WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #314 here.
It’s Episode 314 and we’ve got plugins for Download Lists, Birthday Emails, Digital Signatures, Widget Content, Multiple Domain Mapping and a new way to let others sell their products on your WooCommerce Site. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: First up this week I have a plugin that was suggested to us by a listener, Joe Mezzanini. He is a listener to the show and while he says this is not his plugin, it’s one that he suggests is very good. It’s called m1.DownloadList, and here’s what Joe had to say about the plugin first off. He said, “It’s hard to find a simple plugin that simply lists the folders in a page or a post of a website. This is it. It’s well supported and document and with many examples.”
Now this is actually a pretty decent plugin as far as a plugin goes that you install, activate, and you use a shortcode with directing it to a specific folder in your WordPress website. Then what it does is it lists that folder up and it’s a navigable list, whereas people can go dwell down deeper into the list if there’s more folders. Once they find the files they want, they can then download those files or if they are images they can display them in their browser, whichever they want to do. It’s a very easy plugin, very simple to set up, and it worked beautifully.
Now this is something that if you’re going to use it, I would suggest you use a members-only section where you want to allow access to specific files or folders to your website or use it on a page-protected post. You don’t want to use this on something that is publicly accessible, unless you’re allowing publicly accessible files. That could get dangerous. So at any rate, a really great plugin. It worked just the way it was suggested. I had to give this a top 5-Dragon rating. Check it out: m1.DownloadList.
Marcus: Cool! All right, I’ve got something that is pretty unique within WooCommerce and it’s a unique twist on what you can do with WooCommerce. It’s a plugin called Marketplace for WooCommerce. Can I say WooCommerce any more in this review?
John: I’m sure you can fit it in five more times.
Marcus: Yeah, it actually lets users sell on your store once you approve them as vendors and it allows you to earn commission on their sales, which is pretty cool. I’m sure there’s other things that you can tweak to this to have unique products where they can earn commission on stuff that they sell as well. What happens is vendors can actually customize their own public pages.
You as an admin can set up the specific URL slug of their page. You can choose a custom label for them that appears over the products. You can fully do the whole vendor application thing that goes along with it and it has different capabilities for vendors, like uploading files, reviewing their orders, publishing products – all of that kind of stuff. You can set up the commission by either a percentage or a fixed value and you can actually manually or automatically create on order complete processing, all that kind of stuff.
They can also have their own tab that displays info about the vendor, their logo, the description and all that, so it’s sort of on the line of maybe Etsy or something like that that you can set up for your own WordPress site. I’m not quite sure of the applications for this in terms of real-world usage. I’m sure that there are people out there who have a great example of something that they could use this for, but it’s a breakthrough for WooCommerce and I thought I’d bring it to the show and rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Hmm…it may end up eventually getting a better rating because I actually see the real-world usage for it.
Marcus: All right, what do you got?
John: I was considering today when I was talking to the plugin developer I met with and that he has a couple of plugins that he has been trying to sell and not been doing so well.
John: And if we brought them over to our website, put them through something like this, we wouldn’t have to figure out how to do the splitting of the profits.
Marcus: Ah, well now we’ve got it.
John: It’s simple, so now we’ve got something. This is how you can do it: the small plugin market or something similar, so yeah. Lots of really great uses for it. I think this’ll be something that will eventually make its appearance on the WP Plugins A to Z site.
Marcus: How about that? Nice!
John: All right, well next up I have another plugin here. This one is called Widget Context. Now, the reason this one’s come to light for me was I was in need the other day. I couldn’t remember the one I used most commonly and I was in kind of a hurry, so I decided to do a search for plugins that hide widgets, just to see what else I could find in that area. This one came up more prominent than others, so I thought I’d give it a try.
Basically what I was needing it to do was I needed to hide a widget on one specific page and there’s a lot of plugins to do that. I have my go-to one (I can’t remember the name of it at the moment but I keep it in a reserve somewhere.) Anyway, I was trying out something new. Well, this one here turned out to be okay. I didn’t quite do the job I needed. The biggest problem with it is that what it does is it will hide or show widgets per sections on your website, pages, all pages, all posts, all custom pages. It’ll do the homepage but it doesn’t do individual pages or individual posts, which I found problematic. Other than that, not a bad little plugin. All in all, just a so-so plugin, so Widget Context I had to give it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Interesting. All right, here’s the next one. John, remember when you were younger and you actually received birthday cards in the postal mail from all your relatives?
John: I still get them in the postal mail. I’ve got a couple of relatives that send them in the mail still. Yeah, it’s good, so it’s kind of cool.
Marcus: You know, for some reason we kind of lost that. We’ve lost that correspondence. It’s all been relegated to Facebook, right? People just send one line, “Hey, Happy Birthday!” blah, blah, blah every year, right? Same old crap. Sometimes you don’t even hear from that person until it’s your birthday. I actually one time thought of what if I changed my birthday every single day to be that day?
John: You’d get a lot of people wishing you a happy birthday on Facebook for no apparent reason.
Marcus: Yeah, every day probably and they wouldn’t even realize it. Well, this plugin called Birthday Emails actually allows you to take your user base and this obviously would require that they put their birthday in the field. But on their birthday for all your users it will send them a happy birthday message and say, “Happy Birthday” from your site. This is a great way if you are a developer and you have clients and you’re developing a site that people register to or users or WooCommerce stuff or anything like that, ask for their birthday and this will automatically say hey, here’s a special promo code, a coupon, or a special offer, or something like that, or a free download, an e-book, or whatever it is that you want to do based on what their birthday is.
So remember, this only works for users that have entered their birthday on the user profile, so it’s probably best that you start out with a new site on this. But I thought it was a great concept and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: That’s pretty decent. That’s kind of nice to get a reminder for things from people.
John: Okay, the final one I’ve got here today is called Multiple Domain Mapping on a Single Site. Now, if you worked with WordPress MU (multiuser site), you’ll know that it’s easy enough to do domain mapping in there with the right plugins. Now, it can get complicated on trying to map out single pages, etc., but it can be done. But it’s always been problematic to do that if you’ve got a standalone site – not MU, just a normal WordPress install. Most people out there, let’s face it, almost all developers own more than one domain. I’m guilty of that; I own at least a dozen.
So at any rate, what you do with this plugin here is it allows you to take some of those additional domains that you have that are related to your website but all they do is point to the root of your website, and that’s it. They don’t do anything else. You can take those domains – such as I own the domain WPmalwareremoval.com, and I’ve now got that domain properly pointed to my page that talks about removing malware and how you can hire me for removing malware from your WordPress website. So this takes that domain which was only pointing to my main site and puts it to where it’s needed most.
Now you can use that in your marketing and anything else to direct people specifically to your landing page. It’s a beautiful plugin, it set up perfectly, activated the way it was supposed to. It added the domain and everything and all worked just the way it was supposed to. It’s one of those plugins that worked exactly like it’s supposed to, so Multiple Domain Mapping System on a Single Site rated a top 5-Dragon rating. Check it out.
Marcus: Awesome – very cool. All right, let’s wrap the show here. This final one is called Order Signature for WooCommerce and it’s pretty self-explanatory. It adds a nice responsive signature pad to your website’s WooCommerce checkout page. This is a great plugin for getting customers to accept the terms and conditions of your site with a perfectly legal digital signature attached to their WooCommerce order. It’s got many useful applications, very easy to set up, very easy to install on your site, and if you have anything that requires a signature from a digital perspective, this is great for that. It is called Order Signature for WooCommerce and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Hmm…that’s kind of nice, especially when you want to make sure that they actually have agreed to something.
Marcus: Right, it’s not just some thing and also it may be a good way to prevent fraud or chargebacks or things like that.
John: Hmm…that too. That too, because then you could match the actual signature.
Marcus: Yeah, if you had it on file. But I mean also that’s something to say back to a credit card company, “Hey look, they knew what they were getting into. They even signed it.”
John: They signed it but the credit card company has their signature on file.
John: So at any rate, that covers up this show. I covered up the m1.DownloadList, which I gave a 5 to; the Widget Context, which I gave a 3 to; and then the Multiple Domain Mapping on a Single Site, which I gave a 5 to.
Marcus: And I talked about Marketplace for WooCommerce, allows you to let vendors and other people get in on the action from your WooCommerce store – 4 out of 5; Birthday Emails gets a 5 out of 5, and Order Signature for WooCommerce gets a 4 out of 5.