Hello Happy Site Owners!
Tips this week include:
- Seriously old plugins challenge coming soon
- WordPress ending support for old versions of IE
- WordPress 4.7.4 added code that’s bad for SEO
- Headway Themes dying a slow death
- The new ad blocker coming to the Chrome browser
Listen to the podcast
Shout out Thank You
Debra, Marilyn, Tim, Denise, Florence for sharing posts. I know it’s not your usual share for your peeps and I really appreciate you doing that to help other bloggers in our niche find me.
I see you and appreciate you!!!
SEO Workshop Happenings
Yesterday we had a bonus session on Zoom for more on categories and SEO. We covered how to make changes to them and why. Plus we covered some of the caveats in making those changes.
Thursday we’ll round out our scheduled tutorial sessions with one on Google Search Console and how it helps you find SEO issues.
Then next week we’ll have our final open Q&A session where we’ll talk more about ranking, now that we all have our proper SEO foundation laid out.
Overall it’s been a super productive workshop for everyone, including me. I’ve been doing some spring cleaning on my site with each homework session too. Workshops are great for holding you accountable for getting in and getting done. And done is good, right?
Site Audit Fixes Workshop
Today I’ll be meeting with my webmasters for our second workshop on how to run site audits and then common fixes for things I find in them to improve both security and performance.
I have a couple more workshops coming up in the next two months that I’ll likely be opening to the public as well, for things like how to set up a site securely and then how to convert a site to HTTPS. I’ve got them on the drawing board, so will see what all I can include in one session.
HTTPS Conversion for DIY Site Owners Webinar Replay
And today is the last day to see the replay for this free webinar. An email with the replay link was sent to all who registered, and a reminder sent last night, so check your spam folders if you haven’t seen that email.
If you’re ready to get help with your conversion, click here to learn more about the HTTPS process.
If you didn’t register for the webinar, be sure to see these two posts:
Seriously Old Plugins Challenge Coming Soon
Man, do we ever have a seriously old plugin problem!!!!! While checking sites for PHP7 compatibility, I’ve started running across all manner of plugins that have not been updated in over 5 years, many of which have big security issues too.
We need to get all that stuff off our sites. Problem is, we all don’t have time to properly research and vet plugin replacements, right?
For the month of May, I’m putting together a challenge that all of us can participate in and pool our resources to help identify the old plugins and good replacements.
I’ll have more for you on that in the coming weeks.
BlogAid News subscribers will be the first to hear about it, so do be sure you’re on that list.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
There are two really big news stories with WordPress this week.
You may recall in a previous Tips Tuesday where I shared the results of a survey conducted by the devs at WordPress and a very lengthy discussion that followed for whether they would continue or drop support for any Internet Explorer browser versions below 11.
Well, the decision has been made.
Even though lots of enterprise level companies and organizations are still stuck using older versions of IE, the WP devs are not going to let that hold back future development any longer.
WP’s next major release of 4.8 will drop support for IE below version 10.
This is a really big deal because the WP devs had to balance their desire to include more sweeping changes to the Text Editor and Customizer with the ability of enterprise level businesses to build on WP.
They sided with future development potential.
Heck, even the IE creator, Microsoft, no longer supports those old versions either.
So, we’re full steam ahead with those sweeping changes and I’ll keep you posted as they release them.
I don’t know about y’all, but I look at the code in Text View mode quite often when I’m creating posts and pages, especially on my test sites.
For the past week I’ve noticed a new code attribute of rel=”noopener noreferrer” on links set to open in a new tab/window.
The only thing that had changed on my site since this showed up was the WP 4.7.4, and that is the cause.
Turns out that setting the target to blank has a small security issue.
The noopener attribute takes care of that, except that FireFox doesn’t support it yet. So, they added the noreferrer attribute to cover all the bases.
The problem with it is that noreferrer dumps all the Google link juice.
That’s going to hurt your SEO, especially on internal page links.
But if you’ll notice at the end of that post, it says that there was a core change in WP 4.5 that took care of it. You can read more about the 4.5 fix here.
If that’s true, not sure why they went this extra step other than an overabundance of caution.
There is a post with a code fix and I’ll be checking into the best way to have just the noopener code for now, as I don’t want to tank my internal SEO until they get this worked out.
And, I’m betting someone is already working on a plugin fix for it, which would be my preference, until we know if they are going to reverse this in the WP core code in the near future.
I’ll keep you posted on that.
But what ticks me off is that there is zero mention of this in the summary notes of changes in WP 4.7.4.
Y’all know I read through all those notes to keep us ahead of the curve with stuff like this.
So, lots of folks will only discover it when their special link tracking code or SEO starts to tank.
Not cool WP, not cool at all.
Y’all may recall me reporting in a Tips Tuesday several months ago that it looked like the Headway Theme folks may be closing shop.
The nice folks at WP Tavern have been keeping tabs on the situation and report that it looks like Headway is indeed on the way down, just more slowly than we anticipated.
All I can say is, if you’re using a Headway theme, you need to make other arrangements sooner rather than later.
I want to thank Yoast for the heads up on this news from The Wall Street Journal.
Google has announced that it is going to put an ad blocker in the Chrome browser by default.
Now, it’s not going to block all ads.
“Filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.”
I, for one, am thrilled to hear this.
Now, I know many of you make your entire site income from ads.
But here’s what I know about the ad networks.
They don’t give a damn about you and your site. Their loyalty is to those who purchase the ads.
You go to a whale of a lot of trouble and expense to make your site look nice.
If those ad networks cared about you, they would have never placed those skanky looking, blinking ads on your site that make me think I’ll download a computer virus if I clicked on them.
They would also not have taken so long to deliver the ads from a CDN to speed them up. Instead, they let you work your ass off to build traffic to 10k hits a day, only to have folks bounce after waiting 40 seconds for your page to load.
And they for sure wouldn’t let ads refresh the page 10 times, making it jump back up to the top while a visitor is trying to read the content they came there for.
Maybe this change from Google will help change all that.
I’ve been wanting to place ads on my woodcarving site for years, but there’s zero way I was going to create this type of bad experience for my visitors.
So, I’m still going to stick with doing more sponsored ads for it in the future and kept tabs on what the ad networks do with regard to this new ad block in Chrome.
I’ll also add that my site audit clients who followed my advice and put a limit on how many ad placements they offered, and got their sites running super fast, are making way more money now. One of my clients tripled her income.
So, fewer ads and a faster site ensured that more of those visitors she worked so hard for actually saw the ads and had the opportunity to click on them.
They also have more repeat viewers now too and are successfully building a tribe.
I’ll be keeping an eye on how all this plays out.
Do you run ads on your site? What do you think about it?
Please do leave a comment on the blog, or wherever you see this post online.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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