Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- New DIY SEO tutorials coming out this week
- New Quick Check Booster for site audit clients to get their sites spiffied up prior to heavy holiday traffic
- What you need to do before WordPress 5.2.3 rolls out on Wednesday
- Why I’m excited about the start of a new Gutenberg block directory
- Why I’m giving Astra Themes a serious look as an alternative to Genesis
- What you can expect when migrating off SiteGround after the release their new custom control panel
- What I’m updating in my Migration Checklist
- Problems with some SMTP email plugins due to changes at GSuites
- What to do before and after you remove the Disable Genesis Schema plugin
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 9pm ET / 6pm PT on the BlogAid Facebook Page. It’s a great way to get the deeper story on what’s reported in Tips Tuesday. And, I almost always have breaking news for the day too. So come join us live for the party.
It’s been a wonderfully productive week here, and the most wonderful fall-like weather too. We had a cool front come through that broke the heat wave and it has stuck around with pleasant temps, no rain, and a little lower humidity. It’s amazing how much good weather can energize you!!
I have lots of clients on the east coast and I’m sending good vibes that all of you are safe during the hurricane.
New DIY SEO Tutorials Underway
This past weekend I got started on the new DIY SEO tutorials.
I’m revamping a whole bunch of the Yoast SEO tutorials. And because of the way I’m doing them, I’ll have to release them in a batch all at once. I have 5-6 new ones for Yoast SEO that should be out today or tomorrow.
And I have a few more to do for Search Console to do this week too.
So, look for an email about those soon if you’re in the course.
DIY SEO Booster Survey
Due to the U.S. holiday this week, and due to the length of time it may take some folks to do the latest Booster in the DIY SEO course for deleting old content, we’re going two weeks with it instead of just one.
But, I will have a Booster email out for you on Thursday and it will have a link to a two question survey.
We have a choice of 2-3 things we could do in the next Booster, and I want to hear from you about what will help you the most.
Working My Wait List
If you’re on my wait list for site services, know that I’m wrapping up several projects that went longer than expected this week and will be onboarding new projects.
So, look for emails if your project is coming to the top.
I’m getting to everyone as fast as I can.
I had several folks who requested to have their projects delayed until at least mid September, so I guarantee that I’ll be booking all new projects into October.
So, if you want any type of site service this fall, best to contact me now to get on the list.
Quick Check Booster for Site Audit Clients
We’re dashing into the busy fall and holiday season. And that means most of my site audit clients who do food/craft/lifestyle blogs are already gearing up.
So, I’m starting a Quick Check Booster for them with weekly emails to check one thing on their site.
This is a great way to ensure your site is all spiffied up and working properly for all that seasonal traffic you’ll be getting.
So, look for the first email on that on Wednesday.
This is just one of MANY free perks you get as a site audit client.
That’s all the news around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
WordPress 5.2.3 set to release on Wed, Sept 4
This will be an auto update.
Take a full backup today.
READ: WordPress Backup Checklist to ensure you are truly getting a full backup where the files are stored off site, and one that you know how to restore if you ever need it.
One of the items I’m keeping close watch on for the WordPress 5.3 release in November is the start of a new Block Directory.
It will be similar to the current WP Plugins repository.
And it will make finding and installing blocks as easy as it is to install plugins.
I don’t think the WP devs could have imagined just how many new blocks would be created in less than a year of the Gutenberg release.
This thing is moving like a bullet train.
And block devs are actually way ahead of WP, as far as development, with making WP a full theme and page builder.
That’s Phase 2 of Gutenberg that’s in development now.
So, it will be interesting to see what the WP devs include in the core for Gutenberg with seeing how many theme and plugin devs have already beat them to it with what we have in the core now.
I think we’ll see a complete revolution of WP in 2020 with all of this.
It’s definitely time to get on the Gutenberg train, and my Gutenberg Ninja course will help you do that quickly and easily.
If you’ve been following Tips Tuesday, including the livestream on Tuesday nights, you know that I’ve been giving a serious look at Astra Themes lately as an alternative to Genesis.
I LOVE their Ultimate Add-Ons Blocks plugin and can’t wait to circle around to doing a batch of tutorial updates for the Gutenberg Course on them.
And that got me interested in checking deeply into their themes.
Some of my clients and webmaster/designers have already been experimenting with them.
They look good and they are super fast.
Well, Astra just released a 2.0 update that is even faster.
I’ve been in touch with the Astra folks all week and they are delighted to work closely with me.
I’ll be doing speed tests and reviewing all of the Gutenberg themes and showing some off in the Gutenberg Ninja course.
So, look for reports on that as soon as I can get to it, which will be later in September, I hope.
Moving Off SiteGround
If you’re on SiteGround and plan to leave to another host, it will have to be a manual migration once their new custom control panel gets rolled out for everyone.
If you run your email through your hosting, make other arrangements, like using GSuites instead, as moving the email box at the host will be an extra migration cost.
And you may want me to help with the migration, as the DNS records for your email, plus any special FTP account will have to be recreated manually at the new host.
I checked with NameHero and they have agreed to waive the manual migration fee for my clients when I am project managing the migration, as I help make the move clean and easy for all of us. That’s contingent on it just being your site files and database that get moved, not email. And me doing the pre-checks before the migration so we can clean up any files or conditions that will not play well on NameHero’s correctly configured, and finely tuned servers.
I recently migrated a client to NameHero and we ran into all manner of issues due to super old setups at the domain registrar and the old host that were deeply hidden.
So, I’ll be adding quite a bit to my migration checklist soon about cleaning up and checking for those hidden things prior to the move.
One of them involves conflicting configuration of PHP settings on older accounts.
There can be things hidden all over in places that I normally didn’t check before, especially for folks who were originally on EIG owned hosts like HostGator and Bluehost.
I’m checking them now.
And, I’m adding them to my site audit checklist now too.
NameHero’s finely, and correctly tuned servers don’t play well with leftover junk from these older style hosting setups. So all of it needs to come out prior to the move, or prior to the DNS being pointed to the new host.
And thank goodness for NameHero’s sharp Tier 3 support folks for helping us identify and locate the source of those odd, old things too!!!
I’ll be adding new tutorials in my Webmaster Training for Designers course too, so they can avoid these issues as well.
The Gmail SMTP plugin is having issues with GSuites’ new security/auth setup, if that has rolled out to your GSuites account.
It hit mine in early August and I could no longer access my emails via my iPad Gmail app. And some of my member sites weren’t sending all of their system emails either.
The WP Mail SMTP plugin isn’t having issues with it.
But when you switch plugins, you will need to re-authorize the API with GSuites.
Don’t ask me how this is done – I hire out email setup stuff.
Just be sure you test if you are using a plugin to help with email delivery now and see if you need to make a change.
Before you make the plugin change I’ll tell you about in a moment, you may want to run one of your posts through Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and check your current schema markup output.
Click on Webpage in the right pane, and check your schema output.
Remove Disable Genesis Schema Plugin
If you have updated your site to Genesis 3.1.x, then you can now delete the Disable Genesis Schema plugin we had to add a few months ago when Yoast SEO 11.0 came out and took over our schema markup output, which conflicted directly with the schema markup natively output by Genesis.
In the latest Genesis 3.1 update, they made a way to detect if you are using Yoast SEO and will auto turn off the Genesis schema markup and let Yoast take lead.
And thank you so much to long-time developer and teacher Bill Erickson for making a plugin to fix this conflict in the meantime.
I realize what it is like to have a production schedule for updates. I’m on one myself.
But, I’m sad that Genesis never said a word about this issue in the first place and left it to a 3rd party developer to make a way to fix the conflict. And I’m sad that they buried any word about the fix in their changelog for version 3.1.
And I apologize to my followers for missing that. I was super concerned about our footers breaking in the update that I missed it.
Thanks to Marilyn Lesniak for calling my attention to it, and for Larry Snow pointing it out in the changelog.
Recheck Your Schema Output
Once you deactivate the Disable Genesis Schema plugin, purge cache everywhere and wait 10 minutes, especially if you are on Cloudflare.
Then run that post through the Structured Data Testing Tool again and ensure your schema output is the same.
If it is, then you know it’s safe to delete the plugin.
I’ve deleted it on all of my sites and checked them again the next day and all was well.
But, it never hurts to run your own tests too, just to be sure.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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