Hello Happy Site Owners!
Tips this week include:
- Gutenberg at version 1.0 – See what it can do
- New WordPress Documentation: Goodbye Codex, Hello HelpHub
- Reminder to Update Your Text Widgets
- WP Fastest Cache Not Clearing
- New Minimum PHP version requirement for plugins
- What to do if Your Site’s on an Old PHP Server
- 15 top free photo websites for your online projects
- Image Optimization Tutorial
- Best Option for Website SEO: Wix vs. Squarespace vs. WordPress vs. Weebly
- Why Your Analytics Data is Wrong
- AdRotater Plugin Tutorial – Good for More Than Ads and the plugin I’m using
- A Guide to SMS and Push Notifications for WordPress
- Push Notification Plugins and Caveats
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Watch the Live Recap and Breaking News
Welcome to September y’all!!! It’s my favorite month.
I hope all of my U.S. buddies enjoyed a long holiday weekend.
HTTPS Conversion Update
I was working, as were a few of you, getting a new wave of HTTPS request clients moving through the process to beat that October Chrome deadline.
I actually took on more than my usual limit of clients at a time for this wave, as the overwhelming majority of them are previous site audit clients. We’re going to breeze right through the conversion process.
Their sites are squeaky clean, fast loading, secure, and they already have the bulk of the info for their pre conversion checklist done.
Makes all that info fast to verify and we can jump right into the conversion process.
This is where their initial investment in their site success really pays off.
Quick, painless, and cheap to keep pace with whatever comes down the pike next.
Interview with Tara Postponed
You may recall last week that I announced I’d be doing an interview with one of my Scratch to Published clients who launched her new site with a bang!!
Well, turns out that both of our schedules were just too packed to make that happen. So, we’re shooting for the next break in her schedule around the Thanksgiving holiday.
Speaking of packed schedules, I booked the WHM Hosting Account 3-webinar series prior to the announcement from Google about the new HTTPS deadline. I barely had time to put together the last webinar of splitting sites into their own cPanels, but I got it done, and now all 3 webinar replays are in Level 1 of the Webmaster Training courses.
I’m looking forward to everyone’s feedback before I make the formal tutorials, hopefully in mid to late October.
And welcome to all new webmasters who took advantage of the deep discounts on Level 6 during the series. So glad to have you in our Facebook group too!!!
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
This week, DIY site owners will be pleased to know that there are a bunch of tips you’ll enjoy. I know the last couple of Tips Tuesday’s were pretty heavy on the techie side for webmasters, but that’s just how the news broke for those weeks. We’ve got a lot more goodies for you this time!
And speaking of tips, I hope you got to see the round up of all my livestreams from the past week with site success tips and breaking news as it happened.
Be sure to scan the post to see if you missed anything, we wouldn’t want that!!
The WP devs working on the new Gutenberg text editor have hit a milestone with version 1.0. This is in anticipation of rolling it into the WP core by version 5.0, which will likely be around January.
They’ve made videos of all that Gutenberg can do to date and it’s pretty impressive, especially considering they started from scratch.
Go take a look at the future of WP and let me know what you think of it. Leave a comment on the blog or anywhere you see this post online.
The two videos are made on a simple theme that fully supports Gutenberg.
I think those who are more visually inspired are going to like it.
What am very concerned about are the lack of hard coded styles. You have too many manually derived choices for headers and sections and that would break the continuity of them.
I see a lot of folks using headings as styles as it is and goofing their SEO like crazy.
All these options are going to make some sites look like a 3 ring circus on steroids from overuse.
So, we’ll see what happens when the novelty of it hits, and then wears off, especially on mobile.
Developers, check out the new WP documentation hub that promises to have more step-by-step articles on WP core than the Codex does. And they intend to keep it more updated too, to keep pace with how fast WP is changing now.
Just a friendly reminder to update your Text widgets to the new Custom HTML Widgets.
This change took effect when you updated to WordPress 4.8.1 and I know many of you put the widget changeover on the back burner.
More changes are coming to WordPress, so get this little chore taken care of now.
See my quick video tutorial on how to make the switch. It’s pretty painless and will take you about 10 minutes, so just get it done.
Me and a couple of my webmasters have noticed lately that the WP Fastest Cache plugin is not clearing its cache properly, according to the settings, when a new post is published.
We aren’t seeing the new post on the home page or archive pages.
So, I updated my WP Fastest Cache Settings post with updates on two settings if you’re seeing this issue too. Basically, you set it to clear all cache when a new post is made.
That means you lose speed for a bit until the cache builds back up, but we’ll just have to take that little hit for now.
I’m so very glad to see this!!
The WP plugins repository has added a field for plugin devs to indicate the minimum PHP version they support.
We are in a huge transition stage trying to get all sites up to PHP 7.
As plugin devs recode for that, they are dropping support for super old, unsupported PHP versions, including everything below 5.6.
To run your own checks and make the switch to PHP7 asap.
You don’t want to do a plugin update and it break your site, and that’s what’s in store down the road.
Some of you may find that you have to migrate to a new server at your host to have PHP 7 available. That’s actually pretty common now, as the software and hardware hosts use has been frequently upgraded this year.
READ: How to Migrate Your Site to a New Host for tips that will make the transition for you smooth and easy.
Even moving to a new server on the same host is just like changing hosts in many ways. So you’ll find these tips handy even for that.
Unless you take your own images, finding just the right one for your blog posts can make a big difference in how many eyeballs you catch on social media.
The MeksHQ site has a super list of the top 15 free photo sites for you to check out.
I rely pretty heavily on Pixabay. But taking the time to run through the selections can be a real time suck. There are a few on the list that send you new photos every week. That sounds inspirational.
And there were several on the list that I had never heard of and I’m looking forward to seeing what they have.
Are any of the ones in the list your favorite, or do you have another? Let us know in the comments or anywhere you see this post online.
No matter where you get your images, and especially if you take your own photos, you need to learn all you can about image optimization.
This is the biggest bang for the buck you can get to speed up your site.
See this post from Mary Iannotti, the Digital Marketing Deva, for a super tutorial that every site owner should read.
And be sure to go to the end and optin for her ebook with even more step-by-step tutorials using lots of different free and low-cost softwares and online apps too.
Plus, Mary is well worth following for better SEO and conversion copywriting too.
If you’ve ever thought about leaving WordPress for a simpler platform, don’t do it.
Read this post on Web Savvy with a real-world look at the big SEO differences between WP and other platforms like Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.
You’ll be glad you’re where you’re at.
Do you watch your Google Analytics like a hawk?
You may be surprised to discover how inaccurate they are.
Every site owner should read this post on Search Engine Land.
It’s super eye opening for folks who still have a 2013 mindset of how SEO works.
I know how eye opening it was for the folks who took my SEO Workshop to find out that most of what they knew and were doing with SEO was way out of date.
Google changes constantly. And too many bloggers are hearing old advice that’s been circulating for the last 4 years.
Time to get with today’s SEO.
Start with this post.
I know a lot of you like to change out widgets seasonally on your site. Don’t you wish there were an easy way to do that without having to move them in an out of the Inactive Widgets area?
Have you considered using and ad rotator plugin?
WPBeginner has a nice tutorial on the AdRotater plugin. Go check it out, I think you’ll like it.
I have sponsored ads on my carving site and I looked into ad rotator plugins for it.
I was blown away with how sophisticated, yet easy to use many of the free ones are.
I tried a bunch of them on one of my testing sites and found the Advanced Ads plugin to be the best fit for my needs.
And I even thought about putting it on BlogAid to highlight specials and webinars and workshops and such, but I opted for a sticky header from the Icegram plugin for now.
The Advanced Ads plugin does way more than rotate sidebar widgets.
It allows you to easily place an ad, or banner, or anything you want, just about anywhere on your site, including right in your post content.
What a great way to highlight anything you want to get more eyeballs on.
I’m beginning to see phone text push notifications everywhere now, not just on apps.
More and more websites are incorporating them too, for things like:
- Ecommerce transaction completions
- New blog post publication
- Breaking news alerts
The folks at WPMU Dev have put together a nice guide to integrating SMS, or push notifications with your site.
Give it a read because it talks about how these things are gaining popularity and how many different ways they are being used. It’s bound to give you some new ideas for staying in closer touch with your peeps compared to just emailing them.
If you want an easy way to get started with push notifications for things like new blog posts, there are a couple of free plugins and services available.
Push Engage might be an okay one to start with.
There aren’t many styling options or such, but it’s not too difficult to set up either.
The only caveat with these things is that you become roped into a single service and you may not be able to export your subscriber list on the free service.
So, do look before you leap with it.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
Find these tips helpful? Share them with your peeps!!!!
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Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.