Hello Happy Site Owners! Tips this week include a free favorite plugins webinar, new webmaster training, WordPress 4.0 and plugin updates for the text editor, two plugins you’ll definitely need to update or remove, Universal Analytics support, an HOA on security that affects your personal accounts too, quick ways to add 2-step authentication to your site, an excellent guide to Google Webmaster Tools, monetizing your engagement, podcast feed and iTunes listing issues, and for dessert, a super fun dance that Bob Marley would delight to see. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
Favorite Plugins Webinar
Thursday, September 25 at noon EDT
First up, I want to tell you about a free webinar coming up this Thursday.
Which plugin is the best? Which has the best performance? What’s the easiest one to use? Which ones cause conflicts?
Join me and my favorite designer, Cyndi Papia of OfficeTo-Go for this zero pitch, free webinar on all things plugins. We’ll show you our favorites, plus plugins you may not even know you need. And, we’ll take questions from the live audience.
No sales pitch, nothing to buy, just straight up help, and some fun. So, do join us.
I continue to get rave reviews from clients using the new online scheduler. I chose Schedule Once because it allows me to set default availability and defaults on when folks can schedule, like not allowing prior to 24 hours, and giving me a :30 minute buffer between things already scheduled. Plus, it integrates with my website and Google Calendar. But even more important to me, it integrates with GoToMeeting.
Those things cut out all of the emails for finding a good time to meet, coordinating time zones, which is super important for me as I have a global audience, and the work and emails involved with setting up the GoToMeeting. So, win-win for all.
New Webmaster Training
I’ve been telling you for a few weeks about the new membership site I’ll be launching soon. Now I can let the cat out of the bag.
It’s for Webmaster Training and will cover setting up a site, security, performance, and SEO. I’ve geared it toward designers and developers who need to broaden their offerings and separate themselves from the pack.
At first, I thought it would end up being 10-12 video tutorials. While creating the outline, that quickly turned into over 30. And that gave me two new issues. The first is release date, which I was hoping would be before month’s end, and may still be.
But the other issue now is pricing. I want it to stay flexible and affordable so folks can self-select the training they need, and graduate up as they like. So, I’ve had to rethink how I’m going to offer the programs, and deploy the content for easy upgrades.
My WordPress Video Tutorial Library already has a similar setup. But, it’s all one-time payments. I’d like to set up this new program to be a monthly subscription. And that setup is what I’m having to rethink.
I’ll keep you posted on the release date. Again, BlogAid News subscribers will be the first to know.
Update to WordPress 4.0 status
A new version of the TinyMCE Advanced plugin is finally available, and it matches the changes made in the WordPress core to TinyMCE, which is the text editor. So for most of you, I believe it’s finally safe to update to WordPress 4.0. I’m still hearing rumors from some folks big on Pinterest that there still may be issues with certain PinIt buttons. So, if that is of concern to you, I’d appreciate hearing what you’re doing about it.
You won’t see an update for TinyMCE Advanced until you update WordPress first. It has to detect the newer version, and that’s probably been one of the reasons for the delay in getting it ready. Version control is a tough thing when your plugin relies so heavily on the core code.
TinyMCE Advanced Updates
Update: I found one caveat after updating (and after recording the podcast). The More tag does not display in the text editor. It’s there, you just can’t see it. So, don’t click the tool icon multiple times. You can see the code in the Text view mode.
Below are the details on all of the recent updates.
- Fix bug with image captions when wpautop is disabled.
- Add translation support to the settings page. Button names/descriptions are translated as well.
- Updated for WordPress 4.0 and TinyMCE 4.1.
- Add the ‘textpattern’ plugin that supports some of the markdown syntax while typing.
- Add the updated ‘table’ plugin that supports background and border color.
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Does it strike anyone else odd that a plugin designed to prevent security issues, has security vulnerabilities itself? This isn’t the first time either. You can read the report on Sucuri, and about how the folks at Vexatious Tendencies let the world know about the issue.
You can also read my review of this plugin here
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More shenanigans from the devs behind the Sexy Bookmarks plugin, made by Shareaholic. Now it’s showing nasty pop-ups after someone shares your post. You can jump on over to my G+ post linked above to see screenshots of the pop-ups.
I dropped this plugin a few years ago, when unsavory things like this started happening after the new developers bought it. The whole thing truly hurt and embarrassed the original developer, who made quite a name for himself with this plugin originally. He even had to write a post to distance himself from what was happening.
And, this plugin has been pulled from the WordPress repository twice for malware injection code. This latest stunt will get it pulled again. So drop this plugin.
And to see what new plugin you want to use, see my post Social Share Buttons – Site Performance and Security Killers that details head-to-head tests on 12 of the most popular social share button plugins. You’ll also find a link to a video tutorial with all that the winning plugin can do, and it’s the one I’m using on BlogAid too.
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The new version 5 Google Analytics by Yoast plugin now fully supports the new Universal Analytics added by Google a few months ago. That means you’ll be able to track all of the new stats that were added.
I’ve been partial to the Google Analyticator plugin because it included a module in the WordPress Dashboard where you could get an overview of your stats. Seeing that count go up, and what visitors are hitting on most is very encouraging to site owners. And Yoast’s plugin didn’t have that.
In this post, Yoast also announced that they have “recently taken over development on the Google Analytics Dashboard plugin and will be merging that into this plugin in version 5.1.” You know I’m going to definitely give this a test run when it happens.
Two Security HOAs
I hope you had a chance to see the two cyber security HOAs I was honored to participate in last week.
This is definitely a must-watch for all site owners to get a grip and a reality check about what’s going on with the DDoS attacks. We are still in the midst of the highest, sustained attack in history, and way more than your site is at risk. I’ve been telling you that the bots have been probing since March and now we are seeing the huge attacks hit.
The wonderful folks at +Black Lotus sponsor this series. The always delightful +Mia Voss is the host and we really broke it down into non geek speak so it will be easier for you to understand and take appropriate action on your site and all of your other online accounts.
And I was delighted to see this HOA mentioned in +Mick Sharpe‘s FridayFavorites of the best HOA shows each week. Great resource for you to find super conversations on the topics you need to know about most.
+Mark Vang is the host for the HOAs on the Sanctuary Networking Community and he pulled together a truly stellar panel who all agree that you do not need to rush out and convert your current site to HTTPS with an SSL certificate, and what you’ll need to take into account if you ever do it. And if you’re building a new site, you’ll want to watch for many of the things you’ll need to consider with the certificate itself.
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The latest big attack was to Home Depot. If you have a credit card with them, you’ll want to change the info for it, and for all other accounts where you use that same password or email.
This is the kind of thing Mia and I covered in the DDoS HOA, and this is just one more example of the new attacks we’re seeing.
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One of my fave WordPress developers, +Dave Clements has a nice post on his WP Butler blog that includes several super suggestions for adding 2-step authentication to your WordPress site. The post has a lot else in it too.
I certainly hope that you have verified your site with Google Webmaster Tools. It’s a super resource for checking to see if Google is having any issues with your site. +Jeremy Rivera has created an awesome guide on Google Webmaster Tools that is laid out much like a checklist so you can give yourself an audit. He tells you exactly which areas to check and exactly what to look for in them. Take about 10 minutes to poke around to see if your site has any crawl errors or warnings.
Content Marketing Tips
A couple of weeks ago in Tips Tuesday, I shared a link to a HOA with you where they discussed sensational headlines as a sustainable marketing tactic. I found this post on Torque pretty funny. First they tell you not to do it, then do it.
Every now and then you can write a sensational headline and get away with it. But outright click bait on a consistent basis will backfire if you want your readers to take you seriously. And this post, and that HOA are pretty much in agreement with that.
Last week’s Tips Tuesday was all about monetizing your passion. In this excellent HOA, +Denise Wakeman joins host +Lisa Engles to talk about monetizing your engagement. It takes a lot of effort to build an audience, especially one that is highly engaging. And there are definitely good ways to capitalize on those efforts. You’ll pick up more info and tips than you can shake a stick at in this video, so do bookmark it to watch now and refer to later as well.
There seems to be a little trouble in paradise with iTunes lately. We’ve been seeing delays in podcast shows updating in the iTunes store for a couple of weeks now. And, there seems to be a little trouble with the iOS8 update and podcasts for iDevice users too. You can hear more about it in this week’s podcast from Libsyn.
Thanks to one of my Facebook buddies who loves to dance for sharing this wonderful, 2:00 minute video with a dance that is so fun, we wish Bob Marley could see how they played tribute to his song “Is This Love”.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
Be sure to go register for the Favorite Plugins webinar which happens this Thursday.
Please take a moment to jump on over to iTunes, and leave a review. I really appreciate it, and you sharing this podcast with your friends. And drop by and say hey over on my Google+ page too. That’s where I hang out the most. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.