Hello Happy Site Owners!
Tips this week include:
- New WP Starter tutorials
- Site Success Open Q&A – BlogAid Live Show
- Wrap up on two membership site projects
- The key to making money with membership sites
- Wrap up on two site build projects
- A new niche for site audits
- MailChimp List Subscribe plugin mandatory update
- CloudFlare Update Hiccup
- Login Lockdown plugin updated
- How the Google pop up penalty affects Thrive Leads
- Ideas for how to convert your site to https
- Follow up on Headways Themes news
- Whether DIY visual page builders are worth it
Listen to the podcast
I’ve been a video making maniac. Last week I told you I was making my list of all the tutorials that needed updating in the Site Success Courses. I’ve been pumping those out like crazy, plus a few new ones.
In the WP Starter section I added:
- How to Update Safely
- Theme Customizer
- Upload Image Basics
- Link Basics
The next batch will include:
- Plugin and Widget Basics
- And an update of the TinyMCE Advanced text editor
- as well as going through all the tools in the regular text editor
This $1 library includes over 20 tutorials to get you started on the right foot with WordPress.
The WP Basic and WP Advanced sections have new tuts coming too, including:
- Recommended Plugins
- Install Plugins
- Working with Widgets
- Optimize Images
- Image captions
I’ve got a bunch on the list for the WP Advanced and Genesis sections too, and I’ll tell you more about those as I make them.
And, I’m adding a whole new section of tutorials that will also be available on the BlogAid YouTube Channel with settings on several of the top plugins I won’t do a site without.
Several of those will be from a new playlist on YouTube I’m creating by editing one of my BlogAid Live shows into short segments.
Site Success Open Q&A
Wed Sept 21 at 1pm ET / 10am PT
On the BlogAid FireTalk channel
Join me live this week for the latest site success news and a free pick my brain session to get your WordPress, SEO, and site questions answered.
I’m also delighted to tell you that we’ve completed two major membership projects that took all summer to do.
One of my clients, who came to me last year for a membership site, has now expanded it to offer a big summit campaign. It was a major undertaking because it has a LOT of moving parts. But, I’m absolutely confident he’ll do another one now that he has this under his belt and is well on his way to making some serious money with it.
And then, one of my live training clients wanted to add a membership component to her existing Woocommerce site. And I have to say, that got super complex quickly because both the store and the membership components are massive machines in and of themselves.
I generally advise folks to add their member site as a sub-domain if it’s not the only focus of their site. After seeing what it took to do this integration, especially with Woo, I’m going to stand by that advice.
Setting up the membership part went quickly. It was the integration that was such a booger bear, and I want to thank e-commerce specialist, Colleen Conger of ThinkWebGo for making it work.
Plus, I’m positive my client is going to make way more money than she originally thought because we made a plan at the beginning for that.
That initial consult is the key. My clients make 4x more money on their member sites than they had initially planned. Before that consult, they’re all focused on their content. They don’t know how a member site runs, or what the options are.
I help them find the money. All of it.
And then we focus on the delivery and user experience that will make those extra conversions happen.
And then we choose the plugin that is best suited to make it all work.
And then I do a turnkey setup and training, where they just have to edit all those extra conversion points and then add their content.
They make money from day one. And it all works.
One of the worst mistakes you can make with a member site is starting the process by vetting plugins, and especially with looking for ones that are easy for you, as a non-tech, to set up. They all leave money on the table. I don’t care how much you’re making with them, I guarantee you’re also losing money by not getting all of the upsells and other conversion points you’re missing.
All this summer I’ve also been helping two clients do major rebuilds of their sites and we’re close to launching.
One already has a thriving, and I do mean thriving, existing site and she needed to put it on a more solid foundation that didn’t require so much maintenance on her part. So we switched her from a theme builder to Genesis and it’s going very well.
Another was a full training client who has built a new site from scratch. And I have to tell you, she is going to make some real money with it. The theme, copy, images, and conversion points are all there.
I’ll be doing interviews with both of these clients after their launch because I want you to hear from them what the process was like. And, I want you to hear how they are making money with their sites. So, look for those BlogAid Live Shows in the coming months.
For the past month, I’ve also been working with a lot of site audit clients in the prepping niche. These are folks who help you plan for emergencies and such.
I’m finding they have similar site issues to those in the craft/lifestyle blogger niche. And I have a LOT of those site audit clients.
You know, most of these things are pretty easy to fix. Site performance goes way up too.
And all of that translates into making more money.
So, whatever it costs to do, it will pay for itself.
For all of my webmasters, getting discovered by a niche of bloggers is super for biz. Do you specialize in specific niches?
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
MailChimp List Subscribe Mandatory Update
If you’re using this plugin, you must update to the newer version. The cutoff date was Sept 15. The latest version is powered by their new API 3.0 and the older version will no longer work.
CloudFlare Update Hiccup
Last week, a CloudFlare plugin update caused 502 and 520 errors and inability for folks to access their sites. That issue has been fixed in the most recent update.
You need the CloudFlare plugin to resolve the visitor’s IP address back to the original. Otherwise, your analytics will show all traffic coming only from CloudFlare.
Login Lockdown Updated
Last week I reported to you that my favorite Brute Force attack prevention plugin was being updated, mainly to get the warning removed that it had not been updated in 2 years. It’s out now, so be sure to get the latest version.
In a recent Tips Tuesday I told you about the new Google penalties coming for pop ups. Shane Melaugh of Thrive Leads has a nice post that busts the myths and misinformation about this penalty, and about the changes they’ve already made to Thrive Leads to get ahead of this curve.
In the post, he reiterates that this is for the mobile version of your site only, and that it only affects mobile search ranking. For a lot of you, that’s a big deal.
The changes he made to the Thrive Leads plugin now allows you choose the type of pop up to display. That includes a lightbox overlay for desktop, and a smaller ribbon for mobile. That’s a super duper way to deal with it!
The new penalties won’t go into effect for a few months, so you still have time to make adjustments on your site.
You may recall a recent Tips Tuesday where I reported that in January, Chrome will start displaying in your face warnings on any sites that ask you for a password or credit card info that are not secured, meaning delivered via https.
My favorite fix-it guy, Makis, of FixMyWP has a nice write up on ways to switch your site over.
I’m already in the process of investigating what it’s going to take to switch over my membership sites, as they have a login bar on every page, which of course asks for a password. The payment gateway pages are already secured, so it’s a matter of switching over the rest of the site.
That won’t be as tricky on them because there are no mixed media concerns, meaning I don’t have anything being delivered from unsecured outside sources like I do on my main site. My member sites are on their own sub-domain. So I only have to update them individually.
But I am concerned with the performance hit, and that’s what I’m investigating hard too.
I appreciate how easy Makis made this switch sound, but that won’t be the case for many sites.
Have a look at what it took for Wired to switch their site.
I believe it’s going to be like that for a lot of us.
Here’s a follow up to the reports last week from an ex-Headway Theme employee about the financial woes of the company. Brant Griffiths published a blog post apologizing to theme users for the lack of support and communication.
And, he said they are busy creating the next version of the theme.
WPTavern has a follow up story on all of this too, if you’d like to get some perspective.
There’s a post on Purpose Themes that claims DIY visual page builders are more trouble than they’re worth. And he makes that claim with a pretty broad brush struck against all of them, such as Visual Composer, Divi, Beaver Builder, Avada, and more.
And, he brings in tweets from other devs, like Pippin Williams to back up that claim.
They cite conflicts with other plugins, slow load times, and reliance on shortcode as the main issues, which are all true.
But I think they are missing the real point.
First, there’s a huge difference in a single page builder and a whole site builder.
There are hundreds of thousands of DIYers who are attracted to use these builders for their entire site simply because they are uneducated on how one theme will outperform another for conversion. And that’s mainly because they are uneducated on their conversion points in the first place. Plus, they don’t know marketing, SEO, or how to write online copy.
What they focus on is fashion over function and saving money.
In reality, going this route ends up costing way more money.
Either their site performs poorly and/or they end up hiring a designer anyway.
Let me put it in the simplest terms.
In most cases, it’s an amateur’s dream.
Not one of my full training clients has any desire to use a DIY product for their theme. Not one of my money making site management or site audit clients does either.
That’s because they are all educated site owners.
Second, a single page DIY builder is not a bad thing. I have yet to see a premium theme that comes with a decent landing page template. That’s when it is highly appropriate to build your own with services like Thrive Lead Generation, Lead Pages, and others. And they come with lots of time tested templates that are proven to work to get you started.
My third and last point on this is, when you get opinions from both ends of the spectrum, such as purest developers who are all about function, and then newbie site owners who are still in the freebie mindset haze, you’re never going to get agreement on this topic.
So, whatever you read about it, including from me, consider the source.
Hey, if a DIY site builder gets you started, fine. And when you know better, do better, right?
I’m in the business of helping you make money with your site by avoiding expensive pitfalls and getting more conversion, no matter what you use.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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