Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Site and page SEO Workshop this week
- Odd stuff still happening on sites and hosting
- Video SEO course update
- Theme testing update and the one we dropped from our list
- The perfect course for designers who need to know more about speed
- What I’m testing in the WP 5.7 Release Candidate this week
- Gutenberg changes coming to WP 5.7
- Why SiteGround turned on Super Cacher for every account, and how to turn it off
- Ready to move to better hosting? Get your request in now
- Divi theme has ModSecurity issues and why my head blew up with their support replies
- Why not to let any host, theme, or plugin compromise your site security
- How to monetize your expertise and why you should
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All BlogAid posts and tutorials are intended to assist business-minded, hands-on bloggers and webmaster designers who are serious about making money and who want to stay up-to-date with site changes.
Hallelujah! It has finally warmed up enough for me and Zak to get some quality deck time in while reading and researching all of the 100 blogs I follow to keep us up to date with what’s happening online.
And there sure has been some goofy stuff and some news for things you should be careful about this week too and we’ll get into all that in just a bit.
First I want to thank all of the DIY SEO course members who came to last week’s workshop on Core Web Vitals and let us run live tests on your site. I know everyone got a lot out of seeing those.
And this week, our live workshop is on Site and Page SEO, which covers all of the global places on your site where Google picks up links and other info to help it understand what your site is about and what type of content topics you cover.
This is the stuff that most site owners completely miss and it is so critically important to your whole site SEO.
I know this because 80% of my new site audit clients have the Yoast SEO plugin installed but not fully configured, and none of this other stuff is setup correctly either. And that does more SEO harm than good.
They are just using the on-page analysis tool. Nobody who has been through my course even looks at that tool anymore. In fact, they just turn it off.
So, if you’re using Yoast that way, you need to get into this DIY SEO course and get your SEO setup correctly all over your site.
Odd stuff still happening
The WP 5.6.2 minor release that rolled out last week fixed a whole bunch of goofy stuff happening on our sites that me and my clients were reporting in our private Facebook groups.
But, there is still some goofy happening and we’re checking into the ones we can.
One of the most recent is a red banner with various error messages when you access the Cloudflare plugin settings and even on Cloudflare accounts. There doesn’t seem to be any single cause or warning, though. And as far as I can tell our sites are still connected.
Be part of the village
Fixing all of this goofy stuff starts with reporting it, and us helping each other get to the bottom of it.
For my site audit clients, you have all been invited to the BB Hub group and member area.
And the whole village is more powerful when you participate.
There are things happening in the FB group that you’re missing if you’re not consistently active with the group and just pop in there when you have a problem and then leave when all of us solve it for you.
FB will show you more group posts when you engage with the group more.
So, come on back in and Like posts, comment on them, and be part of the village. It takes all of us.
Plus, Hubbers are the first to get invitations for private masterminds and special testing and such too.
Same goes for our Webmaster FB group. We help each other all the time, and post things there for the benefit of everyone too. So do drop in and say hey now and then so you see notifications of new posts and can help out and see that you’re not the only one encountering goofy on your sites or those of your clients.
Video SEO course update
I finished making the tutorials for the second section of the course over the weekend.
The first section is for your content and how to create it so that you can repurpose it in your video, on your site, and on YouTube.
The second section is for all the SEO on YouTube itself. And it involves a lot more than you think!!
And then the third section that I’ll be starting on this week is for embedding your videos on your site. And that’s not just in your posts either. There are lots of ways to get mileage out of those videos on your site.
Plus, I have great news!! The Yoast Video SEO plugin has just updated to include a way to make your YouTube embeds load faster on your site.
There is a list of about 8 such embed plugins that help with speed and integrate with Yoast, and I had them all on my schedule to test.
But, now I’m thinking I’ll just test the top 2 of those other plugins against the Yoast one, for both speed and functionality, and be done with it.
That is radically going to shorten up the time it takes me to finish this course!!!
Most of the course tutorials are going to be text with screenshots. And that’s going to make it faster for me to keep them updated as things change on YouTube and with the plugins too.
So, this week, as I’m creating this last section for embedding, I’ll be calling on my site audit clients who volunteered as testers and we’ll be diving back into the info we’ve already gathered for you and then trying some of these new plugins and techniques and seeing what new results we get.
Plus, we’ll be looking into how we coordinate the embedded videos all over your post. That’s especially important for foodie bloggers who also run ads on their site, especially video ads that make them lots of money.
We’re going to try to come up with different methods you can use to balance UX, which is User Experience, your YouTube watchtime, time on site, and then your ads too.
That’s a real feat to accomplish, but that is the main reason I’m making this course, as it will be like no other on the planet, and will address the very issues my clients face.
Theme testing updates
Me and my top 2 designers continue to run tests on both Genesis and Astra themes and we are honing in now on what it takes to fix Core Web Vital issues, especially the Cumulative Layout Shifts on mobile that are caused by the navigation menu and any header/banner you may have at the top, plus placeholders that load or don’t load in time.
My site audit clients now want perfect CWV scores and are willing to pay to take the time to dig deeper to find those last issues that are caused by their themes.
And my webmaster designers are also getting more requests for the same.
So, we are meeting that call with these tests and know how to tweak the themes to be lightning fast and have super metrics across the board.
Update on broadening theme search
In previous Tips Tuesdays I mentioned that we are looking into other theme frameworks to consider.
I can now report that both GeneratePress and Kadence themes are off our list to recommend.
They are still too much of a theme builder for me to consider using, as that is out of line with the direction WordPress is going to become a Full Site Editor.
Here’s my bottom line criteria on it.
If you can’t easily change from one theme to another because of its proprietary way of doing things, then you don’t want to use it.
That’s the very reason so many folks are sick that they started with Divi. It’s a beast to come out of with all those shortcodes and such.
Same with Elementor. They have to rebuild all of their pages in Gutenberg.
So for now, we’re sticking with my top 2 recommendations of Genesis and Astra for the base framework for speed and for being inline with WP’s future development.
Now, that’s not to say that all child themes created on them are not bloated messes. In fact, you might not even want to consider their standard child themes and instead get with a designer who has already created an optimized base to use.
Just do your layout in Gutenberg and let the designer choose the base and do the rest of the styling for you.
Honestly, it’s hardly worth your time to get through the learning curve of DIY on themes. Focus your time on what actually makes you money – and that’s not theme designing.
My Webmaster Training course is made for designers who want to separate themselves from the pack and get the good clients who know they need a fast and secure website now to compete online.
We cover the backside of the site, at the hosting level, for things that you’ve been scared to touch because you couldn’t find anyone to explain it in non-geek-speak for you.
There are sections for security, HTTPS, performance, and more.
And the bottom line is that the course pays for itself because you can get gigs you didn’t even qualify for without this training. And, you pull in higher paying clients who are asking for this service now too.
I’m going to be super honest with you here. If you setup new sites for clients and don’t know how to properly secure it, or you’re cheating on HTTPS, then you’re running an irresponsible business. And you lose your clients when they find someone like me and my webmasters, and we keep them for life.
That’s all the happenings around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
WP 5.7 RC1 is out
The first release candidate for WP 5.7 rolled out last week. I anticipate the RC2 will come out this week.
I’m diving into testing so I can make a post and video for you about what’s new in it.
And one of the big things that concerns me is the native lazy load for iframes that will be rolled in.
Right now many of us are using iFrames for video embeds so that our lazy load plugin can act on them. I don’t think that will be disturbed.
But I am concerned about what it may do to ads that are loaded via iFrame, as they have their own way of lazy loading them.
So, I asked for a volunteer in our BB Hub to check with their ad agency about this, and I’ll let you know.
WP 5.7 will roll out on March 9, which is next Tuesday. But we won’t be the first to upgrade.
New Gutenberg features coming in WP 5.7
And of course, I’m looking into the new Gutenberg updates coming with WP 5.7, especially the attention that will be shown to Reusable Blocks, which have been somewhat glitchy ever since they came out.
I’ll be updating my Gutenberg Ninja course within a week of calling it safe to upgrade to WP 5.7.
When WP 5.7 does roll out, only folks subscribed to BlogAid News will get upgrade instructions when I feel comfortable that it is safe to update.
So ensure you are subscribed.
SiteGround turns on Super Cacher for everyone
In recent Tips Tuesdays I’ve been reporting about how the cyber security situation is getting worse and that hosts have to do something to keep their servers from frying and to maintain speed for us.
Well, that’s most of the reason behind why SiteGround chose to turn on their server-side caching for everyone. It’s called Super Cacher, and it will cause issues for those who have properly optimized their site and have at least 2 layers of caching already via their caching plugin and Cloudflare.
All these caching layers have to be integrated together.
So, if you are one of my site audit clients who is regrettably still on this goofy hosting, you need to turn off Super Cacher.
I assume everyone has been moved off cPanel at this host and is now on their new Site Tools custom control panel.
So, to turn off Super Cacher, go to Site tools > Speed / caching / NGINX DIRECT DELIVERY.
And then disable it.
If you have any questions or issues with it, open a support ticket with the host and have them fix it for you. Do not contact me for support. They are the ones who caused this issue and they are the ones who need to help you fix it if you need help beyond the info I just gave you.
Migrate to better hosting
If you’re ready to get off this goofy host, see my Migration Service as you will need help with it.
And if you think you just want the new host to do this for free for you instead, see my Migration Checklist post and ensure everything on there gets done.
What you’ll find is that the host won’t even do half of it, and you’ll be stuck trying to figure it out.
Better yet, combine your migration with a site audit and save money on both services.
If you still think you want to migrate on your own, go right ahead and blow your one shot at getting your brand new hosting IP address hidden from the bad bots that will just follow you from the old host.
FYI, my waitlist for any site service is 3-4 months. So you need to contact me now if you want to move in the spring. And if your hosting will renew prior to that, go to monthly billing until we can get to your project.
And no, I don’t offer any type of emergency help if you botch the job yourself. That’s because I do it right the first time, which is cheaper and less stressful.
Divi has ModSecurity Issues
Are you still using the Divi theme? It’s a bloated, slow mess. And even though it’s a pain to come out of due to all the shortcodes, you need to get that task on your plate asap.
But now there is an even more pressing reason to come off that theme.
It is having issues that trip ModSecurity rules when you try to save changes.
And they are telling folks to have the host simply whitelist those rules or turn off ModSecurity altogether.
What an idiotic thing to do.
When one of my clients complained about their advice and that it would leave a big security hole on her site, they told her to use a security plugin.
I thought my head was going to explode!!!!
Don’t compromise your own security
Here’s what I have to say about it.
Don’t let any host or plugin or theme dev tell you to turn off ModSecurity or whitelist any of the rules!!!!!!
READ: What is ModSecurity and Should You Turn it Off? for details on why.
And if you think you can just blow this off, then leave your doors and windows unlocked tonight and see if you can sleep. It’s the same type of security hole on your site.
And ask whoever is telling you to turn it off or whitelist a rule if they will guarantee your site security in writing and can guarantee that no other hacker will exploit that whitelisted rule, and that they will pay the invoice if you need hack repair service.
Make them put their money where their mouth is on it.
And if they blow you off, post about it in their FB group.
And then if you need it, call on me and my whole army to gang up on them with support tickets to get it fixed on their end. We had to do that with UpdraftPlus when they blew me off when I reported a similar issue. After about 300 support tickets hit them from my peeps, they decided to fix it on their end.
THIS is the power of our village and why I can’t be the only person fighting these battles for us. It takes all of us to help each other.
And I am so grateful to be part of such an amazing village!!!!!!! Thank you to everyone who participates in making themes and plugins and hosts better for all of us!!!!!
You’ve been blogging for a while now and have built up quite the evidence that you know something about your topic.
How can you monetize your expertise beyond just ads and affiliate marketing?
This post from the nice folks at Content Marketing Consulting has some ideas for you.
One of my buddies told me something years ago that I didn’t want to believe at the time, but discovered just how true it was in the blogging world.
She said, “When you do it for nothing, that’s what folks think of it.”
I’d like to invite you to read this post on how to monetize your expertise and start putting a price on it.
You would be amazed at how much more clout you have with your readers when they see your content is worth paying for.
You don’t have to make a big production of it. Start with something small, but something that has a respectable price on it – not a $1.99 product. Start with at least a $10 product.
Doing this will also help with changing your own mindset about valuing your expertise too.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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