Hello Happy Site Owners!
Tips this week include:
- Outsourcing when there’s no ROI
- WordPress drop REACT and is rebuilding Gutenberg
- What’s up with Gutenberg and structured data?
- Throwback plugin will be released with Gutenberg, and will TinyMCE Advanced work with it
- Super helpful WordPress keyboard shortcut keys list to help you work faster
- Why you need to stop focusing on vanity metrics
- Help for non-geeks with Google Analytics
- A post I’m blowing out of the water for best CDN comparisons
- Why I’m adding detection of HTTPS trickery to my site audit checklist
Listen to the Podcast
Watch the Live Recap and Breaking News
Be sure you’re up to speed on all of the breaking news and site success tips that I livestreamed in BlogAid Today this past week.
Visit this post to see a roundup of all of them.
HTTPS Conversions and Site Audit Updates
If you’re on my wait list, look for an email from me soon either on boarding you, or letting you know best guess on when your project will come to the top of the list.
Some folks have up to 4 sites they want me to help them convert, so those are taking a little more time per client and I expect that will completely book me solid into the following week.
We don’t know the day Google will roll out the new Chrome version with the new Non Secure warning. We just know it will be in Oct.
I believe I can finish up all of the requests that were on my list as of the first week of Sept before the rollout. Hoping I can get all other requests that came in later prior to that rollout.
Tell Everyone You Know About HTTPS
There are millions of site owners who have not yet heard about this new Google Chrome warning.
They have not made any arrangements to get on HTTPS or to upgrade to PHP7 either.
I fully expect a huge wave of emergency HTTPS requests to come flooding in as soon as the new Chrome version comes out.
And I fully expect to see reports over the coming months of broken plugins to significantly increase as devs drop support for older versions of PHP.
Please share the following post with everyone you know!!
Don’t assume that because you’re keeping on top of the news and your site success that anyone else is.
Please share it in your blogger groups, or anywhere you hang out with other site owners.
No Cobbler’s Children Excuses Here
Do you put your own site on ignore while trying to get to all of your client’s projects, or other new site projects that need doing?
I discovered a long time ago that I can’t afford to be last on my to do list.
This past week I finished up my annual security and performance audit on BlogAid. And I took the opportunity to convert the database again to drop www from the domain name too. I meant to do that when I originally converted the site and just forgot at the time. It’s been bugging me ever since, so glad to have it done now.
READ: HTTPS and WWW vs Non WWW: Which is Best to Use? for more on why so many site owners are dropping www and taking their HTTPS conversion as an opportunity to do it.
I also took half an hour to convert my carving site to HTTPS too. And I dropped the www on it as well. It’s a simple site and the conversion was super easy and fast.
Outsourcing when there’s no ROI
I have one more of my sites to convert to HTTPS, and I’m going to wait on it for a while. It was for my book that was featured in Publishers Weekly. But I’m not really doing anything with it any more. Plus, it’s a hybrid site. It was purely HTML and then I added WordPress for the blog. I need to switch the whole thing over to WordPress.
There’s just simply no ROI in it for me.
So, I’m putting it on a back burner for now and might actually outsource the conversion because the theme needs a serious update too. It might actually be a lot better for me to have one of my designers handle the whole thing. But all of them are up to their eyeballs in projects right now too.
I heard from one of my author clients, who I built a site for back when I was still had a design business on the side. He asked my opinion about moving to a managed service for his site, as he rarely blogs and doesn’t want to keep up with all of the changes anymore either.
That’s actually a good move for him because there is very little ROI from his site. It’s mainly just an online brochure. His other marketing efforts are what’s putting money in the till and making him a successful multi book author with a very loyal following.
WordPress and blogging and such are just not the right fit for everyone.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Unfortunately, WordPress’ choice of REACT turned out to be the wrong horse to bet on.
The Facebook license has made many developers nervous, including those outside WordPress, like Apache, which is the popular software many host servers use.
The devs at Automattic, the parent company of WordPress.com, had already rebuilt Calypso and JetPack on REACT and were running full steam ahead with the from-scratch build of a revolutionary text editor, Gutenberg, on it as well.
But after Apache pulled out, Matt decided WordPress should follow suit.
This will delay the planned release of Gutenberg, which was slated for Jan 2018 when WordPress 5.0 was also scheduled to be released.
We don’t have a new timeline yet, but I’ll keep you posted.
They will also rebuild Calypso and Jetpack later on too.
Another major challenge has been proposed for Gutenberg, which is whether or not it can handle structured data, also referred to as schema markup.
That’s a seriously important question, more so for enterprise level sites than most bloggers.
But, if WordPress intends to live up to the dream Matt Mullenweg has been conjuring, of significantly increasing the market share, especially with big business sites, this is an important question to answer.
Read this post for an op-ed on WP Munich about it.
In a comment on his initial post about Gutenberg, Matt Mullenweg mentioned that there will be a plugin available to switch back to the text editor we currently have now. Thing is, we have to wait for Gutenberg to roll into the WP core to use that plugin.
I have no idea if the TinyMCE Advanced plugin most of us love and use will be compatible with it.
What I do know is that Andrew Oz, the developer of TinyMCE Advanced, has also been a core WP dev for many years and is usually the lead guy on all changes with the text editor.
And yes, he’s in the thick of it with Gutenberg development too.
So, we’ll see what becomes of all this as we get closer to the release this winter.
If you use the Display Widget plugin, delete it immediately.
We have confirmation that it is injecting malicious code into your site.
It has also been permanently removed from the WordPress plugins repository and it won’t be back. So don’t wait around on a fix. It ain’t coming.
Want to create your blog posts or respond to comments on your site faster?
WP Lift has a nice post with bunches of keyboard shortcut keys that will help you do just that.
They may feel strange at first, but if you stick with it for just a little while, they will be so much faster than a bunch of mouse clicks.
I use them all the time and it feels clunky to use my mouse to do things except point to a spot now.
Wondering why you’re not getting anywhere with all your blogging?
Have you tried getting feedback to see how each post is doing?
That’s what Google Analytics is all about.
Unfortunately, many folks just focus on vanity metrics that really don’t tell the whole story or give them any actionable data.
There’s a nice post on ProBlogger to help you dig a little deeper and see what’s really going on with your content marketing efforts. Well worth a read.
For those of you baffled by Google Analytics, you’re going to like this.
Google has rolled out a new feature called Analytics Intelligence.
You can type in plain English queries and it will sort your data to show you those results.
See this nice post from Social Media Today for the types of queries you can enter and the type of info you can see.
I usually enjoy posts from WPBeginner and find them helpful for most site owners.
But, this comparison post on 7 popular CDN services is way, way off base.
MaxCDN, the one they use, is a very good CDN, if that’s all you need. But it’s not.
So, they couple it with the Sucuri WAF (Web Application Firewall).
And why, might you ask, don’t they just use Sucuri’s CDN? Because it doesn’t work well, that’s why.
They say Sucuri’s WAF can easily be combined with other CDNs. That’s not at all true, at least in my experience.
In my opinion, nobody comes close to CloudFlare for the CDN or the WAF, not to mention all of the extra HTTPS Crypto settings it gives you.
And it’s so much easier to do all of that in one account than even thinking about trying to mix and match. And it’s cheaper too.
And a word to the folks at WPBegginer. If you’re going to do a comparison post, give us the criteria and test data too. I don’t see that they actually even tried to test sites on each of the CDN services. So, I’m blowing this post off as hearsay, at best, and downright inaccurate at worst.
Detecting HTTPS Trickery
I’ve added a new section to my site audit checklist for detecting the trickery used by hosts to switch sites to HTTPS.
I’m calling it switched because most of them don’t actually convert the database, but a few do.
And, some of the duct tape and chicken wire is actually on the server side of things, so it’s nearly impossible to detect.
I’m making a list, by host, of what I find.
Webmasters, we’re going to need this later when clients move to other hosts, as that will instantly break their HTTPS status.
I’d appreciate you reporting what you find at different hosts too, so we’ll have a rich list for reference.
I’m also checking the SSL score status, most are Fs. And none of these client sites have been submitted to the Chrome safe site preload list because of that either. In other words, they are missing the critical security header required by Google now.
And I’m asking clients if their Google connections were properly updated. I’m betting they weren’t.
If you’re a site owner who had a free HTTPS switch at your host, be aware that you’re stuck there and don’t have all the things you need done to stay compliant with Google, or even ensure that you don’t confuse the crap out of it.
And don’t expect an easy migration if you decide to move to another host later either.
Free, will have a bite-you-in-the-butt price down the road.
This is the reality I’m preparing my Webmaster Training members for so we can help you out of that mess.
If you’re a designer, you have to know how to properly convert a new site to HTTPS from now on.
That’s what Level 3 of the Webmaster Training helps you learn how to do.
And, you’d do well to learn everything in Levels 1 and 2 while you’re at it, so you can fully secure a new site properly too.
Site owners, before you hire a designer, check to ensure they know how to do all these things properly, without any trickery. Your site success depends on it.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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