Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- New Gutenberg tutorials for WP 5.4 updates are live
- DIY SEO live workshops resume this week with Keywords and Ranking Factors
- How folks on Mediavine can easily donate unused ad space for COVID PSAs
- How you can get free images and more from ShutterStock
- It’s safe to update to WP 5.4 and the one caveat we’ve found
- Major changes coming in Yoast SEO 14 and when it will roll out
- 2 things you need to check on your SiteGround account immediately
- The false positive SiteGround now gives on speed testers
- How to check your email deliverability status
- A super guide for creating a landing page that converts
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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.
I’m delighted to report that lowering my client load to normal last week gave me the break I needed.
In fact, I felt like I was playing hooky for the first couple of days of clocking out at a reasonable time.
And now I’m also totally addicted to a big jug of iced coffee in the afternoon too.
It keeps me mentally alert through the first part of the evening as well, and wears off after dinner, so I’m sleeping fine.
Not only did I get all of the scheduled client work done last week, I was able to do all the other things needed to run by biz, like get bunches of tutorials updated and such.
I’m thrilled to report that all of the standing Gutenberg Ninja tutorials for native WordPress functions and features have been updated with the changes that rolled into the editor with the release of WP 5.4.
And I’m even more thrilled to report that new tutorials have been created for all of the brand new features that came with WP 5.4 too!!
Over the next few weeks I’ll be doing a revamp of the Specialty Block tutorials. These are block suite plugins that have extra features beyond what Gutenberg natively supports. They give us a LOT of extra styling options too.
Gutenberg makes your site way faster
If you’re ready to make the switch to Gutenberg, I have THE premier course on it!
And if you’re not familiar with just how powerful Gutenberg has become, see the 8 pages I created with Gutenberg – all using the same free theme as the base. You will be floored with all you can do.
And you’ll see why you have zero need for a page builder anymore, or even fancy themes. In fact, I have yet to see any page builder do something that Gutenberg can’t do.
What I have seen in site audits are bloated page builders killing speed and creating 20 or more requests that are all render block above the fold issues.
Woot! I’m also thrilled to report that our live DIY SEO course workshops will resume this Thursday, April 16.
Keywords are the focus this week.
And next week we’ll be talking about Ranking Factors.
I’ve got a couple more new workshops to add, along with combining one or two existing workshops into them, and then a little schedule rearranging before we get into the deep dive for on-page SEO and a whole content revamp series.
It’s never too late to join us!!!
Replays to the workshops are available. Plus you always have the standing video courses on Technical SEO and Yoast.
So come join us.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Do Good Tips
I know some of you have had super bad traffic hits to your site due to the COVID crisis.
And you don’t have as many folks bidding for ad space now either.
But there is still a way you can help everyone if you are on Mediavine.
They have made a way for you to easily donate your unused ad space for COVID PSAs.
You have a new setting in your Mediavine dashboard for it.
See their post for more on how you can help. And it costs you nothing to do.
Woot!!! You better hurry up and jump on this offer before they remove it!!!
Shutterstock media is the highest quality stuff you can get.
And right now they are offering a limited set of images, backgrounds, videos, music, and more for free.
So, go grab some goodies while you can!!!
Safe to update to WP 5.4
I haven’t heard any screaming from the folks who have updated to WP 5.4, except for one caveat with Reusable Templates, which I’ll talk about in a moment.
See my video tour of What’s New in WordPress 5.4 for details.
And be sure to take a full backup first.
Plus, you may want to see last week’s Tips Tuesday for an overview of how I do updates now, as far as the order and methods for plugins and WordPress.
Check Blocks in Reusable Templates
If you used a block in a Reusable Template or Reusable Block that was radically modified or even dropped in the WP 5.4 update, then it may have issues the next time you try to insert and/or convert it.
The block that seems to be a common culprit is the Button block. It was dropped and replaced by the Buttons block, with an s.
I’m working with a few of my Gutenberg Ninja course folks on the best way to handle what to do about this.
Yoast 14.0 Major Release Coming
Huge changes are coming to the core code of the Yoast SEO plugin with release 14.0 that is expected to be released on April 28.
They are good changes, and they released a beta last week to all of their volunteer testers to help work out any bugs or conflicts. But of course, there is no way to test under all conditions.
My suggestion is that you hold off on this update when it rolls out and see what happens when more folks upgrade.
I’ll remind you again when time gets closer, but considering the rollout date is on a Tuesday, I wanted to give you a heads up now too.
2 things you need to check on SiteGround right now
If you are hosted on SiteGround, there are 2 things you need to check immediately.
First, check that your SSL certificate is not expired.
If you are on Cloudflare, they issue their own SSL certificate, and that’s the one that loads in your site visitor’s browser. So you would not see an HTTPS warning.
But the SSL certificate at the host is what encrypts your site’s connection to Cloudflare. If you’re missing it then you no longer have end-to-end encryption and could suffer a man-in-the-middle attack.
The second thing you need to check is your IP address.
SiteGround has been moving all of its accounts to Google Cloud servers.
That gave you a new IP address.
They weren’t super clear with account owners that they needed to take action to update their IP address with any 3rd thing that connected to their account, like Cloudflare, or other APIs.
I sent an email to Site Audit Plus clients with private tutorials on how to fix both.
If you’re ready to move away from the circus of SiteGround and get on better hosting, or you want a site audit and all of the perks that come with that – contact me.
SiteGround gives false CDN positive on testers
Due to SiteGround now serving from Google Cloud, when you run a speed test on WebPage Test, you will get a false positive that a CDN is in use even if you don’t have one.
A CDN is a Content Delivery Network, like Cloudflare.
So, don’t be fooled by that. And it’s still okay to use Cloudflare at SiteGround.
Right now it’s more important than ever to stay in touch with your peeps.
So, you want to make sure that your emails are reaching them.
In the last few Tips Tuesday’s I’ve been warning folks about tightened security as hackers are trying to take advantage of all the new folks who are working from home on unsecured computers.
Email clients like Gmail and such have tightened their screening process lately due to the severe increase in phishing emails and such.
So, you want to be sure your email deliveries are up to current security standards so they don’t get blocked or end up in the spam folder.
Go to the Mail Tester site and send an email to the address they give you and then read the report on it.
You may want to send from your business email, and then send one through your optin/newsletter email service too and check them both.
I’ve seen LOTS of bloggers offering new products to sell lately.
And a good landing page will help you convert visitors into buyers.
The nice folks at Torque have put together a wonderful landing page guide that will give you all kinds of ideas to help raise your conversion level.
So, go check that out if you sell anything on your site, or even have free giveaways or optins.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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