Spicing Up WordPress Plugins
It's Episode 573 and we have plugins for Boosters, Colourful Cats, Email Encoding, Mapstering, Emailing, Event Calendars… and ClassicPress Options. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Booster Elementor Addons, Colorful Categories, Download Email Address Encoder, Mapster WP Maps, Email Creator, The Events Calendar……. and ClassicPress options on Episode 573.
‘good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you happen to be out there on the globe today… ‘ There's always more but we all know he ad-lib's it all!
Welcome to Episode 573 – Spicing up WordPress Plugins!
Since 33 is a magical number, and this is the 33rd episode of 2022, we are going to be trying out a re-vamp of the way the show flows! Might be a little glitchy the first few times, and we will likely continue changing it here and there over time; feedback would be great, would love to know what you love or hate about the new setup!
A Message from your AtoZ Plugin Worker Bee's – This is a Value for Value show, meaning any value you find here, offer that same value back – this can be telling someone about us, offering up 5 bucks or more (we will never turn down shiny shiny treasure…) for a sugar boost, or spending some time helping out the show!
And don't skip the end of the show Dear Producers – This is where I throw oddball questions at my dad and see if any stump him; haven't managed yet, but one day… perhaps our listeners could help us out…
And a special note to our New Listeners: Once upon a time, many many moons ago when I was still green as fresh spring grass – about 3 years ago – I myself knew less than you do now since you found this podcast on your own and I had not. Don't be shy to send in questions – there is always someone with the same question, and there is NO judgement here!
…When you see this in the notes, this means we didn't read this onto the show, and that the only way to find this information out is to read our Show Notes!
…You can send any questions/suggestions or notes saying hi over to me at email@example.com, or hit up our site wpppluginsatoz.com/contact – Be creative with the title so that the spammer eater doesn't eat your note though!
Let's start the show with this weeks Featured Artist:
Greg's Graphics (Greg Holdsworth) — https://gregsgraphics.com
Feeling Inspired? Hit up our site at https://wppluginsatoz.com/artwork/ and submit some artwork of your own!
…We can NEVER have too much art!
Or check out allll the artwork at: https://wppluginsatoz.com/artwork/
Breaking News in the WordPress World at large!!
…If I missed something, shoot me a link at firstname.lastname@example.org – it may show up on the next show!
News this week:
– (https://ithemes.com/blog/wordpress-vulnerability-report-september-14-2022/) WordPress Vulnerability Report for September 14 – I know we missed a few during our battle with the Chaos Beast these past few weeks, so be sure to go to the show-notes and check out the link! This way you can browse through them all at your leisure!
For those unaware, there was a WordPress Core Vulnerability recently. If you haven't already, be sure to update your site to WordPress 6.0.2 ASAP.
Ketchup Resteraunt Reservations – No known fix, high vulnerability. And that's it!
– (https://wptavern.com/jetpack-performance-team-takes-over-wp-super-cache-development) Jetpack Performance Team takes over WP Super Cache Development – After 15 years, WP Super Cache author Donncha O Caoimh is handing over maintenance and development to Jetpack's performance team. Hopefully this will not mean that this plugin will be lumped into the Jetpack multi tool, or that this plugin itself will become a super multi tool; we shall see what happens!
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/new-mailchimp-breach-exposed-digitalocean-customer-email-addresses/) – New MailChimp breach exposed DititalOcean customer email addresses – a lot of people use MailChimp I have noticed. This is a good thing to know – the security breach exposed the email addresses of some customers, with a small number receiving unauthorized password resets. First learned on August 8th, it has been dealt with; though may still want to double check, make sure your sites are updated, and maybe change passwords if you are a user of DigitalOcean.
– (https://wptavern.com/newsletter-glue-closes-free-plugin-on-wordpress-org) Newsletter Glue closes free Plugin on WordPress.org – Newsletter Glue Creators have removed their free plugin from WordPress.org in favour of focusing on the commercial version. There was a warning to users 5 months ago that they would be closing the free version and no longer updating as of May 1st, however the process was delayed until August 15th. The reason for this delay was that they had set the plugin so that when one upgraded, the free version automatically uninstalled and the paid version installed and activated. This caused some issues that took some work.
– (https://wptavern.com/woocommerce-to-stop-registering-customizer-options-in-upcoming-6-9-release) WooCommerce to stop registering Customizer Options in upcoming 6.9 release – meaning that they are making a move to remove the Customizer Menu entirely from admin for those who are using a block theme. This is in an effort to clean up the admin and eliminate confusion. Version 6.9 is expected to release in September 2022.
– (https://wptavern.com/new-twenty-twenty-three-default-theme-now-in-development) – the new Twenty-Twenty-Three default theme is now in development – the development team seem to be hard at work creating the new version where they will be bundling together a curated set of style variations, rather than creating a new theme from scratch. It appears the community likes the idea, so the plans are now underway to create a stripped-back version of Twenty-Twenty-Two as the base for the new theme. Should be interesting to see how it turns out!
– (https://wptavern.com/matt-mullenweg-renews-push-for-canonical-plugins) – Matt Mullenweg renews push for Canonical Plugins – this means that he is calling for teams to adopt a plugin-first approach when developing new features for core. He wants the plugins to be developed with community rather than by a single person. I'm not entirely sure this will = ‘…best possible example of coding standads…' as he says in his statement, though it will be interesting to watch this play out.
– (https://wptavern.com/woocommerce-com-brings-back-sandbox-sites-for-testing-extensions) – WooCommerce.com brings back Sandbox Sites for testing extensions – I think this is great! Being able to fully test a function before purchasing it is one of the best things you can do – after all, we often get to taste food before we buy it, so why not test plugins before we buy them?
– (https://thenextweb.com/news/beginners-guide-ai-apocalypse-the-democratization-of-expertise) – a beginner's guide to eh AI apocalypse: the democratization of ‘expertise' – “forget killer robots, we should be way more worried about friendly chatbots” – I thought this was an interesting take on the AI apocalypse! The phrase ‘democratization of expertise' sounds good, but what happens when the friendly chatbots are filled up with information from crowds teaching it all the wrong things – like the chatbot trained in 4chan… that was interesting…
Worst case scenario – the ability of the friendly chatbots to imitate humans may get to the point where they will be able to convince humans that what they are saying makes sense, far surpassing our own ability to detect doodoo. Democratization of expertise is what happens when everyone believes they're an expert. I found this to be a very interesting take, worth a read!
…Our News Section really isn't complete without ClassicPress News…ClassicPress has projects they are looking to have some support with. They have a page with these projects listed and who the contact is for the project. Check out the following page if you are using ClassicPress and are interested in helping them move forward! https://forums.classicpress.net/t/currently-active-projects/3630
They also have some petitions posted check them out!
…For some up to date news on ClassicPress check out the ClassicPress Blog.
…Here you will find news on tech in general, and some random things I think are pretty nifty! If you come across something you think should be added, send me a link at email@example.com
– (https://wptavern.com/wordpress-com-defies-marked-increase-in-russian-takedown-demands) – WordPress.com defies Marked Increase in Russian Takedown Demands – this is an interesting read and worth taking the time to lookover.
– (https://wptavern.com/organizewp-launches-with-old-school-software-pricing-model) – OrganizeWP has been ‘re-launched' with ‘old school software pricing model' – this could be fantastic! What this plugin does is organizes content in the admin with a single, unified view and UI for streamlining common actions. It's a utility plugin – worth checking out!
– (https://wptavern.com/wp-optimize-denies-allegations-of-cheating-performance-tools) – WP-Optimize denies allegations of cheating performance tools – whoops! First they were charged with this, now they are denying it… not sure what's really going on here, though watching the drama is kind of entertaining. Keep an eye on this, let's see where the roller coaster takes us!
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/malicious-pypi-packages-turn-discord-into-password-stealing-malware/) – Malicious PyPi packages turn Discord into password-stealing malware.
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/ring-android-app-flaw-allowed-access-to-camera-recordings/) – Ring Android app flaw allowed access to camera recordings.
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/apple-security-updates-fix-2-zero-days-used-to-hack-iphones-macs/_) – Apple security updates fix 2 zero-days used to hack iPhones, and Macs.
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/blackbyte-ransomware-gang-is-back-with-new-extortion-tactics/) – BlackByte ransomware gang is back with new extortion tactics.
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/microsoft/new-windows-powertoys-ocr-tool-will-let-you-copy-text-from-images/) – new Windows PowerToys OCR tool will let you copy text from images.
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/malware-devs-already-bypassed-android-13s-new-security-feature/) – Malware devs already bypassed Android 13's new security feature.
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/google-fixes-fifth-chrome-zero-day-bug-exploited-this-year/) – Google fixes fifth (5th) Chrome zero-days bug exploited this year.
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/callback-phishing-attacks-see-massive-625-percent-growth-since-q1-2021/) – Callback phishing attacks see massive 625% growth since Q1 2021.
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/over-9-000-vnc-servers-exposed-online-without-a-password/) – over 9,000 VNC servers exposed online without a password.
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/google/google-fined-60-million-over-android-location-data-collection/) – Google fined $60 million over Android location data collection.
– (https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/chinese-hackers-backdoor-chat-app-with-new-linux-macos-malware/) – Chinese hackers backdoor chat app with new Linux, macOS malware.
Some random entertainment in the World of WordPress!
Matt's Famous Quotes
The hall of shame via Automattic:
Let's have a peek at our Contests for this week…
Firstly we want to thank Simple Giveaways for being totally awesome and providing us with their Premium Version for our contests!
Secondly we want to thank Steve Goodtime & Brant Matthews for creating our amazing jingle we still use!!
We don't have a Contest going on right now – When Charlie had to leave us behind for bigger and better things he left some pretty big shoes to fill – and we just haven't had the time to do so this last year. Thank you Charlie for hanging around for so long and keeping our show's Contests on the up and up, making this show the best it could be!
If anyone out there thinks they might be able to fill the shoes Charlie left behind, please give us a shout and give it a go! You can always reach us through wppluginsatoz.com/contact or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, this is YOUR show! We are just the Worker Bee's here – Don't be afraid to jump up and down and demand a turn at the wheel to help guide the show to where YOU want it to go!
That goes for all the Developers out there too – this is YOUR show! by supporting us with your Plugin donations you are helping to guide the show to where you want to see it go! A GIANT Thank You is owed to the Developers who have been supporting us this whole time, we honestly could not have even gotten this show started without you!
If any Developers out there listening right now are interested in adding to the show by donating a Premium License for our Contests, you can do so by going to WPPluginsAtoZ.com/PluginContest!
Are you ready for the Good Stuff?
Off we go into the meat and potatoes of plugin depravity…..
Booster Elementor Addons
Booster Elementor Addons comes with more than 60 unique & stylish elements that allow you to create modern web pages with ease. Booster also offers you some advanced & unique features that gives you more control over your website such as, a Widgets Manager, an Icons Manager, Custom code & more…
Rating 4 Dragons
Mapster WP Maps
We were sent in a plugin to review from Victor Temprano, the CEO of Mapster! You can find Mapster's information here: https://mapster.me
Here's what Victor has to say about this plugin:
Mapster WP Maps integrates modern mapping into WordPress with a becy of features for users who want to make beautiful maps. It includes Mapbox, Maplibre, and Google Maps, offering a wide range of possible map styles, map controls, filters and lists, clustering, custom popups, and much more. There is also a Pro version with user submission features, mass editing, huge uploads, 3D shapes and objects… it's a whole lot of plugin!
What I have to say is this:
In the free version I found there was a lot you can do with this plugin. I found it a little frustrating at first because I didn't quite catch onto the fact that you are supposed to put in your locations before you make the actual map, and there is no way to plugin the locations you want on your map itself; HOWEVER! Once I got over that little hump, the rest was really quite easy to work with!
The maps look great, I love the way that the maps zoom in with whatever location and that all viewers have the ability to zoom in and out!
Victor was kind enough to grant us a temporary Premium Key, and when I went in to play around in the Pro version I found that the additional toys are a little dangerous for one's schedule – they are a lot of fun!
You can absolutely use the free version of this plugin to get what you need done, though if you are looking for more in depth mapping capability, you will want to go for the Pro version of this plugin.
This plugin is well thought out, and so long as you don't skip through the tutorial offered too fast like I kind of did, it should be more than easy enough to work with!
Thank you Victor with Mapster for sending this awesome plugin our way!
Rating: 4 Dragons
Bring colours to your categories widget – make every category in its colour.
All colours are stored as term meta variables.
- custom taxonomies support
- manually customize colours for each category
- intelligent (automatic) colours selection
- different themes
- easy to customize
- responsive and flexible widget
Rating 4 Dragons
We were sent in a plugin to review from Nguyen Van Nguyen! You can find Email Creator information here: https://emailcreator.app/
Here's what Nguyen has to say about this plugin:
Email Creator – WooCommerce Email Customizer – Bundled With One-Of-A-Kind Email Templates With Lower Unsubscribe Rates, Higher Click-Through Rates & More Sales!
What I have to say is this:
Firstly, be sure to keep an eye on the left hand side of your menu for the Pink Envelope – that is where all the settings for this plugin are. The name that appears is Wiloke Email Creator.
In the Free version, you have the option of 3 templates to use, and they are pretty good looking – although the Pro version offers better options. I love the fact that these guys seem to be as fond of hot pink as me! Makes it more fun to browse and find so many options with hot pink in there!
The set up is straight forward and easy to use, and the system works well! Creating automated emails for your WooCommerce is a great idea so that you don't have to spend all that time responding individually to your customers.
This plugin is really focused and only offers the auto email setup – which I greatly appreciate! I have found often that when plugins try to do too much, they wind up losing sight of their initial goal and the service they offer is less in the end.
In order to purchase the Pro Version, you DO have to sign up on their site, get a link, follow the link… it's a bit frustrating in my opinion. I always prefer to simply have the ability to plug in the license key directly into the plugin settings on your own site – though I can understand the need for more data.
With the Pro version you get more options for templates – there are so many bright colours! I love it!
Thank you Nguyen with Email Creator for sending this awesome plugin our way!
Rating: 4 Dragons
We Interrupt this Meat and Potatoes of Plugin Depravity Edition to bring you our Donations Segment to thank our Producers!
Remember, this is YOUR show! We're just the Worker Bee's here. Don't forget to restock the show's larders with some Time, Treasure, or Talent Donations! Need more info on how to do that? Check out our site wppluginsatoz.com – right up in the menu you will see each one under ‘Donations'!
Special thanks goes to:
Free-Lance Producers popping in and out:
Though always showing up at unexpected times, these Producers are surely part of the reason our name is getting out there! Thank you!
…If you have listened to even 10 minutes of this show, or shown up a single time to one of our live shows on YouTube, you are one of our many Free-Lance Producers! Although you guys are always popping in and out at unexpected times, we appreciate your support and periodic help with one thing or another – thank you!
Back Room Producers hanging-out in the Lounge:
Always about the place consuming all the coffee and donuts, these Producers earn it by helping out with our contests, artwork, site organization, notes, questions, suggestions, licenses, and by hiring us! Your Time and Talent Donations are equal to your Treasure Donations of under $50, and we would not be here without you – thank you!
…Back Room Producers, if you ever notice something that needs some work feel free to reach out to us and let us know – you can offer to take it up yourself, or just let us know and we will add it to our list.
War Room Producers:
With their donations of $50 or more these Producers receive a few extra perks – an official AtoZ Handle of their choice, a spotlight in that weeks show for a short speech, an official Executive Producership Credit, and seeing the ‘Magic' as it happens up in the War Room before we send the show out into the netherworld of the internets! Thank you for sticking by us and helping to keep the Back Room Producers stocked in coffee and donuts!
…**If you prefer to stay anonymous, please let us know at the beginning of your note to us regarding your donation! We are more than happy to keep you anonymous from the world – nobody is ever forced out of the tender embrace of the shadows on this show!**
…To receive your Official AtoZ Handle, think up an original name, and send it into us! Be sure to note down the show number and title of the show so that we know when to log it!
…Your spotlight can be an elevator pitch for your business, a note, or you can just skip it!
…The Producership Credit is a REAL credit that we offer. When you send your donation in to us of $50 or more, please be sure to note down the number and title of the show your donation shows up on, and we will back up your right to claim Producership!
…'seeing the Magic happen' refers to being part of the show – if you are interested in taking up a larger part in the show, reach out to us and let us know! We will be happy to discuss the options!
…War Room Producers, same as for the Back Room Producers, reach out to us if you notice something that needs work! Whether you are wanting to take up the job yourself or just inform us and leave it, we will add it to our list!
Thank you, now back to the Meat and Potatoes of Plugin Depravity Edition!
Download Email Address Encoder
Rating 4 Dragons
The Events Calander
I wanted to make mention of these guys again because they kind of blew my mind recently in our dealings with them.
Recently when we were working with a client, our client was trying to get very specific things completed for their site – and unfortunately The Events Calendar just wasn't cutting it for some reason. We reached out to them, and honestly we thought we had kind of been blown off… However, within weeks, The Events Calendar dropped an update that had all of the capabilities available we had been asking about!
I have to say, I was kind of blown away. I don't know if perhaps they were just already working on that and the fella we had a chat with didn't know – or if we were actually heard and their own War Room Worker Bee's decided to slide in our needs with the next update – but whatever the reason, I thought it was pretty awesome!
One of the things that have changed with them is you now have the ability to create events with a start date, but no ending date – this was a big one for us. There are more things going on, be sure to check out their latest update to see all the changes, and check it out for yourselves!
Rating: 5 Dragons
We have sadly neglected ClassicPress… we are working to remedy this.
…A little about ClassicPress for those who aren't sure: ClassicPress is WordPress frozen at version 4.9. Once WordPress moved to 5, they added in a whole lot of new folders, and the experimental additions to the Core started in earnest. ClassicPress is literally the Classic version of WordPress. A few plugins have been made over the years for just ClassicPress, though all Plugins compatible with WordPress 4.9 should work for ClassicPress.
To any ClassicPress user listening right now: I challenge you – yes YOU – to write a review of your favourite, or least favourite ClassicPress plugin, and send it into us! You can do so by hitting us up at https://wppluginsatoz.com/submit-plugin-review/!
…And feel free to add more to this section by reaching out to me at email@example.com.
ClassicPress Resource Section:
This information is like Fruit Cake! It doesn't wither away and will still be good years down the road so it's great for learning! Go and check this section out in our Show Notes if you have an interest!
…We have thrown some ClassicPress Resources in here for you – and they appear to have stuck like well cooked pasta! Glad you made it to this part of the notes since we only mention it lightly on the show – If we missed something, let us know!
…Learn more about ClassicPress 1.4.0 RC2:
…ClassicPress Tutorials on their site:
…ClassicPress's “Must Have” Plugins List:
…https://directory.classicpress.net/plugins They now have 71 plugins (and counting!) available.
…WordPress Plugin Section compatible with ClassicPress:
Questions, Notes, and Feedback from our Producers out there:
…Send us your thoughts and opinions, but most of all send us your questions! No such thing as a stupid question people! I was new not too long ago, and I know how overwhelming it can be stepping into this world at this stage – I know for a fact that questions you have are the same questions others out there have!
WordPress Tip from a Free-Lance Producer!
I have a cool WordPress tip for you!
I see that you're linking to plugins in the WP repo, e.g. here you link to https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-access-manager/.
Did you know that by replacing “wordpress” with “tastewp” in the URL it spins up a demo site with that plugin already installed? E.g. please click on https://tastewp.org/plugins/advanced-access-manager/ to see what I mean.
Regular WP users have the quickest way to check out any plugin in the WordPress directory by simply swapping “wordpress” with “tastewp” in the URL, for example https://wordpress.org/plugins/elementor/ into https://tastewp.org/plugins/elementor/ This can be even simpler – just one click in the browser – with magic bookmark feature (details).
It allows your visitors to immediately try out the plugins which you recommend. No login is required and of course it's 100% free!
Kind regards, Emma
How to be part of your own production!
Interviews – get yourself out there using us as your tool!
…Looking for a way to get your name and work out there? Use us as a stepping stone! Hit us up at https://wppluginsatoz.com/interview
Send in Plugin Reviews, or suggestions for Plugin reviews!
…Have a plugin you love? Or one you really think people should avoid? Reach out to us and get your words and opinion out into the world by hitting us up at https://wppluginsatoz.com/submit-plugin-review/
Send in questions and/or comments!
…Have a thought to share? Send it in! You can stay anonymous or belt your name out in all caps!
Stuff and reminders about Stuff:
our Meet Up on September 10 was pretty awesome! We didn't have many who showed up, but it was a fun social gathering – and we got the opportunity to watch the smoke as it rolled in over us from the mainland and covered the sky; though not necessarily a good thing to endure, it was kind of fascinating to watch!
Keep an eye here for the next Meet Up!
Remember you can check out our Show Notes on our site wppluginsatoz.com! There is extra information to grab up there that we don't even speak out loud on the show!
Q & A Time with Amber – Catch this info on our YouTube Channel
If you have questions you would like to have asked on the show, send them in to me at Amber@WPPro.ca – let's see if we can stump my dad!
- Do you think it would be possible to keep up with alllllll the tech news out there as one person?
- why or why not?
- How can you tell if your local drive has an error of some sort?
Small break before the last question: Remember everyone, we will be coming back to the questions we just read out once we close out the show and the song ends! Stick around until the end to get the answers to these last questions!!!
Today's Plugins we covered were:
John’s Plugins: Booster Elementor Addons – 4, Colorful Categories – 4, Download Email Address Encoder – 4
Amber's Plugins: Mapster WP Maps – 4, Email Creator – 4, The Events Calander – 5
Ways to support the show!
…Just showing up to our YouTube Channel and joining us live every Thursday at 11am PDT is a FANTASTIC show of support! So is joining our FaceBook page and hitting *Share* on our posts every once in a while!
…Giving a review of us on any of the platforms listed above would be super helpful too!
Want to get ahold of us???
If you still do Snail Mail, you can send an actual, physical letter or item to this Brick and Mortar address:
…(Pssst! I love receiving things that are not bills! Especially art if you enjoy drawing – no matter what age!)
WP Plugins A to Z
C/O John Overall
20-754 E Fairview Rd.
Victoria, BC V9A 5T9
OR, you can email us!
Last Questions for Amber's Q&A Time:
- Is it possible for your local drive to develop an issue, but be unable to detect it?
- for example, I remember once when I managed to create a short cut to a document I wrote out, however there was simply nothing there. That was partially caused by a drive error – was the drive able to detect it?
One more time for the ways to contact us!
Our Brick and Mortar Address – just in case you decide to send along a gift!
(Especially art if you enjoy drawing – no matter what age!)
WP Plugins A to Z
C/O John Overall
20-754 E Fairview Rd.
Victoria, BC V9A 5T9
Fastest way to contact us:
- My website: http://www.johnoverall.com/
- WordPress Emergency Support: http://wppro.ca/wpemergency
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- email: email@example.com