Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- BlogAid Holiday Deals are live!!!!
- 10 new Gutenberg Ninja tutorials that you will flip over
- The exciting thing coming next to the Gutenberg Ninja course
- Whether it’s safe or not to update to WordPress 5.3 yet
- My take on the changes Genesis is now discussing
- Where the data comes from in the new Google Search Console Speed Index
- What’s up with the new speed badges Chrome is adding and how it could radically impact your traffic
- How to test your site speed accurately
Listen to the Podcast
The maddness of the holiday dash is in full swing for most of us. Around here I’m finally back this week to normal office hours and not putting in so much overtime. But last week was crazy hours, so this Tips Tuesday is going to be a little shorter than normal again. Plus, I know most of my U.S. peeps are getting ready for the holiday weekend.
It’s that time again!!! Santa MaAnna is coming early with an overflowing bag of holiday deal goodies for you!!!
You can get discounts on all courses, including:
- Gutenberg Ninja
- DIY SEO
- Webmaster Training for Designers
Full site audits are also discounted.
And, there are one-day super deals on NameHero hosting for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
So, jump on over to the post and get all the details and get your goodies while they last.
I’m super delighted to announce that 10 new tutorials have been added to the Gutenberg Ninja course for the Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugin!!!
You will flip when you see all of the fancy layout and styling things you can do with this suite of blocks.
And it’s made by the same folks who created the Astra themes that I like so much.
Gutenberg Page Layout Tutorials in the Works
And now I’m off creating page layout templates that emulate every page builder like Elementor, Beaver Builder, Thrive, and more.
I have yet to see anything in them that you can’t do in Gutenberg.
And, I’ll be making the template code available to you for use too.
So, you can just pop it into your site and you’ll know how to tweak it for your needs and branding.
As soon as I get those done I’ll be scheduling free webinars so you can see just how powerful Gutenberg really is these days, and why you want to jump into it sooner rather than later.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Is it safe to update to WP 5.3 yet?
The short answer is no, not yet.
Not only have I been hearing reports of folks having failed updates, or things breaking, but I’m experiencing a failed update on one of my test sites.
I also saw that some of the big theme developers, especially those for foodie folks, are also still holding off on recommending the update.
So, for that reason, I’m advising that you hold off for a while longer.
I’m actually shocked that there has not been a 5.3.1 release yet that addresses some of the issues me and others have encountered. Maybe that will come this week.
I do have a post in the wings with the order you’ll want to do this update, as it’s a little different than normal too, and I decided to wait until next week to post it, due to the long holiday weekend and so many folks being unavailable.
So, look for more news on it then.
As I was reading through the latest Genesis Shapers meeting notes, I saw that they were stuck on two main topics – making Genesis more Gutenberg friendly, and making it lighter for speed.
The other thing they pointed out was how Genesis used to be a force for standardizing themes.
And all I could think about was the fact that Genesis is now seriously lagging behind Astra Themes in all of these areas.
I’ve said for years that they needed to buckle down on the quality control, and that it should extend to all 3rd party theme builders featured on the StudioPress site. Nobody has any idea what they are purchasing there – whether the themes are fully Gutenberg compliant or not, or if some themes are bloated messes that slow down page load, or if they require you to purchase an extra plugin to get all of their fancy functions, or what.
You’re not going to have ANY of those issues with Astra themes.
And that’s why I keep leaning more and more that way these days.
I am glad that this Genesis steering committee is addressing these issues.
And maybe dealing with them will help keep Genesis a theme leader of the pack.
But honestly, I’m betting on Gutenberg and Astra taking over that top spot in 2020.
If you’re wanting to really check deeply into Astra as your next theme, be sure to see the full Astra theme tutorial series by Michelle Phillips on her Codefetti site.
Start with this one on how to use Astra and Gutenberg.
This series will get you over the learning curve quickly.
And coupled with my Gutenberg Ninja course, you’ll have a super looking and super functioning site in no time flat.
Google Search Console Speed Index
A few weeks ago Google started including speed data in Search Console.
Now, this differs radically from the speed tests in Google PageSpeed Insights. The GPSI reports are based on the Lighthouse tester, which is a 3rd party platform and not built by Google.
The info you see in Search Console is gathered from data shared via the Chrome browser folks are using to visit your site.
And it’s based on their real-world connection speeds too.
I’m keeping my eye on those reports and comparing to past speed test data gathered for me and my site audit clients.
And now we know why Google has added the speed report to Search Console.
Via the Chrome browser, they may start labeling sites with a badge to let potential visitors know whether it loads fast or slow.
And that may include a filter for the device on which they are doing the search.
Keep in mind that mobile can be up to 4-8 times slower than desktop load.
Now, I say can be because that’s on a 4G type connection.
But if your peeps are visiting on mobile in the evenings, then it’s likely they are on their faster home wifi. But that’s still going to be slower than a hard-wired desktop connection.
Now, what I want you to ponder for a moment is what would happen to your site traffic if you are in a crowded niche and a potential searcher sees your post on a search page full of other posts that seem equally interesting, but yours has a slow badge on it and some of the others have a fast badge.
What do you think that person is going to click, especially if they are on mobile?
Right, the fast one.
Read this primer on how to accurately test your site speed that has tips for reading the actual data, not just the scores, because they can lie.
It’s all about perceived load speed, not total load speed.
Get a Site Audit and Find ALL the Drags
Now, those speed testers can tell you a lot.
But they can’t tell you everything.
That’s where a full site audit comes in.
You’ll see all of the speed drags on your site, including
- those you can only see from the host side
- your resource hog or conflicting plugins
- the health of your database
- and security holes that are also causing performance issues
- And yes, lots of speed test data from multiple sources
So, there’s a lot to it, and you need a whole picture, and a game plan to get your site super fast.
And right now, audits are on sale and you won’t pay until 2020 because I’m already booked solid until then.
So, request now to get your place on my wait list.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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