Transcript of Episode 388 WP Plugins A to Z

It's Episode 388 and I’ve got plugins for Anti-spam, WordPress Backups, File Uploaders, WooCommerce products feeds and Classic Press Options, all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

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’s discussion of the weekly plugins he has reviewed.

WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #388 here.


It’s Episode 388 and I’ve got plugins for Anti-spam, WordPress Backups, File Uploaders, WooCommerce products feeds and Classic Press Options, all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #388

John:    It’s Episode 388 and I’ve got plugins for Anti-spam, WordPress Backups, File Uploaders, WooCommerce products feeds and Classic Press Options, all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

WordPress, it’s the most popular content management and website solution on the internet. And with over 80,000 plugins to choose from, how do you separate the junk from the gems? Join us for a weekly unrehearsed conversation about the latest and greatest in WordPress plugins. This is WordPress Plugins from A to Z.

John:    Well good morning, good afternoon, or good evening wherever you happen to be hiding out there on the globe today. Coming to you direct from the Brewery Overlook in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, I’m John Overall. And I have the usual great show for you today but right off the top, don’t forget you can get all the show notes over at wppluginsatoz.com. And if you’ve got a few minutes, greatly appreciate your time over at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store, leaving reviews and subscribing to the show there.

And also, take some time out there if you’re not already, subscribe to the YouTube channel and make sure you hit the notification bell so you know when I go live, because I go live once a week on Thursday at noon and it looks like I’m gonna be doing just a live show on Saturday evenings about 8:00 going forward here. It’s something I have started doing and it’s kind of fun, I enjoy it, and then periodically if I get the urge, I may just go live again. So make sure you check it out and there’s other little tidbits going up to YouTube as I complete them.

Also, you can subscribe to the show over at wppluginsatoz.com – or on Twitter – @wppluginsatoz on Twitter and follow us on our Facebook page and subscribe to the newsletter over on the wppluginsatoz.com website.

And the holiday season, partly behind us. I hope everyone had themselves a fantastic Christmas. I had a great one. Santa was nice to me this year and to my boys, so it’s really kind of a nice year. Well what we have left is the New Year. Let me tell you a little secret: don’t tell your personal trainer you suffered from a hangover the day after Christmas, because he seems to put you through 10 times the amount of…

All right, that being said, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.

All right, first up here, I have the segment I started a few weeks ago with the show where I now bring you a couple of plugins right off the top that I have yet to actually use myself. They’re plugins that have been submitted to me by developers and I have big backlog of ‘em, so I thought it would be important to bring them out here, talk about them a little bit that I can figure out with them. The reviews I’m giving on them – the ratings I’m giving – are based upon their website and if they have a demo that I can test it out and see how it works. Other than that, I have not actually used them but they do sound interesting.

So the first one up here was sent in to us by C. Shakhawat Sultan and it’s a freemium plugin, and it’s called WooCommerce Product Feed Manager, and this one here is a plugin that helps you manage product feeds going into your WooCommerce Store. And in particular, if you use product feeds from multiple sites such as Amazon or let’s say – they’ve got a list of them. I’m trying to think where they all come from. They filter all of the information, intuitive interfaces for it, and they’ve got a whole lot of popups on their site. But – oh, there it is: Amazon, Google, eBay, NexTag, Facebook – you know, bringing in your product feeds from all these different places or feeding out from your WooCommerce site to all these different places.

And what it does for you is it helps you manage those feeds to keep control of your products for you. You can increase your WooCommerce store sales, etc., etc. with it. It looks to be a pretty decent plugin. It’s a freemium plugin; they do have a free version which will allow you to go check out a little bit about the site. Oh, here – I had the comparison up earlier. Ah, I’ve lost the comparison for it.

Anyway, the free version lets you set up one feed. If you go to their premium version which is $89 a year, you can set up multiple feeds on your site. If you’re running a decent sized WooCommerce site, this would be something worth checking out if you’re feeding out to multiple places. So go give it a check-out. It’s called the WooCommerce Product Feed Manager and based on everything I can see with it, it looks like it should be worth about a 4-Dragon rating. Give it a check-out.

And the next one I’ve got for you was one that was sent in to me by Akshat Choudhary – I’m really gonna have to work on my enunciations. Sorry if I butcher you names, guys, but I’m learning. This is a premium plugin. It’s called Blog Vault Backup Service. This is another backup service for WordPress that you can use. It is a premium service from $7 to $99 a month, depending on which level you’re at with it.

It does multiple backups or backups of your website, it can help you do some transfers of your site, it’ll do daily automatic backups, a variety of other features, like taking on-demand backups whenever you need, scheduling the backups on your convenience, large websites. Blog Vault offers incremental backup facility to ensure nothing is missed and it offers you quite a bit with what it does, and the pricing on it, as I said, it’s – you know – as I said, it’s, you know, $7 for a personal site for one website, all the way up to an agency with 100 websites, so if you manage multiple sites and you want a backup system, this might be something to consider if they’re on a shared hosting platform or multiple platforms – like many hosts don’t even provide proper backups these days, which is kind of strange to me, considering how cheap storage is for the most part.

So at any rate, this is one you’ll want to check out if you’re looking for a backup service. It looks to be a good one. I’ve heard about it from time to time and I give this one a 4-Dragon rating, so go check it out.

Meat and potatoes – oh, absolutely. Absolutely, Larry. I seem to be losing that from time to time. All right, so those are the two plugins I’ve got so far that I haven’t checked out, so let’s jump into this show here, currently brought to you by…

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Absolutely. Come visit me for all your WordPress needs, especially if you’re looking for better WordPress hosting – something I’m gonna be putting a little bit more focus on in the new year as my hosting business, mainly because I offer fantastic hosting, a reasonable price, you don’t have to fight for all of your services, and I make sure there’s always backups available.

And we are currently still giving away the plugins. We have four contests here, and the contests are powered by the Simple Giveaways Plugin, who kindly provided us with the premium version of their plugin to run our contests on. I liked it when I was using the free version, but the premium version is so much better. Make sure you go check that out.

Current contests we have: A copy of WooHoo, which is a plugin for going in and editing up your WooCommerce sites. You can do a lot of customizations with WooHoo. If you’d like that, go enter the contest for it. A copy of the Interactive U.S. Map, which is a really cool plugin. I’ve examined this plugin a couple of times over the years and not only do they have U.S. maps, but they have maps for countries all over the world, and these maps can be seriously integrated, so go check them out. WP PDF Embedder – this is a fantastic plugin for embedding PDFs into your website. I use it across about four or five of my websites, so get a license for this one. It’ll save you a lot of grief when putting PDFs into your website – a very nice plugin.

And a free year of Kanban, from Kanban WP, and this one here is a projects manager tool to help you manage your projects if you’ve got multiple people working on your projects on your website, so check this one out. It’s a really nice one and you can enter to win a copy or a free year worth of all of these services. All you need to do is go to wppluginsatoz.com/contests and we have one week left for the contests, and I’m really happy to see that people have been entering the contests this last month. I’m excited to see that, you know, people are starting to dig into them again.

Okay, next up I have for you the next plugin here is AJAX Upload for Gravity Forms. I couldn’t remember if I’d done this one before, but if I had, well it’s back again. This is a tool that you can use. If you’re using Gravity Forms and you have it set to upload files or images or anything like that – and I have a couple on different websites that we do this. Normally what happens is they enter their file and nothing occurs until they submit the form, and it takes a little bit longer to submit the form because now it’s got to upload the form.

Well, what this plugin can do is it can shorten that for you. They can choose their files, pick them, set them in place, they can click the Upload button, and they upload while they finish filling out the form. It’ll save a few moments. You know, every – like I say, every 10 seconds saved adds up to minutes by the end of the year – sometimes even hours, so this is something that just saves time for everyone and it’s a very simple plugin to use. It’s free and so that just makes it a fantastic plugin. Free works and its good. What else happens there? That gives it a 5-Dragon rating.

There we go.  Go check it out: the AJAX Upload for Gravity Forms.

All right, what do we got now? Oh, feedback – listener feedback. Well, we like listener feedback and questions. This week I have none but if you would like to leave some, please go to the Contact page on the website, hit the SpeakPipe button in the lower right-hand corner of WP Plugins A to Z, or you can email me directly at john@wppro.ca. Any of those places there, I will answer your questions to the best I can, so you’ll want to check it out and just contact me with your questions.

This show, value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, please give some value back. In that vein, I like to acknowledge those who have supported the show in the past week. All donations $50 and over, their note is read out and published here. Those that come below $50, thank you very much; they remain anonymous.

This week here, no big donors but I’d like to give a big thank you to those who have hired me in the last few months because of this podcast. That’s as good as a donation to the show because you’re hiring me because you’ve heard me through the show, so I’d like to thank you very much for supporting me in that manner. Aside from listening to the show you go, “Hey, maybe he knows what he’s doing,” so you hire me to do some work and a few of you have become extremely long-term clients just because of this podcast, so thank you very much in that area there.

I would also like to thank those who came in under $50 and have set up the small Patreon donations and the small PayPal donations. Those little bits really help the show. Now, the money that’s donated to the show does not end up in my pocket. That money there actually covers the costs of the show. It covers the transcripts, it covers the bandwidth, the server space – all of the incidentals that are just simple required to run a podcast. And if you’ve never run a podcast, go do it. You’ll find out real quick that even though it doesn’t seem like it costs anything, there’s money involved in it, even if it seems like it’s small amounts. It adds up by the end of the year.

Well, thank you very much to all of those who support the show. And if you would like to support the show, just go to wppluginsatoz.com/donate to donate to the show. A simple form: name, email, decide whether you want to subscribe to the newsletter, leave a message if you like, choose your donation amount. It takes you directly to PayPal and it donates it, so it’s the simplest thing you can do. Thank you very much for all those that support the show.

All right, and before we jump off to that, I just want to – comments. I really like comments. I had some really good comments in the livestream I did last Saturday night. You might want to check it out and read the comments there. We got into a good discussion as I was discussing my WordPress drama, which I’ll come back to at the end of the show. And so far here – thanks, Larry. The PDF Embedder, fantastic. I’ve used it a few times. Yeah, I use it a lot, so it is a great plugin. Thank you very much.

Okay, the last plugin for WordPress here that I have – this one here is kind of a simpler plugin – kind of cool. If you have a menu and you want to put some of those fancy menu icons and your theme doesn’t have it built-in, and many themes have it built-in now. But this is the Menu Icons plugin by ThemeIsle, a really nice, nifty plugin that all you’ve gotta do is go in, install it, activate it, and then you go to your menus and you can just choose from multiple icons that are produced by Font Awesome, Geneticons, Elusive, etc., and determine what size you want them to be, where you want them: left, right, how you want them placed in the menu, insert them, and then set them, and then all of a sudden you’ll have those fancy menu icons without a whole lot of extra effort if your theme doesn’t provide it.

This is a really simple plugin. Nothing super stupendous or fancy but hey, it’s still kind of cool, so go check it out: the Menu Icons by ThemeIsle, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.

All right, ClassicPress. Yes, I’m going to keep talking about ClassicPress because it’s not going away. I don’t know how many people have followed ClassicPress ever since the release of Gutenberg, but ClassicPress has made some massive inroads into the WordPress community. And as I said when it first occurred, I’m pretty sure by the end of it 30% of what was the WordPress community on December 6th will be using ClassicPress probably by the end of January to the middle of February. There has been more and more people moving over there.

So I’m going to continue with this show, even though it’s the WP Plugins show, I’m gonna add ClassicPress plugins and I will have a – I already bought the URL, cppluginsatoz – so I will already have that pointing to this site to carry people in here from ClassicPress. Right now, it’s even. All of the plugins work in ClassicPress but I know it’s going to change over time, so this’ll be an interesting growth thing for me as I have to travel both paths.

So this week here, I do have a plugin tested out for ClassicPress, and I figure if you’re gonna start with it, you may as well start at the beginning to see the important plugins for a website. Now the most important plugin on a website, in my opinion, if you’re going to accept comments on your site is to set up an anti-spam plugin. And it annoyed me to no end that Akismet was built into WordPress, thereby defying one of WordPress’s own rules about having plugins in there, so that annoyed me to no end.

But it was the first thing I removed. There’s a fantastic plugin in WordPress that was called Tasks After Install; I still use it every time I’d set up a new WordPress site, hit it, it wipes out the Akismet, the Hello Dolly, cleans up everything, and sets it to perfectly clean like it should be when it’s new.

At any rate, I removed that and installed Antispam Bee, so I thought, well, let’s make sure that this works in ClassicPress – and it does. Antispam Bee is, in my opinion, the best antispam plugin out there as for a simple, very lightweight, does not depend on a third-party service, and it just looks – it just works really, really well. So this is one that you’ll want to check out and use. If you’re switching to ClassicPress, you have an antispam plugin that will work, so go check it out: Antispam Bee, and I give it a 5-Dragon rating.

Okay, so – and Larry asks here, “So ClassicPress stays at 4.9 and only gets security updates?” Eh, I don’t know if that’s exactly what they’re doing. From what I can tell, they’re actually forking it off. Right now it’s security updates. It’s not even – when you do the ClassicPress conversion (which I’ve done), it makes a lot of changes in there to all of the files, all the files in the core, changed from WP to CP. It does leave the WP content folder alone, so all the content there stays where it should be. You actually still – if you want to add plugins, remove, and update plugins in ClassicPress, it still uses the WordPress Repository to get that information and do it, so they’re kind of on a parallel path right now from what I can see.

I haven’t read their map. They have mapped out what they plan to do with ClassicPress; it’s on their website at classicpress.net, and their map – I’m pretty sure their map is going to see a complete divergence, and of course it’s actually gonna happen one way or another just simply the way Gutenberg is going, and I expect it’ll be – hm…six months, a year – maybe a bit longer before they completely diverge and in the plugins for ClassicPress don’t work as well as the plugins in WordPress. They start having conflicting errors. I expect it at about that point. Right now, any plugin that worked in Version 4.98/99 of WordPress, I’m pretty sure will work in ClassicPress. But I know about that. And yeah, Akismet is bloatware, absolutely – absolutely bloatware.

And ClassicPress – yeah, well ClassicPress was created to avoid the block editor changes. Yes it was, Larry, and that’s what’s gonna happen to happen, and they’re just going to continue down the line of where WordPress would’ve gone had they not edited Gutenberg to the core. That’s pretty much what I think is going to occur. Who knows? They could overtake WordPress at some point in time if WordPress makes enough mistakes over the next couple of years. They’ve made a load of those recently.

All right, so closing out this episode, I covered up plugins – the WooCommerce Product Feed Manager, which I gave a 4 to; the Blog Vault Backup Service, which I gave a 4 to; the AJAX Upload for Gravity forms, which I gave a 5 to; the Menu Icons by ThemeIsle, which I gave a 4 to; and the Antispam Bee plugin for ClassicPress, which I gave a 5 to, so we’re looking pretty good there.

Real briefly, just to cover up. There’s a big, long post for those that haven’t caught it over at WP Plugins. I have been officially banned from the WordPress Forums. I am no longer permitted to post in there or create a new account or anything else. If you want to read it, I’ve got the entire email thread with me and – what’s his name? – the name in my head here. Oh, Jan – Jan Dobrowski. Me and him going back and forth and him eventually just, even after I had capitulated to everything, I just didn’t say the right words, I think, and he just went, “No, I’m leaving you suspended. You can appeal to one of the other moderators if you want.”

And personally, I don’t think I’m gonna have any success with that, so I just sort of left it. I’m done, but it is an interesting read and I’ve been told I passed that and I’ve had a few people comment on it and a couple of people have commented. It’s like, “Wow,” the one person come in and said like, “I didn’t really think I’d read the whole thing but then suddenly I had read the whole thing,” and it’s like yeah, sometimes drama can just be entertaining as all.

            So at any rate, it’s official: I’m no longer allowed in the WordPress forums. Gotta love the – it means I’ve just gotta email all the developers directly when I do stuff for them and let them know that yeah, I still exist – still pretty cool. We’ve got here – not so bad, and I’ll continue doing the plugin reviews that I’ve been doing for a long time.

All right, that pretty much wraps everything up here for today. And I’ve got all my little notes carried out. That’s it. Just make sure you stop in and subscribe to the YouTube channel, subscribe to the show at iTunes, YouTube, and all the usual places, so thank you very much for listening to the show, and I’ll look forward to talking to you next week, and thanks a lot for showing up, Larry. Always appreciate having someone into the show to talk to. It makes for a good day.

All right, I’m gonna let my girl take us on out.

Reminders for the show: All the show notes can be found at wppluginsatoz.com, and while you’re there, subscribe to the Thursday newsletter for more useful information directly to your email inbox. Wppluginsatoz.com is a show that offers honest and unbiased reviews of plugins created by developers because you support the show. Help keep the show honest and unbiased by going to wppluginsatoz.com/donate and set the donation level that fits your budget.

Help us make the show better for you by subscribing and reviewing to the show at Stitcher Radio, Google Play, and in the iTunes Store. You can also watch the show live on YouTube, check out the screencasts and training videos, and remember to subscribe and hit the bell to get notification of all new videos. Also, follow the show on Twitter @wppluginsatoz.

John can be reached at his website at JohnOverall.com or send him an email, john@wppro.ca. 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.

John:   That’s all we’ve got now. Take care.

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