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 #512 here.
Charging Forward It’s Episode 512 – We have plugins for Filling Your Time,Tracking Email, Social Sharing, Simplifying Things, Going Fishing …, and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right, first off, ClassicPress options. We still don’t have ClassicPress options. I haven’t been working in ClassicPress, so I haven’t done any added research there. My time is limited, and what I can do with my free time and ClassicPress has just not been on the list to play with it. At any rate, those of you that listen to this show that do use ClassicPress, hey, kick us the information, send us plugins. You’ll get the acknowledgment for sending the information, and we can get more stuff in here for ClassicPress. We’ve got lots of links here to all sorts of ClassicPress resources in the show notes, so go check those out. All right. WordPress plugins, first one I’ve got out the gate for us here today. It was sent in to us by Nasimi Gara, and it is called Booknetic. And this is a premium plugin. Yeah, it’s a premium plugin, and it’s available through CodeCanyon. It’s a feature-rich customizable appointment booking plugin in WordPress. I haven’t fully installed and tested, they did give me one test license to test out, and I haven’t fully installed it yet. But I did give it a quick run-through and a checkout, and it does look like a pretty useful scheduler. It might be the kind of scheduler I want to check out and replace the one that I’m currently paying for, that I use on my website. Anything that can help save me a couple of bucks each month is always a bonus to me. But it does look pretty interesting, and it does look like a scheduler that you can work with, create group appointments, reoccurring appointments. You can take PayPal stripe payments through it; a whole lot of different things that it offers for you. Go check this one out. It’s called Booknetic, and I give it a four-dragon rating.
Amber: That sounds pretty cool, not quite the magnetic book that I was thinking. So, first one that I’ve got is Easy Appointments. I was really interested in this. I was hoping it would turn out to be totally awesome, but when I started messing around a bit with it, I found it to be kind of overly strict. If you have only a few employees, and it’s easy to set up schedules and availability for them, this will work great for you, but if you have this sort of business where employees simply pick up the next available job, once they’re done their current project, I don’t think this could work. Because you need to be able to name every single employee, put down their hours available and their days available, and you need to be able to link every single appointment to those specific employees and their schedule. You also cannot create anything until all the employees and their available hours and dates are put into the system, which I found to be kind of really restrictive. If they had an option where you could put NA, it would be great. There’s also the aspect of needing to know CSS in order to get this to look more pretty on your site, if the look and feel is important to you and you don’t quite like how it’s showing up. And there’s another issue with the Pro version not really offering much more than a free version. When I looked into it, people were complaining that there were still a lot of glitches because the Pro version was still being developed in a few ways. So that’s kind of a drawback as well. However, if you need this kind of strict setup for your employees and the times they’re available, and you don’t mind the look and feel of this form, and this will be a perfect plugin for you. Just don’t bother with the Pro version until they expand upon a little more and make it actually worth the money in my opinion. I give it a middle rating of three dragons.
John: Very nice. You know what’s interesting about this one? When I saw it, I was like, is that the same one? This is the one I did a training video on several years back. And also I gave it a much better rating because it was a pretty decent plugin back when it was first developed. I still get questions on my training video, which is still up on the YouTube channel on it, and I’m like, yeah, that video is so out of date now, and I haven’t looked at this. I consider looking at this one again, but this one here from what I recall, is the kind of plugin you only use for, say, you’ve got a massage parlor or a nail salon, or a haircutting place, and you strictly work by appointments and you have appointment blocks set out. And it was a pretty good plugin for that kind of thing, but it doesn’t have a lot of flexibility in it. So at any rate, it —
Amber: It’s great for that, but not if you need it for anything else.
John: Yeah, I can’t remember the rating I gave it; I’d have to go dig through the archives of the website, but I did review it way back when I created the training video for it. All right, the next one I have for you is another plugin that was sent in to us by Nasimi Gara. And this one here is called FS Poster. I want to call it posting your Fs. That’s pretty much how I would name it, posting your Fs. Do I have any little F’s left the post? All right. No, I’m pretty much out of Fs. All right, so anyway, no fun with the name, it’s a pretty interesting one. This is auto publisher for posting to all the major social media platforms. And according to this, it’ll auto-post to 15 plus social media platforms. It’s a great opportunity to auto-post your WordPress post and to all the social networks, and you’ll be able to — you can also use it to schedule up posts with it. You can also use it to republish previously created posts. Now, this is one that I am going to install and test fully on the website to see how it works. So right now I’m giving a brief overview on it. I’m going to rate it at a four because it does look good and it is a premium plugin, and they did provide us with a license to test it out. So I’m going to give it a full-blown test, and I’ll bring this one back to the review channel at another time after I’ve had a chance to give it a full, thorough vetting, and let’s see how it posts out over time, plus see how much difficulties involved in connecting it up to the various social networks, which is usually the problem with these auto posters. The plugins usually are great, but it’s the connection process, getting it connected to the social platforms, which is never the plugin developer’s fault. It’s the social platforms fault. Because they don’t want you auto post, and they want you to sit there and live on your phone and don’t do anything, don’t eat, drink, or sleep, just sit there and play on their platforms. At any rate, go check this one out. It’s called FS poster, and I give it a four-dragon rating.
Amber: And the next one I have is called Fish Tail. This is a fun new plugin. Once you activate this, you wind up with a small school fish that follows a pointer on the screen. It’s lots of fun. You can make the fish bounce off the walls by moving the mouse towards the wall. I thought that was awesome. When your mouse goes off-screen, the fish just kind of bounce around where your mouse goes off the screen, and then they hang out waiting for your mouse to come back. So much fun.
John: You’re so cruel to digital fish.
Amber: Also, bonus, the fish do not go into the header or anything you have on your page that is not just the background. So they don’t interfere with the information itself on your pages, which is actually really good thing to have. Unfortunately, they are a little glitch. They don’t work with WordPress 5.6, and you lose them when you scroll down the page. They just started hanging out the top section of your page, no following you all the way down. But it’s lots of fun. I really hope these guys are able to keep this plugin going, maybe expand upon it, create other little shapes to follow the mouse. I really, really like this idea. It’s so awesome. Unfortunately, because of the glitches, I’m only going to rate it at middle of the road three dragons, but I really do love the plugin.
John: Maybe I’ll put some dragons in there. It’ll be lots of fun.
Amber: Or paint brushes or something. I just think it’s an awesome idea, I love it. Keep it on my Sandbox, just so I can watch the fish.
John: All right, the last one I’ve got here for you today is called mail logging, WP Mail Catcher. And this one here came about — I had to do some mail diagnostics on a client site and find out where the emails were disappearing to on their website. And this is a great tool. There’s lots of these plugins out there, and I’ve used several of them, but this is one I hadn’t seen before, and I thought, well, let’s give this one a try and see what it looks like besides it will give me something to review on the show. It’s a great one, you just install it, activate it. And now what happens is it starts tracking every single email sent from your WordPress website, and it tells you if it was successfully delivered if it failed to be delivered. And what I found was my emails were leaving the website, but they were being sent to an email address I didn’t realize was embedded in the site somewhere. And once I fixed that, I started to get my emails from the website as they were appropriately sent. So, at any rate, it does help you diagnose it. The other really cool feature I found with it is it keeps a log of all those emails. And what you can also do is you can go open up that email that was sent from your site through the log, and it shows you the content that was sent. Now, this one could be useful to find out if somehow somebody is managing the spoof stuff on your site and using your site to send spam. This is a great way to help track down that sort of event that might be occurring on your site. All in all, a pretty excellent tool for tracking your emails off of your website, and making every sure everything works the way it’s supposed to. Go check this one out. It’s called mail logging, WP Mail Catcher, and I give it a five-dragon rating.
Amber: That sounds crazy useful.
John: It is very useful.
Amber: Not as far as fish following your mouse though?
John: No, no.
Amber: The last one I’ve got is called User Admin Simplifier. Now, when I saw this, I honestly wasn’t too sure about it. When I looked at the description, it seemed like one of those so basic that they’re just not really actually useful plugins, but then I tested it out and I was very pleasantly surprised. This is a simple plugin, but it’s really useful, really easy to understand, very easy to use, awesomely effective. Once you activate it, you go into the settings, which you’ll find under the tools, and you’re able to choose any of the users right from there. You can disable any of the menus, submenus, even the admin bar for that page. This also works on a multi-site, just make sure you are on the correct site dashboard, and you’re golden. It works on everything. It’s really cool, totally free, and I rate it at five dragons.
John: Very cool. Anything to help simplify the user admin. All right, well, that wraps up all the plugins here. Just real quick thing, this show is still supported by…
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John: Absolutely, nothing but the best. And remember, folks, I’m running out of space on my servers — going to be running out probably in the next few months, and then, this ad will just go away and I’ll have to come up with something else cool. Maybe we’ll have the Rogues Tavern support the show. Yeah, well, thing is, is that we’re running out. Hey, for those of you that are listening, there’re five people out there live, hit that little like button, man, like the videos. Come on, take a moment like the videos. All right. We have a couple things to close out. Oh, first off, before we start to move down to that, we’ve still got to talk about our contests.
Hell of a bit there, makes you want to turn into a head banger, really does. It’s got that head-banging rhythm. All right, our contest, we are bringing them back next month, so make sure you pay attention, start signing up for the contest when they show up, and we’ll be talking about whatever plugins and licenses we get. And a big thank you to Charlie out there who is working tirelessly behind the scenes to get all this stuff gathered up for us. So thank you very much, Charlie, for all the time and effort you’ll be putting into doing this for us. We greatly appreciate you doing that for us. It’s probably the only way the contest would continue is having someone else do it — and see this is another thing. Charlie, great listener of the show, he decided to devote some time to the show. This is what we’re talking about; time, talent, and treasure, folks. If you got time, you want to support the show in some way with time, hey, reach out to us, we’ll find something for you to do. If you got talent, artwork, if you got cash, treasure, kick it our way. All those things help make this a much better show. We’re really trying to be well-behaved here. We really are. It’s hard sometimes, but we really want to bring you high-quality content, which is appropriate to the WordPress world. All right. So a couple other things to quickly wrap up before we move into the Q&A segment with Amber. Plugins covered up this week; I covered up Booknetic, which I gave a four to, the FS Poster, which I gave a four to, and the Mail Logging WP Mail Catcher, which I gave a five.
Amber: I covered Easy Appointments, which I gave a three, Fish Tail, which I gave a three, User Admin Simplifier, which I gave a five. Quick joke about fish.
Amber: What’s the fish without an eye?
John: An eye fish. Okay, all right.
Amber: It’s a fun little joke.
John: No, that’s like a dad joke, man. This is a mom joke in your case.
Amber: Yep, it’s mom joke.
John: All right, couple of quick reminders. We’re still working on — we’re trying to figure out something for meetups. They will come back eventually. And another, if you’re not getting enough of Amber and I, and you want to hear us where we can actually go crazy, go check out the Rogues Tavern every Tuesday evening at 8 pm pacific time over at the roguestavern.com/live. All right, it is this time…
It’s question and answer time.
John: With Amber. All right, I should actually just record that and fix that. Add that type in there the bit.
Amber: You should.
John: All right, this is a Q&A segment. This is where we got to remember, folks, we’ll split this right in the middle somewhere where it’s semi-natural for the split, but off you go kiddo.
Amber: First of all, if anyone out there has any questions that they’d like to have asked and answered as possible, send them to me at Amber@wppro.ca. I will get them into the segment, and we’ll see if my dad can answer. So, first question I have for you is, when you’re renewing your domains, say you paid for two years, then one year owning it, you paid for another five years. Would you not have six years paid for?
John: Yes, you would.
Amber: Cool, so you just kind of add the time on, really cool.
John: You can add the time on. I think they cap it at a maximum of 10 years — at least they used to. I actually have a client, I think, is due for his domain renewal next year, and the last time he paid for it was 10 years ago. So he’s probably going to go, “What am I getting this invoice for?”
Amber: So, the next question. That one was pretty simple, I guess.
John: Yeah, that was pretty straightforward.
Amber: All domains you have never developed. There are three questions that go with this, and then, there’s like three questions to go with the next bit. So, first of all, do all domains get hacked if you’ve never developed them?
John: I got to get a clarification here by what you mean. Okay, all domains, you mean, if you’ve never developed. I mean you’ve registered a domain and you’ve never put it on a web hosting service. Is that what you mean? By never developed, or you mean, you’ve put it on a web hosting service, it’s set up for hosting, and you’ve never put a website to it.
Amber: Never put a website to it.
John: Okay, because here there’s a big difference. It’s like I have domains that I’ve never put on my server, and I have domains where I’ve put them on my server, but I’ve never put a website tool.
Amber: Okay, that actually leads me to another question real quick.
John: Okay, well, let’s finish though. Let’s finish the first part here, do they get hacked? And now that you’ve clarified, you’ve put them on a server, you’ve attached the domain to a web hosting service, which means now you got to build a website. But if you’ve never built the website, they could get hacked as far as the security of the web server goes because if there’s nothing there if there’s no web pages for them to attack, no vectors for them to attack, it’s just a web name and an empty directory, there’s nothing they can do. The hackers can’t do anything unless they can infiltrate your FTP access or some other way to get a file uploaded to that empty directory. If they managed to get a file uploaded to that empty directory, then it could be hacked. So that’s a both yes and no. They could and couldn’t be hacked. There’s a lot that goes into it depends on security, how it’s set up, and other issues.
Amber: Okay, how do you have a domain and not have it on a host thing, like, how do you just have the name?
John: You spy the name at the domain registrar, and you don’t do anything with it. It just sits in a domain registering, and when someone entered a domain, it goes to nowhere. It goes, “Domain can’t be found.” Because it doesn’t exist as far as the Internet is concerned.
Amber: Okay, Hemdian said all domains never die; they only fade into spam sites.
John: They actually do. What happens is somebody quits paying for the domain, and then, the new owners buy that domain, and then, they build a new website, redirect all the traffic to that new website is full of spam. Oh, yeah, it happens. I’ve seen it.
Amber: Okay, so the next one connected to old domains that have never been developed. Do you need to upgrade the PHP and whatnot on those in order to keep them? So, like, yes, they’re on a hosting thing, but you haven’t done anything to it.
John: You don’t have to really do anything. There’s very little chance. If you haven’t done anything, haven’t built a website, haven’t installed WordPress or anything, and it’s just sitting there, you pretty much don’t have to do anything to it because it’s not impossible to hack it, but it’s extremely hard to hack it, and make for the hackers to make use of it.
Amber: Okay, I’m going to change my last question here a little bit. Would there be any upgrades needed to PHP or anything like that when you do go to build on them? They say you bought it like few years ago, it’s sitting there waiting for something you haven’t done anything, and then you go to build on it. Are there upgrades that you need to do in order to be able to?
John: Well, that’s maybe — that depends on the hosting while you’re hosting with me. So, you don’t have to because then my hosting services, if somebody hasn’t attached their website or done anything to it, their PHP will get upgraded automatically. And so, when they first start building their site, it will start with the latest version of PHP — and that’s a semi-automatic thing on my servers. You know, some servers — so I think, older cPanel, it won’t automatically do these sorts of updates. So there’s a lot that goes into it. It depends on what the hosting provider is doing, what’s the server setup are. It may or may not need upgrades to move forward.
Amber: Okay, so the next question is, all domains that you have developed, like once you have started building on. Then I’ve got three questions that are connected to this. You want me read them out?
John: Okay, read the questions out. That’s where — this is where we’re going to split this. For those of you listening on the podcast, you’re going to have to come on over to the YouTube channel to hear the rest of these. So read these questions out, and then I will play us out for the closing of the podcast part.
Amber: Okay, so all domains that you have developed, or at least have sitting on domain, started working on haven’t really done much with, do they get hacked? If so how do you know when they have been hacked?
John: Well, they get hacked.
Amber: I’m just supposed to read them.
John: Oh, yeah, that’s right. Yeah, that’s right. I was — for some reason, my brain was ready to answer that question. Sorry, read them out. You’re reading them out so slowly that I feel like I need to answer. Let me just shut up and start that again.
Amber: Do they just sort of wither and die away on their own, the code falling apart, like no car left in your backyard, and do you get any sort of reminders about their existence?
John: All right, so there are some great questions there, folks. Make sure you tune in to the YouTube channel for it. I’m going to let my girl close this out for the podcast and enjoy my shot.
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