Hello Happy Site Owners! Tips this week include:
- new interview podcasts
- free site review webinar
- re-launch of the carving site
- New head of StudioPress,
- Privilege Escalation vulnerabilities
- round up of all changes to Google Webmaster Tools in the last month
- why designers need to put nofollow links on their client’s sites
- page level assessment of the new Mobile Friendly algorithm
- 7 ways to make your website project fail
- and a Chrome extension for a heatmap of your slow load elements
So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
Lots of happy news around here this week.
Going Full Time
This Saturday will be the one year anniversary of leaving my day job as an electronics engineer for nearly 30 years and going full time with BlogAid. It’s great to be living my dream! I do a job I love every day and get to help other folks do the same. And, I’m very blessed to work with so many people who put good into the world. And that just warms my heart.
New Family Member
The big news around here is that there has been an addition to the family. I’ve adopted a schnauzer and tickled pink to have puppy paws in the place again.
I spent a lot of years working two full time jobs and then this last year building the rest of the foundation for BlogAid and had put a lot of my joyful life things on hold to get it done. That’s the way it is being an entrepreneur of a startup.
So, I’m very happy to start getting my life back and be off the road and in a position to have a doggie again.
And on that note, I’m delighted to announce the relaunch of my wood carving site, Heartwood Art! And a HUGE THANK YOU to +Cyndia Papia for doing the big tasks of integrating a static HTML site and a Blogger blog and getting all under one WordPress roof.
We thought we would be making an interim theme for now and do a more detailed design later, but a few more tweaks here and there on the draft led to this being the theme. I’m thrilled with it. This was all Cyndi. I told her what I wanted to do with the site, gave her some images, and made just a few comments on the first draft. Everything else is her doing.
When I first announced I’d be turning this project over to her entirely and just staying out of her way, y’all thought I was crazy. Go have a look at the site and see just how smart that decision was.
Besides getting caught up on the blogs of my latest project, I’ll be tweaking the content on it over the next few months and learning more about generating passive income through ads and sponsors too. As I create new and bigger graphics for my carvings and get more sponsors, we’ll be rearranging it a bit.
New Interview Podcasts
In other big news here, I’ve sent the invitations out for client interviews. These will be in addition to Tips Tuesday and will give you the inside scoop on what it’s like to run big, successful sites over the years, or what it’s like to go through a full site revamp and training to take things up a notch.
I’m delighted that visibility expert +Denise Wakeman will be my first guest. She’s been at this online marketing thing for years and she has a unique perspective from trying just about every visibility technique known.
I’m excited to hear what she has to say on the value of trying new things and evaluating the ROI with regard to her site and what it takes to keep up with all of that.
Free Site Review Webinar
I do believe it’s time to do another zero-pitch, free site review webinar. It will be coming up very soon.
BlogAid News subscribers will be the first to know the date and get first dibs on submitting their site for the limited slots. So, be sure to get on that list if you haven’t done so already.
And, we’ll have a special guest this time. Social media coach +Carrie-Anne Foster will be joining us. She had her site reviewed in one of these webinars and has since gotten a site audit. You’ll get the scoop on what we found on the difference in looking at the front side compared to the backside and what it really takes to run a successful site.
The next Webmaster Level 5 member webinar will be the 22nd. We’re doing this one on a Saturday afternoon to give folks who can’t attend on Thursday a chance to be there live, instead of watching the replay. That way they get to ask questions too.
We’ll be covering my latest security tests and performance tweaks, plus how to get sites ready for the new Mobile Friendly ranking factor.
That’s all the news from around here.
Let’s jump into this week’s tips from around the ‘net.
Today is the deadline for adding things to the upcoming release of WordPress 4.2. The first beta should roll out on Wednesday and from then on they will be focused entirely on bug fixes until the public release sometime in April. I’ll keep you posted on details of what all is coming in this release as it gets closer.
When you think of StudioPress, the first name that comes to mind is the creator of Genesis, Brian Gardner. Well, he’s going to be moving full time over into the Rainmaker platform, which is their unique version of managed WordPress hosting.
Lauren Mancke will be taking his place. She’s not new to StudioPress. They brought her in a year ago as the creative director. Her themes are lovely and I was hoping that would translate into more variety on StudioPress, but it didn’t. Maybe it will now. We’ll see.
Listen or watch this HOA of Carrie Dils’ interview with Lauren and get the skinny.
Thanks to my fave fix-it guy +Makis for this heads up on a cloud vulnerability that will affect those who host on Amazon EC2, Rackspace, and any service using Linode. As safe as the cloud is, it’s not going to escape this new rash of security issues. The hackers are now going after broad stroke, foundational stuff.
Lately I’ve been seeing more plugins with a privilege escalation vulnerability. This not something new and not something that affects just plugins or just WordPress. Even Windows has a problem with it. But, for websites, it means a hacker can gain control of the root account of a whole server with it. That affects every site on a server.
I’ve also seen attacks on sites that look similar to this, but the entry point can’t be identified. So, I don’t have anything definitive for you at this time on it, but can tell you that I’m only seeing it on shared hosting so far.
+Barry Schwartz has released his monthly report on changes at GWT and it’s pretty active this time. He covers all of the major announcements like mobile-friendly ranking and the ecommerce update. And he’s found a few surprises too, like Google proactively reaching out to help site owners recover from a hack. No kidding. Thanks to Barry for making it easy on us to get all that news in one place.
All of the designers on my team stopped putting a “designed by” type link on their client’s sites years ago, mainly because they think it’s tacky to use the site as a billboard.
But, there’s a very real SEO reason too. Google has made it official that if such a link is on a site, it needs to be made nofollow.
Now for folks who design themes to be sold en masse, they do want to have a link. And it’s usually dofollow. And that’s usually in the core coding and not something end users can change easily. So, you may want to have a look at the very bottom of pages on your site and see what links are there and make them nofollow.
April 21st will be here before you know it. That’s when the new Mobile Friendly ranking factor goes into effect at Google. But don’t fret if all of your site pages don’t meet the criteria. The ranking will be on a page by page basis instead of site wide. You can read more about it in this post on SEO Roundtable.
I want to thank designer +Paula Gregorowicz for writing this post.
I’m going to list just a few here:
- Assume your designer can read your mind.
- Drag your feet when it comes to providing the content/copy for the site.
- Ask for endless revisions.
There are 4 more and you’ll want to go read the post for the rest. I know she meant this tongue in cheek, but they are so typical and true. Read that post and don’t be that client.
YoastCon: 5 year anniversary conference
In May, the Yoast company turns 5 years old and they are celebrating with YoastCon. It’s in the Netherlands and features bunches of great speakers discussing website optimization. Be sure to see the site for more info, including ticket prices and speaker list.
HTTP/2 not coming to cPanel
You may recall me reporting in a recent Tips Tuesday about the new http/2 protocol coming to browsers soon and making web pages load faster.
According to +Denver Prophit https://plus.google.com/+DenverProphitJr/posts it may be supported by most browsers, but won’t be coming to servers with cPanel. He spoke with the techs at LiquidWeb who say it’s unsafe. And with all of the patches that have been coming out for softwares on Linux servers, I’m betting they don’t want to add to their problems right now.
Bottom line – it’s more imperative than ever that you get your site clean and lean and loading fast as it sits. A site audit will show you where the drags are and how to improve them.
Hey, you want to try something fun? There’s a new Chrome extension called Perfmap and it color codes what’s loading slowly on your site. The times are how long it took for the visitor to see each element.
Now, since this is an extension, you may want to run it and remove it. It won’t take the place of a site audit, but I suggest that you give it a try because it’s super easy to read and will give you a super quick way to get a page load grip on your site.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday. Thanks for subscribing on iTunes, and for giving this show a rating and review. I really appreciate it. And do drop by and say hey over on my Google+ page too. That’s where I hang out. Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.