Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- A new time for our live Tips Tuesday recap
- The status on my test for turning off Gutenberg in WP 5.0
- The start of the DIY SEO course Live Labs this week
- Why daydreaming is good for the soul
- The first Release Candidate for WP 5.0 is here
- An update to Google’s reCaptcha code for a frictionless user experience
- Big changes coming with PHP
- A new video tutorial to help you easily change your PHP level
- What’s in the Genesis 2.7 Beta release
- A super story of how one blogger shifted to engage with her audience more and diversify her income stream – and it worked
- A Canva step-by-step guide for both experienced and beginner users
- A fun, free way to create video blips, GIFs, and photo memes
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join me live later today at our new time 3pm ET / 12pm PT for the party and an interactive Tips Tuesday recap and breaking news discussion on the BlogAid Facebook Page. You can also catch the quick recap later that evening on the BlogAid YouTube Channel.
It’s been a very productive week here at BlogAid.
Through October I’ve enjoyed working on some very big site audit client projects. We’re winding down on those, so I’ve had some free time in my schedule to get caught up on my backlog of testing and video tutorial making.
And hint, hint. If you’re thinking about an audit or other site service, now would be a good time to jump on it!!
Turning Off Gutenberg Test Status
I completed my tests for the best ways to turn off the Gutenberg text editor.
I’ll have a post for you later this week with details.
We’ll be installing these right away, because they need to go in prior to updating to WP 5.0, which is due out around Nov 19.
Be sure you are subscribed to BlogAid News so you never miss important posts like this that keep you ahead of the curve.
I also completed my research and testing for the PHP version we need to switch to soon.
You’ll hear more about that in a moment, and I’ve got a couple of posts for you with more details too.
All of this aimed at making it easy, and panic free for you to maintain your site in a calm way through all these big changes from now straight through the beginning of 2019.
DIY SEO Live Labs Begin
As promised, I’m going to help folks get familiar with the new Google Search Console interface the easy way.
My DIY SEO course members got an email this weekend announcing the first Live Lab session this Thursday.
If you’re in the course, go ahead and jump into the Lab, as you’ll want to do a couple of things prior to the live session. It will take you all of about 15 minutes.
I’m keeping them short, and allowing folks to skip ahead, as I know this is super busy season for many of you.
We’ll stay focused on GSC through November and then begin our Jumpstart Challenge on Yoast and Google Connections in December. Folks really liked those last year.
And then we begin our live Workshops in January.
We’ll be starting with Technical SEO again, hence the need to get familiar with Search Console.
A LOT of course members benefited greatly by that Workshop all through this year.
And this time we’ll be going even deeper into how to delete or revamp old content. There’s a lot to it as far as tips and tricks and best practices.
Daydreaming is Good for the Soul
This past week I’ve been making excellent progress with getting more settled into my new home. I thought living in boxes was bad. Living with everything unpacked, but not in its place makes me crazy. So, I’m highly motivated to get it done.
But I’ve also taken time to just sit still and see where things will go, especially in my new wood shop.
I’ve also been making my list of new tools and things to build for both the shop and the house.
And, I’ll be diving into my carving site the rest of this month to get it ready for the change of focus. I’ll be playing with new layouts and will likely want a new theme for it.
I’ve found that all this creative daydreaming and organizing is the medicine my soul needed to help balance how stressful running BlogAid can be.
And yes, I’ve been playing my cello again too. And I’m looking forward to picking up more of my instruments as a finish getting them set into place. The music room has the perfect ambience with no extra work, so that’s nice.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
The first Release Candidate (RC) of WordPress 5.0 is expected on Nov 12.
An RC means that all new feature additions are frozen and they are just working bug tickets of what testers found.
So, we’re getting very close to making the release of the final version to the public on Nov 19, as scheduled.
You and I will not be the first to update our production sites!!! And I’ll keep you posted on when I believe it is safe for us to update.
You may recall my tutorial post on how to add Google reCaptcha to Contact Form 7. And it works like a charm by having folks check a box.
Well, WPTavern is reporting that reCAPTCHA v3 will be Frictionless, meaning that there won’t be that checkbox anymore. It will use a variety of signals to detect bots.
I’ll get this on my testing schedule and let you know if updating your code is the way to go with it.
Why You Must Upgrade to PHP 7.1 or Higher
I’ll have a post for you tomorrow on why you have to update to at least PHP 7.1 before the end of the year.
We’re running into a nasty mess with this that I’ve been warning about all year.
WP 5.0 and Gutenberg are only being tested with PHP 7.3, which I think is a bit of a mistake, on one hand, since it is newly released and not stable and some hosts don’t even offer it yet.
On the other hand, maybe this will further encourage more plugin developers to get on the ball with testing and supporting PHP 7.3.
And we really need all the encouragement possible, as lack of that support, chiefly among plugins, is what is creating this current mess we have.
In the plugin repository, I think WP ought to put a line in the plugin info for what versions of PHP a plugin supports.
And, I think they should go a step further to give a warning when a plugin doesn’t even meet PHP 7.0 compatibility. Sort of like the warning they give for plugins that have not been updated in 2 years.
So, look for that post tomorrow with more details.
And again, be sure you are subscribed to BlogAid News so you never miss important posts like this that keep you ahead of the curve.
In anticipation of that PHP version post, I made a tutorial for you that was posted yesterday.
See how super easy it is to check or change your PHP version at your host using cPanel.
In this quick video tutorial, I show you how to do that on both SiteGround and A2 Hosting, which are the hosts that most of my clients use, and for good reason.
Plus, I show you how to turn your PHP error log back on too, as you lose that when you switch PHP versions.
I’ll be jumping in with my Site Audit Plus clients on our exclusive Facebook group later this week to cover any issues we see from upgrading to a higher PHP version.
You may recall that I’ve been reporting on how the Genesis framework is preparing for not only the Gutenberg text editor coming in WordPress 5.0, but how they are also getting ready now for Phase 2 of Gutenberg, which will be a full theme builder.
Well, the Genesis folks have just released the beta of version 2.7, which has a bunch of code updates in preparation for what is to come.
Me and my webmasters will be testing this out and I’ll keep you posted.
For most of us, it will not impact our current theme.
But, you may recall last week that I reported on Genesis child themes that have a lot of functionality built in and these core Genesis updates may impact them. In fact, there was a good conversation in the comments last week from the designer of the foodie themes I called out, so you may want to jump over to the post and see all the nice resource links she shared.
I thought of y’all while I was listening to this podcast on ProBlogger.
It’s an interview with blogger Anita Joyce and how she was working herself to death to get enough page views to keep her income stream alive.
She started a podcast and a store to help engage more deeply with her audience and to diversify her income streams, and it worked – big time!!
Why do you think I offer Tips Tuesday as a post, podcast, and livestream? Same as what Anita says in this post. I can engage with you more deeply and meet you not only where you are, but with how you like to consume this content.
I would strongly encourage you to find a way to let more visitors hear your voice, not just in your writing, but your speaking voice.
I know a lot of my peeps listen to the podcast while reading Tips Tuesday. You miss so much in just text.
Hearing my voice, and especially seeing me, makes me so much more present with folks.
It also significantly raises my trust and authority with them too.
And the live recap gives folks an immediate way to interact directly with me as well.
Please do consider a podcast, or doing livestreaming.
There are so many video platforms and all you need is your phone to get started with short blips, especially on something like Instagram.
Just letting folks know what you’re up to today can make all the difference with endearing you to them. They feel part of your story – that’s because they are!!!
You’re giving them a real, deeper look. Not just a polished bit of text.
So, go have a listen to this interview, or at least skim the transcript and let Anita’s story inspire you to engage with your audience and make more money while you do it.
And, he’s got a whole series of podcast interviews like this. Would be a good thing to subscribe to as well.
I know a bunch of you already use Canva to make your blog images.
But, I hope you’ll go see this post from my buddy Krishna De about how to use the desktop version with a step-by-step guide where you’re sure to pick new tips.
And for those who haven’t tried Canva yet, I bet you’re going to get super inspired by all that you can do with it.
And while you’re on her site, check out this super fun tutorial for making quick and easy short videos, GIFs, and photo memes using the free Filmora Meme Maker.
And get this, the final file is not watermarked by them, as so many free tools are.
These things will give you a little eye-catching motion in your social media feeds too.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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