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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 #493 here.
It’s Episode 493 Replacements, Hiding, Testimonials, Blacklists, Hiding, Sebastian…, and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right. Well, let’s jump right forward into WordPress plugins. And the first plugin I’ve got for you this week is called Testimonial for Elementor. This is a plugin to add a testimonial section for Elementor for building out your client testimonials. Now, if you’ve got clients, you’ve got testimonials. The biggest problem with them is getting clients to put it into writing and asking them if you can use it on your website. I find that 99.9 percent of the time, they always say yes. The hard part is getting them to put into writing, but if you’re listening to them, and you write it down, and you type it all out and you send it to them and say, “Hey, is this a good thing?” they’ll correct you, send it back to you, and now you have it in writing. That works very very well. So, at any rate, this is a great one for building out your testimonials. It displays them in a very nice grid pattern or a slider. You know, it works mobile navigation. It’s really nice, and it’s for use in Elementor when there doesn’t seem to be any other way to display those testimonials. Nice simple plugin, works fairly okay. I give it a four-dragon rating. Go check it out Testimonial for Elementor.
Amber: It sounds useful.
John: It is, it can be — depends on whether you got testimonials. Now, you might be able to use it for something else. All right. I like my pipe back up.
Amber: So the first one I’ve got is called Sebastian. And Sebastian is essentially an Easter egg. And who doesn’t love those, special enough for free? This is a brand new hot-off-the press plugin. It’s designed to be an Easter egg with the option of either redirecting or showing up with a custom alert message. It floats around your site as a dot until the visitor manages to find and catch it either by mousing over it or by clicking it. Personally, I always wind up clicking whenever I’m testing these things up — because you know you gotta catch it. I was really excited to try this one out. I got all set up, chose the color of the dots, set up my pop-up message, and I let it go. And as a wee bit of a letdown, it was rather than seeing a banner flying out of the floating dot like I thought I would, instead it was like a ‘90s Windows version pop-up alert message. It’s not nearly as cool as I was expecting to be although it does work really well. When I tested out the redirect, that one works really well. You just click on it. It takes you to a completely different page, and what it does is it brings up a new page for you so you don’t leave the page you’re currently on. Really awesome if you’re looking to share another site you have or if you’re wanting to promote another site or something. So that works beautifully. And I mean, the pop-up message does work awesome as well, just it’s not very pretty. And it’s really cool because I mean, who can resist floating dot across your screen. You know, curiosity killed the cat satisfaction, brought it back all that jazz, nobody can resist it. I rate this at five dragons.
John: Sleeping at the wheel. Alrighty, next one I have for you here is called Real-Time Find and Replace. This is a plugin I discovered while preparing out a website redevelopment project that we’re working on, and I discovered it in there. At first, I’m looking at and saying, what is this? And it didn’t seem to make any sense, and then after looking at over and looking what the old theme was and what it did, I found it to be a really cool plugin, and it can be very, very useful for you if you’ve got some old content across your site. So what it does for you is it allows you to put in different words or phrases or HTML code or anything along that line, and then put it in another box what you want that stuff to be re-outputted as. It’s like if you need to change a date site-wide, that’s hard-coded in there, you can have it look through your site, for say, 2020, and replace it with 2021 throughout the entire site. A really cool plugin. It looks like it can be very useful, not always something you might need, but if you need it, this could save you tons of time of editing multiple posts across your website. Go check this one out. This is called Real-Time Find and Replace, and I gave it a five-dragon rating.
Amber: Yeah, I could definitely see how that would be really useful. Next one I have is Hide My WP Ghost – Security Plugin. I found this rather intriguing. What it does, once you download and activate it, is it goes in and changes all of your login paths. It does not change any of your core files or anything like that. All the changes done are simple redirects. The first thing that happens that I did not overly appreciate was that you need to give them your email to get your token for activation. You can choose whether or not you are to get the how-to and reports and your vulnerabilities, but I still didn’t like being forced to give up my email to get a plugin like this to work. I suppose it’s a fair trade. You get security for free. They get to add your email to their list. I just — I didn’t like it though.
John: Well, you got to remember if it’s free, you’re the product.
Amber: Yeah. And I think this would be a very useful plugin if you’re having hacker issues with login and the like — when I looked into it, and I tested it out, I honestly I found it very irritating to login in the additional bit at the end is now whatever you chose for it to be when you filled out the information for the plugin. I chose now this. I figured it would be easy enough, though changing my habit was actually kind of hard, and really not worth it when I’m not personally having any issues or worries about hacking through this path. There are other paths that are now changed as well once you set this to light, which is the version you get for free. But again, breaking old habits when there’s no real cause to on my part, I found it more irritating than anything. Now, if I were in a bad place with hackers rolling in through my door on any of these particular paths, that would be a different thing. And these little irritants would be a very low price to pay. So depending on where you are, and depending on whether this would be amazing or not for you, there is a Pro version, and you get a lot more goodies in the Pro version, though for initial quelling of hackers at the front gate, this could do the trick. I rate it at four dragons.
John: Yeah, well lots of plugins do exactly what you described this one doing. There’s lots of security plugins. Hemdian had a couple of things here one. He uses Real-Time Find and Replace very handy. Yeah, it is, I’m glad that we have another one that says, “Yep, good plugin.” And I asked how is Hide different from WPS Hide Login? It’s probably different in that when they say here on the details. It does more than just hides your login. It hides additional stuff too. So it’s probably similar in that it is Hide WordPress Login change the last password or hides everything — hidden paths — yeah, okay. It’s probably pretty similar to WPS Hide Login. There’s several plugins out there that do this sort of thing. There’s even a few security plugins. I can’t remember them right now. There’s a few security plugins that have this built into them. So it is useful, and it does get irritated. And I have one — I actually have two or three clients that I do maintenance on their sites for, and they chose to install these plugins on their site. And when they came to me, I just didn’t take them off. I just learned to save the URLs, their website. It is a pain, sometimes they go to login “So I get, oh, 404.” And I go “Oh, yeah, that’s right.” He doesn’t have the normal URL for logging in. So it is a bit pain in that aspect, but it does what’s known as security by obscurity because the hackers can still find your login path. It’s not truly hidden; it’s just harder to find, is what it does. So it doesn’t —
Amber: It’s not the same as every other WordPress out there?
John: Yeah, it’s just not the same spots. The bots can’t find you. But if a determined hacker is trying to get into you, he doesn’t use a bot to do that. He comes in and he looks for all — he finds the way in — and it can be done. All right. Well, let’s move it along then. Next plugin I’ve got for you here today is called BSK Gravity Forms Blacklist. This is another blacklist plugin for Gravity Forms different than the plugin I did for — I did about two or three episodes back that was a blacklist for emails. This is a plugin that will blacklist words that are entered in text boxes, or it’ll blacklist IPs, or it can even whitelist IPs. You know, it really works out as an additional tool. I’ve got one client who’s been having some problems with spam through their contact form. We put in the reCAPTCHA, spam still arriving. The email wasn’t a problem like it was on mine, so I got went and looked up this one. This one here I put in, and I started making a list of the words from all the spam forms that were filled out even by normal humans. So this will hopefully take care of that problem. And it’s a bit more work, but in the end, it’s not. I mean, of course, a lot of the words are the ones you always see anyway, in your spam Cialis, Stay Hard, you know, whatever, blue pills, sex, porn, and all the other stuff. So this will help you make that list of words. And if anyone even tries to put them in as a joke to an email reach out to you, it’ll just get turf. It won’t get through. So go check this one out. It’s a free plugin. It works very, very well. It’s called BSK Gravity Forms Blacklist, and I give it a five-dragon rating.
Amber: That would definitely be awesomely helpful. Next one I have is WP Discord Invite. Firstly, I need to make sure that everyone is aware that this plugin is not affiliated with Discord in any way. The developers just create a nifty plugin that works with Discord and WordPress. That was a big thing that they were talking about on their page there. I’m personally pretty new to using Discord. We’re using it right now, but I’m finding I’m liking it a lot. One of the things I love about it is that you can make your own personal server to chat with people on. You get a link for it that you can share around too, and you don’t have to worry about anyone bumbling into your chat that you don’t know as long as you don’t make it public. This plugin does a good job of hiding your server link within your own domain link. It gives you the ability to share it out without giving away your actual server link on Discord. I really liked the way this was set up. The one drawback you can’t actually ask for help on the page where you fill out the information. There are help links, but none of them work. So instead you need to open the actual help option on the left-hand menu and read those while working on filling out the information, or bounce back and forth, whatever works for you. That loses them a dragon point for me. Help links that don’t work are really no help at all. I like the way this plugin works though, and it’s easy once you understand all the definitions for what you’re trying to fill out. It’s a freebie, and just adds that little extra security for your server if you use Discord. I rate it four dragons.
John: Very nice. I’m going to have to look into that one. That’ll make a very nice addition to the Rogues Tavern since I’m going to be setting up a Rogues Tavern server for multiple things coming up over the next year.
John: All right. Well. that covers up the plugins. This episode currently brought to you by
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John: Absolutely. High-quality web hosting. And my other server is finally back online again and open for business, and this is the last server I’m going to have. I don’t intend to grow up real big like Liquid Web or Bluehost. I like to be nice and small, supply a lot of clients with good quality hosting, and it is limited and exclusive hosting. So if you’re looking for quality hosting, reach out to me at johnoverall.com hosting that does not slow you down. All right. Let’s roll along. It is contests. I need a jingle for contests. That’s what I need. I don’t have a contest jingle. Charlie, you’re listening? We need a jingle for contests. All right. We do have a contest, new contest. Our contests are powered by the simple giveaways plugin. And I like to thank them because they provide us with the premium version of their plugin. I did pay for it for a couple of years, but then they offered the pie been given to me, and I said, sure, I’ll save myself some money. I’m not afraid of taking handouts, so really great plugin. I’ve been using it since it was brand new and I’ve watched it grow up over the last few years. And it works very, very well. So if you’re running any kind of contest on your site, and you want to collect emails for your mailing lists, or you know, using social media, other things, really great plugin. They’ve added a lot of features to it over the years. You want to let know everyone from the last contest the Brizy – Page Builder. We have a winner, winner, chicken dinner, and the winner for the unlimited lifetime license is Jason Lee. Thank you, Jason. He’s already reached out to me and confirmed it, so he’ll be getting his license real soon. Thanks a lot, Jason. Greatly appreciate you supporting the show, and playing in the contest, and I hope you have fun with Brizy page builder. It does look like a really cool page builder program. And if you want to listen to a great interview that I did, I did with Dimi, from the co-founder of Brizy Page Builder. Go check it out; link is in the show notes.
We do have a new contest. This is for chance to win an unlimited lifetime license of WP Admin Pages Pro, really great plugin, and I know there was quite a few people who entered the contest last time. The winner, we gave them a month and they never responded. Sent them several emails so somebody entered it using a false email. Don’t enter using a junk email or your email that you use thinking you’re going to get spammed. We do not spam you on these. We will reach out to you for the contest. We’ll enter you into the mailing list if you’re okay with it. If you’re not, so be it. We just want to support the community. Alright? So, at any rate, really great plugin. I did an interview with the developer on this one here and why don’t I have that in my show notes? I could have sworn I wrote it in there this morning.
Amber: It ran away.
John: It obviously did. Okay, well, there is an interview there. Let’s wander over to the page here. We did an interview with — go here and go there — Shows, podcasts, interviews, here we go. I can’t remember his name right over the top of my head. I do so much stuff that names are always a tough one. Arindo Duque, the founder of NextPress. I wrote that in here. I swear to God I wrote it in here. I remember writing it.
Amber: Did you save?
John: Of course, I always save. So, at any rate, go check out the link. I’ll make sure it gets into the show notes for the link — for the interview, but it’s interview number 53, and we talked about this and all the other plugins that they build out. And it’s a really good interview. So be sure to go check it out, and go enter the contest for the unlimited lifetime license, which is valued at 149 bucks. So save yourself some money. All right. What the hell?
Amber: Are you calling someone?
John: No, for some reason, this stupid iPad, Siri decided to kick up. We must hit a sound or something that triggered it. I got to turn that off. All right. At any rate, we covered up in this episode plugins — I covered are Testimonial for Elementor, which I gave a four to, Real-Time Find and Replace, which I gave a five to, and the BSK Gravity Forms, which I gave a five to.
Amber: And I covered Sebastian, which I gave a five. Hide My WP Ghost Security Plugin, which I gave a four. And WP Discord Invite, which I gave a four to.
John: Yeah, and that one there interests me. So I’m going to have to dig that one up.
Amber: Yeah, I mean, if it wasn’t for the broken help buttons, I would have given him a five.
John: When I reach out to the developer and tell them about it, maybe they’ll fix the broken help buttons, and then you can come back and bring it and make it a five — if you can find the developer since their help button doesn’t work. All right. Well, this is the point where we had — oh, we got to close out a couple of things here first before we head into the Q&A segment. Meetups, I am looking at some meetups this New Year, and I will have them. I just don’t know where or when yet, but stay tuned. They are coming. If you want to hear more about me, there we go — it seems bad, you’re catching, man. You got your coughing and gagging. Now all of a sudden, I can’t talk. Well, find out more about me and the craziness I do, and you want to hear another show, another great podcast, go check out the Rogues Tavern. And that’s where there’s lots of links to all the videos I’ve done. And we started a new podcast last week for the Rogues Tavern. It plays every — it goes live every Tuesday at 9:00, and then sometime over the course of the next few days, I get it uploaded to the website. It’s not consistent for the website yet just because of all the things happening in there. So go check it out. The latest episode is up at YouTube. I haven’t fixed the audio yet. I had a problem with my sound board, and it had a hum in it that I didn’t catch until after the show was recorded, and I wasn’t re-recording it. But YouTube managed to filter it out almost entirely. So impressive YouTube, they filtered out the hum. So go check out. Yeah, well, that’s what they do. So every once in a while they do something nice aside from slap me with multiple copyright violations for the New Year show.
Amber: Admittedly that was entirely our fault.
John: Well, yeah, I do have to admit I was browsing the web and pulling in stuff which I had — knew was a high risk of copyright violation. But they shouldn’t slap you when it’s only there for a few seconds or a couple of minutes because it’s not about trying to use the stuff, it’s about — it was incorporated at the end of the show. At any rate, let’s move along. If you want to be on an interview show, reach out to wppluginsatoz.com. If you want to be a guest host on this show, we do take guest hosts. Reach out through wppluginsatoz.com/guest host, and we can get you on as a guest host. So, always happy to help out and get people in here and more involved from the community. So this is the point here where we do move along to
It’s question and answer time.
John: I should say with Amber in there. All right. It is question and answer time. And we do split this, so if you want to catch all of it, you got to come back to watch it on YouTube. All right, fire away.
Amber: Well, first thing I want to say is Hemdian, yeah, you sound like a conspiracy theorist, but you know what, it means that you fit in really well here. Because I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but conspiracy theorists tend to be being proven right a lot over the past five years, especially this past year. As conspiracy theorists we’re all being proven right time and time again lately.
John: They’re running out of conspiracies, man.
Amber: They are.
John: Let’s not sidetrack the show. This is stuff that we do on the Rogues Tavern.
Amber: I was replying to I want an only listener who actually comes.
John: He shows up. We got four people listening right now, so nobody else is commenting. That’s all.
Amber: Well, Hemdian is my favorite.
John: Yeah, Hemdian is great.
Amber: So first question I have — it’s an odd question I guess. I found a CSS Handbook of sorts. I didn’t recognize a lot of the so-called CSS in there yet it is. Is there like different versions of the same kind of code like CSS, like the difference between English in Canada and the UK? Well, like how we don’t call the trunk of a car, the boot or candy lollies.
John: Yeah. Well, that’s a yes and a no. The CSS has evolved. I’m not sure what version it’s on right now. We’d have to look that up and see what version CSS is, but CSS has evolved. So it’s always changing and they’re adding new stuff to it. So it does seem like it’s different, but CSS is CSS. An old version works with new versions, but new versions don’t work with old versions. I don’t know if that makes any sense.
Amber: Oh, that’s weird.
John: And that’s the way it works. It’s like WordPress. It’s like old version of WordPress stuff still works with new version, but new version will not work with old version, you know, things. And that’s the way it goes until they finally drop support for the old version. They keep support going forward, but CSS is a simple language unto itself, which is what it’s supported strictly by the browser’s, is what supports the CSS. And so there is, you know, sort of whether or not, it’s different languages, or it’s like the difference between Canadian English, California English, and Texas English — or Louisiana English, or England English, you know. It’s all English, but there’s a slight variation to it.
Amber: So it is kind of like that depending on what version you’re looking at.
John: Depending on what version you’re looking at.
Amber: Okay, so likely the reason why I couldn’t fully comprehend the version I was looking at, because the version I’m looking at is regularly updated and it’s like the newest version out there, I guess. I mean, it was just updated — it had been updated — parts of it in like December of 2020.
John: Yeah, so at least somebody is keeping it up-to-date. And you do want to be trying to use the most recent applications to CSS because you’re dealing with browsers more than you are with code in the background because the CSS is what the browsers read and determine all the layouts on your site. It’s kind of like you can build a site, and it will lay out perfectly in Firefox, but the moment you put it in Chrome, it breaks. And it’s because Chrome is interpreting the CSS differently than Firefox is, and vice versa. And across browsers, it’s taken several years to get all the browsers to at least agree on a standard for CSS. You know, for a long time you had to actually — sometimes you had to write three different versions of CSS, one for Firefox, one for Internet Explorer, and one for Chrome.
Amber: Oh, bloody hell.
John: And it’s like there’s a lot of CSS while it’s been wonderful and beneficial. It’s also been a pain in the ass.
Amber: Okay, that’s interesting. All right. I’ll have to look more at that site that I found. Another question is, why is it that something that works for one section of the site does not work for another section? For instance, centering a drop-down menu, the code I found is center one item on the site does not work to center another item. You would think that if you could center one thing with a code, that same code set up with a different category heading that would work for another section.
John: It should, but I don’t fully understand the question here. At first, it seemed pretty straightforward, but what do you mean by, you know, centering because initially, it sounds like okay, you’re centering a drop-down menu item. And on one page, it’s centered fine, we move to the next page, it’s no longer centered.
Amber: No, okay, so like, take the centering code. When it’s under the category for the drop-down menu, it’s got the heading, or whatever you call the first bit and then it’s centered. You take that same centered code and you add it to the heading of, say, the search bar at the bottom of the page, and you’re taught to try to center the search bar at the bottom of the page with that same code. Why doesn’t it work?
John: Okay, well, the reason for that then is because are you looking at, are you paying attention to the class that the CSS code is using?
Amber: Class, that’s the word I was looking for. You put the same code under different class.
John: You put the same code with a different class because each item on the page has a class or an ID assigned to it, and then to each ID or class, you have assigned specific CSS code. And a lot of times if you copy the code, and you try to apply it to another item, it might not be properly applying to the class of the other item. And you got to make sure it’s applying to the class of the other item. So each items have their own class or their own ID and that’s why wouldn’t work across different areas for the same code. That’s the only reason why it won’t work, is it they’re not applying to the same class.
Amber: Okay, so I’m missing a chunk then. That was my issue.
John: You’re missing a chunk. You’re missing the beginning chunk of it.
Amber: You can tell what I’ve been working mostly with lately. My questions are about this.
John: Obviously, it’s CSS.
Amber: Okay. So how do you set yourself up so that when searching for CSS information, you only get the information that’s useful, like, things from the past 24 months only? I found putting the year into the search function just brings up a different kind of code, or maybe there isn’t a way to get the last 24 months kind of information on CSS and the like? I don’t know.
John: All right. We’ll cover that one. I’m going to wrap the show here for those listening on the podcast, and after the credits I will go into that question. So for those of you listening, make sure you go check out the YouTube version. I’m going to have my shot, and then let my girl take us on out of here.
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