Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Why you need to stop blaming your host for overages and asking them to fix things they are not qualified to do
- More live sessions for revamping old content in the DIY SEO course
- New post with an update on where I am in flipping a hobby site into a money-maker
- Yahoo is making some changes, and why you still want to leave their email service
- New post with my advice about using the nofollow and sponsored link attributes
- New video tutorials on how to manually add those link attributes and why not to use plugins
- A fantastic post on how to use Astra Themes and Gutenberg by one of my fave webmaster designers
- What’s up with high profile YouTube accounts getting hacked and how to protect yourself
- A reminder that it’s time to update above PHP 7.1 now, before time runs out
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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 an overly productive week here. I’ve been putting in overtime every day to keep the site audit requests on time plus keep the deadlines I set for the year on both BlogAid and Heartwood Art on track.
A couple of the current site audit jobs turned out to be a whole lot bigger than expected since the clients actually had multiple sites and all of them had some pretty serious issues.
Some of those issues were caused by the host with wrong or conflicting setups or misconfigurations.
After the audit and fixes, two clients also wanted full HTTPS conversions done. But we’ll have to put that off until they move to a host that can actually accommodate it. Some hosts are still using the super old Varnish ways of speeding up their old servers and that does not work well with SSL certificate renewal when you use Cloudflare. Not to mention how slow the site is because of it.
Another host had the client on two CDNs at the same time. I’m shocked that the site could even be delivered due to those conflicts.
They did that in an effort to stop the bad bot attacks that were driving up resource usage instead of actually securing the site fully.
In fact, I’ve helped 3 clients this month come out of the red with hosting overages. All of them were easy fixes. And their sites run so much faster now too.
If you’re new to site ownership, you may think the host is supposed to fix all of this stuff with your site.
Hosts know hosting, not WordPress.
And they certainly don’t know security or Cloudflare or plugins or all the other things that lead to slow site performance work, or how to fix them.
Stop blaming your host for your overages and issues.
And stop expecting them to fix it.
And, stop being ignorant of how your site choices are directly contributing to your problems.
Bloated themes and resource hog plugins are there because you chose them.
If you’ve been following BlogAid on Facebook you’ve been seeing reports of how many plugins I’ve been flagging in audits.
It’s generally about half.
A site audit is a major education for being a successful DIY site owner so you know these things.
None of my clients are techies.
But now they know what the slow site issues are and how to keep their sites fast and secure.
Sometimes those fixes are just proper security and some plugin changes and learning how to optimize their images better.
Once you know what the drags are, they are pretty easy to fix.
So, come get your audit and get in the know and start enjoying a fast site that is secure and lets you sleep at night with no major surprises.
Last week I met live with my DIY SEO course members to do a workshop with a checklist on how to revamp old content to perform better.
And in the next weeks we’ll start live group sessions so folks can get help with their specific posts.
Generic SEO advice only goes just so far and all of it will make more sense with your own content.
We’ll do this through the end of October and then take a break for the holidays.
And then we start up our regular live workshop series in January.
Taking Courses on Pinterest and Amazon Affiliate Products
I’m mostly on track for the goals I set for my woodworking site.
I honestly didn’t expect so many of y’all to jump on the insane savings during my Super Summer Sales Event back in July.
And with all that new site audit biz, I’ve had to modify my schedule for Heartwood Art projects.
Plus, a massive batch of traffic to the site let me know this thing could take off at any time.
So at this point in the year, I need to switch my focus from creating new content to promoting it and monetizing the site.
I started a Pinterest course and I’m meeting with one of my clients to do a paid session on getting me back up to speed with doing Amazon Affiliate products.
The last time I did that, Amazon still had their A-store. Things have changed and it’s worth paying for a 1-on-1 session to help me hit the ground running with it again.
Hobby to Money Making Site Series – New Post
See my new post on When It’s Time to Monetize Your Site for all the details.
I’ve got a LOT to do before year’s end with it!!!
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Looks like Yahoo is trying to remain a player in the game. They spent money updating their logo.
And in their announcement about it, they said they have upgraded the interface for their email service too.
They have been one of the worst email services for years now. I even have it on my contact forms that if you use Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL, I may not be able to converse with you, as those can get blocked by GSuite filters as spam.
I don’t know if this latest push is going to help Yahoo hang in the game, but it’s going to take more than a fresh coat of paint for me to change my opinion about using their email service.
Get a Pro Email Service
For goodness sake’s wake up to the fact that you’re running a business and invest in your success. Stop trying to get everything for free until you’re making money on your site. There is NO other business you can run that way. There are always startup costs and business expenses. You write them off your taxes.
And $5/mo to get a GSuites account so you can use a domain-related email address is peanuts.
Those DKIM and SPF records also ensure that your emails get delivered without going into spam boxes.
Most hosts make is super easy to add Google MX records. Some even have wizards for it.
FYI, if you are on Cloudflare, you need to add those records to it too. And turn off the records the host spits out for your email stuff and set that to auto detect the email service in use.
GoDaddy offers a good pro email service too, as does Rackspace, and it’s only $2/mo.
So, no excuses about it anymore.
On Sept 10, Google announced that they will be making changes with how they regard the nofollow link attribute.
And they announced 2 new link attributes for sponsored and ugc (user generated content).
In every Tips Tuesday since I’ve told you about the latest news, and that I was purposely holding off on writing a post on it until we saw how all this shook out.
The initial word was to not do anything with your current links.
And I bet money that wouldn’t hold.
As I predicted, the word now is that we should use these new attributes.
Go read my most from Monday about what’s happening, why Google is doing this, and what you need to do.
Then go see my updated guide with new videos for how to create these links.
I show you how to create every kind of link using:
- Classic Editor
- TinyMCE Advanced
You’ll also see why you need to stop having links open in a new tab/window, as that is a security risk, and not good for affiliate marketers. Plus, you’ll see how WordPress itself is waffling on this and why you can’t count on their default link creators to keep your site secure if you open in a new tab.
Yes, it took me the longest time to get over the mindset of having links not open in a new tab.
If I can do it, so can you.
For those who have been following Tips Tuesday closely, you know that I’m crazy itchy to do a deep dive into Astra themes and showcase them and their plugins in my Gutenberg Ninja course.
So, you’ll understand how delighted I was to see this post from fellow webmaster and designer, Michelle Phillips of Codefetti.
She knocked it out of the park with a deep look on using Astra themes and Gutenberg.
I am so grateful to Michelle for this post as it will give me a major leg up in my own deep checks and plans for what I’ll be including in the course.
And, Michelle will be who I turn to for styling help for some of the new templates and such I’ll be making for the course too.
So, most definitely go check out this post, and Michelle, if you’re thinking about changing themes, and definitely if you want a good alternative to Genesis.
FYI, I’ve been meeting behind the scenes with a few of my webmasters who have been taking me on a tour of page builders like Thrive, Beaver Builder, and Elementor. I have yet to see anything they do that Gutenberg can’t do.
And I’ll be building out some of those templates for the course, so you can do it with Gute too.
Forbes is reporting that several big YouTubers had their accounts hacked recently in what looks like a coordinated attack.
Most all of those accounts also had 2 factor authentication.
It looks like those folks received a phising email that, when responded to, allowed the hackers to spy on their 2 factor authentication login.
They say that email looked pretty authentic, like a real email from Google. But if you looked closely, there were telltale signs that it was fake.
The vanity URLs of the channels were changed and the owners were locked out.
What really scares me about this is that so many folks have one login for all of their Google-related accounts, like analytics, Search Console, and email.
There is no report that the hackers bothered to log into those accounts, and hopefully the owners have changed passwords.
So, be super careful with any email you receive about any of your accounts.
Don’t click the link in the email.
Go directly to the site of that account and log in from there to see if there is truly an issue or not.
And if not, report the phising email you received.
Keep in mind that the hackers ran end around all security measures by tricking the human into clicking a link in an email.
Your online security starts with you.
Upgrade to PHP 7.2 or Higher Now
Gentle reminder that if you have not upgraded your PHP version to 7.2 or higher, now is the time.
Support for PHP 7.1 ends on Dec 1, 2019 and you may need time to fix anything or replace any plugins that do not work with higher PHP versions.
This is especially important if you are on SiteGround and have not explicitly set your PHP version. They will upgrade you from the system default of 7.1 without warning between now and December. So you go set it yourself now and get out of their automated upgrade stuff.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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