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 #542 here.
It’s Episode 542 and we have plugins for Christmas Clock, Christmas Facts, White Christmas, Verifying Email, Spicy Posting, Wicked Building… and ClassicPress Options. It’s all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
John: Alright, the first one I’ve got this week. Okay, it’s ClassicPress. We don’t have anything new for ClassicPress this week. We do have a couple of things from last week in the show notes on ClassicPress. You might want to go have a checkout on those, and if anyone out there listening uses ClassicPress, hey, provide us some more info, we’ll be happy to get it into the show.
Alright, first plugin I’ve got for you this week is called the Christmas Countdown Clock, just a simple countdown clock that you can put on your website to count down the days for Christmas. For those of you that get really excited about it, you can put it there right after Christmas Day and start counting down to the next year, or like most of us didn’t put it up like a week or two weeks or even a month before to countdown. It’s really cool, simple, straightforward, you know, they give you a couple of different styles and layouts you can use in it, you know, put a family photo, a Christmas tree in there, you know, Christmas bazaar all kinds of really cool bits and pieces in it, pretty much just a straightforward countdown clock. No super bells or whistles, but does a really great job, and I give it a five dragon rating. Check it out a Christmas Countdown Clock.
Amber: And the first one I have, which I totally spaced on bringing anything Christmassy because I’m like that. The first one I brought is Email Verification. This is a newer plugin, and It’s designed to help keep all those fake emails away when you’re trying to get the real people out there to sign up to your subscriptions. It is a third-party one, it’s a third-party service, and you do need to sign up in order to get this going. Free version is only worth 250 credits, which means that after verifying 250 emails for you, you’ll need to buy a package. There are credit packages where you pay a fee for each email verified, or there are monitor packages where they charge a monthly fee with a 50k email limit. Now at first, I thought this was really kind of a not great way to do it, but when I really looked into it, it could save you a lot of time, a lot of frustration, and it actually has some pretty decent prices for the packages. The Settings on here are pretty decent, and they’re easy to use, seems to work pretty well, and it’s compatible with WordPress’s default registration and comment forms, WooCommerce’s registration and checkout form, Gravity Forms, Contact Form 7, Ninja Forms, and Jetpack Forms, so it’s actually pretty decent. Like I said, at first, I thought that was just a terrible idea, but I really do recommend people go and check this out. If this is something that is really an issue for you, this might be a great way to deal with it. Oh, I was just gonna say I rate it at four dragons because, you know,
John: Cool. Anyone who runs a WooCommerce store knows this would be worthwhile. I have set up so many things to eliminate the spammers in WooCommerce, who are using throwaway email addresses to register on the site and clog your site with pointless registrations and if this can stop that, and you have a store that’s making you money, this would be worth every penny in it.
John: Alright, the next one I have for you is called Random Christmas Fact Widget. I thought this one was kind of interesting. It kicks out something, you know, that spits out a random Christmas fact every time the page loads. It’s pre-loaded; the plugin is pre-loaded with 40 Christmas facts, and where is it here?
Amber: That just sounds like a lot of fun.
John: It is a lot of fun, and that’s not the link I was looking for. Yeah, okay, they had a Dev site, and I missed the demo site. Anyway, it’s kind of neat. It kicks out some interesting Christmas facts about Christmas, and if you don’t like the 40 that are there and you’re a bit of a coder, I imagine you could go into the code and add your own facts to it for it to spit out randomly generate too.
Amber: So that’ll be fun.
John: I thought it was a kind of a cool one to play with and one to just have fun with and, you know, you could really have fun with it spit out some unusual facts or just some made-up facts about Christmas and see if anyone even notices. At any rate, go check it out. It’s the Random Christmas Fact Widget, and I give it a five dragon rating.
Amber: Alright, next one I have is Spice Post Slider, so for those looking for a beautiful slider to display their posts and blogs with, this is actually a decent little plugin. You need to fiddle around a wee bit with the settings once you’re in there as the sizing is a bit odd at first, but other than that, its pretty decent at least I found it to be a bit odd — I had to fiddle with it. It’s designed to work with different devices like iPad or mobile, so if you’re always on the move or while you’re trying to work on things, this might actually be a great option for you because that’s what they made it for was for mobile and iPad it seems.
Amber: I didn’t find it overly exciting for a plugin, but I do see the usefulness of it. It’s one of those plugins that would be great to keep in your arsenal for, oh, I need this right now. This is a good one just to know about until you find a better one eventually down the road. Yeah, I think this is a great one to get if you need. I rate it at four dragons.
John: Cool. Alright, the final one I’ve got for you, yes, more Christmas stuff or just plain winter. However you want to look at it, it’s the WP Snow Effect, and I thought this one was kind of cool and, you know, just decorate up your site with snowflakes, you know, they do have a Pro version which gives it more effects and more snowflake types to choose from, and they include a snowman in it with the Pro version, but on the whole, just the basic video or the basic version of it is what you might like for your website. You just load it up, and it just starts snowing on your website to give it that, you know, holiday feel. Anyway, nice, simple, straightforward. Go check it out, it’s the WP Snow Effect, and I give it a four dragon rating.
Amber: I think I like Panda the most so far for all the effects while the winter effects and everything. I think Panda is my favorite so far.
John: Yeah, I think we covered that last year.
Amber: And the Halloween because they have Halloween and Christmas together.
John: Right, they have the Halloween and Christmas .
Amber: Last one I have is Wicked Block Builder, so this is a pretty useful one as there is a lot of talk about the blocks out there right now. It’s a plugin for designing and creating your own blocks and then using them. In the free version, you have access to the most basic options, which is great to get started. If you want to keep working with it, you will have to upgrade to the premium version in order to truly express yourself artistically. Very useful; I have a feeling that this newer plugin is going to grow, and I look forward to watching it grow up because it seems pretty on the ball right now.
Amber: I rate it at four dragons.
John: Very nice. Alright, let’s see what do we got here. Other miscellaneous things, we don’t have any customer feedback or questions this week, but we do have a…
Contests, we are giving away a one-year hosting package valued at $350 from johnoverall.com hosting, and it is a good value, folks. My hosting service is a boutique hosting service. We don’t have 1000s or 100s of 100s of clients; you know, I keep the server’s limited to the number of clients per server so that the resources are not all hogged up and sucked away. Servers are kept in respectable to excellent condition. Actually, they’re better than that, and it’s exactly what you need. That’s a great service, and you got one more week left to go enter the contest and win that hosting package. You could be the Choice Winner and end up with having yourself an excellent deal where you can use it yourself to experiment and see if my service is something you would use or, for your clients, put your client sites on it. Anyway, go check it out, and to enter the contest, simply go to wppluginsatoz.com/contest, enter the contest and win the hosting service package. Alright, let’s cover up a few other things, then we’re going to go straight into the Q&A segment, and then we’ll close the show out after that. Alright, plugins we covered this week, I covered the Christmas Countdown Clock, which I gave a five to, the Random Christmas Fact Widget, which I gave a five to, and the WP Snow Effect, which I gave a four to.
Amber: And I covered Email Verification which I rated at four, Spice Post Slider, which I rated at four, and Wicked Block Builder, which I rated at four – wow, I didn’t realize they’re all fours.
John: Yes. You hit all fours jacks on all of them. Alright, couple of reminders out there, you know, there will be a meetup in the New Year. I just haven’t determined the date; more information will be coming. If you want to be interviewed on one of the WP plugins interview show, simply connect with me at wppluginsatoz.com/interview, and, you know, I think we’ll just dive right into…
It’s question and answer time.
John: With Amber.
Amber: So before I get started if anybody out there has any questions that they’d like to have answered on here, please send them in to me at email@example.com. I’ll get them in. We’ll see if we can stump my dad. My first question for you, dad, is, what makes ignored sites so bad .
John: Because the plugins get age, they might have flaws in them that are easily hackable. The hackers find new ways in. They’ll brute force their way into it. Basically, if you ignore the site, it leaves it open to hacking, is what happens. If it wasn’t for the fact that was just open to hacking, it really wouldn’t matter to ignore a site. I mean, it takes up space on the server, and that’s the only other thing it does. It takes up space on the server that might be better used for something else, but the biggest problem is it’s open for hacking, and hackers get in there and in the last few years, most of the time when they hack a site, especially some small site, they’re not hacking it for the data because there’s almost no data for them to steal. What they’re hacking it for is to use it for Blackhat SEO techniques to Pharma spam and other things. They’re using it to send out spam emails. They basically want to turn your website into a spamming machine of some sort.
John: That’s why if you got one that’s ignored for too long a period of time, I’ve got lots of them that I ignore, and I realize and go on, I’m not using it, I just shut them down, and I redirect a domain to another website that it actually is in use, so…
Amber: Makes sense.
John: I don’t like to leave them there any amount of time once I realized that I’m not doing anything with it and the problem of being a developer is you get a cool idea, you buy a domain, you start building out a website, suddenly you get work, and you completely forget about the cool idea.
Amber: Yeah, I’ve done that a couple of times already.
John: I think all developers are natural ADHD.
Amber: We must be.
John: Which is why most of them smoke pot because pot causes you to slow down; it causes the world to feel like it slows down.
Amber: Well, if you have ADHD, caffeine does the same thing.
John: Yeah, well, that’s why they’re all caffeine addicts too, alright.
Amber: Next question is, what are the top three most important questions you ask a prospective client before starting on their website?
John: Oh, cool. Color scheme, trying to think down that one there actually puts me on a spot because I have something set up for that, and it’s just not there. Color scheme, what they’re planning to do with the website, what are their long-term plans for the website, those are the top three questions. I mean, there’s such a big list of questions when you are developing a website, you know, big one.
Amber: Better way to put it; what would be the first main topic that you would broach with a person who’s looking to hire you?
John: What are they planning to do with the website?
John: It’s like, what are you going to do with it? Are you going to use it for Marketing? Are you going to use it to sell products via an e-commerce store? Are you going to use it for combination of stuff, or you’re going to use it for creating blog posts — you know, how are you going to use this website to collect email addresses? What are you going to use the website for? Because there are different styles of websites, you know, there’s a plain marketing website for just promotions and stuff. There are websites for creating articles to drive people to buy products elsewhere. There are so many uses for a website, so basically, the biggest thing is when you’re sitting down, it’s like, what are you planning to do with this website? What are your plans, and then when they give you the short-term go, okay, what are your plans three, five years out, you know?
Amber: Okay, so then what’s the second most important topic that you talk to them about?
John: I don’t know. Color scheme, I don’t know. It just evolves.
John: It evolves in there, and I don’t have it all in my head at the moment.
Amber: Okay, so it’s not really about the top three questions or even the top three topics. It’s about number one topic, and then you let it naturally evolved until you get all the information you need to build what you need.
Amber: Okay, makes sense.
Amber: Alright, my last question is, what are the three main red flags you watch out for in a prospective client?
John: Cheapness, cheapness, and cheapness.
John: Sorry. It’s like the cheaper they are, the worse of a client they turn out to be.
Amber: So cheap as in their broke, but they’re trying to make ends meet or cheap as in they change their mind 10 times because they think you can do something for less?
John: Well, that’s another major red flag if they keep changing their mind. I’m talking about the people that come to you. You give them their price, so yeah, I charge 125 an hour, and they start balking at it just go that’s nice have a good day, you know, they want it done at like 30 bucks an hour or 25 bucks an hour, or 50 bucks or maybe cap out at 75 or something. It’s like the biggest thing I learned in developing my business was I used to be cheap, and I attracted those exact clients, cheap clients and while I made some money, I wasn’t making good money and what happened was by the time I figured out the hours I put in with these clients who demand more than they’re paying which is what they all do because they’re cheap and they demand more. I was like making like five bucks an hour in wage, and this is what it works out to be. You got to be careful of those, and then when I raised my rates up to something more value, all of those clients left me, but I gained a whole slew of new clients which didn’t balk at my invoices, and suddenly they appreciated my time and then when I told them what I needed they got the information I needed, they didn’t try to cheat me out, so it’s like cheapness is the biggest red flag as soon as you see that you know you’re in trouble. The other one is like you send them information and they say, well we got a deadline, and you say okay I need this, this, and this and their deadline comes and goes, and they haven’t provided you with the information and those clients they are kind of problematic too. What other red flags do I look for clients — oh, another red flag is as a client coming to you and they’re talking about how bad their last developer was.
John: Yeah. It’s like dating someone, and they tell you about how bad their ex was, and it turns out, it really wasn’t their ex, or if they talk about well I’ve had these several developers, and they were just this is yeah that’s a major red flag. It’s like dating someone who talks about multiple ex’s. Well, there’s one common denominator in all those multiple ex’s.
John: That’s you. That’s a major red flag is when a client comes to you, and they start immediately bad-mouthing their last developer I just kind of well okay, well wait a minute here, you know, is this really a developer and what’s even worse is I had it one time, it accidentally occurred where I had one did that to me and when I — it’s like they didn’t tell me who it was, but when I looked at the code I knew the developer because the developer’s name was in the code and I went yeah this wasn’t this one’s not a problem with developer, so they are it’s like not always but, you know, it’s a red flag, or it’s not a deal killer if they do that because sometimes there is I’ve dealt with asshole developers out there. I’ve dealt with them in the past.
Amber: The assholes exist everywhere in every industry.
John: Yeah, they exist. They do exist, so — but if they that’s a bad thing — it’s you just you look for things — it’s a lot of the same things if you’re going to date somebody are the same things you look for in a client.
Amber: That’s actually really good advice. I don’t think many people would think about that.
John: It’s kind of an interesting thing in essence. In reality, when you’re trying to get a new client, you are trying to date them. In essence, you’re trying to…
Amber: Yeah, you have to woo them.
John: You have to woo them. You have to get them over to your side then you got to build a rapport and build a reputation with them, you know, so it’s got the same thing and the red flags exist because they’re all human nature things is what they are, what you’re looking at is human nature here.
Amber: Can you think of anything that would be a red flag in regards to like say the client themselves seem awesome, they seem good enough, they seem like there’s someone you could work with, now is there any other red flags that you want to keep an eye out for?
John: Payment schedule.
Amber: Payment schedule?
John: I used to bill every time I had hours, but eventually, when I started taking on projects, I started building in thirds, one-third up front, one-third halfway through, and one-third final.
Amber: That makes sense, so what about the payment schedules? The red flag, like, if they don’t pay you on time.
John: They don’t pay you on time. If it takes you say I’m not going to start this project till you get me a deposit and it takes them a couple of three weeks to get the deposit in, that’s a major red flag, you know, it’s like I’ve got it scheduled to start on this date I need deposit two or three days in advance, so I make sure I have the money and if they don’t pay you on time that means you are not going to get paid on time the rest of the project.
Amber: So if that happens, do you start the project?
John: I don’t start their work. I don’t start. I used to — that’s why I learned. I used to start the project and find out that I just run into a freaking problem, but now I don’t. I refuse to start the project till I get paid, and if it gets delayed, then I’ll ask 50% of it upfront.
Amber: Okay, so, like if the initial deposit gets delayed, but they do give it to you, you are still willing to do their project?
John: Yeah, I’ll still do their project, but when I hit the midpoint, and I bill them at that point, if they don’t pay me on there, their projects will get massively delayed if not incompleted, so…
Amber: Okay, so yeah, also good things to know.
John: Alright, well, that pretty much covers all that.
John: Alright, well, that’s our show. A little shorter than usual, well, not really. It’s about the same length.
Amber: It’s still shorter because we don’t have anybody popping in.
John: Yes, we don’t have. We don’t have anybody. We don’t have live chats to deal with on this one, alright.
Amber: Yeah, I miss that.
John: At any rate, what we will do is we will let our girl close us out, and then we’ll come back for a moment and have a little music. Alright, so let’s let our girl take us out.
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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.
Thanks for listening to the show. This show is copyright by JohnOverall.com. So until next time, have yourselves a good morning, good afternoon, or a good evening, wherever you happen to be out there on the globe today.
John: Alrighty. And for anyone who’s made it this far in the show, make sure you like, subscribe, and share the videos. I’ll greatly appreciate it. Alrighty, folks. That’s all we got for you now. Take care and bye-bye.
Amber: Take care.