WordPress Plugin Zen
It's Episode 610 and we have plugins for Banning Bots with a Hammer While Ordering Post Types… 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 …'
Welcome to Episode 610 – WordPress Plugin Zen – 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!
October is coming – which means Thanksgiving is right around the corner, at least here in Canada. Although, I am seeing a lot more Halloween stuff out then I am seeing Thanksgiving stuff, which I think is a bit odd! After all, shouldn't the holiday items be put out in order? I think it's odd, although Christmas stuff has been coming out earlier and earlier every year, so I guess it makes sense that the Halloween stuff starts to make an appearance earlier and earlier too. Not that I am really complaining, I personally think Halloween stuff should be out all year long anyways! Halloween is just that awesome!
Some reminders before we start the show today….
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That's it for reminders, don't forget to stick around until the end of the show for some possibly life altering advice!
...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!
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Let's start the show with this weeks Featured Artist:
Angel Lemus — http://www.koadigital.com
This weeks art piece is awesome! The way our logo is placed into the hands makes me think of a little pet meditating alongside it's chosen creature. Although really, who owns who in a human and pet relationship?
Going through the Art Vaults is awesome, but we would love some new art! You can send it into us at https://wppluginsatoz.com/artwork/. You can also check out the art vaults yourself there too!
…We can NEVER have too much art!
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:
WordPress Vulnerability Report from PatchStack
(https://patchstack.com/database/) – This looks a little different from what we are used to, though since iThemes has still not put out a newer report since August 31, I will be going here for the foreseeable future.
There area lot of vulnerabilities listed here, and there is a brief description of what the vulnerability is as well. Most of them are stated as Plugin's, although there are a few Themes as well. Be sure to have a look through this list and compare to your own or your clients sites.
PatchStack reports 404 vulnerabilities affecting 1.6M+ websites to WordPress.org Plugins team (https://wptavern.com/patchstack-reports-404-vulnerabilities-affecting-1-6m-websites-to-wordpress-org-plugins-team) – Generally PatchStack does not go directly to WordPress except as a last resort when dealing with a challenging case – however, in many cases this time there was zero contact information for the vendors, or there was no response to communication attempts. The issue has been dubbed “zombie plugins pandemic” due to the overwhelming number of abandoned plugins affecting more than 1.6 million sites. There is a lot of urging to creators to both add their contact information, and to make sure that the contact information added is up to date so they can receive and respond to the communications.
GoDaddy retires Media Temple Brand
(https://wptavern.com/godaddy-retires-media-temple-brand) – After 24 years of in the hosting industry, they are closing the doors. All of the clients have been fully migrated over to the GoDaddy servers; the migration started February 2023, and now that it has been completed Media Temple will close the doors. GoDaddy has assured the MT clients that they will be keeping their current products and pricing for equivalent products with access to more tools.
Gutenberg 16.6 introduces block hooks, improvements to toolbars and nested blocks (https://wptavern.com/gutenberg-16-6-introduces-block-hooks-improvements-to-toolbars-on-nested-blocks) – What was initially called auto-blocks are now called block hooks. This has been done because the auto-blocks were essentially a hook in block form, so now the description will make more sense to those who know what a hook is – these blocks are designed to be a hook. The changes made to the the toolbars on nested blocks means that the toolbar will now stay attached to the parent block. Before the toolbar would move around – there is more about the changes and you can follow the link here in our show notes to learn more!
WooCommerce blocks 11.0.0 adds product collection block in Beta, 10.9.0 integrates product button with the interactivity API
(https://wptavern.com/woocommerce-blocks-11-0-0-adds-product-collection-block-in-beta-10-9-0-integrates-product-button-with-the-interactivity-api) – WooCommerce is experimenting! They have a new interactive API which was announced earlier this year. With this new interactive API developers can build interactive blocks that support frontend experiences where visitors can interact with the content without having to refresh the page. If you are interested in reading more about this be sure to check out our show notes and follow the link!
Performant Translations plugin now available on WordPress.org
(https://wptavern.com/performant-translations-plugin-now-available-on-wordpress-org) – Earlier this year an in depth performance analysis revealed that translations can impact server response times. WordPress contributors proposed half a dozen technical solutions to improve this. Performant Translations is a feature project by the core performance team, and is now available as a plugin on wordpress.org. Users who are using this can now report issues on the support forum.
Target of Europe's space junk cleanup mission hit by… more space junk (https://thenextweb.com/news/europe-space-debris-cleanup-mission) – It's getting a little busy up there!! We have so much space junk floating around that multiple countries have tried to think up ways to clean it all up – including using a giant nerf ball thing that is soft enough to have the junk fly into it and get stuck, but strong enough to hold together… so far as I know that never happened because they couldn't think of a way to bring it back down as having it tethered would not have worked as initially planned.
If you're not sure what ‘space junk' is and where it comes from, just think of all the satellites that have been shot up there over the years, the parts of the various space ships that have ditched the heavy bit in orbit so they can keep moving forwards – and then that stuff is all orbiting the planet, and crashing into each other, causing more smaller debris…. there's a lot of junk up there these days.
In this article Europe was researching a particular piece of space junk, and it got smacked into by another piece of space junk, and seriously highlights to the officials that there is actually a problem and they are now truly working on dealing with it. To learn a bit more on what they are planning to do be sure to go to the link in our show notes and read all about it!
Top agencies join forces to publish free guide on WordPress for Enterprise
WordPress.com launches 100-year domain and hosting plan for 38K
Video: WordPress leaders discuss projects future at WordCamp US 2023
WP Includes launches Women in WordPress Mentorship program
ACF's 2023 annual survey results reinforce plugin's focus on improving the block building experience
Human made to host “AI: The Next Chapter” virtual conference on September 14, 2023
Dragon Rating Time!
Banhammer – Monitor Site Traffic, Block Bad Users and Bots
Banhammer gives you full control over who and what may access your site. Visit the Armory to monitor traffic and review suspicious visitors. If you find some user or bot that is causing problems, you can ban them with a click. Or, if you just want to keep an eye on someone, you can flag them with a warning. Any banned users will be denied access to your site, until you restore access via the Tower. Check out the video and screenshots to get a better idea of how it works.
Rating 4 dragons
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 email@example.com
Recently I was working on a client's site, and I made a mistake of giving the wrong information on how to do something because I didn't look closely enough at the plugins on their site before answering a question.
ALWAYS have a look through the plugins on a site and see what those plugins do before answering a question or trying to solve an issue. Whether the site is yours or another's, you will not remember all the plugins that are there all the time – especially if you work on more than one site at a time.
We always think we will remember which plugins are on which site; unfortunately though, even though we built these sites, we don't remember.
Be sure to read through the plugins on sites before you answer questions, and before you try to solve any issues.
There are a bunch of plugins that don't exactly have an explanatory name on what they do – like ‘NextMind' By Ali'- this is a plugin for AI SEO optimization. But the name itself does not tell you this.
Having a cheat sheet for yourself of the most used plugins throughout the various sites – or on your single site – that has these kinds of names where you can't really tell what the plugin is for or what it does just from the name can be very useful!
Another cheat sheet that is useful is a cheat sheet of the best plugins you have found for sites. A good example for me is ‘cubecolour new plugin' – I always add this to the sites I am working on because it makes it a lot easier to find plugins I need. It's easily removed, and does not cause any issues because it's not there to do anything to the site so much as organize the plugins when you hit the ‘add new' button.
Cheatsheets are useful and great, and they are worth the time you will spend on them – the idea that you don't have enough time to create them is silly because with the time you spend on these cheat sheets, you will save days worth of time down the road.
…Some random entertainment in the World of WordPress!
…Matt's Famous Quotes
…The hall of shame via Automattic:
Post Types Order
This is a plugin that we have been using for a bit, and I realized that although we use it and recommend it, we haven't really done too much of a review on it.
Once you have downloaded and activated this plugin, you go to ‘Posts' -> ‘Re-Order'.
Here you will see every single post you have, and you can drag and drop them into any order you like.
Great thing is that when you re-order any of these posts, no other ordering of posts will be affected, and it will take effect immediately after hitting ‘update' at the bottom of the page.
This is really great if you have any posts you want to arrange in a particular way, though be aware that it does seem to override organization in your page builder at least some of the time. I had an experience with a client where I hadn't realized they had this on their site, and told them how to re-order some posts through Elementor; Elementor could not re-order the posts, and so the client was a little frustrated, and I was just confused – until I noticed they had this plugin and was able to point them in that direction.
The plugin is kept up to date fairly well, and I have not had any real problems with it as it seems to play nice with others – the fact that it tends to override page builder re-ordering capabilities shouldn't be too much of an issue since you are able to re-order the posts with the plugin itself.
If you deactivate the plugin, the posts will go back to whichever order was there beforehand. You can get the order back by reactivating it – though if you delete the plugin you will have to go through all the work of getting the posts into the order you want all over again.
As it stands now, the plugin is a freebie, and they are doing a great job making sure that it stays that way at this time.
I recommend you check it out!
Rating: 5 Dragon
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… 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!
I reserved my domain and see there are many options, .com,.ca or whatever country, .org, and so on. Is there a rule of thumb for how many to buy? Should I buy all the relevant ones? Will that truly increase my presence? and last but not least, how will it affect my SEO, positively or negatively?
Miscellaneous Announcements from us and Producers:
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!
If you are interested in finding a WordPress Meetup somewhere around the world you can go check out the places here: https://www.meetup.com/pro/wordpress/
Next WordPress Victoria Meetup don't appear to have anything scheduled at this time, though be sure to keep checking back if you are interested as they do try and have a meetup regularly! https://www.meetup.com/yyjwordpress/
There are 5 WordCamps planned for August around the world:
WordCamp Nairobi, Kenya
Community Summit 2023
WordCamp Jinja 2023
To find out more about these WordCamps around the world, you can check out the link here in our show notes https://central.wordcamp.org/
Keep checking back every week to find out what else is going on!
And remember, the show notes found at wppluginsatoz.com has 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:
We have a real brick and mortar address where you can send in art and/or notes – you can find the address in our show notes!
WP Plugins A to Z
C/O John Overall
20-754 E Fairview Rd.
Victoria, BC V9A 5T9
We also have virtual addresses too!
- My website: http://www.johnoverall.com/
- WordPress Emergency Support: http://wppro.ca/wpemergency
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- email: email@example.com
Today's Plugins we covered were:
Banhammer – Monitor Site Traffic, Block Bad Users and Bots By Jeff Starr
- Ban or Warn any WP user or IP address
- Restore access to any banned targets
- Monitor site traffic in the Armory
- And much more!
Rating: 4 Dragons
Post Order Types By Nsp Code
- With AutoSort option ON you don’t need to worry about any code changes, plugin will apply the customized post order on the fly.
- Re-Order interface appears to every custom post type (non-hierarchical)
- Easy to use with Drag and Drop
Rating: 5 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 Amber@WPPro.ca – let's see if we can stump my dad!
- What cheat sheets have you created over the years for plugins?
- How much time would you say you have saved in the long run by taking the time to create the cheat sheets for plugins, and how much help have they been overall?
Questions asked after closing credits:
- What is the least helpful thing you have done in an attempt to help your future self save time?
- What would you recommend people at least try out in an attempt to help their future selves save a little time, even though you didn't find it helped you much – and why would you suggest people at least try it out?