Transcript of Episode 439 WP Plugins A to Z

It’s Episode 439 and I’ve got plugins for QR Codes are back, AntiSpam, Fast Images and ClassicPress Options. It’s 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 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 #439 here.


It’s Episode 439 and I’ve got plugins for QR Codes are back, AntiSpam, Fast Images and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!


Episode #439

John:   It’s Episode 439 and I’ve got plugins for QR Codes are back, AntiSpam, Fast Images and ClassicPress Options. It’s 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 before we get into all that, Merry Christmas to all. This is my last show before the Christmas Day and most likely I will have a show next week, even though it is a holiday here and Boxing Day. But – so Happy and Merry Christmas to everyone and a Happy New Years. May your holidays be merry and jolly for you.

Now, get out there and all the Show Notes can be found at wppluginsatoz.com. And please take a minute to get out there and subscribe to the WP Plugins A-Z podcast. Get out there and hit them all in the mouth. Spread the word about WP Plugins A-Z and catch it live every Thursday at noon on our YouTube channel.

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

All right, so what do we got for you this week? Well, I’ve got a usual lineup of plugins – great plugins for you. But right off the top, I’ve got a really interesting one and of course QR codes, as I mentioned there in the opening, QR codes seem to be coming back in style. I’ve seen them again on advertisements and flyers and miscellaneous things.

It seems like they’re coming back in style and of course this time around, they’ve made them a bit easier to use if you’ve got a more modern phone.

I noticed it with my latest iteration of my iPhone in that if you scan a QR code with your photo, taking it with your camera, you don’t have to have a QR scanner app; you just scan it on there and it automatically pops up with a thing that says, “Would you like to jump to this webpage?” Well, you’ve got to be careful what you’re jumping to but at any rate, it seems like they’re back in style and they’re in use and I recently made use on it on a personal pet project I did. I went looking for a QR code system to put into a WordPress website, something that would generate the QR code for me, allow me to create specialized links for people to jump to, and this one was perfect for it.

This is called the QR Redirector plugin and what it does for you is that it gets in there and it creates the plugin. It goes in, inserts it, and allows it to generate the QR code or the image that you’ll need for the QR code without having to use a third party service. It uses one of the multiple systems that are available for QR codes in there. I can’t remember all the automatic generation stuff in there. (My brain has slipped right out on what they are.) GD Image Direct and others. If you’re on a good hosting provider that uses those services such as JohnOverall.com, it’ll generate that QR code for you and then you can get in there and create the link that you want the QR code to be sent to.

Now, one of the beautiful things about this plugin is you create one QR code and you can use it all your advertising. It could be a generic advertisement, like “Join our contest. Scan here,” and you can put out all those flyers. Now, maybe your contests change and you’re going to change the link to it. Well, what do you do if you put out even 500 flyers? You don’t want to have to redo them. Well with this one here, you can go in and change the URL that the QR code points to, quite quickly and quite easily from within your WordPress website, one of the really nice things.

Some of the other ones I looked at once it generates the link, you’re stuck with that link and you can’t do anything else with that link. This one here, you can go in and change that link as multiple times as you want. A really great, simple plugin, works really well. I used it to create a whole bunch of QR codes that I needed for this project I was using, and it just did the job. I tested it out on my own phone, had someone else test it for me. It all worked perfectly well. So go check this one out. It’s called QR Redirector. It’s a great freebie plugin and I give it a 5-Dragon rating.

All right, WordPress news. What do we have in WordPress news this week? Well, we’ve got a little bit of news and we’ve got something really interesting. What is BabaYaga? (And I’m not just thinking about John Wick here.) After all, that is what most people know of BabaYaga. This is a new virus that is being put out there and this is a pretty insidious virus and malware, and this is something pretty insidious. It’s a variant of a malware that infects it, cleans itself up, it does auto-updates. This one here is pretty interesting. You might want to go check out the link in the

Show Notes on this and go read the article about what it’s all about. It’s something to be aware of; it’s kind of new, recently discovered, so it’s something to keep in mind and check it out.

Other things we’ve got for you here, another one is “Hackers are Breaking into WordPress Websites and Adding Links to Google,” and they’re doing it through old websites, old links, some old hacks. So as they say, “What is old is new again,” and that’s what this article talks about, so you’ll want to get in there and check this out and see what is happening. It’s a really great link to the article, so go read up on it.

Then there’s also the “WP VCD Still Remains the Biggest Threat for WordPress Websites.” This is a malware strain that’s still very prevalent out there and the most common problem with it is from people downloading and using stolen plugins that have been reformatted to include this. So hacked plugins – I can’t get the word in my head, but that’s all right. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the fact that people who are too cheap to pay for premium plugins want to go get the cracked ones for free and well, free has a price. Keep that in mind. There is always a price for free, be it your time, your information, or giving hackers access to your website, so keep all of that in mind when you’re looking for free.

So go check those out. That’s the little bits of news I got, and it all revolves around malware, spyware, and hacking to WordPress websites. So it seems like the hackers aren’t taking Christmas holidays off. They should; they should really take, you know, a couple of weeks off, give us all a break. You know, let us enjoy our holidays, they can go enjoy their holidays. I’m sure some of them have families, you know. At least they have a mother or a father – well, they should have anyway, so they should get out there and have themselves a break.

All right, contests. It may be the new year before I get to the contests. The contests have been put on hold for the moment and they will be coming back as soon as I have the time to get that fully organized.

Next up for you, the plugin I’ve got for you here is called Spam Protection, AntiSpam, and FireWall by CleanTalk.

This is another antispam plugin for your WordPress website and one of the problems with this one here though is it is a third-party trialware plugin. What it gives you is a trial; I’m not sure how long the trial lasts. They don’t mention that in all of their documentation. This one here, I didn’t load up onto any website. I just sort of checked it out and had a good look at it. It’s $8 a year after the trial and, you know, their description of it where it says it’s a free antispam plugin, I kind of consider that a little bit misleading since it is trialware and then it’s $8 a year. Not really a problem, just a bit misleading I feel.

It’s a pretty decent antispam plugin. It does a good job of helping you keep your forms, your comment sections all free of spam. It also filters out spambot registrations to your membership sites, your BuddyPress sites. It filters out WooCommerce spam reviews and a whole lot more. It’s a pretty decent, thorough plugin from what I can tell, and it looks like if you’re not using anything else, it might work for you.

My personal opinion still is Antispam Bee, number one. It still does a fantastic job for me on all of my websites, of keeping my sites clean. Occasionally something slips through, but not that often from all of my websites. So if you’re really looking for it, go get something like Antispam Bee. But if you want to give this one a try and check it out, feel free to go check it all out. It is called Spam Protection, AntiSpam, FireWall by CleanTalk and I give this a 3-Dragon rating.

All right, next up we’ve got here… listener feedback. I’m still looking for some. I haven’t had any in a while. Well, it’s only been a month or so. I had some a few weeks back, but I would really appreciate it. If you’ve got anything to say about this show, fantastic as this show is, please feel free to reach out to me and contact me, let me know what your thoughts are, what your feelings are, whether you like the show, dislike the show, things you think I could do better – anything out there. Hey, you could also do it via SpeakPipe on the website. I’m always up for that and I can play you back on the show.

Now this show is supported by you, our Producers, as a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it then give some value back by becoming a Producer and helping the show out. You can do that by one, donating money to the show. Donations $50 and over are credited with an Executive Producer credit in the Show Notes and their note is read out on the show.

You can submit artwork at the WP Plugins Art Generator. You can submit articles, news, and information. You can submit plugin suggestions for reviews. You can also create a monthly donation at Patreon. (Yes, I still have that running.) Or, anything else I may not have thought of.

I like to acknowledge the Producers who have supported the show in various ways. This week, the show art which you’ll see is really quite cool. It comes from Angel Lemus from Koa Digital and Angel has been providing the artwork for quite some time now. So if anyone wants to, you know, dethrone him, feel free to submit some artwork. I’ll be happy to look at options and would love to be judging artwork at the end of each show or even at the beginning of each show. I generally choose at the beginning of the show. But if I start getting enough, I might just wait until the end of the show and figure it out. Even at that point there, try to figure out my titles.

All right, so thank you very much to Angel. I really appreciate all your support of the show with the artwork. That’s one less thing I have to do when I’m prepping up the show. So 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 a big thank you to those who have hired me because of listening to the show. Thank you; that is as good as donating to the show.

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All right, the next plugin I have for you is called WebP Express. Now, this one here is one I tripped across while working on another client’s website, helping them out and doing some site auditing tools. One of the lovely things I love about doing site auditing on websites is I discover plugins I hadn’t seen before that are in actual use. Now, this one here was like, “What is this? What does it do?” Well, of course I had heard briefly about WebP, and what that is is it’s a new image format that is slowly coming into vogue and more and more people are recommending it.

I hadn’t thought about getting around to dealing with it yet because of course it’s not recognized by every browser and it’s mostly used in mobile devices more than desktop devices. And of course, speed – ever present and ever important on your WordPress website – this actually helps with speed, especially if you’re image-heavy on your site.

And what it does for you is it automatically takes your .jpg images, your .png images, and then it auto-creates a .web WP image for you. It does that by going in there and creating the image, storing it in a directory, creating a redirect so that when the webpage is loaded up, if a web browser supports WebP, it then loads the WebP image versus your .jpg or your .png file, which is of course much faster and significantly smaller file and allowing for a better speed on your website. Now, there are more and more of the modern browsers are starting to recognize it and it may eventually become the de facto standard on the internet. But in the meantime, this is a quick way to allow for that to happen on your website.

The one big caveat on here again, much like the QR plugin, is you will need a web hosting provider that provides you with things such as the conversion software on your website, and that conversion software can be pretty much the GD Image Magic or a couple of others (and I can’t remember them all right now). There is like six or seven, and you’d be looking for a web host just like JohnOverall.com that provides that sort of service built in there. Not all web host providers have that built into their website hosting services or their WordPress hosting services.

So at any rate, this is a very excellent plugin, one that works very well, and it does help create those images very fast and helps increase the speed of your website delivery to your customers that are visiting the website. So go check this out. It is WebP Express, and I give it a 5-Dragon rating.

All right, ClassicPress options. What do we got this week for ClassicPress? Well, ClassicPress is starting to make some jumps forward in the industry, and those jumps forward are the industry itself starting to support it. We’re starting to hear just a trickle right now but of course like any dam breaking, first there’s a small crack and a couple of drips and then there’s a small stream and before long, the dam breaks and whole thing comes flooding down. And this is what is happening with ClassicPress as I predicted last year about this time when I started including it in my podcast.

And Web 242, a hosting company, has announced that they now have an auto-installer to support ClassicPress for their hosting packages, and this is something you’ll want to check out. In here they’ve got a nice application installer all set up there and they have announced that they are supporting Get ClassicPress Auto-installer to C-Panel. So this is one more crack in the dam that is happening, and I look forward to seeing more and more of it as more and more developers and more and more hosting providers get onboard to supporting ClassicPress. We’ll see more and more probably in the new year we’ll seeing more of this coming down the pike, which is going to be pretty cool. I expect 2020 will be a year for ClassicPress as developers start releasing plugins. Who knows what else they have in the pipeline right now? Hopefully they have their own repository in the pipeline, things like that. I’m sure they’ve been working on it. It’s been mentioned a couple of times so, you know, of course they keep a lid on that sort of stuff until it comes rolling out. But look for those changes coming.

Of course just recently this last week, ClassicPress 1.1.2 was released, which is a security release. So if you’re using ClassicPress, get out there and update it. And if it’s not already auto-updated for you, make sure you’re up to date and secured on your website.

Now there’s another article here. This one here is from another hosting – not a hosting company. Yeah, this is just a discussion – oh yeah, this is from a developer here from WP Design, and it’s an article talking about ClassicPress and what they like about ClassicPress, a little bit of caveats for it, where it needs support and growth, and how they would like to do some ClassicPress work if you know anyone who’s looking to go into ClassicPress. You might want to look at these guys and give them a shout-out or give them a call or reach out to them and have them see what they can do for you. So it’s a really good article, well worth the read. Go check out the link in the Show Notes for it.
And what else do we got? We’ve got the usual links in here for ClassicPress; the forum link for the – actually one more here. Oh, this is a recommended security plug – yeah, okay. We’ve covered that one in the last show and of course we’ve got the usual ClassicPress links which, is the list of the ClassicPress must-have plugins and the list of ClassicPress-specific plugins.

So ClassicPress is a bit slow right now, which is kind of expected. But I’m sure it will pour back in and I will have more than enough ClassicPress information to be talking about with everyone.

And that pretty much wraps up everything in this episode of the show and I covered up the QR Redirector, which I gave a 5 to; the Spam Protection, AntiSpam, Firewall, which I gave a 3 to; and the WebP Express plugin, which I gave a 5 to. So get in there and check those out and feel free to reach out back to me and let me know what’s happening.

Now a couple of quick reminders. The next WordPress Meetup in Victoria is scheduled for January 9th or 8th, I think. But I’m not sure it’s actually going to happen just yet; there’s a lot going on right now, which may cause me to cancel it. So we shall see. That may change over the next two weeks. But keep tuned here. Go check out the Meetup information page at wppluginatoz.com/meetup to see what’s happening there.

Then you can also follow my new project, which is the journey I’m on at theroguestavern.com. So if you’re interested in goldmining, camping, outdoorsy kind of stuff, hey, feel free to follow me there and see what’s up. I’m trying to get a video a week or a couple of videos a week up on that YouTube channel and just share my experiences getting away from the computers and unplugging from the computer world that I’ve been solely connected to for the last 20 years.

All right, and that pretty much wraps it all up, so I’m going to let my girl take us on out of here.

Reminders for the show: All the show notes can be found at wppluginsatoz.com, and while you’re there, subscribe to the newsletter for more useful information directly to your inbox. WP Plugins A-Z 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.

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John can be reached at his website, JohnOverall.com, or email him directly at 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: And that’s all we’ve got for you now. Remember…

George W. Bush:
We just need cash. I know a lot of people want to send blankets or water. Just send your cash.

John: Take care now, bye-bye.

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