try. WordPress was actually built for the average person. It was intuitive, easy to use, and was growing very rapidly. And that’s how I got started in WordPress.
Amber: Okay, Joomla?
John: Joomla. They’re still around, but they’re like less than 2% of the marketplace. WordPress has the majority of it, and then, the rest of the market is spread to everyone else. And there’s dozens of them now.
Amber: Okay, so you essentially got started in WordPress because you were already working on people’s websites?
John: Well, not exactly. I wasn’t working on their websites. When I came back to the tech industry, I had one or two clients I’d held on to. Like, I started my business in 1999. And initially, I was doing web design the old fashioned way with HTML code, and then, when PHP came about, we were incorporating PHP calls into HTML code. We were building basically what WordPress became. We were building that the hard way by mashing together several different PHP programs into an HTML website and multiple database calls as how we were doing. So what happened was the computer guy — I’ve played with computers, it’s just web design was just something that I found relatively easy to do.
Amber: It’s very pattern-oriented. I do like that about this.
John: Yes, it’s very pattern-oriented.
Amber: Okay, well, what I’m wondering is like, how did you go from being a computer fixer person to being a WordPress guy? Like, I know, I think you had your own shop for a while. And were you – you said you held on to a couple of clients. Were you still working for those people and working on the websites while you were also owning and running the shop?
John: Yeah, I would keep their website sort of up-to-date and keep them running. I mean, I still had my servers. I still had a couple of servers running. So I’m like, I started my server business in 1999 too.
John: And I kept a few clients on there because I needed hosting for myself and I kept the clients around because their fees for my servers help pay for my service, so I got my hosting for free.
Amber: Okay, so essentially, what happened is you had the computer business kind of like as a side thing almost?
John: Well, this computer business was a way that I could make money without having to actually work.
Amber: Ah, okay.
John: You know, just computers. I understand computers, and I’m able to build computers and fix computers and fix hacked computers, and I understand the stuff.
Amber: Okay, so back up to the ‘90s.
Amber: How did you get into taking care of people’s websites?
John: That happened somewhere around ‘98 or so when I was – when I first came out of college and I was developing websites, and I thought – I saw the future or everything. In the late ‘90s, the e-commerce didn’t exist; the phone book was still being used in the late ‘90s. It’s like, ask around anyone now — ask them if they can find their Yellow Pages phonebook.
Amber: I have one, but it’s really thin now.
John: Yeah, they’re really thin. They used to be —
Amber: They don’t make very good booster seats for kids anymore.
John: No, they used to be very thick, and they used to be everywhere. It’s like, you can’t find them now. They don’t even deliver them anymore. But, of course, I saw those changes coming, and I realized the Internet was the future, and, of course, when the Internet first came out, it was like it was the most magnificent thing on the planet. And then, of course, it’s been corrupted in the last – about last six years, it’s been massively corrupted with the big tech companies. They’ve managed to turn most of it back into walled gardens. I mean, AOL tried to create the walled garden that Facebook and Twitter have now.
Amber: Poor AOL. It was just ahead of its time.
John: They were too far ahead of their time is what happened. They had the right idea. They were just too far ahead of their time. So yeah, I have always been playing with computers. I’ve been playing with computers since I was a teenager, off and on.
Amber: So in order to get your business up and going, did you like make a business plan, or did you just kind of fall into it with an idea?
John: I fell into an idea. I gave up making business plans years ago. I have a plan for my business, but I don’t have a business plan. You know, I have a plan on what I want to do, things I want to accomplish, and every once in a while, I write them down and review it. But it was just the hardest thing, getting into the business was finding the right clients and learning how to run a business, and learning how to value myself. My biggest problem was that I undervalued myself for about 10 years. I was underpriced myself and, you know, people would tell me how grateful they were and how well I did on everything, but I didn’t value myself as well as they valued me. Once I started valuing myself at what they valued me at, my whole business changed.
Amber: Okay. So yes, you kind of did plan things, but only in your head, and I guess it kind of moved with every step that you took?
John: Yeah, that’s what happened. It just keeps moving. Every time I do something, it improves, or I make mistake and I have to change something and improve it.
Amber: Okay, so then, asides from the customers, what was the hardest thing that you had to get used to running your own WordPress business?
John: Because I’d often forget to send out the billing.
Amber: Okay, that doesn’t surprise me.
John: I forget to send this out a bill, or I get to the end, and I see all the hours, and I go, is that really worthwhile? I’d feel like I wasn’t – did I give them value for all these hours I’m sending them? Are they going to freak out when they get the bill? You know, that I make sure I warn them enough that they’re going to get a big bill? Billing is the – and that’s often the downfall of many small business people is their billing, because they’re not used to billing. Billing is a hard thing to do.
And the other thing that comes after that is collecting on those bills. Because you will find clients that will lag in paying you or dodge you or not pay you or want to pay you half and negotiate, and that’s back to that article we did in the beginning. That’s one of the types of clients you got to fire. You got to fire them real quick because they will continue to do that to you, so I learned that the hard way.
So we’re going to take it that you got one last question. We’re going to push that one into the next thing unless you’ve got more here. So we’ll push that into the segment for after the credits, and this will be just for the YouTube listener. So hang tight, YouTube listeners. We are going to close out the show here just for the podcast listeners, and we’ll be back in a second. And it is tequila time, so 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 newsletter for more useful information delivered directly to your inbox. WP Plugins A-Z 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.
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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.