Your Guiding Star for WordPress Plugins
It's Episode 617 and we have plugins for Searching the Fields and Restricting Access… 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 617 – Your Guiding Star for WordPress Plugins – 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!
As our show has been moved to every other week, our next show is supposed to land on Christmas day, December 25th. We aren't going to be here in person, although we will have a recorded show set to pop up on the day! We will be bringing up some of our favourite plugins of the year, and having a celebratory Irish Coffee or proper egg-nog – perhaps I'll get the kids to make the egg-nog and add the rum myself this time….
We hope that you will find yourself too busy with family to catch the pre recorded show on the day of, but that you might be able to find some time to catch it a bit later in the week. We will be putting our New Years and Christmas shows together, so it will be a 2 in one!
A few reminders before we start the show today….
- Reminder that our show is now every other week, and that it starts at 12:30 PM Pacific Time, with a pre-stream starting around 12:15 PM Pacific Time. Pre-stream is where we twiddle with the dials and knobs and really just warm up our voices, so join in for some entertainment value!
- Our show notes for each episode can be found at wppluginsatoz.com – the newest show notes will be up within 24 hours and on our front page!
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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!
…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:
(The Rogue) — https://TheRoguesOasis.com
Some pretty awesome new art, quite the beautiful sky here.
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 – November 29, 2023
(https://solidwp.com/blog/wordpress-vulnerability-report-november-29-2023/) – Since their last report, there are 138 new vulnerabilities that have popped up, and 89 plugins remain unpatched. Some of the ones I most easily recognize are:
Wp Shortcodes Plugins – Shortcodes Ultimate, Events Manager, Decorator WooCommerce email customizer, Event Prime – events calendar bookings and tickets. Most of the ones I have mentioned have been patched, so be sure to update yours and your clients sites asap, and have a look through the list when you get a chance!
WordPress Vulnerability Report from PatchStack
(https://patchstack.com/database/) – This is a great link to keep in your saved list for more information on vulnerabilities and things to look out for.
The last article on WP Tavern is still ‘what's next?'
(https://wptavern.com/whats-next) – I think this means that we will not be getting anything new from them for a bit yet, I think they are still doing trials with possible writers. Most likely after the holidays we will start seeing some new writers pop up with some content for us.
Don't fall for fake WordPress Security Team Emails
(https://wplift.com/weekly-wordpress-news-and-updates-dont-fall-for-fake-wordpress-security-team-emails/) – There's a new scam going around where the writers are trying to trick you into giving up your login credentials and other sensitive information. The email people are getting claims to be part of the WordPress Security Team, and is asking you to update your WordPress Core Files to fix a critical vulnerability. The email contains a link they want you to follow that leads you to a fake WordPress Login page where they can steal your login info. And to top it all off, this email also contains a malicious attachment that can infect your computer with malware.
Be aware of this, the WordPress Security Team does NOT send out emails randomly like this, not without you reaching out to them first – and they NEVER have an attachment or ask you for your login by getting you to follow a link. They always use a wordpress.org domain for their communications as well – so check to see who the email is from. If you get this email, DO NOT open the attachments! Delete the email immediately, and report the thing to email@example.com immediately!
WordPress 6.4.2 maintenance and security release
(https://wordpress.org/news/2023/12/wordpress-6-4-2-maintenance-security-release/) – This minor release fixes 7 bugs in core. The fixes include a fix for the issues causing stylesheet and theme directories to sometimes return incorrect results. There is also a security fix – go ahead and update this immediately. Generally the minor updates don't do anything scary to your sites. It's the big ones that do scary things sometimes – like the next major release of 6.5 due to land in early 2024. You can follow this link in our shownotes to read the fine details on what's in this release.
Spot the fake: Google launches new watermarking tech
(https://blog.hubspot.com/ai/google-launches-new-watermarking-tech) – Google has launched a watermarking tool to make it so that these deepfakes won't keep spreading unchecked – or at least that is what they are hoping this will accomplish. This tool is called Deep Mind, and it works by embedding a digital watermark into the pixels of the image – so a little differently from the traditional kind of watermark. The human eye won't be able to detect it, but detection software will be able to. The way they have done this means that even when altered the digital watermark will still be there. If you are interested in reading up a little more about this you can check out our show notes.
Teenage engineering's latest super toy is an '80s-inspired sampler
(https://gizmodo.com/teenage-engineering-ep-133-k-o-ii-sampler-1851043628) – I just thought this was pretty cool and wanted to bring it on today from Swedish Electronics! This is called the EP-133 K.0. II and is half toy, half instrument, and all delight as they say! Apparently the name EP-133 K.0. II is a supercharged follow up to PO-33 K.O.. It's a sampler… even after reading through the article I'm still not entirely sure what it does – I think it's something for music? You can load up 99 samples of music in stereo and play around with it, sound effects, mix it up, clean it up or mess it up – I guess it's just a neat little music player thing you can do special effects with. I just really like the way it looks and think it would be fun to have and play around with and thought maybe someone else out there may appreciate it!
Community roundup week ending December 8, 2023
PHPCS, a major PHP library, needs support
Post Status Draft – Interview with Amber Hines on WordPress accessibility
Elon Musk to boycotting advertisers: ‘Go 7U5K Yourself'
Common misbeliefs about AI and ML and the truth behind them (https://www.computer.org/publications/tech-news/community-voices/machine-learning-misbeliefs)
How to use ChatGPT to write code
20 WordPress statistics you should know in 2023
Dragon Rating Time!
Advanced Product Search For WooCommerce
Advanced Product search for WooCommerce – powerful instant search plugin for WooCommerce. You just got to install and simply begin typing and your clients will instantly see the products they are looking for.
It creates a simple search box that shows you live search results, by suggesting you product from your WooCommerce shop that match your search out criteria.
This plugin sets up and works very easy with just a few simple settings on the settings page you can choose how you want the search bar to look customize a few items with the free version if you go pro you get full customization of just about everything.
It does searches for all products including variable products.
Rating: 5 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are rebuilding a site for whatever reason, and you have the original site to look at, the first thing you should do is sample each and every colour used on that site, save and label what that colour is used for. This will save you HOURS of time down the line! If you have the option, place all these colours into the global colours of your site's palette so that it is easily accessible.
Do the same thing for fonts – if you are working from a fresh canvas in the rebuild, find a decent font plugin where the fonts are locally hosted, and insert each and every single font used on that site first.
Get all these little things done and out of the way BEFORE you start doing the bigger things like headers and footers and templates – because these little things will cause you endless hours of strife if you leave them till last.
Get any and all other little things out of the way as well, because again they will cause you strife down the road.
When we are first learning how to do things like build a site, we get into the habit of asking for the information from those who have more experience then we do, so when we are left to our own devices at first we tend to panic – or we wind up reaching out to our teachers often to ask for help.
My recommendation is that every time you face a new thing you're not sure of, or every time you have a question, start trying to answer the question yourself first. Pretend like you are proving someone wrong every time – and you will very likely find the answer a lot faster then you thought you would otherwise.
And, as you come across these answers, start saving the home page to the sites you find yourself getting the answers from over and over again. Create subfolders in your saved list for the different categories of your searches – and this will help down the road since you will be able to go back to the best resources quickly and easily – you can also ask your teacher what resources they use, 'cause I'll bet you that half the time you ask them something, they are just looking up the answer themselves.
…Some random entertainment in the World of WordPress!
…Matt's Famous Quotes
…The hall of shame via Automattic:
Simple Page Access Restriction Plugin
This plugin was recommended by the developers themselves to us! Elle at Plugins and Snippets reached out to let us know about their newer plugin ‘Simple Page Access Restriction'. Unfortunately it took a little longer then expected to get to this plugin, though we have it here before the holidays for everyone!
This plugin is a great free plugin, very useful for those who have a site where you have content you want behind a wall – and not necessarily a pay wall. This plugin will restrict access to select pages to only logged in users. This plugin will also allow for a page redirection to a defined (login) page of your choice.
When you download and activate this plugin, you will find the dashboard on the left hand side menu. I thought this was kind of cool, right at the top of the dashboard, there is a little area where they offer you to subscribe to their newsletter – the admin email is auto inserted in there although you can change the email to your preferred email if you want to sign up. Unfortunately the draw back is that even if you sign up, it's still there the next time you go to the dashboard – and there is no little ‘x' to remove it. That is a mild irritant for me 'cause it reminds me of an alert – although that is just me.
In the dashboard you will be able to choose your page where the redirect will go to. You can choose between a ‘Page', or an ‘URL'. If you leave it as a page, you can choose the login page you already have set up, or you can create one specifically for this. If you choose URL, they simply request the URL you want people to be redirected to.
Next down you will see ‘Remove Plugin Data on Uninstall' – I have not seen that too often, although I find it useful when I do see it. By having this checked, you know everything will completely go away when you uninstall this.
Last thing under ‘Settings' is ‘Supported Post Type(s)'. Here you can choose any combination or just all of the following:
The last two I was surprised to see. Will make it a lot easier if you are using templates specifically for the posts or pages you want to have behind the login wall though. And MailPoet pages, that is something I never would have thought to put behind login, though the idea intrigues me.
You hit ‘Save Changes', and you're done!
Now this plugin will not automatically put these behind the login wall, these are just the pages that will have the ability to be placed there. While this plugin does pull off some fancy magic behind the scenes, you will have to still go in and manually set the pages and/or posts behind the login wall yourself.
I will walk us through doing so on a page:
Go to Pages; choose your page you want to put behind the login wall and click on ‘edit' – or just the name of your page. If you are using Elementor, do not click on ‘edit with Elementor' – you won't be able to find the setting for this plugin inside of the Elementor editing area.
Once in the WordPress editing area, look to the right, and at the top you will see ‘simple page access restriction', you will see a box you can checkmark beside the label ‘For Logged-In Users Only' – if you checkmark the box and hit ‘update/save' on the page, your page is now behind the login wall. If the box is not checkmarked, it is available to everyone.
It's that simple.
Simple, easy to use, and worth the time! This plugin is a great way to do the same sort of thing as the paywall, without charging people for the content, but still getting your email list built out.
Rating: 5 Dragon
Earn yourself a Producership Credit!
We have 3 levels of Producers that help to keep the show's larders stocked to bursting – Free-Lance Producers, Back-Room Producers, and War-Room Producers. There are special perks for Back-Room and War-Room Producers that you can learn about on our site wppluginsatoz.com. Click on Time, Treasure, or Talent Donations in our main menu to learn all the nitty gritty details on how you can add your 2 cents!
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Back Room Producers:
… Back Room Producers always seem to be about the place helping with our contests, artwork, site organization, notes, questions, suggestions, and even more! While they tend to hang out a lot in the back lounge and consume massive amounts of coffee and doughnuts, it's well earned through both hard work and their donations – never above $50 dollars and absolutely equal to their Time and Talent donations!
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War Room Producers:
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… 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 ever-growing list!
Join in and be part of your own production and support the show at the same time!
There are loads of ways to use us as your tool to get on out there like getting an interview, leaving a review for a plugin or donating your own plugin review, or your own plugin license! I recommend you give it a go and see how it helps – you can check out our show notes in this section to see all the ways to be part of your own production!
…Reach out to John and get yourself Interviewed – use us as your tool to get out there!
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Questions, Notes, and Feedback from our Producers out there:
… 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!
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!
Kolkata CareerCamp – January 6, 2024
WordCamp Nepal 2024 – January 12-13, 2024
WordCamp Garazoga – January 19-20, 2024
WordPress Web Challange – January 27, 2024
WordCamp Pheonix – February 9-10, 2024
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. https://central.wordcamp.org/
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/
If you are in Victoria BC, you can keep an eye on the WordPress Meetup's at WordPress Victoria Meetup: https://www.meetup.com/yyjwordpress/
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: email@example.com
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Today's Plugins we covered were:
Advanced Product Search For WooCommerce By aThemeArt
- Search across all your WooCommerce products.
- Show your WooCommerce searchform in anywhere you want in your WooCommerce site.
- Works for both simple and variable products.
Rating: 5 Dragons
Simple Page Access Restriction Plugin By Plugins & Snippets
- Free and easy to use.
- Places your choice of content behind a login wall.
- Can be applied to a variety of pages/template/posts.
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 are some tell-tale signs that will help people tell the difference between real and fake emails offering goods?
- Is there a way to keep your email and number private when you use it for a business online?
Questions asked after closing credits:
- Do security issues tend to become worse or better about this time of year – at least that you have found so far?
- What would be your main piece of advice for site owners over this Holiday?