Hello Happy Site Owners!
Tips this week include:
- A Blab on the Non-Geek Guide to Site Speed, Caching, and CDNs on Wednesday
- The Adventures in Visibility Blab on Thursday with host Denise Wakeman, where she’ll have me spill the beans on how I make more money and get higher visibility with video marketing
- A free plugins audit webinar where we go over your plugins list live
- The Shiny Update coming to WordPress 4.6
- What’s up with the Filament and Flare plugin retirement
- A plugin to import Word doc files to WordPress and the way I do it
- A report on how outdated plugins are the number one way sites get hacked and how to protect yourself
Listen to the podcast
It’s been a coo coo week around here. I’m getting my house ready to put on the market and looking for a new place to be. We expect my house to sell quickly and I need to be sure I have some place to go first! So things are jumping here and make their own schedule. Some days that project is so disruptive that I can hardly think to get any work done. But we finally hit an ebb and I’m working on some big client projects and getting a lot of behind-the scenes stuff ready for you.
First, let me tell you about 3 upcoming events that you’ll definitely want to attend.
The Non-Geek Guide to Site Speed, Caching, and CDNs – WP Blab Ep. 30
Wed 6/8 at 1pm ET / 10am PT
Caching and CDNs are one of the most confusing aspects of site performance. Join me for a chat about them, in plain English, and learn how they work, and why there is no one-size-fits-all way of doing it. And the great thing about Blab is, you can ask your questions live.
Adventures in Visibility – How to Grow Your Visibility and Business with Live Video – with host Denise Wakeman
Thursday, 6/9 at 1pm ET / 10 am PT
I am thrilled to be a guest on the next Adventures in Visibility with visibility expert and host Denise Wakeman this Thursday. We are going to be discussing how video has changed the entire content marketing landscape and how you can get in on this gold rush too.
Join us on Thursday, 1pm ET / 10am PT where I’ll share the strategies I’m using to grow my visibility and business using live video.
Free Plugin Audit
Thur June 16 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT
Wondering if you’ve got the best plugins on your site? Maybe you have potential resource hogs, or just want to know if you have them set up right. Well, now’s your chance to get a free audit.
Join me for a zero-pitch, all help, no hype, free webinar where we’ll do live reviews on your plugins list.
The webinar is free, but you have do a little sweat equity to get your plugins reviewed.
First, make a spreadsheet or doc of all of your plugins, including what they do.
Include any that are deactivated too.
Then do the following:
Send your list to me
Show up live for the webinar so we can chat about your plugins
You can contact me via the site and I’ll reply with an email address to send your list, or share your Google Doc or such with me, whatever is easier for you to do.
You must attend live to have your plugins reviewed.
And I want to send a shout out and thank you to everyone who has responded to my emails after subscribing to BlogAid News for letting me know the best time for you to attend webinars. The two most popular times are Thursday at 1pm ET or 8pm ET. And the next most popular time is Saturday at 8pm ET. It’s been a long while since I’ve done a webinar or show on a weeknight, which is why I’m doing this webinar on a Thursday night, so more folks can attend.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
If you ever input the URL WP.org, you might have been shocked to discover that it redirected you to the WPBeginner site. Well, no more. Syed finally donated the domain to the WordPress Foundation. He and his wife are pregnant and that caused him to have to update his will and other paperwork. He decided the domain should be donated to the Foundation rather than go on the auction block should anything happen to him.
Nice move Syed, and congratulations to you and your wife.
“The Bleak screen of Sadness™ that users encounter when installing/updating/deleting plugins or themes is a terrible experience for WordPress users.”
That’s the lead line in this post on the WordPress dev site. And that phrase, “the Bleak screen of Sadness” has been trademarked. Really? Someone actually spent money to protect such a phrase?
Anyway, they want to spruce up the update screen and remove all the tech talk that they say, “is disruptive to user workflows, pulling them out of the context of plugins or themes, and dropping them into a screen filled with technical details that most users don’t care about or don’t understand.”
The WP devs came up with a plugin some time ago called Shiny Updates that ever so slightly changes the update notification page. Basically, it gets rid of the tech talk and has a logo of whatever needs updating with just a little text description.
They propose adding this to the WordPress core.
I believe they think the shiny new interface will make more folks eager to keep their sites up to date.
Yeah, sure it will. Not!!!!
Outdated plugins, themes, and even WordPress itself are the number one cause of hacks, which you’ll hear more about in a moment. Way more than brute force attacks. So, if you have installed security plugins like WordFence or Login Lockdown, good for you. But, keeping everything updated will be the thing that saves your bacon the most often.
You can see a screenshot of what the new interface looks like in the post. They have videos of the old and new ways too, but I couldn’t get the new way video to play for me.
Oh, and they say that because there have been 8,000 downloads of this plugin, that warrants putting it into the core. Hardly.
There have been 4-5 posts dedicated to this project on the dev site, so we can probably expect to see it included with WordPress 4.6. The Beta release of that is expected by the end of June.
Remember when Flare was all the rage for social sharing buttons? Well, the parent company, Filament, is retiring. Service ends June 30th. So if you have that plugin, you need to be prepared.
Copying and pasting from a Word doc can be a formatting disaster in WordPress. The WP text editor is supposed to strip out all extraneous formatting, but even when it does, you could still end up with double paragraph spacing and other issues to clean up.
I use Word 2010 and save my docs in the old .doc format instead of the new .docx format. I also made a few changes to the normal.dotm file to get rid of the double line spacing between paragraphs. It pastes perfectly into WordPress for me.
But, if you don’t want to make those modifications, WPBeginner has a nice write up on a plugin that converts .docx files for WordPress formatting.
So, if you have slow internet speeds and prefer to write your posts offline, or don’t want the security risk of turning on XML-RPC to use Windows Live Writer, then these two options may be the solution for you.
For more info on that security issue, see my post on why you should turn off XML-RPC
The WordPress magazine, Torque, breaks down a recent report from Sucuri which verifies that most site hacks come from outdated plugins.
And while 25% as a grand total may not sound like a lot, when you consider that there are 46 million self-hosted WP sites, that comes out to be over 1 million sites hacked from something that is completely preventable.
These days, a lot of the security issues are proactively found prior to being exploited in the wild, and quietly reported to the plugin devs so they can release a patch prior to any public announcement.
That’s why it is so vitally important that you have your site backed up often, like daily with VaultPress (see my post on ways to save money and site performance) get a plugin like WP Rollback, and log into your site regularly to check for update notices and do them.
That’s also why it’s crazy important for you to check up on your plugins regularly too.
I hope you’ll attend my plugins webinar to ensure your plugins are up to snuff. Did I mention it’s free?
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
Find these tips helpful? Share them with your peeps!!!!
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