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 See complete show notes for Episode #426 here.
It’s Episode 426 and I’ve got plugins for Logging in as a User, User Directories, Anti-Spam and ClassicPress Options, all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: It’s Episode 426 and I’ve got plugins for Logging in as a User, User Directories, Anti-Spam and ClassicPress 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 find all the Show Notes over at wppluginsatoz.com, and I’d greatly appreciate it if you take a minute and subscribe to the Newsletter. Get out there and hit everyone in the mouth. Tell them about the show. Spread the word about WP Plugins A-Z and catch it live every Thursday at noon on our YouTube channel.
And with that all being said out of the way, it’s time to dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
All right, and what I’ve got for you here right off the bat is a great plugin that I have yet to test but it does look pretty decent and it’s something you’ll want to check out. These are plugins that are sent in to me by listeners and developers, recommending that they be checked out. Sometimes I get to test them, sometimes I don’t, but I really feel you’ll want to know what they are.
The first one I’ve got for you here, it was sent in to me by Yiannis Christodoulou. I hope I didn’t butcher it too bad. At any rate, it is called Log in As a User, and this is a freemium plugin, and this does look like a pretty interesting plugin. The free version by itself looks like it’s pretty useful and why would you want this, you might ask? Well, of course the biggest thing in what they talk about is that if you’re running an e-commerce store or a membership site or anything where you have users that need to log into your WordPress account, well from time to time you’re going to need to know if what they’re telling you is accurate, or you want to test those accounts.
So what happens here is instead of having to get their username and password to log in, you can scroll down the user list, find their name, click a button that says, ‘Log in as user.’ It then opens another window for you, and you get logged in as that user, so you can look at that site as if they logged in to the site, so you can see it from their perspective. It’s a great way to test everything out and check out all the little bits and pieces.
If you move from the free version up to the premium version, it also adds the buttons on order pages for WooCommerce and a couple other areas in there and you get great support from these guys. Go check this plugin out. Just from the glancing at it and seeing what I can do with it, hey, it gets a 4-Dragon rating on the freemium version, and the pro version if I tested it out, it’d probably get a 5, so go check out this plugin and it is called Log in As a User.
WordPress news and information – where do I start? Well, let’s start with…
Absolutely. WP drama… we have WP drama strikes again. Now, this little bit of drama is something that kind of surprised me a bit and it has to do around – you can probably find it out there on the Twitter feeds. All you’ve got to do is go look for a story dealing with a plugin I reviewed several episodes back, a really great plugin which I felt is going to get tons of traction. But he was getting such a runaround from the WP community – the WordPress community – and it was really sad.
It doesn’t surprise me, considering the problems I’ve had with them myself. But of course he got fed up with the whole situation and pulled his code, and it’s really a sad state of affairs what it is, and this is – I’m hearing too many of these stories in the WordPress community now and I really feel that the WordPress community needs to smarten up. And it’s not the community as a whole, it’s a select set of individuals that are in the hierarchy in the WordPress forums, the code repository, the theme repository, and it’s the same people you hear about over and over again. And if you ever want a little bit of it, go look up my history; it’s on my website, my saga about how I got banned from the WordPress forums.
So this is something that’s really sad and the WordPress community needs to smarten up just on this basis alone, ClassicPress is going to wipe the floor with you and they’re going to be so much better. But for the plugin developer out there, hey, listen up. If you’re checking out the show still, go check out the ClassicPress community, rewrite your plugin a little bit to make it ClassicPress-specific, and you’ll find a very inviting community. And since it is a membership plugin, it’s a fantastic plugin and just the little bits and pieces from the different people I’ve seen talk about it, there’s a lot of good things going with it, and it’d be a great asset to the ClassicPress community.
Okay, what do we got other than that? Let’s go talk about some regular kinds of news here. A nice article here from Tech Guys, and it’s “How to Secure Your WordPress Website in 13 Steps.” They give you 13 different things you’ll want to do, some code snippets that you can drop into your HT Access file, backing up, security keys, changing up the WP Config file, etc. So this is something that you’ll want to go check out this article. It’s a really good article, got some really great tips and information for you, and the link is in the Show Notes for it.
The next one up we got for you here, we’ll go with this one here from Yoast. To be honest, it’s probably a PR stunt. But hey, PR or not, Yoast is going to start kicking out $500 grants to around 50 volunteers every year that work on WordPress projects. It’s a really great idea and it’s moving in the right direction I suppose to help support all those people who do tons and tons of work for WordPress for free. You can’t nominate yourself, but you can nominate others if you’re in the WordPress community and you think they deserve this $500 grant. And there’s been hints that other companies might follow Yoast’s lead in doing this. So it’s something to check out. It’s a really interesting article over at WP Tavern.
The next little piece of news, and of course this is the “Roundup from iThemes of WordPress Vulnerabilities Part 1 for September,” and this is a good scroll-down through. There’s several plugins in here; I don’t know how popular they are. I had never really heard of them, but there’s several down the list like Sprine Payments for WooCommerce, which has been pulled because of a flaw in it. There’s Portrait Archive.com. Their plugin has got some issues. It’s vulnerable to cross-site scripting. There’s ECPay Logistics – again, cross-site scripting. Ellipsis Human Presence Technology – so these are plugins like Slick Quiz. I vaguely recall that one. It’s cross-site scripting/SQL injection. So if you’re using any of these plugins, you’ll want to pull them down until an update has been made to the plugin. So this is something to check out. You’ll want to check out this one here; you might even consider subscribing to it yourself so that you get that news in a timely fashion so you can give a good skim-through to see if any of your plugins are at risk.
Okay, let’s take us on to a contest! All right, we do have a winner-winner-chicken-dinner from the last contest, and it is Zbynek, and congratulations to Zbynek – that’s a really tough name, too. I get the most wonderful – one day I’ll have my enunciation down to a science. And anyway, it was a great contest on giving away the Conversations for Gravity Forms plugin. A really great plugin, so you can check out the Show Notes to find out a bit more about it. Our next contest will start next week. I didn’t have time due to some family issues to get it all properly prepared up, and so I’ll get the contest set up this week and it’ll start with next week’s episode, and I do have another contest coming down the pike, so stay tuned and go check out wppluginsatoz.com/contests for more information.
Next up I have for you Dynamic User Directory. This is a freemium plugin with addons for the plugin that run from $7-14, or they do have packages of different addons at various prices, saving yourself some money by buying the addons in bulk.
So this is a really interesting plugin. I really like the way it works. It’s got a nice setup in it, just the default settings in it. It gives you some really good layouts and what it does is it allows you to create lists of your users from your user database in your site and display those lists across your site in different ways and make those lists searchable. It gives you an alphabetized menu across the top. They’ve got a couple of basic layouts built into it. They have a few other extensions to it. You can add in all kinds of things in here and it is a really nice-looking plugin. It sets up relatively easily – one you’ll want to check out.
If you’ve got a membership list site – like I run a membership site where it’s important that we list up the list of members because the members need to be able to get a hold of each other, and they often have to come to the website to look up the other members’ names to get their phone numbers or email addresses, etc. And what I’ve used so far didn’t quite do it as well as I liked. This one is looking to do a bit better of a job, so it’s something you’ll want to go check out.
This is a pretty decent plugin; something to improve the way you display users listed up on your website. It’s called Dynamic User Gallery and I give it a 4-Dragon rating because of course it’s a freemium model and I haven’t purchased any of the premium addons, so go check it out: Dynamic User Directory.
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Absolutely, and come see me for all your WordPress needs, especially emergency WordPress support. I’m really good at helping fix broken, hacked, and cracked WordPress websites.
Okay, the next plugin I’ve got for you, this is another replacement plugin for anti-spam plugins or Captchas or even getting rid of the dreaded Akismet, which is just default installed with every – not installed, but default ready for you to activate in every WordPress install. Kinda like them cheating in a major way – yes, it still galls me that they’re allowed to include that one plugin in every install. Of course, they claim it’s the most activated plugin – well, of course it is, you… all right, let’s wrap my mouth around that and not say those words.
Okay, so this one here though, a really great plugin. It’s called WP Bruiser (No-Captcha-Anti-Spam), and this plugin here is a replacement for the Akismet. I’m gonna test it out, like I’ve been using Anti-spam Bee for years – fantastic plugin. You know, the occasional piece of spam slips through, but that was somebody who literally made the effort to do it like a human. It can’t stop everything. I use the Antispam Honeypot in Gravity Forms. I want to see how this plugin works to do that and stop and prevent that information without those things.
So if it works out as I’m testing it, it’s going to be fantastic. The setup, really great and easy. It automatically protects your comments forms and login forms. It has addons for all the major contact forms and membership extensions, as well as e-commerce and more, and those are premium addons for it, which I can understand, you know. They need to make a buck. You can also do some whitelisting and blacklisting of IPs, it works with IPV6. It disables the XMLRPC and more. There’s a whole bunch that it does to it. I’m going to give it some test runs and see how it does much further, and I’ll try and remember to get back to it on it.
But being as it’s got some premium addons to it, I was going to give this one a 5, but hey, I’ve got to knock that point off for a premium plugin, you know, and that’s just unfortunately the way life works, so I give it a 4-Dragon rating. Go check it out, the WP Bruiser (No-Captcha Anti-spam) plugin. A really great plugin and something that you can use to replace Captcha forms throughout your site, even the hidden Captcha forms from Google.
All right, and ClassicPress options. ClassicPress of course, the fast-growing and I’m really thinking it’s going to start growing faster if WordPress doesn’t smarten up and clean up their act inside their area. And anyway, what do I got this week? Well, some basic news for ClassicPress. The ClassicPress Version 1.1 is due out anytime now, and they had set a date for September 19th, which is today, but they might not make it but that’s okay. They’re still really close to it and they are very active. You might want to go check out their forums to find out what’s happening in their community. It’s a very active community and it is growing, and it’s going to do nothing but continue to get bigger, I think. And as more and more developers come onsite, it’ll do even better and once they get their own repository, much like the WordPress Repository, I think it’ll take off by leaps and bounds then.
Okay, I’ve got a great comment from Omukiguy – and I think I got it right that time, so it’s Omukiguy. He sent me a comment on last week’s show on the YouTube channel, helping to correct my pronunciation of his name (as I did such a wonderful job of butchering it, and I apologize). I do the best I can, but I guess I need to read more, maybe learn a second – I know a second language. What’s my problem?
All right, so at any rate it’s a really great comment and he tells me that his name is pronounced Omuchi-guy – oh-mu-chi-guy – and the ki as in chi – Thai Chi, so Omukiguy. There we go, Omukiguy – hey, I might’ve actually got it.
Let me know.
Okay, another great article from Code Potent, and this is an article on “How to Tweak your HT Access for Speed in Your ClassicPress Website.” It has some pretty good security tips along the way too, just reading through it. So it’s not just tweak for speed, but tweak for security. So it’s a really good article with some great code snippets that you can use in your HT Access file, and go check it out. It’s got a lot of really great pieces of information in there that’ll help you out. And if you’re still using WordPress, hey, you could still use this stuff in WordPress, too. It works there also.
Okay, and what else do we got here? Ah, we do have a plugin. Yes, I do have a plugin this week. It is called CP Admin Colors, and this one comes to us from – ooh, I forgot where it came from. I forgot to write it down – my bad. My bad! I need to go get that little piece of information real quick, because that’s just wrong of me. I can’t do that. I must have that little bit of information, so give me like five, ten – how fast can I get to it? How fast? All right, open up the page where I get the information from… and there it is – by Kline is where I got the information from. It’s listed over on the ClassicPress forums. The link is in the Show Notes for it, because they don’t have his name up here – oh, Kline the Donkey – there we go. Kline the Donkey provided it. God, I could’ve just looked up there. Kline from the Netherlands – all right, there you go, Kline.
So go check this plugin out. What it does for you is it goes and sets up your Admin section, you know, the choices of colors you can choose. It gives you some additional new color schemes that you can use in your Admin and in your profile for ClassicPress. It’s a nice way to give your dashboard a bit of ClassicPress-inspired style, so go check this plugin out. And it looks pretty decent, so I gave it a 4-Dragon rating.
And of course, there’s the usual ClassicPress resources kicking around. Go check those out – lots of ‘em to choose from. There’s the ClassicPress Club, which is a really great alternative for the non-techies. There’s the must-have plugins list in the ClassicPress forums. There’s the listing of ClassicPress-specific plugins that are known right now that is managed by Code Potent, and it’s got a really great list there. There’s CK Web Solutions who is carrying some ClassicPress plugins, where their plugins are written to include ClassicPress along with WordPress. And of course, Code Potent’s Plugin Directory for ClassicPress. So those are what we’ve got going out there, some really great stuff for everyone.
And that pretty much wraps everything up here and I will talk to everyone next week if you want to hang out after the show and chat with me, feel free. In this episode I covered up Log in As a User, which I gave a 4 to. I also covered up the Dynamic User Directory, which I gave a – oops, wrong one – which I gave a 4 to; and then the WP Bruiser, which I gave a 4 to; and then of course the CP Admin Colors, which I gave a 4 to, so it’s a nice hand of 4s today.
Okay, and one reminder for everyone, the WordPress Meetup in Victoria is next week, Tuesday, September 24th at 6:30 p.m., and will be broadcast live here on the YouTube channel. For more information, go check out wppluginsatoz.com/meetup for all the location information on it. And if you’re in the Victoria area, I really hope to see you there.
That’s pretty much all I’ve got for you now, so I’m gonna let my girl take us on out of here.
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John can be reached at his website, JohnOverall.com, or email him directly at email@example.com. Thanks for joining us and have a great day.
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