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 #521 here.
It’s Episode 521 – We have plugins for Performance, Holy Scripture, Scrambling Text, Maintenance, Vouchers, Teleporting … and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Episode #521 – Riding The Wave
John: All right, so first off, this week here, ClassicPress, we’ve got nothing really, just a couple of pieces of information. I thought there was some news in here but I don’t see it. No, somebody said something to me about there being some news in the notes, but I don’t see ClassicPress news this week. All right, so, if we got ClassicPress news, we’ll bring it next week, we just got the usual stuff. We need people to supply us with ClassicPress information because right now, I don’t have time to do anything for ClassicPress.
As far as WordPress goes, I do have some stuff, and my first plugin this week is called Perfmatters. Now, yes, we are giving away a license for this plugin right now, and I finally got around to installing the key that I was given to check it all out. And Perfmatters is a very nice plugin, and I actually used it on the Rogues Tavern website. And I actually got a second or two extra speed out of it by using it to go in, and it allows you to go in and turn off some unnecessary things like Emoji, hide your WordPress version, turn off the XML RPC, disable self-pingbacks. If you don’t need your RSS feeds, turn those off too. You can turn off the RSD link, remove the jQuery Migrate, disable embeds. I use those, unfortunately, but there’s a whole lot. You can use it to connect to a CDN network. They’ve got other extras in here, such as connecting it up to allowing you to add your header, your body, and footer codes into it. So there’s a lot to this plugin, and it does a really nice job of speeding up your website. It’s not a caching plugin. If you want to hear more about how this plugin is and what it does, check out the interview I did, and that interview there with Jackson — all I can remember is Jackson at the moment.
Amber: I suck at names, so I’m going try to remember (crosstalk).
John: Yeah, that is my problem. I don’t suck at names. I’ve gotten better over the years, but Brian Jackson — see, I remembered his last name, but I was certain. Go check out the interview I did with Brian Jackson. We talked all about this plugin, and it turns out to be really quite nice, and it looks like it’ll help you, and it’s quite affordable as far as premium plugins go. It’s only 24 bucks a year. So go check it out, Perfmatters, and I give it a five-dragon rating.
Amber: That is really cool. First one I’ve got is Text Scrambler for Elementor. This is just a really cool and fun plugin like I could probably spend hours just playing around with this. Essentially what you do is you upload the plugin, activate it, and then you get to go, it becomes a widget. So you have to go in — it is an Elementor thing, so you have to have Elementor in order for it to work. You go into your Elementor page or post builder, drag over the widget, and then you throw in the word that you want to have scrambled like that. Now, when you’re doing this, you do have to slow down the scrambling because it goes super-fast automatically, but you can put as many things as you want it to say. You can put as many of the widgets there as you want. It doesn’t have any issues with having a bunch of widgets going on once. It’s really great. I really liked this this plugin. I rate it at five dragons.
John: Very cool. That could be something fun just to add an extra element to your website to entertain people or to make them catch your headlines because movement catches people’s eyes.
Amber: Yeah. And so much fun to play with.
John: All right, the next one I have for you here is called Maintenance Alerts, and this is a relatively new plugin. And it’s a useful one in that what you can do with it is you can create a little bar that will pop-up on your site when you’re going to do maintenance, put a warning up to folks warning this site will be down for maintenance from this time to that time, and then enable it. It’s basically a bar at the top of your website, which you can use with any message you want up there besides maintenance alerts, but it is a useful little tool to add to your website. And I thought it was something that people might want to give out a try if they want to start warning their visitors that they’re going to go down for maintenance. Go check it out, it’s free, works very well, and I give it a five-dragon rating.
Amber: I always cover that with myself because it does look like a really useful one.
John: Yeah, it can be quite useful.
Amber: Next one I’ve got is KVoucher. So, I was pretty stoked when I first saw this because having vouchers that you can send off via PDF, email, or through the post seemed like a really good idea, especially for like smaller businesses. I was kind of underwhelmed by this. I mean, it works on the free version, but if you want to have any kind of ability to make it even slightly prettier, you got to upgrade. You got to upgrade for just about anything other than the basic, put your information in, and it seems to have like the voucher amount in percentage, which I’ve never seen before. I’ve only ever seen the dollar amount, though considering the first option of currency is Euro, perhaps it’s how they do it over in the EU. I don’t really know. But it does work. It’s not very pretty, and it’s pretty simple and straightforward. So, if you need a voucher plugin to be able to get things going for your business, you don’t mind it being a little on the ugly side, then this will work well enough. But I personally rate it at three dragons.
John: Very cool, go check it out, folks. We got a quick question here. Hemdian probably refers to Perfmatters. I tried to reduce the WP footprint by (A) W3 Cache in CloudFlare, turn off XML RPC, the Heartbeat plugin, and tweak robots text. I was getting hammered by petal bot with a lightweight plugin offer much more. It might, you’d be surprised what a lightweight plugin can offer. I forgot to mention that Perfmatters does give you the ability to turn off the Heartbeat or control the Heartbeat frequency. It also has the ability to limit post revisions, how often that’s done. It also has an ability to change the time for auto save, you know, and it also has a way to hide your login, change your login URL. I forgot those little features too. But one of the big ones in here is the use of the Heartbeat. And because the Heartbeats are real big sync on WordPress, it sucks up a lot of space and data. So it could help you out. But you’ve already done — I don’t use W3 Cache. I’ve never liked it. I never liked the way they work. I can’t remember the name of the one I use right now, Cheetah Cache, something like that. It’s got a Cheetah’s logo, WP something cache, I can’t remember name now. I’ve got to look and see if I got it handy. No, it’s not handy at the moment — don’t have it handy at the moment. So there’s lots of different caching plugins, and this plugin is designed to work with caching plugins. It’s not a caching plugin on its own. It’s a plugin that disables scripts and other things that use upcycles in WordPress.
Amber: I have a question; what on earth is a Heartbeat plugin?
John: Oh, WordPress has a heartbeat every 15 seconds or so. It’s always — it’s refreshing. It’s doing an AJAX refresh of your dashboard and other things, and you turn the Heartbeat off or turn it down, so it doesn’t do it as often. Because every time it does, it’s hitting the page as you don’t see the page reload. It’s just checking stuff. There’s also another thing in here I caught it earlier was disable as far as WLW — not manifest link — where is that — I thought I saw it in here was to disable something for WooCommerce. He’s got some WooCommerce here. You can disable the cart fragmentation for WooCommerce, and I only recently discovered about the cart fragmentation of WooCommerce. That’s another AJAX hit when your visitors are loading up their shopping cart WooCommerce, it has this fragmentation AJAX call that uses up resources. So it’s like — there are all kinds of little things in here and they’ve gone through and they found all these little scripts, and they give you the ability to turn them off, and that alone can help your website. It’s just turning off these unnecessary scripts.
Amber: Yeah, Hemdian is saying that site speed isn’t an issue, but resource usage is.
John: Also this will turn off some of the things that suck up resources — unnecessary resources. So give this one a try, Perfmatters. Enter the contest; maybe you’ll win the free license. And if you don’t win a free license, hey, buy it for 24 bucks a year.
Amber: I feel bad mostly for a plugin like this; it’s a pretty awesome plugin.
John: It’s a pretty awesome plugin. All right, so the next one I have for folks here is called BibleGet I/O. Now, this is a really nice one. I was hoping it was going to be better than it is. It does a pretty good job of bringing in Bible quotes from the Bible. And the problem is that they limit which Bibles you can use. And they don’t have the King James version Bible. They’ve got the 1700s Bible, and then they got the modern American Bible. Then they got several other languages of Bible. It’s really kind of cool. Once you set it up, activate it, you just go use the shortcode, it goes off to bibleget.i/o, and it pulls in the entire quote for you. So if you’re wanting to use something like this, I wanted to use it over on the tavern where we do a Bible quote every week before the show, and I wanted to have that quote show up. Well, it’s not the same quote is coming out of the King James Version Bible. It is completely different words. It’s really kind of interesting. Because I’m using the old Bible. I can’t remember which Bible it is right now, which one it is. But it is kind of an interesting plugin. I do like it. It works very well. It is free. And if you can hang with the older language or the modern US or the modern Bible, which is different than the King James Bible, going to be right up your alley, and it is good. I do like the way it works. Go check it out. It’s called BibleGet I/O, and I give it a five-dragon rating.
Amber: That could be a lot of fun just using that and comparing it to other Bibles. It’s fun and of its self.
John: Yeah, well, that’s what I’m going to use it for us, to compare the difference between the King James Version and the other Bibles.
Amber: So, is this last one?
Amber: The last one I’ve got is Teleporter. Teleporter plugin is designed to create smooth transitions between internal links and pages. It does is really cool fade thing. I mean, I could see how this could be rather irritating if you have a slower computer/Internet, or even if you don’t like the look at the fading amount of pages, but for those that like Star Trek kind, I feel this is really cool. This is also really easy to use; you install it, activate it, and it does its thing. It’s pretty cool. There are no settings or anything, but I mean, really, it’s pretty straightforward. You don’t really need settings, and it’s totally free. I rate it at five dragons.
John: Alrighty, so that wraps those up. Okay, we have no listener questions this week. Be nice folks, kick us out some regular listener questions you know that we can feed in here and — but we do have a currently…
John: All right, so we do have contest this week, and the contest this week, we’ll consider the first round at that and just practice. This week here, the contest we’re giving away, our contests are sponsored by Simple Giveaways plugin who I forgot to mention the first time. So thank you those. And I do like to thank Charlie for all of his efforts going into this to help keep the contest flowing nice and smoothly. Thanks a lot, Charlie, reaching out there and getting us excellent licenses, licenses you cannot buy. Oh, we are giving away a one-year unlimited license for Perfmatters. This is a license that you can use on as many websites as you want. So this is their high-end license. So, still a one-year license, but it’s unlimited sites you can put it on. Great plugin, I just reviewed it up above, go check out the review I did on it. And if you want to find out more about how this plugin works, check out the interview I did with Brian Jackson from forgemedia and Perfmatters, and we talk about this plugin and how it came into being and what it’s used for. So it’s a great plugin, go check it out, sign up for the contest, and it’s all yours. You might be the lucky winner of the license. So wrapping that up today, we covered up the following plugins; I covered up Perfmatters where I gave a five, the Maintenance Alerts, which I give a five to, and the BibleGet I/O, which I gave a five to.
Amber: And I covered Text Scrambler for Elementor, which I rated at five, KVoucher, which I rated at three, and Teleporter, which I rated at five.
John: Very good. And a couple of quick reminders; there are no meetups planned right now. And if you’re not getting enough of Amber and I, come check us out on Tuesday evenings at the Rogues Tavern where we have a live YouTube show, goes out at 8 pm pacific time every Tuesday evening. All right, it is time now for…
It’s question and answer time.
John: With Amber.
Amber: If anybody out there has any questions they would like to have me ask, send them out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will get them into the segment. We’ll see what kind of answers my dad gives us.
John: Absolutely, sometimes they’re actually useful.
Amber: So the first one, to my knowledge, we don’t tend to upgrade as soon as any updates come out because there are always kinks to be worked out in every upgrade. However, we do tend to immediately update with security patches. So my question, why don’t security patches and updates have the same sort of worries as regular updates on things like WordPress?
John: Okay. Well, security patches is usually just a couple of lines of code being fixed and rewritten, plugin in the security hole. And update often has lots of new features or changes to the way the system functions, and those have not been tested fully enough with the multitude of plugins out there that everyone runs. So you will have more problems with upgrades than the security patches. Security patches are usually pretty safe because it’s just patching a security hole, and they’re not changing anything else in the site. Sometimes it’s just one or two files that are being changed whereas an upgrade could be hundreds of files being changed in the site. So that’s the biggest reason why I’ll do a security update relatively quickly versus an upgrade where I will wait. And not all upgrades are created equal, like, when we’re going from version 5.7 to 5.8, that’s a major upgrade, lots of new stuff. But if go and say some 5.7.1 to 5.7.2, that’s a minor update, and it’s usually just fixing what they found is issues or glitches or bugs in the code, and it’s using not changing anything majorly. Occasionally, they’ll break something with a security patch, but not nearly as often as they do with upgrades.
Amber: Okay, so it’s like fixing a hole in the wall versus building a wall.
John: Yeah, same sort of idea. And Hemdian had something to say on your have to get it. Yeah, we got a little — we need — see this is where we need someone’s time to come in and fix these little glitches on the website for us too.
John: Because I tried to do it, but, you know, like the mechanics car needs breaks and the plumbers house where the plumbing is backed up, and the cobblers shoes whose children have no shoes, you know, whatever your trade is, your stuff is usually the last thing to get worked on. It doesn’t really matter what your trade is. You know what I did forget to do? I forgot to give us the close-out for the show.
Amber: Oh, you did?
John: I did. I forgot to give us the close-out for the show. You know what? This is just a day of everything’s out of sync. We’ll give the closeout here after this component here. Oh, this is where we usually put the closeout.
John: Right here.
Amber: Yeah, actually, I was just going to say; don’t we usually read the rest of the question?
John: Yep, read the rest of the questions and then close out the show. Yeah, my brain is fuddled by dealing with all of the little glitches and dealing with here.
Amber: It’s already been turned upside down. The second question is kind of related to the first new already sort of answered it because I was interested in the difference between security patches and security updates.
Amber: So I was wondering what the difference between a security patch and a security update is. And what are the steps that are needed when a site is no longer needed? Do you have to delete things before you shut it down? How do you go about shutting down a site?
John: Okay, well, we’ll cover those after we let our girl take us out of here. I’ll have my shot to make my brain work better.
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