Hello Happy Site Owners!
Tips this week include:
- Only a little time left on the site audit special
- Free SEO webinar Wed evening
- The conclusion of the older browser support discussion by WP core devs
- WP 4.7.3 minor release rolling out
- WP default testing with HTTPS links now and why that matters for you
- YouTube Annotations coming to an end
- Whether the free version of WordFence is worth it or not
- What’s up with the call for end to end encryption
- Google’s #NoHack report for 2016 released and why it’s a must read
- Why webmasters want to look into the WP-CLI for editing sites
- Google launches new Analytics courses
- Whether Google’s new Fred algorithm will pop your site with a penalty
- Google’s new image optimizer
Listen to the podcast
Welcome to spring y’all!!!!
To celebrate, I’ve got a $20 off special running on site audits.
This is a great time to get your site all spiffied up on the backside. Let’s clean out those orphaned files and bad bots and get everything running fast and smooth.
You have to book in the month of March to get in on this special, so get on the list now.
Join me this Wed, March 22 at 7pm ET
SEO is way more than a plugin. But it’s way easier than you think to get all 14 levels of SEO on every post and page you create.
In this free webinar, I’ll show you the common SEO mistakes that I see 89% of my site audit clients make and how it’s
- Costing them free traffic
- Doing more SEO harm than good
- Missing all the hidden SEO places that Google indexes
In this 6 week live workshop we’re going to go step-by-step through those first 2 phases I cover in the webinar. All with no geek speak or overwhelm.
You’ll get checklists every week with SEO tasks you can knock right out.
At the end, you’ll have a solid SEO foundation laid on your site.
Even if you’re already signed up for the Workshop, you’ll want to come to the free webinar as a primer to it.
And if you’re thinking this workshop is a good idea for you, the free webinar is a great way to get a taste of all that we’ll be covering.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s dive into this week’s tips.
You may recall last week that I reported on an interesting discussion happening with the core WP devs about whether or not they would continue to support older browsers as they continue to make sweeping changes to the WP editor.
That discussion went on for another week, and is well worth a read, as it impacts WP’s ability to radically move forward with sweeping changes.
And here’s a link to their conclusions about it for now.
They’re moving forward with most of the sweeping changes. And I’m glad to hear that.
A minor update to WordPress rolled out last week. It mainly fixed bugs with the REST API.
They are already working on 4.7.4 that has more bug scrubs, but no hard release date has been set for that. They are guessing sometime near May.
One item that stood out to me in recent WP dev chat notes is that they are now using HTTPS by default to test all HTTP functions in WP now.
That should be a big clue to you that getting your site converted should be on your radar for this year.
Contact me when you’re ready for that.
Video Marketing Tips
Not too happy about this, and neither are most of the folks commenting on the post.
The main way I use annotations is to alert folks visiting a very popular video that there is an updated version. Soon I’ll have no good way to do that. Darn it!
Is Free WordFence Worth It?
Last week WordFence announced real-time IP blacklisting for their premium clients.
They followed that post the next day with another stating that it blocked 1.4 million attempts in just 24 hours.
Note that the only folks getting this type of protection are on the paid version.
And, they also have publicly stated that folks on the free version have to wait a month for the latest IP block update.
In this day and age with attack vectors coming fast and DDoS attacks shutting down the web every few weeks, I have to wonder if the free version of WordFence is even worth it.
Y’all know that I don’t care for using any of the behemoth security plugins like this. And knowing that folks on the free version aren’t getting as high a protection as they need makes me really dislike it even more.
I take everything WordFence prints with a grain of salt – a big one.
At this time, I just don’t think end-to-end encryption is a big deal for most site owners.
I’ve got my own sites on a free SSL certificate from the host, and the paid certificate at CloudFlare because I have sub-domains. But the free one is fine there too.
I also recently put all of my BlogAid sites on the paid WAF at CloudFlare and I suggest you do too.
I’ll be doing more research on end-to-end encryption as this evolves. I suggest you keep an eye on it too.
But for now, I’m not recommending going that route for non-enterprise level sites.
The Google Webmaster blog released an overview of their year-long study for website security.
They said there has been “an increase in the number of hacked sites by approximately 32% in 2016 compared to 2015. We don’t expect this trend to slow down.”
Folks, listen to me. You need to take this news very seriously and consider getting on a paid WAF (Web Application Firewall) sooner rather than later.
What I’m seeing with the new attack vectors is scary and I paid the $20/mo to upgrade my CloudFlare plan immediately.
This is going to be a necessary site ownership cost just as much as paying for a domain and hosting. Think of it like insurance for your car. You wouldn’t drive without it, would you? Same with your site.
The report goes on to say, “61% of webmasters who were hacked never received a notification from Google that their site was infected because their sites weren’t verified in Search Console.”
Folks, Google Search Console wants to help you with your SEO. But you have to get connected to it properly first.
You would not believe how many of these unconnected or set up wrong sites I catch during HTTPS conversions too.
The report goes on to give briefs on the most common hacks.
It also states that prevention is the key. And I couldn’t agree more. That’s what a site audit is all about. And it’s WAY cheaper than fixing a hacked site.
WP-CLI is a Command Line Interface for WordPress and it is a big hit among serious developers.
I see this as being a great tool for all webmasters, especially those involved in HTTPS site conversions and such.
This nice post about it on the Torque blog has me interested in checking out all that I can do with it.
I recommend all webmasters give it a read too.
Google launched its Analytics Academy a while back along with scheduled certification tests.
Well, now they’ve launched a couple of new courses in it, including one for beginners.
Plus, you can get certified any time, which is another great change. So, go check that out.
I doubt many of my clients get the new Fred penalty on their site from Google.
As best as we can figure it out, they’re now targeting low quality content sites that are super ad heavy – so heavy that the ads completely disrupt the flow of content.
So, if you run a bunch of ads on your site, you’ll want to keep an eye on Fred as they continue to tweak the algorithm. Just be sure that your ads don’t completely disrupt the flow of content, especially on mobile.
And maybe even consider running less ads. My site audit clients who did that now have faster sites and are making more money.
Google released their own image optimization tool.
They claim it reduces file size by a whopping 35% without a reduction in quality.
The only caveat to it is that it’s slow. So, if you’re doing batch processes, might want to go get a cup of coffee. But for those of us with only one or two images per post, the wait time isn’t bad.
Hopefully this summer I’ll have time to test it out against other image optimization techniques.
In the meantime, be sure to read this post from Mary Iannotti on image optimization.
And be sure to optin for her guide at the bottom that has even more tutorials with popular tools.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.