Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include a free site performance tester webinar this Thursday, a super HOA on plugins and site optimization, a new video tutorial on the Simple Share Buttons Adder plugin settings, the latest on the bad bot situation and why doing a site audit now is the key, why you need to check how you pick up your emails, a super way to get valuable tips out there quickly, a new multi-plugin installer that will make designers and developers squeal with delight, a post on how to get the attention on influencers that is a mini-course all by itself, and for dessert, more gorgeous samples of high speed splash photography. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast
Well, I thought you might want to see how I run those tests using free online performance checkers like Pingdom and WebPageTest. And then see how to make sense of what they tell you.
So, I’m doing a free webinar on it this Thursday, August 7th at 3:00 pm EDT.
I’m going to try to record it, but I make no guarantees that will work or that I’ll have it available for a replay. So, if you want to ensure that you see it, better to attend live.
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My BlogAid News subscribers were the first to know about that webinar. So, be sure that you’re on that list. And you can also subscribe to my blog posts, including just to this Tips Tuesday category there too. And FYI, if you subscribe to all the blog posts, Tips Tuesday comes with that.
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And, if you’re subscribed directly to this podcast, I sure would appreciate you taking just a minute to leave a review on iTunes. It means so much to helping get the word out about this fantastic resource and support all the free info I make available through BlogAid.
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And, you may remember that head-to-head test I did on 12 of the most popular social share button plugins.
(See Social Share Buttons – Site Performance and Security Killers)
My top pick was the Simple Share Buttons Adder plugin. I’m using it now and I like it so much that I decided to create a video tutorial on all the settings.
And if you like that video, there are plenty more over in the full BlogAid Video Tutorial Library
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I was absolutely delighted to be invited to return to the sandbox with +Stephan Hovnanian and +Susan Finch for another round of If I Had a Nickel, which is the HOA series they’ve been running all summer. As Stephan says, this one was a fire hose of info on plugins and site optimization. And, he did an amazing write up on it too. Well worth your time to watch or read, really.
And, I apologize to everyone for the glitchiness on my part of these HOAs. I had done a little bit of cleaning on my computer prior to this one, because I know that some of the background processes were maxing it out. And that’s saying a lot because I have a beefy system. But, so much business is rolling in that I decided The Geek Squad could do it faster than I could. And that’s saying a lot too. As an electronics engineer, I started working on computers when you could walk inside them. I remember when rolling your own was a real source of pride. Those days are long gone. Which leads me to my next topic.
Hiring a VA
Tomorrow I start interviewing VAs, or Virtual Assistants. I’m fielding a minimum of 300 emails a week and too much of that is for selecting times to meet live and such. Plus, I need a new system for doing things in a more productive way. VAs specialize in creating these systems. So, it makes sense to ask an expert to help me set up a system that they prefer to work with. Then we’re all more productive. See, I do practice what I preach about how much investing in professional help can actually save you money.
And yes, in just 4 months I went from leaving my day job to hiring a personal assistant to augment my already expanding team. There’s just that much business coming in and let me tell you why. So let’s jump into this week’s tips.
The newest two branches of BlogAid are for site performance and to help busy entrepreneurs with site management duties. That’s different from site maintenance because it goes way beyond doing updates. I’m proactively looking for ways to help them meet their business goals.
These days, better performance also means better security due to the bad bot attacks.
Read How Site Performance and Security Work Together
This is the highest sustained bot attack we’ve ever seen. And you can see a shadow of it in real-time by visiting the home page of the WordFence site. The new average reported there has been raised to 30,000 hits per minute. Prior to this attack that average was 5,000 hits/minute. We’re six times higher now folks.
I have all kinds of clients signing up now for various site audits. Some are being proactive and getting their sites secured. Some are waiting until they are experiencing direct attacks and doing it under duress. And some are waiting until they’ve been hacked.
Me and my whole team are working as hard and as fast as we can to get to everyone.
The key to security is prevention.
I’ve got a post coming on all that I’ve been seeing. The worst of it has been a total hands-off approach to site management, hosting account management, and zero security. That just won’t cut it anymore folks.
Here’s just one example of a site that was being limited by their host 39,986 times a day for resource overages. Basically, it had been down for nearly a month and the account was about to get canceled. It’s under control now, but we’re just starting to see what damage has been done to the Google ranking.
Don’t let this be you!
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Secure your email pickup
Y’all know I’ve repeatedly mentioned that there is a limit to what I can publicly say about the bot attack vectors. I started telling you about the XML-RPC attacks back in March. And very recently updated that post to include even more ways to shut the whole thing down.
I’m telling you now that middleman attacks via unsecured FTP and unsecured email retrieval are happening. The FTP and email elements on your host are likely secure. How you connect to them may not be. Check that you are using the SSH way of connecting. Your host probably has a knowledgebase article on it.
On top of that, seriously consider breaking up your accounts across different providers, like
- GoDaddy for domains
- A2 for hosting (aff link)
- Rackspace or Google Apps for domain-related email
Each company specializes in each element. And if one gets attacked/hacked, the others are safe.
And please don’t ask me about your email setup. There are 14 billion ways to do it and I can’t possibly cover them all.
However, you are welcome to leave a comment on the secure way you do things. And, if you’re an email setup specialist, let us know, and what you help with.
I hope you can take these hints and do what you need to do. I’m doing it myself. And I’ll have more details on specifics as I can make them publicly available.
Work continues on version 4.0. We’re still at Beta 2, so the public version won’t be available for a little while still. They haven’t been doing a lot of updates on the dev blog except for coding changes and such. So, not much to report for users right now, and that’s a good thing.
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But that doesn’t keep us from wishing about what WordPress had. Brenda Barron has a nice wish list roundup on ManageWP of what developers want to see. I’m particularly fond of two. One is a better text editor, and if you’ve been following me for long you know how I feel about the default one. And the other is a rollback button so you can more easily return to a previous state if a plugin update makes your site go haywire. I will always advocate doing a full backup first. But a rollback would be a whale of a lot easier to restore.
I like +Jay Baer so much that I’m going to steal from him. Have you seen his new On Jay Today videos yet? They are short, 3 minute clips about what’s on his mind and they’re packed with useful info.
Here’s on that I really like on why you need to stop hiding your best stuff on your home page. I’m actually revamping the BlogAid home page and other parts of the site a little at a time to feature more of what’s hot in my business. This really hit home for me. So, watch the little vid and then go have a look at your site to see what you can improve.
For those of you who set up or create new sites all of the time, you’re going to love this. There’s a new plugin that will bulk load and install a full list of plugins. And, get this, it can source from the WordPress repository and from cloud services like DropBox. That way you can include premium plugins too. And the best part, they will all be the latest version.
It’s called the Multi Plugin Installer and Joe Fylan has a super write up on the WPExplorer blog.
Hahaha. I know a bunch of you just stopped whatever you were doing to go check that out. Be sure to come back and listen to the rest of the podcast.
Content Marketing Tips
+Ana Hoffman once again demonstrates why she is THE most gracious online host at her Traffic Generation Cafe blog. In this post she does not tell us how it’s done. She shows us. Besides all of the great info and examples, I’d invite you to just study the post itself. Pay attention to the delectable formatting. Presentation is everything. And what is served is sure to satisfy. There is no such thing as walking away still hungry from this site. It takes me a week to digest the rich info in her posts.
Many of the folks she mentions in this post do what she advocates and exemplifies here. And it’s why they are shooting stars too.
I’m an engineer at heart and I study these techniques to see how they work. And each of the folks she mentions has their own delivery in their own voice. But to me, no one matches Ana’s style. It’s as smooth as her coffee.
Am I sucking up to Ana by what I’m saying here? No, I already have her attention. And the way she lets me know that is different from most everyone else online too, and is another reason why I say she is the most gracious host. She doesn’t just comment something like “thanks for the mention.” She also says thank you on her roundups to the folks who mentioned her that week too.
And that makes her endearing beyond tribal sharing of posts and name dropping. It’s personal. It’s genuine. And that’s the other point she makes in this post about how it’s done in relationship building.
High Speed Splash Photography
And I found a few more photographs Fabian Oefner of paint covered balloons bursting that are pretty awesome too. And here’s the latest on his portfolio titled Orchid There’s another photo on the home page of a car that you’ve just got to see as well.
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.