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Transcript of Episode 484 WP Plugins A to Z

It's Episode 484 with plugins for Virtual Life, Variations, Colours, Dark Life, Notifications, Pro Admin pages, 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 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 #484 here.

It’s Episode 484 with plugins for Virtual Life, Variations, Colours, Dark Life, Notifications, Pro Admin pages, and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Episode #484

John: This is why everyone actually shows up to listen to the show. First off, Classic — there we go, there’s my tongue tripping over itself again, ClassicPress options, don’t really have them. It’s like I haven’t done any work in ClassicPress in weeks and weeks now, so I don’t have time to research it. Anyone out there listening that is a ClassicPress user, please send us the information, we would greatly appreciate it and we can get it up. You can supply us with pre-recorded reviews of plugins if you like, anything along that line, save some time and get us more information.

So there’s the usual stuff there for Classic Press, which is all of the links to all of their forums and their ClassicPress things. CodePotent’s website, and for some reason it turned — I don’t know if it’s been resolved yet, but I was told that CodePotent had blocked me on Twitter, and I have no idea why. I haven’t even tried to talk to them in months. Okay, so let’s see what we got out here, WordPress plugins. What do we got this week? Well, as I set up for my first spot, I’m giving it up to Charlie, and he has sent us in a pre-recorded review of a plugin that we are offering a contest for coming up soon.

Charlie: Hi, everyone.  I’m Charlie. I’m reviewing WP Admin Pages Pro today. Try saying that, John, after a couple of tequila shots.

John: I’ll work on it.

Charlie: The plugin is from the same developer as the much-discussed WP Ultimate plugin. It’s a paid-only plugin; they’re a free version, where you can try out a demo on their website. This is a fantastic plugin for anyone that creates websites for someone else, whether it’d be a friend, for a group, or as a web design agency. It allows you to completely redesign the dashboard to make it user-friendly, add your own branding, and even embed videos.

Basically, you can design your dashboard as a page with your favorite page builder, and then, replace or append the dashboard with it. You can even add multiple extra subpages to the dashboard. You can also take it a step further if you wish by creating alternative pages for different levels of users. So for example, an editor would see completely different pages to an administrator. At moment, it’s compatible with Brizy, the pro versions of Elementor, Beaver Builder, Oxygen, and Divi, and Gutenberg coming soon. I give this a 5-Dragon rating.

John: There we go. We’ll pick up the slack for you, Charlie.

Amber: I think he’s brilliant.

John: Yes, that’s really great. So thanks a lot for that, Charlie. I would greatly appreciate it, and it is an interesting plugin. I haven’t had time to play with it yet, but I do like it, and it’s probably something I’m going to throw together on the next project I’m getting started on, just so I can incorporate it into that project and customize out the admin area. So quiet — oh, did I not have the volume loud enough for that? Whoa, no, it’ll come through nicely on the podcast portion of it, but that would be a problem I had for the live stream. Okay. So that’s something for me to be aware of. All right. Thanks, Charlie. I greatly appreciate you bringing that to my attention.

Amber: I seriously think I’m missing out by not being able to see the chat over there.

John: You can actually monitor the chat from your computer, so we’ll have to set that up for you next time. Yeah, well, the chat’s actually active today. Charlie’s all over the place today, so it’s lovely when somebody is in there chatting has to distract my attention. All right, next plugin.

Amber: My turn to mess up with speaking. So first plugin I’ve got is Easy Dark Mode on One Click, and it was an awesome idea. However, in practice it kind of fell short of the mark. It’s a brand new plugin, and what it does is, it turns your site to a dark theme as soon as you download and activate it. Unfortunately, while inverting all of your backgrounds and word colors, it also inverts all of the pictures that are on your site. It’s a pretty cool effect, but not really the kind of effect most people go for, not unless they’re setting up for a rave or something. The idea was sound, practice is not quite there. I’ll check in later on this plugin to see if they manage or even bothered to fix the picture issue. I rate this as 3 Dragons.

John: Oh, that’s too bad. Hey, this is the point here where our guest was supposed to bring his plugin to bear, but what I’m going to do is I’m going to go ahead and read it out for him, and it comes from — it’s supposed to be coming from RexTheme. And RexTheme, this is a plugin called Variation Swatches for WooCommerce. I don’t know a heck of a lot about it, so I’ll just read out the write-up he’d given.

Instead of drop-down options, buyers choose from product variants in a smart way using visual button swatches of color, image, or label. Moreover, you can use images or icons of your own choice as variation swatches to connect with buyers on product pages. You can also choose the shape, border color, background color, however, or hover color, font size, and many more to customize your own variation swatches and make your buyers curious when attractive swatches on display and grabs the attention.

He didn’t give a rating for the plugin, but it does look interesting, and if you’re doing WooCommerce, this might be something to look at and help enhance your products’ display on there. Lots of cool tools you can be. This is a freemium plugin, which means you get the free version here. They have a pro version that is available elsewhere. So go check this one out, it may be of value to you.

Okay, the one plugin I brought to the table today because I thought I had pretty much the day off for talking, and I was just going to showcase some stuff for folks, and I only have one plugin that I actually brought to the table. This one here is called Notification Bar Builder for Elementor. Now, if you’ve been around WordPress, any length of time, you’ll notice there’s been all kinds of bar builders – bar elements, you know, top bar, bottom bar, hello bar, you know, you want easy ways to do them, easy way to present them, be able to build multiple bars, have them go to multiple pages, et cetera, et cetera.

This looks like a really neat plugin for doing that if you’re doing a building in Elementor because you can build your bars in Elementor as a bar widget basically, and then, you can apply and tell it what pages to appear, some spots to appear, times to appear, when to fade away, et cetera, et cetera. A lot of the stuff you need is free, but some of the really important items, you’ll have to go to the premium version for. You want to check this one out. I’m busy checking out the free version. I just loaded it up to my website today to experiment with it, and we’ll see how well it goes. I think it’s going to be really nice. We’re going to use it to start putting some more better notifications up on the website for WP plugins. At any rate, go check this one out. I currently give it a 4-Dragon rating, of course, because I haven’t tested out the premium version yet. Notification Bar Builder for Elementor.

Amber: And the next one I’ve got for you is Cubecolour New Plugin. It’s an interesting plugin. It wasn’t quite what I thought it was going to be at first when I initially read the description, but what it does is, it adds some new tabs for your plugin or for your app – you know, I’ll just read the thing.

When you plugin and activate this, go to plugins, then add new, and you will see two new tabs called New and Beta testing for your plugins. When you go to the beta testing, you get a list of plugins that are still in the beta test phase and you have the opportunity to play around with them. When I first saw the description, I thought this meant you had the option to use new plugins as a beta test within your site. That’d be cool, but, you know, after thinking about on how that would really happen.

When you go to the new tab, you now have instant access to all of the less than 10 downloaded plugins that are available. The new tab is also the default tab when you go to add a new plugin. It’s really useful. It makes it a lot easier to find the less often used plugins. This is a total freebie. I think it’s a very useful plugin as it cuts away the need to separate searched – I am not able to talk properly today.

John: No, maybe I should have to give you more Rum at the beginning of the show.

Amber: You didn’t give me any, maybe that’s the problem.

John: There’s the problem.

Amber: I rate this at 5 Dragons.

John: It is a cool plugin, and basically, what it does is it restores the functions that were there in WordPress about eight years ago.

Amber: Really?

John: Yes. They didn’t have the beta testing one tab available. That tab can be very, very dangerous for experimenters like myself, and I’d have to make sure I never put this plugin on an actual live site. I’d be too tempted to try something and break it, so you really wouldn’t want to use this plugin on anything, but a dev testing, play sandbox website, you know, or even a duplicate of whatever live site you have so you can find stuff. But that new tab that used to be there in the plugin folder or add plugins window.

Amber: That’s silly that they removed it.

John: Yeah, well, they did that so they can make everybody look at the featured plugins, which I think it’s like 6 out of 10 featured plugins are from Automatic. You know, it’s like — and that’s where Automatic always puts all their stuff and promotes it, and they also put the WooCommerce stuff, which is now owned by Automatic. So it makes no difference, it’s all Automatic.

Amber: I’ve gotten in the habit of just completely ignoring the feature plugins.

John: Yeah, I ignore it entirely, and most people probably do by now. Okay, the next one we had up here was another one that was supposed to be brought in by our guest Shammi. Shammi, I believe was our guest’s name. And this one here is another one from RexTheme, and it’s called WP VR – 360 Panorama and Virtual Tour Creator for WordPress. It looks familiar to me. I may have actually reviewed this one somewhere in the past, and this one here is an interesting plugin.

In particular, what is good for is, if you’re running a real estate website, this would be a great one for creating virtual tours and other 360 views. It would also be great if you’re doing outdoor video and you’re showcasing video on your website, et cetera. There’s a lot of stuff that you can use this for. So it’s a really interesting plugin. I kind of like it. They’ve given it a rating of 4.7 out of 5, which is probably their rating from the WordPress repository, and I don’t really trust those ratings at the repository, especially since they banned me there because I was trying to give people proper ratings, and they didn’t like that much. That could be because I was crediting WordPress plugins A to Z for giving the rating, but tomatos, tomahtos, you know, but still me. Anyway, a great plugin, one you might want to go check out if you’re looking to have those sorts of things happening.

So currently, this show is brought to you by…

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John: Absolutely. High-quality web hosting, I’m starting to fill up my last server. So if you want hosting through me, you’ll want to get it soon because it is exclusive. I limit the number of clients per server. Okay, and we had a quick question here for Hemdian. I already answered it. Is there a plugin that filters plugins to those that are compatible only? There probably is, but I’m not aware of it.

Amber: That would be useful though.

John: Yeah, they’re probably they have something similar like that over ClassicPress. You can put — there’s a ClassicPress plugin that sets up the filter if it’s compatible with Classic Press. So there probably is something, but I’m just not aware of it. Okay, next thing we got for you here, and we are into the point of contests. We do have contests, and I do want to again, once again, thank Charlie for coming to the aid of the show and getting our contests all organized, so we now have a few in the queue.

We do have a winner from our last week’s contest where we gave away a lifetime license for FluentCRM, which is a self-hosted email marketing automation plugin for WordPress, and that was a lifetime license, quite a value there. You can go to the FluentCRM’s website to learn more about this plugin.

And so the winner is John Kirkpatrick.  Congratulations, John. You know, as soon as you reach back to me with the email, we will get you your key. So thanks a lot, John. We greatly appreciate you enter, and we had quite a few people into the contest. I was really quite happy about that. One of the biggest number of entries we’ve ever had for a contest, which is surprising I know.

Amber: It was a good prize.

John: It was a good prize. And the next prize coming up, we have a contest. It starts today, November 5th to November 17th. The winner will be announced on the show on the 18th. The new giveaway is a chance to win a WP Admin Pages PRO. We just talked about that plugin. Charlie just talked about it. It is a really great plugin. It is an unlimited lifetime license, which is valued at $149.

The plugin is a must-have for anyone that creates websites for clients, friends, groups, et cetera. With WP Admin Pages PRO, you can create admin pages for your clients using your page builder of choice like Beaver Builder, Elementor, Brizy, Oxygen, and more to come. The contest will run from today until November 17th, with the winner being announced on the show on the 18th. So get over there, to enter the contest. And I believe that’s where it goes. Yep, there we go.

There’s a nice little picture of it all. So thanks a lot. That looks great. That’s a really nice page. Thanks, Charlie. That’s great. All right. Now, closing out this stuff, close out a couple of things before we head into the Q&A segment, I covered up the following plugins while I covered up — the plugin I covered was Notification Bar Builder for Elementor, which I gave a 4 to, and then, the WP Admin Pages PRO, which Charlie covered for us, he gave a 5 to it.

Amber: I colored — covered, my goodness; I’m really having trouble today.

John: You are. Either drunk or not drunk yet.

Amber: So I covered Cubecolour New Plugins, which I gave a 3 to, and Dark Mode for WP Dashboard, which I gave a 3 to.

John: Okay. And the ones that Shammi was supposed to be covering, which I read out for you all is the WP VR – 360 Panorama and Virtual Tour Creator for WordPress. Wow, that’s a mouthful – which was rated between five 4.7 and 5, and the Variation Swatches for WooCommerce, which got no rating.

Amber: I just need to say something. Actually, I gave a 5 to the Cubecolour New Plugin, not a 3.

John: Oh, well, why did it get written a 3?

Amber: I don’t know.

John: Oh, see that’s what happens when you read stuff verbatim, and we don’t correct it.

Amber: It is.

John: All right. A couple of quick reminders here, we still don’t have a meetup plan, but we will have those coming real soon. I’m just about ready to start winding that stuff up. If you’re interested in interviews, go check out If you want to find out more about me, just go check out the That’s where all my videos of everything else I’m doing in life are located at. Oh, that’s weird. Yeah, that’s strange.

All right. And it is time for us to pull into the question and answer segment of the show. So let’s take it away, Amber, with your questions. Oh, actually hold on a second, we got something to do here.

Amber: Yeah, I’m waiting for it.

John: Absolutely. That was cool. Hopefully, that came through a bit louder.

Amber: All right. So the first question I’ve got for you is what are webhook connectors? These were mentioned in the previous contest writeup.

John: They were, and you know, it was funny. I thought I knew what they were, but I actually had to go look it up because I had no clue what they were. I’d like to pretend I have all the answers to everything, and I usually can pull it off quite nicely. I probably could have done that with this, but I figured I’d be nice. Webhooks are actually something – webhooks and connectors as it’s defined, are a simple way to connect your web services to channels and teams inside Microsoft Teams. So it’s used for connecting your program into Microsoft Teams to allow you to do stuff using the Microsoft Team’s app. And Microsoft Team’s app is a collaborative thing where people work together virtually. Kind of like, what’s that thing? Chaz? Snap?

Amber: Zapier?

John: No, not Zapier. It’s all the millennials’ favorite tool for talking to each other because they’re paranoid of seeing each other in person.

Amber: Oh, I wouldn’t know.

John: And they don’t even know how to use a telephone properly. They think it’s made strictly for texting.

Amber: I’m a terrible millennial.

John: You are. You are a horrible millennial, man. You actually make phone calls and talk to people, and I can’t even catch you looking at Twitter on your phone.

Amber: I don’t have Twitter on my phone.

John: See, that makes you a horrible millennial.

Amber: Or Facebook or anything.

John: You’re just — you’re going way downhill now.

Amber: I have lots of audiobooks though.

John: Okay, well there’s that. Not Snapchat

Amber: All right.

John: Zoom. No, it’s not Zoom either. There’s another one, I keep forgetting. We got lots of suggestions in the chat window, but you know.

Amber: Snapchat?

John: Not TikTok either.

Amber: Snapchat?

John: TikTok? Yeah, it’s wonderful. I’m talking to myself because some of these comments are coming from John Overall, and I’m pretty sure I’m on this side of the screen. I love the Ghost in the Machine. All right, so the next question.

Amber: What is SQL injection?

John: Okay. SQL injection. This is one of the most common hacks that goes on, is particular for WordPress, but it’s vulnerable to any CMS system out there. And what it is, is because of the way forms are taken in, or if you allow additional data to be inserted into your site, or for the hackers that have figured out how to stick a string of data on the end of a website URL, so like, I don’t know, if you know that a website URL can have up to 256 characters.

Amber: Yeah, that I did know.

John: Okay. Well, you can start with your domain name, and then, you can put a question mark after it. And then, everything after that question mark is the command of some sort.

Amber: Oh, that I didn’t know.

John: You’ll notice it when you look at the URLs from different things. You’ll see a question mark in there. Well, that question mark is a command or data for tracking or something else. What the hackers have figured out is sometimes if they can figure out a way to your database. They can add in that command information into either the URL or in the form fields of the forms that are submitted to your website and that will insert inject information into your SQL database.

Your SQL database or your MySQL database, which is your database that WordPress is completely made from, is vulnerable to that, and once they get an injection in there, usually what they inject is something that allows them to hack into the rest of your website and gain access. So SQL injections are one of the biggest things that are a problem. And cross-site injections are even a bigger problem, and that’s a whole other thing to try and explain, but it’s still basically along the same line as what SQL injection is.

Amber: Okay. I remember reading something about using SQL injection as a test. So what are you doing when you’re using it as a test? Like, are you putting an injection into your own site to test it out?

John: Yeah, I suppose so, I really don’t know. If you’re using an SQL injection as a test, it’s probably a way to see if you can inject information incorrectly. I mean, if you want to look at it as the basic way of SQL injection is like when you create a post, you’re injecting information into your SQL database. Yeah, I don’t think of it that way. I think I see SQL injection, I think of the nefarious ways that is used.

Amber: Evil genius syndrome.

John: Well, there you go. Here’s another one from Hemdian SQL injection  can be on any input box where the results are then used in a dynamic SQL statement.

Amber: Okay.

John: Thanks, Hemdian. I appreciate that. A little bit of information.

Amber: All right. So next question is what is Gzip Compression?

John: Oh, we just skipped one. You went right past the beta.

Amber: Did I?

John: Yeah.

Amber: Oh, I did. Okay.

John: We’ll go back to the Gzip compression. That’ll be the second half of Q&A.

Amber: Okay. My apologies. So what is beta and how is closed beta different from the beta?

John: Yeah, well, beta is when they’re building software, there’s generally three stages: alpha, beta — and actually four stages, alpha, beta — I can’t remember the one they call that is production-ready and then production.

So alpha is when the code is raw, it’s horrible, it’s basic, barely working. Beta is when the code is sort of working, but it’s really buggy, and so they find people that they call beta testers, of course. And it’s different from beta males, which is pretty much the same thing. But beta testers are, is the beta is — those testers work the code hard to see if they can break it, and then when they find it breaks, they record those breaks, and they send that data back to the programmer to go, okay, it broke here, this is the information I captured while it broke. Hopefully, this helps you find the problem in your code and you fix it.

What closed beta means, like, open beta, like WordPress — the next version of WordPress is in beta now, 5.6 is in beta. That’s an open beta, which means anyone can go download that beta software and test it to see if it works, see how well it works. Closed beta means that you have to belong to the company, get an invitation. You can only get to use that program if you’re invited to use it. That’s what closed beta means.

Amber: Oh, okay.

John: That’s the only difference between open and closed beta, is whether you’re not, you’re invited to play with the software. Release candidate. Thank you very much, Charlie. Good years. And target to plate readers in a gas station, and now this is an interesting one, rolling back to the SQL injection, Hemdian, I think a few years back, someone tried SQL injection on a car license plate to target the plate readers in a gas station. Now, that’s a brilliant hack actually.

Amber: Yeah.

John: That is a brilliant hack because the plate readers will read that data and inject data. Wow! Hackers sometimes, man, their imagination just astounds me sometimes. All right, so we’re going to play the extro credits here for those of you that are listening live stream right now, so hang around after those. And I get to have my tequila shot, so I get to enjoy the last bit of the show with a nice little slight buzz coming on. And we’ll come back after for a couple more questions that Amber has. For those of you listening to the podcast, you’re going to have to go to the YouTube version to check it out, and we do have links in the show notes for that. So I’m going to let my girl take us out of here, and I’m going to enjoy my tequila shot.


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John can also be reached at his website,, or email him directly at Thanks for joining us and have a great day.

Thanks for listening to the show. This show is copyright by 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: I just love that little giggle.


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