Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- A new GDPR Plugins and Services post
- A couple of super quick and easy GDPR related tasks to do
- Celebrating two of my Scratched to Published clients launching their new sites soon
- An indicator of what’s to come with WordPress cleaning house on unused plugins
- How to easily make it through the major transition with plugins that we are in right now
- A super tutorial for designers on Gutenberg in Genesis
- What you need to know about Gutenberg as a site owner that will keep you calm
- 5 ways to encourage more comments on your blog posts that are easy to do
- Why you need to send your recipes to Google Assistant right away
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join me live tonight around 8pm ish ET 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.
I hope you’ve been following along with my GDPR journey to help make this transition easier for you.
- WordPress 4.9.6 New GDPR Tools
- GDPR Guide – Tips Tuesday Special Edition
- GDPR Compliance: How to Get Through It Without Overwhelm
- GDPR Plugins and Services – I’m still working on this one as I vet these plugins
I’ve also been going live frequently on the BlogAid Facebook page to keep everyone motivated and in the flow and updated on what I’m working on for you next.
Thank you to everyone who has attended live and asked questions or left comments. Those conversations have been gold!!
If you haven’t seen those yet, they are worth going back and having a look.
Member Perks Made All the Difference
Thank you so much to everyone in the village for all of your contributions!!!
These are fabulously rich resources and a wealth of knowledge and experience.
And, man, I’m telling you, when some frenzy like this GDPR stuff hits, it’s a huge relief to have somewhere to turn for calm help.
A Couple of Quick GDPR Tasks
We have a couple of quick things to tidy up with GDPR, so here are your gentle reminders.
Select Your Policy Page
If you used WP to create a policy page for you, then that will already be selected in the drop down for you.
This will tie into the consent checkbox when folks leave comments.
If you haven’t created your policy page yet, then don’t select anything. Just put this quick step on your to do list for when you do create your page.
Maybe you’ve already gotten an email from Google Analytics to select how long you want to retain tracking data there. I mentioned this in a recent Tips Tuesday too.
But if you haven’t received that email yet, remember that it is going to the address you use for your Google Analytics account. Perhaps that is one you don’t check frequently, or it just hasn’t rolled out to you yet.
In any case, you can just log into Google Analytics and if you haven’t set this thing yet, then you’ll see a pop up to do so, or maybe a notice at the top.
It’s quick and easy, so just take care of it now while you’re thinking about it.
And click the link above if you have questions about the settings.
FYI, I set mine to 26 months. I really don’t look at any data older than that.
A Few More GDPR Links
GDPR – Consent – Email Marketing
See my livestream from earlier today with what I’m doing for these two things
And see these two posts for details
From Thrive Leads – how they advise doing email marketing
From Lead Pages – the new GDPR checkbox is optional, you can turn it off
Ongoing GDPR Support
Just like HTTPS stuff that changes every day, this GDPR stuff will not be over on May 25th. Far from it.
I’ll be keeping you informed as we go.
But I will be backing off the frequency of BlogAid News emails and livestreams and doing most of the reporting in Tips Tuesday, just like I do with all other site success tips and news you need to stay ahead of the curve.
So, do keep reading, listening, and coming to our after party on Tuesday evenings.
It’s THE fastest way to stay informed as a DIY site owner.
Client Sites Launching Soon
And now that we’re coming clear of the GDPR info I wanted to get out there to you, I’m right back to full time client work and onboarding new projects.
I’m tickled pink that two of my Scratch to Published training clients are now moving into the theme design phase of their projects!!
They’ve already completed all of the content, CTAs, and have a blogging editorial calendar set for life. And each post has a specific purpose to meet their goals.
They also know all about the special features in Genesis themes and have been working with their base theme for layout.
This week we’re meeting with the designer to go over all the tweaks and make our theme spec list.
All of this really cuts down on the cost and stress of theme design, not to mention how much faster it is.
It makes a whale of a lot of difference when you can enter that process as an educated site owner!!
And when the site does launch, you really hit the ground running because everything is perfect, including your SEO. So when Google starts indexing your new site, you already have a leg up.
Plus, it’s secure and fast and you know how to keep it that way.
Site Audit and HTTPS Conversion Update
We’re definitely making a dent in that waiting list now.
If you’re in the mood to get your site fast and secure, now is the time to put in the request.
As we draw closer to Google’s July deadline for speed as a ranking factor, that wait list is going to explode.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
I’m taking this latest move by the WordPress team to be a sign of things to come.
They’re cleaning house on free plugins, starting with an effort to remove any plugin listings where the developer never uploaded the code or didn’t make it available to the public.
Devs do that for two reasons:
- Tie up the name so no other dev can use it
- Get a free security review on their code
Since one reason for this action by WordPress is to free up space on WP.org, I believe they will move on to clean house on all of the 40,000 plugins and start removing the ones that haven’t been updated in 3 or more years too.
I just hope they come up with a notification system for that, so we, as site owners are alerted that there will be no further support.
In our Seriously Old Plugin Challenge last year, we found plugins on sites that had been abandoned 8 years ago and were a major security issue.
A review of your plugins is something we do during a site audit too.
In fact, I usually flag about half the plugins as either being out of date or resource hogs that slow down your site. We either get rid of them or find far better alternatives.
Plus, some of them may be up to date, but no longer needed because WordPress natively has a way to do that function now.
READ: 5 Ways to Create Image Widgets that Won’t Slow Down Your Site for a good example of how to use the new Text and Image Widgets that WordPress beefed up last year.
You’ll probably be able to get rid of 1-2 plugins right there.
Major Transition with Plugins
Keep in mind that we are in a major transition period with the underlying code and structure of WordPress right now.
- Compatibility with newer PHP version support
- Dropping unsupported PHP version compatibility
- Gutenberg compatibility
If a plugin dev has to revisit the code at that level, they may make it so that thier plugin no longer works on your site if you’re not keeping it current too.
READ: How and Why to Switch to PHP 7 for more.
And keep in mind that hosts are pushing for you to move up to the latest PHP version too. On most hosts, that’s 7.1 now, with 7.2 available.
So, if you are thinking about migrating to a better host, your new account will be on the new version and something could break.
READ: How to Migrate Your Site to a New Host for more.
If you’re not in the habit of reading the View Details link on plugins before you update them, (I know you’re guilty, so am I sometimes) you’ll likely want to start doing that.
My webmasters, who are primarily designers and also maintain sites for their clients, have already started reporting in about plugins that are now Gutenberg compliant and state they may be unstable with sites that have not switched over to that.
I can understand where the plugin devs are coming from, but honestly, that’s ludicrous until WP 5.0 comes out and Gutenberg is available in the core.
Fortunately, those are edge cases right now, but may not be by this summer.
And you know I’ll keep you posted on what steps we will be taking to avoid a Gutenberg fiasco when that draws near. In fact, I’ve already got most of that plan in place for us.
So, make sure you’re on BlogAid News and opening my posts to keep ahead of that curve too, especially Tips Tuesday.
Y’all know that as an old coder, I strongly favor the Genesis theme framework because it is so clean and fast.
And there are a LOT of designers who create Genesis child themes.
Many of them are getting ready for Gutenberg and sharing their tutorials with others.
Here’s a good one from Sridhar Katakam that you’ll want to dig into.
In our Webmaster group we’ve been keeping ahead of the curve on this because we have to. We have to be way ahead of the curve so we can take care of our clients.
Also see his post on an easy way to add appropriate dummy content to your Gutenberg sandbox site.
What You Need to Know About Gutenberg
Gutenberg is going to change everything with regard to design, and the way the internet itself is going.
Y’all have heard me talk about Web 3.0, which is what I’m calling the revolution we’re in the midst of experiencing. Everything about how we use the web will be radically different in less than 2 years.
So, this is definitely a train you want to catch if you’re in the design business.
For site owners, be patient. The devs and designers have to build the path we are all going to want to walk. Our part of the changeover is coming next year. And you know I’ll keep you ahead of that curve in a calm way too.
Come on, admit it. As bloggers, we live for engagement on our posts.
That precious feedback lets us know that folks value the content we are creating.
And the best of that is when folks take a moment to leave a comment directly on our post because we know our site visitors took the time to read the post too.
There are ways you can encourage more comments from your readers.
In fact, the folks over at ProBlogger have 5 top ways to do it.
One of those ways includes offering the opportunity for folks to subscribe to comments.
That really keeps the conversation going.
And, it lets them know you took the time to reply to them, which is another tactic ProBlogger suggests using.
Even if you already use one, go check the top of that post to see if your plugin is still supported.
Remember me mentioning that we found plugins on sites that had not been supported for 8 years. It was one of these.
So, you want to take a few seconds to check that you don’t have a huge security hole on your site.
You’ll also find my recommendations, as well as links to tutorials I did on a few of those plugins.
Hey, foodie bloggers, have you checked into this yet?
I mentioned this a few Tips Tuesday’s ago, but with all of the GDPR hoohaa, maybe this got sidelined.
You definitely want to do all you can to get into Voice Search these days.
If the recipe plugin you use doesn’t support this yet, check to see if they are working on it.
I know what a pain it is for you to have to change plugins. But if you see one that is hot to help you get on this train, you definitely want to consider jumping.
This could mean hundreds of thousands of new visitors to your site because you have a ground floor opportunity here.
I’ll be checking in with members of my DIY SEO course about this as soon as I can too. We want to get some village feedback on this and start vetting plugins asap.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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