Hello Happy Site Owners! Welcome to the BlogAid Podcast for Dec. 11th, 2012. I’m MaAnna, and WordPress 3.5 is out and I have a handful of posts and videos to help you make the switch. And, I’ve collected them all into one post for your convenience titled Get Started Right with WordPress 3.5. And remember, you can find links on the site in the show notes for everything I talk about in the podcast. Listen to the podcast.
This week’s tips include how I finally landed a domain name I’ve been trying to get for several years, how to protect yourself against rising hack attacks, WordPress plugins to check out, SEO tips on how you may be getting flagged as a spammer, some super YouTube tips, and sneak peek at who I spoke with for a BlogAid Podcast that will air later this week. Listen to the podcast now.
If you’re a loyal follower of Tips Tuesday or engaged with me on social media, you may remember me mentioning that I finally acquired a domain that I’ve been trying to get my hands on for the last four years. It’s BlogAid.com. I first tried to get it four years ago, but the owner wouldn’t budge. Since it wasn’t tied to any website, I got the .net version and enjoyed no competition. But, as BlogAid.net has become more popular, the price for the .com version kept rising. In other words, I was driving up the price. For the last two years I’ve been hard after that domain using domain broker services and such. I finally let him know my final price, which was about half of what he was asking, and yippie, I got it. So, now if you type in either BlogAid.net or BlogAid.com, you’re going to come to the same site.
Moral of the story: if the domain you really want is taken, but doesn’t have an active website, make all the effort you can to obtain it. You’d be amazed at how many domain hoarders there are, and affiliate marketers are especially bad about grabbing a domain from a great idea they had and never following through with it. I know one such man who has over 600 domains. Folks like that may very well be willing to let them go if asked because it costs them to hang on to them.
But, also keep in mind that domains are virtual real estate and some folks are in the business of flipping them, just like houses. That’s the kind of owner I was going up against and he was going to hold it hostage for all he could get. So, grab it before you make it worth any more than it already is.
Insider hack attacks are on the rise. These are caused by someone else with a site on the same server using it to tunnel into all of the other sites there and probe for weaknesses. My site developer and admin buddies have been busy answering requests to fix sites, and that kind of work does not come cheap. I’m going to be straight up with you. There is no security defense against this type of attack from within a server except for getting the most expensive dedicated hosting available. I know that most of you are on $4-$8 a month shared hosting and don’t have the budget to pay $30-$100 a month to move up.
So, you must put a real backup and restore strategy in place. If your site is hacked, you can wipe it out and restore from your backup. It’s cheaper and easier than trying to recover any other way. Get my free report on How to Backup Your WordPress Site and make this happen. If your site is hacked and you do not have a backup and restore plan already in place, do not call me to fix your site. That’s not what I do. I’m in the business of helping you avoid disaster. Contact me if you want help with that.
Some of the links below are to the plugin developer’s page, but you can find most if not all of these plugins in the WordPress plugins repository.
Yoast just made a post stating that his WordPress SEO plugin is more secure than ever before. He had every line of the code checked by the folks at Sucurri and they found a couple of minor issues that he fixed in the recent 1.3 version.
The Theme-Check plugin allows you to run checks on the current theme before uploading to WordPress. This is really important if you use free themes. And I would strongly suggest that you never use a free theme that does not come from the WordPress repository. A lot of them are free because they contain malware and other nasty security holes.
Plugins to Check Out
CommentLuv is a super plugin to give a little something in return to those kind enough to leave comments on your site. And now they’ve added a new feature to the premium version to let folks receive reply notifications. The best thing is, you can customize it. Christine Cobb has the skinny for you about it on her My Bonus Blog site.
I’ve actually got this plugin and haven’t had time to install it yet. And when I do, I’ll also have to disable the plugin I’m already using to let folks get notified when new comments are made. That will mean one less plugin and one less security hole, which is super. So, any time you want to add a plugin or do an upgrade to one that you already have, be sure you are not causing a conflict with other plugins on your site. In fact, it’s a good idea to do a plugin audit once in a while. If you want a geek buddy to help you with that and go through your plugins and site security together live, contact me.
MailChimp just posted a roundup of all their new toys and they are super cool. They include a new Drag and Drop editor, a revamp of several automation features, and upgrades to the batch delivery service.
I know a bunch of folks who are going to squeal with delight over this. Hootsuite now has integration for Vimeo, WordPress, and Pinterest Tracking. Read all about in the post on TechCrunch.
For those of you who use Raven Tools, you just lost your rank checker. Bummer because that was one of the core reasons a lot of folks used it. And, that’s not all you’ve lost. Check out Search Engine Land’s post titled Raven Tools to Remove Scraped Data to Maintain Access to AdWords. for the whole scoop.
In last week’s Tips Tuesday I mentioned a post about the negative effects of leaving spam comments on your site or making spam looking comments on other’s sites and getting flagged as a spammer in Akismet. Well, there’s another way Google can flag you as a spammer. Did you know that every time you make a post WordPress pings Google and other services to let them know it’s there? That’s a good thing. But, it also pings again every time you make an edit to a published post. If you make a bunch, Google flags you as a spammer. To be clear, that pinging only happens on edits to published posts. Not to posts you’re still working on or have saved as a draft.
On her Traffic Generation Cafe blog, Ana Hoffman has a super post titled Has Google Pinged You as a Spammer? She explains pinging in more detail, but more importantly, provides the short ping list you need to be using these days. It takes less than 30 seconds to do.
I want to be clear about a couple of things here so that you aren’t confused about the terminology. This type of ping service is different than pingbacks, which are notifications from other participating sites when they link to you. And, the rpc part of Ping-O-matic that Ana mentions is very different from the XML-RPC API core code that was turned on by default in WordPress 3.5 and there has been a bit of controversy about security with it.
The type of ping that notifies search engines that you have a post is a one-way thing. In the new short list of services, you’ll find Ping-O-Matic. It’s reach has grown so much in the last two years that it is the only one I’ve been using. However, I’m going to include the other two in the new compressed list you’ll see when you visit Ana’s site or the WordPress Codex, and see what happens to my stats. It will probably be a few months before I have enough data to report on and may be difficult to separate out this one change from all the other traffic generating changes I’m making to BlogAid right now. But, I’ll take all the SEO help I can get, especially if it is this easy.
I’m starting to fall in love with the guys at Five Minute Video Marketing. They have a great video SEO challenge going on right now. Go have a look at part two where they show the on page and off page tips for better SEO on you YouTube videos.
And, I recently interviewed Ileane Smith for the BlogAid Podcast and the show will air later this week. Besides being such a delight to chat with, she’s a cornucopia of helpful tips and we talked a lot about ScoopIt and YouTube. And, I’ve asked her to take BlogAid’s YouTube channel as a case study and see if we can bring it back up to par. And, I’m going to make a video of our session. So, be sure to catch the podcast later this week and you know I’m going to follow up on what she says about ways to improve my YouTube channel. (Quick, look in the sidebar >> you can even subscribe to the podcast.)
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday podcast. You know you can find this podcast on iTunes, as well as Stitcher, and the Blackberry Podcast. You can also subscribe directly to the RSS via email in the sidebar of the site. Visit BlogAid.net for more tips, tutorials, and free resources to make your site better.
And I’ll see you online!