Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Gutenberg vs Elementor: Which is Faster? – it was no contest!
- What’s being revamped in the Gutenberg Ninja course this week
- The new DIY SEO tutorials and bonus sessions coming
- Our Webmaster bonus training is underway and meeting live again this week
- Industry experts speak on the pros and cons of the Gutenberg editor
- Mozilla has a new VPN service and why you may want to get it
- Why you need to log out of WordPress
- Google’s Rich Results tester is out of beta and what we’ll be using instead
- Why Google’s AMP is going away and what criteria will replace it for getting into Top Stories
- Why not to use WebP images
- Why Squoosh is my favorite image optimizer
- Why to get rid of your image optimization plugin
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 8pm ET / 5pm PT on the BlogAid Facebook Page. It’s a great way to get the deeper story on what’s reported in Tips Tuesday. And, I almost always have breaking news for the day too. So come join us live for the party.
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.
It’s been a fun and busy week here with site audits, consults, and HTTPS conversions.
I also finished up another case study on the radical speed difference between using just Gutenberg vs Elementor, and I tell you more about that in a moment.
But, that will be my last case study for a while.
For the next 4-6 weeks I will turn into a tutorial making machine. And I’ll share what’s coming as we go.
Last week you may recall that I released my case study on head-to-head theme tests between Astra, Genesis, and Divi.
And the week prior, Michelle Phillips and I did a live chat on how to get started with Astra.
To finish up that arch I’ve now released a head-to-head case study using the base Astra theme on 2 sites.
One has an Elementor template.
And on the other, I used only Gutenberg and the Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugin, made by the nice Astra folks, to recreate that Elementor template.
I even used their same images and such to keep everything even.
Gutenberg beat Elementor for speed by a mile.
And then I got curious as to whether I could overcome the Elementor bloat by throwing some serious optimization at it. So, I used the premium version of WP Fastest Cache on both sites.
That brought Elementor down to where the Gutenberg site started with no optimization!!!
There’s just too much to overcome with Elementor.
Go have a look at the test results for yourself and you’ll see what I mean.
I’ll be sharing this case study with the nice folks at Astra because I see them constantly pushing Elementor and I can’t for the life of me figure out why.
They also push Elementor Pro over Astra Pro, which gives you many of the same features for full theme design. That comparison is on my case study list for later in the year.
But for now, maybe I can convince them to start pushing Gutenberg instead.
We all need as much speed help as we can get these days.
Now that my most pressing case studies are done, this week I’m turning my attention to the revamp of the Gutenberg Ninja course.
You may recall 4 months ago, when WP 5.4 released, that I did a whole big bunch of tutorial updates.
Well, I’ll be remaking most all of those again when WP 5.5 releases on August 11.
But between now and then I’ll be revamping other parts of the course, like the sections for:
- Start Here
- Specialty Block Suite plugins
- Genesis section
- New Astra section
So, for those who just got into the course and see things in the tutorials that don’t match what you see in your site, just know I’m getting to them as fast as I can!!! And my goal is to have them all updated within 2 weeks.
After WP 5.5 releases, I’ll be revamping all other sections, including:
- All core Gutenberg tutorials affected by the changes
- Full Page Examples and Tutorials
That should take me through the end of August, since the WP 5.5 release is in the middle of the month and I won’t be making tutorials until it is finalized. They are still tweaking on it like crazy.
In between these two sets of new tutorials I’ll be making for the Gutenberg Ninja course, I’ll be updating and adding some new tutorials to the DIY SEO course.
A few things in the Yoast SEO plugin have changed.
And I want to add a brand new section on the Bing Webmaster Tools too, including how to verify your site with Bing and how to use their dashboard, which is a whale of a lot cleaner and easier to use than Google Search Console.
I think there is going to be a new privacy backlash toward Google soon, and we really do need to start taking Bing more seriously as a search engine.
And it has been a few months since our last live workshops that focused on revamping our content and building content silos.
I’ve been super busy with that on BlogAid and the more I do with it, and with Heartwood Art, especially with the content silos, it has made me rethink my position on whether we want to have our Categories indexed or not.
I shared the growing controversy about that in this year’s Content Silo workshop. And I think it’s time for an updated chat on it.
Plus, since it’s summer, I know a lot of the course members have taken some time off and lost their motivation with their content revamp.
So, it’s time for a few bonus sessions to help get folks back on the wagon with it.
Members should look for emails about all of this in the next week or so.
I’m really looking forward to meeting live with my webmaster training folks this Wednesday as we continue our bonus training on speed.
We’re answering questions on what they find in their speed tests and going deep into the results and what causes bad scores.
If you are a pro designer or SEO that needs to deliver speed for your clients, this is the training for you!!!!
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
I was delighted to be included in this roundup of industry experts on the pros and cons of the Gutenberg editor.
It was published by the developer of the Ultimate Blocks plugin and is definitely worth a read to see the various opinions expressed from so many angles to site ownership.
Mozilla, the makers of the Firefox browser, have launched a new VPN service.
It’s $4.99/mo for up to 5 devices.
I have a paid VPN, or Virtual Private Network, for my computer, as my current ISP (Internet Service Provider) only clears its hub cache once every 24-36 hours.
When I’m helping clients migrate to better hosting, I have to be able to monitor when the DNS goes live at the new host. So I visit with my VPN from another location to be able to see that.
Back when I was an electronics engineer on the road, I had a paid VPN on my iPad so that I had privacy protection when using free wifi and such too.
So, if you log into your site using a phone or tablet while you’re on wifi, seriously consider getting a paid VPN.
A hacker could very easily be monitoring that free wifi router and picking up all of your security credentials as they travel. And, they could even hack your device.
Log Out of WP
And, you need to always log out of your WP site when you are not actively using it.
That’s especially important on mobile, but it counts for desktop/laptop users on their home internet too.
The entire time WP is open, its internal clock is running and auto saving and/or refreshing the content to keep the active cookie state alive.
That’s like leaving the taxi meter running while you are in the restaurant eating.
And I can see you chewing up your own hosting resources when I do your site audit. Those resources should be reserved for your visitors.
Once folks see those numbers, even outpacing the bad bot hits, they understand how important it is to log out.
So, get in that habit today and keep your site fast and secure.
A few Tips Tuesdays ago you may recall that I reported that Google had created a new Rich Results tool and that they would be deprecating their Structured Data Testing Tool soon.
Well, now their new tool is officially launched and it does not include a way to validate your schema markup like the old tool did.
And that’s another reason I want to get out the new Bing Webmaster Tool tutorial for my DIY SEO course members.
Bing has a very nice structured data validator and we’ll be using it from now on.
I found this recent Whiteboard Friday from Moz very interesting.
The focus was on Google’s new Core Web Vitals metrics and how they will affect rankings.
But what caught my attention in the article was their statement that Core Web Vitals criteria will soon be used as a requirement to get into Google’s Top Stories.
Previously using AMP had been a requirement.
And the line that made my eyes go wide is that they said AMP is going away.
Google has a LONG history of
- Coming up with another hoop for us to jump through.
- Then making it super hard to implement.
- Then complaining that no one is using it.
- And then dropping it.
I told all of my peeps not to use AMP.
Google touted it as a way to speed up your site. Yeah, if you strip it bear of all your money makers.
The few who did try it saw their revenue drop lower than whale poop.
And it was a bear for them to remove.
Don’t use WebP Images
And, I’ve advised my peeps not to use WebP images either.
It’s another Google invention to help speed up image load.
The problem is that you have to carry both WebP and your original jpeg images because not all browsers support WebP.
So, that’s not much speed help, is it?
Not to mention the bloat of carrying double the images on your expensive, and limited host disk space.
The best thing you can do for your images is to fully optimize them prior to upload.
My favorite way to do that is the online Squoosh optimizer.
And it gives you the modern file formats that Google testers are looking for, like MozJPEG.
That will give you as good a score as using WebP, but it will be around a lot longer than WebP as that’s likely another invention Google will drop down the road.
And it gives you a progressive render, rather than baseline, which is faster too.
Get rid of your image optimization plugin
Now, you don’t want to use Squoosh if you have some type of image optimization plugin on your site. That will over optimize it.
And, that plugin also doubles the number of images you are carrying on your hosting disk storage and in your backups.
Get rid of that plugin, go back to your original images, and get a once-and-done bulk image optimization service for them.
It will do better than your plugin, and you only have one set of images in storage.
I know a guy who offers this service for cheap, cheap.
And then start using Squoosh for all of your new images. And yes, all of your thumbnails will be optimized fully too.
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.