Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Site speed post series launching this week
- New Webmaster caching plugin tutorials released
- ThTThe hoohaa still going on with the MediaVine plugin and loosing HTTPS secure status
- A new plugin that will disable Gutenberg completely
- The Gutenberg nag that will be coming in WordPress 4.9.6
- Why you need to start checking plugin update notes
- Why getting in on Google Voice Search is more important than ever
- Why Google is giving podcasts some extra exposure
- A new test on how well longer meta descriptions are working out in Google SERPs
- A GDPR tutorial on how to make your MailChimp signup forms compliant
- How SiteGround is preparing for GDPR compliance
- Whether your site needs a Terms and Conditions page and what should be on it
- Why you need to log out when you’re not active in your WordPress site
- What the death of SquirrelMail in cPanel means for us
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I hope you’ll join me live tonight around 8pm ish ET for the party and an interactive Tips Tuesday recap and breaking news discussion on the BlogAid Facebook Page. You can also catch the quick recap later that evening on the BlogAid YouTube Channel.
Speed Post Series Launching
Over the weekend I wrote for about 6 hours straight and did a brain dump of all the speed research and testing I conducted over the last 3 months.
It really helped me get through the overwhelm and organize all of the info I want to deliver to you as well as my Webmasters
And now I have a series of posts on site speed that will help you get a grip on:
- the basics of accurately running your own speed test
- all the speed jargon
- ways to identify and fix specific drags on your page load speed
Get the Easy, Low Hanging Fruit First
What I find in site audits is that there is a bunch of easy to fix things that will immediately result in a faster site.
Helping you identify those things for yourself is another reason why I’m launching this speed post series.
And once you know how to accurately test your site speed, you can see for yourself how well those easy changes you could make yourself worked.
Plus, once you have all the basics covered, then you’ll be able to move on to advanced speed settings and run into far less issues. You’ll probably want help with those, though, and that’s what I’m here for.
This weekend I also started all of the new speed tutorials for Level 4 of the Webmaster Training courses.
I had already remade all of the performance tester tutorials.
Sunday, I launched the new WP Fastest Cache tutorial that goes deeper into all of the settings on both the free and paid versions.
FYI, it is definitely worth paying for and works as effectively as WP Rocket, but it’s way cheaper.
What I really like about WP Fastest Cache is that it has 3 levels of settings, and that makes it more flexible to accommodate the needs of more site types.
I’ll have a full review post for you soon.
MediaVine CSP Update
Last week I reported that a few of my clients who are running MediaVine ads suddenly lost their secure HTTPS status.
We thought we had it fixed by hard coding in the .htaccess file the CSP (or Content Security Policy) that blocks non-HTTPS ads from coming through.
That’s the same CSP that their plugin is supposed to provide.
Well, even hard coded it’s not working. In fact, we can’t see it as even active. It’s like the CSP, and 2 other security headers, aren’t even in play.
So, we are still chasing this issue, with them saying it’s a caching problem. Funny, my affected clients have the same caching setup they did before, and the same one me and all of my other clients are using and we’re not losing our security headers.
So, me and their support department are still looking into it.
I’ll keep you posted on what we find.
FYI, if you’re in our private Site Audit client Facebook group, that’s where we’re discussing it.
Some of you have been asking about my upcoming move.
As many of you know, I started packing in late March and thought I would be moving by now, or early May.
But, other opportunities have presented themselves and we’ve postponed the move until at least June, while we get our ducks into a different row.
So, it’s full steam ahead on site audits and all things speed and I’m caught up now on the waiting list and taking on new projects as they roll in.
If you’ve been waiting to get your site up to speed, now is the time.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
I want to thank Webmaster John Sawyer of The Small Business Website Guy for the heads up on this good news!
There will be a plugin to completely disable Gutenberg when it rolls into the core!!
Now, I don’t know if this means we still need the Classic Text Editor plugin or not.
And I’ll be checking into that, and this new plugin, as soon as the beta for WP 5.0 comes out.
But, I’m very hopeful that we will see no disruption to our current themes and sites until Gutenberg has some time to mature, and all of the plugins we count on become compatible.
Dadgumit!!!! You may recall in a previous Tips Tuesday that a nag was planned for WP 4.9.5 to get folks to try the Gutenberg plugin.
Well, the outcry from devs and webmasters was so great that they rolled it out.
And darn it!! They plan to put into WP 4.9.6 when it rolls out soon.
I’m really ticked about this, as it is going to cause so much needless mayhem.
But by the same token, I guess we’re going to find out just how many uninformed site owners there are!!!!
Please, help spread the word and tell every site owner you know to read Tips Tuesday!!!
It’s imperative that all DIY site owners keep informed about the critical changes that are happening with PHP, hosts, security, speed, and WordPress right now.
The first Beta release of WP 4.9.6 is expected to be May 1st with the final release on May 15th. So, do start spreading the word early.
Check Update Details First
Speaking of Gutenberg and plugins, as more of them become compatible, they may cause goofiness on your current site.
I want to thank Webmaster Michelle Phillips of Codefetti for the heads up to check the plugin’s update notice before you do that update and see if it has a message about being Gutenberg compliant.
As always, backup your site prior to doing any updates.
Then, clear your cache in your browser, your caching plugin, and Cloudflare, and then open your site in an incognito/private window to check it after you update.
And this is where using the WP Rollback plugin can really come in handy if you need to revert to a previous version.
SEO Roundtable reports that Google is looking for ways to monetize their Google Assistant Featured Snippet.
Folks, this is a super indication of where the future online money is.
It’s in voice search.
And how to get into it is one of the things we covered in a recent DIY SEO https://learn.blogaid.net course workshop.
We went over ways to format your posts to have a shot at being featured in a Featured Snippet.
All of the workshops are available in replay, so you can still get in on the goodies and get more traffic to your site from Google.
Here’s even more evidence of how much Google is now focusing on its Google Assistant.
They are now giving a visibility boost to podcasts for all Android users through Google Search via Google Assistant.
Those search results will have a play button so folks can jump right into the podcast.
And they’ll have an option to subscribe.
So, it’s crazy important to get your podcast listed on Google Play, if you haven’t already.
And I’m betting this is just the first step to having Google Assistant give answers that are in human voices, compared to the machine voice used to reply in voice search now.
Wouldn’t it be cool if the site owner could reply to the question in their own voice?
That may be our future, and the foundation is already in the works.
Team Yoast ran an interesting tests on their own site for whether the longer meta descriptions Google introduced last year made any difference to search.
What they found was that more often than not, Google just used the first paragraph of a post for the meta description.
And that’s why we covered that exact thing in the DIY SEO course and workshops too.
We also covered the first words on a page and how to decide if that page had more SEO or conversion value. In other words, if it wasn’t likely to show up in SERPs, but visitors were more likely to click on it after they got to your site, then you have a lot more flexibility in creating that first paragraph for conversion rather than SEO.
And that’s why an SEO course is so important. You can’t rely on just getting a green dot score on every post and page. There are many other factors to consider that affect your bottom line.
I want to thank uber helpful Webmaster Larry Snow of Security Marketing Solutions for his latest MailChimp video tutorial.
He has a whole series of them and this latest one is how to create a GDPR compliant sign up form.
This is on the top of my to do list for my BlogAid revamp.
In fact, it’s exactly the motivation I needed to redo my main optin, which I’ve had on the back burner for months.
So, thank you very much Larry for showing us the way and making it so easy to do.
If you host on SiteGround, you’ll want to scan their latest blog post on how they are preparing to become GDPR compliant.
There’s nothing you need to do, but you’ll want to at least know about any changes they are making with regard to your hosting account data and such.
I’m not a lawyer and you should do your own research on this.
I read a really interesting post on Cloudways this week about whether you need a Terms and Conditions page on your site.
It makes sense to me to have one, according to the ideas they expressed in this article, especially about giving you a legal footing if you ever have a dispute about the use of your intellectual properly.
For folks who run ads or do any sort of affiliate marketing, I believe you need a statement on your site saying that you may earn commission from some of your links too.
I definitely need to get my act together on creating better versions of all these types of pages as standalones on BlogAid, instead of having that info buried in other pages.
How about you?
Do you have all of these different pages on your site, or others like them?
I also read a post this week on Medium about several popular social media platforms that have recently updated their terms of service and privacy policies, or soon will.
All of this is likely in response to the GDPR stuff too.
So, go have a read about what’s up with Pinterest Tumblr, and others.
Log Out When You’re Not Active in WordPress
High admin-ajax usage. I see this a LOT in site audits.
It’s almost always due to site owners not logging out of WordPress when they are not actively using it.
Folks, that’s like leaving the taxi meter running while you’re in the restaurant eating.
The clock is ticking in WordPress and it is auto saving and doing all manner of extra functions to keep the admin pages refreshed and/or saved, depending on which one you have open.
That’s just chewing up hosting resources that are needed for your site visitors, almost at the level of a bad bot attack.
And, staying logged in while you do other things is a security issue too.
Did you know that if you click a phising link in an email while you’re logged into anything, it may be able to gain access to those open windows and possibly the app running it. Yep!!!
It’s not as common as it used to be thanks to better email filters, especially on Gmail, but it does still happen.
So, for better performance and security, log out of WordPress when you’re not actively using it.
cPanel has decided to deprecate the little SquirrelMail app in an upcoming release. And they’ll fully remove it a few releases later.
I honestly don’t know any site owner who still uses it, so I’m thinking it won’t be a big deal for most of us.
But, I do still see plenty of folks using Yahoo email service, and even AOL, and Hotmail.
Please, get yourself on a better email service!!
All three of those services are banned by most other email clients as being spammy.
I know a lot of folks still use email through their host for their domain-related email too.
A better option would be to get a GSuites account, which is $5/mo and get your email disassociated from your hosting.
One of the big reasons is space. Another is security.
I know an email address with your domain as the extension looks very professional.
But the trend I’ve seen is for folks to get a free Gmail account using their domain as the first part of the address and then just using @gmail for the rest of it.
And that’s an okay thing to do too nowadays, and way better than running it through your hosting.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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