The True North for WordPress Plugins
It's Episode 553 and we have plugins for Block for Events, Memory Logging, Download Delay, Starbox Humans, Simple Box, Complianz… and ClassicPress Options. It's all coming up on WordPress Plugins A-Z!
Events Block For The Events Calendar, Memory Meter – View and log memory usage and memory limits, Files Download Delay, Starbox – The Author Box for Humans, Simple Author Box, Complianz – GDPR/CCPA Cookie Consent……. and ClassicPress options on Episode 553.
This is a value for value show and I look forward to everyone providing some value back.
Before I get started, you will want to hang around to the end of the show for our Q & A segment with Amber…. and to those listening on the podcast, you may want to check out the YouTube version which has some great discussions before the show starts…
This is #14 of 52 episodes for 2022! Spring is in the air! For those of you who live on the ‘Wet Coast', this means warmer rain! Woot! And for those of you who live inland, I THINK this means that you will now have less snow – not entirely sure since I have pretty well spent my entire life on one coast or another…
Either way, it's time for the spring cleaning to start kicking in where we all start opening our windows and letting in the fresh air, start going though everything that has built up over the winter and chucking things out, passing stuff along – remember to throw on some awesome tunes and spend the time with family and friends. I challenge everyone to try and make someone you know and love laugh so hard they feel like they are going to pee themselves!!
Rinse and repeat as often as needed.
We have some news from the world of WordPress for you today as well as some great plugins.
News this week:
WordPress vulnerability Report – March 23, 2022 – Only two to worry about this week! And both are at medium danger level: Sassy Social Share, and NS WoCommerce Watermark. Check out your plugins, if you have these be sure to deactivate them – delete if you aren't using them.
WordPress Community Team Reconsiders Guidelines for In-Person Regional WordCamps – Community Team Representative Hari Shanker is looking for feedback on the discussion about in-person regional events before April 4, 2022. The organizers are discussing relaxing a number of guidelines, including some for regional online WordCamps in order to help keep communities connected. If you are interested, follow the link above and join in on the conversation!
Block accidental edits of shared content with the Lock Reusable Blocks Plugin – WP Tavern does a great job going through this new plugin created; it allows users to group one or more blocks in the post editor, save them, and reuse anywhere blocks are supported. Very neat, I can see how this will be very useful in groups working on the same thing!
The Archeo WordPress Theme blends Mayan History with Magazine-Style Block Patterns – I think this is so cool! I personally love history, and I love seeing it come to life like this!! Worth checking out if you were ever into the history magazines growing up.
Remote work is key in preventing the next great developer resignation – Why is that you ask? It mainly has to do with the work world right now, how it has changed, and how people have come to realize that people who work from home tend to burn out faster and more frequently. Working from home can lead to some odd, and rather constant hours. They also talk about how employers will need to keep in mind that an uptick in demand does not necessarily mean the ability to demand more from the developers. This article goes through and gives a great explanation!
Switching from developer to product owner? Consider these pros and cons first – This first goes through the difference between being a developer vs a product owner, then moves onto pros and cons. Some pros are: Exposure to lots of different aspects of business, opportunity to develop skills, and a challenging, yet rewarding, role. Some cons are: No time left for hand-on work such as coding, more time in meetings, taking accountability for things that are largely out of your control. Great article!
One large solar storm could knock out the power grid and internet – This is something that many people are aware of, though not many people have thoroughly thought through. This article goes through, first explaining the Carrington Event back in 1859, and moves onto what a geomagnetic storm is. You get a bit of history, scientific explanation, differentiation between geomagnetic storms vs Aurora Borealis/Northern Lights, and you get a great explanation on what happens to the communications, satellites, and how it will disrupt our current world. Very interesting article!
This is the extra news stuff that someone out there might find interesting. To read more, you can head on over to the show notes or newsletter and check it out! If you find something to add for next show, send me a link at firstname.lastname@example.org
WP Engine, Pantheon, and others drop support for Russian Business Customers – WordPress managed hosting company WP Engine has joined Acquia, Fastly, Gatsby, Netlify, and Pantheon in booting Russian companies off their platforms. This is something to be aware of.
WordPress.org removes Russion Pro-War plugin from directory – The plugin was called Zamir, created by a Russian developer to display the Z symbol in support of Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine. After much deliberation, it was decided that this plugin went against the WordPress guidelines, and is no longer available.
Russian hackers' Cyclops Blink botnet targets Asus routers around the world – This was designed to build an infrastructure for further attacks on high-value targets, meaning Cyclops Blink was made to infect routers and either use those to steal information or to springboard attacks against other targets. Read on to find out more specifics.
Hackers exploit new WPS Office flaw to breach betting firms – WPS Office (formerly Kingsoft Office) is a cross-platform office suite with over 1.2 billion installations. Prevalently used in Hong Kong and China as it was the first processor to support the Chinese language; the threat actor as been targeting betting companies in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the Philippines, leveraging a vulnerability in WPS Office to plant a backdoor on the targeted systems. Read on to find out the specifics.
Microsoft PowerToys breaks Outlook PDF preview – Microsoft says the Outlook PDF preview feature might be broken for some Microsft 365 customers on systems where the company's PowerToys open-source toolset is also installed. This could be an issue for those who use the two in tandem.
New Mustang Panda hacking campaign targets diplomats, ISPs – A new variant of Korplug malware called Hodur and custom loaders has been found phishing and completing espionage on targeted European diplomats. This was uncovered from China-linked threat actor Mustang Panda, and has been running for at least eight months. There have also been Australian targets; the main focus is on European diplomats, ISPs (Internet Service Providers), and research institutes using phishing lures with decoy documents. Read on to find out more.
Russia bans Google News for ‘unreliable' info on war in Ukraine – Russia's telecommunications regulator Roskomnadzor has banned Alphabet's news aggregator service Google News, and blocked access to the news.google.com domain for providing access to ‘unreliable information' on the ongoing war in Ukraine. If you want to learn more about this, follow the link above!
How the laws of physics could prevent AI from gaining sentience – Very interesting article! First you will go through a brief, layman term, explanation on the foundations for this all new wormhole theory; then you dive into the implications of it all, than you get to the juicy bit on how AI won't likely be able to take over our civilization!
TikTok and Gen Z prove that music's not just for listening – Odd title right? Caught me for sure! Here they start out with Bruno, the theme song from Disney's hit movie Encanto. Then we move onto how Social Storytelling with music has really picked up pace, and we dive into the very interesting bits on how it all works! Very cool, great article!
transparency.automattic.com/tag/hall-of-shame/Matt's Famous Quotes
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This week's Executive Producer/'s are:
Nobody this week, maybe next week!
A big thank you to all the Producers who came in under $50 and to those who have set up weekly subscriptions they will remain anonymous and I thank you very much.
All these small subscriptions really help the show out.
A big thank you to those who have hired me because of the Podcast, thank you that is as good as donating to the show.
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Off we go into the meat and potatoes, Into the depths of plugin depravity…..
ClassicPress is growing really well, but we just don't have the time to add reviews on ClassicPress myself. We are always open to reviews sent in by listeners, though unless there is a review sent into us on ClassicPress, we am not going to do more than mention that ClassicPress is a thing. Here are some resources, we hope some listeners out there find this information useful!
One thing we are looking forward to in the ClassicPress World is the expansion of the number of ClassicPress specific plugins and their own repository. There are a few plugins specifically for ClassicPress and all plugins for WordPress 4.9.9 work well on it. We do believe it has a future, we just don't have the time to help them in getting it out there right now.
No new updates this week.
If you're looking to learn how to use ClassicPress check out the tutorials on their site.
Find out more about ClassicPress 1.4.0 rc2 https://forums.classicpress.net/t/classicpress-1-4-0-rc2-release-notes/3785?fbclid=IwAR3wGK5IW8ssJ-XC4k7IiZMBtSjUTVN2pexk6ATCRvuMN-Fn-McOy-XJJv8
For some up to date news on ClassicPress check out the ClassicPress Blog.
“Must Have” Plugins List
You can check out the ClassicPress repository here https://directory.classicpress.net/plugins They now have 84 plugins (and counting!) available.
Are you looking for some great newly released plugins? Check out this link:
Events Block For The Events Calendar
Events Block For The Events Calendar helps you to easily represents The Events Calendar events inside Gutenberg page builder pages.
This Addon provides the missing Events Block functionality of The Events Calendar with the Gutenberg Website Builder.
Rating 4 Dragons
Starbox – the Author Box for Humans
This was created for those who want to present the authors of their posts and articles in a pretty, clean, presentable way. Most theme author boxes aren't really all that nice I have personally found, and this one is pretty awesome!
It has a lot of options and is totally free!
You can personalize each author, set it up so that it is visible in only posts, or pages, or both! You can set where the box appears in relation to the post/article, create the sort of box used via the templates offered, and you can set it so that the themes version of author box is invisible. It has Google on its side so that viewers will see the picture and pretty box in search results, and offers a great option for social media links.
This is a very simple, easy to use, rather pretty looking author box! There is a lot you can do with this, putting in as little or as much information as you desire.
Rating 5 Dragons
Memory Meter – View and log memory usage and memory limits
Memory Meter is a simple plugin that adds a memory meter to the admin bar in your website’s dashboard and frontend so you can see memory usage, it also provides latest and flagged memory usage logs.
Rating 4 Dragons
Simple Author Box
This is a great runner up to the Star Box for authors; it is fairly easy to use, though it has some more personalization options where you can change the size of the box's padding, change the colour and text options as well. This has an option for guest writers for posts and guest authors – and that is just the free version!
In the Pro Version, there is so much more you can do – a lot more information like website, social icons, job information, etc. You also have more options available for personalizing the look and feel of the author box itself.
This would be more for if you are very sure of what you are looking for in an authors box and are willing to buy the pro version – the free version is a decent starter, though in order to get full use you will find you need to upgrade.
Rating 4 Dragons
Files Download Delay
Files Download Delay plugin wraps file download links with customizable layout which allows you to show any kind of content. For example, while users are waiting for download, you can show them an email subscription form, feedback form, related content or even ads.
Rating 5 Dragons
Complianz – GDPR/CCPA Cookie Consent
This is a decent cookie plugin that covers all the bases. This does have a Pro version, and I think if you are looking for full out cookie and GDPR coverage you will want to upgrade to the full version of this – though the free version gives decent coverage that will keep you feeling secure.
It takes a little time to set up, not as easy as others, though the coverage offered in this plugin is rather vast just in the free version. You can set it to your country – Canada, European Union, UK, USA, Australia, South Africa, or Brazil. You can set it to sub regions within these countries, and you can set banner templates, cookie consent, legal documents, no jQuery Dependency – there is a lot you can do with the free version.
In the Pro version you will be able to additionally hold records of consent, set up ‘Respects the Do Not Track settings and Global Privacy Controls in end-users browsers', use Google Consent Mode, and integrate with Europe Consent Framework for publishers.
If you have a lot of traffic from these countries, this would be a fantastic addition to your site.
Rating 4 Dragons
Random links for plugins
WordPress plugins crafted from love and experience
Listener Feedback / Audio Clips
Hi Amber and John,
I'm enjoying the show and listen every week. I have learned a great deal from you both and am glad you have added the section with Amber asking you, John, questions. I find I am learning even more than I anticipated.
An Avid Listener
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Nothing this week, maybe next week! – Remember, there's no such thing as a stupid question!
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The plugins we covered were:
John’s Plugins: Events Block For The Events Calendar – 4, Memory Meter – View and log memory usage and memory limits – 4, Files Download Delay – 5
Amber's Plugins: Starbox – the Author Box for Humans – 5, Simple Author Box – 4, Complianz – GDPR/CCPA Cookie Consent – 4
Matt's Famous Quotes
Reminders / Commercial / Promotions:
Meetup Has Been Planned For June 25th!! Keep tabs on the date at: https://wppluginsatoz.com/meetup – keep an eye to make sure that the date doesn't change on you for any reason (like zombies or wet ninja cats being herded through catnip fields flooding the valley or anything..)
Would you like to be on an interview show? Simply connect at https://wppluginsatoz.com/interview
If you have suggestions on plugins you would like to have reviewed please submit them on the website at https://wppluginsatoz.com/submit-plugin-review/
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 and we will answer to the best of our ability!
- How long is too long to wait for updating WordPress?
- If you install two plugins that do the same thing (example: monster insights and exact metrics), will having them both running simply cover all bases, or will it cause crossed wires creating issues, or will it just be redundant?
- What was the oddest site you have ever come across in regards to the way it was set up and the way it ran – and what about it was so odd?
Closing out this Episode
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