Issue #431

Sent to members on May 22, 2023

Every Single Plugin I Use – Listed

People seem to love to know what plugins I am using. I talk about a lot of plugins in the videos and articles of the Blog Marketing Academy, but I’ve never just outright listed every single one of them.

At this time, I am currently running 53 active plugins. Is that a lot? Well, for some… yes. But, when you have good hosting and run well-supported plugins, it isn’t a problem. More on that here.

OK, let’s just run down the list of all the plugins which are currently active on my site:

  • Admin Columns Pro. This plugin is awesome. Allows me to customize the admin screens of WordPress with new columns, filters, formatting, etc. Incredibly handy.
  • Advanced Custom Fields Pro. My favorite way to do custom fields, custom post types.
  • bbp style pack. A plugin for taking control of BBPress and avoids a lot of code hacking.
  • bbPress. This is what powers the forums now that I’ve ditched BuddyBoss on my own site.
  • bbPress – Private Replies. A way to allow me to reply to members in the forums directly, but only the original poster can see the reply. Good for private stuff that doesn’t need to be indexed publicly.
  • Beamer. This integrates the Beamer web app into my site for site notifications.
  • Block Visibility. Allows you to set conditions to show/hide any block anywhere in the content or design of the site.
  • CartFlows (and CartFlows Pro). Works with WooCommerce to enable full sales funnels and a lot more control over all pages within sales funnels.
  • Code Snippets. Manage code snippets across the site. I have the Pro version, but honestly, not sure I needed that. Free works well.
  • Disable Admin Notices Individually. A way to attempt to hide all the annoying notifications within the WP admin.
  • Edit Author Slug. A way to take control over the URL to member profiles. Not quite as needed now that I’m not using BuddyBoss, but it is still there.
  • Fathom Analytics. Integrates Fathom Analytics (my preferred alternative to Google Analytics) into my site.
  • FileBird. Allows me to organize my media library into folders.
  • Fluent Forms. By far, my favorite forms plugin for WordPress. So handy for a number of applications.
  • FluentCRM. My email list manager, of course. Best thing since sliced bread.
  • FluentSMTP. Uses to route all outgoing email through my email provider (Amazon in my case)
  • GPLVault Update Manager. Handy plugin for updates for a few things I use GPLVault for.
  • Kadence Blocks. Adds all of the Kadence blocks to the block editor and I use this all the time (with Kadence Theme) to build my pages.
  • Kadence Conversions. Popups and slide-ins I can design with Kadence. A little like having ConvertBox built into my site.
  • Kadence Pro – The pro add-on that unlocks the pro stuff in Kadence Theme.
  • LearnDash. For my online courses. Also includes their licensing plugin and their course grid plugin.
  • PDF Embedder – Easily embed PDFs into your pages. I use this for the Document Library.
  • PDF Thumbnails Premium – When I upload a PDF, this plugin auto-generates a thumbnail of the cover I can use as the featured image.
  • PerfMatters. A general (and powerful) plugin for performance optimization across the site. See my review.
  • Presto Player. I still use this for some videos across the site, but mostly still use Vimeo Pro for my course videos as I find it easier.
  • Pretty Links Beginner Edition. The link shortener I use for affiliate links, mainly. See my review.
  • RankMath SEO. I know there are several good SEO plugins out there, but RankMath is the one I prefer.
  • Remove Dashboard Access. A “just in case” plugin I put in there to make sure members never had a chance to accidently end up in the WP Admin, even if with limited access.
  • Reusable Blocks Extended. Handy plugin for being able to manage reusable blocks built with the blocks editor. I use it mainly to control global calls to action. Change in one spot, affect everywhere that block is used anywhere on the site.
  • Simply Schedule Appointments. This is my scheduler for client calls. Like having Calendly built into my site. See my review.
  • Spectra. Adds more handy blocks to the blocks editor.
  • UpdraftPlus. What I use for site backups.
  • User Menus. A simple little plugin for being able to add user info (like name) right into the menus of WordPress, as well as granular control over when menu items are displayed.
  • Widget Disable. Disable widgets you’re not using and save on loadtime.
  • WooCommerce. Of course.
  • WooCommerce Name Your Price. A way to have a “pay what you want” option in WooCommerce. I use it so people can pay an invoice via the site if the need arises.
  • WooCommerce Order Status Control. Set the default order status. “Processing” is default, but I prefer to just mark them completed right away.
  • WooCommerce Paypal Payments.
  • WooCommerce Stripe Gateway
  • WooCommerce Subscriptions. For setting up payment plans and recurring membership plans.
  • WP Fusion. Fuses your CRM with your site to enable all kinds of cool stuff. Essentially, this is my membership plugin. See my review.
  • WP Last Modified Info.
  • WP Rocket. Caching and general performance. See my review.
  • Yoast Duplicate Post. Just a handy way to clone content when the need arises.

Obviously, over time, this list changes. But, as of this morning, that’s what is active in terms of plugins on BMA.

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Tech Talk

This last week, the WordPress automatic updates caused a bit of a ruckus. WordPress 6.2.1 was released as a maintenance update and a lot of sites auto-updated. The problem is… one of the changes in that version was that all shortcode blocks stopped working. Anywhere you might have used the shortcode block in a template… it just stopped working. After a lot of complaining, they then released WordPress 6.2.2 to bring the function back. The motto is… perhaps DON’T have WordPress updating itself automatically? Look, you need to make that call for yourself. It is obviously better for security to auto-update… especially if you’re not one that is likely to be quick to update manually. But, this is one of the drawbacks of auto-update. Sometimes… they make a change that isn’t so incremental.

And if we leave the world of WordPress for a moment, let’s talk ChatGPT. In case you missed it, they’re now opening it up to the ability to browse the internet as well as use plugins. No doubt this is something they threw out there quickly in response to Google’ Bard. The competition and speed of development in the world of AI is really something to behold.

I’m still experimenting with this new functionality of ChatGPT. But, opening it up to real-time data via the web is a major stepping stone. And… the plugins is likely a new sea shift moment.

Remember back when Apple launched the app store? There was a little gold rush of developers falling all over themselves to develop and release apps and get them into the app store. A massive economy developed around it. Entire businesses sprouted up around iOS applications. It has been said that the App Store ecosystem supports 2.1 million jobs in the US.

Well… plugins for AI could indeed be a new app store moment. For those who get involved early, this is a major opportunity to carve out a solid market position in a fast-growing field. ChatGPT plugins could be the next app store.

The potential of this is strong, too. I’ve already seen that Zapier has a plugin with ChatGPT, opening up AI usage of all kinds of third-party applications. There are already plugins in there for doing SEO research… even searching Zillow for real estate listings. As it is now, the interface is clunky and it is still difficult to figure out how to use things. ChatGPT still has a ways to do in terms of user interface. But, this is going to be a large ecosystem. Of that, I don’t have much doubt.

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