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 #438 here.
It’s Episode 438 and I’ve got plugins for Which Elementor Addon, GM Block Bots, Login LockDown, and ClassicPress Options, all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: It’s Episode 438 and I’ve got plugins for Which Elementor Addon, GM Block Bots, Login LockDown, 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 of course right off the top, don’t forget you can get all the Show Notes over at wppluginsatoz.com. And if you’ve got a couple of minutes, get out there and subscribe to the Newsletter. Get out and hit everyone in the mouth; spread the word about WP Plugins A-Z. And also, you can catch it live every Thursday at noon on our YouTube channel.
All right, with all of that being said, let’s dive right into the meat and potatoes of the show.
Okay, what do we got for you guys today? Oh, the usual sort of things. First off, I have one plugin right out the gate just so that you stay sort of interested in what we’ve got to say in here. The first one out the gate today is called Which Elementor Addon. This one here, this is a really great little plugin I tripped across today and so I got to test it out really quick. And if you use Elementor, this is an excellent little plugin.
Now, you may be like me and you may use multiple plugins or occasionally an extra addon here and there, and you build out a site. And then you start building out another site and then what happens? You go, “Hey, I did something. What was that plugin or how’d I use that addon piece I need?” Well, this plugin helps you out. You can go throw this into a site that you’ve built out with stuff and then what you do is you load up the page you edited in Elementor and you roll over – mouse over – the elements, and it tells you exactly what Elementor addon plugin or widget you used to create each individual blocks.
A very cool tool for helping you figure out what you’ve done in the past to make your future a helluva lot easier to do when you just can’t remember exactly what you did. A simple tool, it works really great, sets up, and just does what it’s supposed to do, and it is a freebie, so that one there just pops right to the top with a 5-Dragon rating.
Go check it out: Which Elementor Addon. A really cool plugin. It’s also relatively brand-new. Yeah it still has fewer than 10 installed.
Okay, a little bit of news for you this week. It’s kind of a slow week. It is Christmas season, so we’re not getting a whole lot of news out there. But there is a couple of things to talk about, one of them being Gutenberg – a full page builder – it’s coming soon. There’s some information out of the Make WordPress Design blog, talking about Gutenberg Phase II and what they’re planning to do with it. They’re planning to build out Gutenberg into a full page editor system. You know, they keep denying it; some deny it and say it’s not gonna happen. I’m truthfully believing that’s where they’re going with Gutenberg.
They want to do this, and so a lot of companies out there that depend on them are going to be – it depends on their business as a page builder – may be in a world of hurt with the easy markets that they once had for people that are cheap for the most part. So this is something you’ll want to check into, dig into a little deeper, find out a little bit about it if it’s going to impact your business or your design business or anything else. I mean, if Gutenberg – oh, could we be headed back towards – what was that once upon a time, the Yahoo websites thing/experiment where everybody had a website? (And I think I even had one. I can’t remember the name of it now.) But we might be headed back to that crazy world of insanely built websites that are just – well, it’ll be fun and entertaining.
All right, this one here – the next piece of news. This one is a little bit late in getting out. I did tweet it out, so we’ve got a bit out there for people. Now, it happened over this last week and it’s an article – and I wanted just run down.
It’s about 20 different VPS providers. They were shutting down on Monday of this past week and they gave customers just two days to save their data. And if those customers were away for the weekend or they were gone or they’d unplugged or whatever, they come back on Monday and find they had no websites (and probably no backups, too).
So this is a very good warning to people as to why you want to control your data. Not only should you be making backups, your backups should be downloaded to your local computers and stored on an external hard drive, and you should do them at least once a month at the minimal, if not more often if your website changes regularly. The other is you might want to stop being on the cheap for VPS hosting or web hosting in particular. This isn’t the first time
I’ve seen companies do this. You know, in the 20 years I’ve been involved in the internet now, I’ve seen companies grow really big then all of a sudden, they’ve overextended and the next thing you know, they’ve pulled the plug and people are scrambling to get their data before the systems close down.
So this is another warning, another shot across the bow, and it’s something to think about. They’ve listed out all of the list of providers that were out there, Arkahosting, Bigfoot Servers, Host Simply, Hosting 73, LQ Hosting, ServerStrong, Spark VPS. You know, these are – it was a pretty good list. A couple of them I’ve seen the names, but most of them I’ve never heard of. But there again, they were cheap, low-end VPSs. People were trying to save themselves money and found themselves in an expensive thing. Think about your hosting you get. You know, if you need a VPS, get a VPS. But if you don’t get yourself a good quality hosting provider. And remember, the cloud is just somebody else’s computer; it doesn’t exist.
All right, another article here. This is a really nice little article and this one here is one that I like to try and advise people of as much as possible. How would you even know if your WordPress website has been hacked? And in particular, this is a really good article. It gives a couple of really good tips because sometimes – and a lot of times – hackers will get in there and nowadays they try to avoid being picked up as long as possible. They want to get away with using your website for multiple purposes, be it spamming, spamming SEO links – just creating all kinds of grief and help them boost whatever product or scam that they’re running, using your website resources for it.
Now, they’ve listed things such as your website traffic suddenly drops off. This could be an indication. It could be an indication of something else too, but that is a good thing to look at. Bad links to your site; suddenly you’ve got bad links in your site. WordPress shows incorrect login or password – well, this one here is pretty self-evidentiary. If you suddenly can’t log into your own WordPress website with your password and if you try to reset your password and your email no longer exists, you know you’ve been hacked – better get on that one quick.
Your website is unresponsive or slow; this is usually the biggest indicator. Your website is suddenly unresponsive or slow, and if you’ve got other websites on the same server and they’re working fine, this is a major indicator. Popup ads on your website? Yeah, that’s a big one. Suspicious accounts? I dealt with this just this past weekend for someone and they suddenly had a whole bunch of unusual administrative accounts created in their website. That one took a good couple of hours to clean up and fix. You know, so this is a really good article. You’ll want to go read through it, check it all out. It’s got some really great information.
I’ve got one other little thing. This is not really news, but it’s just something I want to kind of vent about and it’s irritating because you know, currently even though I’m using ClassicPress on my site, it still taps into the WordPress Repository, and I still get this on the WordPress websites I work on, and that is the search function when you go to find a WordPress plugin. And this one here was in particular – it’s like the plugin I covered off already, which is Which Elementor Addon. You would think by putting the exact title of the plugin into the search function of the Repository, that’s the plugin that would appear number one. But no, not with WordPress and its search functionality. It’s the most insane thing.
This plugin didn’t even appear until page two, and halfway down page two of it. It’s like, seriously? How can you not get that right, WordPress? That’s just a minor vent. It’s like a “What the…? WTF?” Oop, no phone calls right now. Wrong time for phone calls.
All right, so what do we got here? That’s pretty much all the news and information I’ve got for you here today. Aaand… let’s send that one off. Gotta love it when it goes through your phone and your iPad.
This week here contest-wise, I do not have one still. I still have not finished and made the time yet to get that done. I know I keep promising it. It will come and usually what happens is there’ll be a sudden burst of them, and I have a whole bunch lined up for a few months. So keep an eye out on it. We do have contests and they will be coming soon, giving away more free licenses.
Next up, the next plugin I’ve got for you. This is one to help improve your website security up a little bit and help improve its performance more than anything else, and it is a GM Block Bad Bots. Now, this is an older plugin and it hasn’t been updated in a couple of years. But it does work; it works very well, and it works in the background. It’s very simple, very straightforward. You install it and activate it.
What it does is it blocks a whole list of known bad bots out there. Now, this is one here that should probably be upgraded by someone, be forked, and add a functionality to it such as add your own custom bad bots that you might discover. It could be a really cool plugin at that point there, but it’s still a really cool plugin now. There’s really nothing more to do but turn it on and just kick all the bad bots out of your site.
Now, it is dependent upon the bots identifying themselves sort of with the referral. If the referral isn’t there, they’re still going to sneak through it, so there’s still ways around it. But on the whole, it will stop and slow things down for you. Something to go check out, a really great plugin, really simple, straightforward, easy to use. I give this one another 5-Dragon rating.
Okay, what do we got here? Ah, this show is supported by you, our listeners and Producers. You know, this show is a value-for-value model, meaning if you’re getting any value out of it, hey, give some value back. I mean, if it saves you five minutes and your time is worth, you know, a dollar a minute, send me five bucks. Or, in that case there, if you want to do something else besides donating money to help the show out, you can go submit artwork at the WP Plugins Art Generator. Submit articles, news, and information. Submit plugin suggestions for reviews. Or, create a monthly donation at Patreon. I still use that and anything else I might not have thought about. Hey, feel free! Send me anything you want to help the show out.
This show could definitely use some more support. Or, better yet, just get out there and tell people about it. Get out there and hit them in the mouth and tell them about wwpluginsatoz.com, the longest running WordPress and ClassicPress podcast.
Okay, and I like to acknowledge the Producers who have supported the show in various ways. This week I want to acknowledge Angel Lemus from Koa Digital for his contribution of this week’s artwork. The artwork is something I use in the iTunes feed. It also goes onto the posting for the Show Notes. It’s always great to have artwork that I don’t have to put together, so I really appreciate that, so thank you very much, Angel. Much appreciated.
And a big thank you to all the Producers who came in under $50 and those who have set up weekly subscriptions.
They remain anonymous and I thank you very much.
And this show, currently brought to you by… and if you want to replace this commercial, feel free to contact me.
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And if you’re gonna do that, please use the link in the Show Notes. It is an affiliate link and I really greatly appreciate it when people use it. And it is a fantastic system. I’ve been using it for about seven or eight years now. Really great plugin for your website and a great system for managing multiple websites. I think I’ve got about 40 in there right now.
All right, next thing up here… next plugin I’ve got for you is called Login LockDown. Now, this is a really great plugin and I really like the simplicity of it and the use of it. The Login LockDown, it goes through, it records the IP addresses that attempt to hack your website, and it blocks not only individual IP addresses, but it blocks off ranges of IPs if it sees attacks from a range of IP addresses.
Very simple to use. It adds an extra layer of extra security to your website to help limit the login attempts and you can determine what time period those login attempts happen over. You can set it to five minutes, if it happens over 10 minutes. You can determine how long a logout occurs, whether it be five minutes or several hours. You know, it helps keep your website protected from those determined bot attackers that come at you. It keeps them away from you. After they’ve been locked, they’ll go away for a while; they may come back again. But by the time they’re released from it, it’ll just re-block them out.
If a mistake is made and somebody mistakenly – say you set it to five times and they’ve for some reason realized after the second or third try that they still didn’t have the password and they continued for a fourth or fifth time and locked themselves out of your site, you can get in there and remove their IP address from the system. It’s got a really good dashboard, it sets up really nice and easy, and the functionality is just great. So go check this plugin out. It’s called Login LockDown and I give it a 5-Dragon rating.
All right, ClassicPress. What do we have for ClassicPress this week? We do have a little bit going on, and ClassicPress is starting to gain attention once again, which is always really good to hear. I’m glad to see ClassicPress picking up some attention. Now of course this week here, we’ve got the bit of news from ClassicPress in that they have elected their new ClassicPress Management Committee, and CodePotent who’s been a really great supporter of the show has made the committee, so congratulations to you, John and CodePotent. You’re going to help manage ClassicPress and lead its direction for the next year. I look forward to see how it’s going to be going.
And of course a couple of other names on there. You’ve got Michelle Coe and James Nyland, who I did an interview with way back. You might want to go look that interview up and many other people on there, so ClassicPress is growing and moving forward. So congratulations to the new ClassicPress team and I look forward to seeing how it’s going to grow over this next year.
Now of course a little bit of information here. Web 242, these guys here are delighted to announce that they are committed to launching full hosting support for ClassicPress, and they’ll be talking to the community soon and spreading more information out. They’ve tweeted that little tidbit of information out, which is really cool to see more and more companies step forward to help support ClassicPress and stand behind ClassicPress.
Another little bit I’ve got here for you is a ClassicPress plugin – sort of. This one here is called Shield Security. Now, I haven’t tested it myself yet, but it’s one I’ve put in to go get checked out. But according to what I’ve read so far over at the forums (and there’s a link in the Show Notes to the forums where they discuss Shield Security). The developer has committed to supporting ClassicPress. So this one here is a really nice plugin it looks like and if it’s really good, it could be a replacement for WordFence, who has not said whether or not they’ll support ClassicPress. I know at the moment they don’t supported. I’ve tried using it and it hit my site and said I had a hundred and some odd badly-installed files, which were all the ClassicPress core files.
So at any rate, this is something to go look at if you’ve switched over to ClassicPress and you’re looking for a security plugin. Check out Shield Security, a really great, interesting plugin, and after I’ve given it a test on a site, I’ll come back to it and give it a rating. And check out the links in the Show Notes for what they have to say about it at the forums.
All right, and of course the usual ClassicPress resources. Check out the ClassicPress Club, the must-have plugins list that they have on the forums. It’s a list of plugins that you need and what it is is it tells you some suggested replacements for those plugins here. It’s like if you’re looking for a page builder right now, the only developer that’s committed to ClassicPress is Beaver Builder, which is really unfortunate. I’m really hoping Elementor steps up because I’ve really gotten used to it. I’d hate to have to switch, but I will. It’s not the end of the world to switch; it just means learning something new. So hopefully that they step up to it.
You want to find out a little bit more about ClassicPress? Just go to their forums at classicpress.net and read all about it and keep up with the latest news. ClassicPress is moving forward dramatically, considering it’s only been just over a year and a few months. They’ve made massive steps forward.
All right, well that pretty much wraps up everything I’ve got for you this week here. And what did I cover up? I covered up Which Elementor Addon, which I gave a 5 to. I covered GM Block Bots, which I gave a 5 to and then I covered up Login LockDown, which I gave a 5 to. Today was a full hand of aces today.
All right, and a couple of quick reminders. The next WordPress Meetup is scheduled for January, but that one may or may not happen; it depends. There’s a little bit of flux on that at the moment, so I’ll fill in more details as we get closer to it.
Also, just a little bit about me. You want to follow a little bit about me and find out more about what I do? Go check out theroguestavern.com and you can follow my adventures into the wild searching for gold, out on the gun range, and more. Lots happening there. We have weekly videos being updated to my YouTube channel which are showcased on theroguestavern.com.
All right, and that pretty much wraps it up so I’m going to 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.