Hello Happy Site Owners!
Tips this week include:
- My forthcoming chat with Matt Mullenweg, co-founder of WordPress
- Webmaster Training site is now fully https
- A super guide on using Google Search Console for better SEO
- The sudden drop in Google PageSpeed Insight scores
- How to protect your site from the sudden rise in brute force attacks
- Security test results of all 44,705 plugins in the WordPress repository
Listen to the podcast
I’ll be Chatting with Matt Mullenweg Soon
That post I wrote about Why I Yanked VaultPress off My Recommended List got the attention of Matt Mullenweg himself. He left a comment on the post and offered to have a live chat with me about the XML-RPC part of all this, plus a follow up post I did about the sudden rise in brute force attacks. More on that in a moment.
I didn’t hesitate to take him up on the offer!
I’ll keep you posted on our discussion, so look for a blog post about it soon, I hope. He’ll be scheduling when it’s convenient for him.
Let VaultPress Hear From You
Thanks to everyone who is cheering me on about letting VaultPress know what we think about this new bundling with JetPack.
But I am just one voice.
They need to hear from you too!! As a paying customer, you have the right to voice your concerns, and they are listening.
And thank you to all those who have contacted support to let them know what you think about it already!!
I’m thrilled to tell you that the Webmaster Training membership site has been converted to HTTPS without a hitch!
I’ll be converting the Site Success Courses site today or tomorrow. So, if it’s unavailable or acts a little goofy for you, just come back in an hour and it should be okay.
I’m actively working on the last tutorial in the new SSL course for all the updates you have to do with Google after flipping a site.
And I tell you, they don’t make it clear or easy to understand what has to be done and what doesn’t! I’ve found all manner of critical info buried in articles.
You better believe I’m going to sort through all that noise and make it simple for my webmasters to do!
SEO Workshop Going Well
I had a great time yesterday with all the folks who attended Session 3 of the SEO Workshop. We dove deep into all the SEO on blog posts.
And they had some super, duper questions too. I’ll be adding those points to the next workshop, which I’ll be running early next year.
I’ll have more for you as I get closer to launching it.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Neil Patel has released a super post on how to use the most powerful features of Google Search Console to help you with your SEO. I sent this post over to my SEO Workshop peeps too. It’s that good. And it’s really not overwhelming. Honest. It takes you through what to look for in GSC that will give you the most bang for the buck with your SEO.
I know a lot of you look at your Google Analytics every day.
Be sure not to miss the awesome info in Google Search Console too, especially for seeing how your keywords are doing. It’s great feedback.
Take the SEO Challenge
In fact, this post is so good that instead of giving you a bunch of tips this week, I want to issue a challenge to you.
I hope you will take just one item from this post each day this week and see what you can learn about your site.
You may be really surprised at what you find.
And for those of you who have always wanted to understand more about GSC, this is like a free mini course.
It’s easy to do and doesn’t take much time and it’s free. You can’t beat that!!!!
In the last month, I’ve noticed a dramatic drop in scores from Google PageSpeed Insights. Last year, I noticed a 15-20 point drop in scores just prior to the second release of AMP.
Sites that were getting scores of 90 suddenly started scoring in the 70s.
And those same sites are suddenly now scoring in the 30s.
So, when I saw this post from Jenni McKinnon on the WPMUDev blog, it really got my attention.
Now, her tests were on a multi-site installation of WordPress. And it had a ton of plugins that I don’t use or recommend. In fact, I didn’t even know what half of them were because so many of them require a WPMUDev membership.
She started with a score of 35 on mobile and 37 on desktop, which are the new norms I’m seeing on a lot of sites since last month too.
With all the reasonable changes she could make, final scores were 48 on mobile and 50 on desktop.
Then she tested a fresh install of WordPress with no plugins and just the Twenty Sixteen them installed.
That yielded a score of 71 mobile and 85 desktop.
Keep in mind that’s as plain Jane as it gets. No images, no nothing.
I used to be able to get that kind of score for most all of my clients with a fully loaded down site.
Those days are gone.
Why the sudden drop? I don’t know. Google tweaked something – drastically.
The only consolation here is that scores have dropped for everybody.
Site Security Tips
Last week I did a vlog where I reported seeing all manner of goofiness on the web.
The next day, WordFence posted about a dramatic rise in brute force attacks.
I can vouch for the countries where they report the botnets are originating. I’m seeing the same thing in site audits.
Please do jump over to the post I wrote on how to protect your site from this latest threat.
Last night I was reading through John Overall’s weekly roundup of WordPress news on his WordPress Plugins A to Z blog and suggest you do to.
The focus this week is squarely on security for your site.
The second post really caught my eye because one agency actually downloaded every plugin in the WP repository and looked through the ones that had PHP scripts, searching for vulnerabilities.
They found that 43% had at least one medium-severity security issue.
They followed that statement by saying, “That figure, while alarming, is somewhat misleading.”
“The vulnerabilities aren’t evenly disbursed across the plugins. After cross-referencing the number of plugins with no issues, low, medium, and critical severity issues, he found that the “vast majority of plugins” didn’t have vulnerabilities at all. Those that did however, likely had a surplus of vulnerabilities.”
You’ll want to go read the post for yourself to get the rest of the story.
But the bottom line is WordPress is popular. And that alone makes it a target for hackers. And that is more prevalent than plugin vulnerabilities according to this report.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
Find these tips helpful? Share them with your peeps!!!!
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