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Out of the Abyss

It's Episode 477 with plugins for Cooking Enthusiasts, Post Layouts, Private Videos, Maintenance mode, Overlord Tracking, Banishment to the Abyss and ClassicPress Options. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z! WP Recipe Maker, Smartlook Visitor Recording, Blackhole for Bad Bots, Content Views – Post Grid & Filter for WordPress, Simple Private Video, Maintenance and ClassicPress options in Episode 477.

It’s Episode 477 with plugins for Cooking Enthusiasts, Post Layouts, Private Videos, Maintenance Mode, Overlord Tracking, Banishment to the Abyss and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Get all the grisly Plugin details and full access to the complete show notes on our website! You can follow the show on Twitter at @wppluginsatoz, and join our Facebook at WordPressPluginsA2Z for the latest in WordPress Plugin related news - some we come across in-between shows, and some we talk about on our weekly show.

The WordPress Plugins A-Z Podcast can be found on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher Radio and also on WordPress Radio. If you like what you hear on the show, we encourage you to share your enthusiasm with others that you know in the WordPress community and in social networks.
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Self Promotion

While I do enjoy bringing you the show week after week, I also make my living with WordPress and related promotional services. With that, I ask for a moment of your time for some self promotion. If you find these promotions of value, please share them with friends and colleagues.

Promotions from John Overall:
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Benefits – Benefits – Benefits

Having a review done by us or having an interview helps the traffic to the developers website, as was bought to our attention recently when we did an interview and reviewed a plugin for a developer who sent us snap shots of their traffic before and after the shows. The traffic stayed, so there are great benefits to being reviewed by WP Plugins A to Z. Submit Your Plugin Here.


WP Recipe Maker, Smartlook Visitor Recording, Blackhole for Bad Bots, Content Views – Post Grid & Filter for WordPress, Simple Private Video, Maintenance and ClassicPress options in Episode 477.

With great appreciation for the No Agenda Show for their inspiration of ideas and the occasional stolen sound clip.

This is a value for value show and I look forward to everyone providing some value back.

Producer Credits:

Show Art:

Angel Lemus —

All the show notes can be found at:

Johns Rant:

This is #36 of 52 51 episodes for 2020. Its Episode 477 and we might be starting to see the edge of the abyss as we climb back out into the light. We are now 37 weeks into 2020 and 26 weeks of the Rona, and the narrative is starting to show signs of breaking down .

Masks are still the rage now, be sure you have one stuffed in your pocket ready to go, as dirty as it is going to get. Just think you can always use it for TP if you get desperate. School is upon us again here today and I couldn’t be happier to see my little human resources off to the learning pods to find out how the world is doing. Even with the crazy I have been hearing back from them.

The narrative seems to be breaking down due to some bad code. Something is slipping in the Matrix and people are waking up. Time to get prepared. The new programming was close to completion but something has slipped and the M5M is finding it hard to keep the population scared as they begin to change focus back to climate change, but have no fear, WP Plugins A to Z is here to lift your soul.

Now is a good time to find yourself an Oasis like the one at The Rogues Tavern someplace where you can check out from the world and unplug.

What you can do to help your soul:

Minimize or eliminate your M5M exposure,
Stop using FaceCrack
Work on your own little part of the world to make it a better place to be.
Inspire others around you to do the same.
Don’t worry about things you cannot control.
Stop accepting and doing things that are not be your best interest.
Work in your best interest while at the same time respecting and helping others, the rewards will follow.

WordPress News and Info

News this week:

WordPress Plugin Flaw Allows Attackers to Forge Emails

Podcasting During the Pandemic: Castos Sees 300% Growth in New Podcasters

Tips Tuesday – Gutenberg Tutorials, Astra Resources, PHP 7.4, Client Interviews

Zenscrape: A Simple Web Scraping Solution for Penetration Testers

oEmbed Endpoints for Embeddable Facebook Content (Legacy)

How to Create a WordPress Theme from Scratch

4 Developer Tips for Marketing to New E-Commerce Businesses in a Pandemic


The hall of shame via Automattic:

Matt’s Famous Quotes

Donor – Support

Show Producers

This Show will not work without you, the producers, as it is a Value for Value model, meaning if your’e getting any value out of it then give some value back and help the show out.
Start by Subscribing to the newsletter for additional information and get out there round them up and rope them all in, Belly up to the bar and enjoy Spread the word about WP Plugins A to Z and catch it live every Thursday at noon PDT on my YouTube Channel.

I’d like to acknowledge all the producers who have supported the show in the various ways over the last week.

This weeks show Art Work comes from:

Angel Lemus —

This week’s Executive Producer/’s are:

A big thank you to all the Producers who came in under $50 and to those who have set up weekly subscriptions they will remain anonymous and I thank you very much.

All these small subscriptions really help the show out.

A big thank you to those who have hired me because of the Podcast, thank you that is as good as donating to the show.

You can Support the Show by:

Donating money to help the show Donations of $50 and over are credited with an Executive Producer Credit in the Show Notes, and their note is read out on the show.
Submitting art work at the WP Plugins Art generator,
Submit articles news and information
Submit plugin suggestions for reviews
You can also create a monthly donation at Patreon
Or something I may not have thought of.

ClassicPress Options

ClassicPress is a fast growing fork of WordPress that is starting to come into its own. ClassicPress is focused on Business Websites, runs fast and is looking pretty good. There are a few plugins specifically for ClassicPress and all plugins for WordPress 4.9.9 work well on it. I do believe it has a future.

One thing I am looking forward to in the ClassicPress World is the expansion of the number of ClassicPress specific plugins and their own repository. Currently there are not a lot of ClassicPress specific plugins but I do know it is going to grow and I’ll have to expand this segment then. Who knows, it could take over the whole show.

This week for ClassicPress I have:


Just a note for my ClassicPress listeners please send me info to help keep the ClassicPress section full.

Random Links to ClassicPress supporters

ClassicPress Resources:

For some up to date news on ClassicPress check out the ClassisPress Club news.
An alternate forum for the non-techies.

“Must Have” Plugins List

To find a listing of ClassicPress specific plugins check out this link there is currently 37 42 49 50 52 55 57 plugins here and growing. I look forward to the day they have their own repository. I can still recall WP when it had a small repository.

CodePotent’s plugin directory

WordPress plugins

Are you looking for some great newly released plugins check this link

John’s plugin

Content Views – Post Grid & Filter for WordPress

Requires:3.3 or higher
Compatible up to:6.6
Released:28 May 2014
Last Updated:16 July 2024
(4.8 star out of 5)

The lowdown:

If your using an older theme or working with a 20-20 theme and not using Gutenberg this may be of great use for you.
Content Views helps you to create beautiful grid and list to display the recent posts, the posts of a specific category, tag, and/ or author easily, without any line of code!
Content Views is a 100% mobile responsive solution, so your grid of posts will always look great on all devices (mobiles, tablets, and desktops).

Rating 4 Dragons


Amber’s Plugin

WP Recipe Maker

Requires:4.4 or higher
Compatible up to:6.6
Released:07 September 2016
Last Updated:10 July 2024
(5 star out of 5)

The Lowdown:

This is a neat plugin, giving you the ability to set out your recipes in an easy to follow ingredients list.

This is an awesome little plugin if you are a foodie, or run a recipe site.

They give you SOOOOOOO many options on the free version – I honestly found my eyes glazing over with all of the options. Although for you recipe makers, it’s probably just a playground!

Absolute personalization for your recipes and site.

Very easy to use; if you are using an Elementor, Gutenberg, ClassicPress or WordPress theme, they just create a little widget and throw it into your widget spot for you. For everyone else, they give you a short code to use.

You create your recipes in the plugin, and upload whichever recipe you are wanting to put out there on the post itself through the widget/shortcode.
Pretty awesome plugin honestly! Although, as per usual, there is an upgrade, which offers even more options and styles to choose from.

Rating 4 Dragons


John’s plugin

Simple Private Video

Requires:5.0 or higher
Compatible up to:5.4.16
Released:31 October 2019
Last Updated:21 May 2020
(4.7 star out of 5)

The Lowdown:
A simple and fast way to host your own videos and show them in private mode without being able to download them and without external services dependencies like Vimeo, YouTube, etc.
Attention! experimental beta phase plugin
Great news for course creators who continually hacked its contents!
With the video block of this plugin you can upload your videos to a private folder on your own hosting and share them in your website only with your logged visitors.

Rating 4 Dragons


Amber’s plugin

Smartlook Visitor Recording

Requires: or higher
Compatible up to:
Released:01 January 1970
Last Updated:01 January 1970
(0 star out of 5)

The Lowdown:

This plugin is, I think, a really great idea. But honestly, kinda gives me the creeps.

The information gathered through this plugin is: Where the visitor is from in geo tag form, what device they are using, where the visitor spends most of their time on your site, where broken buttons are, what they ignore, how long they spend on each thing, how long they spend on your site as an active person vs an inactive person, etc. Could be VERY useful information, and it actually seems like a good idea for the most part.

And then there is the watching bit.

Which really creeps me out; you can literally watch recordings of every person visiting your site, in what the creators playfully call ‘geeky Netflix binge watching’.
The information gathered on this site could easily be given without the video, and without such a specific geo location of the person.

I personally find this very creepy. It’s like having a camera in a public washroom pointing at the sink and door area – it can’t actually see anything personal, but it’s still creepy to see a camera there.

So, good information, and it is actually a totally free plugin. Easy to install too.

You do however, need to make an account with them in order to use it.

Which I have also never liked.

If you need this information to make your website better, than this plugin could work really well for you. I just don’t like it.

Half point lost for creepy factor.

Rating 3 1/2 Dragons


John’s plugin


Requires:4.0 or higher
Compatible up to:6.6
Released:31 May 2012
Last Updated:15 July 2024
(4.5 star out of 5)

The lowdown:

This is a pretty good simple maintenance plugin that, in it’s free version, lets you do some quick layouts and one of the prime things often needed is to have a login for those that need to login. It provides a login box right there for you. You can even set it to go to a 503 error blocking bots from your site. I have found this to be pretty useful when building out a dev or a practice site.

Rating 4 Dragons.


Amber’s Plugin

Blackhole for Bad Bots

Requires:4.6 or higher
Compatible up to:6.6
Released:18 February 2016
Last Updated:29 June 2024
(4.8 star out of 5)

The Lowdown:

Neat plugin this one! It really is just what it says it is!

This plugin is awesome. You plug it in, set up whether or not you want email reports, and off it goes. It DOES have a pro version, but gives you everything you need in the free version.

The way this works is by setting a trigger link at the footer of your page that forbids all bots from following the link on your page. Once the bots disobey the rule, they fall into the black hole trap, and have no more access to your site.

Blackhole plugin does not block any major search engines from your site either.

They keep this plugin well updated, and does not create any cookies for your site.

I totally recommend this if you are having bad bot issues slowing down your site. Even with the Pro upgrade, this is a pretty snazzy plugin I think.

Rating: 5 Dragons



This show is brought to you by:

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Closing out this Episode the Plugins We covered were:

John’s Plugins: Content Views – Post Grid & Filter for WordPress – 4, Simple Private Video – 4, Maintenance – 4

Amber’s Plugins: WP Recipe Maker – 4, Smartlook Visitor Recording – 3, Blackhole for Bad Bots – 5


Matt’s Famous Quotes

Reminders / Commercial / Promotions:

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I have never been overly good at asking for help but I am working to change that.

Asking for some help for the show…. We like to run contests but our schedule often makes it hard to keep that aspect going properly. What I am looking for is a producer that will manage the contest by reaching out to developers of premium licenses procuring the code and placing the contest on the site and then delivering the code when the contest is over. Are there any takers out there? Send me an email to

If you have suggestions on plugins you would like to have reviewed please submit them on the website at

For all developers who would like to support the show. You can donate a premium license to be used in a future contest, please go to

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