Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- More Gutenberg Ninja tutorials updated
- New rebranding tutorials underway
- How and why to make a contingency plan for your site
- I’m calling it safe to update to WordPress 5.5, but there may still be breaks, and why that’s good
- When we can expect the WP 5.5.1 release
- WP’s 3 point plan to update jQuery
- Why you need to check your paid plugins versions
- Upcoming perks for Site Audit Plus clients
- What’s coming to the Create recipe cards and why it will be available in other recipe plugins
- The new Search Console Insights Beta rolls out
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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. If you have any doubts about what type of host you are on and if the tips I give will work there, see this post on What is Managed Hosting?
Lately I’ve been asking myself – where did the day go, where did the week go, and now where did the month go?
My schedule is so full that it seems I clock in at my desk in the morning and the next time I look up it’s supper time.
Same thing happens with the week. I’m producing Tips Tuesday on Monday and the next thing I know it’s Friday already.
Same with the month. It just flies by when you’re having fun, right?
This past week I released a whole bunch of updated tutorials in the Gutenberg Ninja course.
Updated sections include:
- Neat Tricks
- Images and Videos
- Layout Blocks
These are in addition to all of the new and updated tutorials in the Start Here and Gutenberg Basics sections that I did the previous week.
Next I’ll be updating the Specialty Blocks section.
Actually, I’ll be totally revamping the whole section as so many of those block suite plugins have changed considerably in what they offer and with styling choices and such too.
Gutenberg has become so powerful now that there is zero need for any page builders at all. Especially enticing because those builders radically slow down your site.
And if you need the full functions of a theme builder, you don’t have to wait for Phase 2 of Gutenberg to come out later this year.
You can get it now by using Astra Pro. That, and their Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg are all you need to make an amazing site these days.
And yep, I’ll be adding all manner of Astra resources into the course for you soon too.
This is THE premier Gutenberg course that shows you the real power of it.
It’s fast and fun and you won’t find anything even close to it on the web.
So, jump on the Gutenberg train and tell your buddies about it too.
As I mentioned in last week’s Tips Tuesday, rebranding requests are flowing in like crazy.
This past week I met with two of my top webmaster designer colleagues who will be taking over these jobs for me, as so many of them include a theme revamp too.
We finalized our checklists and to do lists and such so that we can standardize collecting client and site info.
And I’ve placed all of this into a new Rebranding tutorial section in the Webmaster Training course.
Most of what’s involved in a rebrand job is already in the course.
But I’ll be expanding that new Rebranding section with new tutorials and with links to existing tutorials that will make it easy to find everything you need in one spot.
If you are a designer who wants to offer rebranding services, this is the training you need to ensure you get it right the first time and have super confidence in what you’re doing.
The goal of this course is to offer the training you need in plain English so you can get the emerging business and expand your offerings beyond just design into speed and security for sites too.
That will separate you from the pack and help you land better clients who are keen on those things as well.
FYI, this course is designed for folks who make a living setting up sites for clients. It’s overkill for curious site owners. A site audit is a better fit to empower DIY site owners with what they need to know to get and keep their sites fast and secure.
I have a rock solid contingency plan for my online business.
In fact, I have 4 contingency plans that cover:
- Shut down
One Plan B just doesn’t cover everything.
So, when the CoVid stuff first hit, I wrote up a post about it. But I didn’t feel comfortable releasing it at that time. Folks were already stressed enough.
And by the time spring rolled around, folks just wanted to get out and back to some semblance of normalcy, so I didn’t feel like that was a good time to release it either.
But, I think we’re all okay with hearing this now. And we need to hear it. And do it.
I’ve gotten so much positive feedback on this post, including comments that it contains life situations that folks had not even thought to plan for.
I also asked my peeps if they would like to do a mini workshop on each section to give us motivation and accountability to make sure we do it.
I heard a lot of positive feedback on that as well.
So, I think I will set that up for us, and make it public so anyone can join.
Plus, that’s a great way for the whole village to help each other do it too, as everyone is going to want to customize things to their needs.
So, look for that later this year. I’ll see if I can squeeze it into September so we can get it done before the holiday madness hits.
That’s all the happenings around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Safe to update to WP 5.5
I believe it is safe for most everyone to update to WP 5.5 now.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be breaks, though!
And that’s actually a good thing.
Over the weekend I sent an email with instructions to all BlogAid News subscribers for how to do this update and with the steps to take if something breaks.
Are you a subscriber and getting these extra perks?
Beyond that, do you open the emails?
That’s the only way to get the extra help, by helping yourself and actually reading these awesome, free resources.
The WP devs are meeting this week to finalize the bug fixes that will be in the WP 5.5.1 release.
They will announce the release date after their meeting tomorrow on Aug 26.
So, if you do the WP 5.5 update and the jQuery plugin doesn’t fix it, follow this bug scrub report to see if your site’s issue is going to be addressed. If not, report it.
WordPress’ 3 point plan with jQuery
In last week’s Tips Tuesday I gave you a lot more detail about the current changes in the WordPress core code, especially in regards to dropping the jQuery Migrator that bridged the gap in jQuery coding standards between old plugins and the new base code in WordPress.
Well, this is not over yet.
WordPress has a 3 point plan with this.
In WP 5.5 they removed the jQuery Migrator code in an effort to put plugin developers on notice to get their old code up to current spec. Those ill-maintained plugins were most of what broke for folks when they updated to WP 5.5.
In WP 5.6, which is due out in December, they will be putting a revised version of jQuery migrate back into the core code.
So, if you had to use the Enable jQuery Helper plugin, you’ll be able to take that out and see if your broken plugin works.
And then, around March 2021, with the WP 5.7 update, they will once again remove that jQuery migrate code bridge for good. If your plugins break then, you most definitely need to find a replacement or just drop that function.
I know this all sounds nutty and like we are needlessly jumping through a bunch of hoops.
But, it’s the best way the WP devs could come up with to insist that the 50k+ free plugins in the WP plugin repository are up to spec.
And let’s hope it has the same effect on paid plugins too.
Check your paid plugins for current version
Speaking of outdated premium plugins, are you sure you’re running the most current version?
Are you sure it is still being maintained?
If you haven’t seen an update notice on your paid plugins in a while, go check their website to ensure that you are running the latest version.
And see when the last update was on the plugin. If you can’t see that info, ask the dev if the plugin has been tested with WP 5.5.
Many premium plugins will continue to be active on your site even when you stop paying for them.
You just no longer get updates. And that’s a major security issue.
Site Audit Plus client perks
If you are a site audit client who joined our BB Hub, then you’ll be in on our fall challenge that includes quick checks on your site to ensure everything is ready for the holiday boost of traffic that you’ll be getting.
We usually run that in September.
And this time around I’ll be including the check I just mentioned for ensuring your paid plugins are up to speed too.
If you are a site audit client who did not sign up for the extra perks, see our project wrap up email that has all of the details and links to our private Facebook group and free member area on the BlogAid Learning Center.
This is a very interesting move by Mediavine with their Create plugin.
One of the hallmarks of this plugin is the extra schema markup around its How-to and Lists features, as well as to the recipe card it offers.
Those extra schema tags really help your SEO, as Google loves them like candy.
Well, one of the problems with recipe posts is that they are typically filled with drivel for content and loads of images that just show the same, finished product over and over.
They are just doing that to take up space so more ads can be inserted.
And it has trained site visitors to just scroll as fast as they can past all of that to get to the recipe part of the post at the bottom.
And until lately, that recipe had no ads.
Well, the folks at Mediavine noticed this too and they did something about it.
They have an exclusive way to add a jump to recipe button at the beginning of the post and a way to insert ads into the recipe section.
This patent-pending method makes up for the loss of revenue in the in-content ads that were skipped by the viewer.
And now they have taken this a step further.
Mediavine has recognized that Create is not the only recipe card plugin in the game, nor the most popular.
In fact, most of my clients who are with Mediavine don’t use Create for recipes.
They prefer WP Recipe Maker. Some even use Tasty Pins, but I think that one is falling out of favor.
So, the folks at Mediavine are making their new jump and in-ad functions available on these other recipe plugins.
Marilyn Lesniak, of Marilyn’s Treats and I did a nice case study of all the recipe plugins two years ago. It’s woefully out of date now and we most definitely need to do an updated case study.
Marilyn has been keeping her part of it updated more than I have. Her post is more about the function and ease of use and mine is more about the SEO and speed factors.
But I’m a little glad we waited on doing another case study in light of this move by Mediavine.
We’ll definitely have to have a look into what it does with the other plugins too.
New Search Console Insights Beta for content creators rolls out
You may recall a month or so ago that I reported I received an invitation from Google to become a beta tester for their new Search Console Insights.
It’s supposed to be a better way to merge data from both Search Console and Analytics.
Well, a few days ago I received an email from Google stating that the beta was ready to try.
I haven’t had time to look into it yet, but I have it on my to do list for this next week, if I can.
I’ll keep you posted on what I find.
I know several of you got that email invitation too. So if you have time to take a look, let us know what you think.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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