Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- What’s in a new hosting package at NameHero hosting I’m testing out
- A video tour of the new custom control panel at SiteGround
- A bunch of new WP install and secure tutorials for Webmaster Designers
- Why the new DIY SEO Content Revamp Booster Program has been a trip down memory lane
- More details on the Genesis 3.1 update
- An upcoming webinar on structured data and schema markup
- Google’s explanation of why indexing and reporting have been so messed up since April
- What’s in the WordPress 5.2.3 release and when we can expect it to roll out and what you need to do beforehand
- Why the Gutenberg devs are considering adding a nofollow link option to WordPress
- Lazy Load finally comes to Chrome and why you’ll be sticking with the way you’re doing it now
- Why generic speed tweaks may not be working for you
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.
It’s been another highly productive week here at BlogAid.
Got another happy site owner moved to better hosting at NameHero.
Did 2 full HTTPS conversions for clients that had cheated their way through that and were missing all manner of HTTPS perks, including the HSTS security header that Chrome says is required now.
And, I onboarded 2 more site audit clients.
We’re winding down on 6 open projects that started as site audits and 3 of those have bloomed into full account cleanup of multiple sites that were live on the account too.
Reducing the number of live sites on a single cPanel radically increases security and helps with performance too.
Plus, 2 of those clients are no longer seeing overages on their hosting account now either. They were about to have to pay more for hosting and we knocked that off the table, and that saved them enough money to pay for the audit and the fixes.
If you are already on my wait list, just know that I’m going as fast as my current projects allow and I’ll be onboarding you as soon as I can. I just onboarding 2 more projects this week.
And my wait list is now going into October and things will not slow down with that until March.
So, now is the time to make your site service request for an audit, HTTPS conversion, moving to a better host, or any other type of help you need.
I want to thank my long-time client, Samuel Partida, for sending such a great video testimonial for how much difference our work together has made to his bottom line.
You can see and hear it in his own words on the Site Audits page.
If you would like to send in a testimonial, either written or video, just contact me via the site with:
- Your name
- Site name
- Site URL
- Super brief title
- Brief testimonial
- Headshot or link where I can download one
Y’all know that I’ve been so happy at my new host this year. In fact, I’m getting spoiled rotten there. I have access to the VP and CEO, both of whom are server admins and everybody in support is so incredibly helpful.
This week I’m helping another client move off expensive VPS hosting to a new type of reseller account at NameHero that allows us to fully adjust all of the resources to suit each site’s need.
A reseller account is the best way to go if you have multiple sites as each one can be in its own cPanel. That helps with security and performance in that there is a wall between the sites, and each one is assigned resource limits.
So, if one site goes bonkers from either a viral post or a bot attack, it only affects that one site, not the whole account and all other sites.
And because all of the files and logs and such are separate from each other, it’s way easier to track down speed drags or issues too.
But, the problem with shared reseller accounts is that each cPanel has fixed resource limits on some elements. That works for most folks, including me, but not for those who have mass traffic on one of their sites and only a little traffic on the other sites.
That’s why site owners like that need a VPS account. It has the same availability of putting multiple sites into their own cPanel.
But, the resources are over the whole account and go wherever they are needed.
So, I’m tickled pink to help test this new type of server configuration at NameHero that allows me to assign all resources across the accounts as needed.
And my client is tickled pink that her hosting costs are going to be cut in half because of it!
I’ve got several other clients who will be able to make use of this new server setup too, and I know they are itchy to reduce their hosting costs as well.
Did I mention how happy I am at NameHero and how much they are spoiling me?
Come on over and let them make you happy, spoiled rotten too.
If you’re on SiteGround you’ve likely already received an email letting you know that they will be switching you over to their new custom control panel starting in mid September.
I have a test account at SiteGround, but they couldn’t switch it over yet, so I purchased a new account so I could dig into the new interface.
Go see this video tour of what your account will look like, and how to access everything.
New Install and Secure Tutorials
I also used that new SiteGround account to make 12 new tutorials in the Webmaster Training for Designers course.
They have clients on SiteGround and they need to know how to do all the things with this new interface like they do in cPanel.
And this is how I help keep them well ahead of the curves and making more money too.
If you’re a designer, you can’t afford not to have this training.
Migration from SiteGround
Another thing we’re testing out with NameHero is migrating to them from the new control panel at SiteGround. We’re using my new test account as the guinea pig.
So, this way all of us know what’s involved when you get ready to move to better hosting. I know a lot of you are just waiting on your renewal time. And me and NameHero will be ready to assist when that time comes.
Did I mention how happy and spoiled I am at NameHero?
I just love that they are willing to get into the trenches with me and come up with solutions for my clients!
This past week we started our booster program in the DIY SEO course for revamping our content. It’s based on the last 3 workshops in the course, which was all about seeing what’s doing well in search and what to do with old content so we can improve our SEO ranking. And while most of us got started on our content revamp, many of us feel behind over the summer, including me.
So, we’re doing a series of weekly short tasks with accountability in our Facebook group to get back on that wagon and get ‘er done.
So far we’ve exported our content data into a custom spreadsheet and we’ve gone through it to find the easy stuff, which are the posts that need to be deleted with no redirect. This week we’ll be actually deleting that content the right way, so we don’t leave orphans behind to confuse Google. And the way I teach how to do that in this course makes it super easy.
A Trip Down Memory Lane
For me, doing this booster has been a trip down memory lane. In my spreadsheet I saw all the way back to my first post on BlogAid in 2010.
For those who have been following me for a while, you know the story behind BlogAid and how I started it as a sister site to my coding site that I had been running since 2006.
That was back when folks where asking, “I have a website, now what?” It’s when social media was just starting to come into focus with Twitter and then later Facebook.
I’ve decided to delete all of the posts that no longer serve from back then, like the ones that focused on social media, as well as courses I no longer have such as MailChimp and Blab.
I’ve also decided to delete bunches of old Tips Tuesdays. They actually started as 2 posts a week – one that focused on site tech and then one that focused on everything else. When I closed the coding site I moved all in with BlogAid and that was the beginning of Tips Tuesday as we know it now.
I’m pretty sure deleting those posts will impact how many of my podcasts are in iTunes. But I think they only show the latest 200 anyway, so that’s not an issue. And nobody is searching for that old info anymore either, so it’s just a waste of space.
I am keeping all the ones from 2016 and forward, as they still have relevant keywords that folks do search and they help with my authority score with Google.
I was also struck by how many webinars and interviews I used to do compared to now and I’d very much like to revive that practice.
Move Out, Move On
Doing this booster is also a reminder to me of how important it is not to be too sentimental with my site and business.
Things change all the time and we have to be nimble enough and willing to ride those currents.
We need to move out what no longer serves to make room for what will serve us in the future.
A good example of that was my recent theme revamp and switch to Gutenberg on the Heartwood Art site.
I made my first new post on it over the weekend and I was THRILLED to be able to copy straight over from Google Docs and everything was perfectly formatted.
That includes headings and list blocks too.
All I had to add were the image blocks and some paragraph color formatting.
And that made me itchy to switch over BlogAid, as it will make posting Tips Tuesday so much faster!!!!
Over the past week I finished up another batch of Webmaster Training for Designer tutorials. I believe it was 12 or 14 in all.
So this week I’m moving on to updating tutorials in the DIY SEO course.
Both Google and Yoast have settled down with their changes on some elements long enough for me to feel comfortable taking the time to remake those tutorials. I’ve been so burned by not waiting a few weeks for them to finish their tweaks. Too often I waste everyone’s time with making them too soon, just to have to turn around and remake them the next day after release, and everyone having to check out tutorials 2 and 3 times.
I’ve decided that I can’t run my business chasing fires, and neither can y’all. That includes reacting to every little change Google and Yoast make the day they make them. I always alert folks in our Facebook group to the news as it happens. And I’ll take screenshots to add to existing tutorials, if needed and appropriate. But sometimes it takes making a whole new tutorial.
I’ve now got a round robin schedule now for all of my member courses so I can do updates in batches. And this week, it’s the SEO courses turn.
So, if you’re in the course, look for emails with updates as they come out.
What Changes are You Making?
What kinds of adjustments have you made this year with your site and workflow?
Or, do you know you need to make some changes but just keep putting them off because you just don’t want to learn how to do things a different way?
Are you where you wanted to be as we are soon headed into the 4th quarter of the year?
Let us know what you’ve done or what you’re struggling with in the comments. I’m betting you aren’t alone.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Genesis 3.1 Update
The only reports I’ve heard of things breaking with this update all involve the footer area.
These are not your footer widgets.
This is the bottom footer for your copyright and such.
So, go check that it is working now.
And then check how that footer is put there.
It will either be hard coded into your theme or modified with a plugin such as Genesis Simple Edits.
If you are using a plugin, there has been an update for it too. So, ensure that you do the Genesis theme update and that plugin update at the same time and all should be well.
If it is hard coded into your theme, then you may need to check with your theme designer to see if updating Genesis will break it, as some older style code has been deprecated.
And for some, you may have PHP code in there for the copyright date that may need to be tweaked or removed.
So, the only way to know is to do the update and see what happens with yours, as everyone is going to be different.
The rest of the updates in Genesis 3.1 should be fine.
READ: How to Delete Cache Everywhere and check your site immediately after doing that, and according to those instructions, and then check again in 4 hrs and then again in 10 hrs or the next day, as it could take that long for deeply cached things to fully clear. You want to ensure you’re seeing the latest changes.
If you have trouble with your footer, contact your designer for help with it.
Yoast has been doing a series of free webinars that are very helpful. The staging is a little hokey, but the info is good.
On Sept 5 he’s doing one all about Structured Data and Schema Markup.
Visit the link to set up reminders on YouTube, and that’s also where you can see the replay.
Google Webmasters Central has a new post explaining why the heck their indexing has been so glitchy since April.
This, coupled with all of the massive tweaks they have been making to both Search Console and Analytics has everything to do with why I have postponed making new tutorials in the DIY SEO course, especially for Search Console stuff.
And, it’s why I haven’t started up a program of reminders for checking your Search Console because what you see there just hasn’t been accurate until lately. In fact, some of it still isn’t, in my opinion. So, take the info with a grain of salt and just keep monitoring. That’s all we can do.
And, jump over to read this post with the debrief of what’s been happening so you’ll have a clue why your metrics are bouncing all over the place.
Hopefully we can make use of most of them now.
The next version of WordPress is available for testing.
The RC1, or Release Candidate 1, was rolled out last week. A Release Candidate means that they are finished with all changes and are now just doing bug fixes on those changes.
The public release is scheduled for Sept 4, which is next Wed.
This is a minor release meaning that it will auto update for you unless you have some mechanism to turn that off. Most of us don’t, and I don’t recommend it as minor releases could also contain hot security updates too.
What you can do now is make a note on your calendar to do a full site backup on Tuesday to ensure you have a super recent one before this release rolls out.
READ: WordPress Backup Checklist to ensure you are truly getting a full backup where the files are stored off site, and one that you know how to restore if you ever need it.
The discussions will soon start on exactly what will be in the next major WP release of 5.3, which is expected to roll out in November.
I’m keeping super, duper close watch on this one, as I hope it will bring in at least 2 major features that can only be found in the Gutenberg plugin right now.
And as soon as those 2 features do roll into the core, we’ll be getting rid of that plugin.
I’m actually shocked that more of the Gute plugin features have not been rolled into core yet. It’s been 3 months already.
I’ll keep you posted on what they are considering adding in the new release as soon as we have word, likely right after this upcoming kickoff meeting with the devs this week.
And FYI, I have kept my email list from the days when folks were in the Gutenberg course on Teachable too, so I can be sure y’all hear when it’s time to take out the Gutenberg plugin. We don’t want to keep that beta on our site any longer than needed.
One of the key things missing from WordPress core is an easy way to make a link nofollow.
Both the Classic Editor and the Gutenberg editor have long had an easy way to open a link in a new tab. But why they don’t have something to do nofollow is mind boggling.
Lately they’ve had a reality check with the Gutenberg tickets submitted on just how many site owners make their living as affiliate marketers and they need an easy nofollow option for their links.
So, the Gutenberg devs are seriously looking into this now and are testing ways to make a setting similar to open in a new tab available for nofollow.
READ: Ultimate Guide for Creating Links in WordPress for how to do nofollow in all editors now, and for why you want to stop making links open in a new tab, as that is a security issue. The native way WP defeats that security issue may seriously goof up tracking of your affiliate link too. In that Guide you’ll also see what happens to your nofollow links when you delete a popular nofollow plugin. And you’re going to want to get rid of those plugins as most will not work in Gutenberg anyway, so they are no longer being developed now, or will suddenly stop being developed. You want to do them manually until this change comes to core.
I’ll keep my eye for when this new feature becomes available. And I’m thinking it will roll into the core and be available for all editors, not just a new feature in the Gutenberg plugin. At least that is my hope.
Google has been telling us it was coming for a long time and now it has finally shipped.
The latest version of Chrome 76 allows developers to force the browser to do the lazy loading function of images.
Lazy load means that any images below the fold, which is the part of the page the visitor can’t see until they scroll, don’t load until that scroll happens.
We currently have this function in our caching plugins, such as the premium ones of WP Fastest Cache and WP Rocket.
And it really does help speed up the initial load time of a site, especially on mobile.
This article from WP Tavern explains that we don’t want to get rid of that plugin function just yet.
All browsers don’t support the lazy load function yet, and even Chrome is saying to keep your 3rd party way of doing this for now.
So, don’t expect any changes to your caching plugin over this yet.
And I’ll be keeping an eye on it for us, and will let you know about any changes you may need to make when they become available.
Are You Getting All the Speed You Can?
Premium caching plugins can make a whale of a lot of difference to your site’s load speed.
But, they can also goof things up and make your speed slower, and they can even cause hosting resource overages.
It all comes down to properly configuring them and testing the results.
And that includes coordinating with your site’s needs and other caching that is happening, like server-side caching at your host and at your CDN, like Cloudflare.
This is why generic speed tutorials don’t work for everyone.
Plus, a caching plugin can’t overcome everything.
That’s why you need a site audit to find all the drags on your site and get them fixed first.
Then apply caching plugins and other speed tweaks to take it the rest of the way.
My site audit clients are radically improving their speed, sometimes doubling their scores on Google PageSpeed Insights.
READ: How to Test Your Site Speed Accurately and look at more than the scores, as they can lie. You have to dig deeper into the numbers and waterfalls to find what’s really dragging down your load time.
And, the security on your site has everything to do with it too, as does the condition of your database. Plus, the plugins you are using could radically impact speed too.
And that’s why you need a full audit. We look at all those factors, not just test scores.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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