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 #495 here.
Paradigm Shift It’s Episode 495 We have plugins for Hide & Seek, Email Automation, Stopping the Brutality, Mobile Content, Image Control, Live Chat …, and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right. It is plugin time. And, of course, ClassicPress options, I don’t really have anything for ClassicPress options this week. I’m still kind of behind on ClassicPress, not doing anything there. I did some work on it, but I’ve had to since back down on it because I’m stuck in the WordPress world — but there is stuff information in the notes that lead you off to the ClassicPress forums, ClassicPress net et cetera. Let’s dive into the plugins we have. Now, the first one I have for you today was sent in to us by Nicola Baltikoff. You know, what’s funny is I practiced pronouncing that this morning. I got it nailed it, but for some reason I get on the show, and I just my tongue goes , you can’t talk anymore. Anyway, thanks Nicola. And the plugin sent into us is called Brosix Live Chat.
Amber: I think it’s Brosix.
John: How about Brosix? Yeah, Brosix. You should separate the words out, dude. Put a hyphen in there. Brosix. Hey, Brosix live chat. All right. There we go. Now I got it. Brosix Live Chat, and this is what he had to say about the plugin. It is like use the WordPress live chat plugin by Brosix to add live chat support to your WordPress website quickly and effortlessly. Provide instant communication with onsite visitors and customers, and enable a prompt resolution to their questions or concerns. Increase your sales and build stronger customer relationships with a fully functional WordPress live chat plugin. Chat with website visitors from the convenience of a desktop application on your computer, a mobile application on your phone or tablet, or a web application on any browser. The benefits, Brosix live chat allows you to engage directly with your customers and website guests. It’s simple to set up and easily integrates into your website. The live chat plugin is an integrated feature in Brosix private team communication networks. Through the Brosix Live Chat plugin, you can improve your customer support accessibility, easily monitor live chat agents, communication, boost your sales and client conversions, and much more. Wow, that’s a pretty decent piece of a sales pitch there. So anyway, go check this one out. I haven’t checked it out. I’ve just sort of brought it in — and because they’re sent to me, I don’t have time to check everything, but it’s important. People take the time to submit them. I want to get them submitted out and get them put out for everyone. If you’re looking for a chat plugin, this may be one for you to go check out. Currently, I’m going to give it a four-dragon rating based upon his sales pitch, and what I can see off of their website and the other thing. So go check this plugin out. It’s the Brosix Live Chat. Wow!
Amber: So the first one I’ve got is Specific Content for Mobile. I found this for one of the sites that I’m working on right now. It’s actually really cool and it works really well. What it does is, you can — wow, sorry, my brain just completely —
John: See, it’s contagious.
Amber: It is. It’s all your fault.
John: Well, don’t worry. I’ll just trim that out in post editing.
Amber: Yeah, all right. So this plugin is actually pretty new. It’s got less than 10 activations, but I can definitely see it going places. Once you install and activate it, you wind up having the option added to your main page posts in your admin page where you can click on the different ones to work on. There’s a new option of create mobile version. And from there, it’s no different from a regular setting up any page or post. What it does is it creates a version that is just for mobile. So you can recreate your page in that mobile thing for whatever page you desire, and it doesn’t have any redirects required. There’s no excess metadata, and it’s all synced automatically. This works with any theme, does not require a different URL. Once you have set up the mobile version of whichever page or post, it will only show up on mobiles instead of grabbing the changed version that most themes make for mobiles. It grabs this instead when people are going to check it out. And if you are into coding, it does offer up a glimpse on the information page of how this does, what it does through the coding. That’s pretty cool for those who enjoy looking at that. I definitely recommend people trying this out, and I would love to hear back about it what you think about it. And it is a total freebie at this time, may not be forever, but it is right now, and it’s — I really like it, so I rate this at five dragons.
John: Very cool. It sounds like an interesting usable plugin. Alrighty, the next one I have for you is another one that was sent in to us. And this one was sent in by Steve Spink, and it is called GuardGiant. And it is a Brute Force Protection – Stop Brute Force Attack plugin. And it’s a plugin to help you alleviate and stop login attempts, security for login. It’s got a security audit log in it to see what’s happening with it. And this is basically what he had to say about it. I thought you may be interested in a new plugin that provides trusted devices functionality in the same way as Google, Facebook, et cetera. Now, this is a really cool piece of functionality that’s been added to it then. When a genuine user makes a successful log into their account using their mobile phone, tablet, or computer, GuardGiant starts treating their device as trusted. The user can then receive notifications when someone logs in from new unrecognized device. Much better way to prevent brute force attacks, then limit login-type suggested. So, yeah, this could be a cool thing. And although I’m not overly fond of the fact that they’re grabbing a serial number from your computer or your phone to be the trusted device, but it is what it is. At any rate, it does look like an interesting new addition to the brute force protections in the WordPress field. It’s one of the first ones I’ve seen using the trusted device stuff. So, at any rate, if you’re looking for a plugin, you don’t have one, or you’re looking to switch, go check out this one. Thanks a lot, Steve. And I give this one a four-dragon rating.
Amber: It seems to be becoming a better theme for this kind of plugin because I’ve seen that in quite a few plugins lately that I’ve been looking through.
John: Oh, have you? I haven’t been looking for security plugins in a long time, so I haven’t noticed. But the trusted device is a useful thing.
Amber: It is and I’ve got a couple of things that I go to in that I’m part of that have that trusted device thing too. Actually, I like it a lot more. So the next one I’ve got is called Mail Mage. This awesomely named plugin, besides being new, fresh off the press, is about setting up automations to help out with your site. It’s all about WooCommerce. So what it does is things like recovering abandoned WooCommerce carts, sending out WooCommerce emails, and follow up WooCommerce emails. Why do I have such a hard time with that word?
John: I don’t know.
Amber: I think this could be very handy for running an online shop. I like that they’re mixing together the retrieval of abandoned cart with the automation of emails to be sent out. Settings are easy to understand. Each item you create to happen is created by a trigger events of your choosing. Well, kind of your choosing — you choose a trigger event from a drop down list, but the drop down list is fairly large. So I wasn’t able to check this out long-term. I was only able to check it out to see how the settings and everything are. So I only rate it at four dragons.
John: Cool. It’s a pretty common thing with WooCommerce. If you’re running a WooCommerce store is to set up something to recover abandoned carts. It’s a way like — what it is to when people start to fill out — like I do it all the time, and every once in a while I get an email, “Hey, you’ve left a bunch of stuff in your shopping cart. You want it?” Because what you do is you start filling out the form, you get your email, and you go out. I’ll wait till later and do this, then you forget about it, or you closed the window, and you’ve just move on and you go. You know, I really don’t need that stuff right now. It’s money I shouldn’t spend, whatever the reasons maybe. It grabs your email because you’ve already put it in a form. And then what it does is it waits X amount of hours or days, and says, “Hey, send him an email and say, hey, did you really want this stuff? We still got it in your cart for you, come buy it.” And by doing that, it generally increases the sales. That’s one of the biggest ways to increase your sales on an e-store. Because there’s a lot of people go there that start filling out information, or they might find that your shopping cart is more complex than they want it to deal with — maybe you have too many steps to the end, which some of them do. So it can be a really great tool.
Okay, the final one I’ve got for you here is another one that was sent in by one of our great listeners, or people doing research on how to market their plugins. It was sent in by Sundeep Gottipati, and it’s called WordPress. It’s called Thumblink. And Thumblink is a plugin to help you automatically create thumbnails for all of your blog posts and helps makes your links look better. And here’s what he had to say about it. “Thumblink automatically creates thumbnails for all your blog posts to make your links look better. A link to your WordPress site on a platform like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn is often the first interaction you have with a visitor. Every links thumbnail is three times larger than its text preview. If it looks ugly or unmaintained, your page loses a potential visitor. Thumblink automatically generates these thumbnails by taking a screenshot of every page.” Oh, that’s kind of useful. So it takes a screenshot of your page and makes a thumbnail out of that, and then that’s what sent off with the link. So it’s kind of — it sounds like an interesting plugin. I haven’t tried anything like this. I remember using something like this years ago and it worked very well, but the technology failed or the developers abandoned it. I don’t remember what occurred to it, but I had to quit using it. But it’s something to look into if you’re looking to doing some marketing stuff. So check this one out. It’s called Thumblink. And based upon the info given, I give it a four-dragon rating.
Amber: I got to ask though, does it take a picture of like the post itself or does it take a picture that’s on your page though I’m wondering?
John: It takes a screenshot of your page, so whatever — basically, when you’re looking a browser at your website, whatever is above the fold, whenever you see the page first load — the first load of the page, whatever loads in the page within that window, that’s basically what it does.
Amber: Okay, that’s actually pretty cool. So the last one I’ve got here is Show/Hide Content at Set Time. This is a pretty neat one. It’s been around for a while, I don’t know if you’ve already covered it or not.
John: Yeah, years ago, I think Marcus reviewed this one.
Amber: I actually — I think it’s a pretty cool idea. You just wrap whatever content you’re looking for to have only for a certain amount of time. You wrap that in this code that they give you, and it’ll make it appear/disappear, stay on there for a period of time, or randomly up here for a certain amount of time, then vanish on its own. I think it’s a really good idea if you are doing any kind of — yeah, my brain is just not fully here today, sorry.
John: No, we can go chase it down, and it’s out there somewhere.
Amber: So any content that you wish to have up for only a certain amount of time. I had to save all the shortcode because I don’t — if you have the knowhow on the shortcode then it’s pretty easy because it’s pretty simple. It’s just time and date start, time and date stop, and it’s written out like regular CSS. But I can’t remember all that so I had to save all of the codes that they give in the description area so I can just copy and paste — like the one drawback I think they should have all that, and like the plugin itself somewhere, I couldn’t find it though. So I do rate this at five dragons. It is also still free.
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John: Absolutely high-quality hosting, man. I don’t have that many spots left in my servers, so you better grab them while they’re available. All right. And contests, guess what folks?
We have a jingle. Thanks a lot out there to our producers, Brant and Goodtime. I think that’s the name. I’ll have to go look it up and get proper credit in the next show. I know it’s in my head, but it’s sort of a race — but we asked for a jingle, we got a jingle, a nice professionally recorded jingle. Thanks a lot, guys. I’m just thrilled. It is so cool that we’re getting our own jingles and clips for this show.
Amber: Oh, I love it.
John: I don’t have to steal as many; it’s more fun this way. So thank you very much.
So we do have a contest. And, of course, I do want to thank Charlie for coming to the aid of the show and getting our contest all organized up. That’s a fair chunk of work, folks. And I want to thank all developers for supporting the show with their plugin donations. Now, I do want to have a note out here, for those of you listening to this show, getting this far into it and you know the contest exists, enter the contest, you know, participate in them. It can be — not distracting — distraught — it can be — what’s the word I’m looking for? It can be a downer, you know, when you work so hard to get the contest out and we don’t get very many entries into the contest. We’ve had — it goes up and down. I understand, people participate, they don’t know, “I don’t really need that plugin. Why enter? Enter anyway, maybe you can use it later, or who knows? Just to let us know that people’s listening to them, participate in a contest that just makes us feel like the work is worth more worthwhile. If it feels like we’re not getting any — it’s not doing any good, nobody cares, nobody wants to enter the contest, then we’ll just do away with them. I mean, it’s a fair chunk of work. We have to write the developers, negotiate with developers, get the contest in, you have to write them up, have to get the images together. There’s a lot of work that goes into doing this, which is why we went for so much time without the contest because I never had the time. But, of course, we’ve got somebody who’s volunteered the time, but we want to make it, so it’s worthwhile for you folks. So enter the contests. So that’s what all I’ve got to do there. Now, we do have a winner from last week’s contest, the ultimate license for WP Admin Pages. So the winner is Brian Holder. So congratulations, Brian. You have won that. You got to reach back out to me with the email that was sent to you to verify that that was a legitimate email, and then, we will get the license sent to you.
Hey, this week, what do we have for you? We have another — that’s the other thing, folks. These licenses; these aren’t just one year. Many of these licenses we’re giving are unlimited lifetime licenses. These are expensive licenses, and then we even had one developer who created the license just for us. Think about that.
John: I mean, many of these plugins are 50, 80, 100 bucks a year. If you win one of these unlimited lifetime licenses — I mean, unlimited websites, use it for lifetime free, no payments, that can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars if you want. Think about that. All right. Back to this, unlimited lifetime license for HappyFiles.io. HappyFiles Pro, is — lets you create; manage an unlimited number of media folders. The free version is limited to a maximum of 10 media folders, and this is an unlimited lifetime license valued at 59 bucks. So, go check this one out. I don’t know if I’ve ever reviewed this. It sounds like one that I might have reviewed at one point because it helps you manage your media files by putting them into folders so you can categorize them and deal with them. This one here is another great license that you can win. Oh, I did a review with the Happy — I love how I get this information put in here for me because I — so many things happen. Back in Episode 463, Life in Paradise, I did an unbiased review of the HappyFiles Pro on 463. So I did review it. So, at any rate, go check out the review in Episode 463 of the show. So I didn’t interview the guy. I didn’t do a review of the plugin. All right. Alistair sat there, helps me out. All right. So let your friends know about the giveaways and good luck to everyone. Nothing? Okay. All right.
Amber: I don’t have anything to say, sorry.
John: All right. Well, that wraps this. We’ve got the plugins I covered up in this show was the Brosix Live Chat, which I gave a four to, the WordPress Brute Force Protection – Stop Brute Force Attacks, which I gave a four to, and the Thumblink, which I gave a four to.
Amber: And I covered Specific Content for Mobile, which I gave a five, Mail Mage, which I gave a four, and Show/Hide Content at Set Time, which I gave a five to.
John: Okay, and I’m just so quick reminders before we get into the Q&A, because halfway through the Q&A, we play the outgoing credits, and then we continue the show live on YouTube for the other half of the Q&A segment with Amber. All right, so a couple of quick reminders. There’s no meetups planned at the moment, so I’ll get back to you on those when they’re happening. But we do have something else cool happening. If you’re not getting enough of hearing me and Amber chat and talk, you can join us on our new podcast and live stream over at the roguestavern.com. Just go to the roguestavern.live, and you can catch us every Tuesday evening at 9 pm pacific time when we’re live. Or if you want to find out more, just go download the podcast and subscribe to the show from there or find out what else the Rogues Tavern is up to. If you’re interested in being on interview show or guest host, just go to wppluginsatoz.com/interview, and join us as a guest host or sign up for a separate interview show. Okay. And that is it. So it is time for —
It’s Question and Answer time.
John: With Amber.
Amber: So, if anyone out there has questions they’d like to have answered — the questions they like to ask, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll stick them in here. I’ll ask them and he’ll answer.
John: Yeah, do the best I can answer them anyway.
Amber: You got more information in that noggin of yours than you realize.
John: Yeah, so they tell me.
Amber: It’s accessing, it is a problem.
John: That’s the problem. The file system in there is organized as my file system on my computer sometimes.
Amber: Oh, dear, that’s not good. So, first question here is when you are hooked up to the Internet at home, there is the WiFi and the landline. If I am understanding correctly by using the landline on your computer, you’re sort of on different waves, I’m always using WiFi. Can you explain that a bit better to me?
John: Okay, well, let me start out by first defining the terms here for you so you have the correct term of usage. You got WiFi correct, but it’s not a landline. Landline is your telephone. Landline, it should be direct cabling, or Ethernet cabled directly.
Amber: But doesn’t that count as landlines because it plugs into the wall?
John: There’s no telephone to it. Your modem plugs into the wall. Your computer cable doesn’t plug into the wall. It plugs into the modem, or plugs into a router. You know, so that’s the term there. The other term here is not wave, but network; you’ve got networks, not waves.
Amber: Why was I thinking waves? I don’t know, due to some reason, it stuck in my head is a wave.
John: I don’t know. I just thought I’d want to get the terms clear before I start to explain things. Okay, so WiFi and Ethernet connection, hard-cabled, hard-coded or hard-connected as it’s often called — hard-wired as it’s often called.
Amber: Hard-wired, okay.
John: And what you’re looking at there? Yes, they are two different networks inside your modem. There’s ways to make them talk to each other, but on the whole, they’re two separate networks, they’re isolated. I use it as a way to keep my kids out of my network from my computer. So I put them on the WiFi — and I’m hard-wired, so they can’t get to my computer. So when they do something stupid on their computers, it doesn’t impact me. That’s the biggest thing is I need to keep it separate. But if you’ve got everybody wired into the same router or modem hard-wired to the computer, one computer has a problem and it can impact everything on the network. So the other reason for it is hard-wire transmits data at about two to three times the speed of WiFi. Even though WiFi is very fast now, it’s still not nearly as fast as hard-wired cabling. So it helps with your speed. I don’t like WiFi for doing anything that depends on high speed because it slows things down. Now, it’s gotten better over the last few years. It was more noticeable, say 5-10 years ago — 10 years ago, it was seriously noticeable. You know, five years ago, it was still noticeable. Now, it’s not as noticeable with the higher speed 5G or 4-5G because most 5G you have on these things is not true 5G yet, but it’s coming. And aside from microwaving our brains, the 5G is going to increase Internet speeds, although there will have to be an antenna every 50 feet to transmit it because 5G is a very short wavelength — short radio wave. So does that help explain it?
Amber: Yeah, it does. I definitely have a better understanding, thank you. Second question is I’ve heard about the issues with Zoom and other vid chats like them, can I ask you to explain more plainly for me what is going on or why it’s a bad idea to use them?
John: Okay, well, it may not be as bad an idea. I still don’t trust Zoom. They’ve lost all trust I even gave them. Other video platforms, I don’t know of any others except for — I use GoTo Meeting myself, and I’ve used the Citrix one — not Citrix, but — oh god, it’s a major provider. I’ve used a couple of different ones. Zoom, I kind of started to use initially, but I found it was buggy and glitchy when I used it, so I set it back aside. And then when we had the Rona attack, and everybody went to doing everything online — for some reason, everyone defaulted to Zoom. Not really some reason, the reason everyone defaulted to zoom because it was free. And, of course, they had almost zero security in the beginning. Everyone was bombing in on these Zoom meetings because all you had to do is type in a number after the zoom address, and you could suddenly show up in somebody’s meeting. You could be in somebody’s meeting, and people were showing up, there were porn and other things to make the meetings more entertaining. And also, people were stealing the meetings because they weren’t secure. There was this massive amount of security. And then there were some zero day security flaws in Zoom, which allowed people to attack your computer. So like, their security flaws in the beginning were so severe that it just — like I literally just banned it on my networks, banned at my house. The school kept trying say, “Join the Zoom lessons.” “Sorry, I’ve banned it from my house. It’s not allowed on any computer in my house.” So the kids couldn’t do anything that required Zoom. It’s like, well, there’s other communications; telephone, email, whatever. You’ll have to use something else besides Zoom. So that’s why I didn’t like Zoom. And they may have fixed those. I’ve heard they have, but I don’t trust them. They will — I’ve lost all faith in their ability to do anything, so I won’t go back to their product.
I went back to using GoTo Meeting, which I’ve been using for about 15 years — very good, solid platform — problem is it costs money. Well, I don’t mind paying the money each month if I’m getting a good solid platform. I’ve always found that if I’m paying for the software as long as it’s good solid software, I’m happy with it. And I don’t mind paying for it because that gives them more of an incentive to make sure it works better. But when it’s free — the biggest thing about free — if it’s free, you’re the product. It’s been that way forever. Anyone who thinks they’re not giving away information to Zoom when they’re getting it for free is crazy. Zoom’s collecting tons of information. They’re probably siphoning off the conversations and using it to help build an AI somewhere. And I bet that’s buried in all of the 200 pages of — not restriction, what’s that bloody thing? You can’t use sign every time. I agree to your terms of Terms of Service — in their terms of service. Apple has FaceTime. Yeah, I’ve used FaceTime too. FaceTime is okay. FaceTime is a more direct one-to-one versus Zoom, and Skype — Hemdian is like back in the day there was Skype. Yeah, well, that’s because after Microsoft bought it, they pretty much crushed it. I still use Skype from time to time, but it’s nowhere near as good as it is. And MS Teams – yeah, somebody tried to draw me into that. It’s like, yeah, I really don’t want to. So, yeah, there’s quite a few in there. Yes, user agreement. So, in the user agreements, they make you sign. It’s like you got to — if you try to read them, you’ll be there for two or three hours. It’s like reading a novel. There’s a lot of words in there. I mean, then to prove the point, I can’t — I’ll never forget what this company did in 1999 to prove the point, and nobody ever reads these agreements, is they put a paragraph in the very center of their agreement one time, that said to the first 10 people that actually read this paragraph and contact, our company will give you $10,000.
Amber: Oh, wow!
John: And they had over 100,000 downloads, installs, and approvals of the agreement of their particular product, and one person claimed the 10 grand. So that tells you how many people read it.
John: I can’t remember the company did that but I thought it was funny as hell. But anyway, that’s basically what it is. And basically, the problem with the chats is it’s all about security — is what it boils down to. Security for your computer systems, the data you’re transmitting and other things around it. So that was a problem with Zoom and the other vid chats.
Amber: And there’s no real way to get around that?
John: Not if the bad program to begin with, the only way around it is to use something else.
Amber: Yeah, All right, I’ve got two more questions.
John: Ask your next question and we will do our outro. And for those of you listening on the podcast download, you’ll have to come back to YouTube to catch the next couple of questions. So ask the next question there.
Amber: Can you explain to me while having hard-coded things like your header and footer on your site is not a good idea in this day and age?
John: Absolutely. So we’re going to let my girl take us out of here and I will enjoy my shot.
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