Hello Happy Site Owners!
Tips this week include:
- How image optimization impacts your bottom line
- The new membership site I’m building right now
- The price of being a hands off site owner
- WordPress 4.7.1 bug fixes
- What the Google mobile pop up penalty rolling out means for you
- Why I have to change my SEO and marketing strategy
- How Google changed its test for image optimization
- Google PageSpeed integrated with WebPage Test
- What crawl budget means for Googlebot and how site speed matters
- An update for current VaultPress users
- The Chrome form autofill security issue
- GoDaddy revokes SSL certificates
- An SSL certificate tip for you
- Why not to pay a host to convert your site to HTTPS
- An ultimate HTTPS checklist in the making
Listen to the podcast
Webmaster Meeting Follow Up
Last Friday I met with members of the Webmaster Training to get their input on which new and updated tutorials from my list would help them the most.
And, to get suggestions for new workshops to help folks get up to speed with all they have to learn. There were some super suggestions!!!
I have more free webinars planned for 2017 so designers can learn more about site security, performance, and converting sites to HTTPS, so look for announcements on those.
Image Optimization Tests
I’m currently vetting new team members to provide my clients with bulk image optimization services. Five folks responded and I sent all of them the link to one of my client’s big images that she uses on Pinterest. They each returned their optimized version and I set up pages on my testing site for each so we could compare quality and file size and how each rendered.
The results were all over the place and it was a super good test of different image optimization techniques.
I sent the results to the client and to each of the folks who submitted images so they could see for themselves how well their technique works compared to others.
I also sent those results, plus full test results to my webmasters too.
Some of those pages didn’t pass the image compression test in WebPageTest either. So, very worthwhile to do.
Two of those who submitted had outstanding results and I’ll be following up with them for quotes and see how they are to work with as I continue the vetting process.
Image Optimization Impacts Your Bottom Line
It’s crazy important to learn how to properly optimize your images BEFORE you upload them. When you have lots of them on a post, it causes it to load super slow.
That means more folks abandon your page before they ever see any of your money makers. And they usually don’t come back.
Those image optimization tests I’m currently running confirmed that we can shave at least 1.5 seconds per image off the page load. And when you’ve got 5-6 images embedded in each post, plus the images in the header, footer, and sidebar, that really starts to add up.
You can hear more about how image optimization impacts your bottom line in my recent BlogAid Today video tip.
Building New Member Site
I’ve finally sorted out what I’m going to do with the Site Success Courses member site and I’m currently building out a new member site for the SEO course and new workshops because it’s just easier than revamping the very complex setup I have in the current site.
The WordPress tutorials will be staying put, so don’t worry about that!
I’ll be sending all members an email with full details as soon as I have everything ready for you. So, look for that soon.
What I can tell everyone right now is that this change will allow me to be more nimble in delivering workshops, especially quick ones that will help you stay right on top of changes as they come along. Plus, more workshops that are super focused and help you get one thing complete at a deep level and then you’re done. I’m very excited about that and I know you will be too.
And yes, there will still be video tutorial courses that you can take at your own pace anytime too.
I believe the whole thing is going to be a lot better for both me and my clients.
The Price of Being a Hands Off Site Owner
This week I’m also working with a site audit client and she sure is getting a great crash course in site ownership. When she first started, she outsourced practically everything with the design and setup. And that person didn’t offer her any training or even tell her what half the stuff was.
I am really proud of her and how much she is learning and the good decisions she’s making for her site now.
Plus, she knows what everything is, what it does, and where and why we cut out a bunch of stuff.
The bottom line is, she paid a little too much to have someone set up things incorrectly, got into some security messes, and is now having to pay to clean all of that up and get things put right.
But, from here on out she’ll know how to caretake the site herself and avoid future issues.
If you’re a site owner, hear this.
Investing in prevention and your education is so much cheaper and far less hassle than being a total hands off site owner. Just listen to any of my site audit clients tell you themselves.
And designers, if you don’t know how to set up a site securely and make it perform well, now is the time to invest in your education and get the skills you need in my Webmaster Training.
I don’t want your clients finding out that you didn’t keep them protected and that they are losing money due to poor performance.
Plus, I teach you how to convert sites to HTTPS, which will be the hottest, most in-demand skill you can have for 2017.
In fact, all new sites you build should be HTTPS from the get go.
I already have clients asking me to convert their sites too. They want the extra ranking brownie points with Google and to get ahead of the curve because this is going to be required of every site owner before it’s all over.
I suspect me and my webmasters are going to get backlogged with conversion requests as the year goes on.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
What the hey, WordPress?
First you publicly announce there is no code issue in WP for the PHPMailer exploit.
So, hosts start making the update themselves.
Then you roll out WP 4.7.1 the next day, stating that there was no issue in the code, but just to be sure, you updated it anyway.
They are currently working on 18 more bug fixes and those will come out in 4.7.2, but we don’t know exactly when that will be.
Google mobile pop up penalty rolls out
Back in September, Google warned us that they were going to roll out penalties for sites that displayed pop ups which blocked mobile viewers from seeing the content.
Well, they started rolling that check out on January 11.
But in brief, you really can’t have pop ups that block the content on phones, period. They are still just fine on desktop.
Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a pop up or sticky bar on mobile. It just means that it can’t block the content.
The point is not to have anything the viewer has to try to click off to read what they came to your site for.
Since 78% of my new site traffic comes from Google, why in the world would I change my marketing and SEO strategy?
Because I have to.
And you can read all about it in my post from Monday.
You may recall in last week’s Tips Tuesday that I reported seeing a sudden and significant drop in Google PageSpeed Insights scores, but I didn’t know why.
Well, we have at least one answer.
Google switched the tester from lossy to lossless image compression.
I found a running thread on it and some folks are calling it a mistake and expect Google to reverse it. So, I wouldn’t make any changes on your site to try to remedy this right now.
Here’s the thing, I don’t think a change in image compression is the only tweak they made in those scores. They just dropped too much for that. But we’ll see and I’ll keep you updated.
And I would never change over to lossless compression anyway. The pictures don’t look nice.
I also saw this little tip mentioned in that thread about image optimization.
I like that some of the Google PageSpeed Insights info has been combined into my favorite online performance tester, WebPage Test.
I’ll be adding that test info to my site audits. And perhaps it will be a far better way to get details on what needs fixing, as the actual Google PageSpeed Insights doesn’t really get into details.
Also, the creator of WebPageTest, Patrick Meenan, now works for Google. So, I’m thinking there will be even more integration between the two down the road.
This is a super interesting read from the Google Webmaster blog about how Google chooses to crawl your site.
Some of the factors that affect the crawl are:
- Site speed
- Soft errors
- Freshness of content
So site speed matters to showing up in Google at all, plus as a ranking factor.
Ready for your site audit now?
Now that the initial smoke has cleared about the VaultPress / Jetpack integration, I contacted VaultPress support to see where we are with things, especially for current users.
Be sure to see my post from Friday with their replies and potential temporary workarounds.
I’m not jumping ship just yet, and giving them time to work out the issues, especially the XML-RPC thing, which is the biggest problem.
But, all the hoops you have to jump through with using Jetpack is a royal mess, in my opinion. Still, it may be worth doing to get that nice backup service, and at a lower cost. We’ll see.
Another client let me know that her renewal just hit and there was no change to her account or setup.
Do you use autofill with online forms? You know, you start typing in your email address and it pops up with the last one you used in a form.
Well, you need to stop clicking on those auto fills.
See this post for more on a problem with Chrome that has it sending out way more info than is in the form, like the last credit card info you input and such too.
SSL and HTTPS Tips
There was a bug in the auto renewal process for some of the certificates issued by GoDaddy back in July 2016. Although it only affected 2% of the folks using that type of certificate, it probably had a significant impact on their site traffic while it was being worked out.
Here’s a SSL Certificate tip for you
Even if you have a paid certificate, get a free Let’s Encrypt certificate as a backup. If the renewal on your paid one fails, the free one should immediately go into effect.
I tested that on one of my own sites, so I know it works.
Don’t Pay a Host to Convert Your Site to HTTPS
I’m working with a client right now who paid her hosting company to convert her site to HTTPS. All they did was convert the database, nothing else.
So now she’s getting mixed media warnings and that the connection is not secure.
And none of the 3rd party updates were done, nor did they tell her about them, like Google Search Console, Google Analytics, social media site verification and more.
All I can say is vet the person you hire to help you with that by actually getting references and checking the sites that they have flipped.
Ultimate HTTPS Checklist on the way
Today I’m finishing up an ultimate checklist for those who are thinking about converting their sites to HTTPS this year. It will have a long list of all the things you need to have handy or check prior to doing the conversion.
Trust me, it’s way easier to check all this stuff before you convert rather than have ugly surprises afterward and be under the gun to fix them.
Look for that post this week.
Be sure to subscribe to BlogAid News and all of my blog posts so they get delivered straight to your inbox and you never miss important news and handy info like this.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
Find these tips helpful? Share them with your peeps!!!!
Subscribe to all BlogAid Posts
Drop in on my BlogAid Live shows
Subscribe on iTunes
Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.