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 #501 here.
After the Hangover It’s Episode 501 – We have plugins for Tracking, Trapping, Redirecting, Shipping, New Images, Security….., and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right. So WordPress plugins, what do we have for WordPress plugins this week? Well, first off, what we have for WordPress plugins is I have one that was sent into us by Alexander Sorkin, and it is called Foxlis Geo. And this is a plugin to help you geo-locate your website visitors via their IP address, and just see, you know, geo IP doesn’t always work. If you tried to geo IP my IP address, you think I live in the center of Alberta. So that’s what my IP address indicates, as I live in Alberta, which is kind of cool. I’m good with that. So it doesn’t always work, but it is relative to the IP address you have, and it does sort of get semi-accurate sometimes. So anyway, it’s a really great one. It’s an interesting tool. What he says for it is this free plugin allows you to detect visitor geolocation by an IP address. You can redirect visitors under some conditions by country and et cetera. Now, this is where it becomes a very useful plugin in that, once I redirect or grab somebody’s location via their IP, if for instance, you’re selling inside a particular city, and you don’t want people outside that city, you can redirect them to a page that says, “I’m sorry, according to your IP address, you’re outside the city.” But you should give them an option to say, “Hey, yes, I still am inside the city. Can you please let me back in?” But those sorts of things that may happen by mistake. So it could be a very useful tool on your website for sales and other things, or redirecting people to specific pages and relative to content that they might want to get in their particular area. So, at any rate, interesting plugin. One that I kind of like. I didn’t test it personally, but I do like the writeups on it. Go check it out. It’s the Foxlis Geo, and I rate this one a four-dragon rating.
Amber: All right. So it’s kind of interesting. The first one I have is 2BC Form Security. It’s a nice, easy-to-use additional security plugin. Once activated, you can go and find the setup for the plugin under your settings menu to the left there. You put in your Google reCAPTCHA if you have one. Those who don’t, no worries, it’ll still create a honeypot for hackers — as this plugin is all about creating a honeypot. There are a few other things you’re able to do with this plugin. You’re able to choose where it gets displayed, how the errors page displays to keep hackers from learning valid user account names, whether or not you track user’s IP address and more. You can also choose whether or not to get reports, which I personally like the idea of getting reports. It’s a nice little freebie. I’d recommend you go and check this out. I rate it at five dragons.
John: Dragon was sleeping, had to wake him up. Even he’s suffering from a hangover today. All right. So, yeah, this sounds like an interesting plugin. The thing I found interesting about it is that it’s over six years old, and it still has fewer than 10 installs, which like either it’s a crappy plugin, or nobody absolutely learned anything about it. The developer has not done anything with it in a long time, which could be another problem with it. It may still be a good and valid plugin, but be aware of old plugins. I use plugins that are, you know, five, six, seven years old. That’s not a problem. You just got to be aware that they might not be up-to-date with the latest versions of WordPress. So keep that in mind folks.
Amber: What do you think that’s it like six months or older — gets that little warning up there.
John: All right. So the next one I’ve got for you, I was in a mood this morning where I was — I didn’t have plugins ready, so I’m searching for them, and I can’t find anything in the new fields in WordPress, you know, in the plugins new. So I decided to do something totally random. I decided I would take the seventh plugin on the seventh page of the New plugin stuff, and I came up with Easy WebP – Speed Up your website by serving WebP images. You know, what’s irritating about those is I’ve discovered that for some reason — I’m starting to see it more and more and when I went to download an image and I needed a JPEG of it, it would only give me the WebP, and I had to go back into the files to get the image. So, at any rate, WebP is a an image file format that is being pushed, and is probably going to become the dominant format of images out there on the Internet — simply because it is going to be needed for speed because WebP images are smaller and faster. And this is a plugin that you can use on your WordPress website to convert all of your images to a WebP format for delivery. It’s one I wouldn’t play with on your live site until you’ve tested it on a development site to see if it makes a mess of things or works it out. I haven’t had time to give it a full test, but it is something I’m going to look into. This is a third-party service, and their free plugin you get allows you to optimize up to 30 megabytes of images. And they go 300 to 400 images, yeah, right. They don’t deal with some of my clients who have images that are 10 and 20 Meg’s in size. So it’s where the problem lies is how well-formatted were those images when they were put up. But it is something to look into. And it does seem like an interesting plugin, and it might be something to help coming down the future is what’s coming. I know WebP is coming. I’ve seen it for the last couple of years. It’s popped in. I’ve experimented with it a couple of times to minimal success so far, but it is changing, things are changing, and the Internet is trying to get faster and faster, so people can continue to use it on their mobile devices and get that crook in their neck and walk off cliffs and into manholes. So it’s all good. Anyway, go check this one out. I rate this one at a four-dragon rating, go check it out. It’s the easy WebP – Speed Up your website by serving WebP images.
Amber: seems like it could be really useful. I hadn’t realized that there was something like that starting to dominate the Internet though.
John: Well, I’ve seen it for last couple of years. I’ve tried it for a couple of times. And yeah, it’s starting to dominate the Internet because the smaller more compactness of the images, and the fact that if someone steals your WebP image, it’s not very much used for anything.
Amber: Next one I have is Form Spammer Trap for Comments. This is a free plugin, and it’s almost overwhelming with its options. It’s fairly new, and it’s got less than 10 activations so far. They claim to have the ability to sense human interaction without the CAPTCHAs, hidden fields, silly questions, or anything like that. It simply senses the human interaction, which I found very interesting, and it stopped spammers from spamming in your comments box. Their site although reminding me kind of an early 90s video game, is rather informative.
John: Oh, yeah, I love their site.
Amber: Yeah, it is a very unique site. I love it.
John: Oh, yeah, that’s great. The first time I saw it — wait a minute, I want my 1990 site back. Yes, the cellular web. I love their front page with their bubbles here. Why does their site ugly? It’s really great, yeah. So, anyway, continue on.
Amber: I really like this plugin, it seems very promising. I can’t totally speak from firsthand experience as we don’t really get a lot of commentators on the sandbox page, but I can say that it works in WordPress, and there’s a lot of fun to set up with all the options they give you. I’m not even going to bother trying to list them here because that would take me a while to even list half of them. You’ll have to go and check this plugin out for yourself. I can see this plugin going far if it’s actually able to fully deliver on everything they promise. I would love to hear back from someone out there who has given us a go on their site with a lot of commentators. Let me know how well this plugin senses human interaction. I just find that so interesting. And because I can’t fully test it on the comments, I can only give this a four. I’m really excited to see how this plugin goes. I rate this is a four-dragon.
John: Perfect. Okay, the last one I have for you here is another one I found in the new area of WordPress plugins, and this one is one I will be giving a thorough test to. I didn’t have time to get it thoroughly set up this morning and tested because I still got to get myself a Canada Post account to do this. But it is an a2z Canada Post automated shipping for WooCommerce. And this one here allows you — if you’re Canadian, which some of us are — and you know a very small percentage of the world’s population, I think we’re only like 35 million people or something —
Amber: I like that.
John: — which we’re fine with. We’re happy with it. But to ship through Canada Post, you want to know how much it’s going to cost, and that’s how the Rogues Tavern store is set up. And I’ll be shipping mostly to Canada in the beginning, and I wanted to get this set up, and anytime I ship from anywhere, it’ll be shipped via Canada Post. But this will allow shipping to be figured out in your WooCommerce store automatically for your products. So it’s got to be set up. You do need a Canada Post account, which is okay. The setup of it seems pretty straightforward, and it is something that I’m going to dig into and use, and I will come back with this one after I’ve got it all set up in my WooCommerce store. So you want to go check this out. And if you’re planning on shipping, you live in Canada, you want to do a Canada Post, this might be a plugin for your ecommerce store. Go check it out. It is the a2z canada post automated shipping for WooCommerce plugin, and I have rated it at a four-dragon rating.
Amber: I wonder if they have that version for multiple countries. They probably do, but —
Amber: I’ve noticed that a lot of things that have like multiple countries, they tend to leave Canada out often.
John: Well, Canada doesn’t exist. You know, after all, we’re just America’s hat.
Amber: Well, we’re so forgotten.
John: I know.
Amber: I feel so lonely.
John: Until they want our oil, or our timber, or our fish, or our gold, or water — or timber, you know, all the resources. Canada has ship loads of resources, just not a lot of people.
Amber: Because we don’t have a lot of people.
John: I mean — go ahead. What’s the last one you got for us?
Amber: The last one I got is Anti Hacker Redirect. I feel like I may have covered this one before, but I don’t think I actually did. I think I wanted to cover this, and I just never got around to it. This plugin is designed to redirect hackers to an FBI site, and it does seem to work still even though it has not been updated for quite a while. One drawback is that anyone who tries to access important files like WP config or WP config sample, they’ll be redirected to an FBI site.
Amber: So, for the newbie hackers, it’s great scare — for your boss trying to get in and fix something that’s gone wrong could be bad. Although on the other hand, it could also be great for pranking someone. And you can change redirect by doing the following in the WordPress root of your website, open the (dot) .ht access file and change the existing URL to a custom one. So you can redirect it anywhere. That could be so much fun.
John: Hey, you could direct him to porn.
Amber: That’s kind of what I was thinking, yeah. This could be awesome, but it could also be irritating. I’ll leave that up to you — totally free, still works. Even though it’s gotten a little old before it’s even been downloaded more than 50 times. Go check this out. I gave it a five-dragon rating.
John: Yeah, that sounds like fun. All right. Now, let’s see what we got here. We do have — oh, this show is still brought to you by — even though I’m changing the advertising — this spot here, you would have to give me a lot of money. This is just me self-promotion right in here.
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John: Absolutely. I need to re-record that. That was getting old. All right. We do have a listener question this week, and it’s a really a good one. And it pops off. “Hi john, I know this is more of a security and Elementor question, but I wanted to get your take on it as well. I’m using the latest version of Elementor Pro on a couple of my sites, and the contact form is built using the Elementor form widget. I have reCAPTCHA v3 set up through Google for several months now and set up in Elementor settings. I’ve had Google Analytics set up from the start. When someone fills out the contact form, I get an email, and a very shortly thereafter, I can see the resulting hit on that page in Google Analytics. All has been working perfectly and still is. However, in the last couple of weeks, I’ve gotten the same email from the form being filled out, but this time, it’s from a spammer. Legitimate emails are still coming in. Here’s where the mystery is. After I get one of those, Google Analytics doesn’t show that the contact page was visited at all. It’s as though the spammer was able to fill out the form without being detected. I’m scratching my head as to how this is possible.
I’ve obviously updated plugins and WordPress as needed, but I haven’t changed the form or anything in Google Analytics or reCAPTCHA. Any thoughts on what this might be or what direction you would go to investigate? Is there a more secure contact form system plugin you’d recommend? Thanks in advance. Greg. H.” All right. Greg, first off, what I see here — and the mystery didn’t seem such a mystery to me, as a spammer coming through, they often use bots to come in through it. They’re not humanized, and they’ve been working on bots that managed to get past the reCAPTCHAs — really quite annoying. I’ve seen it a few times where I get these spams, and it’s like, there’s no way a robot fill or a human filled this out, and they still managed to get past the reCAPTCHA, and I do use Google reCAPTCHA and other things. So my bet is, is that it’s a robot coming in. That’s why Google doesn’t pick it up because it comes in. It could also be that they’re coming in through IP address versus coming in through your URL, you know, and I don’t have a full comprehension of Google Analytics and how it picks up — whether it picks up things when they’re tagged off of your IP address versus tagged off of your domain name. So I don’t know, but my bet on this is it’s a bot that’s managed to figure out how to bypass the reCAPTCHA, and that’s what’s getting through.
As to a more secure contact form, like I’ve always recommended Gravity Forms. It’s quite expensive now. I’m one of the fortunate few. I bought Gravity Forms back when they were like a two-month old company, and they’re one of the few companies that honored their original agreement with me as long as I keep paying the licensing fee that I pay, I get their entire suite of everything at a reasonable price. Other people not so lucky, but it’s — Gravity Forms is what I always recommend; I’m going to have to look into the others.
I haven’t really worked with other form plugins for a long time, but I know I’m going to have to because not everyone can afford Gravity Forms. But that’s what I’d recommend if you’re looking for something more secure, and Gravity Forms has its own built-in honey pot along with adding Google reCAPTCHA. And I found by using the built-in honeypot, the honeypot alone eliminated 95% of my spam comments. And when I enabled Google reCAPTCHA, I eliminated the rest of them. Because what the honey pot does, it sticks in invisible field, if that invisible field is filled out, which is what a robot always does. A robot fills in every field that’s there because it doesn’t see the visual aspect. It only sees the code aspect. And it fills it in via the code aspect, and that’s why spam gets through and why spam can be so invasive because it’s a robot doing it. But the honey pot is always a good way. I don’t know if they offer up a honey pot setup for the Elementor form. It might be something that can be written as some additional code dropped into the functions file. I might want to research that. Can you add a honey pot feature to the Elementor form? Because a honey pot is a really great way to stop robots — because the moment they fill that in, the form is automatically discarded. It’s not even submitted. It’s just discarded. The robot thinks it sent something, but nothing actually happens, and it saves a lot of grief on your website. So that’s what I would say in that aspect there, Greg. And my suspect on this is that it’s a robot coming through on you. But hey, thanks a lot for taking the time. I’ll try to send something back to you via Email, but captured here, and we know you do listen to the show. You provide some great artwork. Thanks a lot, Greg. I greatly appreciate it.
Amber: Always nice to get a question for someone other than me?
John: Yep. Okay, and it is — all right. It’s a contest. We don’t have a new contest, but we do have a winner for this. The contest we extended by a couple of weeks, the Equalize Digital Accessibility Checker Pro, the annual single site license. The winner was Jason. Congratulations, Jason. You should have gotten an email from me. As soon as you respond back, we’ll get that back to you. A big thank you out there to Charlie for doing everything necessary to get these contests under control, and it’s been a struggle for last few weeks, but I know you’ll come through it. It’ll all get be good again. And thanks to Steve Goodtime and Brant Matthews for the jingle. We greatly appreciate it. So we’d currently have no new contest. And I think we’ll just put the contest on hiatus for a little while, simply because we’ve not been getting a lot of response to them. We’ll sit there and hold the licenses we have and we’ll build up the contest. We’ll get them all organized again. And then, we’ll start rolling them forward again. So stay tuned, folks. We will have more contests rolling your way. All right. And for — it’s coming up on quick Q&A time, so we want to close out a couple of quick things. Plugins I covered up in this episode where the Foxlis Geo for which I rated it a four. The Easy WebP – Speed Up your website by serving WebP Images, which I rated a four dragons. And the a2z Canada Post automated shipping for WooCommerce, which I rated at four dragons.
Amber: And I covered 2BC Form Security, which I rated five. Form Spammer Trap for Comments, which I rated four, and Anti Hacker Redirect, which I rated five. Although Form Spammer Trap for Comics, maybe that’s something I should look up — comic plugins.
John: Yeah, comic plugins. There’s a lot of comic plugins out there.
Amber: Yeah, I also look it up. I haven’t even thought about looking at comic plugins.
John: Yeah, there’s a lot of them for those that make comics and they want to publish them on their websites. Yeah. I looked into them once upon a time when I was trying to get a comic artist I know with their little critter to draw me comics. And I was even setting up the website for, but that person fell by the wayside on me unfortunately.
John: All right. A couple of quick things. Reminders, we don’t have a current meetup plan. We do have something coming. To let everyone know, I am preparing a meetup for the first week of July right around my birthday this year. I decided I’m going to actually have a birthday party. I haven’t had one for about four or five years now. It’s time for me to have a birthday party again. Maybe I’ll have a sunny day. I’m really hoping. Ever since I turned — I’m not going to say — every since a birthday, I — been seven years since I’ve had a sunny day on my birthday. It was so weird. So maybe it’ll be sunny again in July. All right. So that is coming. And that will be a combination meetup for lots of different events. So be prepared for that folks. News on that coming down the pike. As we said, if you’re not getting enough of us, join us for the new podcast over at the Rogues Tavern, shooting the shit at the tavern every Tuesday evening at 9 pm pacific time live, or just subscribe to it on your favorite podcast app. All right. It is — not that’s the wrong one. That was the wrong one entirely.
It’s question and answer time.
John: I forgot to have that one. I shouldn’t use that when you’re giving out all those fives today.
Amber: That’s what I was thinking. I figured it’d be thrown at me for all the things I give five today.
John: You’ve been well-behaved for the last several episodes, hardly ever bringing out a five. I mean, for like half-a-dozen episodes, everything you had was five. It’s like, my God, is there anything that’s not good?
Amber: Well, it’s because I brought all the really best ones forward, but then I realized, you know, maybe I should just, you know, sprinkle the best ones in.
John: Yeah. All right. It is Q&A time with Amber. And remember, folks, we split this partway through, and the other questions end up only on the YouTube channel. So, off we go, take it away, Amber.
Amber: First of all, I’d like to say if anyone has any questions that you’d like me to ask, or you’d like to ask john himself, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll get them into the segments. I can read them out or you can send me an audio thing and I can pass that along and it can be read out for — that can be read out instead. So my first question is, I think that when a domain goes up for sale, the content of the domain becomes copyright free, like you can take it and do it at what you like with it, if it’s all been left there. However, can the content become copyright free, so to speak, if neglected for an extended period of time, even if the domain is still being paid for?
John: Okay, well, let’s address your first part of this question here. First off, you have a misunderstanding of copyright. Copyright, as it currently stands in North America and throughout much of the globe, because Canada’s copyright law pretty much aligns with US copyright law. Minor differences here and there, but for the most part, it aligns. Copyright is automatic. The moment you put something down in writing or in any tangible format, and its creative content of any sort be it, photos, art, music, voice, everything, copyright is instantaneous. And it lasts for the lifetime of the creator plus 70 years.
Amber: I thought you had to apply for it and have things filled out and stuff.
John: Now, once upon a time, you did. Once upon a time, you had to apply for a copyright on things, and you had to renew that copyright every seven years. And that was when we had the most amount of innovation in the world for content, and books, and movies, and radio, and you name it. It was like — because people could reuse stuff all the time. But once the corporation’s got hold of it, they slammed the door, shut tighter than frog’s ass going underwater, you know — because they wanted to continue to make all their money, and they couldn’t do that if their copyrights expired. That’s why Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and all those are still not in the public domain though they were supposed to become public domain in 2000. And then they extended copyright until, you know — I think the last year was the first year in 19 years that any content entered the public domain. Now, content 1924 and older is public domain. We should be content 1937 and older is public domain, but we’re not.
So anyway, on to your other question, so the content does not become copyright free. It’s still owned by whoever created because you can’t take that content and do anything with it without permission of the original creator. The domain itself, that’s another thing — domains are not copyrighted unless you own a trademark to the domain. The domain itself is not copyrighted unless you own a trademark to the name that the domain represents. And so the domain — that’s why people have all these crazy domains, and that’s why — now you see companies inventing names, you know, acronym letters like tmblr, T-M-B-L-R or something, or they have to invent names for domain because the word tumbler was being used by somebody else’s domain, and they wanted a domain to match their company. So copyright does not go away.
In my opinion, copyright should be right back to where it was once upon a time where it lasted the lifetime of the author plus seven years. Because the lifetime of the author should be a given. The creator, they should always be able to benefit from their content. The problem is that it used to extend only seven years past their death or some. Don’t quote me on that, but that’s pretty accurate. It wasn’t very long after death that their content became public domain, but they kind of started pushing it up to like 75 years past their death now. So that means their kids and their grandkids and their great grandkids can now make a fortune off it like the great grandchildren of the guy who wrote The Hobbit — what’s his name?
John: Tolkein. You know, they make a fortune off of his work — and he’s long dead. And his work should be public domain because imagine the creative that can be made off of his work. And that’s where the thing is. And there’s many, many things like that should be, but they don’t because the corporations, they all want to make their money and they don’t want to actually work for their money. So they’re not talented, so they can’t do as well, let’s just keep making money off these the people that were talented, but are now dead. So, if the domain is still being paid for, well, they’re planning to do something with it. You know, if a domain is up for sale, that means somebody’s sitting on a valuable domain. They’re hoping somebody will give them a large chunk of money for that domain. I had a couple of domains like that back. I’m still got one. I’ve got trendychef.com, an awesome domain. I’ve had that domain for about 17 years now. I’m finally starting to put it to use, but if someone came along and offered me $100,000 for it, I’ll sell it. I mean, it’s an awesome domain. It can be used in so many ways, but I’ve got a couple of domains like that, really good names that I plan to use. And that’s the thing — so nobody can take it from me. All right. So that’s that question there.
Amber: Okay, next one is, say there’s an old site that’s been completely neglected that you want to save the content of, but it doesn’t belong to you. If you were to recreate it on your own domain, but give the original creator all of the credit for the information that you’re trying to save, would you still get in trouble for copywriting?
John: This one’s going to be an interesting one because the following two questions were partially answered in the beginning. I’m going to split us here at this question because the next two questions were more partially wrapped up in the first one, and we’ll read those questions. Is there a way to do something like what you just described in the second question, and the final question would be, how do you set down copyright on a site? And that was pretty much discussed in the first one. So let’s wrap this here. We’re going to let my girl take us out of here. I’m going to enjoy my shot, and we will answer the stuff up. So, come on back to the YouTube channel for all the good stuff people.
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