WP Plugin Review: Testimonials and Making Photos Great Again

What makes a website pop? Well, that’s easy: photos! Of course, adding photos to every post can be quite a chore so here are a few plugins that can help you.

Another thing that will make your site pop, especially if you use it to attract clients, are testimonials. Don’t forget to add one and read on for a bonus tip about testimonials below.

testimonials plugin

Advanced Testimonials

Every good site needs testimonials. After all, who else will brag about your work but yourself? Kidding aside, I find that most clients and buyers just want the assurance that someone else bought from you and liked your work, so even a simple testimonial will work.

To make that job easier, you can use this plugin and have all your testimonials in one place. Creating a testimonial is just like making a post, with the feature image becoming the testimonial giver’s head shot and the body as the feedback. Don’t forget to add the name and designation, very important!

When displaying the testimonials, all you need is to add a shortcode in whatever content you want it to show up in. The slider will appear and you can also customize the columns, styles and filtering of which elements you want to see.

Overall, I think it’s a simple solution for adding and recycling testimonials in a variety of your site’s pages. One tip: also add testimonials to your checkout and thank you pages. I’ve discovered this really improves conversion rates and trust in your site.

unique uploaded media names

Unique Uploaded Media Name

One issue I’ve always encountered in multi-author WordPress blogs is everyone uploading different images with the same name. It even happens when I’m just updating an image, like for example when cropping it to focus on a key part of the image. What the site does is it still shows the previous image even if you’ve deleted and replaced the old one, which can be a minor annoyance (or even a major hassle if you need to redo a lot of the links).

For one of my sites, I had to code up a solution for this but luckily, regular WordPress owners can just install the plugin up top.

It works in the background and appends a unique string to each media upload. This takes care of all the duplicate image names and works even when adding the same exact image. If you’ve ever had multiple authors quarrel over image names and overwriting other people’s photos, this should put a stop to that quick.

wordpress plugin to embed facebook photos

HMAK Facebook Photos

I’ve talked about importing social content in a previous post and how it can really make your content updating work easier. Here’s another plugin along the same lines. And while what it does is very simple, you’ll need some elbow grease to set it up.

Thankfully, the plugin author added a few guides inside the plugin itself. Setting up a Facebook app is required for these types of plugins, so make sure you follow how to get one. And yes, you might need to set up a Facebook page if you don’t have one yet.

Once you’ve added the app secret and ID,  all you need to do is click on the FB Photos button in the content formatting menu then insert your photo or album ID. Don’t worry, the author also added a guide to help you get that ID number.

The photos will automatically show up in your post and it’s also auto-updated whenever you add new pictures, in the case of albums.

This plugin is actually an ingenious solution to another issue many small sites have: disk space. If you have tons of photos but not much storage space with your host, you can just throw all those images on Facebook and embed it into your site, complete with captions.

wp plugin show featured image

CC-Featured-Image-Column

Another simple problem solved, this time making it easy to check what featured image was used by each post. To be honest, I’m confused why this isn’t built into WordPress yet since posts definitely need a featured image to attract readers on social media.

You usually want to check whether you’ve used a given image for a post already so this is an easy way to do that. But the better use case is actually easily identifying which posts don’t have Featured Images. I’m pretty sure that a few of us have forgotten to add a feature image for our newest article, only to realize it once we’ve shared the post on Facebook or Twitter.

Simple and fast solution to a problem we never thought we had.

 

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Create Content Offers: Autogenerate Content and Collect Emails Easily

What do WordPress site owners really need? I thought about this a lot when I was trying to figure out my first plugin idea. And the thing that came to mind was actually quite simple: they want more engagement.

Previously, creating lots of content was the best way to get more engagement. It might still be. After all, we always go back to our favorite sites because we expect some fresh content waiting for us there.

But creating content is hard and you need to create regularly just to catch people’s attention. At the same time, more and more people are creating content so standing out is getting more difficult.

This kind of content is the passive type though, one where people just sit down and scroll. Maybe they give a like or heart, but the interaction stops there.

What I propose is instead of making passive content, create active content instead. It’s content that people will use and maybe even use often.

active content

Create Something They Will Use Instead

Engagement is all about interaction. The events we remember the most are ones where we were part of the action. So what we need to do is add some interaction in our content.

One of the ways to do that with your existing content is with a simple checklist. Since I personally find guides and lists fascinating, one thing I thought most of them lacked was a handy way to tick off each item on the list. It would help me check off which of the steps I’ve done and what else I need to do.

Say you’re following a guide on how to increase your dopamine levels (that’s the feel-good chemical our body produces to make us productive). You can read the article, say “huh, you learn something new everyday” then immediately forget about it after a minute or so.

If there was a checklist with the article, you could go through each item and discover what else you need to do to boost your dopamine. Maybe you’ll try the rest out later, just to complete the list. It’s a simple interaction but this makes the content way more useful versus a vanilla “how to” article.

So I thought: why not make it easy for WordPress folks to create this checklist? Maybe even build the checklist automatically, just install the plugin and boom! Instant content!

So my plugin Create Content Offers was born.

content offer

What’s a Content Offer?

I guess your next question is: what’s a “content offer“? In the most basic sense, a content offer is something you give to your readers in exchange for something, usually an email. For my initial plugin version, the checklist would be the content offer, automatically generated from the headings of your article.

So we’ve solved the first engagement hurdle but it’s better if you can pull the reader back for future posts. So I also added a way for you not just to create a checklist, but to collect emails before you show it to your readers.

You can add them to your mailing list and send them new posts, subscribe them to your newsletter, or send interesting offers later on.

So to sum it up, this plugin:

  • Creates a content offer automatically for you. It builds a checklist out of your existing blog post’s headings. If there’s enough interest, I might also add ways to automatically generate PDFs, spreadsheets, and more.
  • Collects emails in exchange for access to the checklist. You can view this list at the admin part of your WordPress site.
  • Gives you the ability to customize the text and buttons in the form. You can do this while editing the post where you want to add the checklist.

But the other thing I want to figure out is if this plugin would actually be useful to WordPress site owners out there. So I’m releasing the beta version of the plugin here so you can test it out. And yep, it’s free!

Download the Create Content Offers plugin here!

To install the plugin:

  1. Grab the plugin zipped file from the download link above.
  2. In the admin area of your WordPress site, tap on Plugins in the menu at the left.
  3. At the top of the page, tap on Add New, then tap on Upload Plugin, also found at the top of the page.
  4. Tap on the Browse… button and find the zipped file you just download. Tap on Install Now once you’ve added the file.
  5. Wait for the upload to finish and then tap on Activate Plugin.

To add a checklist to a post:

  1. Choose an existing post that has some headings already. That means some of the text is formatted as Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.
  2. Tap the checkbox beside Show Checklist in Post.
  3. If you don’t use Heading 1 in your post, you can choose which heading type will be turned into a checklist. I use Heading 2 myself.
  4. Tap on the Update button and then go to the live blog post to see how it looks. You can always edit the text included later if you don’t want the defaults.
  5. You can see the emails you’ve collected in your Dashboard or when visiting the Content Offer Emails page in your admin menu.

Was this plugin easy to use? Did it help you in any way? Post a comment below with your feedback, email me or send me a message. In particular, I’d like to know:

  1. What’s the #1 feature you need that’s missing in the plugin?
  2. What bugs have you encountered while using the plugin?

Thanks and I hope you can help me improve this plugin so I can help you get more subscribers!

Download the Create Content Offers plugin here!
Send your email to show the link to the plugin. 🔌
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