Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Why better security equals a faster site and cheaper hosting
- A progress report on the Heartwood Art woodshop makeover
- Why you need to keep all of your social media accounts active and the bullet I dodged
- Why I’m taking a course on affiliate marketing
- The SEO I’ll be setting up on my new YouTube channel
- Why I’m tickled pink with the investment I made in my new video camera
- The new social sharing buttons case study is underway and what else I’m testing
- Why working with influencers is so important
- Finding new life for this podcast on Instagram
- New MediaVine research I’m doing for better speed on sites with ads
- When are we moving to Gutenberg?
- What they’re working on in Phase 2 of Gutenberg that just cranked up
- Why you need to ensure you know how to use the native Text and Image widgets we have now
- The release schedule for WordPress 5.1
- Why webmasters need to set up dedicated test sites for WordPress
- What the big Collection #1 Data Breach was all about and how to protect your online accounts
- What’s in Genesis 2.8 that promises a new theme experience for us and theme developers
- Whether it’s okay to update to Genesis 2.8 yet or not
- Proposed revision to CSS Coding Standards for WordPress sites
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join me live later today at our new time of 9pm ET / 6pm PT 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 y’all have enjoyed these past few slow news weeks because that’s over. Got lots to report today.
And it’s been a busy week at my desk too.
I published a couple of posts that we’ll cover in this week’s tips.
I also helped a lot of clients this week get where they are going with their site success, including:
- 1 total theme revamp
- 2 site audits
- 3 site migrations to better hosting
- 4 robots.txt file updates – those were in connection with our DIY SEO live session on Technical SEO.
Even though the live workshops have started, you can join the course at any time. All workshop replays, plus all video courses are always available.
Better Security = Faster Site and Cheaper Hosting
For those site audits I did last week, we found all kinds of low hanging fruit to speed up the sites, plus lots of security holes that need to be patched.
Those also affect speed.
More than that, it also affects how big of a hosting package you may have to buy.
I’ve saved one client over $2k/yr in hosting costs due to extreme bad bot hits.
Once we got those kicked to the curb she was able to downsize her hosting radically and had a way faster site to boot.
For my woodworking site, we had a couple of warm-enough days this past week to work on the garage wood shop.
I’m beyond thrilled with the newly cleaned and painted floor!!!!
And I got the one sheetrocked wall mudded, sanded, and the first coat of Kilz put on.
Some of the previous tape and mud bubbled up the minute I hit with that primer.
We have another couple of warm-enough days coming up this week and I’ll patch that up and get another coat of Kilz on it.
I’ll have a full before and after post for you on Heartwood Art once it’s done.
Keep Those Accounts Active!
And I feel like a dodged a bullet with the Heartwood Art Twitter account. I had not used it in years and I didn’t have the correct password for it. Plus, it was connected to an email address that I thought I no longer had access to.
But I did, and I got in, and I updated my account info to a current email address.
I’ve tried to be good about at least getting my domain name as new social media platforms become popular. But, I’m not active on all those sites.
So, you bet I’ll be going through all of them soon and ensuring I can still access them and that all of my info is up to date.
How about you? Do you have a bunch of old accounts you never access anymore?
Might be a good idea to go check them.
Learning All About Affiliate Marketing
I also signed up for a class on affiliate marketing, which will be my first big source of income on Heartwood Art.
As y’all have heard in previous Tips Tuesday’s, I’ve been very strategic in my tool purchases for this very reason.
And once the shop is all gussied up, I’ll be making my first tool review video for my new mitre saw to post on Amazon, YouTube, and my site.
Besides my Amazon ads, I’ll also be signing up with the affiliate agencies that carry Home Depo and Lowes, as that’s where I purchased the bulk of my tools. As soon as I have that, I’ll be doing those tool reviews.
Setting Up a New YouTube Channel
Of course, in all of this, I’ll be setting up a brand new YouTube channel for the woodworking stuff.
The SEO on my BlogAid YouTube channel is super and I show up for queries directly, and even more so for related videos. So, I’ll be doing that again on the new channel.
Keep in mind that YouTube is its own search engine, and you have to do SEO directly on it, and then on the blog post you embed that video into so they both show up on Google searches.
I’ll keep you posted on when that goes live.
Playing with My New Video Camera
I was so happy to try out my new video camera and mic in the shop the night before the floor guys came in.
And yes, I’ll have a post for you on that setup as soon as I perfect it for all these tool review videos I’ll be doing.
Several of you have asked about my setup for the green screen that I use on the Tips Tuesday livestream and I’ll have a post on that setup down the road too.
Best Social Sharing Buttons Case Study Underway
But this week, my focus is squarely on the new case study prep for the best social share buttons.
Yesterday I took down all 3 of my test sites that are on different servers and recreated them.
I decided to take the opportunity to run some speed tests with and without Gutenberg too. I’ll have those results for you soon.
I also heard a rumor that Social Pug didn’t play well with Tasty Pins. Have any of you encountered that, or heard of folks who have?
I’ll be reaching out this week to the devs of all premium share button plugins on my list to see if they want to donate to the cause.
And I’ll be getting with my Site Audit Plus clients soon to ask about the combos that they use.
Help from Influencers
I’ve also got a secret helper in all of this. She’s hugely popular and y’all will know her instantly when I reveal who it is that will be contributing guidance with the case study.
I’ll be telling you when we get closer to releasing the results.
I’ve also had some really interesting conversations with a couple of clients this year about speaking at more conferences and contacting folks who run groups and agencies that most of you use in an effort to help them get the best tech advice for their folks.
Too many of them advertise that they are not techs, yet they don’t hesitate to give out tech advice, like which host or plugins to use and such.
And then y’all find me a year or two later to clean up that mess.
So, I’ll be working behind the scenes this year to get with more of these influencers and help them help you more.
New Life for the Podcast on Instagram
Last week I mentioned that I surveyed folks about whether they listen to the Tips Tuesday podcast or not, and that I might be making big changes with it.
Well, while learning about Instagram for Heartwood Art, I discovered a few folks that are repurposing their podcasts there.
I’m still learning about IGTV, stories, and all the other things I can do with Instagram for my woodworking, and I’m seeing how to better use that platform for BlogAid too.
And thanks so much to Erin Myers for clueing me in on how to find the Return button on the Instagram limited keyboard on my iPad so I could make paragraphs. I wanted to put some spaces between the meat of the post and the hashtag block.
I’ve also spent some time creating hashtag blocks in Google Drive, which I can also access from my iPad, and that’s going to help me get way more reach.
I KNEW this new venture would spill over into BlogAid!!! I still have a lot to learn, but thrilled y’all are going on the journey with me. I’ve had a lot of fun with some of you over on Instagram.
This week I’ll be looking into all the advice some of y’all are getting from MediaVine, as I need to know what they’re advising these days for better speed.
I have a whole list of links from their help files to read. And one of my site audit clients has volunteered her site to test some tweaks.
So, I’ll be reporting back on what I find as soon as I finish that research.
When Are We Moving to Gutenberg?
I’ve heard some of you asking about this.
We’re not moving just yet. I’m still putting together the resources you’ll need to make a smooth transition to Gute with either your current site or use the opportunity to move to Genesis or to a new theme.
I’ve heard that a few popular plugin devs are making some big changes for Gute, and that we have another major update or two coming with Genesis with regard to Gute.
So, I’m thinking it will be at least this time next month before we have enough dust settled for me to offer a program to help you make the switch.
But it’s coming!!! So just hang in there a bit longer.
And, I’ll be the first guinea pig of the program as I take the Heartwood Art site through a full theme revamp and switch to Gute. Y’all know I always vet and research stuff deeply. And this is the best way for me to do it and make it smooth for you too.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
The call for team volunteers has gone out to work on the next phase of Gutenberg, which will bring the block editor to widget areas.
Learn How to Use New Image and Text Widgets Now
And before that even hits, you’ll want to get up to speed with all of the new widgets WordPress created last year.
In site audits I still see folks using plugins for things that WordPress can natively do now.
So, go to the Helpful Posts page and look in the Speed section.
Look for the 2 posts on creating image widgets and Pinterest Widgets for tutorials on how to use the new native Text and Image widgets instead of plugins, or Pinterest and Instagram widgets.
And for those of you who put those social widgets into MiloTree, that can kill your site load speed too.
I just heard from one of my recent site audit clients that she switched over to doing her Pinterest widget like I show in the tutorial and it’s working great. She is still getting just as many followers from her site with it, and now she doesn’t have that speed drag.
The WP devs have announced the release schedule for the next major update of 5.1.
Beta 1 rolled out last week.
Beta 2 rolled out yesterday.
Beta 3 is scheduled to release on Jan 29.
The first Release Candidate is scheduled for Feb 7.
And the final public release is planned for Feb 21.
See last week’s Tips Tuesday for all the neat things coming in this release.
Most of them have nothing to do with Gutenberg.
I’ll have more posts for you on the really big, new, shiny things closer to the release date, as that’s when those things will have most of the bugs worked out.
Set Up a Dedicated Test Sites for WordPress
I do, and one test site dedicated to Gutenberg.
Those really help me keep up with the changes.
Last week there was a huge list of emails and passwords put online for hackers to grab.
It had info on 773 million folks.
It has been dubbed the Collection #1 Data Breach by the guy who discovered it.
Be sure to go read my post on how to check if your emails and passwords are on the list.
Plus, see how to better protect all of your online accounts, including your site.
Your site security starts with you.
And I see weak passwords and poor practices during nearly every site audit I do.
You’ve got to make a change in your head about it starting today.
Yes, it’s going to be a time suck to make the changes.
But you can’t think about it that way.
You need to think about how disruptive it would be to your life to get your most important accounts hacked without warning.
At least you can plan 15 minutes a week to get best practices in place.
Hours and hours and lots of money getting an unplanned hacked fixed, is what you can’t afford.
So, go read the post.
Get with the program.
Once it’s done, it’s super easy to maintain for the rest of your life.
I was thrilled to see Genesis 2.8 roll out. I’ve been testing the beta for a couple of weeks.
There is a new onboarding experience with a much improved One-Click Demo feature.
And, there is a new Genesis Configuration API that will help 3rd party theme developers keep their sites up to date.
I know many of you with food related themes have been reeling since last year about deep child theme changes, and dealing with devs that are making it pretty expensive to have an easy way to keep up.
That’s one of the issues I’m currently researching with regard to my new theme revamp offers. And these new Genesis core features are going to impact that.
They’ve also released a new Style Guide to help designers and theme developers streamline their code for Gutenberg support.
So, go read my post for more info about all this, and what we can expect to roll down the pike with new themes in the very near future, including those from 3rd party developers.
Clear to Update to Genesis 2.8
FYI, I have not heard of any issues with folks updating to Genesis 2.8.
So, I’m calling it safe to do that now.
Heads up for designers.
WordPress is taking a hard look at the way theme CSS files are coded.
They are attempting to set new standards for it.
So, be sure to have a look at this post and see if the way you code is in line with these proposed changes. I strongly suggest that you follow this thread, as many theme frameworks are working hard these days to ensure their code meets WordPress best practices. Genesis went through 2 major revisions last year to bring their base framework into exact alignment with WordPress.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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