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 #477 here.
It’s Episode 477 with plugins for Cooking Enthusiasts, Post Layouts, Private Videos, Maintenance mode, Overlord Tracking, Banishment to the Abyss and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right. It is time to talk about the plugins, and first off, we have plugins for ClassicPress. Well, nothing really for ClassicPress. Again, another week where I haven’t had any time to do anything for ClassicPress. I really need some people to kick some stuff to me for ClassicPress so I can get it out there. At the moment, all I’ve got is the usual for ClassicPress, the usual links; ClassicPress club, their forums, Code Potent’s website et cetera. And I hear they are moving forward quite well, but I haven’t had the time to spend over at that.
Let’s move it along then to the WordPress plugins. And what I’ve got for you this week? The first one I’ve got is called Content Views – Post Grid & Filter for WordPress. Now this one here is a plugin that’s been kept up to date, but it’s not always the one you need, especially with – if you happen to be using Gutenberg or some other theming systems such as Elementor, which allows you to create grid post quite easily. This one here does, works well though if you are using, say the 2020 theme or some other third-party theme that doesn’t have Gutenberg integrated into it to create the grid posts.
It’s a really great-looking plugin. This was discovered while I was working on another client’s site that is older, and we’re not moving them to Gutenberg or anything else. And this is used to display out the posts in a nice grid pattern. And it creates multiple-style grids. You use squares, or columns, or sliders. It does a really good job of displaying the content based upon the choices you make. Decent plugin, works very well, and they do have a premium version which gives you more extensions on it. So in lieu of all that, we’re going to give this one a 4-Dragon rating. Go check it out, Content Views – Post Grid & Filter for WordPress.
Amber: The first one I got is WP Recipe Maker. That’s a neat little plugin. It gives you the ability to set out your recipes and an easy-to-follow ingredients list and directions, and it’s pretty cool. It’s really awesome if you’re a foodie or if you run a recipe site. They give you so many options in the free version. Honestly, I felt my eyes glazing over with all the options. And honestly, though, I think for people who do this on a regular basis, it’s probably just a playground. You can personalize the theme, you can personalize how it looks inside of the theme. There’re so many things you can do. There are more options with the Pro version. So there is a Pro version on this.
It’s very easy to use if you are using Elementor, Gutenberg, ClassicPress or a WordPress theme. They just create a little widget and throw it into your widget area for you. For everyone else, they give you a shortcode to use. You create your recipes in the plugin, and then, upload whichever recipe you are wanting either through the widget or with the shortcode and put it on your post. It’s a pretty awesome little plugin. Unfortunately, due to the upgrade, I’m only going to rate it 4.
John: All right. Well, it does look interesting. Too bad I’ve already chosen my recipe plugin for my website. Okay, the next one I have for you here is called Simple Private Video. Now, what this one’s for is if you’re creating online courses that you provide videos for or you’re providing private videos for whatever, I don’t judge. Your videos can be your videos, whatever they are. And you want to keep them private and keep people from getting to them unless they’ve paid the appropriate fee to gain access to your membership section on your website. It’s really hard to do with things such as uploading to YouTube and et cetera.
Now, the drawback comes is you have to upload these websites to your hosting provider who may not provide you with the space or the bandwidth necessary to do that. Because video, let’s face it, is huge, sucks up tons of space and bandwidth when it’s being delivered back to the users. But what this one does for you is it allows you to upload them to your website, keep them in a secured location that can’t be picked out by robots or search bots or Google, or the users who sign into your website, they can’t grab a direct link to it and share it with their buddies. They must always be viewed by logging into their account on the website.
Now, of course, they could record it on their computer, which is a whole different problem, but that’s neither here nor there. This is a way to protect them to the best of your ability. So it is a decent plugin. It does appear to work very well for everything that it does. But again, you’re just dealing with the fact that you may have to get your own server with lots and lots of storage space and bandwidth to be able to deliver the videos in a timely manner for people. All in all, something you may want to check out if you’re looking to protect your videos. Go check it out. It’s Simple Private Video, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Amber: And the next one I’ve got is Smartlook Visitor Recording. So this plugin is really awesome, but since I’m still new to this world, when I saw this plugin, it kind of honestly gave me a bit of the creeps. The information gathered through this plugin is where the visitor is from in geotag form, which device they are using, where the visitor spends most of their time on your site, where broken buttons are, what they ignore, et cetera, everything that you could possibly need to know about your site and what they do on your site.
It could be very useful and seems like it would be pretty awesome to have that information. But then, there is the watching bit, which kind of is the bit that really creeps me out. You can literally watch recordings of every person visiting your site, in what the creators playfully call ‘geeky Netflix binge-watching.’ The information gathered on the site, I think it could be given without the video and without such a specific geolocation. All right. That’s my opinion.
I’m not entirely sure because, well, like I said, I’m still pretty new to this whole world. So the information that you can get through this is really awesome, and it is a totally free plugin. It’s also easy to install as well. You do, however, need to make an account with them in order to use it, which I’ve never liked.
John: That means they are tracking you.
Amber: Yeah, exactly. So if you need the information then this plugin could work really awesome as long as you don’t mind making an account. But honestly, I brought it down because you have to make an account to use it, and I also brought down another half point because it kind of creeps me out, so three-and-a-half dragons.
John: Yeah, well, the thing is that these ones here, these analytics, and the tracking plugins, they’ve been around a while. I’ve reviewed several of them over the years. They’ve never been really good, especially when they hit the heat map because it used a lot of resources. May be improved now. And if you’re looking to do some serious tracking, this looks like something that could be. But remember, when you got to create an account somewhere and they don’t charge you money, you are their product. So your clients or your product and your client’s information and you are their product. So keep that in mind when you do these things.
Amber: Yeah, but do they really have to have the video?
John: You must because then you can take it and put it back on your website and protect it with the protector plugin we just talked about and you can have videos to watch later. All right. Well, let’s roll this one right along.
The next one I’ve got for you here is called simply Maintenance. There is a lot of maintenance plugins out there at WordPress in the repository. And I’m always trying the new ones just because, you know, I don’t know, I just like to try different ones to see how they work and see what they offer up, see if they are easier to use than the ones I constantly fall back on.
And maintenance plugins are something you will use from time to time or a lot depending on what you do. I use maintenance plugins a lot when I build out dev sites or when I build out practice sites for my clients or sites that they can or sites that they can goof, and they are on a live server, so you need to protect that website from the general Internet, keep bots from coming in and possibly indexing it et cetera.
This is a really nice maintenance plugin, and that it does all that and it blocks all that. It even puts a 503 Service Temporarily Unavailable error in there for people. And it does one of the main things I’ve needed for maintenance plugins through WordPress et cetera is that you want an easy way for your client to be able to log in when they hit their website. And this one offers that by putting a login box right there on the maintenance page. It allows you to create images, choose your images, give a custom look and design and feel, the usual stuff for most maintenance plugins. On the whole, I found this one to work very well. Go check it out. It’s simply called Maintenance, and I give it a 4-Dragon rating.
Amber: You know, they should really work on making short names like that. I like that name.
John: Yeah, but the only person gets to use a name that short.
Amber: Fair enough.
John: There are dozens of maintenance plugins. These guys must have been first to the fold with the name.
Amber: So the last one I’ve got is Blackhole for Bad Bots. I like that.
John: Black coal?
John: Oh, okay.
Amber: It’s blackhole, I like it.
John: Blackhole for Bad Bots.
John: Banish them to their freaking abyss.
Amber: Absolutely. So this is a plugin that what it does is, it sets up this trigger link at the footer of your page that forbids all bots from following the link on your page.
Amber: And once the bots disobey the rule, they fall into the black hole trap and have no more access to your site. They get one chance to obey the rule of don’t go in here. And if they don’t, they never get access to your site again. That’s the whole idea of this.
Amber: The plugin is kept well-updated and it doesn’t create any cookies on your site, either. It’s pretty awesome. They give you everything that you need in the free version. And it does have a Pro version. I couldn’t really get much information on what’s different in the Pro version. It seems like this could just be used as-is for exactly what you need it for without any need for the Pro version. So because it seems like you don’t need the Pro version, I rate it 5 Dragons.
John: It sounds like a cool one, and of course, with the problem of bots in the world today, this is something you might want to consider putting on your website just to help banish them to the abyss and keep them out of your site.
Okay, well, this show is currently brought to you by…
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All right. And that wraps mostly everything up. We don’t have any listener feedback. It’s been a while since anyone said something to us. So I’m going to assume no one is listening to the show anymore. And well, we’ve got no questions, so everyone figures that we’re doing everything perfect. I love it when I’m doing everything perfect and without any flaws.
Contests, we don’t have any contests right now. We haven’t had time to do it. I’ve been begging you guys for a couple of weeks for someone to come give me a hand with that but that hasn’t appeared. So we’re going to have to get around to it. And right now, my workload is just too much at the moment to be able to deal with it. But we will get a contest up here as soon as we can.
Closing out this episode, I covered up the following plugins. I covered up Content Views – Post Grid & Filter for WordPress, which I gave a 4 to, the Simple Private Video, which I gave a 4 to, and Maintenance, which I gave a 4 to.
Amber: And I covered WP Recipe Maker, which I gave a 4 to, Smartlook Visitor Recording, which I gave a three-and-a-half to, and Blackhole for Bad Bots, which I gave a 5 to.
John: All right. And before we run out the window here, Hemdien has a nice little question here in the chat window. It’s, “Does Maintenance play nice with WPS Hide Login?” I honestly can’t answer that because I don’t use WPS Hide Login, and Maintenance I’ve just sort of, I’ve used it on a couple of sites that I was working on this last week, and it worked very well. I imagine it probably does but because of the fact when it creates the little login window, it bypasses the necessity of going to the login page. It just creates the login block, which is internal versus being inside. The best way to find out would be to test it though.
Okay, that really wraps it all up. A couple of quick reminders is, there are no meetups planned at the moment. I thought I might do one in September, but that didn’t come to fruition. I’m going to see if I can shoot for one in October. It looks like more and more restaurants and pubs are allowing people to get together and have a group of six or so. We may do that. I still have the room that I had rented out. Depending on whether or not the province of BC lightens its load and allows us to meet in groups again without much hassle, I may get that. I’ve still got several reservations there. They owe me four from last year that got canceled. So we’ll see what happens. This is just, you know, pay attention to the newsletter. The meetup at wppluginsatoz.com/meetup, our meetup board since we got rid of meetup.com. I’m tired of paying for something that wasn’t valuable.
And if you’d like to be on an interview show, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a developer or not, you just want to talk plugins, hey, let me know. I’ll get you on an interview show and we’ll share your thoughts with the world. You want to find more about my craziness and what I’m planning to do with my life over the next few years, check me out at theroguestavern.com.
And, of course, I want to reiterate one more time, if anyone kicks in a donation of $50 or more, well, I’ll go through the effort to set up a camera and get Amber up on here on the screen. So you can watch her mug live on the YouTube channel.
Amber: Yeah, thanks for the forewarning on that by the way.
John: Yeah, I’m always happy to volunteer you for stuff. That’s the joy being my child. You get volunteered for everything.
Amber: No, volun-told. I don’t get an option in this.
John: Yes like I said, volunteer. All right. Well, that’s all we got for you, and we’re going to let a wrap here. I’m going to enjoy my tequila shot and let my girl take us on out of here.
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