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 #492 here.
It’s Episode 492 so grab your Rum and Coke we have plugins for Arts & Crafts,Tracking Time, Stopping Spammers, Time Traveling …, and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Okay, ClassicPress option. So I’m just going to skip right here that we don’t have anything for ClassicPress, just the usual stuff, the blog links, the forum links, et cetera. I haven’t done anything for ClassicPress; nobody’s sent me anything for ClassicPress. I’m really hoping it doesn’t die. I’d like to keep it going but I just — I don’t have time to do anything in ClassicPress. I just can’t make the time in my schedule for these days. I’d like to, but I can’t. So if you really like to see more ClassicPress stuff here, please supply it to us and I will get it in the show. And whoever sends me the info, I will give them full credit for sending it in. I won’t try to hog the credit, I swear to God.
All right. WordPress plugins. Now these we do have, what have I got for WordPress plugins this week, the very first plugin I’ve got for you is called Years Since. This is a very simple plugin, and it’s got lots and lots of uses that can be used for. And basically, what it does is once you enter the shortcode into your site, turn the plugin on into the shortcode, it’ll say anything you want a number of years since. Like I can say, for example, it’s going to show up in the show notes WP plugins a to z podcast has been running for 11 years or 9 years, and it is the longest continuous running podcast, and it will continue to update year after year. It’ll keep a running tally of it of the year, so you don’t have to go in and change it, which is kind of a cool thing. Like if you have something on your site that said I’ve been doing development for five years instead of remembering to update that post every year, this will help you with it. And you can use it for many other areas. Really great plugin, simple, free, does exactly what it’s supposed to. It gets a five-dragon rating.
Amber: Okay, do you find your dragon this time?
John: Yeah, I didn’t lose him.
Amber: It’s actually pretty cool. It ties in really well with mine. Sorry, I didn’t mean to talk over you there.
John: Keep talking.
Amber: So that ties in really well with mine although, when I found this one, it’s called Current Year and Copyright Shortcodes. I was immediately thinking of artists. This one is designed to auto-update for the date and shortcode on your site. So instead of counting the years past, it just keeps everything updated to the current year. So, for example, if you create something in 2018, put down your copyright in your creation, once January 1st comes around, it’ll auto-update to 2019 for you. So your work is still copyrighted, and you don’t have to remember everything you need to update in the New Year and go through and do it manually. So it’s pretty much the same thing only, like different directions almost, kind of cool.
John: It is.
Amber: And it says this is free, simple, very elegant. I really like it, just a nice little shortcode and very useful. Go and check it out. I rate it at five dragons.
John: Okay, next up for you. I’ve got another one. This one came out — and this one was born out of necessity. Spammers, they get crazier and crazier every single year. They get more creative. you know, they send out the bots, you smack the bots back, they hire humans at pennies a day to come in and manually do stuff. Well, they’ve developed a new trick that I noticed has been occurring in the last couple of months that I hadn’t seen before. And what they’re doing to you now is they’re using your contact form, and they find your email address on your website, so they’re entering your email address in your contact form. So what happens is you not only get the contact form full of spam but then you get the email that was supposed to be sent out to the people who you can’t — who had filled out the contact form, saying thank you for filling out the contact form. Here’s some additional information till I reach out to you, et cetera, et cetera.
So what they’ve — been happening is I’ve been getting these spam emails, and I’ve been getting the return contact I’m looking to say. They’re using my email address, which is a real pain in the ass. So what happens, I went okay, there’s got to be a blacklist of some sort for Gravity Forms I can put in there, and sure enough, there’s this plugin here. It’s Gravity Forms Email Blacklist. If you’re using Gravity Forms, which, of course, is the best contact form system out there. There’s nothing better. Granted, it’s expensive for virtually everyone out there except those of like me who bought it when Gravity Forms was brand new and bought their extended lifetime license. So I’m really quite happy on that one.
So, at any rate, and they are actually honoring it. They’re one of the few companies to honor their original agreement with the original supporters of their plugin. Kudos the Gravity Forms. So, anyway, great plugin. It adds the functionality to the forms that you can go in and set a master blacklist for every form you have, or you can set individual blacklist emails on each individual form. And what it does, it prevents anyone from submitting that form if they use any of the emails you have put in there that said are blacklisted. So basically, you put your own email in there and say it’s blacklisted so that form cannot be submitted. So go check this one out. Really great plugin, works like a hot damn if you’ve got Gravity Forms. And I give it a five-dragon rating
Amber: That really sucks a new trick they have but that is a freaking fantastic plugin.
John: Yeah, well, it’s the spammer’s, man. Every time you have — it’s an arms race between spammers, hackers, and program developers — and it’s an arms race. It’s been an arms race since the – actually, it started around 1999-2000 because previous to that, the Internet was a wonderful place in the beginning. Everybody was really — it was really a utopia kind of place in the first few years. A lot went on. The viruses that were written weren’t really viruses; they were more like jokes. You know, like I remember the Cup-Holder virus. That one was quite funny.
Amber: Cup-Holder virus?
John: Yeah, well, then in the days when the CD ROM was really popular, you get somebody and say, hey, put this on your computer for a free Cup-Holder. And, of course, you click it on, and what it would do is it opened up your CD ROM for you.
Amber: That’s awesome.
John: Yeah, they were fun. They weren’t out to do any damage. They were to just create issues and have fun, but not anymore, man, not anymore. They’re evil.
Amber: Everything starts out as a utopia, man.
John: Yeah, I know. Now, it’s just multiple piles of evil.
Amber: So the next one I have is Papier-mâché. Although I think if — I say it correctly, it’s like Papier-mâché. I don’t know.
John: I don’t know. How’s your French, Spanish?
Amber: No, it’s Spanish. And the only word I ever remembered from Spanish was chica.
Amber: There we are. All right. So the Papier-mâché, I’ll say it just English. It’s a pretty cool little plugin, kind of exciting. It just — it’s a plugin that offers up confetti for celebration, and at the price of free. Once you plug it and activate it, you need to go into appearance, then customize, then you see the Papier-mâché settings. I really love the settings offered up in this plugin. You can choose which page of your site to add it to, or just choose the entire site. You can also choose to remove it from view, from particular roles. I’ve never actually seen that option before, maybe it’s just because I’m still so new to this, but being able to choose which role gets to see it and which role doesn’t have to see it, seems like it’d be pretty awesome if you want to either pull a prank or if you want to just put it on your side, but you don’t want to deal with it while you’re working. It’s pretty cool. And you also make it so that — oh sorry, you also get to choose which shape falls. There are circles, squares, triangles, how many shapes fall at the time, and what color the confetti is that falls. Very nifty.
John: Nice, very nice.
Amber: So I rate this at five dragons.
John: Excellent. That’s pretty cool. I do like that you can set it to one single page. One cool thing you could use it for is, you know, if somebody donates to your show and when they’re redirected to a new page, you can, poof, have confetti everywhere for him.
John: Yeah. Do all kinds of cool things with it. So yeah, that’s kind of a neat one. I like it.
Amber: It’s a pretty happy plugin day today.
John: Yeah, it is. It is aces today. We have four aces today. You have enough to win a poker hand. All right. This show is currently brought to you by
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John: Absolutely quiet, quality web hosting, and it is exclusive. I don’t let just anybody on my servers. All my clients have been vetted, so they’re quality websites. There’s no crap on my servers. And I do my damnedest to keep the spam away. All right. And listener feedback, we don’t really have any real listener feedback this week. The only thing I’ve really got to say is, you know, go check out the No Agenda Red Book that I created, which is my pet project, trying to — my contribution to the No Agenda Show, aside from the fact that I’m a knight in that nation. And this is just a way of giving back to their community. And that’s the whole thing, you want to give back to whatever community you belong to. So if you’re a part of this community, give something back to it. The other thing is, of course, go check out the Rogues Tavern website and go check out what we’re going to be doing later this evening for our first live podcast for the Rogues tavern, which will turn into a full-blown podcast because well, after all, that’s my next business venture, and I want to get that moving along.
Okay. And contests, we do have contests. First off, I’d like to say thank you to the Simple Giveaways plugin. Those guys have been kind enough for a couple of years now to provide us with the premium version of their plugin for our contest. I didn’t pay for it for a few years, but after talking to them, they said, hey, we’ll give you the premium. They gave me a super-deluxe premium version, I think. I don’t know. Something really nice. It’s a great plugin.
I’ve been using it since it was brand new, and it manages contests beautifully, and they’ve built-in integration into it now to multiple marketing platform so you can collect emails, do more marketing with it. There’s a lot that it can be done. You just got to get your marketing manager to get working on it and start doing the things that need to be done. Go check it out. This week here, we are giving away the Brizy Builder from brizy.io. It is the NextGen Website Builder that anyone can use. We are giving away an unlimited lifetime license valued at $299, and this is a very fantastic-looking plugin.
I had a nice interview with Dimi, the co-founder of Brizy Page Builder, a really great interview. Link is in the show notes. Go check out that interview. I learned a whole lot more about Brizy than I thought I knew. It’s as good as Elementor. I’m just tied in the Elementor System, and I might have considered Brizy because it’s a really good builder. So if you’re still considering what builder system to go to, you might check out Brizy before you commit to anything. And hey, if you entered a contest, you may never have to pay for it for your lifetime.
Amber: That would be amazing because from what I learned about it, it’s pretty interesting.
John: Oh, it’s a great plugin. It’s a great system. It’s a great builder system. And they’ve been on it for a couple of years. So they’re still growing and they’re still expanding and adding stuff to it. So, any developers out there who want to support the show, donate a premium license to be used in a future contest, just go to wppluginsatoz.com/plugin contest and enter all your details. And, of course, before we jump into the Q&A, we got a wrap-up a couple of quick things, and this show here, I covered up the following plugins. I covered up Years Since, which I gave a five to, and then, I covered up the Gravity Forms Email Blacklist, which I gave a five to.
Amber: Whoops, I have my thing off, sorry. And I covered Papier-mâché, which I give a five to, and Current Year and Copyright Shortcodes, which I gave a five to.
John: Okay. And a couple of quick reminders. As I said, no meetup plans at the moment. You know, I’m going to bring them back in the New Year. It is going to happen. The meetups will probably happen Mid Island, and I’ll probably have them up at the Oasis because that’s a very convenient place for me. But the Rogues Tavern again, one more time, and I’ll remind people again later. We are having starting at nine o’clock pacific time tonight.
We’re going live and with a little luck, we’ll push it right into the New Year, and we’ll have lots of rum and lots of fun. The conversation will be the conversations you would find if you went into a Western Tavern of the 1850s to the 1890s. That was where you got your news, your information, your stories. You know, that was where you hired the guns to come, fight your wars. Everything happened in the taverns. And taverns were the central point of the old towns of the West. And that’s also places that they kept out the really nice lady, so only the rough lady showed up there. All right. So, if you want more about me, just go check out the Rogues tavern. That pretty much brings us up to
It’s Question and answer time.
John: Oh, you know what? Oh no, I go to wrap that later. Go ahead. My brain was getting ahead of itself, as it usually does.
Amber: Little hyperactivity,
John: No ADHD, man.
Amber: So firstly, if anybody out there has any questions that they’d like to have asked, send them to me at email@example.com, and I will get them out there and I’ll ask my dad here. So my first question is, I noticed on quite a few plugins. I saw the following. This plugin doesn’t work with your version of PHP. Learn more about updating PHP. Here is a link that they put. And I was wondering, does this mean the older plugins are upgrading their PHP and making it impossible to keep the plugin going unless you update your PHP2, or like, how do you even update PHP? The whole thing is a little bit confusing to me.
John: No, that’s not what it means. What it does mean is, it means that — hang on a sec, I’m trying something with you. What it means is that your PHP is controlled by your web hosting provider, okay, the versions of PHP. On my servers, I think I have one server that still has PHP5.6 installed because that server is about three or four years old. And all my newer servers do not. They only have down to version 7.1 installed, because anything previous to that is too old and problematic. And what they’re talking about is they’ve written their plugins to support the latest versions of PHP, but not support the older versions of PHP because the older versions of PHP have security holes and problems in them. So, it has to be updated. Now, if you’re on a good quality hosting provider such as johnoverall.com, you can log into your control panel, and with a quick — not the Rona, folks, not the Rona. Hang on.
Amber: No, just trying to swallow down the wrong tube.
John: No, just talking too fast. Anyway, you can go in quickly into your control panel and change the PHP version for your domain, and you can automatically click from, you’ll say, version 7 to version 7.4, which is the latest right now, although version 8 is the absolute latest. But nobody’s installing eight yet. They’ll wait until eight becomes more stable. And you can switch back and forth really quickly with the click of a mouse, and then, you go check your website and see if your website still works.
I have clients that I’ve tried to update to version 7.4. The moment I do that, their whole site falls apart and breaks, which means they’ve got plugins or themes or something that doesn’t support version 7.4. So I have to quickly revert them back to 7.1, and we have to do diagnostics and find out what’s not working on their site. Upgrade those things, then they can upgrade to the latest version of PHP. And this is a big push out there on the Internet right now, is to push everyone forward to get them off the old versions because the old versions, like version 5.6, which was the stable version for work for PHP for like four or five years, it was the longest-running stable version. It’s no longer supported, and more and more security holes are being discovered in it. And, of course, if they’re found by hackers, they exploit them. And that’s where the problem is.
But that’s what it is. And it’s not making impossible to keep your plugin going unless you update. Well, that is, it is making it impossible to keep the plugin going unless you update your PHP. I mean, WordPress, you can’t be using the latest version of WordPress if you don’t have at least PHP 7.1, and they’re very quickly moving it to 7.4. And they’re going to drop support for version 5.6 soon. So there’re a lot of things that are going on in the development world. They’re trying to get the security updated and tighter than it has been in a long time.
Amber: Okay, so when — okay, now I have a better understanding of that, but it says it doesn’t work with your version of PHP. So I take it that the developers of the plugin made it with a new PHP?
Amber: Okay, or is that just like a warning saying you must update or else kind of thing?
John: You know, what it is — okay, what it’s telling you is the plugin that you want to use, it doesn’t work with the version PHP you have on your site, meaning your version is too new or too old for the plugin to function.
Amber: Oh, okay.
John: Okay, so you need to upgrade. And it’s most likely that you’re on PHP 5.6 or 7.0, and it needs version 7.2 or above. And it says your plugin — this plugin is not going to work unless you upgrade your PHP for your website. And as I said, upgrading your PHP for your website piece of cake, provided your hosting provider has it properly installed on the server, because it’s up to your hosting provider to install PHP on your server for you.
Amber: Okay, well, that’s my next question more in-depth. How do you update your PHP. You say easy with the click of the mouse, but what are you talking about?
John: Okay, well, before we dive into that one, I think this is where we will split this today. And those of you listening on the stream, you want to hear the answer to that question, go check it out on the YouTube channel. So I’m going to let my girl take us out of here real quick. I get to take my tequila shot, maybe that’ll clear my rough throat. So, off we go.
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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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