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 #491 here.
It’s Episode 491 so grab your Rum and Eggnog we have plugins for Balls, Pandas (maybe), Jolly Music, Christmasifying…, and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Okay, first one up, ClassicPress options. Well, I don’t have anything for ClassicPress this week. I didn’t make any time for ClassicPress. I haven’t made time for ClassicPress for a while. I’m really still dependent on others for providing my ClassicPress info at this point in time. I just don’t have time these days to spend interviewing, no investigating ClassicPress stuff, researching for ClassicPress just for the show. I don’t have any live ClassicPress sites I’m working on, so we’ll just leave it with the same random links, the same ClassicPress resources as usual. Go check those out. We’ll keep ClassicPress as part of the show as long as possible and try to get more stuff in here as we can. Let’s move on to WordPress plugins and what do we have for WordPress plugins? Of course crickets. Does anyone here else have their drinks in hand while listening cricket? Oh, yeah, okay.
Amber: Yeah, I figured I’d put in crickets or the sound of crickets .
John: Either I’m not getting a lot here in the live stream or something else has gone wrong because I keep seeing people pop in and out, and it’s just not showing very well, and not sure what the live stream is doing.
Amber: I don’t know but they’re totally missing out on having a drink because I myself am enjoying a drink, so you’re probably enjoying a drink too. Did you get eggnog or just rum?
John: I don’t drink eggnog. That’s horrible stuff, it makes me shiver.
Amber: Okay, just straight rum then?
John: Yeah, just straight rum and a chaser coke, you know, that sounds much worse than it actually is.
Amber: Yes, it is. It does.
John: I should say chaser of cola. So there you go some clarification on what I mean. All right. So we are in the Christmassy version of WordPress plugins from A to Zed and we have Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas.
John: All right, what do we got? I have a couple of Christmas plugins and I believe Amber has some. So the first one I have for you is Christmasify. Yeah, I still can’t get that.
Amber: I don’t think you had it right the last time Christmasify.
John: Christmasify. I started to practice it earlier to make sure I’d get it right and, of course, the moment I have to say it
Amber: It’s that extra I.
John: Yeah, Christmasify.
Amber: It screws you up.
John: All right. This one here is actually a pretty cool plugin. And the two plugins I’m talking about, you can go to WP plugins A to Zed, and I’ll leave them there till New Year’s. At New Year’s, I’ll take them down, but I’ve Christmasify the WP plugins A to Zed site. This one here adds a lot to your site, you get a flying Santa. So if you’ve been watching the screen, you’ll see the flying Santa has been cruising across, you get snow, you get decorations for your images, and you get this really big massive — you get your headlines, all your H tags are changed into a Christmassy kind of font. It’s really kind of a cool plugin. It is just fun, adds a little bit of spirit to your website.
The one bonus part I love about this plugin, though, is it will lock this into just your front page versus the entire site, so you don’t have it throughout every single page because it can get annoying after a while. I’m fully in agreement, they can annoy you after a while, but if it’s just the front page, normally people are just grabbing bits of information there. They can see the fun stuff and then they’re off. They don’t have to deal with it the rest of the time during your site. So this one is really cool. It’s an absolute freebie and, of course, because it’s so cool, and it’s Christmas time, we’re going to give it a five-dragon rating.
Amber: Oh, that sounded so weird. I only got a portion of that dragon roar.
John: Yeah, well. I can’t control Discord.
Amber: Yeah, I checked out the site last night. It was pretty fun to watch. I really liked the fact that it’s only on the homepage. And the first one I’ve got is Christmas Music. So this plugin, it plays Christmas music, you install and activate it, and it automatically places itself, but unfortunately, it places itself on all of your pages. It does have the option to stop the music, which I am eternally grateful for, more of these styles should have that alternate, you can press stop. I’ve been to a few pages where the music starts and you just, you can’t stop it. You have turned off all of a sudden or to make it stop, and the music, it’s like Jingle bells, you know, typical Christmas music, but the way they play, it is — it reminds me of the kind of music you would hear in elevators or at shopping malls back in the ‘90s. Not the best sound, but definitely Christmas music, you know. Now with the pro option, you can use your own music list, which would be awesome, and it also allows for you to actually choose, which page it goes on to. It seems like the free version is really just a tester to see if it works on your site, and in order to get any of the worthwhile bits, you have to pay for it. So if you’re simply looking for some Christmas music that is reminiscent of shopping malls and elevators for this time of year, this is a good one for you. If you’re looking for something more in-depth at no cost, this won’t work for you. I rate this three dragons.
John: Too bad.
Amber: It’s because of how they set up. It’s just not a great way to set it up, you know. Make it free, give people what they should have when it’s free.
John: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, the next one and the last plugin because we’re only doing a couple of plugins each today.
Amber: Yeah, I convinced them.
John: We’re light on, but this one here. The title is what got me, but I was so disappointed after I put it up there. It’s the Christmas Panda. I mean, even their pictures showed it was a Christmas Panda, and I was so disappointed, they didn’t have the panda for me to choose as a thing. I wanted to have a panda on the website, but it is a cool web. It is a cool plugin. This is the one that if you look at the WP plugins. We got that big giant Merry Christmas banner across the top of the page and it puts it across the top of your whole site, which is okay because it’s just the top and it scrolls away as people scroll, which is good.
Now, you could use it and have it stick to the top, which I wouldn’t recommend. Just have it scroll away people can see it, but it also produces a pop-up, and they give you a bunch of different pop-ups to do, and the pop-up is kind of cool. I chose the lazy fat Santa’s sleeping on his bag instead of getting up his butt and doing his work like he’s supposed to, but so be it. And it also adds snowfall animations if you want it. I have it turned off in this plugin because I’m using the snowfall from the other plugin, and then, it has additional other Christmas decorations across the site that can be used.
Now, it does dump everything across your whole site, and this one here, oh I missed the music bit on the first one. The first one adds the music bit and it adds it at the bottom of the website as a player so it doesn’t automatically play the music people have to push the button to play the music and the player at the bottom of the website. So that one there but the Christmas Panda is a really cool one, great free plugin does a great job well done. Decorations all look great, it works well. Another freebie and, of course, we’ll have to give this one a five-dragon rating.
Amber: I just went to check out your website. All right, you have to do the —
John: There we go. For some reason, I kept pushing the button. It wouldn’t give me the dragon, the dragon was hiding.
Amber: It’s tired, man. It is supposed to be in slumber for the whole entire season, don’t you know this?
John: Well, you can slumber or some other time.
Amber: I just checked out your website just to look at the pictures again. The music automatically plays.
John: Not for me.
Amber: Huh, that’s Interesting. My last plugin is Christmas Ball on Branch.
John: Christmas Ball on Branch.
Amber: Yes, I chose it specifically because of the name. It just makes me happy Christmas Ball on the Branch. Once you install and activate this, a little cartoonish evergreen bow appears on the upper right-hand corner of your screen on your site, and there are bright red Christmas ornaments swinging and the non-existent one. It looks so happy up there. It’s like dancing in the wind. It would work beautifully together with a snow plugin. So I’m the one that you just said. I personally recommend the weather effect Christmas Santa snow falling plugin. I reviewed that back in October because it had the Halloween edition to it, but this has an amazing option area in the settings, and we’ll go great with the Christmas Ball on Branch.
Amber: So it’s just such a simple plugin. It’s so neat, totally free, and I rate it five-dragons.
John: See now the dragon works.
Amber: Of course, it does. It likes me more.
John: All right, this show currently brought to you by
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John: Absolutely best hosting going and I am running. I expect by the time this next year is over, I will not be taking any new hosting clients. I’m finishing cleanup on my last server here soon, and once it’s up and running, it has a limited number of accounts it can hold, and once it’s filled. That’s it, folks. So if you’re interested in getting high-quality hosting. You want it in the New Year, better reach out to me before all the slots are gone. All right. And a little bit of listener, just not listener feedback, per se, but just a couple of comments, I want to stick out there.
One I want to mention Jess, the winner of our contest for the Cart Lift plugin, and his company called Silent World Apparel, go check them out. They’ve got some really great artwork that goes on T-shirts and bags and, you know, clothing and lots of different stuff available for men and women used. It’s really great stuff, and no, they’re not paying me. I just thought that was really cool stuff that they have, and I thought they should be I get a shout out. All right. For those who listened to the no-agenda show, make sure you go check out my new pet project, the no agenda, Red Book Predictions. If you listen to the show for any length of time, you know exactly what I’m talking about, and I’ve started to track their predictions when they made them, who made them, and if they get fulfilled or not. If you happen to know of any, send them my way, as just a little sneaky bit.
All right. And contests, we do have a new contest, and our contests are powered by the Simple Giveaways plugin. These guys were kind enough to provide us with a free version of their premium version plugin, and it is a great plugin for running all kinds of contests on your website and more. And they’ve built some really great tools in this plugin. I’ve been using this plugin since literally it was brand new. I think I found it in the first two weeks. It was in a repository, and it was pretty raw then, but it worked better than anything out there and they’ve done nothing but improve it over the last four or five years. I’m not sure how long they’ve been by, you know, it’s been at least three or four years.
Okay, so the contest we have coming up now starting as of today, you can enter for your chance to win an unlimited lifetime license of the Brizy Builder available over @brizy.io. This is a really great tool for building out your website for WordPress and other places, and you’ll really want to go check this one out. It’s a really great plugin. Also, I have an interview that I just got launched this last week with Demi, the co-founder of the Brizy Page Builder. It is a really good interview where we talk about the Brizy Page Builder and more. So go check out this interview with Dmitri and you will find it very useful, and go enter the contest to win, you can go to wppluginsatoz.com/contest to enter the contest.
Okay, the plugins I covered up in this episode were the Christmas Panda, which doesn’t have a panda, but I still gave it a five and Christmasify.
Amber: Christmasify, it’s a good way to pronounce.
John: You see I never pronounced the same word twice what can I say, which I gave a five to.
Amber: I covered Christmas Ball on Branch, which I gave a five to, and Christmas Music, which it seems that you want me to give it a five, but I actually gave it a three.
John: We’ll fix that, now it’s a three. I don’t know why I did that. I saw —
Amber: How did you feel like everything should be five on Christmas?
John: Well, that’s what it should have all been five on Christmas, you know. You should have picked a plugin that you could give a five to instead of some poor loser.
Amber: But I really wanted to get that one out there because I both love and hate those Christmas music things. I was really looking forward to it actually being like pretty awesome in the free version, the only one that played Christmas Music.
John: So be it. Okay, now, reminders, commercials, promotions, all those bits, and pieces that we stick here in the end. I like to stick in here before we get into the Q&A segment, and that way we’re halfway through the Q&A segment when I hit the credits, you know. You got to come back to the YouTube version for the rest of the Q&A. All right. The reminders right now meetups. I’m going to make an honest effort in the new year to bring back the meetups and we will call them to WP plugins A to Zed protests because it seems protests are exempt from mass gatherings, so we would just call them protests. There’ll be protests and not meetups, and we all get together and we’ll protest. We’ll have an actual protest. We’ll protest our benevolent dictator. That’s a reasonable thing to protest. So we’ll do that. I’ll make an honest effort to bring those back in the new year and for those of you that would like to be on an interview show developers reach out to me at wppluginsatoz.com/interview.
If you want to find out more about me and my particular breed of insanity, go check out the roguestavern.com where I’ve got my adventures, my latest videos, and the videos have gotten better with my new equipment recently. So go check all of that out. Also, if you are interested in being a guest host on this show, we still have that offering up there. You got to go find it though I’m not going to tell you where it’s on the website. There’s a link, become a guest host, click on it, fill it out, enter it, make sure you have discord, and it seems we’re going to be using discord more into the future. I may actually have to create a Discord server and we’ll bring people into that and we’ll have some fun. We’ll make this more entertaining in the year. I mean, the show has morphed a lot in the last year from what it was.
If you have any questions on plugins that we’ve reviewed or anything else, just submit them to the website at wppluginsatoz.com submit a plugin review. And it is time — I lost it again.
Amber: Time for —
John: Yeah, it moved itself on my board here.
It’s Question and answer time.
John: There we go.
Amber: All right.
John: One more time.
It’s Question and answer time.
John: With Amber.
Amber: Much better. All right. So my first question for you is what is SMTP? And is it something that you would choose over POP3, I read about having your own SMT servers. What are you talking about there?
John: Okay. SMTP stands for Simple Mail Transport Protocol. It is what every single email on the Internet is sent using as SMTP servers are what is used to send your email and POP3 is a way of retrieving the emails that the SMTP server is holding on to.
Amber: Oh, okay, that makes a lot of sense.
John: And you can use it to retrieve your emails. You can use one of two methods either, the IMAP method, which I have no idea what IMAP stands for, or POP. I’m not even certain what that one stands for anymore. I’ve just forgotten — long since forgotten what those icons mean and — but POP3 used to be the most common way of retrieving email and — but the SMTP server is what is used to move your email from your computer to somebody else’s computer, and what’s in between your computer and somebody else’s computer is the SMTP service. So when you send an email, say you use SHA email to send your email, you first send it to SHAs SMTP server. And SHA goes, okay, it looks like a legitimate email, looks like a legitimate address. Okay, well, let’s send it over to the website or the web server, the SMTP server that has this mailbox. And so they send it to that and it arrives like if you get an email at wppluginsatoz.com that is an SMTP server, and it gets an email it says it looks like a legitimate email. It might be spam so we may tag it spam, and if it’s spam, we get rid of it, but we hold it here, we stick it in your mailbox. Now, if you want it from your mailbox, what you have to do is you have to connect to the SMTP server with a protocol and a program such as Outlook, Microsoft Mail, Google Mail, any of the other multiple mail plugins programs out there. I remember the day when there was only three. Now there’s dozens, but anyway, you connect up to that to get your email from the SMTP server and you will either connect to the SMTP server via POP protocol or IMAP protocol. The main difference between the POP protocol and the IMAP protocol is with the POP protocol. You can go fetch your email from the server and you can pull it down off the server and erase it from the server with POP, and it’s no longer available anymore. Or with POP protocol, you can leave a copy on the server for X number of days or indefinitely.
Once upon a time, it used to be standard to leave the email on your mail server for 30 days, and after 30 days, it got erased. That’s what POP does. IMAP is a little different. If you’ve used Outlook or folders — if you’ve used folders in Outlook or Gmail or anything else, those are all different folders, how you organize your email. If you’re connected via IMAP, that foldering system you do on your email program is duplicated on the SMTP server. So all your emails are contained on your computer and contained on the SMTP server. They’re only deleted from the SMTP server when you delete them from your mail program. And I don’t mean just throw them in the trash can, I mean, empty the trash can. That’s when they are finally deleted from the SMTP server. So IMAP is a synchronizing thing, and POP is just copying down to email. How’s that for an explanation of really giving you more information you ask for?
Amber: Actually, no, that is exactly how much information I need more to understand because I went through something like 20 different pages trying to understand this bloody thing, but your fairly short explanation and comparisons, my attempt at research actually makes a hell of a lot more sense. Thank you.
John: Well, the reason I know that is because I run SMTP servers. I’ve been running SMTP servers for 20 plus years. This 2021 we’re coming into, so I guess it’s 22 years this year since I launched my first web server, but I do.
Amber: But I do have a question, yeah, having your own SMTP servers that like, what the like Amber@wppro.ca is my own server or is that?
John: No, the server is wppro.ca, but it’s not actually an individual server. My web server which hosts, you know, upwards of 50 or 60 clients at a time has one SMTP server, and they each have their own chunk in that SMTP server. So they’re basically isolated the same way their websites are isolated on a server.
Amber: So it’s kind of like an apartment complex?
John: That’s one way to think about it. It’s an apartment inside an apartment building, yes.
Amber: Okay, well, that makes sense to me.
John: And inside the apartment building, everyone has their own stuff.
Amber: I think my city girl side is showing.
John: Yes, absolutely. So, yeah. And that’s how it works, but yeah, SMTP, and it is good. A lot of people, they depend upon Google for their email, but you know — and Google’s actually nothing, but a big giant fancy SMTP server, but the difference is, Google’s reading all your mail? For those who don’t understand that when you’re using Gmail, every email is being read by Google, every one of them and they use them to deliver you a better experience for advertising, but what other knowledge are they gleaning from reading your email? You know, are they getting sexy hot emails between your lover —
Amber: Ads? You know, it never occurred to me why I was getting such a weird ads, but that explains it using my email is in order to make ads, that’s why.
John: You want to just send some emails for random shit that you’d never look up and watch your ads change or go.
Amber: My friend and I, we did a test. We had our phones out in front of us and we started talking about fish food, just for a random topic. We talked about fish food, probably for about 10-15 minutes. And then immediately, her phone started getting all kinds of ads popping up for different kinds of fish food.
John: Oh, the phones aren’t listening to you at all, not the least.
Amber: I have everything turned off on my phone, so I didn’t end up getting any ads for fish food. We were testing to see if turning this stuff off actually works, and it does seem to. I still haven’t got any natural fish food or anything, but that was a really creepy ad. She suddenly started getting all kinds of ads popping up for fish food. So my second question — okay, I developed this question from listening to an older episode of no agenda. What is a Raspberry Pi and how do you use it? Well, it’s —
John: Well, it’s a really delicious pie, and if you really know how to make a crust properly, it tastes good, but you don’t make sure, don’t put it too much sugar, because otherwise it gets too sweet and it doesn’t have the tartness to it, and then, how you use it, of course, as you slice it into big chunks, you put whipped cream on it.
Amber: Okay, Pi? What is a Raspberry Pi?
John: It’s all pie. It’s some pie, put it on your head. All right. What Raspberry Pi is? Raspberry Pi is a small microcomputer I believe. I’ve looked into it once and it is a small, cheap build that yourself computer and they’re dirt cheap. They run a basic Linux system, I believe, and it’s used for learning about computers. The stuff like you may remember when you’re a kid and I had computer parts strewn all over the house constantly, you know, constantly getting in and out of computers. That stuff isn’t — they don’t do that so much anymore. Everyone gets their phone which you can’t disassemble, you can’t take it apart easily to see how it works, you know. Even modern computer people don’t buy computer components anymore.
They go, oh, is this computer look good enough, it might — they buy a computer already assembled and ready to go. They don’t build a computer part by part, by part, and Raspberry Pi helps you learn about all of that, gets you down to the basics of what a computer is. And I’ve looked into it once. I didn’t dig too deeply into it, but you can use it to build, I believe Adam no agenda show use the Raspberry Pi to build a echo or an Alexa type of machine. He used it to build his own Alexa feedback thing, you know.
Amber: Alexa feedback?
John: You know, when you holler out, hey, Alexa, go play me something or Google sent me a timer. I just — I get astounded at people that holler into their phone to get shit done. It’s like okay, I guess we’re, you know, slowly heading towards Star Trek. Computers make me hot tea. Raspberry Pi is your basic of basic computers and they’re usually less than 100 bucks for something you can experiment with. And it’s great for kids that are really interested in this stuff because it gives them something to learn the real basic stuff.
Amber: No idea for the younger of my two.
John: Yes, yes, the one that loves taking shit apart and putting it together.
Amber: Oh, she got some really cool. I did Christmas day with a couple of people yesterday, and one of the gifts that my daughter, Aleya got was, it’s like electronic Lego. She gets to make a series and parallel series of circuits, and she’s building all these little things with this Lego. It is so cool. She’s spent a lot of time working on that. It’s pretty cool that every once in a while she comes out and shows me the fan or the light or whatever.
John: So at the rate, she’s going, she’s going to be an engineer.
Amber: Probably she’s mentioned that — an interest in that couple of times.
John: Yeah. Well, there are multiple types of engineers, not just the ones that build buildings, but the ones that build electrical systems, computer engineers. Engineers, there’s, you know, mechanical engineers, and they cross boundaries a lot.
Amber: Yes, engineers are sworn at multiple times by welders.
John: Oh, I used to swear at the engineers when I was an automotive mechanic. I still swear to engineers, and I’m working on computers like what are they thinking. Obviously, they never get out in the field. Everything works wonderful in theory, but then they hand it to the people actually have to work on it. We have to redesign the damn thing. All right. We’ll let you holler out the next question, then, we’re going to hit the credits and break it apart.
Amber: It’s kind of like 10 questions in one. So you want me to read the whole thing?
John: Yeah, read the whole thing.
Amber: All right. When you are having troubles, the plugin on your site, sometimes the makers of the plugin want your login info to check out your website to see what’s going on. Do you give them your own personal login info or do you make an account for them? If you’re making an account for them, how do you set it up with their email or your email? Do you give them administrator access? How do you keep a monitoring eye on them while they are in there themselves? Do you delete the account afterward?
John: Excellent question. And I had some really great stuff for that, and we will get to that question right after the credit. So those of you who listened on the stream, you’re going to have to tune in to the YouTube version to get that answer. So I’m going to let my girl take us on out of here and enjoy my tequila shots.
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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.
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