It's Episode 630 and we have plugins for Redirection-ing with Dark Visitors... and WordPress News. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

The Path Forward

The Path Forward

John's Intro:

It's Episode 630 and we have plugins for Redirection-ing with Dark Visitors… and WordPress News. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!

– ‘good morning, good afternoon, good evening, wherever you happen to be hiding out there on the globe today! Coming to you LIVE from …'

Amber's Rant:

Welcome to Episode 630 – The Path Forward  We've got a couple of great in-depth plugins to cover for you, some recent news in both the WordPress World and the Tech World in general, and some awesome WordPress Tips!

Just a heads up to everyone, this will be the last show until July 29th! I hope everyone manages to get outside and into the sunshine – though be sure to do so with plenty of water so you don't get heat stroke!

A few reminders before we start the show today….


  • After today the next two shows will be on July 29th and August 19th. Don't worry, we will be back to normal for September!
  • Show starts at 12:30pm Pacific Time every other week on Monday! Join in for the pre-stream entertainment at about 12:15ish!
  • You'll find the show notes on the home page of within 24(ish) hours after every show!
  • This is a value for value show dear listeners, help us get some loven by hitting some like buttons, sharing an episode or two, or lovingly forcing your family members to listen to us by cranking our show way up! After all, you can't go wrong helping out the longest running WordPress Podcast!

Don't run away at the end either – we got some good questions and some awesome conversation coming up!

...When you see this in the notes, it means we didn't read this on the show. 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, or hit up our site – 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:


Sir Rogue of the Tavern – Barron of the Cowichan Valley

This makes me think of the stairs in Hogwarts – only with the road… I don't think it would work as well as the stairs at Hogwarts worked if the roads all did this though…

We would love some new art from our Producers out there! If you are so inclined, you can send it into us at If you need some inspiration, you can always go to our site and check out our Art Vaults – you will find the link for it on the left hand side.

…We can NEVER have too much art!

Breaking News in the WordPress World at large!! 

…If I missed something, shoot me a link at – it may show up on the next show!

News this week:

WordPress Vulnerability Report – June 19, 2024
( – In this report there are only 87 vulnerabilities, and 73 patches already completed!
The 14 plugins needing patching are up at the top making it easy to figure out what to pay attention to. Be sure to follow the link and have a look through for your own or your clients sites!
There are 2 themes that have since been patched: ‘Interface' and ‘Excellent'. Be sure to update these as soon as possible if you have not already.

WordPress Vulnerability Report from PatchStack
( – These guys always have the latest information on what is going on regarding the latest in vulnerabilities. At the time of writing this, the most recent issue was 5 hours ago and is a plugin called SEOPress – an open redirect vulnerability.

WordPress 6.6 Beta 3
( – The Beta 3 is here for those of you out there who love sitting on the bleeding edge! There is some information here for you to have a look at before diving in and seeing what you can break! One of the things recommended is that you do not install, run, or test this version of WordPress on production or mission-critical websites – I hope that anyone who has done this recently learned their lesson and will not be doing so again. It's like touching the baking pan fresh out of the oven – we only do it once cause it equals ouch. Same thing here.

Is Google crawling your site a lot? That could be a bad sign
( – Sudden crawling spikes may signal hacked sites, or it might signal other issues. There is always a possibility that some evil mad-hatter has added a bunch of crazy pages to your site – and the bots will get excited and crawl every single one of these! That's not good.
There is also a possibility that you have an ‘infinite space' area – like a calendar module or endlessly filterable product listing – this can generate unlimited potential URLs. And the bots? They just get super excited and check out all of these infinite spaces like a ferret in a ball pit. This is a good article and worth taking the time to read.

Can AI perform technical SEO analysis effectively?
( – In my opinion, AI will never be able to do the job of SEO work, although the writer of this very well done article does state that the current AI tools such as GPT-3.5-Turbo and GPT-4 and ChatGPT can help quite a bit. Each one does so differently, and if you go through the article he compares them beautifully with screenshots and everything! Definitely a great walk through on the capabilities of these guys, and some great talking points. What do you think about using AI for SEO?

The Extras – check out our Facebook, or Twitter page for even more!

What do we want from WordPress Themes?

Highlights from WordCamp Europe 2024

Your eagle-eyed host: inside's world-class security features

Host your WordPress meetup site for free on

The next challenge for WordPress: Embracing Enterprise

US sues Adobe for ‘deceiving' subscriptions that are too hard to cancel

How to take the perfect nap

Google Search resolves indexing bug that lasted several hours

10 third-party apps you should install on your Windows PC

Microsoft defends controversial Windows 11 recall feature – but in a feeble, unconvincing manner

Microsoft may have quietly enforced internet requirement for Windows 10 installs, new evidence suggests

Lucky for some — Windows 13 is everything Windows 11 should be

They are using lab-grown human brains that they have enslaved called ‘Organoids' to run computers

Microsoft accidentally lists the benefits of not using a Microsoft account on Windows 11

Dragon Rating Time!

John's Plugin


Requires:5.9 or higher
Compatible up to:6.4.5
Released:10 September 2007
Last Updated:27 January 2024
(4.4 star out of 5)

The Lowdown:

When you make changes, this is a plugin for you.

Redirection can easily manage 301 redirections, keep track of 404 errors, and generally tidy up any loose ends your site may have. This can help reduce errors and improve your site ranking.

Redirection is designed to be used on sites with a few redirects to sites with thousands of redirects.

It has been a WordPress plugin for over 10 years and has been recommended countless times. And it’s free!

Rating 5 Dragons

WordPress Tips

We would love to hear some tid bit tips from some of our producers out there – what did you figure out by breaking something? Or what did you need to learn in order to help someone? You can send these tid bits into me at

A bit of SEO

For those who are thinking about working on their SEO – make sure you actually know how much work goes into this. If you really want to get your SEO way up there, you will be spending 20+ hours a month on your site, not just adding a wee bit more content and filling out the Alt Text and Description for each of your images – it's going to take removing toxic links, and fixing issues on pages that go unnoticed by all but the Google bots. It takes a long time sometimes, so don't lose heart!
Lots of hours, months, sometimes years – SEO is not an easy to do thing. I recommend doing your homework of what you will be getting into before diving in – really that goes for everything new to you.

Beginners Tips

Every time you learn something new, you are going to feel like you are learning a new language all over again from scratch. And there will be times when you just simply cannot absorb the information – this does not mean you're stupid, it just means that your mind castle is currently too full for anymore informational guests and you need to sleep.
Even if you don't think you are tired, if you can't hold any new information, you need to sleep – it will help to work through all the information currently clogging up your mind castle, and thus make room for the new information.
Don't fall into the trap of TV or video games – it just fills the mind castle all the more.
Sleep is your best friend – no matter how irritating the requirement of it can feel sometimes!

…Some random entertainment in the World of WordPress!

…Matt's Famous Quotes

…The hall of shame via Automattic:

Amber's Plugin

Dark Visitors

Requires:5.0 or higher
Compatible up to:6.5.5
Released:09 June 2024
Last Updated:14 July 2024
(5 star out of 5)

The Lowdown:

When I came across this, I wasn't sure what I was going to get! However what I found impressed me quite a bit. What this plugin is for, is to help track and control artificial agents crawling your website. This will catch those hidden AI assistants, scrapers, search crawlers, and other bots swarming through your site, and helps you to analyze, protect, and take advantage of the agents. The advantage comes in when you get a better understanding you can start using them for your own advantage.

Once you have downloaded and activated this, you can go to the dashboard on the left-hand side under ‘Dark Visitors' – it even has the little robo dude as its icon! Love it!

So in order to get this to work, the first thing you need to do is go and sign up with them. I don't generally approve of having to go and sign up with the company in order to use the plugin, though I actually do approve of this one – this particular plugin could create A LOT of data that would then fill up your space on your site. I found that the plugin worked really well, and played very nicely with others.

They give you a pretty easy to follow walk through on how to set this up – you make your account, create a project, grab the token, add that token into your site, and then use the dark visitors site to track the bots and what not on your own site.

On your own site when you are setting up the connection, they give you the option to block AI assistants, AI data scrapers, AI search crawlers, and undocumented AI agents. You can block them, though I think if you do not block them then you will just get a reading on what they are doing.

I noticed on the Dark Visitors site, in your account, there is an area where you can ‘Submit an Agent' – I clicked on this to check it out, and it brings you to a page where you are adding in an agent token to the Dark Visitors list. You are asked to add in the agent name, whether or not it respects robots.txt access control rules, a description of it that includes specific detail and proof if possible about how this agent is used for AI. You can also add non-AI users too. You will need an example of the full user-agent HTTP header and a link to the operator's website – so be sure you know what you are doing before you start adding this information.

You can also disable the agent analytics at any time on your site, so you don't need to sign into the account on the dark visitors site to turn this off.

One thing I do not see is a place where you can download the information you have now collected on your site. I don't know if I am just missing it, or if they don't have it – if they simply do not offer the ability to export the information, that is in my opinion a point against them. Companies should always offer the ability for the customer to export their own information off of the site – it's the customers information after all.

There is a charge after a certain point – you can only have up to 10,000 events per month free. After that you get 100,000 events for $10/month – being charged $o.ooo1 per additional event. Really, I think it is a fair price – though honestly I am not really sure just how many events one will find on a super busy site like perhaps Amazon.

I think this is a great idea, I really like how it's set up even with having to make the account on the Dark Visitors site – I do not like the fact that I was unable to find anywhere to export the information though.

All in all, it's a decent freemium plugin that is worth checking out if this is something you think would help you in the long run.

Rating: 4 Dragon

Earn yourself a Producership Credit!

There are a lot of ways that you as our Producers can utilize us as your tool to help yourself out, and help us at the same time – get a producership credit, do an interview, donate some time to get your name up here, all kinds of things! You can look further into the Producership credits options by going to our site and clicking on Time, Talent, or Treasure in our main menu.

Miscellaneous Announcements from all:

Have an announcement like a meetup, or to announce you'll be on stage at a WordCamp? Let us know and we will add it here and help get your news out to the world!

WordPress Youth Day – June 28-29

Uganda Website Projects Competition 2024 – July 5

WordCamp Canada 2024 (#WCEH) – July 11-13

WordCamp Whitley Bay, UK – July 12

WordCamp Bengaluru, Karnataka, India – July 21

To see the entire list you can follow the link here in the show notes, then click on ‘More WordCamps' right below the list of the next 5.

If you are interested in finding a WordPress Meetup somewhere around the world you can go check out the places here:

Keep checking back every week to find out what else is going on!

And remember, the show notes found at have a whole lot of extra information to grab up that we don't read on air so be sure to check them out!

How to reach us:

Feel like sending us something through the snail mail system? You can do that thanks to our brick and mortar address that we provide for you!
You can also reach us the more common way of the internets – have both of our internets available down below for ya!

WP Plugins A to Z
C/O John Overall 
20-754 E Fairview Rd. 
Victoria, BC  V9A 5T9  



Today's Plugins we covered were:

John’s Plugin:

Redirection By John Godley

  • Can match straightforward URL or base off other conditions
  • Full configurable logging offered
  • Import & Export options

Rating: 5 Dragons

Amber's Plugin: 

Dark Visitors By Dark Visitors

  • Exposes your hidden page views
  • Protects your content from scraping
  • Identifies emerging AI trends

Rating: 4 Dragons

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 – we may never stump my dad, but we can get some good conversation out of him at least!

  • If there are so many AI bots scraping and checking out your site, is it possible that some speed issues are due to your site being checked out by Google and Bing all the time?
  • What would draw bots to your site more – popularity or something else?

Questions asked after closing credits:

  • Can you really truly block bots from any site that is fully online? If so, how?
  • Would someone want to block absolutely every single bot from their site that they have live and public? What benefits or negatives would a person get from making their site unreachable like that?