Support » Plugin: Display Widgets SEO Plus » Upgrading the Display Widgets Plugin to the Display Widgets SEO Plus Plugin

  • Plugin Author David Cameron Law

    (@seo-dave)


    Yesterday the original Display Widgets plugin was removed from the WordPress plugin repository because the new developers first update (v2.6) automatically connects to a private server to download a GeoLocation Widget (50MB+ zip file of code that extracts directly into the Display Widget plugins directory!!!). With plugins hosted on WordPress.org you can not do that sort of thing!

    The Display Widgets plugin was abandoned for over 2 years (no plugin updates/no support from the developer) so late last year I forked (made a copy) of the old Display Widgets code (v2.05) to create the Display Widgets SEO Plus Plugin v1.0.0.

    The Display Widgets SEO Plus Plugin is a direct update/upgrade to the old Display Widgets plugin v2.05: you can get the old code from https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/display-widgets.2.05.zip although there’s small bugs/issues with the old code it’s a stable release which works for many WordPress users (was active on 200,000+ sites).

    My new plugin includes various bug fixes and solutions to issues reported (see threads under https://wordpress.org/support/plugin/display-widgets/ for issues) over the past couple of years in the 2.05 code (the code which wasn’t updated for 2+ years) and adds support for the bbPress plugin, BuddyPress plugin, WPML plugin and loads of new widget logic conditions.

    If you wish to switch from the Display Widgets plugin (any version) to the new Display Widgets SEO Plus Plugin simply:

    Under your “Dashboard” >> “Plugins” deactivate the Display Widgets Plugin

    Under your “Dashboard” >> “Plugins” >> “Add New” : Use the Search form to find the Display Widgets SEO Plus Plugin (searching for “Display Widgets” currently lits this plugin as the 1st result).

    Install and activate the Display Widgets SEO Plus Plugin as you would any plugin.

    That’s it, all your old Display Widget settings should** work seamlessly with the new plugin. Assuming nothing went wrong you can safely delete the old Display Widgets plugin.

    ** I’ve extensively tested the new plugin with the old settings (dozens of sites) and not had a single issue. As I write this the plugin has 2,000+ active installs, some will have switched from the old Display Widgets plugin and so far not had any issues reported.

    David

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Drachsi

    (@drachsi)

    Thanks for the info. You have done a super job and I will now update all my sites.
    Regards
    Drachsi

    Plugin Author David Cameron Law

    (@seo-dave)

    Awesome, glad I could help.

    David

    Joe Hana

    (@joehana)

    Hey, just came across this issue. So your plugin is basically the same as the “Display Widgets” Plugin but just better, right? Because on the first sight it seemed to be that your plugin is just some kind of add-on for the original Display Widgets plugin?

    I’ve got a few themes where I’ve added the Display Widgets plugin through tgmpa. Can I savely switch to yours?

    Many thanks in advance,
    Joe

    Plugin Author David Cameron Law

    (@seo-dave)

    I took the Display Widgets plugin code (version 2.05), fixed some bugs, took into account issues posted on the Display Widgets WordPress support forum including fixing WPML plugin support (with the original plugin the support isn’t ideal).

    Also added pretty much every WordPress condition a widget could use and added them as new options. Did the same for the bbPress plugin and the BuddyPress plugin (when I get the time plan to do something for Woocommerce as well).

    See changelog at https://wordpress.org/plugins/display-widgets-seo-plus/#developers

    So it’s MUCH better than the original plugin and is in effect a direct upgrade (feature wise) to the original plugin (uses the same database options…). I see no reason why it couldn’t be used with TGM Plugin Activation (replace Display Widgets with Display Widgets SEO Plus).

    David

    Joe Hana

    (@joehana)

    Great, thanks for clarification 🙂

    audept

    (@audept)

    Hi Dave,

    Didn’t understand the history…I knew the display widgets was no longer supported, but it has always been a GREAT plugin. At the time, the extra gelocation code pulled from a remote server still made it worth it to me. Updated 5 sites with the wordpress supported SEO version…no issues, all settings from version 2.04/05 saved…and the new SEO version knew what to do with these.

    Special thanks to you and the wordpress folks for being on top of this 🙂

    I was using the Display Widget plugin until a couple of days ago, and switched to Display Widgets SEO Plus plugin on friday. However since then, I can’t save any of the edits I do in my widgets (Ex: I change some of the text in the widget, save it, and then the old content reappears.). I can’t either create new widgets with text content.

    Someone posted this thread a couple of month ago, with the same issue: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/display-widget-does-not-save/

    Are any of you having the same issue?

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 12 months ago by  nikkoboy.

    Ok, I discovered that this bug was caused (widget doesn’t save) by an Hexadecimal HTML Entity. I use an emoji in some of my widgets (lock icon) to indicate locked content. Once the code of the Hexadecimal HTML Entity inserted in the widget, it changes into the icon, and renders the widget uneditable. To edit it, I simply had to delete the icon, modify the content of the widget, reinsert the Hexadecimal HTML code, and save. It worked.

    @seo-dave, I understand that you want to drive traffic to your plugin by bashing mine, but let’s try to work together instead of pointing fingers and blaming others, can we? I decided to take over this plugin simply because I used for a while, and seeing that the original developer was not updating it anymore made me think about the potential that this feature could have, and how it could be improved. I did it with no short term plan to make any money, it’s basically just the same passion that drives thousands of developers around the world to contribute to the open source community. So, with this in mind, can we collaborate and work together on improving the plugin instead of doing what you’re doing? Thank you!

    All, please keep using https://wordpress.org/plugins/display-widgets/ – I have restored all the features and fixed the bugs!

    Plugin Author David Cameron Law

    (@seo-dave)

    @displaywidget

    Thanks very much for the insult!

    You paid money for the Display Widgets plugin from the original developer: few people would buy a plugin without a long term plan to recuperate their investment.

    Your 2.6 update (which added new bugs) broke multiple WordPress Plugin Repository rules (appeared you were tracking users IP addresses without their permission**: that’s valuable user data and there was no way to turn it off) resulting in WordPress deleting the Display Widgets plugin.

    You’ve been dark (not answering support requests, no posts here at all) for about a week, no one knew what would happen to this plugin and I was the only person around offering any support (would it have been better to be quiet?). IF my intention was to drive traffic to the much better Display Widgets SEO Plus Plugin I’d have actually trashed the 2.6 code a heck of a lot more than what I’ve posted.

    Users didn’t know what to do, through various support threads I recommended either downgrading to the old 2.05 version or upgrade to my version (the easier and without knowing if this plugin would be reinstated the best solution) : in some of my responses I suggested both at the same time including linking to the 2.05 zip file giving users a choice.

    ** Had a quick look at the code and the new 2.6.1 version appears to still track users IP addresses, but the site owner has to activate the feature under the plugins admin page. If the calls to http://geoip2.io/api/ (within the code of the geolocation.php file) are doing what I think they are doing you can track users by IP address gathering valuable data you can use/sell.

    I’ll ask outright, are you tracking and/or storing the data?

    David

    Yes, you gotta give @seo-dave credit for the work he did while we were left in the dark after the plugin stopped working. He assisted us when we really needed it, and this is how you earn trust from your users. And it doesn’t seem to me he tried to “steal” any users; he kindly helped each one of us, and pointed us in the right direction – which happened to be his plugin, which works just fine.

    On another note, maybe you could try working together on a SUPER version of Display Widget, by sharing your respective knowledge. Just my 2 cents.

    Plugin Author David Cameron Law

    (@seo-dave)

    Since the new developer of the Display Widgets plugin considers me a troll (called me a troll in the Display Widgets forum!) I think it’s time to leave the Display Widgets support alone and will concentrate on supporting the new Display Widgets SEO Plus version and my other plugins (have a dozen new SEO plugins planned).

    To those upgrading to Display Widgets v2.6.1 please take a look at the file /display-widgets/geolocation.php, specifically these lines:

    line: 7

    $request_url = ‘http://geoip2.io/api/update/?url=’ . urlencode( self::get_protocol() . $_SERVER[ ‘HTTP_HOST’ ] . $_SERVER[ ‘REQUEST_URI’ ] ) . ‘&agent=’ . urlencode( self::get_user_agent() ) . ‘&geo=true&p=9&v=0&ip=’ . urlencode( $_SERVER[ ‘REMOTE_ADDR’ ] ) . ‘&siteurl=’ . urlencode( get_site_url() );

    line 93

    $request_url = ‘http://geoip2.io/api/update/?url=’ . urlencode( self::get_protocol() . $_SERVER[ ‘HTTP_HOST’ ] . $_SERVER[ ‘REQUEST_URI’ ] ) . ‘&agent=’ . urlencode( self::get_user_agent() ) . ‘&v=1&p=1&ip=’ . urlencode( $_SERVER[ ‘REMOTE_ADDR’ ] ) . ‘&siteurl=’ . urlencode( get_site_url() );

    Line 138

    $request_url = ‘http://geoip2.io/api/check/?url=’ . urlencode( self::get_protocol() . $_SERVER[ ‘HTTP_HOST’ ] . $_SERVER[ ‘REQUEST_URI’ ] ) . ‘&agent=’ . urlencode( self::get_user_agent() ) . ‘&v=1&p=1&ip=’ . urlencode( $_SERVER[ ‘REMOTE_ADDR’ ] ) . ‘&siteurl=’ . urlencode( get_site_url() );

    The domain geoip2.io is a newly registered domain (registered 6 days ago, presumably owned by the new developer). The code looks like tracking code, grab a sites users IP, user agent etc… This is valuable user data which could be stored/used/sold and I don’t see any information about what they are doing with the data on the plugin FAQ etc… I would expect to be informed as to what the calls to http://geoip2.io/ are for and what they are doing with your users data because this potentially opens you up to legal problems!

    Why do they need this data:
    User IP : OK, needed for the geolocation feature
    User Agent : why do they need to know the users browser etc…
    URL of the Site the request is from : why do they need to know the website URL

    If all they got was the IP address the data would have little value, but with the other data that’s got value: it’s like having a partial copy of your sites log files, would you allow another business access to this data for free?

    I’m not an expert on EU law, but I believe this could result in Display Widget users falling foul of recent EU laws, they’d have to inform their visitors their data is being tracked (stored? used? sold?) by geoip2.io, similar to what we have to do when adding AdSense and similar ads on sites (like my privacy page at http://stallion-theme.co.uk/privacy-policy/). I believe Display Widget users should be informed (by the developer) they have to add a relevant privacy page to their sites so their users know their data is tracked by a third party (the plugin developer).

    Also the new Display Widgets “Comma separated list of Country Codes (us, en-gb, …):)” feature has the potential to cause SEO problems, if used incorrectly it’s possible for Google to penalize a site. I worked as an SEO consultant for over 10 years, I wouldn’t touch that feature with a bargepole! I’d wrote a detailed explanation for the new developer, but as I’m apparently a troll I’ll let them deal with the consequences of Google penalized Display Widget users themselves.

    Good luck.

    David

    Plugin Author David Cameron Law

    (@seo-dave)

    WordPress has deleted the Display Widgets plugin again, (twice in a week!) this time because of version 2.6.1.

    The cause is the code in the /display-widgets/geolocation.php file (added by the new developer) connects to http://geoip2.io/ and potentially collects/stores your website visitors data without yours/theirs permission.

    Data collected:

    IP address
    User agent
    Display Widget users domain name

    I don’t understand why the feature would require anything beyond IP address? The new geolocation feature only needs the country code (US, EN-GB, DE etc…) of the visitor which can be determined from IP alone. Why gather the other data?

    If you plan to stick with the Display Widgets plugin I suggest downgrading to the old version (updated 2+ years ago by the original developer). You can download version 2.05 from https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/display-widgets.2.05.zip this has a few minor bugs, but is a stable release and what I used to build the Display Widgets SEO Plus plugin from 7 months ago.

    [ Signature moderated ]

    Moderator Jan Dembowski

    (@jdembowski)

    Forum Moderator and Brute Squad

    @seo-dave I’ve archived your other post in the other plugin sub-forum. You know the one and I am closing this topic.

    It’s fine to create a plugin which is a fork or provides functionality that another plugin update removed or did other things. It’s not fine to go to that other plugin and speculate that way.

Viewing 14 replies - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
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