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 Episode #277
It’s Episode 277 and we’ve got plugins for Custom Thank You Pages, AMP for WooCommerce, Importing Events from Meetup.com, Restricting Login IPs, and a great way to decorate your WordPress site for the holidays. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Okay, the first plugin I’ve got here this week is called Authorize IP Address. Now this plugin here, you can use it to add a new layer of security to your website and it may be especially useful with a membership website. What this plugin does is it helps prevent users from sharing their login credentials, and especially in the case of memberships sites or it helps lock them down to specific computers.
It takes a look at the IP address that they log in from and then it logs that IP address into the database. The next time that user logs in, it checks to see if they’re logging in from the same IP address they logged in from previously. If it doesn’t match, what it does is it then sends and email off to the user that they must use the link in the email address to then log into the website to change their IP address. This helps to prevent sharing of their login information to pass out around the world.
It does kind of create a bit of a glitch for people who are on – well, normal high-speed internet, where your IP address will change from time to time, but it doesn’t usually happen but every few months. So it’s got minor amounts of issues with it but other than that, it’s a really great plugin. You can also set it to send notifications to the administrator of the website when this occurs, so if you want to track to see if your users are trying to abuse the system, so it’s a very useful plugin. Simply install and activate the plugin and then watch the IP addresses stack up. All in all, a pretty decent plugin – Authorize IP Address – and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Yes, and you can actually use this also if you are the only one that uses your website and just lock it down to your IP.
Marcus: And you’ll have no problem.
John: Lock down your own login to it.
Marcus: Mm-hmm, that’s right, and then you won’t have any problems or any issues with anybody hacking into your particular instance.
Marcus: It’s pretty cool. All right, I want to talk about some WooCommerce stuff today a little bit, and the first one is called Custom Thank You Page for WooCommerce. Now, why would you need a custom thank you page done? There’s a number of different reasons; one of which is if you’re doing any kind of advertising, especially Facebook advertising or you’d like to put that Facebook pixel in there.
This is great, because then you can put a different thank you pixel in the page for every single product that you have or whatever you’re advertising for. This is outstanding for that and that’s exactly the usage that I used for this.
It’s very simple, very straightforward. It just allows you to set the thank you page on a product-by-product basis and when the plugin is installed, you see a new field under the general tab for each product edit screen. That’s where you can put in where the different thank you pages reside. This is an excellent plugin for anybody that’s using WooCommerce and I rated it a perfect 5 out of 5.
John: Very nice! Excellent. Yeah, that can be quite useful, sending them to just what you want them to have after the end. Okay, the next plugin I’ve got here is called <.htaccess> IP Block. Now, this one looked like another way to help secure up your website when I first saw it in the initial description. It looked like it would be quite useful.
The only thing is that to use this plugin, you will need some minor technical skills and access to your web server (or the Apache server) configuration. So if you don’t have those, if you’re in a shared environment, the plugin is not going to be a lot of use for you. What it does is it sets a new rule in the <.htaccess> file that allows blocking of IP addresses, instead of collecting a list of IPs in the <.htaccess> file, it sets them up in the MySQL database.
It’s a really great way to go about it, but when you’ve got to do some customizations to your Apache server and your <.htaccess> file and you need a little bit of technical skills to do that and access the server, the average user on a shared hosting environment (which is probably the vast majority of people out there) probably won’t be able to use it as well, or if at all.
It’s a pretty decent plugin. If you’ve got the skills and the access, it can be of great help. If you don’t have them, it’s not going to be a lot of help, so I had to give this a 3-Dragon rating. It’s <.htaccess> IP Block.
Marcus: Huh, interesting. All right, the next one is also a WooCommerce addition. It is called AMP WooCommerce; it takes two of my favorite things and mushes them together, like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. You can now enable AMP on your e-commerce store. AMP is a mobile protocol that is vital for Google, and in fact, they do serve up AMP results now more than they would non-AMP results.
So now you can enable AMP in your e-commerce store with no pain at all. You can expect it to do fast updates and really serve up your product pages a lot quicker when it comes to mobile. It’s very good, a very nice plugin, and I rated it a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! Okay, the final plugin I’ve got here is of course one that I haven’t done one of these in quite some time and I figured well, we’ve got Halloween upon us, Thanksgiving is approaching, Christmas is approaching. Hey, everyone likes to decorate for these holidays. Well, this is a plugin to allow you to decorate for your website in the same process.
It’s called Decorations for Occasions, and it’s a great, simple, little plugin that allows you to change the decorations on your websites for all of the holidays: Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, Fourth of July – just a whole bunch of holidays and it just puts those decorations up there. It’s just kind of a fun plugin. It’s relatively new and seems to work pretty well, so check it out: Decorations for Occasions, and I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
Marcus: Very nice! All right, one final one here we’ve got, and this is for anybody who wants to import events from Meetup.com.
Marcus: Yeah. It’s a plugin add-on for anybody who uses the events calendar or events manager that’s from Modern Tribe.
Marcus: And it’s basically just an add-on plugin. You set up your Meetup.com API into this plugin and then you can start to import all of your meetup events. It’s really nice for anybody who’s running any kind of specialized site where you have a meetup group, and I rated this one a 4 out of 5.
John: Very nice! I may actually have to explore that one. I’ve run into many problems of what used to by my favorite calendar, and I’m in the process of exploring new calendars. I’ve used the calendar from Modern Tribe a couple of times. I wonder if they’ve improved it since the last time I touched it?
Marcus: There’s been a couple of revisions. I do use it for one of my clients.
Marcus: It works pretty well. In fact, it’s funny because I have to do all of their entries from June until January later today – that’s like 96 different calendar entries.
John: Yeah, well I like the idea of the meetup, because I run a meetup group for my fitness website and I would love to import the meetup events right directly into my website calendar.
John: So I’m going to have — this one here might push me in that direction.
Marcus: All right!
John: All right, well, that sounds like a great plugin for folks to check out. So anyway, in this episode I covered up Authorize IP Address, which I gave a 4 to; <.htaccess> IP Block, which I gave a 3 to; and Decorations for Occasions, which I gave a 4 to.
Marcus: And I talked about the Custom Thank You Page for WooCommerce – gets a 5 out of 5, AMP WooCommerce gets a 4 out of 5, and Import Meetup Events, which we just talked about, gets a 4 out of 5.