Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- BlogAid Holiday Sales are still running
- Free Gutenberg Webinar this Thursday, Dec 3 and everyone is welcome to attend live
- New tutorial for Atomic Blocks to Genesis Blocks Migration
- Update on the BlogAid SEO issue
- Why not to be a Yoast hater here
- WordPress 5.6 releases on Dec 8 and why we won’t be updating right away
- Who will get my special update instructions for WP 5.6
- When the new Gutenberg Ninja tutorials with the WP 5.6 features will be released
- Has SiteGround moved you to the new custom control panel?
- ModSecurity at our hosting has tightened the rule set
- The issue with UpdraftPlus that ModSecurity change made happen
- A blip of a security issue with cPanel
- Why you need separate accounts for hosting, domain, and email
- Why you need to upgrade to PHP 7.4 right now
- Why we won’t be using PHP 8.0 yet
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Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 8pm ET / 5pm PT on the BlogAid Facebook Page. It’s a great way to get the deeper story on what’s reported in Tips Tuesday. And, I almost always have breaking news for the day too. So come join us live for the party.
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 serious about making money with their sites and are not on hosting that is restrictive in what you can and can’t do with your site and hosting setup. If you have any doubts about what type of host you are on and if the tips I give will work there, see this post on What is Managed Hosting?
I hope all of my U.S. peeps had a nice holiday weekend.
I had a relaxing day Thursday of eat, sleep, repeat. And boy, did that ever feel good.
But it’s time to get back to it and I’ve got some fun things coming up for you this week.
Well, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have come and gone for everyone else.
But you can still save on BlogAid services and courses!!!
I run my sales through the first week in January to help you with taxes and such too.
Just be sure to set yourself a reminder so you don’t miss out!!
Gutenberg has become so powerful that you can now create your whole site with it.
Come see for yourself in my free webinar this Thursday, Dec 3.
I got a bigger Zoom room, so everyone is welcome to attend live.
There will be a replay available, but you have to register to get the link for it.
New tutorial for Atomic Blocks to Genesis Blocks Migration
I put a new silent movie up in the Gutenberg Ninja course showing the migration steps for switching over from Atomic Blocks to Genesis Blocks.
So, be sure to check that out because we are ready now to make that switch.
If you’re not in the course and want a little more info about the switch, see last week’s Tips Tuesday.
BlogAid SEO Issues Update
You may recall a few Tips Tuesday’s ago that I reported on a huge SEO issue I found on BlogAid when I first dove into the video schema markup tests.
Well, it’s still not fixed despite me jumping through every hoop requested on the free plugin support forum.
With that exhausted, I took advantage of the holiday sales and purchased the Yoast SEO premium plugin at a discount. I don’t intend on installing it, but this was the only way I could get further support.
In the free forum, they did point to an issue like this that was reported on GitHub, where they have the next beta for the plugin. That first report was in April and there is still no fix for the bug.
So, hopefully paid support will find something that can be fixed and that this problem is just not going out into la-la waiting land forever as an edge case.
I do have a clone of BlogAid where I’m doing all of this disruptive testing and if it comes to it, I’ll completely wipe out Yoast and start over. That’s because the only customized on-page SEO I’m using it for is literally the meta description on pages, and that is pretty fast to replace, including the pages I had marked as noindex and such. The global settings are fast to redo too.
I hope it doesn’t come to that. But I’d rather do that than let this issue keep going. And it’s easy to try on a cloned site with no harm too.
Don’t be a Yoast hater here
And for anyone who decides to become a Yoast hater over this – bye-bye and don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out. Just don’t even think about spewing that hate in a comment on this site.
If you think another SEO plugin is better – prove it. Show me the case study reports. You can’t – as not a single one exists. I’ve been asking for years in SEO groups and of the other plugin vendors. Nobody’s shown one yet. So, you can make all the claims you want. Show me the data.
Yoast SEO is the one all other plugins with specialty schema markup strive to coordinate with, like recipe plugins.
And when WP and Google got in a room to see how best for WP to generate XML sitemaps natively, Joost de Valk is who they called.
So, bugs or not, I’m sticking with the Yoast plugin, and we will get this fixed one way or the other.
That’s all the happenings from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
WordPress 5.6 Releases Dec 8
In 5 days, the latest WP release of version 5.6 will roll out.
We will NOT be updating to it yet.
Right now I’m putting together my What’s New in WP 5.6 video tour for you.
And there is great concern about the continued jQuery core code settings that are going to change.
You’ll hear more about that in the video tour later this week.
Just don’t take that as my suggestion that you should update – wait.
Get Special Update Instructions
My BlogAid News subscribers will get first word on when it’s safe to update and get the special steps to take for this update.
So, ensure you’re subscribed.
WP 5.6 comes with fun Gutenberg updates
This week I’m also checking deeply into all of the new Gutenberg features that will roll into the WP core when 5.6 releases.
However, I won’t be updating tutorials in the Gutenberg Ninja course until after I deem WP 5.6 safe to upgrade to.
The other reason why I delay jumping on creating those video tutorials is that too often there are last minute changes just before the release, or changes with bug fixes right after.
I don’t have time to make those tutorials twice, and you don’t have time to watch them twice either.
So, better to delay for 2-3 weeks.
That means they will likely be coming around the holidays.
And I’ll be emailing all of the Gutenberg Ninja course members as they start rolling out.
SiteGround moving clients from cPanel to Site Tools
If you’re on SiteGround’s cPanel interface, did you get a notification that your account was being moved to their new Site Tools custom control panel?
Don’t feel bad – some folks that were moved didn’t. Now, if you didn’t get an email, maybe you haven’t been moved yet. Try to login to your account. If it works, then you haven’t been moved yet – but that is coming.
Now, I can still do a site audit at SiteGround, but with reduced metrics that are actually critically important with knowing what is going on with your site.
And on the new custom control panel, I can no longer do full HTTPS conversions.
Folks, the more SG changes, the less impressed I become.
I’ve already removed them from my recommended hosting list and am constantly drawing more lines on what services I can offer there.
If you’re still on this goofy hosting setup, contact me for Migration Services so I can help you get to a better host and get rid of the 30+ pieces of SiteGround junk that will come over and make your site break at the new host.
ModSecurity Tightens WAF Security Rules
Lately I’ve noticed a forbidden message when trying to update settings on some plugins.
I was able to temporarily turn off ModSecurity at the host and save the plugin settings, and then turn ModSecurity back on.
I asked the nice folks at NameHero support if ModSecurity has recently changed, and it has.
Imunify360 governs the settings in ModSecurity that our hosts use to help protect us from cyber attacks.
This is the new rule I think may be causing the plugin save issue:
Updated rule id: 77142096 – IM360 WAF: Block spam via admin-ajax.php
Admin-ajax is used to power many of the backend functions in WP.
So, it would make sense that tightening security on it might block you, as the admin, from making a change that trips the security wire.
For more info on ModSecurity:
UpdraftPlus Setting Changes Trips ModSecurity Wires
When you try to save setting changes in UDP, you may get a forbidden pop up notification.
To save the settings, you will need to:
- temporarily turn off ModSecurity at the host
- Refresh the UDP settings page
- Make the setting changes again and save
- Turn ModSecurity back on
I’ve contacted UpdraftPlus support and given them all of this info about ModSecurity.
We’re currently working on it together and I’ll keep you posted on what they do for us with it.
There was a login security issue with cPanel recently.
But the hackers needed some of your other credentials to pull it off, so that makes it pretty unlikely that you would have been at risk, but still.
The issue was patched prior to this article coming out about it on ZDNet, so all good now.
Get Separate Accounts for Hosting, Domain, Email
But, this is why you need to have your hosting, domain, and email at separate vendors.
You don’t want a hacker to be able to take control of all those things from one login breach.
And vulnerabilities can pop up from anywhere.
This is why it pays to be proactive with your security.
PHP is one of the coding languages for WP, themes, and plugins.
The version level you are on at your host has to be regularly upgraded to keep pace with changes to that code.
We’re in the last days of active support for PHP 7.3.
If you haven’t already done so, you need to upgrade the PHP level at your host to 7.4.
SEE: How to Check or Change Your PHP Version for a cPanel tutorial.
For those not on a host with cPanel brand control panel, you’ll need to find your host’s tutorial for it.
Don’t use PHP 8.0
Some hosts have already added PHP 8.0 to their servers.
It is not yet considered stable and we don’t want to switch to it yet.
So higher is not better on this one.
WP 5.6 is saying that it is only beta compatible to PHP 8.0 too, so that should give you another clue that we’re not ready to switch to it.
We’ll likely be making that upgrade about this time next year, and I’ll let you know when.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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