Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- A new format for Tips Tuesday
- Report on the grand opening of the Gutenberg Ninja Course
- Big changes coming to the BlogAid Learning Center – home of the DIY SEO course
- Why I temporarily closed purchase to the Webmaster Training
- A new tour and tutorial on Formidable Forms
- A huge thank you to my business visionary coach
- The journey all site owners go through moving from a newb to a money-making mindset
- An update on the Cloudflare/Facebook issue
- An update on the new directive I found lurking in your SiteGround files
- A potential bug in the latest Scriptless Social Sharing plugin update
- A big change to the Facebook API for showing share counts
- Google is rolling out a big algorithm update right now, and where to look for changes
- A follow up from Yoast on potential auto updates coming to the plugin
- Some seriously interesting video stats that is encouraging to keep doing more of them
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 open Q&A time for what caught your attention in this week’s tips or whatever you’d like to discuss about your site success. And, I always have breaking news for the day too. So come join us live for the party.
We’re trying a slightly different version of Tips Tuesday for a while. It’s more of a need-to-know- now set of tips and info, instead of so much looking down the road and reports of what’s coming. We’ll do that when it’s time to take action. And, depending on the news, it may be a little shorter on some weeks. But not this week!
Do let me know what you think of the new version.
I’m delighted to see how many folks jumped right on the discounts during the launch celebration!!
And I’ve been even more thrilled to hear your enthusiastic feedback about how good the course is too!!!!!
I definitely want to show off your kind words on BlogAid.
Please contact me and I’ll send you the wee bit of info I need for a testimonial. It doesn’t have to be more than a sentence or too. Just let folks know how much you’re enjoying the course.
As I’ve already let folks in the DIY SEO course know, I’m making some upgrades and improvements to the BlogAid Learning Center membership site.
The site will be closed for maintenance during those upgrades.
I’ll be sending an email out as soon as me and my team confirm the day we’re going to do it, but right now it’s looking like tomorrow (Wed).
And I’ll send another email when it’s done, along with the new features that you’ll see.
New Purchase Temporarily Closed on Webmaster Training
The revamp I’m doing on on the BlogAid Learning Center site impacts my payment gateway. So, I’ve temporarily removed the ability to purchase on the Webmaster Training site as well.
It will be the next revamp that I do.
All tutorials are still accessible, though, so no disruption on that.
I’ve been having issues with contact form delivery since before I moved to new hosting. As I was troubleshooting the problem, I decided that it was time to change to a more modern contact form plugin.
Formidable Forms met all the criteria I needed in their free version, so that’s what I’m using.
And I made a tutorial for you if you want to see some of what it can do.
I’ll have a post for you later on all the other plugins I checked and why I wanted to switch from Contact Form 7.
iTunes is Shutting Down and Will Be Replaced by Apple Music App
I have no idea what this will do to your current podcast subscriptions, so you may want to Google it to find out, as there are tons of reports on it, but few details in that regard.
Also, I’ve been using iTunes to create the id3 tags for this podcast. I’m on the hunt for another id3 generator.
Please do share what you use in the comments, or anywhere you see this post online.
This past week I had an amazing consult with business visionary Stephanie Calahan and boy, did she ever help me gain perfect clarity on the way I want to move BlogAid forward.
Stephanie came to me as a site client years ago and we are so happy to help each other in our unique ways.
If you’re a consultant, service provider, or coach, and you’re looking to take your business to the next level and harness your brilliance, Stephanie can help you do that. She has for me on several occasions and she just nails it every time.
Heartwood Art Update
I hope you had a chance to read my latest post in the hobby to money-making site series on moving from a newb to a money-making mindset.
It revolves around the money-making opportunities behind my switch to a different CAD program and a course I bought to learn it for making my mitre saw station build plans.
It also reflects the journey of one of my new site audit clients who started out on WP.com, made the switch to self-hosted, started making a little money and is now ready to get super serious about investing in her site success education so she can make even more money.
So do go give it a read as I believe you’ll find it inspirational to your own journey.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Update on Cloudflare and Facebook
I did hear back from Cloudflare about potential changes to the way we have all of the various firewalls set up there. And I can tell you that any changes are going to take some testing, and that’s going to take a while.
Right now we have countries challenged in the IP Firewall. Facebook has suddenly started scanning from Brazil, which is one of the bad bot countries we have challenged, and we want to keep that country challenged for those bad bots.
The new suggestion from Cloudflare is that we handle this via the new Firewall Rules instead of in the IP Firewall. This new way actually has a pretty big caveat to it. Whatever gets whitelisted that way runs end around the WAF (Web Application Firewall) entirely, you know, the thing we’re paying for. And I don’t like that.
So for now, we are going to stay with the fix we have.
This way was the fix they initially suggested and retains our country bad bot protection and our full WAF protection. And that whitelist for just Facebook auto updates for us so this kind of block shouldn’t happen again no matter what country Facebook scans from.
That sounds more like a win-win-win to me and we may just leave it right there.
The main thing is, I feel confident endorsing that fix now that I know fully what is going on, and what the options are, and which way is going to work best, in my opinion.
If it has been over a year since you’ve had a site audit checkup, now would be a good time to book one as there have been 20 other updates at Cloudflare in the past year alone for both speed and security, plus changes to some of the security and performance directives I installed for you at your host.
I know most of you keep your own calendar on that, but I’ll be going through my client list to see who is overdue and I’ll be contacting you soon.
If you haven’t had a site audit yet, now is the time to get all this extra speed and security that you’re missing.
In fact, I just had a reply on one of my posts from last week about SiteGround and how she keeps getting warnings that they are going to shut down her account for CPU abuse – this with her having little traffic. That’s a bot problem that a site audit will show and we can fix. The only help the host can give you is to increase your hosting package. That’s just more room for the bots to run.
Update on New Directive at SiteGround
I hope you did have a chance to read my assessment of the changes that have been happening at SiteGround over the last year as they morph into a pseudo managed hosting company.
I call it pseudo managed because to me, WPEngine sets the standard of what true, do-it-for-you managed hosting is. And SiteGround and others are not that.
FYI, I don’t endorse fully managed hosting for DIY site owners. That’s for totally hands off site owners.
I have a new site audit client that has agreed to help me test removal of the latest new directive SiteGround silently slipped into your wp-config file.
It is to suppress some notifications in the new Site Health Check feature that rolled in with the WP 5.2 update.
I’m not advocating that everyone rush to have it taken out.
Let’s see what becomes of it.
My main point of the post I wrote is to inform you of what’s going on with SiteGround if you host there. And for you to be aware of the trend they have taken with a sort of strange middle place in managing some elements of not only your hosting, but also WordPress that may conflict with the suggestions I recommend. So, do read the post if you haven’t yet.
Scriptless Social Sharing Update Goof
The latest update makes buttons line up in a column on desktop for some folks.
If you’re experiencing this, see my post on how to use WP Rollback to revert to a previous version.
And then let the dev know about it in the plugin forum. Robyn is very responsive to address issues and get fixes out quickly.
Change to Facebook API for Share Counts
In the latest Social Pug update, there was a notification that Facebook has changed their API and the way we connect to it. The plugin dev made an easy way for us to do this.
The problem is, it has to be updated every 2 months. And he included an auto reminder for that too.
To my knowledge, this only affects share counts.
Those things have been inaccurate for the last 2 years, slow down your page load, and don’t increase shares.
In my opinion, you should seriously consider getting rid of them. Don’t let vanity numbers get in the way of doing what’s best for your site.
The new algorithm has been rolling out since Sunday.
I know my DIY SEO members have already been in the habit of checking their Search Console rankings regularly.
It will be interesting to see who benefits and who gets slammed with this latest big change.
I’ll be watching for reports of what it hit and will be sharing those in the private Facebook group for the course. Please do comment there with what you’re seeing too.
Last week, Team Yoast did a post on why they are dedicated to releasing new plugin updates every two weeks.
The big news in that post is in the last paragraph.
And I read it to mean that they would be making major releases auto update.
I made a comment on their blog post, as well as where they shared it on Facebook, that I wasn’t thrilled about the idea of doing auto updates for major releases.
I cited the recent 11.0 release and that we held off doing that update until after we had a chance to get a fix in place for the sudden schema markup conflict our themes would have with it.
Yoast replied to my comment that no auto updates for major releases is planned. Or that it will be an opt-in choice.
So, that’s good, and we’ll keep an eye out for when that feature becomes available.
The folks at Social Insider did a case study on +9 million video posts and their report has some very interesting stats.
Vertical video is the hot ticket with the most viewership and the square video format seems to be rising too.
But what this, and all other studies I’ve seen are missing are any demographics.
Who, exactly, is driving up all the view time of vertical videos, and videos in Stories on both Facebook and Instagram?
I can tell you, it’s not my peeps, I polled them.
So, while I believe video is my best future marketing bet, I’m doing it in a way that I think most of my target audience is consuming it.
And, I’m hedging that bet by trying new formats and in new places.
Yes, that’s a lot like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks. But everything about social media and content marketing is like the Wild West. There are no rules, and everything goes.
So, always be willing to give new things a try. Long gone are the days when you can just keep doing the same ole same ole and get by unless you already have a hugely embedded audience that you just keep working.
And even those big bloggers try new things now and then.
So I hope this encourages you to pick a platform and have some fun to get you going with video and then try another platform, or a different way of making the video.
The point is, start somewhere with whatever way and platform interests you and go from there.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
Gimme some love!!
Share this post with all your blogger buddies to support all the free info and help you get on BlogAid – and help your buddies too!!
Subscribe to all BlogAid Posts via email so you never miss anything!
Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.