Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- What’s behind lightning fast client sites
- What new Gutenberg blocks I’m testing and liking for my woodworking theme revamp
- A personal request to help a WordPress community member and the awesome perks you get when you do
- A full Gutenberg page builder you’ll want to see for sure, but maybe not use yet
- Why we may all be shooting to get on page 2 of Google search soon
- How to make slide shows using Google Drive that you can post on Instagram and your site
- What’s coming in Genesis 3.1 that you MUST know about and plan for
- 3 reasons to remove the sidebar from your site
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 9pm ET / 6pm 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.
Oh my gosh, what a crazy, busy, and productive week it has been around here!!!
I’ve been sharing some of what goes on behind the scenes on the BlogAid Facebook page.
Lightning Fast Client Sites
A couple of loyalty audits went lickety split this week. Those are the annual checkups for my site audit clients. I just update security and performance tweaks as I go, so they are faster and cheaper too.
And we applied the premium version of WP Fastest Cache and woohoo!!!!!! Between that and a couple of other speed tweaks we jumped 10-15 points on Google PageSpeed Insights and the sites are loading lightning fast!!!
I think I’ve got all of the test data I need to finish writing my comparison post between WP Fastest Cache and WP Rocket now.
Amazing Opportunities Underway
I can’t let the cat out of the bag fully on this yet, but some amazing opportunities have come my way and I’m working on them. That means finding a way to put them into my already super busy schedule. And that means just doubling down and getting it done.
It also means taking a leap out of my comfort zone to take BlogAid to the next level.
That has taken a big mindset switch too.
But, I know it’s the right thing to do, and the right time.
I just have to make it happen.
Do you take big leaps like that with your site and business where you feel like you’re betting the farm on something? How did you feel? How did it go? Feel free to share in the comments, or anywhere you see this post online.
As I mentioned in last week’s Tips Tuesday, I cloned my woodworking site and was all excited to try new fully Gutenberg compliant themes on it. But, that bubble got burst as none of the themes were going to work well for what I want to do with the site at this time.
So, I met live with my designer this past week and we’ve decided to go with the Kreativ Pro theme, which is the same base I used for BlogAid.
Although Genesis hasn’t upgraded that theme for full Gute compliance, my designer has, so that’s going to make it faster and cheaper for me to go that route.
And I’m not using the home page the theme came with, which is widget driven.
I created my own home page using Gutenberg blocks, and I really like it.
I’m going for a simple blog-centric layout and it was so easy to do.
I also made a new lists page for my mitre saw station build posts. Although the one I have now is not bad, doing it in blocks is so much easier and cleaner!!
I’ve got a couple more things to check this week for compatibility, like the Foo Gallery I’m using for the carvings and such.
But, overall, I’m very pleased with how super fast and easy this changeover is going to be and I hope to have it done in the next week or so.
Testing New Gutenberg Blocks
During this changeover I put the Ultimate Blocks Add Ons plugin to the test. It is a full suite of blocks and has many of the same ones as Atomic Blocks, but there are some important differences and which one works best for you depends on your needs.
Plus, Atomic Blocks just came out with some new features that I’ll be checking into.
I will be doing a full set of tutorials for the Gutenberg course soon, along with a comparison post on the differences that I’ll release to the public.
So look for that as soon as I can get to it.
Finishing the Workbench
In the last couple of weeks I’ve made super progress on my new workbench build for the wood shop.
And I was down to putting on the top when I got stopped cold again with best ways to attach it to the frame and how to protect the surface.
Who knew there were so many things to consider?!?
So, I spent last week researching all that, made a decision, and I’m putting the final touches on the top now.
But, this definitely gave me new posts to write and most definitely changed the order of how I’ll be releasing the posts of the build. I had been hanging on to the one for the frame, and really glad I did now!!!!
I’m not crazy about the delays in posting, but on the other hand, I’m thrilled with the depth of info I can share on my site about this hot topic. So, it will all be worth it in the end as it will make a wild lot of difference to the content silo I’m building for SEO on this site.
And I’m thankful I know what I do about SEO so I can start playing this long game right from the get-go with this site. And it is working.
Please Help with This Fire Sale Benefit
On a serious note, I’m asking all of those reading or listening to the podcast for a personal request.
I few weeks ago, long-time WordPress trainer and helper Kimberly Brink-Castleberry lost everything in a house fire. And due to unfortunate circumstances, was not insured. So, she has no way to support herself for temporary living, much less replace anything.
So many folks in the WordPress community came together to create a Fire Sale benefit.
It’s an AMAZING bundle of goodies worth $1800 that you can get right now for $27.
There are 26 downloadables in the bundle, each one worth more than the $27 for all of them.
And the money goes straight to Kim.
I’m asking every one of my followers to get this bundle today as they are only offering it for a limited time.
I’m positive you will find at least 3-4 things in it you can put to use immediately to help you grow your biz or traffic, or get ideas from experts to take you to the next level. And you’ll get to meet a lot of new experts through this too.
I know I have kind and supportive readers and I thank you from my heart for taking action on this today and show your gratitude for all the free help you get from me and folks like Kim who work so hard to make WordPress a great community. And, to show your support for all the experts who stepped up to make this bundle available.
There is also a GoFundMe campaign where you can do a straight donation too.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
This Gutenberg page builder plugin from Product Hunt is pretty cool.
And I hope the WP devs see it to get some ideas for Phase 2 of Gute and becoming a full site builder.
I don’t think it’s a good idea for site owners to go this route with this plugin at this time, though, as so many of these features will be natively supported in the WP core within a year, I think. Or Genesis or other existing frameworks might beat them to it!!
But, it is definitely a glimpse into the future of where we are going with Gute, so do go have a look.
Google is now going visual with ads, meaning that they will now include images, not just text.
And that means the extra real estate those take up will push organic search results even further down page one.
Between that, regular text ads, and YouTube videos, Google search seems to be more focused on its own revenue these days than being a diverse place to find info from bloggers like you and me.
And I’m hearing more pro SEO folks starting to pay more attention to how their client’s sites are performing on Bing.
Do you think Google’s change in focus will drive searchers to other engines like Bing or poor little Duck Duck Go?
Or do you think most folks will just scroll past the ads to page 2 to find us?
Have you started using Bing or other search engines yourself?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
This is a little off topic for website tips, but I thought it was just too interesting not to share.
You can use Google Drive’s SlideDeck for making a slideshow to upload to Instagram.
You can also embed these things on your site too.
Do you think folks will actually click to slide to the next frame on IG?
Let me know what you think of this and if you’ll be trying it.
For those of you using the Genesis Custom Footer or Genesis Simple Edits plugin to modify your footer credit area, listen up.
That function is being deprecated in Genesis 3.1 and will be moved to the Customizer instead.
Here’s the action you need to take courtesy of Marcy Diaz of Amethyst Website Design, who is a fellow webmaster and designer.
If you use Genesis Custom Footer plugin OR Genesis Simple Edits plugin AND check ” Modify Entire Footer Text (including markup)?”, then the plugin takes precedence. If you don’t check to replace the markup in Genesis Simple Edits, then the credit text from the plugin will be copied into the new Genesis Footer. So your footer text will remain the same as you have it.
Genesis 3.1 is in beta and will be released soon. So, mark this info for reference if you use those plugins.
There are a LOT of other major changes in this Genesis release.
So, please do read this post about the beta for more info, and I’ll have a tutorial out as soon as I can about how to make the change, if needed. But I think Marcy’s instructions are clear.
There’s also a new Genesis section in the block editor window, meaning in the sidebar on the right if you’re using Gutenberg.
It has settings to allow you to hide the title and breadcrumbs easily on any post or page. Those settings used to require a plugin. So now this may be another fine mess if you are using that plugin as to which one has control over pages or posts where it is in use.
Check with your theme designer before updating Genesis
And as always, check with your theme designer to see how this change may affect the way they have coded your theme.
To be honest, this is one of the reasons I stick with the child themes made by Genesis instead of using 3rd party ones, including those featured on the StudioPress themes page. Due to the serious lack of coding quality control standards, I don’t know that these 3rd party theme developers are keeping up. Or, they have caused a lot of chaos on the ones that require a paid plugin, as the developer may release an update to the plugin for folks who purchased the theme directly from them, but there could be a month or more delay in getting that same plugin available via StudioPress if you purchased the theme there.
Folks shopping for themes on StudioPress have zero idea what they are buying now.
It’s a circus with these 3rd party vendors and I hold StudioPress itself responsible for letting it get this out of hand. And I hope it’s something they address sooner rather than later.
I found this post on the NameHero blog interesting about why more folks are dumping sidebars on their site.
And I left a comment on the post that many of you who run ads will want to see as the stance ad agencies take on this topic is out of date and I hope they re-evaluate.
But in the end, it comes down to making money and if they can get someone to buy an ad that gets placed in a sidebar that is never seen on mobile, then they still make money.
You don’t, the advertiser doesn’t, but the ad agency does.
Just think about that and go read the post and my comment.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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