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 #532 here.
It’s Episode 532 – We have plugins for The Media Library, Tool Tips, Sitemaps, Admin Notices, Popups, Popups … and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Hey, first off ClassicPress options, we do have a little bit on ClassicPress this week it seems. It seems there’s a new tutorial posted up on ClassicPress. Now this tutorial can be used for anything, CMS system wise and GitHub. It’s not just specific for ClassicPress, but they put this tutorial up there for you and what it’s for is for you to get an understanding on how to use GitHub for repository of your files and use it to stick them into the official repo, the origin, files at GitHub, and your local files on your computer, so it’s a really good setup, it goes through setting up your local server, adding your ClassicPress files, you could use it with other CMS’, setting it all up, getting your local host version, all of this stuff here. It’s a really good article and a pretty decent tutorial for those that are just trying to figure things out on how to do this, so I suggest you go check all of these out.
Amber: Sorry to interrupt, but just a quick note about GitHub, just a quick note about that. WordPress is also starting to give you the option to add GitHub activity onto your WordPress site. There is a link about that in our news, I just wanted to make mention about that could also be useful for WordPress.
John: GitHub is getting there. Also, you’ll want to check out if you’re using ClassicPress, ClassicPress has its own repository now and they have 83 plugins available in their repository, so they’re coming along. It’s kind of like the one thing I missed getting to in that little piece of my first show; I wanted to highlight that point. When I started the show, there were just over 11,000 plugins for WordPress that was it that was all there was.
Amber: Really compared to now.
John: Yeah, that was really but that was a massive number at the time, so this is what’s happening to ClassicPress, so we’ll be keeping in touch with ClassicPress and checking in with them from time to time. Let’s wander along though and talk about our WordPress plugins for this week. All right, first one I’ve got here for you this week is XML Sitemap, so it’s been a long time since I’ve talked about a sitemap plugin. I believe this one’s been around for quite some time, but they keep it up to date and this is for those of you who are not using your SEO plugin, XML sitemap generation, or you just want a different type of sitemap generation, than the SEO plugins provide and this one here builds out a full blown XML sitemap for your site and like I said, David noted in their thing, they’ve had this plugin going for nine years and I think I reviewed it sometime in the past, but I couldn’t find it when I went looking for it, so I’m pretty sure I reviewed it sometime in the distant past and it was pretty good back then and it’s still pretty good now. So this is a plugin for creating an XML sitemap that is easily machine readable and it can actually help with your SEO. If you don’t already have an XML sitemap system being built out for you, go check this one out the XML Sitemap plugin and I give it a four dragon rating.
Amber: Very useful. The first one I have for today is called Holler Box – Lightweight Popup Plugin. This is a very lightweight plugin that allows you to connect MailChimp, ConvertKit, MailPoet, Drip, Active Campaign, or Custom Form. You can limit it to pages or make it appear on all pages, delay time, play with the fonts, the colors, and you have a few different ones to choose from in the free version as well. You get the Notification Box, Popup Box, Faux Chat Designs, those are the templates that you get to choose from in the free version and you also have the option to create custom designs via HTML and shortcode, so a bit of a drawback, you have to use those, but you can do it. It’s really easy to use, very simple and the ability to connect so many things like MailChimp, which is pretty popular, is a really good addition, I think. The Pro version offers a lot more templates and a lot more options to expand on your popups. I give it a rating of four dragons.
John: Excellent. All right, next up for you. Now I did have a note in here probably should have put a little before the show but as I mentioned, this is the end of our 11th anniversary, so 11 years ago today on WP Plugins A to Z, I was going to do a plugin for the exact date from this time 10-11 years ago. Problem is, as I look back, see what plugins I covered back then and for the first year, I sort of skim through, but almost all the plugins I did back then have not been kept up to date at all, so they’ve fallen out of by the wayside and also it seems I was doing some plugins to determine if visitors were using smartphones or not. So this was back in the days when the smartphone was just coming out, so it was an interesting trip down memory lane, but that being said, we’re gonna go along with my next plugin, which is called Enhanced Media Library. This is something that should be native in WordPress by now after a 16-17 years old now 18, maybe I can’t remember how old WordPress is and they have yet to do anything with the media library and this is a really nice plugin, and it is a freemium plugin and they do have some advantages that are more available at the premium version, but the free version does an awful lot for you. You get to categorize and tag up your media items, create taxonomies, you can have third party taxonomy as assigned to the media library, you can set up filters for the media in your library, you know, you can show and hide data author, taxonomy filters, you know, configure the outcome of the filter, so there’s a lot you can do with it and this is really useful if you’ve got a website such as my primary website, johnoverall.com, which has been around for, you know, since the beginning of my 13-year WordPress career and it’s got a lot of stuff in the library and so it makes it easier to start searching stuff and finding stuff in there when you’re looking for it. Another neat feature in the free is you can reorganize things, you know, say for instance, you have a particular file that you’re often using, and you can move it from the bottom all the way back up to the top where you can find it every time you’re using a particular image. So all in all pretty decent plugin would get a five but because it’s a premium version or a freemium plugin, it’s only gets a four dragon rating. Go check it out, the Enhanced Media Library.
Amber: I think we have used on a few different sites, is very useful.
John: Yeah, I’ve used it in various places.
Amber: Next one I have is Popup Box – new WordPress popup plugin. So my favorite thing about this one is that they give you a live preview right above where you’re working as you build it. I really like that and you get like immediate feedback. They don’t have the ability to put in a map on the free version unfortunately, but you can link media and videos, which is useful. You have a lot of basic control with this plugin, you’re able to put it in your own wording, your own pictures and colors, place it wherever you want, decide where it shows up on your site, but that’s it, you only have the basic control in the free version. In order to use the actually useful best you do have to upgrade, so I rate this at four dragons.
John: Alrighty, go check that out. Hey, my last plugin I’ve got for you here today is called, All right, hey, I was having fun.
Amber: Today, yes.
John: All right, the final plugin I’ve got for you today is called Tooltip CK and this is a pretty decent plugin and I like it because what it does for you is it allows you to create tooltips, all over your site, wherever you’ve got tooltips on a post, or you want to enhance a piece of text, or you want to give a description more than what’s in the text, but you don’t want it in the text, you want it where somebody mouse’s over, get a little popup box, that’s what this does. Great tooltips and all you got to do is go set it up, choose your colors, opacity, et cetera. Use a shortcode to put it into the posts and with the shortcode, you wrap things around with the shortcode and you get tooltips, you can even put tooltips with images in there. There’s a whole lot of little things that can be done on this and there’s a lot of multiple ways you could use these tooltips throughout your posts. The other great thing about it is you could also use it as a way to enhance SEO, because all that text will be read by the search engines, but it won’t interfere with your users reading the site so that they only see that text, if they mouse over and want to see the tooltip, it does give them a little notification that, you know, the tooltip is there, you know, put your mouse here to get the tooltip etc kind of a really great handy tool to enhance the content of your post throughout your site. All in all, I really do like it, it works really well and it is a freebie, so go check it out. It is a five dragon plugin and it’s Tooltip CK.
Amber: Wow, that sounds amazingly useful, so the last one I have is simply called Dobby. Dobby the friendly Admin Elf, there to take care of all of your unwanted admin notices. I can see this both being both very helpful and a bit irritating because there are sometimes admin notices that you actually need to be able to see and this sort of wipes them all out for you, though, there was one rather important notice that I did see while I have this activated, so I’m under the impression that if it’s like rated as really important for notice, then it won’t get rid of it right away. It’ll wait until you’ve like logged in, had the opportunity to see it, and then it removes it. I think I’ll have to pay attention to this and keep it going for a while longer in order to be totally sure and that’s my understanding after playing with it for a couple days.
John: So in other words, it cleans all of them annoying admin notices out of your dashboard?
Amber: Yes, kind of makes me feel like a fancy wizard to know that I have Dobby that the admin I’ll help you.
John: That’s an absolute useful tool.
Amber: Yep. I rate this at five dragons.
John: All right. Okay and we’re still looking for listener questions and feedback, folks. If you got any for us, please send it in. You can send it to email@example.com or just go to WP Plugins A to Z contact form and send the stuff man; we’re looking for all kinds of stuff. Now, we do have our contest segment here right now but our contest segment, we’ve kind of put it on hiatus for a little while. Things have gotten a little crazy, the fellow who — Charlie who helps us with the contest has been busy lately, so he’s not been able to do it. Get it all done. We’re looking forward to him picking it back up and arranging the contest for us, he’s done such a fantastic job over this last year. We had contests regularly for month after month after month. Maybe we’re just burned out on contest for a while, so I think we’re going to put them on hiatus. It may be a month, maybe two months, whatever long it takes us to get it reorganized and bring it back, but we will definitely let you know as soon as the contests are back. So thanks again, you know, to Charlie, this is one of the areas I talked about supporting us with time. You can support us with time, Charlie’s got the contest, but we still need someone to help manage our art gallery, like our art gallery on the website, it’s a really great item and you can see in here, just go to the show notes, click on the submitted art gallery and you will see all the art that’s been submitted to us in the last few months since it all goes to the art gallery now, but we have a backlog of art that is not up in the gallery yet that needs to be put in here and I just haven’t had the time to do it. So at any rate, some really great art and some other things that can be done, we still have a few other things that are needed for helping with the show. All right, well, we’re going to close out a couple of quick things here before we move into the Q&A segment of the show and to do that we’ve got — I covered up the following plugins and what I covered up was Tooltips CK which I gave a five to, the Enhanced Media Library which I gave a four to, and the XML Sitemaps, which I gave a four to.
Amber: And I covered Dobby, which I gave a five, Popup Box – new WordPress popup plugin, which I rated at four, and Holler Box – Lightweight popup plugin, which I rated at four.
John: Okay, and a couple of quick reminders, we are still considering when meetups will exist again, I haven’t had the time to organize them and we may push through the winter into next spring before. Also for those of you who develop plugins or no developers of plugins, you want to be on an interview show and that’s a separate show from this, it’s anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes in length depends on how the interview goes and it’s posted differently, still fed into the podcast stream for all the listeners out there and it’s a great way to promote your plugin. All you got to do is reach out to me at wppluginsatoz.com/interview. I have specific spots during the week that people can book for doing the interview show, so go check that out. All right, this is where we go into the Q&A segment with Amber.
It’s question and answer time.
John: With Amber, she brings me crazy questions every week and we split this into two parts. One part, the first couple of questions are first question and a half, go out to you listening on the pod stream and the other part goes into the YouTube channel only because this is going live out to YouTube right now and so we want to give those that make the effort to come to YouTube to watch it, they get a bonus piece of material. So let’s wander in and see what Amber has for us this week.
Amber: First of all, if anyone out there has any questions they’d like to have asked on the show, feel free to send them in to me @amberwppro.ca, and I’ll get them up here and we’ll see what kind of answers dad gives. My first question is, we all have a cord box, even people who don’t really do computery things, but when we move we have to downsize, so my question is, what are the most important cords to keep in your cord box and why those ports?
John: Oh, goody. Yeah, the cord box everybody has a cord box. My viewpoint is don’t toss out any cords, get a bigger box or get two boxes because
Amber: Okay, what if you already have like two or three boxes?
John: Oh, well, then what you do is you go through and find ones that have triplicates and you get rid of the third one.
John: Always keep two of each one, but when you got a third one because you never know if one of them is gonna be bad when you try to use it.
Amber: So then by that logic wouldn’t it make sense to keep three?
John: It wouldn’t make sense to keep three but if you need to downsize the boxes, you get rid of the third one. Ah, and then if you’ve got a lot of leftover cat five cables, you know that that little cable you plug into your monitor or into your into your router and into your computer is keep the various sizes of them because I’ve got them from two feet all the way up to 75 feet length and I have needed all those different links at one point in time or another especially when one fails or somebody steps on it or runs it over with a vacuum or trips over it and yanks it a wall and rips the rips the end apart. So yeah, I just I keep the cords, I made the mistake one time of my box out one time, and then I was like I went to go get I had one of these, it’s gone. So yeah, if you got three or more, give it a third one.
Amber: All right. My next question is how you create your own VPN? And if so how?
John: Oh absolutely, you can create your own VPN, it was a lot of time and a couple of programs. A VPN is just an internal network in your house and in that VPN if you got the right program. Thanks a lot for coming in, we greatly appreciate you stopping by the show, take care.
Amber: Take care.
John: So yeah, the VPN — I’ve created my own VPNs, network my computers together, so I could access all my computers, and then you need a program that can be called in from outside the world and then because a VPN is, you know, is coming into your outside the world, like if you’ve gone into, like, if you’re at a public WiFi place, you can hit your VPN, and now you’re no longer part of the public WiFi, you’re in your own tunneled part of the Internet.
Amber: Hemdian said I have cords everywhere and can never find the one I want.
John: Yeah, cord box.
Amber: Is a good idea.
John: It is a good idea. The other thing with the VPNs what have I done on my VPNs, I’ve created a VPN on one of my servers one time to hit different parts of the Internet I used on one of my servers as a VPN one time because that’s the other type of VPN and as the VPN that everyone on the Internet is pushing to you, sign up for this VPN service and get yourself, you know, be able to access things from all over the globe. Well I did that with one of my computer, with one of my servers one time just to see if I could and it slowed things down a little bit but I didn’t have the technology, but yeah you can create them, it just depends on what type of VPN, what you’re going to do and getting all the programs together to do it because you need software and other things to do all the switching and connections on it all, so
Amber: All right, I only have one more question.
John: Okay lets read that question out and we will split the show right here.
Amber: All right, my question is, so when learning to develop step one is to learn coding, so if you’ve only learned the bare basics of coding and you have an opportunity to learn WhiteHating should you just go ahead and dive in or should you keep yourself paced and stick with the coding until you fully learn that or why not?
John: Okay, we will dive into that after my girl takes us on out of here.
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