Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- A fast and free way you can directly support me and BlogAid
- The replay is ready for you on the Power of In-Person Videos chat with Denise Wakeman
- A live chat with Kate Ahl on Wed with tips for rebranding your site
- The Content Revamp How-To workshop is live this Thur in the DIY SEO course
- Do you need an IRL blogging buddy – and where to find them
- Would you like BlogAid Office Hours?
- A little bump in the road with the Grow plugin last week
- A new beta setting that may speed up Grow
- More goofiness at SiteGround
- What to do if you get a cURL 28 error in your Site Health Check report
- Why more clients are migrating off Lyrical Hosting
- Is Bluehost okay for beginner bloggers – and my advice that may shock you
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 8pm ET / 5pm 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.
Who I Help
All tips, advice, and suggestions in this, and all BlogAid posts and tutorials, are intended to empower DIY site owners who are not on hosting that is restrictive in what you can and can’t do with your site and hosting setup.
Heck of a week here. There were a lot of fires to put out and I didn’t get nearly done what I wanted to do this week. And I’ll tell you about some of those fires in just a bit.
But, I had to put the new theme speed tests on the back burner, as well as my new posts and videos for Heartwood Art and any shop time.
Nor did I get the chance to look at any of the data with the new Web Vitals metrics from Google.
I’ll be getting caught up on all of that and more this week, I hope, and I appreciate your patience with me.
Rate and Review the Tips Tuesday Podcast
If you’re listening to the podcast, I sure would appreciate you going over to iTunes and leaving a rating for it.
And if you have just one minute more, please leave a super quick review saying how much you enjoy the free and helpful info you get on BlogAid that is contributing directly to your site’s success.
It’s a free and fast way to support me and BlogAid and all of the non-billable hours I donate to bring you this timely info.
Videos are a super way to get bunches more eyeballs for you. And there are bunches of ways to repurpose that content too across multiple platforms.
You can catch the replay of the live chat I had last week with visibility expert Denise Wakeman on just how many ways there are to do videos and great tips and tools she shared for how to turn those recordings into more content the easy way.
And, I released the audio as a podcast, but I think it is back dated a couple of weeks to when I published the post. So be sure to look for it in your podcast stream.
Join me this Wed, June 10 at 3pm ET / 12pm PT
I’m thrilled to be chatting live this week with Kate Ahl of Simple Pin Media about the best ways to rebrand your site.
We’ll cover the site tech aspects in non-geek-speak as well as the best ways to handle Pinterest.
So, if you’re thinking about changing domains or niching down with your site, you will definitely want to join us live and get your questions answered too.
Be sure to see the Events page on Facebook and click the button so you get notifications.
And the livestream will be on the BlogAid Facebook page.
This is it!!! We’re on the final live workshop in the DIY SEO course.
And this Thursday we’ll cover all of the actual how-tos with revamping your content.
That includes how to
- And what to watch for in Google Search Console
We want to ensure that folks don’t do more SEO harm than good. So we’re going over how to do things the best way, the first time.
And there is most definitely an SEO price to pay, especially if you just start deleting posts.
Best Wishes to Maria Colomy
And I want to send a special shout out to my dear friend, Maria Colomy.
We met maybe a decade ago at a WordPress Meetup in Nashville, or maybe it was another group.
Maria is a top-tier graphic designer who branched out into website design. She found me and WordPress and that changed everything for her.
She now has her dream job as the marketing director for a company that she truly believes in with people she just adores.
And she is moving across the country this week to be near family and a little closer to the home office of her company.
She is also my favorite lunch date buddy and I was so happy to have been able to have lunch with her again this weekend before she left.
And I want to wish her well on this new leg of her adventure.
Do You Need an IRL Blogging Buddy?
Many of us work from home and our family and friends don’t really understand what we do.
I think it’s very important to have blogging buddies, especially in real life (IRL) so we can talk shop.
A WordPress Meetup group might be a good place to start.
In fact, you can easily see any near your area by just logging into your site.
On the Dashboard, look for a WordPress Events module. If you don’t see it, go up to Screen Options and turn it on.
It will list WP activities near your location, based on your IP address.
Would You Like BlogAid Office Hours?
Back in the day I used to run a regular open Q&A session on Blab where folks could ask or chat about anything they wanted that was site related.
I’m thinking about doing that again on Facebook for the public, or maybe just do private Zoom meetings for my site audit clients and webmasters.
And maybe alternate the times and days so more folks can join in.
What do you think? Would you be interested in doing something like that every 2-4 weeks?
Please leave me a comment here on the blog or anywhere you see this post online.
That’s the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Grow Had a Pinterest Glitch
One of the mini fires that came up this week involved the Grow plugin, formerly Social Pug.
I’d like to thank Tammy Adams of My Life Abundant for letting me know that the plugin had a glitch for just a hot minute with the Pinterest share button.
At first they called it a conflict with WP Fastest Cache, but it appears that it was a bug they could fix in their own code, which they did.
The latest version of it does not have a glitch now.
Speeding Up Grow
A couple of years ago I did speed and function tests on all free and paid share button plugins.
Well, it’s on my to do list this year to retest because there are new plugins and most all of the ones I did test have changed to the point that it affects both function and speed.
One of the big things I noticed with Social Pug in those tests was that no optimization plugin could speed it up as much as I thought it needed to be.
And it always put its CSS and JS files near the top of the requests.
We don’t need to see share buttons right away, so it would be great if we could defer those things and let the visible content load first instead.
So, maybe that will be released fully into the plugin before I get around to doing those tests later this summer too. We’ll see.
More SiteGround Goofiness
Some of the other fires I had to put out this week were due to getting a client on SiteGround detangled from all of their custom hoohaa, like server-side caching, HTTPS redirects, and more.
All kinds of issues started showing up on the site when we started pulling the threads on those cheat ways of doing things.
We got it all squared away, of course. And now her site is fast and secure and independent of most all SiteGround’s goofy ways of doing things. The only things left are the goofy virtual pointers for add-on and sub-domains and such. But we have to leave those as they are for as long as she stays at that host.
I’ll be so very glad when all of my clients come off SiteGround and I don’t have to deal with their goofiness anymore!!
cURL 28 Error in Site Health Check Report
Another thing that happened during all those changes was a plugin having a bug.
In the WP Site Health Check report, it showed a cURL 28 error that said the REST API could not connect and showed a loopback error.
It ended up being the Contact Form BestWebSoft plugin.
We updated to the latest version of it and that took care of both issues.
But, that cURL 28 error made it look like something was wrong on the host server-side or with the DNS.
So, anytime you see an issue in the Site Health Check report, treat it like the old saying – when you hear hooves, think horses, not zebras.
Do a backup and all of your updates first and see if that fixes it before you contact the host.
Migrating Clients off Lyrical Hosting
You may have read my recent post on What is Managed Hosting?
The word “managed” means radically different things at every host.
And I explain the difference in “fully managed” hosts and all other hosts.
Fully managed means that they have a super custom setup for both speed and security. It also means that they lock you and folks like me out of the backside so that you can’t goof with those special settings either.
So, you’re stuck with the speed and security they deliver and if it’s not good enough, too bad.
On the other hand, you can call the host for any little thing, even if it’s not a hosting issue, which most site problems aren’t.
So, that’s what you’re really paying all the extra high dollar hosting fees for.
Well, my site audit clients can save that money because they are educated on the performance and security measures that have been taken and they can easily keep their site fast and secure themselves. And they don’t have constant issues because they know what all of their plugins do and how to properly maintain their sites.
And all of this is done in non-geek speak and none of them are techie.
But, back to our main point.
Lyrical is a fully managed host based in the U.K.
They have insanely good customer service.
What they don’t have is all the speed a site needs. And their free speed test is worth what you pay for it.
They do have their own CDN, but it’s a small network and not nearly as big as Cloudflare, although they do offer to put you on it.
But, I know I can do better for my clients with both speed and security.
So, they are starting to move off Lyrical.
And it’s a bit of mess, as Lyrical does not put the site back to standard first, as other fully managed hosts do, like WPEngine.
So, we have several extra steps we have to take in both the prep prior to migration and the things we have to do during and after.
I’ll be taking speed tests prior to the move.
And then I’ll take a final test after we move and do the audit and all of the fixes for speed and security too.
Lyrical is one of the hosts on my list to do head to head speed tests on with the exact same site. So, I will have the apples to apples data later this year to prove my point too.
Is Bluehost Okay for Beginner Bloggers?
I know some of y’all are saying, “Wait! What?” right now.
I’m helping several clients migrate off Bluehost right now too.
We’re combining that migration with a site audit to save money, as so many of the checks and fixes overlap.
And here’s why I say Bluehost is okay for a beginner blogger.
A full 80% of folks who start a blog either totally give up within the first year, or never devote serious time to it to make a real go of it.
Bluehost has the easiest on-boarding experience for newbies, and that is why so many “how to start a blog” courses recommend them. It’s not just for the affiliate commission. It’s for super duper ease getting folks new to all of this setup and going.
Bluehost is dirt cheap. Most new bloggers are in a freebie mindset and they just blew all of their spare money on a “how to start a blog” course.
So, they need cheap hosting and domain name.
That’s what makes Bluehost okay to start with.
But, it’s not okay to stay there.
For one, they use a super old server setup that is slow.
Second, they don’t allow full security measures, so the account gets chewed up by bots that are using the hosting resources that should be reserved for human visitors.
Third, there is a greater risk of getting hacked.
Of the 20% of site owners that do survive and get serious about making money with their sites, some of them find blogger groups that are full of more experienced folks. And that’s when they learn they need to come off Bluehost and start paying for premium plugins, and other ways they need to invest in their business.
That’s also when folks find me, because they can finally hear me and the advice I offer.
So, if you are on Bluehost still, don’t feel bad.
Just don’t stay there.
Give me a shout when you’re ready to move and get your site all fast and secure and where it can make you more money.
That’s how your investment with me, and in your site education, pays for itself.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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