Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Internet errors for “too many redirects” happening widely
- An update on the random 403 forbidden errors some are seeing
- New features in the WP Recipe Maker 7.0 update
- Google improves the Index Coverage report for more accurate crawl data and errors
- How to get amazing blog post ideas
- My Sage Age book site has been totally revamped on Astra
- BlogAid is now even faster and why I’m still making improvements
- Why I’m running an informal caching optimization plugin case study
- Improvements I submitted to the devs of the Grow Social plugin
- DIY SEO live workshops begin this Thursday
- An SEO spelling experiment I’ll be running
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All tips, advice, and suggestions in this, and all BlogAid posts and tutorials, are intended to empower DIY site owners who are serious about making money with their sites and are not on hosting that is restrictive in what you can and can’t do with your site and hosting setup. If you have any doubts about what type of host you are on and if the tips I give will work there, see this post on What is Managed Hosting?
I’ve got some super stuff to celebrate with you this week.
And, we’ve had some odd nuttiness with the internet this past week too.
Totally Revamp of SageAge Site
This was not a small or easy job, as the site was a seriously old hybrid of static .shtml pages with a WordPress blog – that was in a blog sub-directory at that.
We had to clone the site, move WP to the root directory, change the permalink structure, and clean out some seriously old WP files before Michelle could even get started.
Not only did she build a beautiful site on the Astra theme base, but she also had to rebuild the pages in Gutenberg.
And while she was at it, she made a full list of all the needed redirects.
I am so very impressed with the site and her attention to detail on this project.
More than anything, I am thrilled to have had the peace of mind and confidence to simply turn this entire revamp over to her, with very little input from me about the design, or what needed to be done.
I basically stepped out of the way and let it be designer’s choice.
And I am so happy with the results!
BlogAid is even faster
I also want to send a huge thank you to Marcy Diaz of Amethyst Website Design for her continued work in switching the BlogAid site’s theme fully over to Gutenberg.
She completely redesigned the home page to be all Gutenberg blocks, no widgets.
You’d never know it though, as it looks almost exactly the same.
The only change you’ll see is one we made by choice, and that’s the top section with my picture and mission statement in it. And I’ll be updating that mission statement in the near future too, as I am honing in on the exact type of client I can best help.
I also got rid of that banner feature at the top that had a bit of delay in displaying.
I used Icegram for that, and really liked it. But it was causing a speed issue.
And now BlogAid is even faster!!!
But, even though the speed metrics are nearly perfect, there are a couple more tweaks I’ll be making soon for even more speed.
Informal Caching Optimization plugin case study
I’ve noticed that the lazy load on WP Fastest Cache premium works very differently than how WP Rocket does it.
So, I’ve been running an informal case study on them.
I’m still chatting with Emre, the dev of WP Fastest Cache about possibly adding additional settings to the plugin for us to customize for our site, depending on how we place images.
That’s a pretty advanced thing, and he may want to keep the plugin settings super simple. So I don’t know whether we’ll get that change or not.
On the other hand, I’ve seen WP Rocket literally over optimize a site so that requests that should not load until way later are coming in at the top and causing issues we didn’t have.
There are no customization settings in the plugin for that either.
So, which plugin works best for your site may entirely depend on your site, including what’s on it, how you place things, etc.
I’ll keep you posted on how this current project turns out.
But my goal here is to make my site audit client’s sites as fast as they can be.
So I need to be able to better determine what optimization will provide the most help to them.
Proposed improvements to the Grow plugin
During the BlogAid home page revamp, I wanted to switch to the Grow plugin for my social share and follow buttons.
But, it does not have a dedicated Gutenberg block for follow icons. You have to use shortcode, which I’m not a big fan of.
And, if you’ve been using this plugin since back in the day when it was Social Pug, you know that it has always had one big shortcoming with the social follow icons, in that it only has one global styling option.
For that reason, I could not use Grow in both places I wanted to add social follow buttons on Heartwood Art, which was in the header and in the sidebar, as they each have totally different styling.
So, I contacted Mediavine support about these issues and they have put both on their future feature list, with a fire under the one for creating a dedicated Gutenberg block, as they are actually way behind the times with that.
They offered to do custom CSS for me so I could use the follow icons in 2 places, but I elected not to do that, as Marcy is in charge of all CSS on my site, and I can stick with what I have for now on the follow buttons for BlogAid.
So, for those who follow Mediavine closely, please do alert me if they improve that plugin in these ways, if you see it before I do.
Woot!! I always look forward to the start of our live workshops for the DIY SEO course.
The first 3 workshops have been scheduled and include:
- Technical SEO – to ensure Google can crawl your site and any errors you see
- Track SEO Performance – to get a baseline and valuable feedback from Search Console on how your posts are performing in search
- Schema Markup Check – this is a new workshop I felt we had to do based on issues I found during research for my upcoming Video SEO course
We kick it off this Thursday and members should have already received an email with the meeting info. And meeting info for all scheduled workshops can be found on the member site anytime too.
My Miter Saw SEO Experiment
As I was making a new post for Heartwood Art this weekend, I discovered that I have been spelling miter the British English way of mitre.
I wonder how many US English Google searches I’ve missed over this, especially for my big content silo for how to build a miter station.
So, I decided to turn this into an experiment, as well as a learning and teaching opportunity.
I’m going to change the spelling everywhere I can, including in the posts and video thumbnails, and then monitor to see what happens in search and traffic.
I’m betting it will take 3-6 months to show any real difference, as Google will be slow to re-rank this post over something so small.
But, it will be interesting to see what happens.
One of my US clients, plus several folks in my woodworking groups also said they spelled it the British way of mitre.
So, this may not be a big deal, but I still want to consider doing the experiment when I have time.
That’s all the happenings around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
I didn’t know what else to call this section, as I’m not sure what’s causing the various issues, but something is up.
And, chasing down these issues is not what I do for a living. But, I do try to do what I can to help us get answers.
I can’t do it alone, though.
The more folks who help test, the better, so we can find common denominators.
Too Many Redirects
I’ve been seeing errors with “too many redirects” or “page not redirecting properly” and sometimes that’s followed by a suggestion that blocking cookies may be involved.
Now, keep in mind that Firefox and Safari have already dropped 3rd party cookie tracking, and Chrome is slated to drop it soon.
I’ve seen these errors on one of my own sites as well as big brands. I don’t know for sure what’s causing them.
But, I did look at the headers on my own site. Headers are hidden conditions and info sent to the visitor’s browser that have things like browser caching directives, server info, HTTPS encryption and security directives, and more.
But, what’s not helpful is that it is random. It shouldn’t be.
If y’all have been doing any testing, please let us know what you found.
I’ve updated my post with a couple more issues and fixes for this problem.
One of the big ones was limits set on Litespeed servers for how many concurrent connections could come from one IP address in a short period of time.
In other words, too many rapid hits from one place looks like a bad bot attack to the host.
To fix this issue, the host raised the limit. Normally that would not be a good thing, but then, maybe the software updated and set it too low to begin with.
WP Recipe Maker 7.0 feature
One of the new features in the 7.0 version that just released for WP Recipe Maker is a Save favorite button.
For those of you who use it, how does this work or compete with your Pinterest settings?
And for those who run ads with Mediavine, how does this compete with the Grow.me program?
What other new features in the plugin do you like or not like?
Please do leave us a comment and let us know.
Based on user feedback, Google Search Console has made improvements to the Index Coverage report.
This is a vital report, as it shows any crawl issues or errors on your site.
In fact, this report is a big part of our first DIY SEO course workshop, and what we’ll be covering this Thursday in the live session on Technical SEO.
Basically, Google has changed some of the generic wording for errors reported and claims that the report is more accurate.
Yeah, we’ll see about that real soon.
And I can see a whole new set of error examples coming to the course over this too. We already have several listed, but if they are going to change the lingo of what is reported, I’ll be updating the examples and fixes for it.
If you’ve been writing about the same topics for years, it can be tough to stay inspired and bring a fresh angle to things.
Well, this post from Donna Merrill may be just the ticket to help you find amazing blog post ideas.
If nothing else, it gives you plenty of avenues to explore that may open you up to possibile angles you never considered before.
It’s definitely worth the read.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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