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 #531 here.
It’s Episode 531 – We have plugins for Domain Aliasing, Landing Pages, Tabby Tabs, BoxZilla-ing, Random Pop Ups, Popping Up Cookies … and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: All right. This is where we cover up the plugins, and we talked about ClassicPress options when we have them this week. Nothing new on the ClassicPress front for us, but I’m sure they’re doing something behind the scenes. They’re moving along. I saw some snippets, some discussions in their forums, which I didn’t think were newsworthy for us, but it does show that they’re doing something there. So if you want to find out more about ClassicPress, just go to ClassicPress.net and check out what they have.
Okay, as far as WordPress plugins go, well, I do have some for you today along with Amber’s got a few. The first one I’ve got for you here is called Tabby Responsive Tabs. And this is a really interesting little plugin. Now, tabs are something that are used. They come built-in with some themes. You add some information. You get these little tab displays. All kinds of great uses for this plugin. The nice thing about this plugin is you don’t need anything special for it. You just go in, you need some tabs on a page, you know, to separate out some content, make it easier for users to navigate the content. You build this out with shortcodes. You just enter the shortcodes in, put your information in between all the shortcodes. You can create 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 20 tabs if you want. You can also determine which tab opens up first. It depends on how you write the shortcode. It’s a really useful tool. I find it useful on one of my client’s sites that we use it so this is what you end up with. You end up with your tabs and just something that is a very useful thing to help you out and get everything built out for your website or one that you’re building for your clients. You need tabs. Go check this one out. It’s called Tabby Tabs, or it’s called Tabby Responsive Tabs, and I give it a five-dragon rating
Amber: The pictures of the kittens definitely help.
John: Yeah, there’s never enough cats on the Internet.
Amber: No. So the first one I’ve got up here is Boxzilla. So, I’ve been looking for a popup maker that has the option for a Google Map, and I came across this one. It reminds me of the pop-ups you would have gotten in the 90s; very simple, basic border, typical color options, and is totally free. You can put any shortcode in there to present. This works even for gaming plugins that you have a shortcode for two. I was able to put in the snake game that I still have on my playground site, and it still showed up in the pop-up — can’t play it, but it showed up. If you have control over how long it sticks around, whether or not comes back, where on your site it pops up, if it shows up automatically again or not, what triggers it, there’s lots of things you have control over with us. It’s very easy to use and to get going, and it’s very simple. It’s an awesome plugin, totally free. I give it a five-dragon rating.
John: Check it out. Okay, the next one I have for you is called Landing Page for WooCommerce Categories & Tags. Now, this program, or pop up here is a way to get more content into your categories and tags. It allows you to add rich text to your WooCommerce category and tag pages, and it helps improve your keyword SEO, etc, etc. It’s a really useful tool to just add a little bit more stuff. You add the description at the top or the bottom of the category page or at the top at the bottom of the tag pages. So that when people are searching and some stores set up their website, so people click on sections, it goes lands on the category page so they can see this stuff. Very useful way to help it all out and this gives you a little bit more information you can pass out to your site visitors, customers, and clients. Useful little tool, something to help improve SEO on your site, etc. Go check it out. I give it a four-dragon rating, and it is the Landing Page for WooCommerce Categories & Tags.
Amber: That is very useful. The next one I have is Popup by Supsystic. I’ve been having trouble saying that word.
Amber: So if you’re looking for a pop-up to help gain subscribers — and this is absolutely the one. The free version gives you a lot of templates, including map ones — very easy to use, and it looks great. I like the control they give you, and like they give you how many times it pops up where it shows up, whether or not shows up for first-time users, or just shows up for everyone. I thought that was a neat option. And it is very useful. It gives you an option for how many days before it shows up again. It is definitely useful for gaining more subscribers, but the way it has been made, that is kind of the only option that it’s good for. Their Pro ratings are reasonable. Definitely worth looking into if you are in need of a subscription pop-up. I rate this at four dragons.
John: Cool. Go check that one out, folks. All right, the last one I’ve got here for you is called Landing pages and Domain aliases for WordPress. Now, this one here is useful if you’re one of these people like me who have multiple domains for a primary domain. You want to be able to direct those domains to somewhere else on your site besides the homepage, or creating a redirect in cPanel, something you might want to change from time to time. But what this one does for you is once you have it installed, it allows you to go in there — you’ve got to configure the domain so your cPanel as usual, just caveat there so it is a bit of work on that aspect — but you go into the settings for this plugin, you choose the domain that’s coming in and then you determine what page it’s going to go land on for that domain. Like, if you’ve got one like I have several different cooking domains, and I’m going to be pointing them to different recipes over at the Rogues Tavern. So, when people find those domains or accidentally trip across them, they end up on a specific recipe I’m looking for. Or if I want to redirect them say go visit trendychef.com, you know, maybe I’ve got a recipe that’s kind of in the trendy area. They hit trendychef.com and they go poof, they end up strictly right on the page I want them to do. So it is a very useful tool and it does help you do that without the headaches of going through your cPanel to get it all done. Really great plugin, seems to work okay, go check it out. It’s called Landing pages and Domain aliases for WordPress, and I give it a five-dragon rating.
Amber: That’s a really good idea.
John: No, they’ve been lots of them over the years, but many of them have vanished or just didn’t work very well. This one seems to work okay.
Amber: The last one I’ve got is WP Modal Popup with Cookie Integration. So this is actually a pretty basic one, and it is only capable of linking to your homepage. You can put in whatever you like, though you can’t leak it to any other page except your homepage, which apparently I repeated that sorry. You can see the basic control over the settings. It’s totally free. And if this is all you’re needing, it’s pretty good. So you know nothing to sneeze at, simple, easy to use. It’s not something to grab up if you are needing to link it to a particular page, or if you’re wanting to add in contact information or anything like that. It is what it is, very simple, easy to use. I gave it a three-dragon rating, kind of middle of the road.
John: All right. Well, go check that one out, folks. Okay. Well, this is where we cover up all kinds of other things. We’re just going to skip. We’re going to go straight to our contest.
John: All right, contest. We do not have an active contest right now, but we do have a winner, winner-winner chicken dinner for the Codeixer Deposits for WooCommerce Single Domain Lifetime License. The winner is Jes S. Check your email for all the details on how to claim the prize. Jes, we greatly appreciate everyone who entered the contest and showed up. Man, we’re going to put on hiatus, and I’m kind of thinking that we might bring back a contest a little sooner than expected because I’m thinking I might be giving away a one-year hosting package at johnoverall.com, so that may be coming down the pike. Something I’m just kind of toying with at the moment, you know, give away an entire year’s worth of hosting with johnoverall.com hosting, which is some really great hosting. I do have space to add at least one more user, so hey, might be something worthwhile. So at any rate, thanks a lot, keep listening to the show, look for our newsletters when they come out, and we’ll notify you when a new contest is coming down the pike.
All right, we got to cover up a few things before we go into the Q&A segment with Amber. The first thing I want to cover up is the plugins we covered on this episode. I had Landing pages and Domain aliases for WordPress, which I gave a five, The Landing Page for WooCommerce Categories & Tags, which I gave a four, and the Tabby Responsive Tabs, which I gave a five.
Amber: And I covered Boxzilla, which I gave a five, Popup by Supsystic, which I rated at four, and WP Modal Popup with Cookie Integration, which I rated at three.
John: All right, good. So it might be, we’ll go like Sup Systic. That was bad. I know. It was just begging for it though.
Amber: Fair enough.
John: All right, we don’t have meetups or anything else planned. Hey, for those of you who know developers, are developer, you want to be on an interview show, I haven’t done an interview show in quite some time, just simply connect with me over at wppluginsatoz.com/interview. Remember folks, if you got suggestions for plugins you want to see reviewed, go submit them at the summit plugin for review on the show. All right, it is time — remember this part here we’re coming into, it split into two pieces. For those of you listening to the podcast, download on whatever app you’re used to listening to it on. The second half of the Q&A segment is only available over at the YouTube channel, so you got to wander on over there to hear the second half of it. Just scroll to near the end of the show, you’ll find it. Alrighty, let’s wander on into that.
It’ question and answer time.
John: With Amber.
Amber: So if anyone out there has any questions they’d like to have asked on the show, send them into me at email@example.com, we’ll get them up here and answer to the best of our ability.
Amber: My first question is how does a VPN work?
John: Well, how it works to my knowledge — and I sort of used them in the past. A VPN, virtual private network, everyone uses them now. VPN connections to get around the geo-fencing of the globe. And the reason for the geofencing is IP addresses when they were assigned out to the world, they were assigned out in big giant blocks to different countries. And then those countries got to determine who got them, people bought them, people own blocks of IPs. IPs change countries, from time to time, though, because somebody has a block they don’t need, they sell it to somebody another country so that IPs change that. So what a VPN does is, your computer has an IP address — or your router, if you’re in a home and you’re on a router system, which virtually everyone is now, because there’s multiple devices, and there’s not enough IP addresses to go around. So that main IP address that connects you to the Internet is how you are known on the Internet. And so what happens, when you go out to the world, your IP address say you live in, let’s take Victoria. You live in Victoria, you go from Victoria to somewhere, everyone knows, oh, you’re from Victoria, okay, you’re in Canada, well, you can’t go to the US Netflix in Canada, or you can’t watch these particular movies because they’re blocked in your country. You can’t watch these videos because they’re blocked in your country. The VPN allows you to connect to somebody else’s computer somewhere, and then what happens is it tricks the Internet into thinking you have an IP address in say, Russia, England, Australia, United States, Vancouver, any number of other places on the globe, it tricks the Internet into saying, hey, you are from here, you’re not really from there. And basically what happens is all your Internet traffic now routes through that other person’s computer. So, in one hand, it’s a good idea, but on the other hand, you really have to trust that the VPN provider is not intercepting your traffic and reading all your traffic, and seeing what you’re doing. So it comes down to that. You’re putting yourself in a trust zone, which is a little bit more trusting. And that’s the commercial aspects of VPN as they are now.
The VPN, the other aspect of it is — like I used to have — when I had my computer store, I had a network at my computer store, and I could log into the VPN setup I had on that network to be able to access my entire stores network. It was like a tunnel through the Internet. It was like you have the internet — and I built a little tunnel underneath the roadbed to connect only to my network, and no one else could see what I was doing between me and my network because it was a secure connection between me and my network. And that’s the other aspect of VPN. So that’s pretty much in a nutshell what it is. I know it’s more complicated and drawn out the net, but VPNs are basically a way to protect your privacy on the Internet, but in protecting that privacy, you’re trusting the company that you’re getting your VPN address from is not violating your privacy because you have no idea what they’re doing with that at the other end.
Amber: All right, a link to that my next question is, does a VPN stop cookies or an algorithm from building for you?
John: Well, it can because what happens is the IP address you’re using can get assigned to somebody else. When you’re not using it, it’ll be assigned to somebody else, so it’ll create a false set of information. Because people using VPNs are still logged into Google, and it’s the logging in that allows them to track. They’re still logged into their Facebook, and as that logging in is tracked. And in those logging-in instances for the cookies and other things — cookies are stored on your computer. So if a VPN stops the cookies, you’ll have websites that won’t work. Take for instance, if you blocked all cookies coming from your WordPress website, just your basic WordPress install without tracking or anything, you’d have a tough time working it because it needs cookies to be able to log into the site properly because it’s got to set a session cookie for one, and then it sets other cookies. So cookies are essential parts, but the cookies can be stopped. You can stop them yourself, but they break websites when you stop them. Websites break. They quit functioning because they depend on cookies for doing certain things. As far as the algorithms tracking you, you want to not be tracked, don’t log into any services ever. Because the moment you log into a service, it’s already got your login ID tied with every computer that’s out there connected to the Internet, sends out identification info on itself; what browser is being used, what computer software is being used, sometimes what CPU is being used, what screen size is being used. There’s a whole lot of information that your computer just passes out. Well, they gather that information together and they create what’s called a unique user ID, or a fingerprint ID based upon the configuration of your computer, and that ID is what’s passed along. Facebook was using that for the longest time for tracking people who were not logged into Facebook. They had these unique IDs. And then what would happen is Facebook would track that unique — they’d create that unique user ID, and then follow that unique user ID anytime it appeared on the Internet. So it’s like, the algorithm is going to track you no matter what you do. The only way to stop tracking is to not use the Internet.
Amber: I’ve only got one more question.
John: All right. We’ll read that question out. We’ll break the show here and we’ll come back and finish it.
Amber: All right. My last question is does erasing cookies and browsing history reset your algorithm, so you can like start from scratch again and build a completely different way?
John: Okay, that sounds like an interesting question. We will come right back to it after my girl takes us on out of here.
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