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 #497 here.
Life Always Finds A Way It’s Episode 497 – We have plugins for Finding Your Way, Reaching Out, Making Copies, Market Place…, and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: First plug in I’ve got for you here is called Smart Admin Search. And this one here is a plugin with some promise, okay? It’s really cool. It’s a brand new plugin, and I caught it, and I was like, this is a great idea for a plugin — and I’ve used administrative search plugins before that weren’t always very effective. This one here had promised right now all it can do for you, though, is allow you to search your menu items for matching queries in your menu item strings, which is useful if you’re like me, and you’re running like 50 or 60 plugins on your site, and it’s got that many menus in the sidebar and finding out where in the menu you’re supposed to be. It can be really a pain sometimes. So it’s very useful in that aspect, but they do promise more contents for searching coming soon. One of the great things that would be is searching for posts and pages and other things in the admin dashboard because there’s times where you go searching, you got to find a specific post and you’re looking for all you can remember is a keyword to it, and you can use the function in the post listings, but it’s not always effective. This may be a more effective search, but it does have some promise on it and it’s looking to be pretty good. So at the moment I’m just going to give it a three-dragon rating. Let’s hope it checks out and matures up to a nice plugin. So go check it out Smart Admin Search.
Amber: Only sounds like it has a lot of promise that could so useful. I mean, it sounds like it’d be kind of useful at the moment anyways. So the first one I have is Contact Form, Drag and Drop Form Builder for WordPress – Everest Forms. It’s a long name.
John: Long name contest.
Amber: Yeah. So I was searching for a form plugin for a client, and I found a couple that I wanted to share with everyone. This one, the Everest Forms plugin, is quite simple and easy to use, though it has no color scheme control and little personalization control in general. Once you get in there, and you load it up, you just go over to the Everest Forms on the left-hand column there, and you do a simple drag-and-drop the list provided to create your form. There aren’t many options in the free version though, if you’re just looking for a quick and easy contact form, this will work out pretty well. You don’t get to choose any sort of style or colors. You do get to have the Captcha on the free version, and it gives you like maybe five out of the many that they offer up — like they have a whole list there on the page, but you only get like maybe 5 to 10 of those. So it’s kind of frustrating, but again, if you’re looking for something really simple, and you’re just beginning with contact form, you need something immediately, this will work pretty well for you. I rate this at three dragons.
John: Okay. Well, it’s another contact form plugin. There’s a lot of them out there.
Amber: Yes, there are.
John: Okay, next up for you. I have to eat a little crow here — shoe leather as it may be. This is a re-review of the Yoast Duplicate plugin after I got a comment on the show last week from the plugin authors, so I said I’ll go in and reevaluate this plug in and check it out. Now, first off, let me read out his letter. It came from Enrico Battocchi, anyway goes, “Hey, John, my congratulation for the show. I’m the original creator of Duplicate Post, now one of its developers at Yoast. I am glad that you like the cool new feature we added, but I’m sorry, you chose to highlight two reviews that state wrong facts. One of these reviewers has also later acknowledged that without any mention of our answers, let’s put aside the complaint for a bug which unfortunately hasn’t been reported as such in the proper way. Other people experienced a bug with 4.1, and with their help, we were able to patch it in a few hours, and let’s focus on the infamous upgrade notice, which I used a couple of reviews to talk about. So let me please state that the notice is displayed to admins only. Well, yeah, that’s the only one they ever talked about. So regular users are not affected. No regular users are ever affected by admin notices. It is used to be displayed on every admin page at every new version. And now as you already know, since you use the plugin, it’s displayed only in dashboard and the plugins page and only for major updates. This means that a user upgrading through the last versions, the Yoast ones. It would have been shown just three times on the two pages instead of seven times everywhere as it happened before. I think it’s an improvement. Yeah, that would be an improvement.
It used to be a nag asking for donations when it was my pet project while I was a freelancer. While now, it’s just there to let people know about the huge improvement and remind them that they can sign up for the free Yoast newsletter to stay updated. This hardly qualifies as an ad in my view while some users go so far that even the new logo, which legitimately shows the Yoast brand is seen as advertisement. I suppose they are researching for an ad block plugin for their glasses. So while they walk on the streets, they don’t see such ads as the Lacoste, the crocodile in other people’s shirt or their Toyota logos on cars. You can get a good call out there but that’s wasn’t a problem. We know that the notice is not the best choice, but that’s why we’re phasing it out, but we can’t do it without replacing it with another way to make sure people can find their way along the big changes that the plugin has been having since it has joined Yoast. So while some people may legitimately find a notice annoying, but not to the extent to saying it got worse while actually it’s hugely reduced its impact, and let me say that someone just over reacts to the Yoast name. There are much more people yeah, they do overreacted to the Yoast name. That’s because Yoast has pulled some horrible things over the years; some good things, but some horrible things. There are much more people among the millions using the plugin that use the notice to avoid the need of seeking help from support. I originally introduced a notice because I was flooded by emails from users who won’t even were aware that the settings page was there. The upgrade notice while at the same time was really naggy, and shamefully begging for money empowered those users to solve their problems just by providing a source of information whether it was just a reminder to check the current settings or a link to a guide. Now, it’s displayed a fraction of the time it used to. It doesn’t ask for money at all, but at the moment has the unavoidable purpose to help people discover how completely new feature works. Sorry for the long message, but I think that letting just two reviews and with some untrue statements, speak about the plugin is not right just for me.
I’m getting used to it while it’s still saddening, but for all the people who are working on making a better piece of software than it was. My best regards.” Keep up the good work. All right. Well, that was a long email — or a long public — he took a lot of time to write that out. It’s a pretty lengthy piece, so I felt that deserves some attention back in the show. And okay, all right, I’ll go back and I’ll dig a little deeper. I only saw the notice briefly and I ignored it. I didn’t go to check to see if it was like so many other notifications that are on every single page. To me, it shouldn’t even be on the admin page. It should only be on the plugins page because — well, I guess there are two plugin update areas. So, it should be in the plugin update area page or the plugins page. That’s my beef on the notices. But I did notice when I was working with the site that the plugins installed — I was working on the site for four hours — no I didn’t see the update period — didn’t notice at all. Okay, yeah, that’s clear, that’s a good thing. The plugin, I did give it a good check, check it all out, and I checked out the new feature in there. Well, it turns out, you know, the feature is pretty good, and I do like that new feature of being able to create a edit and republish. I don’t think that’s what they call it. They have some — but basically, you click the edit and republish. And what it does is, it pops it in, and it brings up a copy of your original post so you can edit the copy of it. And once you’ve edited the copy, and then you hit republish it, then merges all your edits into the original and saves it back as one post, you know.
Amber: Oh, that’s cool.
John: And so that’s a very useful feature. And I do like it — and I do like the plugin — and when it was Duplicate Post, I think that’s when I used to use it a lot, and, of course, slapping the Yoast name on it has probably hurt the brand — hurt your brand more than anything else from my viewpoint because while Yoast is the number one search engine plugin, and they’ve done lots of good things in the WordPress environment. They’ve done some bad things to tarnish their reputation. And in my eyes, they’ve tarnished their reputation many times, and I’ve actually been moving away from their products over the last couple of years simply because of various reasons I won’t go into. But all in all, I have to admit, it is a great plugin, it is free. There’s no premium options to it, and it works very well, and it does the job very well with the added feature — all right, I have to revise the rating I gave it last week, which was a two. I have to revise it, and pack it back up to the top, and it gets a five-dragon rating.
John: There you go. Go check it out; it’s the Yoast Duplicate Post Plugin.
Amber: That’s pretty awesome. So if anybody has a major issue just calls you out.
John: Yes, call — well, if you have an issue of what I do, call me out, I’ll review. You might not win. I’ve had people call me out before I go, “No, sorry, holding the line here.” And I’ll point out even more reasons why. It’s like, you want to call me up, be prepared. I’ll eat crow when I have to. It’s kind of painful on the ego from time to time, but if your ego doesn’t get smacked down every once in a while, you never grow. So it’s all good.
Amber: Actually, hearing about that more in-depth like that, that’s actually — it sounds like a really useful plugin. So the next one I have is another very long name — and I think it’s longer than the last one. Contact Form Plugin – WP Fluent Forms – Fastest Contact Form Builder Plugin for WordPress.
John: Yeah, sure it is.
Amber: It’s actually surprisingly great Contact Form, a little limited by the need to upgrade to Pro to get all of the options, but they give you most of the options right off the bat. Once you get all activated, you go into the Add New under Fluent Forms on the left-hand column. I don’t know why they didn’t just call it Fluent Forms, but this is another drag-and-drop one, and it works really well. As I said, you get most of the options available in the free version. You can change up the name of the options on the form, so like if you are doing a form, or you just want name an email, you can change it from where it says first name to just name. So you have a lot of control over that, which I really appreciate. You also have control over the size of the entry area, and the color of the submit button, which are all things I really like — also, where the label goes, whether it’s above the entry area, beside it, left, right, all that stuff. I really really liked the amount of control that you get in this. It’s not as much control as I’ve seen in a couple other ones, but it is — I really-really like this one. And it looks really nice on your page. You can either add it through shortcode or through one of the fluent widgets. In the widget, you just upload the form you created. It looks like a mixture of New Age in ‘90s, so it’s got kind of a bit of old school, but also more modern look to it. I really like it. If you’re looking for a form that is both simple and has some decent, like actually decent customizing options, go and check this one out. I rate it at four dragons.
John: Very cool. All right. Well, we’ll go check that one out. Okay, the last plugin I’ve got for you here today is called Dokan – Best WooCommerce Multivendor Marketplace Solution – Build Your Own Amazon, eBay Etsy. I think I beat you this week on the longest name. I actually I thought about that I looked at the number of long name plugins we had this. We should just do a show one time with the longest name plugins we can find.
Amber: I think that looks like a great idea.
John: Just to see what kind of odd stuff comes out with super long name plugins. All right. At any rate, this one here, Dokan is a WooCommerce Marketplace plugin. And what that means is you’ve set up your WooCommerce store, and then you set up this plugin next to it, and it turns your WooCommerce store into a marketplace where all of your friends can sell their products through your store or your enemies or anyone you want to charge a fee to. You basically set up your own marketplace for people to sell. If you happen to have a really cool domain name that you can build a marketplace around, you know, such as the Rogues Tavern, you can start building out letting people sell or even Boxed-in Art, you know for that instance. It allows you to get in there, set this up. People have set up their own accounts, and they get a front-end interface that allows them to upload their products, set their products, set their prices, and promote their products through your website. They get their own unique URL in your store for all of their products in your store. When the products sell, you make a commission off the sales. I don’t know how it collects the money, whether it goes through a central account or what, most likely it goes through a central account and you pay out the moneys to your marketplace people. I didn’t dig that deep into it. It’s something I’m keeping on the periphery right now because who knows how that Rogues Tavern is going to grow over the next several years. This could be something that I move into and deal with. But, at any rate, it sounds like a very interesting plugin, and if you’re into building out something like this, go check out this plugin. I’ve seen a lot of different marketplace plugins over the years, and most of them fell far short of what you needed to do to make it work. This one seems like it actually has its act together. So go check this one out. It’s called Dokan – Best WooCommerce Multivendor Marketplace Solution – Build Your Own Amazon, eBay, Etsy. And I give it a four-dragon rating.
Amber: It’s impressive that you didn’t trip up on that.
John: Yeah, that was effort, serious effort.
Amber: The last one I’ve got is CP Blocks. After all those long names, man, it feels inadequate.
John: We go from long names to short. It is, it’s very inadequate.
Amber: Well, CP Blocks, if you use Calculated Fields Form Plugin or Contact Form Seven Plugin, then this is a perfect addition for you. The free version offers 34 varieties of new unclick buttons to your forms. The design of these buttons are actually quite nice and very useful if you’re looking for a particular style. Admittedly, there are a couple of sections there where it’s just three versions in the same button, but it’s still very nice. Once you have this up and going, you simply need to click on the Add blocks button and up-up the options. It kind of reminds me of when you’re making a menu in WordPress the way it’s set up, and the options available are pretty decent. If you’re in need of a more personalized button, I recommend you go and check this one out. I rate it at four-dragons.
John: Very cool. We’ll go check that out. All right. Well, that covers up the plugins. This show currently brought to you by
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John: Absolutely. High-quality hosting at a fair price, no limits on resources. Okay, it is contest time. That’s very nicely done. All right. Thanks a lot to Steve Goodtime, Brent Matthews for that jingle. I really appreciate it. And I do like to thank Charlie for all his work and coming to the aid of the show and getting our contest organized. So, we’ve had a continuous flow of contests since he showed up. Very much thank you to that. And so that’s the sorts of things you that producers can help us with. There’re so many things that need to be done for the show. The show doesn’t put any money in my pocket. So you just feel like a way you want to give back to the show. That’s something you can do, reach out to us, we can find something for you. All right. And I want to talk real quick, for those participating in the contest, remember, we go to great efforts to get these licenses and look for more participation from you. It doesn’t take long, just go in there and enter it. Even if you enter previous contest, enter the next one, and then for the next one. If you win the license and you don’t need it, give it back, we’ll recreate another contest, or you can hang on to it because you might use it, you never know. These are great licenses, some of the best licenses you can get. All right. And so last week’s — the last contest we had was the unlimited lifetime license for HappyFiles, and we do have a winner. The winner is Jason Lee. We need a jingle for the winner. That would be actually kind of cool to — a jingle for the winner.
Amber: So we’re getting a pretty awesome collection of jingles at this point. Adding more would just be so cool.
John: It is, and well, it’s kind of nice to have our own instead of me having to steal them all from the No Agenda Show and wherever else I can get jingles. Nice thing about No Agenda show is they don’t mind us stealing them as long as you recognize that’s where they came from. That’s all what I asked for. I don’t mind giving them recognition. All right. So congratulations to Jason Lee, and he’s already contacted me back, and that stuff be going to him real soon. So we do have a new contest, and this contest here is you can win an annual single license of the Equalize Digital Plugin. And it’s the Accessibility Checker Pro Plugin, and what it checks for is it checks to see if your website is accessible, handicap accessible. And it’s a really good plugin, and I did an interview with Amber Hind from Equalize Digital, and that interview is now up and online. And you’ll want to go listen to the interview I did with her and check out what she has to say about the plugin. It’s a really great plugin, really great company. They do a lot of really cool things to help make the web more accessible for people with disabilities such as eyesight or hearing or other mobility issues that they have to use special screen readers or mouse and other things, and they can’t get into normal websites as easy as most people. So go check this out. It’s a really great license. It’s valued at $149. And that contest is now up and running for the next couple of weeks. So make sure you go sign up for that contest.
All right. So, covering up a few things before we head off into the Q&A segment because that’s where I play the credits in the middle of the Q&A segment. Plugins I covered in this show was the Smart Admin Search, which I gave a three to, the re-review of the Yoast Duplicate Post Plugin, which I gave a five to, and the Dokan – Best WooCommerce Multivendor Marketplace Solution – Build Your Own Amazon, eBay, Etsy, which I gave a four to.
Amber: I covered DP Blocks, which I gave a four to, Contact Form Plugin – WP Fluent Forms – Fastest Contact Form Builder Plugin for WordPress, which I gave a four to, and Contact Form, Drag and Drop Form Builder for WordPress – Everest Forms, which I gave a three to.
John: There you go. All right. Now, a couple of quick reminders before we head off into Q&A. All right. We have no meetup plan for WP plugins A to Z, but I do have to add that I have restarted the Hike Club for Men for the Rogues Tavern. This is an event for men and men only. You must be dangling berries and twigs to show up for this event, and there’s a link in the show notes that’ll take you to the Rogues Tavern where you can find out more about the event. You got to be living in Victoria too because it’s basically we’re going for a Hike. And we’re going to hike around the lake where we can have some chats and some fun, and it’s set for March 14. So if you’re interested, go RSVP on the Rogues Tavern, Hike around the Lake Events. And one other quick thing, if you’re not getting enough of Amber and I, what you’ll do is go listen to us on Tuesday nights at 9 pm where we do another podcast, the Rogues Tavern Live, and you can also download that podcast from the Rogues Tavern website. All right. Let’s move it along again. It is time for
It’s question and answer time.
John: With Amber.
Amber: So just before I start, if anyone has any questions they’d like to have me ask, send them in to me at email@example.com, and I’ll read them out. I’ll make sure I mention who they’re from if you’d like, if you don’t want to, you just want to be anonymous, I’ll keep you anonymous as well. So my first question is, what is a subdomain and how does it work? What does it do?
John: All right. Well, a subdomain is any name in front of the domain itself. Domains are the roguestavern.com. That’s a domain, okay. And so anything that goes in front of the Rogues Tavern, like once upon a time, every website out there used to be a subdomain. It used to be www.whatever domain name.com. But subdomains are now used in multiple other ways. As the Internet grew up, subdomains, the “www” was done away with. Thank God, it was no longer a requirement. In the beginning it was a requirement for some strange reason. And then they’ve done away with that and everyone went straight using just their straight domain name, but they realized that subdomains were still available. And a subdomain is like, there’ll be times where someone will create a store on their website, an ecommerce store. And that ecommerce store might be located at say, the roguestavern.com/store, but what they could also do is they could put a name in front of the domain name, and they could go store.theroguestavern.com, and use that as the URL to take them to the store. And the subdomains are used in that way, like, sometimes if people get themselves an Etsy store or set up a store at Etsy or other places, they have to create a subdomain for their domain and redirect that subdomain to the Etsy store. That way it goes directly to the places. Subdomains are used for multiple things. Store is the most often thing I use it for. I’ve had some that were created for training. It’s used in multiple ways is what the subdomain is used for. Hope that helps.
Amber: And what does it do? Like, is it just there to be an extra piece, or can you do something else with it or —
John: What do you mean? Well, extra piece — well, it’s an extra domain name. It’s an extra domain name that you can use in any way you want.
Amber: And it’s still attached to your regular domains like —
John: It’s still attached to your regular domain.
Amber: Okay, I have a full understanding.
John: It’s just another segment of domain name. And they said it’s been around for years. And in the last few years, it started to be used in more sophisticated ways than it used to be used.
Amber: Okay, my next question is what is an onclick button? What does it have to do with HTML, and how does it work?
John: What do you mean onclick button?
Amber: Onclick button. I keep coming across these onclick button things like the CP Block, which I reviewed earlier. It was talking about onclick button, and that —
Amber: Now, I’ve learned a lot more CSS than I have HTML.
Amber: Hemdian said, onclick is an event that is triggered when something is clicked, code can listen for onclick events and respond to them.
John: Yeah, well, that makes it a little clearer than what I said.
Amber: Yeah, okay, that’s cool.
John: So, yeah, that’s a little clearer than how I said it, but it’s pretty much what I said.
Amber: So, if you have a button, and it doesn’t do anything, when you click it, and it’s an onclick button, you want to make that button into like a submit button, you would just tell it to submit to this place in the HTML?
Amber: Okay, now I understand. My last question is, what about an iframe button? What is that and how does it work, and how does it differ from an onclick button?
John: Okay, well, before we go into an iframe button, we will close out the show, and for those of you who want to hear an answer to that, going to have to drop on over to the YouTube channel and check it out. So I’m going to let my girl take us out of here and enjoy my shot.
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