Tag: WordPress plugin.

views-imgRecently, I was introduced to a new plugin that I simply cannot live without as part of my WordPress development toolbox. I enjoy creating WordPress websites and blogs for clients, but what makes them unique and pleasing to the eye is something that comes from the client and what THEY want, not what I want. I do have some say-so in how I believe the client should lay out their website or blog, but ultimately, it’s up to the client in how they want their website to look, to flow and whether or not it’s suited to drive traffic to it. 

So what’s the plugin called? It’s the ‘Views’ plugin and it’s exactly what every WordPress developer or website designer needs to have when they are creating websites for clients. I highly recommend purchasing a copy of it.

In short, the Views plugin allows you to display content any way you want, regardless of the WordPress theme you decide to use on a website. As a matter of fact, you can build a complete website just by using the Views plugin. That’s just how good it is. This really opens up how some themes can be unflexible, but with the addition of adding views, you can expand the possibility of how you want elements to display on your site.

Let me show you just a couple of examples of how I was able to customize three pages on a recent client website I designed.

Below is an example of a blog summary page, but notice it only has one blog post on it, showing as an excerpt with a ‘read more’ link to the full blog, but also notice there is an hyperlinked button image that takes you to a blog archives page. But the blog archives page is two columns of blog titles that you can click on and get to the full article for each title. This is not standard for any blog directory where you assign a page to show your blog posts on. These are “views” I set up within the Views plugin and it allows me to embed the “view” into a regular page, so it shows exactly how the clients wants it to show.

blog-summary

blog-directory-links

Another example is how I was able to display the client testimonials on a page. Each testimonial is a blog post, but so that they do not show up in the recent posts, I made sure the testimonials category I created is not visible on the website, but just on the Testimonials page (screenshot below). Then in the “view” I set up, I created the testimonial posts, in two columns, so they only showed an excerpt with a read more link to the rest of the testimonial. Again, this is not standard with the theme the client chose for their website. Now there are ways to dig into the functions code of a WP theme, but unless you are an expert developer and you know what you’re doing, I suggest using the Views plugin and it takes out all the guess-work for you. 

testimonials-two-column

Note: I’m not an affiliate of the Views plugin, but just a happy end user of the product! This plugin got me out of a jam when my client requested special layouts for her website.

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quiz-pluginToday’s WordPress Wednesday topic is on the Top Four Quiz plugins for WordPress users. Have you ever been on the hunt for creating and managing a quiz or test for students or clients in your business? Instead of having to search for these kinds of plugins for a WordPress (self-hosted) site, I have provided a comprehensive list of the plugins below for you.

1. WatuPro Plugin

The WatuPro plugin will allow you to create multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank questions. Because you can use the default WordPress editor for this plugin, you can be creative as you like, even adding images and videos to your questions. It has a free lite version or you can get the “pro” or commercial version for $47.00.

  • You can create questions that have one or more multiple choice answers.
  • You can create different point levels for different questions in your test.
  • You can also award certificates for a successful completion of the test or quiz.

Here are a couple of screenshots of the plugin in action.

creating-questions

A quiz in action…

question-types

 

2. mTouch Quiz Plugin

The mTouch Quiz plugin was developed to be run on mobile devices so the big difference with their format is the big buttons that you can tap onto, making it easy to slide from one question to the next. It’s a free plugin, but for upgrades, there is a fee involved.

Here is an additional list of features provided by the developer of the plugin:

  • specify hints based on answer selection
  • give a detailed explanation of the solution
  • choose multiple correct answers
  • specify when the correct answers are displayed
  • specify if a question may be attempted only once or many times
  • specify point values for each question
  • include customized start and finish screens

 You can also be creative with the setup of the questions as it too uses the WordPress default editor for creating your questions.

A screenshot of the plugin below.

mtough-answering-questions

 

3. WP Survey & Quiz Tool

 The WP Survey & Quiz Tool plugin not only provides quizzes and surveys, but it also allows you to set up polls too. It’s a free plugin.

Here’s a good size list of their features to consider:

  • Unlimited number of quizzes.
  • Unlimited number of sections for quizzes.
  • Auto marking for quizzes with all multiple choice questions.
  • Ability to limit quizzes to one submission per IP address.
  • Ability to send customized notification emails.
  • Ability to send notification emails to a single email address, multiple email addresses or a group of WordPress users.
  • Ability to have notification emails only be sent if the user got a certain score.
  • Ability to have quizzes taken by registered WordPress members only.
  • Ability to have quizzes and surveys with or without contact forms.
  • Ability to have custom contact forms.
  • Ability to export and import quizzes.
  • Ability to have PDF certifications.

Here’s a screenshot of how the WP Survey & Quiz Tool looks like in action.

wp-survey-and-quiz-tool-quiz-results

 

Note: In order to insert a quiz into a post or a page, you must apply a shortcode. This is how it would look:

[wpsqt name=”Quiz Name” type=”quiz”]

For example, a quiz inserted into a page or post would look like this:

[wpsqt name=”Famous Inventors” type=”quiz”]

4. WPQuiz

The WPQuiz plugin is a very simple and easy-to-use plugin that’s great for an easy quiz without all the “bells and whistles”. It’s a free plugin as well.

You can insert your quizzes into pages and posts using a shortcode.

The shortcode would be, for example:  [wpquiz id=2]  

Here’s a screenshot of the plugin in action.

wpquiz-quiz-results

 

If you have tested or used a quiz plugin yourself, please feel free to share the name of the plugin and the experience you had with working with it, whether it be a good or bad experience. You can leave your comment at the bottom of this blog post.

Until tomorrow (Day 9 of The Ultimate Blog Challenge)!

Membership sites have become very popular in the last few years because it provides a community feel for business owners that want to offer memberships to clients or customers and be able to create a passive income generated from these membership sites.

If you are hosting a WordPress site, there are membership plugins available and I want to share with you the three top plugins that work really well on a WordPress blog or website.

BuddyPress

Of all the membership plugins for WordPress, BuddyPress is my favorite plugin to use for managing membership sites, plus it’s free!

Here are just a few of the features that you can get from BuddyPress:

  • Multiple activity streams with a single-stream view
  • Unlimited user groups with custom public or private access to these groups
  • Multi-site blogging capability
  • Friend connection functionality (much like Facebook)
  • Discussion forum module for each group set up
  • Extended profile module available
  • Private messaging to friends

There are additional plugins you can use for BuddyPress that allows for additional features when you are customizing your membership site experience. You can find a comprehensive list of additional plugins HERE.

One of the things that BuddyPress does not have is the ability to accept payments for a paid membership, but there are numerous cart platforms you can use to accept payment, then have a thank autoresponder message in place to direct the purchaser to sign up for a BuddyPress membership once they have made payment. I use the WP eStore plugin for my cart purchases.

WP Wishlist

I have used WP Wishlist in the past with client sites and my own WordPress training sites, but the one thing it lacked that BuddyPress has is the ability to have a forum module associated with it. You would have to install and configure a separate forum plugin to run alongside the WP Wishlist plugin, but I find the separate forum plugins sometimes cumbersome and they may be limited to what you can offer in a forum/membership site. However, if you decide you want to use WP Wishlist for your membership site, then the Simple:Press forum plugin (free) would be the one to use with it.

Some of the other features of the WP Wishlist Membership plugin are:

  • Unlimited membership levels
  • Flexible membership options
  • Sequential content delivery
  • Shopping cart integration (for 1shoppingcart, PayPal, Clickbank and others)

You can find additional features for the WP Wishlist plugin HERE.

Digital Access Pass (DAP)

The Digital Access Pass plugin has become very popular over the past couple of years, but just like WP Wishlist, you have to pay for this plugin. Matter of fact, it’s more expensive than WP Wishlist at a cost of $167.00 for a one-site license. More multiple sites, you will pay a price of $297.00. I personally have not used the DAP on any of my membership sites, but it handles a lot of the “drip” release of material that you would offer if you have multi-level memberships you want to offer. These would be the “paid” memberships, of course!

Here are some of the features of the DAP plugin:

  • Sequential content delivery
  • Drip-feed all types of content
  • Built-in file and download protection
  • Built-in, free shopping cart
  • Integrates with PayPal, Authorize.net, 1ShoppingCart, Clickbank and others

You can find additional features for the DAP plugin HERE.

Be sure to review the plugins above before you decide if you need a free membership plugin or a paid membership plugin. Each one of the plugins has more features than the other one does, but if you feel you only need aplugin that provides a free membership, then I would recommend you start out with the BuddyPress plugin first, then decide later on if you want to invest into a paid plugin that has a lot more automation features associated with it.

Until tomorrow…

Warmly,