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Transcript of Episode 502 WP Plugins A to Z

Brain Stumped It's Episode 502 - We have plugins for Wasting Time, Shipping Goods, Random Text, Meetings, Logs, Teasing the AI....., and ClassicPress Options. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

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 #502 here.

Brain Stumped It’s Episode 502 – We have plugins for Wasting Time, Shipping Goods, Random Text, Meetings, Logs, Teasing the AI….., and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

Episode #502


John:                All right. First off, ClassicPress options. It seems we do have a little bit of ClassicPress this week. We have a plugin that was recently discovered by my marketing manager when she was correcting all my spelling mistakes in the notes. And it is called Block plugin updates v1.0.0-rc1. And what is it supposed to do? It’s an easy click on the unlocked side, easy click on the unlock, lock on the plugin page. The lock gets closed and updates — oh, it’s an easy way to prevent updates with ClassicPress. Oh, cool. So it blocks all updates. All right. That’s some pretty cool plugin; WordPress needs one of those. WordPress needs that plugin. You just go through and click, click, click, click, lock them all down. All right. So that’s a pretty cool plugin. I kind of like it. It’s not something I’ve used, so I can’t give it a rating, but it’s good to know that plugins are being developed for ClassicPress. Hopefully, more stuff will come down the pike. Those of you that use ClassicPress alongside WordPress, if you got something for us, send it in. We’d greatly appreciate it. Also the usual for ClassicPress, all the links to their forums, and everywhere else.

Yes, off we go into WordPress plugins. And the first one I’ve got for you this week was one that was sent into us. It was sent in by Alden Gannon, and it is called And this is a plugin that’s supposed to help with your events using AI features., here we go, here’s the link for it. It’s to automatically assist your website in producing the most popular events or bringing in other events. It’s an event-generation platform. I’m not entirely certain what it does. I only skimmed through it. But because it was sent in to us, I wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention. It looks like an interesting plugin. It looks like an interesting event calendar, and that’s basically what it seems to be is an event calendar plugin — looks kind of neat. I kind of like the layouts in it. I don’t know if that’s default stuff or stuff you have to go through and customize, but it does look like a very useful plugin. So go check this one out. It’s And according to their description, EventAgent is an event calendar plugin that uses AI to market your events. Also, it uses them to market your events. I don’t know where it markets them too. I guess it markets them to the other AI’s out there on the Internet — must be quite a few —

Amber:              I mean, we have to choose where it goes?

John:                Yeah, maybe behavior science, how you get paid, features and pricing. I don’t know, there’s a lot to it. Go check it out, folks. Currently, I’d give it a three-dragon rating based on what I see.

Amber:            And the first one I’ve got for you is MeetFox. It’s a really nice, easy, simple-to-use book meeting button. There’s a few options on how the button looks depending on whether you want to be floating, or pop up, or just be static.

John:                Book meeting button?

Amber:            Yes book meeting. It’s like what you do is you put in the link to where to like a calendar or something and they click the button, and they get to book a meeting with you.

John:                Oh, so it’s just a button. Oh, okay.

Amber:            Yeah, it’s really simple, really easy to use, and it’s completely free. Great for people who are just starting up their website or who are just getting into this whole area. There’s really not much to say about it. It’s pretty simple, straightforward, easy to use. I rate it at five dragons.


John:                All right. My small glass of stuff here. Damn it.

Amber:            You shouldn’t do that.

John:                No, I shouldn’t knock things over on my desk having liquid. That means I have to stop and clean things up, soak up the liquid before it ends up in places that it shouldn’t.

Amber:            Got to fix the flood.

John:                Got to fix the flood, man. Podcaster down, podcaster down. Got to get up underneath the thing for my monitor and get that all cleaned up. There we go. All right.

Amber:            You know, it’s funny. We all think that our desks are flat until we spill something on it, and then, we realize just how awkward and crooked our desks actually are.

John:                Oh, yeah, they’re a mess. I can’t believe I did that. That’s such a shame. All right.

Amber:            Right side of your desk will be a lot cleaner now.

John:                Well, just the one corner.

Amber:            Well, the one corner will be much cleaner.

John:                Yes, it didn’t get very far. All right. Let’s move along here. You’re lucky I managed to get my five-dragon rating out on that one. All right. The next thing I’ve got for you here, this will start out here — I had mentioned a plugin in the last show called A to Z Canada Post. I mentioned it in Episode 501, and I was going to get back to on it, see how it came while I finally had some time last week because I’m using this plugin on my own e-commerce store for the Rogues Tavern. And when I went to set it up, I found out that it was a third-party system, and it had a hell of a lot of crap to go through to set it up. And I’m like, yeah, okay, well, I overrated that one. I have to knock that one all the way down to two just for my disappointment. All right. So I can’t recommend that one. So I did do some research and started digging into plugins for shipping for Canada Post, and I came up with Canada Post Shipping for WooCommerce. This is a very nice plugin, very easy to use. It sets up. It is the free version, has a premium version, which is not the end of the world. It just means you have less control over the fine tuning of the plugin. All you have to do is go to Canada Post, get your account, set up your account to Canada Post, then get your API keys from Canada Post, insert them into this thing here. And then as you’re building out your products at WooCommerce, you got to make sure you put a weight in your product how much it weighs because what it does is now it connects through Canada Post, and it’s based on the postal code that you set up in the plugin to determine, okay, were you shipping from this postal code? Okay, is going to go to this postal code in Canada? So it’s going to cost you this much based on the weight of the product. And, of course, it adds up the total weight of all the products you’re going to be shipping to give that person a total estimate of the cost, which is a pretty cool feature. And I did test it out, and it does seem to give accurate prices. Although you can’t control the title, it puts the title up as snail mail, so which I thought was cool, but now, okay, whatever, but there you can go buy the premium versions. Not that much, it’s 29 bucks. I’m not ready to spend the money yet because I’m not making money in my store yet. I will probably end up buying it. And once you buy the premium version, you can go in and control that. It also will give other options for Canada Post two first types of shipping. So it’s a really interesting plugin. It does seem to work very well. And because it’s got a premium version only test the free, I only give it a four dragon rating. But go check this one out if you’re looking for a plugin to ship using Canada Post, and it’s called Canada Post Shipping for WooCommerce.

Amber:            I actually really like the sound of that. It sounds pretty awesome.

John:                Yeah, it’s pretty nice and useful.

Amber:            It sucks if the first one turned out to be such a disappointment though.

John:                Yeah, I was really saddened by that one because it just looks so cool, but that’s life. Sometimes you get winners, sometimes you get losers.

Amber:            Yeah, so the next one I have is Logtivity. I think that’s how I say it.

John:                Yep, that looks like Logtivity.

Amber:            This is a site tracker. It keeps records of the activity on your site and sends you logs of it, hence the name. This is a fairly fresh plugin. It’s been nicely kept up so far. Unfortunately, these guys get a point removed almost right away from me because you have to make an account with them like a third party, like you would have to own a third-party site. You can’t do anything with this plugin until you make an account with them, and they get to keep a copy of everything that you get a copy of.

John:                They get all your data.

Amber:            Yes. So, it is totally free. You just have to give them all of your information. So that bombed down a point.

John:                Which means they collect a lot of useful information as they can then use for marketing?

Amber:            Yes. It has some really good options, I have to admit. You can be as watchful as you like, right down to recording the login names to see specifically who is doing what on your site. You are able to customize log events and able to keep every log you receive if you so desire. So like, have it on a hardcopy. When I dug a bit into this, I found out that a lot of these plugins that are free like this, you can look at your log, but unless you print it out, you can’t keep it. This one, it’ll actually keep it for you. It doesn’t delete it automatically after a certain amount of time, it just keeps it. So I thought that was kind of cool. So if you need to understand what’s most popular, what’s the least popular on your site you need to figure out whatever uses for anything. I do recommend it. It is free. It’s kind of irritating that you have to set an account with them, but I mean, that’s what you’re going to get when you look for a free plugin like this.

John:                Well, you’re already giving all that data to Google anyway when you set up Google Analytics.

Amber:            Exactly, so I rate this at four dragons.

John:                Yeah, not too bad, but one nice thing about it is, obviously, that means you’re not taxing your own server. Like there are plugins that do the same thing that keep all the data on your server. The problem with those plugins — and I’ve used them in the past is that they — as the time goes on, and the data collection gets more and more. It actually slows down your website because the tables get too big. So, by having the data offloaded to a third party, you don’t run into that problem. I can see an advantage of that. in this space, if you’re signed up for Google Analytics, and let’s face it, who isn’t, you’re giving the exact same information to Google. So because it’s where do people go on your website. What are they doing? And then these guys here run their AI through it and compare it to multiple other sites of similar function and come up with some patterns, and then they use that to sell advertising, I’m sure.

Amber:            Hemdian is trying to remember the saying, if you’re not the customer, you’re the commodity?

John:                Yeah, if it’s free, you’re the product.

Amber:            Product. There we go.

John:                That’s the big thing. If it’s free, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. I do not believe in a free lunch. If you’re getting it free, then you’re the product. Yeah, it’s always been like that. That’s how the Internet was created. And once they realized and once they started creating the AI’s or the bots, the artificial bots to run through the data, collect the data, combine it together, and put it together with words and stuff, they made it much easier to rip that data apart, analyze it, and pick out patterns. Basically, all the AI does is it picks out patterns faster the human brain does.

Amber:            Very useful.

John:                Yeah. That’s all it can do. All right. So, the next one I have for you here is one that I was kind of excited about as a way for me to put on my website and waste tons of fun time, and that’s the Embed Solitaire with an Iframe onto your website. It’s supposed to work with a simple shortcode, but alas, I was so disappointed. I went to make it work and it wouldn’t work. And I’m reading it, I’m going back, I’m reading it. And it’s like, okay, well, it should work. And the the part where it says, well, it’s dependent upon our website. And I was like, okay, well, maybe their website is down right now. I went and looked. Nope, their website was working fine. I managed to waste the whole 10 minutes before I would –oh, what am I doing? I’m sitting here playing Solitaire. Solitaire is like an horribly addicting thing.

Amber:            It really is.

John:                Especially computerized. Because you move much, much quicker. So, at any rate, I got ended up really disappointed. I was looking forward to having something on my site where I could direct people to that just waste time, and I can run messages underneath it to play with their mental and flash them subliminal messages, just buy everything or some other things while they’re sitting there. At any rate, unfortunately, because I couldn’t get it up and running, and I have to give this one a two-dragon rating. It’s so sad.

Amber:            Oh, a sad day for dragon ratings for you today.

John:                So sad. But if they fix it, I’ll keep an eye on it. Maybe they’ll fix it. Maybe it’s just a glitch. They bring it back and I’m able to test it all pop it right back up to. I was ready to give it a five if it was working, but it’s probably worthy of a five. Anything that’s an absolute time waster for people, it’s got to be a five.

Amber:            You know, you could always use the snake game to do what you’re just talking about.

John:                No, I never liked the snake game.

Amber:            Really? I love that game.

John:                Yeah. Well, anyway, it’s called Embed Solitaire Iframe. It may work. It is a brand new plugin. It had just been out like 10 days or something, so maybe they just launched a glitchy version. All right, next up.

Amber:            I was just reading Hemdian’s note. There may be — no such thing as a free lunch, but in Calgary, during Stampede week, there is such thing as a free breakfast, or there was back in the day. Yes, I used to do security at the Calgary Stampede. There is always free breakfast there.

John:                Yeah, well, you got to get some food into those cowboys who had been drinking all night because now they got to get back on the bulls.

Amber:            Lots of coffee too.

John:                Yep, lots of coffee unless they’re young — young and stupid.

Amber:            And it’s not bad. They actually make decent coffee there. At least they did when I was doing security there. So the last one I’ve got, I think — yes, last one. Is any Ipsum — and it is related to the Bacon Ipsum. It’s another unique Ipsum plugin. I know I certainly get bored of the same fake writing all the time. Doesn’t everyone else? And if you take this Ipsum and you mix it with the Yield Pirate plugin, you will have a fantastic time reading what you get. It is just so entertaining.

John:                Cool.

Amber:            Yeah, so this works pretty simple. You just plug it in there on the shortcode, choose your mix, or put in your own words, and letter it. Totally free and it definitely makes for a really fun time when you start playing around with it. I do recommend this, and it gets a five-dragon rating.

John:                Now, let’s read a little sample from their showing — here we go. Where’d that go? Pancetta fatback strip steak ground round pastrami, tail ball tip.  Pork chop meatloaf jerky ribeye red beef ribs, corn beef, andoulle flank sausage. That sounds like a fun one to create some good Lorem Ipsum text, which could almost make sense.

Amber:            Yeah, and if you actually throw in the , some of those words become really weird, they become ruined .

John:                They become paradized . All right. Well, this show still — well, this is not a sponsor. It’s just me promoting myself here.


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John:                Absolutely, high-quality hosting, and just so everyone knows, the last server is starting to fill up quick, man. Once I fill that server, I will not take any more clients until one leaves me. And the interesting thing is, it’s very rare for a client to leave me. I have clients that have been with me now for 21 years.

Amber:            Pretty amazing really.

John:                Yeah. So my clients generally don’t leave. I’ve had a few leave, but they were impatient people. There’s always periods of time where a company has a rough time, maybe they’ve had a rough week, and their servers have problems or failures happen, and these people get all pissy and they go, “Fine, I’m leaving you.”  It’s like, “Okay, fine. I’m not going to argue with you — bail, whatever you –” But if they just stuck around, they would have ended up with better higher quality service, but they didn’t. So that’s the thing. It’s like if someone’s been good, I found over the years, my clients tend to forget that, oh, they’ve had two three years of solid uptime, no problems. And then, I have maybe a day or two of problems, and they suddenly get all bitches like, wait a minute, didn’t you notice that we ran perfect for years? And now we have a problem. Problems happen, give people a break. If they can’t solve the problems, then you leave them. Yeah, but I still have clients that have been with me for 21 years now since I first started my hosting business. Actually, I’m going on 22 years now because I started my hosting business in 1999.

Amber:            Amazing.

John:                And they’ve been with me through the transition from server to server to quality — from crap to quality to — poor to quality, and now on high-quality servers. All right. And contests, we do not have a contest right now. We have decided to put the contest on hiatus for a while. We weren’t getting a lot of response from people out there, all you wonderful listeners out there. We just haven’t been getting a response, so we decided to put them on hiatus for a while and work up a few things with it. We will be bringing them back. It’ll take a few weeks till we bring it all back again, but we’ll keep mentioning week after week. I do want to thank Steve Goodtime and Brett Matthews for the jingle that we play, and Charlie who is helping us get the contest all organized and put together. So thank you very much to those folks out there. All right. And close out a couple things before we jump into the Q&A segment with Amber. And first off, the plugins I covered up here today was the Embed Solitaire Iframe for which I rated a two-dragon due to the fact I could not get it to function at all. The Canada Post Shipping for WooCommerce, which I gave a four — which I rated four dragons because it’s a freemium version plugin. And the, which markets your events, which I rated at a three-dragon.

Amber:            And I covered Any Ipsum, which I rated five, Logtivity — I don’t know why I have such a hard time with that one — I rated that four, and MeetFox, which I rated five.

John:                All right. And a couple of quick reminders, meetups are going to be coming back soon. I’ve still got room. I’ve got to use up some space on. I need to reach out to them folks and see about making sure they understand they still owe me, I think three nights of meeting room space. And we do have the Hike Club for men, which is all set up for an event coming this Sunday. For anyone who wants to check it out, just go to the Rogues Tavern or go to and the WordPress meetup. There will be one this summer and outdoor one, and it’ll be combined Rogues Tavern, Hike club for men, No Agenda, My Birthday Party, a whole bunch of things, all at one time. So it’s going to be a great time. It’s basically a good day for partying and drinking.

Amber:            Totally.

John:                Absolutely, and it will be held at the Oasis. If you want to know what the Oasis looks like, go check out the Okay, if you’re not getting enough of us, you can go check out Amber and I every Tuesday evening at 9 pm. We do another podcast for the Rogues Tavern. It’s Shooting the Shit at the Tavern. All right. It is time for —


It’s question and answer time.

John:                With Amber.

Amber:            So if anyone out there has any questions that they’d like to have me ask, send them to me at, and I’ll read them out for you and get you some answers. My first question is, what is TLS 1.0?

John:                TLS 1.0 is Transport Layer Security version one.

Amber:            Okay, again, what is it? I don’t understand.

John:                You asked what it is, that’s what it is.

Amber:            What is it?

John:                What does it do? Well, does nothing anymore, they’ve disabled it. It’s no longer functioning on the Internet. It’s one of the things that caused the Internet to break in the last few weeks. It was the fact that they disabled TLS 1. I can’t remember if they’re on two, five, or three; I’m not even sure what version of TLS we’re on now. I should be paying attention to it, but I paid tech guys to keep my servers up-to-date now. Anyway, Transport Layer Security, it is the layer of security that is used for the end-to-end encryption on your website when you’re using SSL encryption on your website, and it’s transmitting the data between the website and your browser, and the Transport Layer Security is the layer that the security’s transported on. I really don’t have a lot of explanation for it because my brain knows what it is and what it does, but it doesn’t know how to explain it in English — or even to explain it in non-English. It’s the thing on the Internet that is used for transmitting data securely, is what it is.

Amber:            Okay, so it’s the thing that makes it possible for a IP address to do a handshake with the website?

John:                Yes, there you go. Yeah, as Hemdian just popped in for us to help us out, it’s TLS encrypts the API communications.

Amber:            Oh, okay, I understand.

John:                And I know that they have basically turned off TLS 1 because it was getting old and insecure, or probably it was becoming crackable. So they’re getting rid of it, and they moved to the next level, which is version 2 — and I think there’s a 2.5 I’d have to go look at my server to see what’s set up in there. It’s, like I said, I don’t do all of that work anymore. I pay tech guys to manage it for me.

Amber:            So I’m just going to add a question in here. How do you know what version you — how do you even have a version?

John:                Your server has the version. The server is sending the data. As Hemdian just said, if you have an API that’s sending credit card info, you don’t want that sent in clear text. It’s like — a lot of things on the Internet nowadays, very little is sent via clear text. That’s why if you log on to a WordPress website that is not using SSL, there’s a big warning that says warning, the data you transmit here might be sent as plain text or might be viewable by others — because the data is being sent as plain text when it’s not sent via SSL. And SSL is sending it, but TLS is the encryption protocol. SSL is the encryption protocol.

Amber:            Okay, so how would you know if you are on TLS 1.0 or not?

John:                It won’t work right now. Your site breaks — things break if you’re on TLS 1. Things are breaking. I think we had a brief discussion of it last week or the week after, I had an article about TLS 1. And it was, in fact, that’s been replaced or it’s been — what’s the word I’m looking for? I want to say defunct or deprogrammed, defunded?

Amber:            Upgraded?

John:                No, no, no. They have a term when they’re turning off protocols or things, or they’re getting rid of lines of code. I can’t remember the term right now. But anyway, that’s what TLS is, is just for your Transport Layer Security for transmitting your data securely so that it’s encrypted and no one — they can grab the data, but it makes it hard for them to see what that data is because they’ve got a supercomputer, and they’ve got good encryption running.

Amber:            I had asked you because when I tried researching it myself, there was no plain English used. It was all these acronyms and short things and these confusion stuff.

John:                That’s what I said I understand it, only because — I think it was about three or four years ago, one of my servers, we started having problems with our TLS protocols on it for some strange reason. It started having problems with the protocols and we had to go through like a week of fixing the protocols, reinstalling stuff, uninstalling stuff, and that’s where I had to learn about it. And that’s why it’s still stuck in my head is because I spent so much time fixing something. And that was back before I was paying the guys mostly full-time to manage my servers I had to do this myself. So it was something I had to learn how to fix.

Amber:            Hemdian added, server will support a range of TLS and other parts. Same with client, when coms are initiated, client and server will negotiate a common one. The TLS support is baked into your browser. I like that.

John:                Yes, okay. That’s true. He’s correct there but TLS 1 is being removed. TLS 1 is being defuncted and deprogrammed. It begins with a D — depreciated. TLS 1 is being depreciated. And as it’s depreciated, it’s going to disappear, and it started breaking the Internet last week — as it’s being depreciated across the Internet — because many, many places support it. Okay, next question.

Amber:            I think it may have been the last episode, you mentioned something about CSS Hiding Elements and Penalization for it. Do you remember that? Do you remember what we are talking about?

John:                I vaguely remember it, but I can tell you what I was talking about. With CSS, you can hide any element or text blocks you want in your website, but you’re only hiding it from your visitor who looks at your website. You’re not hiding it from the search engines because you hide it, but the text is still printed in the background. When you look at — like, you can go to a page and you can right click on a page, and then you can hit ‘view page source’, and then, you can see the source code of the page. You can see what is output on the page, which is all the code of the site, and how it’s output for everyone — and there will be hidden elements in there. And one of the things that Blackhat SEO artists use to help people improve their website, they’ll create a block of text at the bottom of the page with a whole bunch of stuff in it to supposedly help the search engines, and then, they’ll put CSS on it, and say ‘hide this element.’ So, a user will never see that block of text, but the search engines will see it. Well, the search engines also see the hide command from CSS. So what they think is, hey, they’re trying to scam us here. They don’t want users to see this, but they want us to see it, and so they could penalize you for it because they will think, hey, they’re trying to scam us. So that’s why hide works well when you’re hiding certain types of elements, but if there’s lots of blocks of text or other things in there, it could give you a serious SEO penalty.

Amber:            Oh, okay. That makes sense. And the next question is, why do plugins get closed down? Is it that people who created them or is it something else that shuts them down, like — do you know?

John:                Okay, I do sort of have an answer. We’ve got another question that’s sort of related to that one. I think that’s a good point to split the show. So what’s the second question?

Amber:            Why do plugin stop working if they are kept up-to-date and you are up-to-date on your website?

John:                Okay. All right. So these sort of related to each other, sort of not, but we’ll come back to these. We’re going to close out the show. Let my girl take us out of here. I’m going to enjoy my shot, and we will come back in a moment or two.


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Thanks for listening to the show. This show is copyright by So until next time, have yourselves a good morning, good afternoon, or a good evening, wherever you happen to be out there on the globe today.


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