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 #536 here.
It’s Episode 536 – Moon Phases, Saving Posts, Gravity Forms, Tracking the Source, Masterbar Note, Cancelling Orders… and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Alright, first off, we got here what we usually — will talk about ClassicPress — I don’t have any ClassicPress news or plugins this week. We’re keeping ClassicPress here simmering in the background, waiting for more information to occur. I believe ClassicPress is going to be a major player in the field. It might take them a couple or three years to do it, but I still want to try and keep up-to-date with them from time to time. If you happen to be a ClassicPress user or know someone that is, and you’d like to have more stuff here on the show, please submit it to us, and you can submit it direct email@example.com or just go to our contact page and submit the information there. And we will get it in the show and give you appropriate credit if you would like it. So with that being said, just go check out ClassicPress.net for more information on what ClassicPress is doing.
Alright, WordPress plugins, I do have some for you. And the first one I’ve got for you here is a rather simple plugin, but rather straightforward. It’s called Masterbar Note. Don’t say that too fast. This is a simple plugin. What it does is once you install it, it allows you to add a note up at the top of your — they call it Masterbar, but it’s just the admin bar. And up at the top, you can add a short message there for any other administrators to see — or if you got to tell yourself something you want to look at later, if you remember to look at the admin bar, this could be a plugin to help you out. I thought it was kind of cute, new, figured hey; why not let folks know it exists. Maybe there are people out there that might want to use this. So it is a brand new plugin. Go check it out. I give it a four-dragon rating, and it is Masterbar Note.
Amber: Absolutely, it sounds like it could be really useful.
John: Yeah, it could be.
Amber: Maybe admin was already taken?
John: Yeah, well, no, admin note, I don’t think so.
Amber: First one I have is PostSaver. This is a neat little plugin that I came across. It’s still pretty fresh on the market. The idea is to make it possible for your visitors to save their own collection of posts for later viewing right there on your site. So, what you do is you start off by adding the shortcode that is provided to any given page you want to allow your visitors to save. Then they’ll be able to fill out the registration form that allows them to start saving their own collection of your work, which I thought that was a really great idea, especially like there’s some sites I go to that I would love to have my own collection of because they help me a lot of things. So I both like and dislike the fact that you need to place the shortcode on every page you want people to be able to save. It gives you complete control, but it also means a lot of tedious work if you have a lot of articles that you want people to be able to save. It would be great if you could somehow use this in categories or even make it, so you only have to put the shortcode in the sections or something. That is one drawback that I noticed. I rate it at four dragons.
John: Alrighty, well, that’s kind of — I was thinking that’d be a cool plugin to add to our WP plugins so people could curate their own shows with specific plugins, but if you’re going to stick it on every single page, that’s near impossible. We got 536 episodes of notes and all the other bits and pieces that have been published over the years.
John: Hopefully, they figure out how to make it so that you only have to put the shortcode so people can create their curated note page, and then it just goes through and finds the stuff. Yeah. And it’s got so much promise. But so you said — wait a minute, that’s way too much there’s no — if you did that, from the very beginning of your site, that’s different. You’re talking about somebody who’s like, hey, this would be cool for my users, but I’ve got hundreds or thousands of pages.
Amber: Exactly. The one drawback I found, but it’s so promising — like PostSaver, seem a really great idea. It just needs a little bit more tweaking.
John: Yeah. Alrighty, well, the next one I have for you. This one here is Display Gravity Form Entry Anywhere. This is a additional shortcode on top of the gravity form shortcode to allow you to place it like, there’s only the occasional time where the gravity form shortcode won’t work somewhere. And this shortcode is supposed to work everywhere and anywhere. You do have to do a little bit of work to make it work. You got to add the entry ID, the form ID, the template ID, et cetera. And then, it will display the entry information for your form on a page. So, I thought it was useful thing, something that if you’re a gravity form user like I am. I’ll probably give this a try one the next time I get stuck and need something, but I thought it was a really cool idea, something that would be very useful to help folks out. Seemed remarkable enough, so I gave it a five-dragon rating.
That’s Display Gravity Form Entry Anywhere.
Amber: Yeah, it does seem like — Hemdian said changing all those posts sounds like a job for a freelancer who doesn’t value themselves either.
John: Someone willing to take five bucks an hour. Let’s call Fiverr for that.
Amber: Next one I have is Kawuda UTM source tracker. Hopefully, I said it right.
John: Kawuda or Kavuda. One of the two, either way, it works.
Amber: Either way, it is a source tracker, and it seems like it could be very useful. It did take me a moment to figure out the settings once I activated it, and I realized this tracks you as well as anyone else on your site, which I found interesting. It offers up real-time tracking and the history. You’re able to set it for how many days in the past you see, how many rows of information you see, like how many different options and stuff. And you also have the ability to search months, month spans. You get to see where your visitors go, how long they were there for, how many pages browsed, et cetera. Very useful for your site. No third party needed and totally free. I rate it at five dragons.
John: Very cool. Find out what your users are up to. Join the tracking phase, track everything. Alright, the final one I have for you today is called The Moon – Current Phase and Next Eclipse. Now, this is similar to a plugin I’ve been working on for years that I still haven’t got around to finishing; basically, what I was doing was recoding an old freeware program to work in WordPress. I half-ass-coded at one time, and it’s still live on an old-old website I built years ago. I can’t remember the name of it’s one of my old sites. I’d have to look. I’m not even sure the site’s still running. But at any rate, this is a really cool one. I thought it was neat. What it does, they did go one step further than what I did, and they show you what the stage the moon is currently in. They tell you what type of moon it is, waxing, waning, crescent moon, et cetera. They tell you what percentage it is, what astrological chart it’s in, or astrological sign it’s in. And then that also tells you when the next lunar eclipse is due to happen. I thought that was a pretty cool use of it in what it does. And I’ve got to add this to one of my fun sites because I like tracking the moon phases because the moon phases are interesting that they can help you with fishing and hunting and other things knowing when the moon is — because the animals move around the moon for some reason. So, at any rate, I thought it was really cool. It is free, and it’s something you want to go check out if you’re interested in this. And I give it a five-dragon rating.
It is The Moon – Current Phase and Next Eclipse.
Amber: And it’s really cool. And last one I have is cancel unpaid order for WooCommerce. I can see both the positives and negatives of this plugin. On the one hand, you can set up your sites that people who just simply add items to their cart and totally forget and never come back, and people hold on , but also see how people like myself who put things in their cart leave and come back to see the items to decide whether or not to get them second time around that they would lose out. I’m also under the impression that for the most part, unless you actually pay for the item, WooCommerce doesn’t really put all the stock items. I mean, in my experience so far, until you pay the money, you don’t really have any real on the item. I’ve had plenty of times where I go into a shop, and I go to buy the item, and it says out of stock. It’s in your cart, but you don’t really have a claim on it. So I’m not sure how many sites have it where as soon as it’s in someone’s cart is considered already bought — you know, something to think about.
John: Well, there are — my shopping cart, it holds the inventory for half an hour or until they pay for it. At the end of half an hour, it releases the inventory back. And many shopping carts do that when there’s limited inventory stuff because you have to be able to control your inventory. And it’s like — if you’re like a lot of people like me, even myself, when I go shopping on e-commerce, sometimes it’ll take me half an hour, 15-20 minutes to shop around, add things to cart, and finally checkout. So, you’ve got to have this.
Amber: This plugin is very easy to use. You plug it in and go to settings, set up the parameters you want others to go. And, I mean, you can set it for minutes, hours, days, months, or even years. So, you can set for any amount of time. Like I said, I see the pros and the cons of it, but I rate it at four dragons.
John: Well, you can see it’s still useful. I can see a lot of use for this, and for people that have shopping carts like that where people sometimes will add stuff to their cart, they’ll abandon them. It’s like I do it all the time. I start shopping on something, I add stuff in, and everything is in there. Maybe I don’t want to order right now, and I close it out and walk away. I don’t go bother to empty the shopping cart.
Amber: Exactly. And then, if you go off, see what this does is it actually like removes the things on the cart for the person, so it doesn’t just put it back in stock. It actually removes from the cart, so the person has to go find them again. So like I said, I see pros and cons.
John: Alrighty, well, let’s roll along. We don’t have a promotion yet for who the show is brought by. It’ll probably be the tavern real soon. And listener feedback, we’re still waiting for listener feedback. We haven’t had any in quite some time. We’d love the good, the bad, the ugly. Hey, bring it all on, man, bring it on folks, questions, feedback. Let us know how good, how bad we’re doing, what you think, you know, what the show is at. I mean, after all, the show is 12 years old now. So it’s probably — it got stale. It gets exciting, stale again. Well, hopefully, we’re making it exciting again.
Alright, this is the point, though, where we are going to talk about contests. Absolutely, contests. This is the primary for everyone. Starting next week, we will have a contest that will run till Christmas. It’s going to be our Thanksgiving Christmas contest. Well, American Thanksgiving Christmas contest. At any rate, what we’re going to be offering up is a one-year hosting package from johnoverall.com. So it’s going to be a free year of hosting on johnoverall.com, so you could win yourself an excellent hosting package and save yourself some money for your next project or whatever you’re working on, and discover the best Internet hosting out there — best boutique hosting available. At any rate, we will have all the information announcing that next week and the contest will start with next week’s show. So tune in for it and get ready to go enter your email addresses to get that free one-year hosting package. Alright, we do need to cover up quick things before we head into the Q&A segment. And first thing we’ll do is cover up the plugins we talked about. I talked about the following, The Moon – Current Phase and Next Eclipse plugin, which I gave a five to, the Display gravity form entry anywhere, which I gave a five to, and the Masterbar Note, which I gave a four to.
Amber: And I covered PostSaver, which I rated at four, Kawuda UTM source tracker, which I rated at five, and Cancel Unpaid Order for WooCommerce, which I rated at four.
John: Alrighty. And let’s see here. A couple other quick reminders, Meetups; I’m going to try and plan something for the New Year. I’m really hoping to set something up here at the oasis, so it’ll be a limited amount of people who can attend, but I’m really hoping to get something in the New Year. So I’ll just keep popping that until I finally get it fully organized. If you would like to be interviewed, you’re a developer, no developer, or just simply would like to talk about WordPress. You can connect with us over at wppluginsatoz.com/interview, and if you have plugins or suggestions you want, want to have them reviewed, well, you can go submit them on the website, or just send directly to Amber at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’ll take care of all that for you. Alright. This is where we move along to…
It’s question and answer time.
John: With Amber. I’m going to have to clip that and change that out.
Amber: Yep. If anyone out there has any questions they’d like to have asked on the show, send them into me at email@example.com, and we will get them answered to the best of our ability. My first question is, what is cross-site scripting vulnerabilities? There are three bits that go with it, which is, can you fix it yourself? How do you figure out whether or not that is there, and can you protect against it preemptively?
John: Alright. Well, we’ll take the third one first here. We’ll take this cross-site scripting vulnerabilities.
Amber: Yeah, what is that?
John: Well, what it means is, once upon a time, one of the biggest ways of showcasing other people’s information on the Internet was using the embed code. Embed somebody else’s web page within your web page. And other thing is links going off to other web pages. And when you’re leaving one web page to another, there’s information still being transmitted between those two sites, or it opens thing up. I think that’s it. You know people feel free to correct me if I’m missing things because I know I am. But what happens is someone attacks your site from another site, a cross-site, and they use a script on another site to attack your site. It could be — it happens with plugins; plugins will sometimes refer to another website for a particular script or code. In fact, there were hijacks that were done a few years ago when people abandoned plugins, and they were just — somebody would be able to take them over, and they would inject their own script code in there. Or somebody refer to a domain that someone let expire, the hackers buy it up, and they put scripts on that domain for those URLs because all those old links still exist on the web. So, it’s vulnerabilities from another site, going across to your site, and it’s injections from another site going across to your site, infecting your site.
Amber: Okay, so when you were talking about cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, we’re essentially talking about like a bridge that’s between the two sites from the embedding?
John: Yeah, something like that. And I don’t have it fully in my head now, but that’s what I do recall from it. Now, part three on it, can you protect against it preemptively? Yes, you can sort of use a web application firewall such as Wordfence. Wordfence helps out because it examines what’s going on your site and shuts things down provided that you — well, it depends how new the vulnerability is. The older ones are in your free version. If you want the latest versions of everything, you’ve got to pay for the premium version, so you get the latest updated list of infections. So, a web application firewall can help protect you preemptively. And other than that, there’s no other real way I know of to protect preemptively. Can you fix it yourself? Sure, how’s your coding skills? That’s what it boils down to. How do you figure out whether or not it’s there? You have to be monitoring all the things that happen on your site. And there are programs and monitors you can hook up to your site to see every single item that is being loaded and called to your site. In fact, you can do that with the tools function and the Web Dev Tools in Firefox and Chrome. And all other browsers have that Web Dev Tools, which has a control panel and stuff, so you can see what’s happening. So that’s how you figure out whether it’s there. Or when your site gets hacked, you go, no, what caused this, and you track it down, and that’s how you find it. So it can be done. It’s just — you know, and fixing it yourself, it’s up to your coding skills, how good are your coding skills, and tracking down and doing the code, undoing the bad code and putting in the good code.
Amber: Okay, well, I’ve only got one more question. So should we —
John: Well, read the question out. We’ll close out the show for those on the podcast. And for those on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, and Twitch, you guys, get the benefits of whatever else we got going on.
Amber: Okay, so this question was brought up simply by my pure frustration in trying to change my address everywhere. Is it a common trait for people who work on websites to tend to get lost on the front end of random sites that they go to because I’m finding that I tend to get lost in a lot of sites that I’m visiting? But I know that if I could get into the area where developers go, I’d be fine navigating — I can find anything. So that’s my question. And why is it that — the area that we work in mostly — why is it so different from the front end and the way it’s set up for navigation? I understand like the visual and everything, but why don’t we do that? Why is it so different?
John: Oh, that’s going to be a fun one to talk about. So make sure you all tune back in here. I’m going to let my girl take us on out, and we’ll be right back.
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John can 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.
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