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 and Amber’s discussion of this weeks plugins that have been reviewed.
WordPress Plugins A to Z Podcast and Transcript for See complete show notes for Episode #471 here.
It’s Episode 471 with plugins for Quizzing the Crazy, Knowing Your Age, Keeping Healthy Levels of Crazy, Crazy Security, Custom Content and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: It is the meat and potatoes of the show. First off, ClassicPress Options. Again, I have not had any work in ClassicPress in the last few weeks, couple of months, so I have not had time to do research in ClassicPress. And I have had quite a bit of work; my schedule has been very full. So unless someone starts supplying me with stuff, ClassicPress will just sit and be a minimal component until we have more information on them or more information crosses my path when I’m looking for something else.
And as the usual, the ClassicPress resources are all listed here: ClassicPress Club, the forums, CodePotent’s area. I mean, ClassicPress is a fantastic option if you’re needing to get out of the WordPress environment into something a little more stable and better. I’m kind of stuck in the WordPress environment at the moment.
Okay, so WordPress plugins. What do we got for you this week? First off, I have for you a plugin called Cerber Security Anti-spam & Malware Scan. This is a pretty complete security plugin. I didn’t even realize it existed until I was working on a client’s website, a new project I’m working on of course. One of the first things I do is go through all the plugins they have to figure out what they’ve got, how it works together. This plugin was in there and it actually kind of locked me out due to a typo and I had to figure out what it was, disable it so I could log in, re-enable it so I could go in and figure out the settings on it.
A really great plugin that sets you up not only to lock people out after failed login attempts. It allows you to set up filters for IP addresses and IP networks, not just a single address, but an entire network. This is very useful. I use an entirely different plugin for this on an intranet site that I work on for a client and this is a really cool tool to have it all in one. It also allows you to set up an authorized users mode, meaning if someone hits that site and they’re not an authorized user, they’re automatically sent to a login page. If they can’t log in, they can’t see anything on the site. And again, I use another plugin for doing that on the intranet I built.
This plugin looks like it has the potential to manage an intranet site and so many other things on there. The fact that it has a malware scanner is another useful tool. I’m going to do some more research into this plugin but just what I’ve worked with so far on it, a quite fantastic plugin. Go check it out, Cerber Security Anti-spam & Malware Scan – oh, and this is an unusual thing. Because it does have a premium version, it’s a freemium plugin that I’m looking at. It’s very rare that a free plugin gets from me a 5 –
John: — Dragon rating, because most of the time they get a 4 just because they’ve got a premium version. So anyway, go check out the free version. It’s really quite complete for a lot of things it does.
Amber: And what I have for you is – the first one I’ve got for you is Age Gate – Open Source. This one is pretty cool. What it does is it creates one of those popups to verify the age of the user. It’s pretty easy to work around but, you know, it’s good cover for if you have anything that is adult-oriented on your site, like pictures or –
John: I didn’t say that…
Amber: No, not at all. How it works is essentially you plugin it, you activate it. You can actually set everything on it exactly how you like it. They let you put your logo in there, they let you change the name of different things, like the little part that says, “Please confirm your age.” I was able to put, “Wait! Are you legal?” rather than just leave it as it was, which is way better. Popups are so much easier to deal with when they don’t irritate you and they actually make you smile.
This version allows you to do the age verification for your entire site or you can choose it for very specific things, like posts or pictures. It gives you a list of things to check off, which is really cool if you only have one area that is more adult-oriented. And there is no pro version. What you see is actually what you get, so it’s pretty awesome that way.
It’s also very easy to use. I mean, from listening to me for a little bit, obviously you realize that I don’t quite understand everything I’m reading yet and I’m still pretty new to this. But everything on here was able to explain it to me in such a way that I was like, “Oh, okay! Yeah, that makes sense,” and set it all up. I actually really enjoyed using this. I rated it 5 Dragons.
John: Oops, wrong one.
John: Very nice. It does look like an interesting plugin. I hadn’t used one of these myself for years. But if you’re looking for one, go check it out.
All right, next item I have for you is called Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields. Now, this one here – if you’re building out a website, and again, this one came through the discovery of a current project I’m working on that has a lot going on in it, and it had a lot of custom post types in it that were not part of a theme or anything else. These were custom post types created by Pods. And it also allows you to take current post types and enhance them in many ways. You can enhance current post types, you can add custom taxonomies to it, you can add some custom settings to pages. There’s a lot that this one does, and this is a free plugin that gives you some massive control over the things you want to do in your website.
You can take a plain theme now and go add in those custom post types for things such as your social media or other bits and pieces that my brain just can’t pull the other items out at the moment, but a great plugin. It seems to work very, very well and from what I can see from the project I’m working on, it has been used in a fantastic way to create a minimum of five different custom post types in this website.
So anyway, go check this one out. It is called Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields and I give it a 5-Dragon rating.
Amber: So for this one that you just talked about, if you make a whole bunch of different – it can make five custom ones. Can you like repeat them or does it –
John: Oh, custom post type is something such as – I’m trying to think of something simple. You’ve built out your website, you have your standard post types in there for creating all of your posts and pages. Now, say you need a custom post type for styles of clothing that you’re talking about and this custom post type will have many things about that in there. So you can create these custom post types, add specific fields and information for that custom post type, and display it in a different component of your website or with different filters displayed only to specific members of your website.
Amber: Oh, okay.
John: I’m trying to figure out exactly how to deal with it.
Amber: It’s kind of like a specialized window dressing.
John: Thanks, Scott. The lead developer for Pods is listening to the show. Thanks a lot, Scott for tuning into the show.
Amber: That’s awesome!
John: I greatly appreciate it. So anyway, it’s a great plugin. I really do like it and it’s got a lot of uses from what I can see, especially the project I’m working on now where somebody has used it very, very effectively.
Amber: All right, cool.
John: I don’t like to describe my projects; that’s why I’m avoiding the terms from the project.
Amber: All right, and the next one I have is Quiz and Survey Master – QSM. Parve – I think I said his name right – a marketing manager from Just Hired just got in touch with us, asking us to review this plugin. I haven’t actually checked this one out before when I was researching a plugin for a client, but it just didn’t really do what I needed it to do. It’s great for creating quizzes and surveys if you are only looking for very straightforward yes-or-no kind of quizzes and very simple surveys. If you’re trying to make a quiz that’s more along the lines of “What kind of animal are you? Are you a unicorn or a pig?” then this won’t work for you. When you’re doing a quiz like, “What kind of animal are you?” the answers, they kind of interconnect. You get a certain animal based on all the answers you chose all throughout the quiz. So the other one I found was personalities – that’s what they called the different things.
This one just doesn’t have that option. There is an option to have a point-based system where the whole goal is to get the largest amount of points throughout the quiz, but I could not for the life of me get the points to show up in the results. It does show up on the QSM dashboard, so I’m thinking maybe it pops up in the person’s account or on their profile after they take it; I’m not really sure about that.
So QSM will be very useful if you’re looking for a simple quiz or survey. It’s very straightforward, offers some different color schemes for the question and answer pages, at least on the little comment boxes below the questions, and you can share it on social networks, and it won’t fail, so it could be very useful. Unfortunately, if you want to integrate it with anything like MailChimp, you’ll have to pay for the pro options. I personally don’t really like this plugin. It just seems very simple with a couple of fancy options added on, and I don’t like that you need to get the pro just to get to the MailChimp options and things like that. So sorry Parve from Just Hired, I rate this a 3.
John: Nice job there. Well, I’m not big into quiz plugins, so we’ll just leave that one at that.
All right, the last plugin I’ve got for you here today is called Fix Image Rotation. Now, this is an older plugin and you may or may not need it on your WordPress website. Since WordPress 5.3, this functionality has been merged into the WordPress core, but there’s still many people below 5.3 and I think I’ve done a site with 5.3 or 5.4 that still had a problem with uploading images. What this one does for you, if you upload images to your website from a phone, sometimes you take those things off a phone and the rotation is off on it. Maybe you had the phone upside-down or whatever. Well, that’s the way the image uploads to the WordPress website; the orientation is off, and it’s laid down, it’s upside-down, it’s facing the wrong way.
What this does is it looks at the EXIF data of the image and then it reorients the image so that it is properly upright for you automatically, saving you the hassle of having to go in there and manually edit. It’s been updated fairly recently, so they’re keeping it up-to-date. It’ll probably eventually be turfed out and if this functionality is working inside the WordPress core as it’s supposed to, it’s definitely becoming obsolete.
At any rate, if you’re having problems with image orientation after uploading the images, check this plugin out. It may help solve that problem for you, so you won’t have to worry about it. All in all, not a bad plugin. Go check it out: Fix Image Orientation, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Amber: That’s interesting. I wonder if that one actually works with the last plugin I have called Insanity. This one is about photos, too. And what it does is it takes those crazy huge images that people upload onto blogs and what-not and it automatically resizes them. You can choose the sizing for it and you can make it as big as regular monitor or pretty small. Like I guess the general label sizes are extra-large, large, medium, or small – or thumbnail. You can choose which size it auto-resizes to and it also gives you the option to resize in bulk. So if you load the plugin and you have a whole lot of pictures that you want to resize, you can resize everything altogether after you’ve loaded in the plugin, too.
One thing is they do put up a warning that if you resize anything, make sure that its not going to be an issue. Like test one or two because once you resize it with this plugin manually, you can’t go back in the plugin. You may have to like re-upload the image if there’s any issues. If you want it to not resize a particular image, you just need to put “noresize” – one word – in the photo name, because once you plug this in, you turn it on, and it goes. There’s nothing else you need to do to it. It’s got one page of settings, really easy to set up. You just kind of let it go and do its thing.
So there’s no pro version for this. What you look at is what you get. I rate this a 4.
John: Yeah, excellent. Yeah, this would be a great plugin. Keep in mind one of the resizing things it’s talking about more than anything else is not the resizing of the dimensions of the image, meaning pixel-wise. It’s talking about the file size of the image more than anything else, and the file size is what’s important here because your file size – like if you upload a 2MB image and it can resize it down to a 200K image, that’s a significant savings not only in storage space on your server, but also in speed of loading your webpage for that image. Because a 2MB image takes a helluva lot longer to load onto a browser than a 200K image, so keep that in mind.
Amber: Oh, that actually reminds me of something else I read on this was that it’s not good if you need really hi-def pictures.
Amber: It’s only good for, you know, regular use.
John: Yeah, well if you’re building a website, you don’t want hi-def pictures anyway because you don’t want people stealing your images and printing them.
Amber: Good point.
John: All right, well that’s all we’ve got for plugins here. This show, currently brought to you by…
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John: Absolutely. CMS Commander, great as I mentioned many, many times. I’ve been using it for about 19 years. Go check it out. Please use the affiliate link because they don’t pay me for the ad; this is just an affiliate advertisement because I really like the product and I’ve been using it a long time.
All right, finally here we do have some sort of listener feedback. It’s not direct listener feedback this week, but we got mentioned, the WP Plugins A-Z show got mentioned during a Twitter thread, and this was an interesting Twitter thread. I do remember reading bits and pieces about it when it first hit the pages and this is when Matt Mullenweg of course and Matt decided to jump into the fray for Unsplash, calling it sketchy, you know, like which is “Well, I don’t know, Matt.” I read through this little thing here. He talks about the terms. It’s unclear what you want their CDN to make, etc., not paying for it. It sounds like you’re saying, “Matt! Oh, no! Please people, don’t use Unsplash and move off of wordpress.com because we make all that money for CDN, etc.”
But of course I don’t – I’m not even going to go there with Matt. At any rate, it was really interesting stuff. I read the article on it. Unsplash is something I’d heard about years ago. I never used it. They were all about getting images onto your site that are easy and free and they’ve released their own plugin recently, and that’s where this fray began. And it looks like Luke from Unsplash made mention of us about a quick call or being on a podcast. I’d love to get him on one of my interview shows. I’ve reached out to him. Hopefully he’ll contact us back and get him on the show, so it’d be really cool to talk to him and find out more. I’d like to find out more about Unsplash since I’ve never used it. I tend to use a lot of my own images or I get them from another source.
At any rate, this is the one thing that always comes to mind when I see Matt jump into the frays like this and then use the terms like he does. Like he holds grudges and he looks for ways to destroy people. You can go look back in the history and I can’t remember the theme that he did that to the theming company that he did that to. So much so that he overbid to buyout their domain when it came up for sale and then he redirected it to his own theming business, thereby violating their copyright and trademark. At any rate, here’s Matt’s famous quote in his own words:
“For WordPress, we’re trying to set up a community that would be around 10 to 30 years from now. I feel like the nonelected benevolent dictator. It is my responsibility to meet as many users as possible and direct the software project in a way that reflects their interests.”
So he thinks of himself as the “nonelected benevolent dictator,” and I’m sure that thought is still there. Anyway, take what you want from that, but it was really kind of cool to see WP Plugins mentioned in a Twitter thread of that magnitude, because that one there generated a lot of stuff going on in it. Go check that one out. The link is in the Show Notes to take you to that party and go down that path and have some fun.
Okay, contests. We do have a contest. It should be starting tomorrow. It was supposed to start last week or early this week, but life gets in the way. But it should be starting tomorrow, and we are giving away a subscription for Shoutcast and make sure you check it out. All the details will be published as soon as they’re ready and we’ll be talking it up as soon as we get it into the Show Notes and we’ll get it published on the website and you can enter that contest simply by going to entering your name and email address and you could win that subscription for Shoutcast. And if you want to know more about Shoutcast, I do have an interview with Christian from Shoutcast that is online now and it’s a really good interview. I had a great talk with him; I learned a lot about what their system does and so you can go check out that interview. Again, the links are in the Show Notes for that.
Amber: I think you meant ShoutWorks.
John: ShoutWorks – sorry, ShoutWorks. It’s not Shoutcast. Thank you. You should have corrected me much sooner.
Amber: It took me a moment to realize that you were talking about ShoutWorks and not something else.
John: Yeah, thank you. See, that’s why it’s good to have a cohost, someone to straighten me out when I’ve made a mess of things.
All right, so closing out this episode for plugins, I covered up the Cerber Security Anti-Spam and Malware Scan, which I gave a 5 to. I got the Pods – Custom Content Types and Fields, which I gave a 5 to and the Fix Image Rotation, which I gave a 4 to.
Amber: And I did Quiz and Survey Master, which I gave a 3 to; Age Gate, which I gave a 5 to, and Insanity, which I gave a 4 to.
John: Absolutely. Check out the plugins and a couple of quick reminders. Remember to make Amber feel welcome to the show. Send some good feedback, tell us how we’re doing, how she’s doing, how the show is doing. Anything is of use to us, the good, the bad, the ugly. We take it all.
Okay, and I’m still looking to see about a meetup in August. It may not happen. It seems my August is getting filled with lots and lots of stuff, so we may not be looking at a meetup until September, so keep apprised. I’ll let you know as soon as things change.
And as I mentioned, there is the new interview out with Christian from ShoutWorks. Go check that interview out. It is a really great interview and you learn a lot about what they do.
And if you would like to be interviewed for a show, simply connect with me over at wppluginsatoz.com/interview and that will connect you right up.
If you want to find out more about my particular brand of crazy, go check out theroguestavern.com.
That’s pretty much all I’ve got for you. Anything left from you, Amber?
Amber: Not off the top of my head, no. I can’t think of anything.
John: And if anyone’s got questions or something they’d like to say, please pop them into the comment section while we’re listening to the credits. And before the credits roll, we can’t forget. It has slowly become a permanent tradition here, my tequila shooter. It started shortly after the Rona started when I couldn’t go get my beer, and so I like my tequila shot. Let’s take that shot and 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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