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 #522 here.
It’s Episode 522 We have plugins for Image Comparison, Critters, Rolling The Dice, Avatars, Replacing media … and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right, ClassicPress options. We do have a little bit of ClassicPress news this week. First thing here, we have a first release candidate for ClassicPress 1.3. So ClassicPress is getting ready to diverge. If they’re heading into 1.3, they’ve got some changes coming down the line. So you’d have to go read this over and see what they’re going to do. I don’t know how big it is. I haven’t read into it to see what it’s all about, but they’re looking at every — they’ve done some security fixes, they’ve got some development improvements and fixes, minor changes, accessibility improvements, and new features — a new filter to allow WP Mail to be bypassed. That’s cool. Eventually, they’re going to have to go through and rewrite all that code and get rid of the WP references.
John: So once they do that, you know, they’ve changed massively. Anyway, go check that out. That’s a good piece of information. Happy to see that ClassicPress is still moving forward and changing. So, one day, it might just — not might, it will rival WordPress one day. I really believe that. I bet the long-term, almost always a long-term I win, short-term, sometimes, not so much.
All right, well, let’s dive into WordPress plugins. And what do we have this week? The first one I’ve got for you this week is called Advanced Image Comparison for Elementor. This is a nice one. I know we’ve covered image comparison plugins before. We might even have covered this one, but I just couldn’t remember — and I kind of like it. I’m actually going to start using this at the taverns website, the Rogues Tavern website to start comparison images of what the Oasis looks like now versus what it looked like a year ago, or a year-and-a-half ago when it first started. And the nice thing about this one is you can slide it back and forth that gives you a comparison of images. It’s really great for photographers to take photos of the same places all the time to show the differences, historical photographers in particular. Those that take photos of — pictures now and then they go into the world archives. They pull out of that same place and they put them up side by side so they can see how a city changed. Another good use for it is people who do interior design, or before and after, like, home renovators and other such. This is a really great plugin to put on your website, say this is what it was, this is what I did. It’s really great little plugin for that. This one is free, so it works very well. It’s kind of nice. Go check it out. It is Advanced Image Comparison for Elementor, and I give it a five-dragon rating
Amber: I could see that being really useful for people who fix photographs too like take really old damaged photographs and then fix it up.
John: Yep, there’s that too.
Amber: So the first one I’ve got is dice roller. I love dice. I have dice that are made out of all kinds of things; wood and meteor — and I even have one out of Amber. I love dice. I was really excited when I saw this and I activated it. What it does is it creates a widget for you, so you use the widget on one of your posts or pages, and I set it up. So it would have six-sided dice that would roll, exploding on maximum roll with a re-roll of dice on minimum roll. Unfortunately, all that happens is it is simply words, which is 7E6 equals 42 three explosions. There is no pictures, no actual dice. It’s just the words. I was pretty disappointed with this. I was really psyched up to see the dice roll and explode. I mean, to be fair, they didn’t exactly say there was an actual dice rolling across the screen or anything, but when you see a name like dice roller, you kind of think of the rolling dice. So I rate this at two dragons.
John: We haven’t used that a long time?
Amber: No, we haven’t.
John: That’s too bad. All right, well, might not be one to work out. It’s also an old plugin. It’s over five years old. Who knows it could be updated and dice could be added to it.
Amber: That’d be cool.
John: All right, next one I got for you. This one’s just a simple little plugin. I was pressed to find some plugins. So I saw this, I thought sure why not, let’s bring it out. It’s Cute Animals. It’s simple, straightforward, you plug it in, turn it on, go to the settings, choose your animal, rabbits, frogs, birds, cats. You only get to choose one animal though. Then you can choose how fast it moves across your screen, and you can determine whether it moves, up and down your screen or across your screen, and it doesn’t do it randomly. It does in a straight line and you tell it where at — at any rate, it’s just you end up with it running straight across your screen at whatever position you want it. Other than that, it’s not too bad. It’s kind of cute. It is free and it does what it says it will do. So I gave it a five-dragon rating.
Amber: That can be a lot of fun putting up on a page randomly. So the next one I have is Avatar Manager. I think this is pretty cool. This plugin adds in options for your customers or users, in general, to use their own avatar or choose one that was already there for them. So once you activate it, you need to look beneath discussions, and then, settings, which took me a while to figure that one out towards the bottom of the page. There you can choose which available avatars default, and whether or not you will allow anyone to upload an avatar. Pretty nifty, easy to use, and well done. The pictures that they have for the auto choices are actually pretty good. They’re decent, unlike some that I’ve seen. And it’s totally free. I rate it at five dragons.
John: Cool. Check it out. All right, the final one I got for you — I thought it was going to be more interesting than it is, but it’s still kind of useful if you want to go down the path of a third-party provider. It’s called Reward Dice by PreciseFunnels – WooCommerce Exit Intent Popup with an Email Optin Form. All right, so what is for is, you got a WooCommerce store and people come to your store, they visit it, they shop around, maybe they add a thing or two to their cart, or even if they don’t, they get ready to exit. Well, this one here pops up for you — for them, and they can roll the dice to create a discount code. And it is a 20-sided die. And when the people hit to roll the dice, it bounces around, and it comes up with a discount that they can then choose. They can get the discount code. They just got to answer their email, and it gets emailed to them. I thought really great idea, something I would kind of like to have.
The thing that put me off on it, I gotta sign up for a third-party service to do that. Without the third-party service, and I’m like, okay, well, this is a third-party service also gain access to my emails, probably not, but even still, you got to sign up with them, and then they have it set up for — it’s a free account. If you have 5000 or less visitors a month, once you get above 5000 visitors a month, it starts to cost you a fair, not a fair chunk, but a bit of money. The more visits, the more money it costs. I understand it. They got to make a living. They got to earn money off their plugin, but it’s not something that I’m going to go down and chase. I thought it would be great. I’m hoping to find something similar to that because I like the idea of gamifying your stuff, and if you got actual active dice that roll across the screen, that kind of gets people a little more interested, and they might hit two or three times of a roll to see if they can get a higher percentage of discount. And you get to set the discounts that actually show up. So the dice are actually fixed. They’re fixed. It’s a fixed dice. It’s a fixed dye too. It’s not totally random. So, at any rate, go check this one out if you’re interested. It’s called Reward Dice by PreciseFunnels – WooCommerce Exit Intent Popup with an Email Optin Form, and I give it a four — dragon rating.
Amber: It’s a long name.
John: Yeah, I know.
Amber: And the last one I’ve got is Enable Media Replace. So this seems to be a great plugin if you’re working with a limited amount of space on your site. It allows for a more easy replacement of any media file and any poster page rather than having to go through and do the whole rigmarole that we’re all used to. You can just simply click Upload a New File, and it’s right there under where you click to change the image. What this does is it deletes the current media file there and replaces it with whatever you’re wanting. You need to make sure it’s the same kind of picture though like for instance, make sure they’re both a PNG. You can choose whether or not the file name, date, and links are kept the same, or if they are deleted and replaced with all new. It’s a new addition, I think — that last bit where you can keep it or delete all the information that comes with. However, if you’re using something like Elementor, and you try using this, it will take you off your page in order to do this. So, as long as you’re not using anything like Elementor, this is really good for you. I rate it at four dragons.
John: That could be a little bit of a problem there if it takes you off your page because you haven’t saved your stuff. It can mess you all up.
Amber: Well, it asks you if you want to leave the page to complete this action first. It makes it not easy.
John: I can still see. I was going to ask you, and if you’re not really paying attention, or you’re sort of clicking along like it happens when you’re working away, sometimes you just click along, and all of a sudden you realize, wait a minute, I didn’t save that page.
Amber: Oh, yeah. Okay, I could see that being an issue.
John: It is like I can just see it happening. If it doesn’t ask you if you want to save your data before you exit the page, it just says do you want to exit this page? Well, if you exit the page without saving the data, you could be out whatever work you just did.
Amber: Yeah, that would be painful.
John: So it is very painful when you suddenly lose your work. I’ve had it happen very recently to me. So, at any rate, all right, well, that covers up everything we’ve got here. And we do have some listener feedback this week, which is kind of cool. And the listener feedback we’ve got in this week is — it came to us from Peter. It says, “I’m Peter. Recently, I was digging around searching for the best weather widget for my website. That’s how I came upon your page at WP plugins, blah, blah, blah, at this particular page here. It was good and informative. So I checked the links you shared as well. And unfortunately, I didn’t find what I wanted, so I kept my research, and my time is pay off. Here’s what I encountered.” And then he ended up finding the tomorrow.io weather widget, which I’ve seen this one before, but this here is not a plugin or anything. “You just copy a script of code from the tomorrow weather site and paste that code in there for your thing. So you can put it into a text or an HTML widget or anything along that line. But you’re still dependent upon — well, you’re always depending on third-party service. So this one could be a pretty cool use.” So thanks a lot, Peter. I greatly appreciate it. And as he says, “The easiest use clearest weather widget he’s seen, and it’s customizable. Thought you’d be interested, check it out, and maybe share the page with your readers since it’s a really great addition to many webmasters. I can save a lot of time if I’d see it among your resources.” Thanks a lot. Keep up your work, regards, Peter. So thanks a lot, Peter. I appreciate you taking the time to write us out. So it might have been a scam email and all that but on the whole.
Amber: I think it’s pretty cool.
John: It was a well-written one. So thanks a lot, greatly appreciate it. All right, it is time for us to wander into…
Absolutely, contest time. Our contests are powered by the simple giveaways plugin. And thank you to Steve Goodtime and Brant Matthews for that jingle. And simple giveaways plugin, really great plugin for giveaways, and this is one point here where we like to thank someone for the time they donate to the show. Thanks again, Charlie, for helping the show out and creating these contests for us, reaching out to the developers, and getting us all the licenses to give away. Somebody’s got to hear a short note about participating in the contest. Remember, we go to great efforts to get these licenses and look for more participation from you, the producers.
All right, so that’s bad producers, bad, bad, bad. Sign up for more contests, producers. You’re being bad by not signing up for the contest, behave yourselves and go sign up. All right, we did have a contest last week where we were giving away the Perfmatters plugin, and we do have a winner. Congratulations to Dale, the winner of the one-year unlimited license for Perfmatters. So, thank you very much for participating in the contest everyone last week. Check your email to claim your prize, Dale.
All right, this week here, we do have a new contest; we are giving away a license for the Advanced Database Cleaner Pro. I want that license myself. I used the — they got a free version of this thing, I believe.
Amber: Oh, nice.
John: And it doesn’t do everything that the Pro can do unless it’s another plugin. But anyway, the Advanced Database Screen Cleaner Pro plugin is one to help you clean up all of the databases in your website, clean up your databases, delete orphan tasks, orphaned options, orphan tables. And if you don’t know what orphan stuff is, orphan stuff is if you put in a plugin and it creates some actions or tables, and you decide you don’t need that plugin and you delete it. Well, not every plugin cleans up after itself. It’s kind of like a teenager, you know, go into the kitchen, make lunch, and leave behind the pots and pans for you to clean. Well, that’s the same thing that a lot of plugins do. They leave behind tables and other data that just sits there and clogs up your database, and you got to go in and manually remove that stuff. So this can help make that task easier. I seem to recall this plugin been around for a while, and I don’t think I’ve ever looked at the Pro version of it. So it’s going to be well worthwhile to go into the contest and check out this plugin here. And where’s the link to the plugin? We don’t have a link to the plugin here on the site. Uh-oh, bad editors. Oh, wait a sec, here we go. No, bad editors, bad editors. We don’t have — there was one tweet on it. We don’t want to send out a tweet. Bad editors, we don’t have a link to the plugin.
All right, so we’ll make sure those links get added into the show notes, folks, so you can go check out the plugin. Anyway, go check this out. It’s a great contest, and it’s another great license. They started a lifetime license valued at $39. So go check it out and enter the contest at wppluginsatoz.com/contests, or just follow the link in the show notes for the contest itself. Oh, wait a sec, there it is. All right, we do have a link in here. We do have a link on the contest page to go check it out. All right, there you go. Go check it out, folk’s, really great plugin. Okay, now we’re going to close out a couple of things before we go into the Q&A segment because, of course, we close it out halfway through that. And covering up in this episode, I covered the following plugins, The Advanced Image Comparison for Elementor, which I gave a five to, the Cute Animals which I gave a five to, and Reward Dice by PreciseFunnels – WooCommerce Exit Intent Popup with an Email Optin Form, which I gave a four to.
Amber: And I covered Dice Roller, which I rated at two, Avatar Manager, which I rated at five, and Enable Media Replace, which I rated at four.
John: All right, couple of quick reminders. There’s no meetups right now. We’ll talk some — we’ll bring those up when they come up again. If you’re not getting enough of hearing me and Amber talk, come join us on Tuesday evening’s eight o’clock for the Rogues Tavern, Shooting The Shit, at the Rogues Tavern show. The roguestavern.com/live. All right, it is time for us to wander into…
It’s question and answer time.
John: With Amber.
Amber: So, I was waiting for you. You didn’t say fast though.
John: It was on a delay. I’m on a time delay this morning.
Amber: Fair enough. So before I start with my questions, just a quick note, if anyone out there has any questions they’d like to have asked, send them into me at email@example.com, and I will get them into this segment. My first question for you is what’s the difference between reCAPTCHA with Google and other companies? I thought reCAPTCHA was just reCAPTCHA all across the different things.
John: Well, reCAPTCHA is a term — I don’t know when it was coined, somewhere way back in the very beginning of the Internet age. And reCAPTCHA is a term that’s used by all these companies, and it is the term for that little irritating thing. Once upon a time, it was even worse than it is now. They used to put this irritating little script inside a bunch of lines, and you had to figure out what the letters were. And then type those letters into a box to move forward. And most of the time, you had to play the audio file to figure out what the letters were because it was kind of like — you know, those pictures where you stare at them long enough, you see another picture in the picture? You don’t know what I’m talking about?
John: Yeah, no, I don’t remember what they’re called, but you stare at these little like, weird shapes.
John: You stare at a picture full of dots and you’re supposed to see a picture inside the dots. Well, that’s basically what reCAPTCHA was before. And then they started coming up with different types of reCAPTCHA, — you know, what is the color of bananas? Answer the question to go forward. What is one plus one or two plus two? Nowadays, you couldn’t even answer correctly and get it right, though. So it’s like there’s all of that stuff there. Well, Google came up with its own reCAPTCHA system, which is, you know, click the box to say I’m not a robot, and every once in a while, it pops up all the pictures, and it says, pick the ones that are the traffic lights, and you look at them. So, well, there’s one picture that’s a little teeny corner of the traffic light. Does that count? You know, it’s like what reCAPTCHA is supposed to do, and it does most of the times it keeps the robots from filling out your forms. Because the robot can’t answer the reCAPTCHA question. So reCAPTCHA is — they’re all the same, just different in the fact of how they implement it. Because reCAPTCHA is just a generic term as far as I’m concerned. It’s a generic term. It’s been around since pretty much the beginning of the Internet age. I don’t know how far into it. I guess about the time the spammers arrived, which wasn’t too far after the Internet got started, that reCAPTCHA was created to thwart the spammers,
Amber: It’s not really better or worse, it’s just different.
John: It’s just different. There’s so many ways to implement reCAPTCHA. Probably, the thing is, is Google has made it really simple for many people. The problem is the Google reCAPTCHA actually can slow down your site, because it’s doing third-party calls to Google to get all the information. So if you can put a reCAPTCHA that actually works locally on your computer or on your website via a plugin or something else that will work faster than calling into Google one. So you can help improve your speed. So there’s really no difference at all.
Amber: Okay, Hemdian has something to say. He said, “I got a little problem. I wondered if you might have any tips. I noticed recently when I post a link to my website on Twitter, the image is no longer appearing. Unfortunately, I’ve made quite a few changes behind the scenes, so I’m not sure what the problem is. I did find the card validator page on Twitter, and it returns error fetching page fail because it’s denied by robots. txt. So I changed robots. txt to be only user agents allow/flushed all caches, including CloudFlare, but I still get the same error. If it’s not the robots, txt, what could it be?”
John: Ah, I don’t know. I haven’t seen that problem in a long time, and I don’t remember what it was. There was a plugin — if you’re using Yoast SEO, Yoast SEO has setting in it for Twitter card. You may have to go dig in your page source code to see what is being allowed for Twitter because that’s a header tag or — yeah, I think it’s a header tag that gets tossed into the header to tell it what card to pull for Twitter, either pull the large card or the small card. And that’s where I would dig next. But without spending time digging into it, I just don’t know at the moment, but those are the places I can think of is a plugin causing it to not be able to pull it. And there are a couple of different plugins that try to kick out a Twitter card. I know Yoast is one that comes to mind first. And if you’ve got any other SEO or speed plugins, sometimes they also do a Twitter card too. So there’s — I would search through your plugins to see how many of them are pulling up Twitter cards, or kicking out the information for a Twitter card. So that’s where I would check.
Amber: Makes sense.
John: All right.
Amber: I’ve got two more questions.
John: Okay, read out these two questions. Since we just got a second question, we’ll read out these two, and we’ll close out here and come back to them.
Amber: If two plugins appear to do the same thing, is there a way to tell which one is better, or do you just need to try both and see which one works better for you? And when a plugin gets older or sold off to another company, it can change or simply stop working the way it was meant to. Are there signs you can keep an eye out for so that you know when to simply delete or replace and move on from that particular plugin?
John: All right, well, there’s the questions, folks. I’m going to let my girl take us on out of here. And for those on YouTube, we’ll be back to answer those questions and a follow-up to the one that Hemdian just asked. All right, so let’s wander on out.
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John can also be reached at his website, JohnOverall.com, or email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for joining us and have a great day.
Thanks for listening to the show. This show is copyright by JohnOverall.com. 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.