Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Special discount celebration on the Grand Re-Opening of the BlogAid Learning Center
- Why I’m giving another free month of access on the Gutenberg Ninja course
- Where to access the Gute course during this changeover
- A HUGE thank you to my membership site revamp team
- How things are going at my new host and why I’m so damned impressed with them
- Why I switched away from Contact Form 7 to a more modern form plugin and how Formidable Forms met all of my criteria
- The two big plugins bequeathed to WordPress recently
- What’s in the Yoast SEO 11.3 update and why you may not want to use it
- The update in WP Fastest Cache that is my fault and what to do with it
- Why we’re tickled about more user requested features come to Social Pug
- A tip about what to do right after you update plugins
- What the new Google Rich Results Tester checks
- Why we’re silly happy about more diversity of domains in search
- Why that diversity is great for videos too
- What’s coming in the Genesis 3.0 release in a couple of weeks
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 9pm ET / 6pm PT on the BlogAid Facebook Page. It’s open Q&A time for what caught your attention in this week’s tips or whatever you’d like to discuss about your site success. And, I always have breaking news for the day too. So come join us live for the party.
This past week I had one focus, and that was to totally revamp the BlogAid Learning Center by switching over from Wishlist Member to MemberPress.
And I’m delighted to share that it is also the new home for the Gutenberg Ninja course!!!
I had to make this switch to get the features I needed to grow the Learning Center with more courses, including a better email notification system for subscriptions.
Plus, I’ll be adding the affiliate program soon, as many of you have asked about it for both the DIY SEO course as well as the Gute course.
Discounts and Extended Access for Gutenberg Ninja
To celebrate the grand re-opening, you’ll find a new coupon on the Gutenberg Ninja course info page to get $10 off. It expires on the 15th.
If you’re a member of the DIY SEO course or the BB Hub for Site Audit Plus membership, or a webmaster, your deeper discount is still active.
You’ll find your coupon code in the Discounts section of your Member Dashboard.
I’ve also extended access to the Gute course to 2 months.
I heard from several folks that are going through theme and content revamp that 1 month access is just a little too tight. So, you’ll get another month for free.
Deep discounts for limited extensions are also available for those who hire me for a theme revamp project.
Why the limited access?
This is a fast course that is meant to get you up and running with Gute when you’re ready to make that switch.
After the course, you’ll easily be able to keep up with Gute changes on your own. You won’t need a course to vet new blocks or how to use them. You’ll be able to do that for yourself.
And yes, I’ll be blogging more on new blocks and Gute changes as they become available and I’ll be updating the course as needed for core changes or any new specialty blocks or themes that I think are worthwhile to use.
Where to Access the Gute Course
If you’re already in the Gutenberg Course on Teachable, continue to access it there. You’ll have all the same updates I make on the Learning Center, so you’re not missing anything.
All new purchases will be on the Learning Center, and that’s where you’ll access the course.
I’ll be closing down the Teachable course at the end of July.
The Webmaster Training site is currently closed for purchase, but access to tutorials is still available.
I’ll be switching it over from Wishlist Member to MemberPress in the coming week and tutorial access will be closed for a couple of days while we do it. I’ve already given members a heads up on the schedule.
Huge Thank You to the Revamp Team
I want to send a huge thank you to fellow webmasters Paula Gregorowicz of the Paula G Company and Larry Snow of Strategic Marketing Solutions for their invaluable help with the Learning Center revamp.
Paula helped with merging all of the individual course email lists at MailChimp into one with segments, as that is what MemberPress requires.
And Larry helped with the export/import of the membership from one plugin’s way of doing it to another. I would not have made it without Larry’s expertise and willingness to take on the manual labor and triple checking required to get that part of this changeover right.
Between all of us, it was about 60 man hours of work, much of it focused into 3 days of 10-12 hours each for me and Larry.
And I can tell you that neither one of us would offer to do this job for clients as so much of it is mind-numbing, eye-crossing work.
Larry did it as a special favor to me. And Paula did a rush job as a favor to me too.
That speaks to the power of our Webmaster community. Our Facebook group is filled with us helping each other through odd issues, reporting the news, and keeping each other updated on things we need to know to help our clients and run a successful business.
We frequently hire one another because nobody can be an expert at everything anymore.
I am so grateful to be part of that community myself.
If you’re in the Webmaster membership, and not active on our Facebook group, I strongly encourage you to come visit and get engaged with us again.
NameHero Vetting Update
As many of you know, I migrated to NameHero hosting a few months ago.
I’ve been enjoying 100% up time until last week.
I asked support about it and the site in question was never actually down.
Turns out that cPanel did a botched update last week and it caused a conflict with the LiteSpeed server settings. And that caused the server-side Cloudflare plugin not to accurately report the visitor’s hits.
The down-time report I got was actually Cloudflare turning away bad bots that had been challenged with a reCaptcha thing.
So, my report actually helped them find a server-level issue that was caused by cPanel.
And, they like the uptime monitor I use to see this, which also monitors servers directly. It’s NixStats. The CEO, Ryan, may post a how to or something about it on their YouTube channel.
And I was damned impressed with the speed and accuracy of their support, and willingness to dig as deep into this matter as I wanted to go.
I’m not at all easy to impress, so this is really saying something.
They also found a few other things that can be tweaked on my site and server setup that were inherited from the old host. Changing those up will make everything run even faster and better.
So, I have a full site audit for all my sites and the whole hosting account on my plate for next week to ensure all that old stuff gets cleaned out.
Ready to Move to Better Hosting?
If you want to move to a better host with excellent pricing, please consider NameHero.
You’ll find my affiliate link on the Resources page.
And, see my Migration Checklist for all the things you need to do for the move.
If you’re not up to all that, contact me to project manage it for you, including looking for all the little things that need to get tweaked for the new hosting environment.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
I had intermittent trouble with my contact form for months. I couldn’t tell if it was the host or caching or what. But clients not being able to contact me is huge motivation to solve that issue.
I knew I needed to switch from Contact Form 7 to a more modern plugin.
I checked into several of them and Formidable Forms had everything I needed in their free version.
See my post for the plugins I checked, plus the options and features I was looking for in a new plugin. You’ll want to check those features against the plugin that you’re using too.
Long-time WordPress core and plugin dev, Alex Mills, passed away and bequeathed his entire plugin collection to Automattic, which is the parent company of WordPress.com.
At one time he had 40 plugins which he pared down to 17 of the most popular in use. The WordPress team will now take over development of them.
The 2 big ones are Regenerate Thumbnails, which no theme designer can live without, and JetPack, of which he was the lead contributor and WP.com could not run without.
So, we are delighted that Automattic is taking over on these, as we would not want them to fall into disreputable hands as so many plugins do when the dev can no longer maintain them.
Yoast SEO 11.3 Update
The latest update adds a way for you to include an image of yourself if you’re set up to have your site considered a person instead of an organization. This fixes the schema markup error for having no image when configured that way.
We’ve discussed this in the DIY SEO course and I strongly suggest you consider setting up as an organization and not a person. That way your site is considered a stronger publisher and you are the author.
WP Fastest Cache Update
In the latest release, you may now see a notice to do a Cloudflare integration.
That’s my fault. I told the dev we never use it.
So now everyone gets a notice.
Just turn the notice off.
I 100% guarantee that the way I have my site audit clients configured with both the WPFC plugin and settings at Cloudflare work better than what the dev is suggesting via the plugin.
I’m still chatting with him about it.
Mahai is such a wonderful developer because he listens to the requests from his users and then builds it into the plugin.
The latest release has several new features, including:
- A way to easily add multiple hidden Pinterest images
- An easy way to exclude images from being pinnable
- An easy way to verify the Facebook API for continued share count delivery
See my review and tutorial on the Social Pug plugin and why it was a top winner in my social share plugin case study for both speed and function.
Clear Cache After Plugin Updates
It’s best practice now to delete cache everywhere after plugin updates.
Of late, schema markup has been the big news, especially with the changes to the Yoast SEO plugin.
And aren’t we super glad we updated to that when we did as Google has just released a new tester that checks your schema markup output.
Google wants all sites to output these special markup tags so its AI (Artificial Intelligence) can make better sense of your content.
All of DIY SEO course members got great scores on the new tester.
This is good news. Google announced that they will strive to show greater diversity of domains in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) from now on instead of allowing one or two domains to dominate the results.
That means more of our quality content has a shot at not being drowned out by the big guys.
But, the very end of this report has something you most definitely need to pay huge attention to.
“This only impacts the core results, not the additional search features such as top stories, video snippets, image carousels or other vertical search features listed among the other web results.”
Me and more and more of my DIY SEO course members are getting their content featured in those places.
Those carousels are huge for my foodie clients who are getting into them, including the first position.
And I’m getting big results on video. Part of my high ranking with video is sheer age from having done them so long.
Get Going with Video
There is no better time to get going with video than right now. The time will pass no matter whether you do or not. The sooner you start making them, the sooner you start reaping the benefits.
My videos for Heartwood Art are already starting to get some hits and they will only increase. Those pins are starting to heat up on Pinterest and drive site traffic too. Keep in mind I’ve just started making them in the past few months.
Don’t wait on me to teach a course. There are plenty of others already out there that cover the basics to get you started.
The Genesis devs are making great headway with the core revamps they have been working on for the past year.
This upcoming release adds support for Google AMP. I don’t advocate anyone use AMP, so this is a non-feature for us. To be clear, you’re not getting anything you need with this part of the update, but also not getting anything to disrupt your site.
The rest of the changes are mostly deep core clean up.
But there is one that you’ll want to know about.
They are removing the old Blog page template. Some designers have made use of that.
You’ll want to check with your theme provider to see if this will impact you at all.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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