Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Welcome to the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for April 28 2020 and I’m your host MaAnna.
Tips this week include:
- Why I’m so happy to be working with site speed developers
- What you need to know about the difference in caching and optimization
- How to build a content silo workshop this week
- New WHM reseller account tutorials for webmasters
- A sneak peek into my current research and testing and new tutorials coming
- Why we won’t be updating to Yoast SEO 14.0 just yet
- Will Google kill affiliate links?
- Site and device hack attacks are on the rise and how to protect yourself
- Why WordPress has announced the death of Dashicons and what’s replacing them
- Why Gutenberg is the future of WordPress and why you want to get on that train now
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 8pm ET / 5pm PT on the BlogAid Facebook Page. It’s a great way to get the deeper story on what’s reported in Tips Tuesday. And, I almost always have breaking news for the day too. So come join us live for the party.
Who I Help
All tips, advice, and suggestions in this, and all BlogAid posts and tutorials, are intended to empower DIY site owners who are not on hosting that is restrictive in what you can and can’t do with your site and hosting setup.
It’s been a full week of behind-the-scenes type work around here with research and tutorial updates.
Now that my client load is back to normal, I can do things like that, which all of us count on for me to keep you updated on changes to the plugins and platforms that we all use.
I’m also wrapping up some really big client projects where they had 3-4 sites that needed cleaning up and securing, plus moving to better hosting with a shared reseller account. I’ll tell you more about that type of hosting in a moment.
At this time, I’m booked 2 weeks out for major projects, but I’ve been able to slip in a few smaller projects in between.
So, if you’re ready to get your site fast and secure, or need real HTTPS conversion, or whatever it is, now is the time to holler at me.
Working with Speed Devs
The creator of the Autoptimize plugin, Frank Goossens, reached out to me about the performance of Autoptimize in my Best Free Caching and Optimization Plugins of 2020.
It did great on the optimization tests, which is exactly what the plugin was created to do.
But he was concerned about how it performed worse when combined with hard coded caching directives. I was too. I even ran that test a few times to be sure.
So, I’m very glad he reached out to me and I shared the 3 case study reports connected with that test. We’ll be chatting live later this week to go over them.
And that’s the point of these deep case studies.
I want to give all plugins and methods a fair shake.
That way devs can improve their wares and we all benefit.
I know most folks just lump all speed related plugins together under the term caching.
But caching and optimization are two very different things.
They help with site speed in very different ways.
And it’s good to know which to use for which speed drag you have on your site.
Some plugins I tested only do one or the other and some do both.
So, read up on the difference in these two things so you’ll be in the know about what your site needs.
This Thursday I’m very excited to present another new workshop in the DIY SEO course on how to create a content silo.
Your internal linking counts toward your SEO success too.
In fact, my editorial calendar for Heartwood Art is based completely on building an effective content silo.
And it’s working.
I can see it in Google Analytics as lower bounce rate and more time on site too.
This workshop also pulls in what we learned in the recent Keywords and Ranking Factors workshops too.
It’s never too late to join us to get your SEO squared away for the year!!!
I’m also delighted to share with you that all of the WHM tutorials have been updated in the Webmaster Training course.
A WHM, or reseller account, is so important for designers to have.
It allows you to set up each site in its own cPanel which has a world of security and performance benefits over placing multiple sites, including sub-domains, into a single cPanel.
I encourage all of my site audit clients who have multiple sites to get a WHM reseller account too.
Even though hosts allow you to have multiple sites in one cPanel, it hasn’t been a good idea to do that for 5 years now.
If one site gets hit, they all are at risk.
So, if that’s the setup you’ve got, even with test sites, you need to contact me and let’s get that taken care of.
Backup Tutorial Updates on the Way
I’m doing some deep digging into security for our backups and storage – specifically for UpdraftPlus and AmazonS3.
And fortunately one of my site audit clients came across a new bucket naming convention that AS3 very quietly released last month that flew under my radar.
So, this is going to go deeper than just backup file storage.
I’ll have more for you as I complete my research.
And I’ll have new tutorials in the Webmaster Training, plus a new public tutorial for AS3, as they have radically changed their interface and some other settings too.
More SSL Renewal Research Underway
This week I’m looking into updates by cPanel with regard to our SSL certificate renewal, especially for those of us using Cloudflare.
cPanel has an AutoSSL tool that does the auto renewal for us every 90 days. And it needs to find 2 keys to do that.
If you use Cloudflare or an https redirect, it may have issues finding the path to those keys or balk at having to go through a redirect to get them.
cPanel has tried 5 different work-around solutions in the last 2 years to deal with this issue.
Most hosts have no idea what’s going on with it.
I only know about it because I do so many site audits and see when things change.
This latest fix from cPanel creates a new DCV test record in our DNS listing at the host. But of course, that’s not going to be picked up by existing Cloudflare accounts.
So, it may be something that we will need to add at some point.
Right now I’m seeing all SSL certificates renew properly everywhere except SiteGround. And even there it’s not a consistent problem.
I’ll be updating my webmasters and site audit clients as soon as I finish my research on it.
This is just one more way I keep us all ahead of the curves and out of panic mode.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Don’t update to Yoast SEO 14.0 Just Yet
Team Yoast has undertaken a major revamp of the core code in their SEO plugin.
Version 14.0 rolls out today.
The idea is to make it faster at how it handles things on the backside.
And FYI, Yoast SEO does not slow down your page load speed on the front side and I have the data to prove it.
I’ve read through their post on the upcoming changes four times now and I still don’t fully understand it. All of it seems like a good thing, though, the best I can understand it.
So, for that reason, and because anytime there is a major core code change in a plugin, we will want to hold off on doing the update.
They released the beta about 2 weeks ago to their volunteer testers, but there is no way they have the wide variety of site setup the general public does.
So, we’ll sit out the update for about a week and listen for who screams about what.
A word about update notices
I can’t possibly cover every update that comes our way.
I only try to warn folks when there are serious changes that may negatively impact us.
So, please do not contact me to ask if an update is okay or not if I haven’t been previously warning about it.
No news is good news until I hear enough folks scream otherwise. And I’ll let you know if I do.
Being a consistent reader of Tips Tuesday is your best bet to keep ahead and get that news too.
There’s an old post from Fast Company circulating in a few Facebook groups about whether Google will kill the affiliate link market.
We recently discussed product review posts and sites in my SEO workshops.
For straight up product reviews, Google’s new push for shopping and direct sales will have an impact.
But for how-to posts, like making smoothies in those blenders referenced in the post I have linked for you, I don’t think it will have an impact.
Folks searching for help will still click posts that give them that help and then on the affiliate link in that post for the product that the content creator recommends.
Site hack attacks are still on the rise
This past week I had 5 site owners contact me about getting their hacked site fixed.
As I’ve been reporting in Tips Tuesday, hackers are drooling over all these new folks working from home on unsecured laptops.
Those hackers are going after every IP address imaginable. And of course, some of those are where we host our site files.
They are probing them at an alarming rate and looking for any weak link on the host server.
If you have not secured your site properly, they will break through.
Many times they simply want to use your hosting resources to attack other computers.
Or they want to silently steal email addresses from those who use your contact forms or leave comments.
Most hackers will never show themselves to alert you they are present.
And if you think those behemoth security plugins are protecting you, think again.
What they are doing is giving you a false sense of security and chewing up more of your hosting resources than they are worth.
Come get a site audit instead.
On average I find 26 security and performance issues that no plugin can find or fix.
You’ll be amazed at how ineffective your current security measures are, and just how big a toll that’s taking on your hosting and making your site slow too.
Secure your devices
Email phishing scams are on the rise like crazy too.
GSuites and Gmail seem to be keeping up with it and I’m seeing my spam folder loading up every day.
And if one of those emails does come through for you, never, ever click on a link in the email to do whatever they are asking you to do.
Instead, go directly to the company’s website and log in that way, and then check if there is truly anything you need to do or verify.
Also, be sure to check how to properly secure your computer, laptop, phone, tablet, or any other device you use.
And, be sure to check for any updates on anything you have connected to the internet to ensure it has the latest security.
That includes your router and anything that uses wifi.
Stay safe at home and ensure the devices you rely on are kept safe too.
You know the little icon in the middle of your share buttons and social follow buttons?
Many themes and plugins use the FontAwesome icon library to produce those.
But FontAwesome is a real speed drag on your page load time.
Savvy designer and developers prefer to use the natively supported Dashicons instead.
Instead of having to be brought in from the outside world like FontAwesome, the entire Dashicon library is already in your WordPress core code. So, it’s way lighter and faster to use it.
Well, advancements with Gutenberg, and a focus on mobile users has changed that.
WordPress has permanently closed development on Dashicons and is no longer accepting requests for new icons.
Instead, they are focusing on what works well with the Gutenberg block editor, which are SVG icons.
SVG stands for Scalable Vector Graphics and they are perfect for showing different sizes on desktop and mobile.
All development is now being focused into a new Icon component for Gutenberg.
It allows you to render a raw icon file without any styling or wrappers.
This type of native support is going to make it way easier for developers and designers to work with it consistently.
Gutenberg is the Future
If you’re not already on Gutenberg, you are missing the boat.
It is very quickly becoming the editor of choice due to the sheer power of all of the layout and design choices it makes available to you.
You can see examples of what I mean in this post on 8 Pages You Can Make in Gutenberg.
What’s even more astounding is that the majority of them were created on the same free Astra theme.
No bulky page builders required either and nothing else to buy to do it.
Get into my Gutenberg Ninja course and I’ll take you step-by-step into how create these very pages – and then a whole lot more.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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