All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of Marcus and John’s discussion of the weekly plugins we have reviewed.
WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #312 here.
It’s Episode 312 and we’ve got plugins for Talking like a Pirate, WooCommerce for Logged-In Users, Gravity Forms CSS, Admin Notices, Tracking Site Changes and integrating ChatBots into your WordPress site. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: This week here I have three great plugins as usual and of course right off the top, the first one is called KJM Admin Notices. Now, what this one is for is if you’ve got a website where you have multiple administrators and you want to leave notes back and forth, it will produce an administrative note that sits at the top of the dashboard area.
The nice thing about this plugin here is you can color code those notices – put a little color in the left-hand side stripe so that they stand out amongst the other notice that are there. You can use them to put information back and forth to the other administrators or if you’re working on something and you need the next administrator who’s taking over your shift to do something, leave a note there for them to take on.
It’s a really useful plugin in that aspect there. If you’re all by your lonesome in that website, it might not do you a lot of good, but a really great one when you’ve got multiple people working. Check it out: KJM Admin Notices, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Very nice, okay. All right, so it’s no secret that one of the things that I’m really into lately is chatbots. I really think it’s going to change a lot of different things throughout the internet. I found a plugin called Chatbot for Facebook and what it does is it uses Personic’s chatbot. They are kind of a chatbot creator – their site – and what this does it allows you to use one of these Personic chatbots right within your WordPress site to deliver content to your subscribers. So the content of your blog posts are formatted so that they actually can render correctly within Facebook Messenger and it can interact with the content that is already on your site and give summaries of new content that’s out there. Depending on how you actually program your chatbot, it does a lot more, too.
So it’s kind of an entry-level way to dip your toe into the water of chatbots and integrate it with content that you already create on your WordPress site. You know, these are quickly becoming one of the most powerful ways to connect brands and audiences. Everybody’s going to be having a chatbot soon, believe me. A year from now, you’ll have a chatbot; it’s that pervasive in terms of the landscape. So this really will help you integrate your WordPress content into a chatbot and I’ll be talking a lot more about the chatbot space as we move along in the show. It’s something that I’m so interested in, I’m actually starting a new company around it in the near future. This is a great plugin to get started within the chatbot world and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: It sounds like an interesting thing to do. I have yet to explore chatbots or what they can and cannot do. I’m just beginning to understand them.
Marcus: It’s pretty remarkable.
John: One more of those learning curve items.
Marcus: Yeah, like you know, ideally we could create a chatbot that somebody asks what type of plugin they’re looking for.
Marcus: And it could ask other questions like, “Do you run multisite?” “How is your hosting?” “What are the precursors that go into one specific plugin?”
“Do you use WooCommerce?” “Do you use Gravity Forms?” “Do you use all these things?” And then it takes that information and kind of finds the perfect plugin. That would be great.
John: Sweet. That is an interesting idea.
Marcus: If I could only get one to record the show for us.
John: [laughter] Make it easier for you without all the coffee and everything to drag our butts out of bed in the morning.
Marcus: That’s right.
John: All right, well next up I have a plugin that goes with one of my most long-used plugins in WordPress. It’s called Gravity WP CSS Selector. Now, if you’ve ever used Gravity Forms for any amount of time, at least once you’ve had started to use the custom CSS for Gravity Forms. In other words, Gravity Forms has some custom CSS types that allow you to lay out the form other than that straight, perfect up and down form and other bits and pieces. That did require you to do a little bit of extra work. You had to type things in, you had to remember what was where, and sometimes you had to add custom CSS to your CSS file.
Well, this plugin here helps alleviate all that problem. It goes into the Gravity Form, adds a new form field for you in the appearance area to allow you with a drop-down to choose the custom CSS Gravity class via left half, right half, quarters, thirds – all of these bits and pieces – to lay out the form other than the perfect up and down. It’s a very easy plugin to use, it makes the job of using the Gravity custom CSS a lot easier, so that means I’ll probably start to clean up my forms and start to use it, because it’s no longer the insanity that it used to be. A great plugin; I found it was very smooth and it worked well. Check it out: Gravity WP CSS Selector and I gave it a 5-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Very nice. Okay, this one is for all you WooCommerce people. This is called WooCommerce for Logged Users. You know, John, sometimes you want to restrict your shop to members —
Marcus: — or maybe even people that are registered customers of your site. And with this plugin, all you do is activate it and all users not logged in will be redirected to a My Account page to log in as registered before they’re actually allowed to even see the store.
Marcus: Now, I can think of a hundred different scenarios where you’d want to limit your WooCommerce pages to only register approved and logged-in users, and this set-it-and-forget-it plugin is great for doing just that, so check it out. It’s called WooCommerce for Logged Users and I rated it a 5 out of 5.
John: Yeah, that’s the way. We love the set-it-and-forget-‘em plugins that just do what they’re supposed to do and make your job easier.
John: All right, the final one I’ve got here today is just one for loads of fun. Now, it’s way ahead of International Pirate Day on September 19th, but it’s a simple plugin, just a fun thing to do to your site. And if you like pirates – well, as much as where I live here – we have an annual event here where I live that we spend a whole week that is dedicated to pirates. Buccaneer Days is what it’s called here.
Anyway, it’s lots of fun, has no other purpose than that, and what it does for you is it goes through your content in your site and when it displays the content, it changes out words to match up to pirate lingo. You know, it changes out things such as everywhere it finds the word “the,” it changes it to “ye.” I don’t know what all the rest of the lingo it does, but they do give you a list of words that if these words are in your post somewhere, the, yes, stagnant, hey, call, hang, stop, cover, it changes them all to pirate lingo for you. It gives you a little bit of flair to your posts and you can put them up there for International Pirate Day in September and just have some fun. A good old basic plugin, lots of fun: Ye Old Pirate. I gave it a 3-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Cool. All right, wrapping it up here in the show, this one is called WP Blame. I love the name of this plugin, actually.
John: Yeah, I saw that. I almost reviewed it myself.
Marcus: And what it does is it makes it possible to keep a log of everything that’s happened on your WordPress website so you can stay in control even when you’re not there. So sometimes it’s pretty hard to keep track of everything happening on your website, so what WP Blame does is it logs certain actions for you and organizes them into a readable table so you can review it later. And while this plugin doesn’t keep a log of absolutely everything you with WordPress, it does keep a record of most actions. So by default only changes that are things like posts, pages, plugins, themes, and all that are logged, just due to the way that WordPress works it’s hard to keep an absolute log of every single detailed thing. But if you want to just track posts, pages, plugins, and themes, this is great.
If you’re using this for a client, there’s actually white lists that you can enable to remove yourself as the admin from the audit trail and review everybody else. So in that circumstance, you might as well call this one a client tracker because you can actually completely monitor what client changes are tracked within those metrics that I spoke about earlier.
John: Which ones broke the website?
Marcus: Exactly, yeah. So you can see exactly what the client is doing in terms of their own activity within the website because of this.
Marcus: So I rated this a 4 out of 5. Great plugin.
John: Yeah, very nice. Yeah, it’s always nice to have the trackers. I do that for some of the sites I set up at least for the first couple of months when it’s most common for them to break the sites after I turn them over.
John: So it’s always nice to know. All right, well that’s all we’ve got for you on this time. I covered up in this episode the KJM Admin Notices, which I gave a 4 to; the GravityWP CSS Selector, which I gave a 5 to; and then the Ye Old Pirate, which I gave a 3 to – arrrr.
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