Hello Happy Site Owners!
- Getting your emails under control
- New Contact Form video tutorials on the way
- New VaultPress restore connections video tutorials and a special offer for setting them up
- The recent WordPress security release still unfolding
- The skinny on the recent Yoast SEO security update that turned out to be a bug
- A super checklist on common WP mistakes and ways to reduce being hacked
- A whole bunch of posts and Blabs on updating old content
- An cool update to the Social Previews feature in Yoast SEO
- How to make the most of the new YouTube Hashtag feature
- How to use 2 Foo plugins for a neat YouTube Playlist page and online course
- What’s up with Blab requiring viewers to log in to watch live and even replays
- A new plugin for embedding your Facebook videos releasing soon and how to get a discount
- A super checklist for changing domain names
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I’ve only got a few site audit client fix-it projects going right now, so I’ve been focusing on spending as much time as I can during the breaks with that to work on my biz instead of in my biz.
I’ve been working on my email setup, more video tutorials, and I’m thinking about a moon shot project. More on that in a moment.
Getting Emails Under Control
Y’all know that I’ve been jumping up and down for a year now for you to get your email off your hosting. I moved my whole back office over to GApps two years ago.
But I had a crazy email system and to keep from disrupting me any more than necessary, we tried to emulate it on GApps. So, during this break time I’m busy cleaning that mess up and finally learning more about all that Gmail can do.
I’ve been updating all of my accounts like crazy in an effort to reduce how many emails I use. That includes notifications from my sites, contact forms, 3rd party accounts, newsletters, and more.
My executive secretary VA has been cleaning up all of the labels and what shows in my inbox. It’s made a whale of a difference already. I’m spending far less time sorting through things just to find the really important stuff. We’ve got a ways to go still, but it’s already getting better.
It has definitely been worth it to hire professional help to get this under control so I can stay focused on the stuff that only I can do. My VA has already paid for herself in the time I’ve saved dealing with actual emails.
If you’re ready to get your emails off your host, I have folks on my team that can help you make that move.
New Contact Form Video Tutorials in the Making
Now that I have the DIY SEO course revamped and up to date, I’m turning my attention to updating all of my Contact Form videos in the Site Success Courses. I had already removed the videos for the Fast and Secure Contact Form because in my opinion, it’s just bloated for what most site owners need.
And the Contact Form 7 plugin has changed the user interface completely since I made those tutorials, so I need to update them for that, and the new validation errors issues. I got all of mine fixed while I was updating the contact email.
I’m also looking into the WPForms Lite plugin as another good choice.
And, of course, I’ll be doing tutorials on Ninja Forms for those that need a little more flexibility.
But, I’m not going to be doing tutorials on Gravity Forms because that’s just overkill for most of the site owners that follow me, and there are plenty of tutorials on it already if you have a reason you need to use it for special integrations and such.
VaultPress Restore Connection Videos In the Works
I’m also creating new videos for the Webmaster Training courses on connecting VaultPress and making the FTP and SSH restore connections.
The SSH connections are the most tricky and can vary widely by host, which is what is taking me so long to start making the videos. I want to show you the most combos possible.
If you’re a recent site audit client on SiteGround hosting, contact me to get your SSH connection made. They have recently made changes to their server setup at my request so that webmasters can do this for themselves now and I’d like to give it a try.
The first person who contacts me for it gets it for free if you’ll be patient with the process. Working with SiteGround support can take some time if everything does not go as they stated it should.
After that, I should have the process all worked out and it will be cheap and easy for everyone else who contacts me.
And I guess we’re going to see who among you listens to or reads Tips Tuesday too, hahaha.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
There was a security release of WP last week to patch a vulnerability around image uploads.
Basically, an image file is like any other in that it can contain malicious, executable hidden code.
Makis, my hacker specialist told me at least a year ago that he has seen such things. But, I believe that it was on sites that openly allowed users to upload files. This latest issue looks a little different, as it involves a PHP layer.
Keep in mind that patches have been created, but this issue is still unfolding.
You can read more about it in the post.
This will be an auto update of WordPress, if you did not turn that option off in your code (and I suggest you leave it on for this reason). There may also be updates going on behind the scenes by your host to the PHP version they are running on your account.
Turns out that this vulnerability report from WordFence was merely a bug in the Yoast SEO plugin. And several folks, including Joost de Valk, let them know this kind of misleading headline was not okay. One of them was Tony Perez of Sucuri, who used to do much the same thing with their security reports. In fact, his eyeball grabbing, link bait headlines were what prompted me to write the post WordPress Security Reporting – Let’s Get Real
I get why they do it. I have to scream and shout and jump up and down to get folks to listen and take their site security seriously too. And I still get emails from folks who have been following me for a year or more and just didn’t get around to getting an audit or putting these tips into action and now they’ve been hacked. Don’t let that be you.
I passed along this Yoast warning to my social media sites without knowing that it was just a bug too. I’m sorry.
As for the Yoast SEO bug, looks like folks with the role of subscriber can get focus keyword usage and perhaps a list of the settings. Not exactly a big security issue. It should have been an auto update for you, unless you have that feature turned off. And this is just one reason why I leave it on. Only security and minor updates will auto updates. It won’t auto update major releases of either plugins or WordPress.
WordFence also sent out notice that there was a security issue with Ninja Forms, in fact, multiple issues. I’m a little gun shy on their reports these days about just how bad the problem is, but be sure you update, nevertheless.
I want to send a big shout out and thank you to my friend Ingrid Cliff for this nice round up of common mistakes site owners make that lead to hacks and how you can easily reduce them. Thank you so much Ingrid for all of the mentions of the things you learned from me and my resources. Very much appreciated.
And go read this post folks. It will give you a quick checklist of things you want to be sure you have taken care of on your site.
Darren Rowse, aka ProBlogger, knows a little something about content marketing. In this post, he covers why and when you should consider updating your old content, including SEO considerations.
A few of the reasons he lists for wanting to update old posts include:
- Broken links
- Change of opinion
- Outdated info
- A change of post format
He also lists a few ways to do those updates, including:
- Minor updates
- Major updates and rewrites
He lists pros and cons for all of these too, so jump on over to that post and give it a scan.
Interesting post on the Yoast blog from one of his staff, I assume, about steps to take with republishing old content and the SEO impact.
If you make minor changes to a post and republish, they say this:
“We would advise you to change the last modified date. That way, people are able to see when the article or post was altered last. It’s instantly clear that the information is still up to date.
We would advise you to hide the comments on a post you republish.”
For posts where major changes are made, they say this:
“We would advise you to publish it as if it were new content. You’ll then change the date of the article. Changing the date will enable you to keep all of the links from other websites to your original post (which is great for SEO of course).”
Here are my questions, and I kind of know the answer to some of them but asking anyway.
- What constitutes republishing?
- What’s the best way to change the last modified date?
- How do you hide old comments and can you still allow new ones with that method?
- How does it make commentators feel to have their comments wiped out like that, especially if they are long-time followers?
I did five really important Blabs on this topic and I think it deserves another conversation on the questions I just posed because it involves re-purposing content too. I’m going to see if I can put a panel together with the folks from those previous Blabs, plus Joost or someone from his team, and let’s all get to the bottom of this, shall we?
The level I’m thinking of doing this is grand, that’s my moonshot project, so it may be end of summer or fall before I can make it happen, if at all.
In the meantime, you’ll want to watch these Blabs
- SEO and Dates on Posts with Mark Traphagen
- Extend Your Content Life Cycle with David Kutcher and Mike Allton
- How to Re-Purpose Your Content Everywhere with Denise Wakeman
- How to Become a Content Marketing Genius with Ryan Hanley
The Yoast SEO plugin added a new social section some time ago, but in the latest 3.2 version they added a snippet preview so you could see exactly what your post will look like on Facebook and Twitter. This is a fantastic way to get your images cropped just right for those platforms too.
Now, if you’re wondering what the difference is in this and what the Social Warfare plugin and others like it offer, the Yoast settings come into play when the direct link of your post is shared. The Social Warfare settings come into play when someone uses those buttons to share your post. And like most sharing buttons, it amends the link to say which plugin was used.
So, when you share your link in your own promos, especially that first one, might be worth taking the extra time to optimize this section of the Yoast plugin with those perfectly sized images and titles and descriptions because that’s the one that is likely to get shared by others the most. They’ll do it right from the social media platform where they first saw you post it.
Video Marketing Tips
Make the Most of YouTube Hashtags
Last week, YouTube quietly began supporting hashtags. This is huge! And here’s the biggest deal about it. You will only see the videos that have a matching hashtag.
I’ve already started hashtagging my most important videos and I made a handy guide and checklist so you can get started with yours too.
The trick for me is to do them a little at a time so I don’t get overwhelmed, and to start with my most important videos. In the post, I show you how to find those and your top playlists too.
Use Foo Gallery and Video for YouTube Playlists
Well, this is a pretty neat use of your YouTube playlists. Adam Warner over at Foo plugins has a nice post on creating an online course by using a combo of two of their plugins, namely Foo Gallery and Foo Video. He originally titled it How to Create an Online Video Course in WordPress, but I think it has far more potential than that.
In the post he takes you through importing a YouTube playlist and setting up a gallery of them so that it lays out in a course list.
I had a special page template created for BlogAid to do sort of this same thing. But, I have to manually update it and it’s a pain. If I do it this way, with the Foo plugins, I can rearrange the videos in the playlist on YouTube and it updates in both places.
I love Foo plugins. I use it for the Follow This Carving gallery over on HeartwoodArt where folks can follow along as one of my carvings is being made.
Being able to do that with videos would be great because you could import single videos or playlists.
Yesterday I released a post about Blab’s sudden change to how you can watch. Now it requires viewers to log in, even for replays.
This definitely hinders viewership and negatively impacts super plugins like SimpleLivePress, that auto embeds your plugins.
I spoke with Hani Mourra, the developer and you better believe he’s cooking something up with this in mind. That’s all I can say for now, except that you don’t want to make a bunch of changes to your Blab embeds just yet.
Go read my post to get the skinny on what’s up with Blab on this, and tips on your alternatives.
Hani is at it again with a brand new plugin!!!
This one will auto embed your Facebook videos, including Facebook Live videos, which is what has piqued my interest in it.
I just signed up for the Founder’s Discount and early email notification list and I’ll be reviewing the plugin as soon as it comes out.
The folks over at SearchEngineLand have published one of the finest checklists I’ve seen for changing your domain to something new. It includes 10 things a lot of folks overlook too.
I strongly encourage all of my webmasters to give it a look, and maybe even add to your own cheat sheet and checklist for this task too.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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