Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- An Update on the Gutenberg Course progress you’ll really like
- A request to tell me your special post/page creation needs for Gutenberg
- The new videos I made for Heartwood Art and what I’ve learned from that
- The ongoing tests for the Yoast SEO 11 update
- What’s coming in Genesis 2.10
- The Group Block I’m very excited about coming in Gutenberg Phase 2
- Whether Chrome’s new lazy load function will knock ads stupid
- A 2019 WP Site Maintenance Survey results post everyone should read
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.
Spring has definitely sprung around here! After another cold snap this past weekend it has been glorious since. I’m just thankful to have a few dry days and to see the sun. It’s amazing how much that lifts the spirits.
Gutenberg Course Update
I’ve had to look at that sun through the office doors to the deck, as I have been putting in some serious butt-in-seat time at my desk working on the new Gutenberg course.
You can see my livestream below from Friday on the BlogAid Facebook page to get a peek into all the goodies in this course.
It’s definitely built for you to learn by doing.
And since doing that livestream, I’ve started diving deep into several Block suite plugins like Atomic Blocks and Ultimate Blocks.
And this week I’m taking a deep dive into all the themes that were built specifically to take advantage of Gutenberg.
Checking Out Teachable
After I finish all of the Gutenberg tutorial video scripts, Quizzes, and Skill Builders, I’ll be doing a marathon session to get fully up to speed with the Teachable platform, as that’s where I intend to release the course.
I want to have a look at the setup and all the different ways I’ll have to present the info and make the course sections.
Then I’ll start creating the videos and loading everything up.
Tell Your Special Post/Page Needs
I’ve asked my Site Audit Plus clients and Webmaster Training and designer folks to share with me anything special they do in their posts and pages that they want me to ensure there is a way to replicate in Gutenberg.
That includes how you make your optins, include videos, how you insert recipes, and more.
Please do share your special formatting needs in the blog comments, or anywhere you see this post online and I’ll be sure to look into including it in the Gutenberg course.
The whole point of the course is to make it super easy for you to switch to Gutenberg and quickly get up to speed with your site’s needs.
So, make sure I know about them.
Heartwood Art Update
Last week I released the first of those videos with an easy DIY circular saw cutting guide.
On Sunday, I released the 2nd one for how and why I built the legs for my mitre saw station workbench the way I did.
And I created a series page with links to all posts related to the mitre saw station build. I’ve got a new layout idea for that page once I switch the site over to Gutenberg too that will make it look fab.
This week I’ll be doing the same sort of video for the frame build of the lower workbench part.
And then I’ve got another one on tap for cutting the plywood for both the shelf and top. It will have both still shots and short video clips.
And that will finally bring me up to where the build actually is currently. I just had to stop on it until I could get caught up with these videos. And I learned my lesson about getting too far ahead of the build. I need to really make time to produce the videos and posts as I go.
Every one of them I do makes me faster with producing. That’s what it takes – just doing it to get better.
And I’m building up a good catalogue of videos on the Heartwood Art YouTube channel too.
If you’re so inclined, I sure would appreciate you subscribing to that channel. I would like to get my vanity URL for it as soon as I can. Right now I only have 5 subscribers, so I have a long way to go. And thank you ahead of time if you do subscribe.
The really big news this week was the bomb Yoast dropped on us with the SEO plugin version 11 release.
It’s a step in the right direction to help all of us, regardless of the theme we use, get up on the most modern way of doing full schema markup. Those are the special tags that Google eats up like candy.
But, none of us were fond of the way he did it because it made every single theme dev, and some plugin devs, have to drop everything and scramble to get compliant with it.
Please do see my post for the latest updates, as this is a very fluid situation and we’re still running a few tests.
And be sure to see my latest livestream on the BlogAid Facebook page to ensure you stay up to date.
I’m still holding out hope this week that Genesis will address this issue by giving us a toggle to turn off the SEO it outputs fully. But if that doesn’t happen, Bill Erickson has created a plugin that we will be using to back out the SEO in Genesis themes and go with the more modern way Yoast is doing schema markup.
However, be aware that 3rd party Genesis child theme devs are also coming out with their own fixes, mainly because Genesis is dragging their feet to do so, and/or because they have to do it that way as a base Genesis fix may not work with the way they designed their themes.
So, there won’t be a one-size-fits-all fix for this, even with Genesis.
I heard that Divi came out with a fix already too.
And I think the WP Recipe Maker plugin will be okay as is because it already outputs the same schema markup as Yoast.
But, I’m still checking into how this will affect Rich Pins, as there are a couple of ways to create those.
So, hold tight with updating Yoast SEO for just a little longer and I’ll keep you posted on when I think it will be okay for everyone to update.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
The Genesis devs have pulled their head out of Gutenberg for a bit and are working on other aspects of the framework for the upcoming 2.10 release.
There will be a new sub-link under the Genesis tab in the left admin sidebar for Genesis Plugins. It will allow you to view and install Genesis-specific plugins, which sure does make them a lot easier to find.
More settings are moving into the WP Customizer too, for a cleaner experience with styling. That’s also where the SEO settings are moving as well, and I really hope that new toggle to completely turn off the Genesis SEO will be in this release.
Right now, it only turns off the SEO module under the text editor.
You can read more about what they’ve already moved to the Customizer in 2.9 and more details on what’s coming in 2.10 here.
I’ll keep you posted as the full release comes near around May 1st.
While I’m looking into more design related block suites for my Gutenberg course, one of the things that has become apparent is that they can’t really do full theme design yet. And that’s because of a lack of being able to nest every kind of block into a group.
Well, that’s exactly what they are working on for Phase 2 of Gutenberg.
According to this post on WPTavern, the WP devs expect this one change to completely revolutionize theme development entirely.
I have to agree.
With what I have already seen, especially working with the Genesis themes that were built for Gute, we are not that far away from fully functional theme builders.
Yes, we can cobble it together now, and I’ll show you how to do that in the Gutenberg course because you’re going to want to use the current functions for landing pages and such.
But, I’m still seeing a need for widget-driven home pages to stick around a while. I think it may be a couple of years before they start completely disappearing.
But then, I thought it would be near the end of 2019 before Gutenberg would be ready for us to use.
The rapid pace of block development has changed my mind about that.
And that’s why I’m working like crazy to get my Gutenberg course out.
Is Your Site Protected From Unethical Plugin Security Disclosures?
Oh my gosh! I can hardly believe this.
The folks at PluginVulnerabilities have decided to protest what they believe to be unacceptable practices and cover ups and favoritism by the WP plugin security team by publishing a list of plugins with zero-day vulnerabilities.
Those are THE worst kinds of security holes. And no patch has been released for them either.
That puts all of us site owners at extreme risk of hack.
I’ve got a post coming for you about what’s going on and how to protect your site.
Plus what other security companies have long been doing that is walking a fuzzy line with the way they disclose security issues and how you are only getting a false sense of security by using their plugins.
So look for that post.
I want to thank my buddy and fellow webmaster, Michelle Phillips of Codefetti for the heads up on this.
Chrome is again saying they will include lazy load of images by default in version 75.
They announced this last year and then I didn’t hear anything else about it until now.
I REALLY don’t think this function belongs in a browser due to some of the things they pointed out in the article, like how it could affect ads negatively.
And I’m wondering if our caching plugins will have the settings Chrome talked about so we can tweak the plugin and override the Chrome browser and use our own lazy load.
The function is already in Chrome now, it’s just not turned on by default for everyone.
I’ll keep you posted on how this shakes out.
If you offer site related services, you’re definitely going to want to scan through the recent survey results from ManageWP.
It gives you an idea of the services being offered and what site owners are paying for them.
Keep in mind that these are global results, so the pay ranges are not what I find most U.S. service providers charging.
True to form, the front-end duties that directly result in prospects and sales, like social media management, are the highest paying gigs.
Backend site maintenance things are the lowest paying.
It’s just like a car salesman will always make more money than a car mechanic.
Considering I’ve been in the service end of things my whole life, including the 30 years I spent as an electronics engineer, I hate that fact.
But then, I do acknowledge that a sales force is why I have customers to service.
So, there’s that.
As a site owner, we have to wear all those hats.
And designers who also offer maintenance have to wear the most hats of all.
My Webmaster Training and our private Facebook group can seriously help you with the techie side of all of it.
You’ll spend a lot less time trying to keep up with all the rapid changes we have to deal with for security and performance these days.
And, knowing how to keep sites secure radically reduces your liability too.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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