All transcripts start from the point in the show where we head off into the meat and potatoes. They are the complete verbatim of John and Amber’s discussion of this weeks plugins that have been reviewed.
WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #552 here.
It’s Episode 552 and we have plugins for Simply Guests, Email First, Meow-ocalypse, Loco Translations, Sliding Smart, MetaSliding all over… and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Alright, ClassicPress, we still don’t have anything new about ClassicPress. And if you are a ClassicPress user and you pop in here, hey, send us some information. Help keep us up to date. Maybe I’ll eventually find some time and go play with ClassicPress again and see how it’s doing. Other than that, let’s dive into the WordPress plugins.
The first one I have for you this week I can’t remember why I went and looked this one up for somebody. And it’s called (Simply) Guest Author Name. And what it allows you to do is if you have guest authors or someone submits an article and you don’t want to publish it just under your name, you want to give the author credit, this plugin creates a special box in your post area that you can then enter the guest author’s name for that post. You also get the option with the plugin to reuse, save the guest authors, upload the guest author’s image, you know, archives for the guest author, bulk edit and more, a whole bunch of things.
But what it allows you is that way you don’t have to create them as a user on your site to be able to get them as an author on the post because the only other previous way to do it of course was to create them as a user on the site. And you had to give them subscriber access to the site which meant that they could not publish stuff that they can create stuff that you would then publish. If you don’t want to do that, this is a great option to do that for your site. Anyway, great little plugin. I thought it was worthy so go check it out. It’s called (Simply) Guest Author Name and I give it a four dragon rating.
Amber: So this makes it possible for people to get on to your site and write something and choose themselves or you have to put that in for them once they have put in the articles?
John: No, no. They sent you the article and you do the publishing.
John: This is for sites where okay we’ll take a guest post but you know you got to send us all the stuff and then we put it on the site. And, you know, instead of having to put a byline at the top of the article, you just put, you know you can use the author metadata to put in the byline.
Amber: Okay that’s cool.
Amber: First one I have today is Loco Translate. When I first saw this, I was super excited for this plugin because I thought it was for translating foreign plugins into English for both myself and my site. But it turns out it’s actually the other way around which honestly is just as cool. You take the plugin or a theme and translate it into a foreign language. So if it’s an English one you can do your plugin and they translate it into your own language which I thought was also pretty cool.
John: Well that’s useful for developers of foreign language plugins or forking out foreign language or someone who has developed an English plugin and they wanted a Spanish.
Amber: Yeah so it takes a little extra effort because you do need to go through and translate all of the important lines that it tells you need translating into whatever your language is. But it would be worth the time in order to be able to use it in just your language.
John: Yep, now that could be a really cool tool for developers.
Amber: Yeah totally free. I recommend people check it out. I rate it at five dragons.
John: Okay, the next one I have for you here is called Email Before Download. This is for those of you out there like I had some for a while but they got out of date and I haven’t updated where you offer (inaudible 00:20:39). You know you want to get into my email list, we will give you this free PDF download, give me your email. Or what the other thing it can do with you is to verify that they get an email or that it’s a valid email they are giving you is they have to enter their email to download it. It sends them a verification email which then has a link to allow them to go download the file.
Amber: That’s cool.
John: I thought it was a pretty useful tool. I haven’t set it up and used it because I’m still behind on creating my PDF documents that I used to give away. But this is a great way to confirm that you are getting a valid email address added to your email list. So something to check out. A useful tool for many people. And I thought it was very good for everyone to have. So go check it out. It is Email Before Download and I give it a four dragon rating.
Amber: I can definitely see the usefulness in that. Next one I have is Smart Slider 3. I was searching up gallery plugins for a client, and I decided to check this one out. And it turns out that although it is specifically a slider rather than a gallery, it is pretty awesome. It has the ability to do videos or images. They also have templates available in the free version although they don’t have the Showcasing option or the Carousel option in the free version. You need to go Pro for those options.
But for what it is available in the free version, it’s a pretty good option using Smart Slider 3. You can set the height and length of the slider. You can add videos and images together, and it looks really nice. I really like how easy it was to set up when I was playing around with it. It’s not one of those, if you are new to setting up a site, you reset all the terms. It just asks you in regular human language if you wanted this, how high, how long and all that. Very, very cool. I rate it at four dragons.
John: Cool. Alright, and the final one I have for you is called Apocalypse Meow.
Amber: I will be very curious about this one.
John: It is a security plugin. What its main focus is for addressing WordPress security issues you may have on your accounts, logins. It helps stop brute-force protections, customizable password strength requirements. It deals with the XML-RPC access controls, account access alerts, access logs so you can log what’s going in including failed login attempts and temporary bans, user enumeration prevention, registration SPAM protection in other words and that’s a bad one. That happens a lot in membership and ecommerce sites. It annoys me to no end. Miscellaneous Core and template options to make targeted hacks more difficult on your site. So all in all, it’s a pretty decent little security plugin. If you don’t already have one you are happy with, you might give this one a check over and see how it works for your site, and see if it can help protect your site from all the headaches we have out there. It’s a relatively new plugin but it looks like it’s growing pretty rapidly. It’s already got 800 plus installs in two months.
John: Anyway, go check this one out and I give it a four dragon rating. It’s the Apocalypse Meow.
Amber: I sort of think Meow Apocalypse would have worked.
John: Yeah Meow Apocalypse.
Amber: Last one I have got is it’s called Slider, Gallery and Carousel by MetaSlider – Responsive WordPress Plugin. So throughout my search for gallery plugins, I also came across this one. At first, honestly I didn’t think it was overly great. But then, I really started getting into it and realized it has a lot of personalization options and it’s actually setup very nicely. It’s just one of those plugins you got to dig in to before you realize how cool it actually is.
There is a decent option in the free version for personalization. Like there is a decent amount of things you can do but they do keep most of the options for their Pro version which it makes sense.
Amber: The way you use this is you use a Shortcode in your page or post and it shows up actually very nicely. It also behaves well with other plugins. It plays very nicely. It’s a decent all around plugin. I rate it at four dragons.
John: Very cool. Alrighty that covers up our plugins for you, but we do have some listener questions this week. Actually I think they were last week and I sort of blew past them.
Amber: It happens.
John: They are there. Alright here we go, first one out the gate from listener questions, are there any rules of thumb for choosing a domain name? No, you can have any domain name you want. If you’re talking about building out a business, yeah you want a domain name that relates to your business or is your business name if you can get it. You want to have a domain name that is easy enough to spell and that is an important one nowadays.
John: Because the harder the domain name is to spell, the less likely people are to use it because they will type it in incorrectly. And, of course, these spammers and all the others out there, they find the domain that gets busy. And they start creating, they start buying up all the misspellings of that domain to redirect traffic. So you want to have something that’s easy to spell. You don’t want a big, long one.
The other thing about domain name is one thing you should do if you’ve got a company that’s multiple names together and I can’t think of one at the moment, but then you put all those names together as one word and then look at the words that are made in the middle. There’s been companies that when they put the words together in their company name, in the middle of it of was anal or anal sex as two words in there. They just jump out.
Amber: Oh my!
John: It happens a lot in company names. It’s like there was a page dedicated to that unexpected names and domain names. I think it was something like that. Because people they see only the single words but then they put them in the domain as one word. Don’t use underscores or dashes if you don’t have to because your user will never remember the underscore, dash when they go to type it in. You know, there is a whole lot around that.
Registering, best place to register domain, there is a link on our website for that from registering through JohnOverall.com, you know. That way I can make a buck but in the end I’m still a reseller for GoDaddy. As a reseller, I make a buck off of domains that people buy through me. But GoDaddy is me far and above of everything else GoDaddy does wrong, domain registration is the one thing they do right. And of course, that’s what they started their business on was pure domain registration. They have the best interface for managing your domains far and above everyone else’s. It’s the least headache of all of them. And I’ve been in a lot of domain registrars for all of my different clients over the years. And these different domain registrars some of them are real pain to manage the domains.
Amber: As I am getting into more and more different of these, I agree with you on that.
John: And how do you decide what domain, what’s the best length of time to register domain for? As long as you can afford to pay for it. You can register them up to ten years. I think it’s the maximum timeframe you can register a domain for. I do them one year at a time simply because some of my more used domains, I will register them for two or three years at a time. But other domains where I’m not sure I do them one year at a time because I made the site, I don’t want that domain anymore. And why waste money if you are not going to use that domain? So the best length of the time is anywhere from one to ten years whatever you think.
The one problem I can say about the very long ones is I had it happen to a client of mine. They had registered it for like five or ten years and they completely lost track of their account when it came time to renew. And it was a real pain to get back in because of course when they first registered it, I think this happened about three years ago or so. When they registered it back around 2013, we didn’t have as much security on the internet as we have now with all of the two-factor authentications, the extra-long passwords. So they had to go through a whole lot of rigmarole to regain access to their account. That’s another thing to keep in mind.
Amber: But that should be best to go for between one and three years just to keep up with the tag for signing in and everything.
John: Yeah. And how do you decide what domains to register? Well, dot.com is the primary one, if you can get it. If you can’t get dot.com depends on what your company is focused on, you know, dot.ca is only for Canadians. You have to be a Canadian or a Canadian company to get a dot.ca domain. Dot.org works. Dot.ed, I can’t remember if dot.ed is limited to educational only. But, of course, nowadays there are so many extensions for domains out there. It’s like the best domain is the (inaudible 00:30:49) is the best one you can get. Start with dot.com and then work your way down the list until you find one that works for you. Anyway that’s what you do for domains. Thanks for the questions. We got no name attached to it so thanks to the anonymous person who dumped those questions in there.
Amber: Another thing too about the dot.com, dot.ca thing is something you can do is you can actually get the same domain name and the (inaudible 00:31:19) is a different one. So you can bind them altogether.
Amber: That will cover your (inaudible 00:31:24) too.
John: Well, if you go over to JohnOverll.com, I actually own the dot.ca, the dot.biz, the dot.net version of that domain but they all go to the same spot. No, they don’t. I use them for different things. I use the dot.net, the dot.biz for different things so no they are no longer in the same spot. They used to go to the same spot. The dot.com and the dot.ca go to the same spot though. Alright, and we do have
Absolutely. We have a contest. Our contests are powered by the Simple Giveaway’s plugins. Thank you to those guys very much for the plugin. What we got right now is we are giving you a single lifetime domain license with interactive Geo Maps valued at $49.99. This is a really cool mapping plugin. It doesn’t produce high resolution maps. They are lower resolution but they are very interesting vector maps where you can create little images or pathways or mark out cities where stuff might be. When people mouse over the markers, it’s going to pop up to give them more information. It’s a really cool plugin for the most part. It’s well worth it and hey, you know, enter the contest, get it for free and use it. It is a great plugin. Contest is running from now until April 6th. Winner will be announced on the April 7th show. Get out there and register for the contest.
Alright, cover up a couple of things here before we move into the Q&A with Amber. Plugins I covered up in this show were the (Simply) Guest Author Name plugin which I gave a four to, the Email Before Download which I gave a four to, and the Apocalypse Meow which I gave a four to.
Amber: I covered Local Translate which I rated at five, Smart Slider 3 which I rated at four, and Slider, Gallery, and Carousel by MetaSlider – Responsive WordPress Plugin which I rated at four.
John: Alrighty, and a couple of quick reminders. There is going to be a meetup sometime in June, and more details will be coming on that as soon as I have finalized dates, times, and other stuff on it. If you’re a developer, no developer, or work in WordPress or create stuff in WordPress, know somebody who creates it, they would like to be interviewed by WP Plugins, you can just go to wppluginsAtoZ.com/interview to reserve your spot to register and get an interview. It’s a really great opportunity to get some promotion of your plugin in and everything else. And if you have any plugin suggestions, you want them reviewed, just go to wppluginsAtoZ.com/submitpluginreview. Alright, it is time.
It’s question and answer time.
John: With Amber.
Amber: Before I get started, if anyone out there has any questions you would like to have asked here on the show, feel free to send them into me firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get them up here and we’ll see if we can stump my dad. My first question for you is what do you look for when searching for a good page builder?
John: Okay well, when I’m searching for a good page builder, I look for intuitiveness from my brain, and also how widely adopted is it? And then also, the longevity of it now. In the beginning, it didn’t matter because everybody was building them. You didn’t know who was going to win the race but now you want one that’s stuck around, keeps it up to date. It’s fairly stable. It doesn’t bloat the site full of extra code. Like some of the page builders bloat your site so full of extra code that it just turn them into a crawling mess.
The problem we have got now is unfortunately I’ve seen the writing on the wall finally and I have got to make the switch to Gutenberg. Page builders, their days might be numbered simply because of the full site editing that’s coming into WordPress through Gutenberg. I mean I played with the full site editing about a week or so. I go on a brand new site with the 2022 theme, but holy crap is it not intuitive.
Amber: No, it’s harder for me to wrap my brain around.
John: It’s really tough. I had to actually move out of the 2022 theme which is the I believe a theme built for full site editing into the 2021 theme so I could actually build a site, because there are so many things in there that are just out of sync. But, you know, a good page builder is one that will do everything you want to do. And accordingly, Gutenberg does everything a page builder will do in its current state before the full site editing. It does everything a page builder will do. And I’m working through and testing that thesis right now. And it does appear that it does these things. It’s just that it’s not working fully with my brain. Once my brain snaps and clicks to it, I’m sure it will be fine.
So for a good page builder right now, you’re looking for something that works before you, has been around a while and doesn’t bloat your site or make things difficult or breaks stuff. You know, I’m not going to mention page builders. There’s one or two out there. Most people know the, sorry sneezing there. Anyway, there’s a couple of page builders out there that are just insanely hard and they bloat your site. Where there is a couple of page builders that are relatively intuitive and they don’t seem to bloat your site. That’s what you want to check into.
Amber: Alright, next question is what do you look for when testing out themes to see if they are any good or not?
John: Well, I haven’t really tested themes in a very long time because the theme is no longer relevant. Once upon a time, you go back five years in WordPress and the theme was massively relevant because your theme determined all your layouts and everything else because of all the pages in it. But with the advent of page builders, the theme became completely irrelevant. What the hell was that? That was weird. Anyway, the theme became absolutely irrelevant. So I don’t test themes out anymore. Sometimes I will look at a theme or I will start with a theme that’s got some templates that I can use but that’s really all I’m looking for is that they got a template that will make my initial design faster. Instead of having to build everything from scratch, I can start with their template and then redo from their template what I want. That’s all I’m really looking for in themes now. Because themes, they are less relevant than they used to be. With Gutenberg, they are even less relevant because if you look at the theme for 2021, there is nothing to it. It’s nothing, literally nothing. But from 2021 theme, you can build out a site that looks like it was themed out massively because of the Gutenberg editor. So I don’t look at themes and test them anymore.
Amber: It’s good to know. I have one more question so I’ll read it out to you. What do you look for when doing a security review?
John: Okay well this will be a very interesting question. We will dig into that one after we let our girl take us on out of here.
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John can also be reached at his website, JohnOverall.com, or email him directly email@example.com. Thanks for joining us and have a great day.
Thanks for listening to the show. This show is copyright by JohnOverall.com. So until next time, have yourselves a good morning, good afternoon, or a good evening, wherever you happen to be out there on the globe today.
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