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 #528 here.
It’s Episode 528 – We have plugins for Duplicating, Redirection, Scroller Magic, Understanding the Stars Pumpkin Spicing, Halloween… and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Alrighty, this is where we talk about the plugins and ClassicPress options. And this week, I don’t have anything new for ClassicPress that I’m aware of this week, but we do have a couple of links still in there for ClassicPress. You might want to go check them all out and see what they’ve got in there. ClassicPress, as I said, the first couple years they went gangbusters, and then they went semi-quiet and they’re starting to move forward again. There was a lot of momentum in the beginning, and I think it was mainly driven by the Gutenberg project, but now, people are settling in and realizing that. It takes a little bit more work, and I expect it to grow up over the next two or three years. So we’re going to keep them hanging around as part of the show because eventually, they’re going to be doing something useful.
In the meantime, though, since I still got to make a living, and it’s all about WordPress plugins, let’s go into talking about the WordPress plugins. And for what I have for you this week, the first one I’ve got for you is called Redirect Redirection. This is, you know, I saw it, and it’s a relatively new plugin. It’s not that old, and it’s got quite a few active installations already, and it seems like it’s a really great redirection plugin. And that if you need one, this one allows you to create the usual redirections 301 or 404s, the usual error redirections, but they’ve got a couple more things you can do with this plugin than just the usual, and you can set up inclusion and exclusion rules, whether they’re logged in or logged out a specific user roles, specific referrer links, agents, cookies, IPs, all kinds of things here. You can set up all of these different rules to redirect them to multiple places on your site depending on what you call up the rule for. Now, one of the great things that redirection is good for is if you’re revamping your site or you’re bringing it up to date and clearing out old content, you don’t want to lose the people that are still trying to find that old content and redirect them to some newer content that is still relevant. So that’s where redirection plugin comes in real handy. All right, this is a really great one, something you want to go check out, and I give it a five-dragon rating. It is Redirect Redirection
Amber: You have to make some kind of signal —
John: Yeah, I know.
Amber: — when the dragon roar is done because I don’t know when you’re doing it.
John: Yeah, I got to cue. Yeah, I forgot to cue you.
Amber: Well, no, that actually sounds really useful. I can think of quite a few things that they’d be useful for. So the first one I have was actually sent in by our producer, Greg Holdsworth from Greg’s Graphics. He sent in Yoast Duplicate Post. And what he has to say, “If you ever want to quickly make a copy of a page or post without the risk of running the published original? Do you need an easy way to duplicate a page for a new service or product? Do you want to make a quick backup copy? The Yoast Duplicate Post plugin lets you duplicate any post or page in WordPress with one click. It is always easier and faster to start from a copy. The plugin has two modes and adds two links to your post overview, Clone, and New Draft. Clone makes a copy of that specific poster page. New Draft copies that poster page and immediately opens it in the WordPress editor.” That sounds really useful. There is a brand new feature called Rewrite & Republish. It allows you to seamlessly edit your content offline by creating a temporary draft. You can make whatever changes to your page or post without taking the original offline. This plugin can save you a ton of time. The best part, it is absolutely free with no Pro version restrictions. It has over 4 million installations and a five-star rating. And I give it a five-dragon rating.
John: Absolutely, it’s a really cool one. I actually — I reviewed this one many moons back, and I picked out it a little bit because they just made some changes to it. And then I got contacted by them, and I went re-reviewed it and brought it back up to date. So yeah, it’s a pretty nice one. I’ve used it on a couple of sites, and I have another duplicator plugin that I use as my standard fare, but this one is pretty nice. So, worth checking out. All right, the next — what?
Amber: I just going to add I like the fact that you put in stars roar.
John: Yes, stars roar. All right, the next one I’ve got here for you is called Stars-at-night. And if you are inspiring amateur astronomer, or you know, one that’s already an amateur astronomer and just figuring out things, this is a pretty neat little plugin you can set up. And what it does is it produces onto your site tables of where the planets are going to be, where the stars are going to be, the times of rising, times or falling, all those different things there. It gives you all these tables, you know, what’s happening, what’s out there, so you can check it out and see. I don’t understand it all fully myself, but I’m working towards trying to become a little bit better of an astronomer, and looking and learning about the night skies, especially up here at the Oasis where you can actually see the night skies for the most part.
Amber: Well, if you can see them now anyway. Who knows in 20 years?
John: Yeah, well, hopefully, it doesn’t build up too much like the city did. I used to be able to see them in Victoria 30 years ago but not so much anymore.
Amber: Knock on wood.
John: Yeah, so at any rate, this is a really cool one. I kind of liked it and we’re going to give this a five-dragon rating. Go check it out. On to you.
Amber: Okay. The next one I have is a Magic Scroller. So I was super excited about this plugin, really stoked, and I tried it on a couple of sites, it doesn’t work, unfortunately. It’s a new plugin that could be the reason why. I’m trying to figure out how to contact the persons who made it so that I can let them know that it’s not working. What it’s supposed to do is it’s supposed to change the color of your scroll bar along with the background of your scroll bar, the hover color, and the width and the border-radius. You’re supposed to be able to use Hex, RGB code, or even just plain old English words or sizing color, and also you can use pixel or centimeter for the sizing. Unfortunately, it just won’t work. I tried everything I could. I even tried codes that they didn’t say you can use just in case, and nothing, doesn’t do anything. I’m really sad about it. So if I get a hold of them and they can get it fixed, then I’m totally going to make all the scrolling bars hot pink just randomly one day. But until it works, unfortunately, they get a one dragon.
John: Sad dragon. All right, the next one I’ve got for you here. For those of you like many of us, it is that time of year again when we start to think of the new year and the celebration of . And this is a Halloween Countdown plugin for you. Really simple one, tell you how many days to Halloween. All you got to do is turn it on — install it, turn it on, take the shortcode and dump it on any page you want, page, post, or widget and that’s it. It’s just a simple countdown with some fancy graphics that are already built into it. I kind of like it. That was cool. Start counting down to Halloween because after all, Halloween is the Celtic New Year, and the official really True Day of the Dead, so go check it out, and it’s called Halloween Countdown, and I give it a five-dragon rating. Your turn.
Sorry, I’m so used to letting it cue you instead of me having to cue you.
Amber: Yeah, I don’t want to talk over the dragon because I know sometimes you poke the button and the dragon doesn’t want to wake up.
John: Yeah, well, he’s a little slow some days.
Amber: Actually, I think I brought this last year. I rated a five to. It’s pretty fun. The next one I have is Pumpkin Spice Admin. This is just really a fun one, doesn’t do anything except make your dashboard pretty. And I like the fact that when you plug this in, you just plug it in, let it go, and off it goes. It does its thing. It changes your menu items and your top bar into the pretty squirrely font that you see at the top there. And it has these leaves and they come from the top. They float to the bottom and they stay at the bottom except on your plugins page. On the plugins page for some reason, the leaves stop right on top of your first plugin, and then they don’t move. I don’t know why it does that. But every other page I tested on, no problem and it doesn’t happen more than once. It does change the coloring as well too. It looks like cinnamon and caramel coloring to me, just off to the side. It’s really pretty. It’s fun. Nothing really fancy. And I do like the fact that it does not affect your front page. It only affects your dashboard. So it’s just something for you. And I rate this at five dragons.
John: Now, we go for those that like Pumpkin Spice stuff. I’m not overly into it myself, but what the hell.
Amber: Pumpkin Spice is awesome.
John: Yes, there are crickets here — the crickets show up very early. It comes from my other phone. I have no idea why it does that. That’s something I set years ago, and it still does it on random times. And it is truly random.
Amber: I think they’re just your pets.
John: Yeah, that’s why — my crickets, they follow me everywhere. All right, it is time for us to move into our contests.
Yes, contest time. And this is where we like to many about giving time to the show, our contest. The jingle came from Steve Goodtime & Brant Matthews. Thank you very much for that jingle. And we do like to thank Charlie for helping the show out and getting our contest actually working and moving forward. There have been a few things and glitches in the system lately. We got to make sure some of the winners get their key codes when they’re supposed to, but other than that, it’s been going really well. And thank you very much, Charlie, for all the time and support you put into getting the contest working. We are working on a contest right now, which is running through till the end of the month. It is for Codeixer Deposits for WooCommerce, and this is a single domain site lifetime license. So this is a really cool tool if you’re building out WooCommerce websites or you have your own WooCommerce website. It’s worth entering this contest because this is a license you’ll never have to buy again to keep it up to date. And what it does for you is it allows you to set up your WooCommerce store. So you can actually take a deposit on things, like for instance, if somebody is back ordering something or special ordering something, they can put a deposit down so you can ensure that they’re serious about this, and you’re not going to build something that they won’t pay for or change their mind about because once they put money down they usually get committed to it. So it’s a way to take a deposit on things, and it’s a really great plugin. Check it out on our website at wppluginsatoz.com/contests. I think it’s contests — I forgot what URL it goes to, which URL takes you to it.
At any rate, and you can find it enter the contest there, and also go check out their website and learn more about Codeixer. Really great little plugin for WooCommerce. And we are running this contest until September 30th, just so we get lots and lots of entries into it.
Amber: That’ll be cool.
John: All right, so we have a Q&A time with Amber today, but before we go there, first thing we want to do is cover up a few things so we can play the closing credits and other things because the Q&A with Amber is split into two part of it. It stays here for those of you people who listen only to the podcast download, and for those of you who cruise on over to YouTube and catch the rest of it. So in this episode, I covered up Redirect Redirection, which I gave a five to, Stars-At-Night, which I gave a five to, and then Halloween Countdown, which I gave a five to.
Amber: Oh, you’re all fives today.
John: Yeah, I got a full house.
Amber: Greg covered — I’m having a hard time with that word today — Yoast Duplicate Post, which he rated at five. I covered Magic Scroller, which I rated at one, unfortunately, and Pumpkin Spice Admin, which I rated at five.
John: All right, and a couple of quick reminders. Meetups, we’re going to eventually get a meetup gathered together here, probably have one at the Oasis maybe sometime in the winter just so everyone can come out and freeze by the fire. If you’re not getting enough of Amber and I, you can join us Tuesday evenings at eight o’clock over at the roguestavern.com/live. And that’s pretty much it. I think we should just move right along into Q&A time.
It’s question and answer time.
John: Wow, that one was loud. With Amber. Yeah, that didn’t have any moderation on this computer. Wow! It’s time for… glitch, glitch, glitch. Yeah, lots of glitches, man. All right, so what do you got for questions for today?
Amber: Oh, first off, if anyone out there has any questions they’d like to have asked on the show, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll get them answered to my dad’s ability.
John: Absolutely. If I can’t answer them, I’ll just invent something on the spot to make it sound like I know what I’m doing.
Amber: Hemdian said loud.
John: Yeah, I caught that in my own ears. It’s a very loud jingle, and I didn’t realize because I haven’t moderated it on my other computer. I have everything tuned on the other computer, so it’s not things aren’t out of balance. That’s the other thing because the sounds are going to be way out of balance. It’s going to be the worst sound I’ve done for this show, and God knows how long.
Amber: So my first question is when you move, does your IP address change? Or does your IP follow your account with the company you get your Internet from?
John: Okay, ah, actually, we’ll take our current Internet provider, the major provider here, which is Shock Cable. If you move from one place to another — no, I don’t want a spam call right now — if you move from one house to another, your IP address does change, mainly because they have IP addresses assigned in blocks to particular neighborhoods for the most part, unless, of course, in a case like me, I don’t get it anymore because I quit paying for the static IP, but I used to have a static IP with them and you pay extra for a static IP. And that IP moved with me wherever I moved too. It was very useful because then I always had my IP. Nowadays, everyone wants to hide their IP with VPN, so it doesn’t really matter. But the IP doesn’t follow you. The other thing that can happen is even if you don’t move, if you turned off your router for 24 to 72 hours, if you turned it off for that period of time, when you reboot it, it will get a brand new IP because that IP will be reassigned to somebody else because you get assigned a — what they call, they’re not static. I can’t remember the word now, but it’s a non-static IP address is what everyone has, and the reason you can have the same IP for long periods of time is your router renews its lease on that IP every 24 hours. And if the router never goes off, it says, yeah, I’m using the same IP and the system goes, yeah, just keep it. Yeah, just keep it, nobody else wants it, just keep it. Nobody else wants it, keep it, and it keeps doing that. But occasionally, they do just randomly change on you too. I’ve had that happen. So the IP address going to your house is not permanent. It’s something that it’s temporary, and it can change. But I’ve gone for extended periods of time without losing my IP because my routers never gets turned off.
Amber: Okay. And what about if you close your account, then open a new one?
John: Same thing.
Amber: Same thing.
John: Yeah, same thing. You close your account and open a new one, then you get all new everything. Because they just turf it and all those numbers get reassigned to somebody else out there.
Amber: Okay, that’s interesting.
John: Year, IPs are — you know, having a static IP is useful if you’re logging into specific computers or to servers or to other things, because then you can lock that device to only accept your IP address. The big problem is what happens if your IP address does change on you and how do you get back into that device?
Amber: Yeah, that’s —
John: That’s the problem.
Amber: I’ve seen plugins that do that. They’ll lock your site into your IP and stuff. Now, I understand why they don’t seem to have that many downloads.
John: Yeah, well, the problem with it is, is that it works very well, but if you decide one day you want to do it from your phone while you’re on mobile data, you won’t have the same IP that you had at home where you set that up. So now you can’t get in your website. So they are a great idea and they were good back in the day. In the early days, it was really easy to get static IPs, and they didn’t charge you for them, but then they realized that the static IPs were — Internet was running — I mean, we’ve literally run out of IPv4 addresses. And the IPv6 address is so convoluted that I still have troubles wrapping my head around it. But in a few more years, the IPv6 will be the standard IP address range used on the Internet.
Amber: Hemdian said, I sometimes connect to my WP database, a SQL Server on my PC. I have to put my IP into cPanel to allow this. Every once in a while I need to update that number in cPanel.
John: Yeah, so he’s already experienced having his IP address change. So it does happen.
Amber: My second question is how is the Internet provided? Can you provide your own Internet?
John: Well, you can. You technically — the Internet used to be — when it came to your home, you used to have to provide your own router. Now they provide a router for you, but you can still stick a router in there. So technically, you can provide your own Internet, or in better terms, it’s called intranet because intranet is an internal network. Internet is the World Wide Web stuff.
John: You could provide it. You could set up your own cables across the Internet, and how it’s provided is because of IP addresses and the routers that are out there and all the connections, it’s like when you send data — say you send data from one side of town to the other, it doesn’t go directly there. It might take a trip off through Europe or South America before it comes back to the house across town because the data is just provided whatever gateway is currently open as it’s heading across the paths.
Amber: Yep, but how? I think I didn’t ask the question, right.
Amber: What is Internet in the sense of how does it exist? How is it there?
John: Oh, it’s computers connected together through phone lines. Well, initially, it was through phone lines. Now, it’s satellite, fiber optic cables, through cables. We will simplify it down to just say cables and computers connected together to provide information to each other, and that’s what the Internet is. I mean, initially, it was just a handful of computers across the United States called DARPA net, and it was used for connecting universities and military people so they could talk to each other across long distances, and they ran the data mostly straight through from one to the other, and then they started adding routers to route data in different areas, like a packet. Every time you send data across the Internet — we’re sending data across right now, every little chunk of it is packaged up in a packet. That packet is tagged with an ID on where it’s coming from and where it’s going.
Amber: Hemdian said, the Internet is just a network of networks, but the tech protocols have been standardized.
Amber: Okay, so if you want to provide your own Internet, really, all you have to do is buy your own —
John: Buy your own cables and routers and other things.
Amber: Okay, so if you don’t want to pay like, say, Shock as — it’s the biggest provider.
John: You can’t get to — it’s hard to get — you would pay 10 times as much connecting directly to the Internet without Shock because you have to have a portal to connect to.
Amber: And that’s what I mean by can you provide your own Internet? So if you didn’t want to pay one of the companies, why would you have to pay 10 times more for portal?
John: Because you have to pay for access to it somewhere. You can’t just go out and say — see those lines running across the telephone poles. You can’t just go up there run a cable into it and tap into it. Well, I probably could. I wouldn’t know how to do that myself, but you probably could do that. There are ways to do it. If you get enough skills, there’s ways to do it without paying the cable company. I imagine there’s ways to do it. I just have no idea how that would work. There has to be ways. Because lots of people, they access the Internet in multiple ways. I mean, there’s so many ways to get into the Internet, but I just don’t know — I don’t know myself. And if you do enough research, you could find out. You could probably do it, but it may or may not be cost-effective. If you did it yourself, at least you’d have less tracking.
Amber: Well, not just that, but if you did it yourself, then you’d be able to take that anywhere with you.
John: Yeah, but many things can be done, but it’s hard to know what’s going — how it’s done.
Amber: Okay, so I only have one more question.
Amber: I’ll read out and we can close out?
Amber: Okay. When you update plugins, sometimes they break, causing what I refer to as the white screen of terror. Easiest way to fix it that I currently know of is to go on to cPanel, add on BRK to the plugin names, and go back and fix the plugin in the site, then go back to cPanel and remove BRK whenever you solve the issue. My question is, what do you do about a plugin that breaks when you do not have access to the cPanel, and the plugin breaks causing the white screen of terror to appear?
John: Well, that would be fun. All right, well, we’ll come back to that question in a moment or two as we let my girl take us out of here.
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John can be reached at his website, JohnOverall.com, or email him directly at email@example.com. Thanks for joining us and have a great day.
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