Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- New head-to-head caching tests underway
- Why your host type and traffic matter to vet the info you read about caching
- What’s new in our DIY SEO content audit side challenge
- The date for the next DIY SEO Workshop on global site and page SEO
- How to track outbound link clicks in Google Analytics
- Why you need to fully disable XML-RPC to prevent a DDoS attack
- Why I issued an update tutorial to Cloudflare’s IP Firewall settings
- Why designers must learn how to properly secure a site
- An insightful recap of the major Google announcements from 2017
- How to easily create marketing videos from still images
- 5 fun things you didn’t know you could do with FooGallery
- 6 reasons why you should be using SVG images
- Happy 15th birthday to WordPress
Listen to the Podcast
New Head-to-Head Caching Tests Underway
Yes, I’ve been quiet lately.
Yes, I’ve been up to something.
I’ve been neck deep in new caching plugin tests.
I finished the WP Rocket tests and decided that while I had test sites on three different server types set up, this would be a great time to do new caching plugin tests.
The last ones I did were in 2016 and things have changed at the hosts and with the plugins.
My Level 6 Webmasters have been seeing the full test result reports as I’ve been going.
And now I’ve got a spreadsheet that is definitely telling the tale of which caching works best on which host server type.
Host, Site, and Traffic Types Matter
There is no such thing as one best caching plugin or setup.
If you’re reading speed tests or caching reviews and they don’t disclose the:
- host server type
- site type, theme, and content
- Volume of traffic
then I’d be suspicious of the test or review.
I’m not kidding.
Don’t believe these things unless you can properly vet what all is being included in the test.
You will not be able to replicate their results if your situation is different.
That’s why I set up a real-world blog post on 3 different server types, including:
- Apache with an A2 Hosting Swift account
- Apache with Ngnix at SiteGround on the GoGeek account
- Litespeed on A2 Hosting, with and without Turbo
Speed and cache enhancements work differently on these different type of host servers.
That’s why I pay for 3 different hosting accounts – so I can accurately run tests.
Volume of traffic is a HUGE factor in caching.
If you have over 10k hits/day to your site you need to set up caching differently than folks who are getting less traffic than that.
And if you’re on a VPS or dedicated server, you have different settings available to you than folks who are on shared servers, and that’s at any host.
So, be careful of what you believe when you read any type of speed test, including best caching solutions.
And you know I’ll have a non-geek-speak post for you when I’m done.
Content Audit Side Challenge
As me and my fellow DIY SEOers keep plugging away at cleaning up or 404s in Google Search Console, I’m also taking us on a side challenge to do a full content audit with me as I take BlogAid through that process.
I want to thank one of my clients for turning me on to the WP All Export plugin as a super way to create a spreadsheet of all my posts, pages, images and more.
I’ll be making a video tutorial on how to set up different reports, as there are a lot of choices with the free version of this plugin, and even more with the pro version of it.
I found a configuration in the free version that will be uber helpful for flagging content to be deleted, including the images that are attached to them.
And, with it all in a spreadsheet, I can also flag content that I want to rework and bring forward again, or cull into a super helpful set of resources.
Global Site and Page SEO Workshop
We’re switching gears for our next live Workshop in the DIY SEO course.
Now we start covering the sexy side of SEO with our global site and page elements.
Mark your calendars now for Thur, Feb 8 at 1pm ET / 10am PT.
I sent out an email to members with all the Zoom meeting info this weekend.
And you can find it anytime at the top of your member dashboard.
Track Outbound Link Clicks in Google Analytics
Ever wonder exactly what outbound links folks click on your site?
You can’t track that directly in Google Analytics.
But, I found a little script that goes in the footer that tracks it as an Event.
You have to do a couple of steps to put the info of which links were clicked on which page/post, but it does give a clear picture of what’s happening with outbound links on your site.
And, it’s easier than setting up Google Tag Manager, which is the way they would like for you to do it.
I’ll be meeting with a client later this week to see if this new script can replace what she is tracking via Jetpack stats because we want to get that off her site and close that XML-RPC security hole it requires to be open to talk to Automattic, where the stats are held.
XML-RPC is an input/output layer for your site to talk to the outside world.
It used to be a thing of beauty as an intra-communication system for WordPress sites to let each other know they were linking to you via trackbacks/pingbacks.
But then hackers got a hold of it and it is still their favorite way to do a brute force attack on your login page.
So, for the last 4 years, I’ve been advising folks to turn it all the way off.
You can read this post for more info on what turning it off can affect, and whether you want it all the way off, half way, or leave it on at your own risk.
There are 3 places to turn it fully off and I take care of that for all of my site audit clients.
Update Cloudflare IP Firewall Settings
This way they will block the 25+ countries that are the worst offenders for bad bot attacks.
That will save a ton on hosting resources and better protects you against a DDoS attack too.
And yes, this is available on the free version of Cloudflare too.
Designers – Learn How to Properly Secure Sites
I also updated the Cloudflare tutorials in Level 2 on Security of the Webmaster Training member site as well.
If you are a designer, and you don’t know how to properly secure a site and make it fast, and do a real HTTPS conversion, you’re not only running an irresponsible business, but you’re also missing out on paying gigs.
These are the in-demand skills that savvy site owners are looking for.
And it’s what will separate you from the pack and get you more good paying jobs with smart clients.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Thanks to the nice folks at Stone Temple Consulting for putting together this list of SEO changes announced by Google in 2017.
I did a livestream with my DIY SEO members about it, to emphasize why we are covering the topics that we are in the Workshops this year.
They can clearly see the trajectory Google is on and why we must get our SEO ducks in a row right now so we are already settled when even bigger changes hit later this fall.
Got a lot of still images?
Then it will be amazingly easy for you to get on the video marketing trend.
Social Media Examiner has a full tutorial on making videos from stills with Animoto.
And it’s free!!!
Video is hot, hot, hot.
It gets reach everywhere, including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and yes, YouTube.
And Animoto is a lot of fun too.
Give it a go and share a link to the video you made with us.
Are your posts image heavy? And do they all look the same?
You know, same subject and same size?
Maybe spice things up with these fun features in FooGallery.
They’ve got a new post with 5 things you didn’t know you could do, like hover effects and such.
And did you know they had a free version?
Yep, great way to try it and see how you can make your posts and pages more visually interesting.
I really haven’t said much about SVG images.
SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics.
Google wants us to use them.
And they will likely be the next big thing in design.
But, they just really haven’t caught on yet.
I think they will, though. And that’s why I want you to go read this post that has more info and links about why SVG is the future for images on the web.
Designers, what do you think about SVG?
Have you been working with them yet?
Wow! Can you believe it’s been 15 years ago that WordPress was created?
WPTavern has a copy of the comment from Mike Little to Matt Mullenweg that got it all started.
Being an old HTML coder, I was a late adopter of WordPress. I started using it in 2008 and became a full convert with all my sites in 2010.
How about you?
How long have you been a WordPress user?
Did you have a site on something else prior to that?
Let us know in the comments.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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