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 #478 here.
It’s Episode 478 with plugins for Understanding the Body, Putting on the Protection, Getting out on the Streets, Watching for Snow, Finding the Store, Visualizing the RONA and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right. First off, what have we got for you? Okay, ClassicPress options, again, nothing really in ClassicPress. I’ve been working hard in WordPress sites for the last several weeks, so I’ve had no time for digging in ClassicPress. If I run across anything, I’ll bring it here, but if any of my listeners out there are using ClassicPress, send me some info, send me some plugins, suggestions, all of those things. You know, that helps fill out the ClassicPress section of the site. For a while there, I was big into it and I was moving towards it, but I couldn’t get my clients excited and I started to run into problems with some of the developing I was doing, so I had to back down. At any rate, go check out the sections here on ClassicPress. We’ve got all the usual stuff there; the forums, ClassicPress Club, the list of plugins, et cetera. I’ve got to check in and spend some time on that again. I don’t know when, but sometime soon.
All right. Off we go for plugins, WordPress plugins. The first one, out the gate I have for you, is called Protect Pages and Categories with Login. Now, this turned out to be a perfect plugin for what I was working on. I’m currently working on a WooCommerce website, trying to sort out some issues, and they wanted to protect one single product because it’s going to be a product that they can only see prices and other things when they’re logged in, but there were some things that needed to be protected from the general populace to see it.
And what this is going to do is it’s going to – this plugin does, it allows you to protect individual pages and posts by simply adding a single shortcode to the content, above or below the content on that page or post. And boom, suddenly, if anyone hits that page or post, they’re automatically redirected to a login. So they can’t see that page unless they are logged in as a registered user on the website. Very simple plugin, works beautiful, solved my problem for one single product I had to do this to. I wasn’t certain if it would work for individual products, but I figured why not? It should. You dump it into the description, and boom, it worked great. Free plugins like this that just solve a problem do their job right, always end up with a 5-Dragon rating.
Amber: That sounds freaking awesome.
John: Yeah, it is. It was quite awesome to discover that.
Amber: So before I get into my plugins, I want to do a plugin update from previous episodes. Just want to talk about first, Squirrly. I mentioned that a few episodes ago. I thought it was pretty awesome, and then, I had to deactivate it. It was actually getting in the way of me completing my posts, that little menu that pops up on the right-hand side there? It pasted itself over top of that and wouldn’t let me do anything. I couldn’t post, I couldn’t save, I couldn’t do anything until I did the SEO. And no, it’s not worth it. The explanations in the little – where they teach you things, it’s not good enough to deal with it getting in the way unless you do what it wants you to do. So if it works well for you, then I’d say deactivate it until you’re ready to do the SEO, but otherwise, it’s really not worth having long-term.
The other one I wanted to go over is Black Hole for Bad Bots. They are sending me updates every few days about the Bad Bots they have destroyed at my site. I personally really like that. It makes me feel like they are actually doing something rather than just having the plugin going and never really know what it’s doing. It actually tells you. It’s pretty cool. I could see how this could be irritating, but…
I could see how it could be irritating, but I personally like it. So just a heads up, if you end up getting this one, it’s going to send you updates every few days. Oh, through your email, by the way, not on your WordPress.
Now, on to my plugins for this week. The first one I have for you is called Weather Effect – Christmas Santa Snow Falling. So don’t let the name of it fool you. It also has every other major season available, even has Halloween, my favorite! I love Halloween. You’ll probably be getting at least one review of something Halloweeny every week or so until the holiday passes. I personally have an assortment of all kinds of Halloween decorations that I never takedown throughout the year. And if anyone has a plugin, they think I should check out. That’s kind of Halloweeny, tell me. It doesn’t matter how silly it is, how ridiculous it is, tell me I want to check it out. I love Halloween.
Now, this plugin, the Weather Effect – Christmas Santa Snow Falling, what this does is when you download it, it brings you to the settings page and you get to choose which season you want, and it gives you a whole bunch of options to have kind of flutter from the top of your screen down. It shows up on your screen no matter what page you’re on your screen when you are checking at your site. So yeah, it could get in the way, but it does allow you to make it have a snow effect for, like, how fast it snows, how many items snows, and how many per page. It’s very, very customizable. I really like that about it. For the Halloween one, it has like six different options. It’s pretty cool.
There is a premium version currently on sale for the one-time fee of $15. It’s usually $30. So while that usually brings it down a point, it’s raining Halloween stuff on your screen for free. It’s so cool! I honestly think that anything Halloween should just be free, but this is really cool. So I rate it at 5-Dragons.
John: Yeah, it does look pretty cool. It’s better than some of the ones I’ve reviewed in the past years.
Amber: And I like it!
John: Nice. Okay, so the next one I’ve got up for you here, is called WP Store Locator. Now, a lot of the Store Locator plugins, they give you some stuff in their free version that are not very useful, and you have to buy the premium version to make it more useful. This one here surprised me. Again, this is on a site that I’m working on that required an index of stores Canada-wide. And this plugin, actually, the free version gives you the ability to put all your location markers and everything else you need down throughout the site.
The biggest hassle to this plugin like any map plugin that uses Google Maps now is you got to go create the Google Map API, which can take you anywhere from five minutes to an hour depending on how well you can comprehend Google’s inane instructions that are written backward in Greek and hieroglyphics all at the same time. So at any rate, it’s a really great plugin and it works very, very well. It’s got a lot of nice controls in it for setting things up. It works excellent for geo-location stuff on it, so you can get people to zoom down to their local neighborhood when you want them to look at the west coast of Canada versus the east coast and things like that. Really great plugin, it worked fantastic, does a great job. And because the free version does everything it needs to do, I give this one a 5-Dragon rating.
Amber: That could be really useful.
John: It is actually quite useful. You could also use it to build a directory of your local businesses if you wanted something like that.
Amber: Well, that’s a neat idea.
Amber: So the next one I have is Interactive Medical Drawing of Human Body. This is a really neat plugin. My older daughter who is an artist thinks this is the best idea since sliced bread. As soon as she saw it, she asked for the site with it on there so she can go and use it and learn how to draw the different body parts. What it does is you put it in and it gives you this outline of the human body via a shortcode you put into the text area. And you just click on one of the human body parts and it brings up a picture of an anatomically correctly drawn part of the human body. You can actually kind of move it around a little bit, too. It’s really neat. It’s really great for artists, or doctors, nurses. You can also translate into different languages if you need it. And this is a total freebie. Yeah, so I rate it 5 Dragons.
John: That was kind of cool. Okay, the final one I’ve got for you was a plugin that was sent in by one of our listeners out there, at least I hope was a listener, Giorgos Sarigiannidis. I’m sorry, I really don’t try to butcher names, but I’m really good at it. It’s called Out of the Block: OpenStreetMap.
And instead of manually adding coordinates for each one of your markers, just click and drop them directly onto the map. You want to adjust their position, drag them to wherever you want. And instead of filling in custom fields to set each marker’s popup, just open that popup and start writing in it, the Gutenberg way. It supports the WYSIWYG editing with links, images, and all. It even stores the maps at the zoom level as you use it so that you don’t have to set it by hand. And now this does look like a pretty good mapping plugin.
The one problem I have with it is it seems like it only works inside of Gutenberg. I haven’t run into and tested it to see if it works outside of Gutenberg. If it only works in Gutenberg, it will be a little while before I give it a full test. While I’m being slowly drug into Gutenberg kicking, and screaming, and hollering at every step of the way, I’ll eventually get there because I know Gutenberg is WordPress and there is really not much you can do. I fought it as long as I could. And it’s like everything else I fought in WordPress. They crammed it down our throat, and they’re really not making it any better. They’re just making us have to use it.
So at any rate, if you’re using Gutenberg, give this a shot. It could solve your problem of mapping and you won’t have to use the Google API to create a map on your site. This could create you a nice, simple, basic map. I could see it being used great for the Contact Us pages or the location pages on websites where you want to put down a quick map. This would be a great tool for doing that. Go check it out. From what I have to see about it, aside from being Gutenberg, I want to knock it down, but because it’s free, you have no headaches, hassles, I’m going to have to give this one a 5-Dragon rating.
John: That’s it. Aces up for me!
Amber: And the last one I’ve got for you is Corona Virus (COVID-19) Live Report Visualizations in WordPress. Wow! That is quite the title.
John: Yeah, I suppose much bullshit is M5M.
Amber: Well, if you need to track the COVID monster, this one ought to do it for you. I’ve actually seen a lot of COVID popups since this whole thing started. And this is the first one I’ve seen that actually looks like it’s doing a decent job. It’s a total freebie and claims to get its information from credible sources, updating every 10 minutes. You know, I’ve always been interested in how things that do this do it, every 10 minutes with information from credible sources. When you start thinking about the coding and the mechanics of the program that this is doing, it’s really quite impressive.
John: It can be, yes.
Amber: And this plugin even has Canada, which a lot of them just kind of skip over Canada for some reasons.
John: Well, Canada doesn’t exist. We are just America’s hat. That’s all we are.
Amber: So if you need something to keep track of this or if your customers need to keep track of it, I definitely recommend this for you. All you need to do is plug it in and put the shortcode for whichever section you want to have on your page, into your page, and off it goes. It’s interactive on the page so you can choose which one you want on the page rather than it just being interactive in the settings page.
And I checked this one out first when I was looking at plugins, but after a while that been running on the site, I had to do an update. So while working, every time this plugin updates, it shoots you back to the setup page for this plugin. Starting to drive me nuts, so I’m checking out various plugins. I had to deactivate it just to work uninterrupted. I had this at 5-Dragons, but I’m bringing it down to 4 because of that constant interruption to work. It only does this every time the page refreshes. So like you say, you are working on a post, and then you want to go back and try to plugin, you’re going to be brought back to the settings page for this plugin. And it’s irritating as heck. Good if you just need to go make a post, and then, you save and you’re done, but bad if you need to bounce around your site a lot. So I rated this at 4.
John: Yeah, you blew our perfect hand for the day.
Amber: I did.
John: Oh well. All right. Well, that wraps them up real quickly. This show is brought to you currently by…
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John: Absolutely. And it is exclusive hosting, folks. I don’t take just any old person to be on my web servers. You must pass the test, and it’s a hard one.
All right. Listener feedback, we don’t have any listener feedback. We’re just going to skip right over that. Nobody has been writing us. Come on, write us, send us some letters, and you got to get the email correct in the chat window. It’s firstname.lastname@example.org. I may have to go create a new address if it’s going to email@example.com, and it would be wppluginsatoz.com. So one way or another, we will get the correct email address posted in the comment section.
Amber: Until then, nobody loves us.
John: That’s me writing myself when I’m not looking. It’s that amazing thing I have of osmosis. All right. And contests, we still don’t have a contest yet. I haven’t had the time to dig into it. I’ve been quite busy earning a living, and I’ve had no volunteers yet step forward to take over this for me. And I’m beginning to think that I’m pissing in the wind here with the show, but whatever.
And closing out this episode, the plugins I covered up were Protect Pages and Categories with a Login, which I gave a 5 to, the WP Store Locator, which I gave a 5 to, and the Out of the Block: OpenStreetMap, which I gave a 5 to.
Amber: And I covered Weather Effect – Christmas Santa Snow Falling, which I gave a 5 to. I really think it should be named Halloween Falling instead.
John: Well, Christmas is more popular for many people. Halloween is my favorite holiday. After all, it is the New Year.
Amber: People really don’t know what they’re missing. Halloween is way better.
John: It’s the New Year, man. Halloween is the New Year.
Amber: Interactive Medical Drawing of Human Body, which I gave a 5 to.
John: That one’s kind of awesome actually.
Amber: I like it. And Corona Virus (COVID-19) Live Report Visualizations in WordPress, which I gave a 4 to.
John: Track the Rona! Track Rona! Off we go!
Amber: Got to wonder what the credible sources are now since they are kind of discredited the CDC.
John: Yeah, it depends on who is currently this week’s credible source, and if they’re towing the party line.
Amber: See, that makes the program even more amazing because it must be doing like crawling between all the different ones.
John: It may be polling from the same sources and the credible sources, you don’t know which ones to use unless you dig through the code.
Amber: That’s true.
John: All right. Well, quick reminders here. No meetup is planned at the moment. I’ve just not have the time to look into it, and October, I probably won’t have one either. I’m going hunting in October on my weekends, so we’ll see what happens. And if you’d like to be on an interview show, just reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go fill out the form over at wppluginsatoz.com/interview. Want to find out more about my insanity? Go check out therougestavern.com. And I’m way behind on my videos there but I should catch up on them this weekend. It’s my first weekend where I’m not overly doing a whole lot of stuff in God, months. Okay, that pretty much wraps it. You got anything left to say there, Amber?
Amber: Well, I was thinking about the meetup. Maybe there could be a Halloweeny kind of meetup.
John: There you go. You can plan it.
Amber: Like I said, Halloween, man. It’s the best time of the year.
John: Okay, and don’t forget we’re still sort of — I don’t even want to say that. That’s just too horrible. Anyone who donates, you know, $50 or more, you know, we get a couple of $50. We had it to $100, didn’t I? It was $100 last month. $100 donation, I will set up the webcam and get Amber on the screen with me at the same time. So hey, that takes a lot of my time to go through and get that headache solved, because I’ve got to get two cameras functioning and two screens. So hey, it’s $100 man to get her on the screen. Remember that, folks.
All right. That’s all I got. That’s it. Let’s call it a wrap. It must be time for a tequila shot, but we need this little hat. We need the little hat on the tequila man, see? I should draw eyeballs on this just for fun. All right. One tequila shooter and let my girl take us on out of here.
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