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 #443 here.
It’s Episode 443 and I’ve got plugins for Speed, Free SSL Certs, Shopping Carts, Managing Your Files and ClassicPress Options, all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: It’s Episode 443 and I’ve got plugins for Speed, Free SSL Certs, Shopping Carts, Managing Your Files 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, let’s get some stuff right out of the top. According to the Mueller Report, you are listening to WP Plugins A-Z, the best ClassicPress/WordPress podcast in the Universe. This is a value-for-value show and I look forward to everyone providing some value back. Be sure you are subscribed to the Newsletter for additional information. Get out there and hit everyone in the mouth. Spread the word about WP Plugins A-Z and catch me live every Thursday at noon on my YouTube channel. Or you can just go to wppluginsatoz.com/live to find all of that.
All right, so I’ve got a little bit here today. Of course it’s a cold, snowy day here in Victoria with some real Candanavian weather: temps below freezing. Well, not today. It’s back up above, having dropped to about -3 to -5, and that’s like, you know, 35 degrees for my American listeners, so nice and cold. We got a decent dump of snow – about a foot of snow, and I’m hunkered down inside the Brewery Overlook.
And well, we are off to a pretty decent start to the year for the shows. This is Episode 3 of 52 for the episodes for 2020, and I have started to hear from folks, and it is – seems like it’s not completely lost all yet. I’m starting to get more feedback, a little bit more information, I had a great interview with a developer earlier this week, which will come up next week and we’ll talk about more on that later. And as I’ve said, I am looking for more participation from you, my Producers this year. And as I’ve said, if it doesn’t appear by the end of the year, I will just retire the show. It will tell me that the show has lived to the end of its usefulness, and I don’t want to put out something that no one’s listening to because what’s the point of talking to a tree? It really doesn’t do much until you cut it down and turn it into firewood.
So with all of that, let’s dive right into and talk about some of the WordPress news that I’ve got this week. I’ve got a little bit of WordPress news for you and what have I got first up here? This nice article from Gravity Forms and it is an article on “Five WordPress Security Tips to Help You Protect Your Website,” and this is a pretty decent article. It goes through and gives you some of the things you can do. A lot of them are pretty basic such as a strong password, running backups, limiting plugins, upgrading HTTPS, and then some talk about what you do in case you get hacked.
It’s a pretty decent article. It gives you some good basic groundwork on things you will want to do to help protect your site and some stuff to help you if it gets hacked. So go check it out; links are in the Show Notes for it.
I’ve got a little bit of news about what is coming up for WordPress in 2020. And 2020 is going to be a change in WordPress in ways that people have not fully imagined. Some have, some haven’t. One of the biggest things is they’re looking to do some things into the core of WordPress. Navigation menu block, custom block, aware content features, block directory – this is an article that describes all of that stuff that is happening, including the push towards WordPress itself being a theme development tool or a page builder. So this is something to be aware of. It’s going to be changing the landscape of page development companies and what they can and cannot do, and it also talks a bit about the block directory, which is in development and what’s going to be happening there.
And thinking of the block directory and what’s going to happen there, I’ve got another article here. This one comes from the Tavern and this one talks about “Can the Block Directory and Business Interest Coexist?” and this is talking about how – when we first started getting plugins, like I was there in the early days, like themes came out much earlier for WordPress than plugins. Plugins existed, but they didn’t develop until they had a repository, and when the repository came out, virtually all of them were free. There was almost no premium plugins and as it evolved, they’ve got the evolution here of how will the new block system and the new block directory evolve to allow people to turn the blocks into a business. And one of the things they’re going to be looking at with blocks is blocking out and not allowing the advertising and the promotions to premium stuff the same way they do for plugins, so this is going to be an interesting thing.
I was reading through it and it wasn’t making a lot of sense, but it’s a really good article and if you want more in-depth information about that, go check that information out. This is going to be a game changer for WordPress. They said 2020 is going to be interesting; 2021 is going to be the big year because at the end of 202020 – too many twenties there.
Squirrel. All right, let’s bring that one right back to it – and in 2021 is going to be the time when WordPress drops support for the Classic Editor, at least that’s what they’ve said. They may support it longer, but I wouldn’t lay too many big bets on that one. So anyway, go check out that article.
Now I’ve got a couple of articles in here for security. One of them from Security Boulevard talking about “What is Cross-site Contamination?” And for those of you that have never had it happen, count your blessings. For those of you that had, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Cross-site contamination is when you have one hosting account and you have multiple websites hosted in that one hosting account. And if one of those websites gets compromised, they then have access to all the rest of your websites in that account, and I’ve seen it more than once where one site got hacked and the rest of their sites were hacked shortly thereafter, and that’s a bloody mess to clean up. So this talks about what you can do, some things to help you prevent that issue. Of course, the best thing is to have each and every website in its own hosting account, but of course that can get expensive. So this is something you will want to check out if you’re looking to protect your websites.
And we’ve got another one here, “Multiple…” – wow, my tongue is just tripping all over itself here. “Multiple Vulnerabilities Patched in Minimal Coming Soon and Maintenance Mode Plugin.” This is a plugin that I’ve never really used but it’s a big one with over 80,000 installs, so there’ a lot of people using it. But it had some vulnerabilities that have been patched and if you’re using this plugin and you haven’t updated it, go check out this article and make sure you update that plugin.
All right, well that carries us through the bits of news and information. Let’s move on forward and talk about one of the most important aspects of the show, and this is the support for the show. You, the Producers, the ones that make this show work. This show, supported by you, our Producers, as a value-for-value model, meaning if you get any value out of it, give some value back by becoming a Producer and helping the show out.
You can give that value back by donating money to help the show – that’s always useful. Submitting artwork for the show at the WP Plugins Art Generator. Submit articles, news, and information that I can use in the show. Submit plugin suggestions for reviews. You can create a monthly donation over at Patreon – anything along those lines there. Like if this show helps you in any small significant way, saves you five minutes – you know, helps you out – consider giving that value back to me. I would really appreciate it and it will really go a long way towards helping keep this show viable and moving it forward.
And in that, I like to acknowledge the Producers who have supported the show in various ways, and this week the artwork for the show is one of my big ones. I’m really enjoying that I don’t have to create the artwork anymore. And this week the artwork – wow, I am having a tough time with my tongue today. And this week’s artwork comes from Angel Lemus of Koa Digital and he’s been supporting me with quite a bit of artwork for the last several months. He’s only been knocked out there once, so thank you much, Angel. I greatly appreciate it and anyone who wants to knock him out of the running there and make him actually work a little harder for it, please send in some more artwork for me to choose from.
The Executive Producer, I don’t have one this week, but Executive Producers, anyone who comes in with $50 or more gets an Executive Producer credit and that’s a real credit you can use anywhere credits are acknowledged, and you get a note read out on the air, so send in $50 or more and get your note read out on the air.
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. Those small subscriptions really do help the show out.
And a big thank you to those who have hired me because of the podcast. Thank you, that is as good as donating to the show.
All right, it is time – off we go to the meat and potatoes of the show.
All right, first off, we’ve got some ClassicPress options. ClassicPress of course, that fast-growing fork of WordPress, that is starting to come into its own. First off, we’ve got a little bit of news for ClassicPress and what I’ve got for you here is “ClassicPress Has Made it to Softaculous.” I know I might have mentioned it in the last show, but I’m linking to an article in this show here from the ClassicPress.net blog and it tells you how you can connect your ClassicPress site to Softaculous in your hosting provider. So this is something if your hosting provider provides Softaculous, this is something you can do and you may want to do, because well, I’m not overly fond of auto-installs and auto-updates, but some people are and they do work, so go check out this article and information. It can help you out quite a bit.
A couple other pieces of information, LiteSpeed has said that they will be working with ClassicPress, and they’ve got something – and I forgot the link on their website for some reason. But LiteSpeed Cache works with ClassicPress.
This is a caching plugin and ClassicPress, the new business focus CMS that was forked and this was from their website. ClassicPress, the new business focus CMS that was forked from WordPress 4.9 is growing in popularity and LiteSpeed Cache for WordPress works out of the box with ClassicPress and should continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
So this is where I’m going to talk about the plugin, so let’s just bring up the plugin for LiteSpeed Cache, and of course it’s in the WordPress Repository, but it does work for you ClassicPress site and they have said that they will continue to support ClassicPress. So that’s good news. If you’re looking for a caching plugin for your site, check this one out. It is designed to be worked with a LiteSpeed server, but it will work with any server; LiteSpeed, Apache, NGinX, etc., so go check this out if you’re looking for a caching plugin that is made and will work for ClassicPress.
All right – and I give it a rating of 4 Dragons for that plugin.
Okay, and a quick note from my ClassicPress listeners, please send me information to help keep the ClassicPress section full. I need more help in finding stuff. It’s getting harder and harder for me to find everything. All my links still lead to the same spots. So if you know any new information for ClassicPress, please send it my way.
Okay, WordPress plugins. What have we got for you this week? Well, first off right off the bat we have one that was submitted to us by Sherri Lynn. This is Auto-Install Free SSL Setup Auto-renewal in Minutes for All Websites on C-Panel. This is a relatively new plugin, although it already has over 3,000 active installs, and what it’s designed to do is if you are on a C-panel hosting provider that does not provide free SSL certificates and auto-setup for them, this may be what you need. It goes in, it helps you set up all the information you need, installs the plugin, sets up the free SSL, and go fetches the free SSL certificate, gets it installed on your site for you – everything you need.
This one here is one that you may need if you’re on say, GoDaddy for one, and you’re on one of their C-panel servers. They don’t provide SSL certificates; they’re still charging for them. (At least that was the last time I checked several weeks ago.) They may have changed, but probably not.
So this is a really interesting plugin. I haven’t tested it; I can’t test it on any of my servers because all of my servers set up free SSL certs automatically for everyone. But if you’re facing that issue, check out this plugin. It may be exactly what you need to get moving forward on free SSL for your websites. And I give this one a 4-Dragon rating, so go check it out, the Auto-Install Free SSL plugin.
Next up I have for you a plugin that was sent in by Igor Bencic and it’s called Simple Cart. And this one here is a relatively new one, although it reminds me of one I did a long time ago, and I’m pretty sure I reviewed something from Igor way back. I recognize the Bencic name. And it’s a really simple plugin for your WooCommerce store in that what it does is it sets up a shopping cart solution that floats for people, and once they add things to the cart then they can get it with most basic WooCommerce installs. The shopping cart is tagged into the menu or some place that’s not overly easy to find.
So anyway, this is a really great little plugin, nice and simple, and for now he says it integrates with WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. So if you’re using Easy Digital Downloads and you want a shopping cart, this is a really great one to work with. And in the future, he’s planning to introduce some premium features such as product search and similar. So go check this out. It’s a really great-looking plugin and I give it a 4-Dragon rating for Simple Cart.
Okay, and next up what have I got here for you? This one here is called File Manager and File Manager – I may have covered this like 250 or 300 episodes a go. It seems familiar but I recently ran across it when I was doing some work on a website that needed to clean up a bunch of stuff and they needed to get rid of plugins. I looked at it and it was like, “Oh, File Manager. I remember that.”
Well, this is a pretty powerful plugin. It is an excellent tool that once installed gives you access to all the files in your hosting environment, as if you were FTP’d in. It is also a plugin that could be very dangerous for you if used incorrectly or mistakenly delete or change the name of a critical file. You could find yourself locked out of your WordPress website. So you have to be very, very careful with this plugin and use it sparingly. There’s not a lot of reasons you’ll need to access the file structure within your WordPress website. That’s something you generally want to do via FTP, which is a bit safer of a route to go.
But other than that, if you need it, a really great plugin, fully working, takes you all the way down to your root directory in your hosting environment, so go check this plugin out if you need something like that and you don’t want to go through FTP or C-panel. It’s called File Manager and I give this plugin a 5-Dragon rating.
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Absolutely. Check out CMS Commander, a really great plugin. I myself have been using the system for about eight, nine years and it is great for managing multiple websites. I’ve used it to manage as many as 60 and currently I’ve probably got it somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 websites in it. It’s great for auto-updates and other things. If you want to use it, try it out. Check out the links in my Show Notes. They are affiliate links and I greatly appreciate if you use them. Give me a couple of bucks for it.
Okay, and listener feedback. Well, I’m actually starting to get some listener feedback and I thoroughly appreciate it. And this week here I’ve got a couple of them. I’ve got one – it’s nice and simple and straightforward. It’s:
“Greetings from the Extensions Team. You are doing really great and we’d feel really good if we could collaborate. Let us know if you are interested.”
Well, I am. And what I’d like from you, Divya, is if you guys reach out to me and I get somebody from your team as an interview, I’d greatly appreciate that, and we can talk about all your WooCommerce extensions. You have quite a few of them in here, so they look to be decent. It looks to be good. I have no idea what the validity is of them all, but you’re developing them so please reach out to me and I will try to get you in for an interview.
And next I’ve got for you is a nice little comment off of our Facebook page. It goes:
Since you want feedback about the new format, love it! Personally, I like the ClassicPress slant and the information you are providing about it. I visit CodePotent regularly and while only one of my sites is running ClassicPress, I have used several of his tutorials to improve my WordPress sites.
Love what you’re doing and please keep it up,
Well, thanks a lot, Martin. I greatly appreciate that and yeah – and I’m really glad that CodePotent’s tutorials are helpful. What he writes is not only valid for ClassicPress at the moment but does work in WordPress – at least it will for the foreseeable future. But keep in mind that in two or three years’ time, ClassicPress and WordPress are going to be on two different paths. Right now, they’re on parallel paths, but pretty soon they’re going to diverge. That divergence is going to take effect probably about the time WordPress stops supporting the Classic Editor, although you can see it with some plugin developers and theme developers such as Elementor.
As I mentioned in the last show, Elementor has quit supporting WordPress 4 and they only support WordPress 5, which means it no longer works with ClassicPress as I ran into with my own website. It broke my website because I accidentally updated, thinking – not realizing it. So those are what’s going to happen but thanks again, Martin. I really greatly appreciate your feedback and please get out there and tell everyone about the show. You know, send it out, share it with everyone. And if you’re an artist, send me some artwork, man. Please, we’d greatly appreciate that.
All right, and our contests. We do have a contest right now and our contests are powered by the Simple Giveaways plugin, who have kindly provided us with a premium version for the contests. It’s a really great plugin. I’ve been using it now for a couple, three years and I’ve been using it since it was pretty much brand-new when I first reviewed it. And you can find the review in my Show Notes, which is typed in Simple Giveaways and it will kick up the show I reviewed it in. But a really great plugin; go check it out.
And I do have a new contest that is supported by me, JohnOverall.com. It is a simple one to get us started in the new year, and you can win a $25 Amazon gift card. Just head on over to wppluginatoz.com/contests for more information and to enter the giveaway. Simply enter your name and email address and poof, you’re entered. And what’ll happen at the end, I’ll get your email and send you the electronic version of the gift card from Amazon as it is. So go over there, share it out with everyone. Share it out on social media and improve your changes to win this. Save yourself $25 on a purchase of Amazon. And this contest is running through until the end of January, so go check it out.
All right, well that pretty much wraps everything else up in the show. And covering up in this show, I covered up the following plugins: the Auto-Install Free SSL Certificate, which I gave a 4 to; the Simple Cart, which I gave a 4 to; the File Manager, which I gave a 5 to; and the LiteSpeed Cache, which I gave a 4 to.
A couple of quick reminders. The next WordPress Meetup in Victoria will be on February 25th in Victoria and it will be about assessing your website host. You will learn how to assess your website host. Is your hosting company and hosting package really meeting your needs? Learn how to compare hosting companies and their packages. Decide what services you need, what you don’t need, and how to know how much space you need. And it will be broadcast live on the YouTube channel. For locations and more information, check it out at wppluginsatoz.com/meetup.
And as I mentioned at the top of the show, there is a new interview coming next week, and I talked to Kenny – I’m not even going to try. I tried to get him to get me to pronounce it, but it’s a – I want to say Dutch, but a Scandinavian name and really hard. But anyway, I did an interview with Kenny from WP Hydra Code about his order and inventory managing plugin for WooCommerce. Keep an eye out for it and he’s also made it easy for me to test this plugin, which I don’t have a site to test it on. So I’ll be checking that plugin out and bring into the next show. So make sure you go check that out and look for that information coming up.
You want to know a bit more about me and what I do with my life? Go check me out at theroguestavern.com, where you can check out my adventures into the wild, searching for gold, hiking, camping, and out on the gun range and more. It could even be a winter run in there.
That’s pretty much all I’ve got for you this show, so if you’ve got any questions and if you’re on the stream, feel free to pop them into the chat box. If not, well I’m going to let my girl take us on out of here and I will hang around for a minute or two after.
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 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.