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 #538 here.
It’s Episode 538 and we have plugins for: Country Addons, Applying for Jobs, XMas says Hello!, Dokan Vendoring, Seed Tracing, QRing… and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Alright. So first off, we do like to mention ClassicPress, ClassicPress is not much in my list right now, I don’t have anything on my radar for them. If you’re using ClassicPress, please bring us some information, we want to keep this alive. I feel it’s a worthy project and I feel it’s going to actually gain momentum in the following years and maybe even eventually give WordPress a run for its money, but on the WordPress plugins, here’s what I have for you first today, I have Country and State Selection Addon for Gravity Forms. This is an add-on to your Gravity Forms form plugin. It’s a really cool add-on now you can go create country and state selections with a drop down and a whole bunch of other you got to do a bunch of typing. This one makes the job of adding country and state selections a whole lot easier for your site, put this plugin in and you just choose your countries you want and it sets them in place, choose the states, you’re all set. It’s a really great little tool. I think it’s a nice useful one for Gravity Forms and something you’ll want to check into. It is a free plugin and it does help add some value to the Gravity Forms plugin, so go check this one out, really great one Country and State Selection Addon for Gravity Forms and I give it a five dragon rating.
Amber: I can see that being very useful. I’m not hearing your clips for some reason.
John: You’re not hearing the clips. I thought you were hearing them earlier.
Amber: I was but I didn’t hear the intro to the plugins and I didn’t hear the dragon, so
John: Oh, well. That’s weird.
Amber: It is. I’m just giving you a heads up if I sound for too long because I just I’m waiting Okay, well,
John: Okay, well the sounds are making it to the YouTube so —
John: Yeah, I guess you’ll just have to wait for the queues. Alright, so what have you got?
Amber: First one I’m bringing to the table is Dokan – Best WooCommerce Multivendor Marketplace Solution – Build Your Own Amazon, eBay, Etsy, although I put eBay by accident, I’ll have to fix that, so when I checked this out, I really liked the way that it went. It’s easy and simple and it’s very, I really liked it, I don’t really know much about the multi-vendor thing and going through the walkthrough on this helped me to understand what everything was for and it sets up a few of the pages for you, which I later learned that’s basically what they all do, but I didn’t know that this is the first one I tested out. I really did like this one, it does work in Elementor, create some widgets for Elementor, if you use Elementor. There’s also widgets and a couple other ones I don’t remember right off top of my head, there’s an option for turning off all the information gathering and each plugin connected and you can do that individually which I liked that. I found in a couple other ones I tested out it were either on or off. You didn’t get to choose them individually. Unlike you choose it individually which I thought was kind of neat. There’s a lot you can do with this in the free version. It gives you enough to start but if you want to keep going, you’re gonna have to upgrade with this, so worth checking out if you’re looking for a multi-vendor. I rate it at four dragons.
John: Very cool. Yeah, well, the multi-vendor stuff is something we’re getting ready to do a whole bunch of work on, so these are the two major players Amber reviewed one last week’s episode and this one, and these are the two major players in there and while I looked at the Dokan one i thought it was a little easier to use, but I didn’t feel it was as robust as the other one we did last week, so you actually
Amber: You actually reviewed the other one last week.
John: Did I review it? Oh, well see, there we go.
Amber: You reviewed that one. I was going to review it this week but since you reviewed it last week I reviewed this one.
John: Yeah then everyone gets a good rounding of what’s available in the major player of it all.
Amber: Yeah, I actually I do like Dokan more but that’s because it works better for someone like me who’s starting out next one was a little too advanced for me to fully get and it also felt pushy.
John: Yeah, it is a bit pushy but the thing is, is you got to think to the long term of two, three years down the road, if you’re expecting your website to grow, you want to have a plugin that’s going to be able to expand to where you want to go not from where you’re at and that’s why I try to look at a plugin like how will it expand if this website becomes successful? Will this plugin expand out to do everything I need it to do?
Amber: I think this one would, but that’s just my opinion.
John: Alright, well, the next one I have for you folks, here is another nice simple plugin. It is simply a basic job application form for your website. Now if you’re running a small company in something, and you just want a nice simple way to drop a job application on your website, so people can submit their resumes, or they call them CSVs now, cover letters are something new, don’t do resumes anymore. You got a fancy new term for what used to be called a resume. At any rate, it’s a simple one; just ask for their name, information, and then you give them an opportunity to upload a file on it. Really straightforward it collects all that data for you, and then allows you to go review it and download it as you need, so it’s a pretty straightforward plugin. It is free and it is kind of cool and easy to use. If you’re looking for something this simple, go check it out. It’s just a Job Application Form and I give it a four dragon rating.
Amber: Okay, I was just noticing that I lost all visual on YouTube. I’m wondering if anybody out there has lost visual on YouTube.
John: Oh, it looks like its delaying. Oh, I’ve lost all data stream. I got no data going to YouTube now. What the hell happened?
Amber: Oh, there we go you popped back on.
John: Oh, there it is, it’s got a low bitrate; it’s got a low bitrate going.
John: Yeah, it’s not me, well, could be me, I don’t know. I delivered the stream to a re-streaming service so, you know, it goes off the stream labs and then from stream labs, stream labs re-streams it to everyone else, so I have no idea what they’re doing. It’s one of those things where I gave up a bit of control which is irritating.
Amber: Next one I have is seedtrace. I actually thought this was a pretty cool plugin, especially if you’re one who’s like selling seeds. Now, I’m not sure how it worked if you are growing and selling your own seeds, because what this is designed to do is it’s designed to actually find the beginning of the seed and trace that seed’s entire journey up until it makes it to your dashboard. It’s connected with WooCommerce and it is a third party thing that you have to actually make an account with seedtrace in order to activate the information on your site. Now I don’t usually like third party, but I could totally see how useful this could be if you say for instance buy bulk seeds and you want to give a history on these seeds I could see it being really useful. I mean, even though it’s a third party, seems cool. I was just going to say it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re one of those who buys your seeds and you want know all the information of where it started, where, when, and how it got to you, and then you can share it with your customers too.
John: Well, it is an interesting plugin because it said seedtrace, I thought I would examine it, that’s not exactly what it’s all about; it’s a misnomer on the labeling. It’s a product trace and what it traces your products from grower to buyer to seller to processor and it’s all about telling you if you’re a good person in the world and how ethically sourced everything you’re buying is. It tracks supply chains of your products is what it’s designed to do. Now they give the samples of cocoa farmers and chocolate and how the chocolate is done and it can be used for seeds. I did like the idea because, you know, no I grow my own seeds. I thought it might be sort of a fascinating thing, but it’s more designed to show what a good human you are in the world by ethically sourcing your products and tracking to see where your products come from and if they’re ethically sourced, so it is an interesting concept and a great idea and it could be something useful if you’re wanting to make sure that you show that your products are all truthfully and ethically sourced you can build this up and they’ve got themselves why you sign up for their services, they’ve built up a database of products and where they come from and how they’re sourced, so and that’s what they’re selling. Other than that, it’s a really great thing.
Amber: Well, I rate it at four dragons.
John: Yeah. Alright the next one I’ve got for you here is called Christmas Greetings I thought this one was kind of cool, this one’s a little different from most Christmas plugins. What it’s designed to do is it sets up and they do have a premium version which gives you a little more features with it, you know, fireworks for a New Year’s theme event and other things, but for the most part what is forester Christmas stuff, you go in, you choose whether you want snowflakes or Santas and then a gift package and then a bow to wrap around your site and then in the end it gives you a pop-up that’s overlay of your website when people hit it and it just says Merry Christmas, thanks for visiting our store and the other thing it gives you is an option to add in a coupon code at this point, so if you’re running an e-commerce store you can toss in a coupon code that most people will ignore until it’s too late and then you might actually get a few more sales but I just thought it was a cool little way to say merry Christmas to the visitors of your website. So at any rate, nice simple plugin, does a few great things, they do have a premium version so that knocks them down a point, so I’ll give this one a four dragon rating and it is Christmas Greetings, now that we are in the Christmas season. Thanksgiving’s here, you can set up all your Christmas lights now folks.
Amber: You couldn’t wait five days till at least December first then, it’s still November, come on.
John: No, no, no it’s going to be done the day after Thanksgiving because everyone’s off work where they used to be. Now they’re all off work anyway so.
Amber: It’s still November.
John: Yeah, well it starts on Black Friday man while everyone else is out there killing themselves for the Black Friday sales, you’re up there nice and calmly setting up your Christmas lights and going hey the world’s all good.
Amber: It is a cool plugin I’ll give it that. Alright, last one I have is Simple QR. Now over the past couple years I’ve noticed that QR codes are replacing a whole bunch of things like you got to a restaurant, you no longer get the little restaurant menus, you have to scan a QR code on the wall with your phone and that’s where you get your menu or you can get like a usual – you can get information brochure by scanning QR code rather than for sure that you would normally get. It’s very interesting the way that QR codes are kind of taking over the paper industry which I guess is good news for trees.
Amber: So here we have a plugin that helps you to create your own QR code. It seems to work pretty well, very easy simple to use, you just put in the short code and it creates your own QR. It’s totally free and worth checking out if you have any use for a QR code such as information brochure, menu, what have you. QR codes are really useful to have kicking around just because you can stick them up everywhere. I had a friend who was doing self-promotion and he was sticking QR codes all over the town. He got to sell himself a whole bunch because of it.
John: Yeah, well they’ve become popular. I remember when they weren’t popular. I reviewed a crapload I thought QR codes were cool way back in the day when they first came out and I reviewed a crapload of QR code plugins. I even used them on my site for a little while but they didn’t gain any ground, but in the last year or so they’ve gained a lot of ground and with the new things out there, there’s a whole lot more uses for them and I thought of something I didn’t think of I caught something a really cool suggestion on what to do to just really mess with them, carry a black sharpie with you and go in there make an extra line in the QR code and it’ll be toast.
Amber: Well I do like this, it’s very simple and easy to use but you can’t really personalize it too much, so I rate it at four dragons.
John: Yeah, well having the ability to personalize them, like I have some old there’s some plugins that I’ve reviewed for QR codes in the past and some of them were pretty sophisticated, you could do a lot of stuff with QR codes and those plugins still exist and they’ve been updated and advanced, so do a search on the site if you’re interested in QR codes, just go into the wppluginsatoz.com site and search for QR code and it should give you a list of all the shows in the past I reviewed them and just go look them all up. Alright, well that covers up all of our plugins for today and we do have a listener question this week.
John: Yeah, question goes how do you decide which plugins you’re going to review and what elements do you use to decide their rating? An avid listener. Well they weren’t even kind enough to give us their name.
Amber: Yeah, man, avid listener. I like it, it works.
John: Alright, well how I decide to which plugins I’m going to review is sometimes I just throw a dart at the WordPress repository for plugins. I’ll type in a keyword and see what plugins come up; you’d be amazed what plugins come up when you type in things such as turkey.
Amber: Yeah it is pretty amazing, I do that too.
John: And then I just go through and look for a plugin that sounds interesting and I think might be usable for people and that’s what I bring to the show, now the elements to decide its rating is one does it have a premium version that automatically knocks a point off.
John: If it doesn’t have a premium version how easy is it to set up and does it actually do what it says it’s going to do and how old is the plugin, if it’s too old I don’t bring them to the show if they’re too old anymore unless it’s something special, you know, is it up-to-date. I don’t even look at whatever ratings that might exist on the plugin already. I just sort of base it upon my use and my attempt to you set it, you know, I don’t spend a lot of time setting them up sometimes it’s less than 5-10 minutes setting them up and just see if it does what it’s supposed to do. I have a website that’s probably got 300 plugins installed on it now because I just install them there, activate them, and periodically deactivate them to keep the website from crashing under the load of the plugins, but and that’s basically what I do with it and that’s how I decide their rating and most of them land in three and four zone, you know, occasionally to hit a five for me now it has to hit all the golden spikes it has to be free, has to be very usable, it has to be very easy to set up, you know, that’s the only way to get five out of me now unless of course I happen to have the premium version which is usable and does everything it’s supposed to be and I’m working with the premium version then the premium version can get a five, but other than that if they get a one or two it usually means it’s a true piece of crap.
Amber: Yeah, like, you know, you plug it in that crashes your site or you plug it in and it just does nothing.
John: Does nothing or you try to use it and something else happens, so yeah that’s how I do it. You got anything else to add to it that I don’t do there.
Amber: Well, for me, I guess it’s a bit different the way that I reach a five because even if it’s a premium — if it’s really good for its free version, and you can basically do whatever you need to do off the free version, and the premium version just adds like some extra that you don’t need, but that could be fun. to do and works in a way, it’s easy to understand, and is not complete where you have to look up every single option in order to get it going.
Amber: And like a lot of them fall in the 3-4 for me as well, but I spend a lot of time setting things up because I’m still learning how all the different kinds of plugins work. So, yes, it sounds like . Other times, I’ll bring forward a plugin that I come across when I’m doing research for a client.
John: Yeah, that is one thing that I did forget to add is that sometimes I’d be researching for client or using a client site or inherit a new website to build out, and I’ll discover that they got plugins in that site they have never seen before, and I’ll bring them forward.
John: Alright. Well, we do have a new contest now.
Absolutely, go enter for free. It’s the contest sponsored by johnoverall.com web hosting services. Excellent hosting that won’t slow you down. WordPress hosting that does not slow you down and we are giving away a one year hosting package valued at 350 bucks. The contest is running from now till December 23rd, I think, and just before Christmas, it’s just in time for Christmas, make it a Christmas present, enter the contest and win the hosting package for yourself and use it for yourself or hey take and give it to a client, you know, you never know and my hosting is excellent hosting services that I don’t overload the servers and I provide all the tools and the power you need to run your WordPress website with the best security possible and I have been doing, you know, hosting most of my clients are clients that are with me for 20 years. I’ve been doing hosting for 22 years now, started on 1999 was when I launched my first server, so I’ve been doing it for 22 years. I’ve never grown it very big. It’s always been a small boutique hosting service and I intend to say that way, I don’t want to be a big massive hosting service. I don’t want thousands and thousands of clients. I only want the people who care about their quality and care about, you know, having the best service possible at all time and always being able to reach the hosting provider, they can always reach me unless of course I’m sleeping, I got to sleep sometime. Unfortunately I have to spend those anywhere from three to eight hours a day sleeping. If I could get away with not sleeping I would be able to accomplish, I’d be able to conquer the world if I didn’t have to sleep.
Amber: You know, I was talking with a friend the other day about how wouldn’t it be useful if we could just plug ourselves in and recharge while we’re working like a cell phone.
John: Oh God, that’d be great.
Amber: It would, you know, I was actually thinking humans are kind of like the old version of Nokia phones. The old version Nokia cell phones you couldn’t even send a text while it was charging because otherwise it would kill the battery. So we’re like the first gen Nokia phones at this stage of our bodies we need to figure out a way to upgrade ourselves, so we can plug ourselves in and recharge while we’re working.
John: Maybe that’s our next evolution. At any rate, you can go enter the contest by clicking the link in the show notes or just go to wppluginsatoz.com/giveaway to get to the contest and it’s very simple to enter just enter your name, email address, and away you go. Alright, we are going to cover up a couple things here to close out before we head into the Q&A segment. Plugins covered this episode; I covered up the following Country and State Selection Addon for Gravity Forms which I gave a five, The Job Application which I gave a four, and the Christmas Greetings which I gave a four.
Amber: And I covered Dokan – Best WooCommerce Multivendor Marketplace Solution – Build Your Own Amazon, eBay, Etsy which I rated at four, seedtrace which I rated at four, and Simple QR which I also rated at four. Apparently I had a four day.
John: You did. You had a four day. Alright, and a couple of quick reminders, meetups I think we’re going to be looking at a meetup in the early spring or early summer this next year. It’ll be a WordPress and Rogues Tavern meetup, so stay tuned for that as I start to get that one put online. Also, if you’re a developer out there, no developer, or simply want to showcase some product you do that’s relative to WordPress of course and you want to be in an interview show connect with me at wppluginsatoz.com/interview. If you have plugin suggestions you want to have reviewed please submit them to the website at wppluginsatoz.com/submit plugin. Alright, it is that time.
It’s question and answer time.
John: With Amber.
Amber: Yeah, I heard his voice just not the music.
John: That’s weird.
Amber: It is, so I actually have a question for you from someone in our chat. They have been saying you need to be careful of the QR codes and what they contain thoughts?
Amber: Oh, yeah.
John: And, of course, that has died down and now they’ve brought them back and they brought them back in such a way, you know, with the I’m not even going to go into that with going into restaurants and such you got, you know, swipe your phone over a QR code for things, you know, it’s like and it’s being used in more and more places, you said restaurant menus and other things, so people are becoming accustomed to them in small simple ways that they feel safe, but what’s to say that, you know, somebody puts up the restaurant menu, they put up a couple of them around the restaurant and some hacker comes in, he’s reprinted that particular layout that they have he’s put his own QR code in there, you know, and it sends you somewhere else and, you know, so it’s like all these different things can be problematic, so yeah it can be a problem and you have to make sure before you scan a QR code, do you trust the source? That’s your biggest thing do you trust the source that this QR code is coming from.
John: It’s what it boils down to, it’s like anything else do you trust the source, pretty much everything in life is do you trust the source, alright.
Amber: Alright, so if anybody out there has any questions they’d like to have asked on the show send them in to me at email@example.com and we’ll get them answered to the best of our ability and if you’re in the chat just like our current listener did send them in, so my first question that I brought is what are key phrases when referring to compromised sites. I remember last week we were talking about compromised sites and you said something about the key phrases being something important to pay attention to.
John: Key phrases.
Amber: Yeah, I was curious about that but I didn’t get a chance to ask at the time.
John: I don’t understand something that’s obviously been flushed from my memory, so I don’t know what you mean by key phrases.
Amber: Alright, we’ll skip that one then I’ll do some more research, and then I’ll ask the question.
John: Yeah, it’s like key phrases means so many different things to me, and I must have been on a roll and it just got flushed from my memory when I was done.
Amber: I was hoping that the question would trigger it for you. Okay, so if a hacker manages to get into a workplace network does that mean that they will have access to every personal computer that links to that network from home?
John: That one’s kind of an interesting one. I hadn’t thought about that. It would be possible I suppose because when you’re accessing a work network from a home computer you are , which the VPN is actually creating a tunnel through the internet that connects your computer directly to that office network and now your computer is no longer truly part of the greater internet or your home network but you’re part of your office network, so in theory I would say they could access every personal computer that’s linked through the VPN network. It would depend on what kinds of firewalls are set up on the VPN network there and, so I don’t know. It seems like it should and it seems like they could, you know, to have access to the personal computers in the network. It’s one of the reasons why I do protect my network to the best of my ability to keep anything from getting into it, so definitely a possibility.
Amber: Yeah, that one occurred to me because I was thinking about it and if somebody wanted to hack into one specific person’s computer and be anonymous about it just hack into their work network that they log into every day and you could probably get into that person’s network and there’d be no clue where it came from because it would lead back to the work network where millions of computers are.
John: Yeah, could very well work.
Amber: An interesting thing. My last question is can you define zero day? I can’t remember if it’s bugs or —
John: Zero day flaws, zero day problem, zero day.
Amber: and coding and stuff.
John: Yeah. Okay, we will do that one after we come back, so those of you that are listening on the download of the show you want to hear the answer to this one, go visit the YouTube channel. I’m going to let my girl take us on out of here.
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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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