Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Webmaster Training for Designers is still on sale
- New extensions on the Gutenberg Ninja course are now available to all
- New discount codes for existing BlogAid clients and members are now available
- A new affiliate program is coming to the BlogAid Learning Center
- You better get in now for site services, my calendar is filling up for July
- More info on XML sitemaps coming to the WordPress core
- Why you don’t want to use Google AMP to speed up your site
- We’re saying bye bye to the preferred domain setting in Search Console
- What Matt Mullenweg said in his keynote at WordCamp Europe
- How Genesis 3.0 broke a few sites
- 3 tips for making your site maintenance chores better and easier
- Tips for using online video in business
- Huge news about WP Engine’s acquisition of Flywheel hosting
- 3 ways to share links on Instagram and what I’m including on the Gute course for it
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.
I’ve had one main focus this week, and definitely not by choice.
You may recall that I switched my member sites from WishList Member to MemberPress.
In so doing, it goofed up my grandfathered status with my payment gateway and threw it unexpectedly into a different configuration on their side.
Plus, there were issues with some of the setup on the member side that contributed to not being able to process purchases for the courses that have subscriptions.
I had several very unproductive sessions with MemberPress support plus a couple of long sessions with PayPal support.
But, through a lot of methodical testing, I finally found the right combo of settings over the weekend and everything is working now.
On Monday, I spent several hours figuring out how to do coupons on the subscription courses the way I wanted to, and the way they said could not be done without hiring a specialized developer to code it.
And if MemberPress support wants to know what that fix is for both, they can pay for all the hours I spent doing the actual testing that they never once offered to do. They just kept throwing wild guesses at it, and I do mean wild, instead ever offering to actually log in and check anything, much less test it.
To say I’m horribly disappointed with my support experience would be an understatement.
Thanks to the webmasters who patiently waited while I got the purchase stuff fixed!!!
The big sale is still on through the end of the month, so don’t miss it!
This is THE best site tech training for designers anywhere. And it pays for itself, most of the time, in just one job.
You’ll learn all about speed and security and so much more.
And it includes our private Facebook group to get the support you need too.
I’m thrilled to share that you can now stay in the Gutenberg Ninja course for as long as you like.
When your current 2 month access expires, you can get a super deep discount on another 2 months. And you can do that for as long as you need.
I’ve already sent out emails to folks in the course, both on Teachable and the BlogAid Learning Center with instructions.
And being able to easily offer this as a flat fee and not a subscription is one big reason I wanted to come off Teachable and switch to MemberPress.
Everybody will have different needs and will want to control their budget in accordance with how long they feel they need access to the training.
So I’m thrilled to be able to make it available to everyone in a way that is affordable and lets them self-customize to suit their needs and doesn’t involve manual labor on my part.
Discount Codes for Existing Members and Site Audit Clients
If you’re already in one of the courses, or if you’re a Site Audit Plus client, you’re going to get a special perk.
I’ve created all new coupons for all courses and you’ll see them in your member areas.
And a special note to Site Audit Plus clients, look in your BB Hub member area for the deepest discounts, instead of the member area of any course you may also be in.
Affiliate Program Opening Soon
Now that the purchase stuff is fixed, I started setting up the affiliate program for the BlogAid Learning Center courses.
Affiliate Royale is the plugin that natively integrates with MemberPress.
It also did not work as expected, and the documentation is poor.
But, it works better than AffiliateWP and doesn’t require a ton of add-ons just to get basic functions for both affiliates and me as the admin.
So, this weekend I adjusted the application and sign up process to suite how it actually works.
Everyone who has taken the Gutenberg Ninja or DIY SEO course is eligible to apply to become an affiliate.
There are qualifications, so be sure to read those above the application form.
Tell Your Blogger Buddies
If you know folks who run blogger groups and/or do affiliate marketing for great training resources, be sure to tell them about my courses.
They will need time to take the course before applying to affiliate it.
So, the sooner they get in, the faster they can offer it to their peeps.
Thank you so much to:
for your kind words on the Gutenberg Ninja course!!!
I love seeing your happy faces as testimonials to how much you enjoyed the course.
I especially enjoyed seeing your comments about how fun and easy Gutenberg was for you and how much the course helped you get over the dread of switching to it.
If you’re ready to make the switch, come on and join us!!!
Site Services Calendar Filling Up
If you’re thinking about:
- A new site audit or checkup
- Migrating to a new host
- New secure site setup
- Revamping your online business or site
now is the time to schedule it.
My site services calendar is filling up into July.
Please know that I can only take just so much work at a time and it is first come, first served. I can’t hold inactive projects in my queue, but you’re welcome to let me know that you have a project planned for the summer and I’ll keep it in mind for letting folks know what my upcoming schedule looks like.
That’s all the news around here. Let’s jump into this week’s Tips.
Last week I reported on the new project proposal between WP devs, Google, and Yoast for bringing XML sitemaps to the WP core.
I wrote a longer post about it last week, as I’m excited about what this means for our SEO, including what will be in the sitemap and what won’t.
So, do jump over and give it a read.
Don’t do it, just don’t.
Your revenue will tank lower than whale poop.
Go read this post I published yesterday.
Everybody thinks AMP is a great way to speed up your site.
Yeah, but be sure you know how they do that and all the money you’ll lose.
And make sure all of your blogger buddies know about it too.
Google Search Console has recently dumped the Preferred Domain setting that allowed you to select whether to use the www or non version in SERPs, regardless of your canonical setting.
This is part of the changeover to doing things the new way in the new Search Console interface.
In the article, they say they will just pick up the best source they find. I honestly think they’ve been doing that for years anyway, as so few folks ever bothered with that setting.
Out of the list of ways Googlebots can learn what your preferred canonical is, I think the best is via your XML sitemap.
I already have tutorials in the DIY SEO course for how to submit your sitemap and for how to put a path to it in your robots.txt file.
And I’ll put an update in the tutorial for setting your preferred domain soon too, or actually, removing that part.
SEO stuff is always changing. That’s why so many folks stay in the DIY SEO course year after year. That, and the half price discount on renewals too. So, it’s a cheap course to keep you on top of your game. Not to mention all the extra news you get in our private Facebook group every time something pops up that you need to know about.
Matt generally reserves any big WP announcements for WordCamp US near the end of the year in his State of Word keynote speech.
His addresses at WordCamp Europe is usually a progress report of what was unveiled in the State of Word.
This year, his progress report actually contained a lot of progress, especially around how Gutenberg has taken off and now the devs are deeply into working on Phase 2 of Gute.
Phase 1 brought us the Gute text editor. Phase 2 is squarely focused on rebuilding widgets as blocks. It’s also looking hard at what it will take to make Gute a full theme builder.
If you’re a designer, you need to wake up right now and pay attention to just how incredibly fast the Gutenberg bullet train is moving down the track.
I’ve been advising my webmasters to get on board for a year.
For site owners, I ran a fast challenge in December, just prior to WP 5.0 rolling out, so we could clone our sites and do the 5.0 upgrade to see what it would do to our sites. Nobody really knew. Plus we got to play with Gute on those clones.
I advised everybody to hold off switching to Gute at that time, as it was just not ready.
Fast forward a mere six months, and I launched my Gutenberg Ninja course, and am advising folks that now we need to start the process of switching.
Gutenberg development is moving that fast.
My crystal ball tells me that in less than 2 years, most theme builders will not be around anymore. And any that are will have significantly changed to rely on what Gutenberg can do natively.
If you are a designer, you most definitely want to start planning for this radical change to your business now.
- Learn how to use Gutenberg. Take my course, it’s fast and easy.
- Learn how to style for blocks.
- And learn how to style so that the blocks look the same in the editor as they do on the site.
- Learn how to build custom blocks. There are already block builders available to help you.
Right now everyone is learning. And tutorials are freely available.
At some point, folks are going to start making courses that you have to pay for and all that free info will either be outdated or just not as easy to find.
I don’t teach design in the Webmaster course. But we do talk about it in our Facebook group, especially places to find the design info you need.
My goal with the Webmaster Training is to help you make more money.
Right now, that also means finding ways to stay in business in the face of these massive changes coming to themes.
Just go read Matt’s address and you’ll see how rapidly we are moving in that direction.
Genesis 3.0 Broke a Few Sites
The Genesis 3.0 update rolled out last week.
Besides a lot of core code updates, they also removed some older templates.
Well, looks like that broke some themes.
It even gave one of my webmasters a WSOD, or White Screen of Death.
Interestingly enough, that WSOD did not trigger a fatal error from the new Site Health Check in WP that gives you an easy way to still access the site and roll back the update.
So, maybe it doesn’t trigger on theme issues yet.
I spoke with a webmaster this weekend who just took on a new client that had a site which had not been updated in over a year. Fortunately, only one plugin broke during the updates, and it did trigger that Site Health Check fatal warning mechanism and she was able to carry on.
Make Site Maintenance Easier
While the Site Health Check thing is cool, I wouldn’t trust it 100%.
Be sure to read my post on how to use the WP Rollback plugin to revert a plugin update to the previous version.
I give you the steps I take during updates to ensure you can always access the site, even if you get the dreaded White Screen of Death.
Of course, if worse comes to worst, you may need to restore your site from your backup.
Are you 100% sure your backup solution is getting everything?
See my backup checklist and see if you have all you need.
The last thing you want to do is discover you’re missing something when you’re already under duress with your site being down.
Have you seen the Helpful Posts page lately?
I modified it a little this past week and added some new posts.
It’s a great resource for checking best-of plugins as well as helpful tips, like how to roll plugins back, and that backup checklist.
It even has a whole series on how to speed up your site.
So do check it out.
Visibility expert, Denise Wakeman, recently did a quick interview with Lou Bortone for his Women Who Rock series about using video in your business, specifically, live video.
The interview is only about 9 minutes and she has a transcript below for scanning too.
Be sure to look below that transcript for a gaggle of great video resources and tools too.
In what will be the biggest acquisition in WordPress ecosystem history, WP Engine is poised to purchase the Flywheel Hosting and management company soon.
As recently as 2018, Flywheel was recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States. Flywheel boasts serving 28,000 clients with 3 data centers in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Their 200 global employees will be absorbed into WP Engine.
And here are the staggering numbers WP Engine will now boast:
“WP Engine will now power more than 120,000 brands and agencies in 150 countries served by nearly 900 employees across seven offices globally.”
You may recall me reporting last year that WP Engine purchased both StudioPress, the makers of the Genesis framework and child themes, as well as Array Themes, who are the makers of Atomic Blocks.
And they have combined the efforts from both teams to unleash a bullet train of development that is radically outpacing WP’s own development of Gutenberg.
While WP Engine says it will be business as usual during this acquisition, it’s not hard to see the track they are on. They are strategically positioning themselves as the go-to resource for WordPress site management of all sizes, but mainly the big dogs, as that is who Flywheel now caters to.
And, the article gives a hint about their plans to keep pumping money into the development of WordPress.
I’ll be keeping my eye on this for us, and will have reports for you as more details come out.
But right now, it’s reminding me a lot of China. They are conquering the world without ever firing a single shot. They are just strategically buying up what they need to accomplish that goal.
And we are going to be the beneficiaries of that commitment to WP development, just as we are already getting the benefits with Gutenberg advancement.
So, this is pretty exciting and we’ll see what they do next.
I’ve been having the best time on Instagram this year with my woodworking related stuff.
I’ve had a lot more success and engagement there than with the Heartwood Art Facebook page.
But, one of the huge drawbacks of IG is the inability to share a clickable link on each post.
Social Media Examiner has a post on 8 ways to share links on IG.
And one that has always been popular right from the start was to put a link in your bio.
A lot of folks use the LinkTree service for that so visitors can see more than one referenced post.
But, I see a clear opportunity here for Gutenberg’s special blocks.
I’ve already got tutorials in the course for these special blocks as well as how to create landing pages and such.
And this IG post inspires me to create a new tutorial specifically for creating a page to send your IG followers to.
That’s really what the Gutenberg Ninja course is all about – real-world applications.
Everybody who has taken the course is so excited about the new things they can easily do now, no designer or plugin required. And things like this IG landing page, is just one super example of that.
I’ll let you know when the tutorial goes live, and I’ll have a post out about it too, with examples.
If you’ve taken the course, you’ll easily recognize which blocks were used in the public post where I’ll show examples, and you’ll already know how to create them. So don’t worry about new things coming out and you needing a tutorial to figure out how to do it and that 2 month access on the course will be fine for most folks. But now you can stay in longer if you like.
New things will always be coming out with Gute for the next several years. And I’ll be reporting on them so you can easily keep up once you have that solid foundation from the course.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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