Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include a new Google Quality Rating Guide, habits that crush your creativity and success, a new social media plugin and a social share button tests, more on what’s coming in WordPress 4.0, a free webinar on podcasting and why you should start one this year, site launch celebrations, why hackers would want to pick on your site, and for dessert, an unexpected lesson from a little bitty bird. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
I want to send a shout out to BornToOrganize for giving this podcast a 5 star rating. Even though that’s a nickname, I’m betting I know who you are!
And, if you’re enjoying this podcast, I want to personally invite you to jump into iTunes for just 1 minute and kindly leave a review. And don’t think it doesn’t count! There are only 8 reviews right now. Come on! Help me out here and let folks know that this podcast is worth listening to. I appreciate you taking the time to do that so much.
I want to invite you to a free Hanginar, which is a Hangout On Air Webinar, today at noon EDT, with me, +Denise Wakemen and the host, +Ellen Britt on why YOU should start a podcast this year. It is hot, hot, hot and will only get bigger this fall when the Podcast app will be included by default with iOS8 when it releases. Plus, it and the Android podcast app for Stitcher are going to be in cars now too. It’s a very exciting time for podcasting. And, it’s not as hard or as expensive as you probably think. If you’re already producing content and networking, then it will likely be even easier for you to get started. So, please do come join us today. And did I mention that it’s free?
More Member Sites
I spent part of the weekend setting up a new member site for a client that has two very popular podcasts. The member site is actually an extension of those podcasts and core business because it’s the best way in the world for her to scale her services. She’s a running a coach, and a big one.
I’m also going to be setting up a member site in a month or two for a wonderful lawyer. And the reason we’re waiting that long is because we’re pulling down his current site and doing a complete revamp of it as he goes through the full 1-on-1 training course where he’ll be building his new site and developing a full strategy for conversion that will gain audience quickly and prime them for conversion into his member site that will come later. In other words, he’s creating the draw, building the tribe, and then releasing the product to folks who are ready to buy. That’s a formula for success.
I want to send out a big congrats to +Milt Bedingfield. We just launched his new site on Mastering Type 2 Diabetes Milt did an excellent job of completely revamping his site during his training. And it also sports the super Sprite theme created by designer +Cyndi Papia And every time I had to look at this site I started drooling over the veggie burger recipe in the blog posts. Oh, that makes me hungry. So, go check it out and say hey to Milt.
Genesis Video Tutorials
And, I’ll be turning my attention back to making more Genesis vid tuts later this week. If you haven’t already, go check out the whole Video Tutorial Library. It’s the quickest, cheapest way to learn WordPress, SEO, Genesis, and MailChimp. Even if you’ve been running a site for years, I guarantee you’ll learn something in the Basic section. So, don’t overlook that. I give you the why-to as well as the how-to. And, stuff changes in WordPress all of the time. When was the last time you looked at your settings, anyway?
Okay, let’s jump into this week’s tips and news.
You recall from previous Tips Tuesdays that I said I was neck deep in performance and security testing and that I’d have a bunch of posts for you. Well, here ‘tis. This one is a great baseline of how a new installation of WordPress performs with a couple of posts showing on the home page. It actually only gets a C+ right out of the box. Now, there are pretty simple things you can do to improve that score dramatically. But, I hope the core developers will take a look at this and make WordPress perform better as it sits.
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And, along those same lines, I put 12 of the most popular social share button plugins through extensive tests and got some eye-opening results. Go have a look and see how the one you’re using stacks up. The overall winner was Simple Share Buttons Adder and that’s what I’m using on BlogAid and recommending to folks now. You can see the whole spreadsheet of test results too. It’s a Google Drive spreadsheet embed, so there’s nothing to download.
WordPress 4.0 Beta 1 is out. This post has lots of screenshots of how the new plugins admin page may look. It’s pretty cool, so go check that out.
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The WordPress core devs are focusing on further revamps of what they are now calling the Customizer. This section is currently under Appearance > Theme Customizer. And the reason they want to change the name is because it won’t just apply to themes anymore.
I have three things to say about this. First, keep in mind that the WordPress software is also used on the .com version where folks have a serious limitation of the themes they can use. So, the ability to tweak more on the hundreds of free themes in the repository is a bonus. For those of you the .org or self-hosted version of WordPress, you have no such limitation in theme choice.
Second, I honestly can’t remember the last time me or any of my clients even touched that area of WordPress. If you’re still spending time tinkering around with theme design, you’ve got a whole other business problem. If you tell me that you don’t have money to spend on a premium theme or pro design, it’s still coming from that same mindset that justifies you spending your valuable time tweaking your theme.
And the third thing I want to say is that the changes to the core for the Customizer go beyond users tweaking free themes. And that leads us to the next bit of news.
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I did a recap of the 2 hour video replay of the latest WP Think Tank HOA where several of the leaders in this industry put their .02 cents in about the future of WordPress.
The host, +Troy Dean stopped by BlogAid to comment on the wrap up I did of the event. He left us a link for their mailing list. I suggest you get on it so you can be notified of these events, especially if you’re a developer or designer, or make your living in some way with WordPress.
The folks at +Elegant Themes are fishing for ideas for the new social media plugin they are currently developing. It’s called Monarch. I put my .02 cents in with my main concerns for all such plugins, which are security and performance. Most all of these plugins pull from outside libraries and that’s the whole problem with both issues. It’s pretty easy to hard code social follow buttons using a Text widget. But, social share buttons are a whole other animal. Even if you hard code them, you have to put that in the post page template. So, it’s not exactly accessible for most site owners. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes with the new one from Elegant Themes.
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The new 3.0 version that came out about a month ago had a lot of updates. And now they’re being followed by lots of tweaks and patches. The latest update:
- Removed dependency on PHP’s fsockopen function. That’s a big thing.
- Fix spam/ham reports to work when reported outside of the WP dashboard, e.g., from Notifications or the WP app. So, if you’ve been seeing those in other places, but when you log into your site and don’t see them, they’ve fixed that.
- Remove unnecessary data from some Akismet comment meta. No that is huge. That gets into your database stuff. I’m going to be having a look at this. I know I’m throwing a lot of geek speak at you, but these are actually big things that are going on with Akismet.
- Suspended keys will now result in all comments being put in moderation, not spam. Now that’s a big thing to your database, and to your notification. So, lots of changes. If you’re getting a lot of spam comments, everything you see when you log in may change. So this is a pretty big deal.
For those of you who are thinking your site is too little to be attractive to hackers, or you just don’t get why hackers do what they do, or all the geek-speak and tech-talk sails over you, then this is your post. The nice folks at +Sucuri put the whole situation in terms and analogies that are super easy to understand.
Content Marketing Tips
There is a most excellent post on +CopyBlogger by one of the best advertising copywriters in the business, Dean Rieck. He covers such things as trying to create and evaluate at the same time, and the issues folks have with considering themselves an expert. He also touches on fears, like a lack of confidence or encountering discouragement from others. No matter how long you’ve been blogging, this is a post worth reading.
There is a complete rewrite of the guidelines that raters are supposed to use. The new E-A-T guidelines will play a big part. Authority on topic will be a key factor now more than ever.
It will be very interesting to see how posts with lots of Google ads are rated. That’s a big thing, so let’s see if they ding their own.
Thanks to +Ana Hoffman for getting us this detailed run down.
This is nowhere near as bad as the title makes it sound. But this article on +The Hacker News is still worth you taking the time to read because it has some excellent tips for how to use Drive more securely all the time anyway.
+Gina Fiedel has an awesome story about a little bird that got into her house. It’s about communication, especially with clients, and the cooperation and willingness to trust the process and relate well to reach goals. Watch the video, then see the nice comments everyone left with their takeaways too.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
Please take a moment to jump on over to iTunes, and leave a review. I really appreciate it and your review means so much in helping get the word out about this podcast. And drop by and say hey over on my Google+ page too. I love hearing from you. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.