Hello Happy Site Owners!
Tips this week include:
- Free webinar on The Future of WordPress Site Ownership this Friday
- Site Audit and Fixes How To Workshops coming up soon
- Another HTTPS for Site Owners free webinar coming later this month
- Big fashion makeover to the WordPress plugin repository
- FooBox plugin has new sharing features
- Genesis 2.5 Beta released
- Why you need to revamp your site every couple of years
- Why Google will stop recognizing SSL certificates from Symantec
- Podcast Rich Snippets come to Google SERPs
Listen to the podcast
Watch the video recap
Join me April 7
Get a peek into my crystal ball about what’s in store for site owners for 2017 and beyond.
The last one of these I did was nearly 2 years ago on Blab and I predicted the perfect storm of change we are experiencing today.
And it’s time we draw a line in the sand on running your site like it’s still 2012.
Get on top of NOW with site elements involving security, performance, visibility, SEO, and more.
Y’all know I had a private chat with Matt Mullenweg a month ago and I’ve been sort of quiet about a few things until I could check them out. Well, now I’m ready to spill the beans.
This is one webinar you can’t afford to miss.
We had a great first session in the SEO Workshop.
Here are just a few of the testimonials:
“Today’s workshop was one of your very best! Good, rock solid info, well thought out, and making it easy for us to implement.” ~ Tina
“Very focused with a good flow. Lots of info at a fast pace, yes (it is MaAnna Stephenson after all), but very well organized and easy to follow.” ~ Jeanne
“I’ve sat through a lot of webinars on lots of different topics, and so many have been poorly organized and poorly presented…couldn’t wait for most of them to get over. MaAnna’s webinar this afternoon was one of the best – just the way I like it. Informal but still staying on track…no time-wasting…and lots of information presented clearly.” ~ Christian
Subscribe to BlogAid News to be notified when the next SEO Workshop begins. My newsletter peeps always get the scoop on events and breaking news.
This month I’ll be doing two workshops for those in Webmaster Training members.
We’ll cover how to do site audits just like I do for my clients, including the checklist I use.
And then we’ll do a second workshop on how to fix the most common issues I find in audits that cause both security holes and performance drags.
If you set up or care take sites for clients, the Webmaster Training courses will help you learn how to do them securely with max performance. And, you can learn how to actually convert sites to HTTPS too. This is the kind of training that pays for itself on your first job with the new info.
HTTPS Webinar Coming Soon
In case you missed the first one, I’ll be doing another HTTPS for Site Owners free webinar in the coming weeks.
And you get a copy of the Pre-Conversion Checklist that me and my clients use too, so you can see what’s involved in the conversion. It’s been updated since the last webinar.
I’ll be honest, some folks took one look at that and decided to have their host do the conversion for them, and then install a plugin for the rest.
Folks, if you do that, your site is not actually converted. All of your links are just redirected. And those plugins most certainly don’t mop up all of the mixed media issues.
Plus, you miss getting your Google Accounts properly squared away, your CDN configured, and the extra security headers to get on the Chrome safe site list.
Hosts are charged with making stuff simple and dirt cheap, not right, you know what I mean?
Watch BlogAid News for first word, and first dibs on limited seating for that webinar.
Why Your Site Will Never Rank High in Google And What To Do About It
I’ve got a really important SEO post coming for you tomorrow, so be on the lookout for that.
If you even hope to do well in search, you have to stop doing your SEO like it’s still 2012. Chasing that green dot of approval in your SEO plugin is not the way. Nor is pumping out tons of low quality content.
Discover how Google is changing and how it directly impacts all of your content marketing efforts everywhere, including the roll of social media.
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That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Last week WordPress launched the revamp of the Plugin Directory. They’ve been making pretty steady changes on it for the last year or so, including improvements to the search function. I’ve found that it does locate the plugin I’m seeking, but trying to do that before I finish typing also makes it slower overall, in my opinion.
The plugin directory is now powered by WordPress itself, instead of bbPress.
The revamp does have bugs. For several months I’ve noticed that searching via Favorites and entering my WordPress.org username no longer works. That made it super fast for me to install the plugins I use on every site.
Catch the updated list of my recommended plugins including those I won’t do a site without and ones that have recently been yanked from my list too.
I really like all the Foo plugins. And they were one of the first to make a responsive image gallery lightbox five years ago. Then they added imports from other platforms like Instagram.
Well now they have a new API and have added bunches of social sharing updates. That allows a single image from a gallery to be shared on your favorite social media platform. That’s huge! So do check them out if your site is big on images.
The Genesis framework has an update in beta release. It continues work on the Markup API that was started in the current version. Those elements will impact design on new themes and make a marked difference in how code is handled between old and new themes too.
According to the post, this will be a big release, with major changes to that keep Genesis current with core WordPress changes.
The beauty and the bane of using Genesis with a child theme is that when Genesis updates like this hit, they don’t affect your child theme.
That also means that your site doesn’t get all of the new feature benefits too. And, it may be out of compliance with core WP changes as well.
Revamping Your Site
It’s a good idea to consider getting a theme revamp every couple of years, not just for stuff like this, but because trends and such change so much too.
I had BlogAid redesigned about 3 years ago and have been tweaking on it since. In fact, more tweaks were done just yesterday. But sometime this year I’m going to get a complete overhaul and start with a new base theme so all of the underlying code takes advantage of all the new WP and Genesis features.
This is also why it’s important to keep your site simple. New designs cost. And the less customizing you have with structure, the lower the cost. Things like colors and font are just paint, and are easy and cheap to change on any theme.
I’m definitely going to simplify in this next iteration and get rid of a bunch of custom templates. The home page will, of course, be the biggest chunk of cost, since it’s all about structure.
You can see some of the new tweaks at the top of the home page. I changed the banner to reflect the change of focus I made to the business last summer.
And, I’ve been updating pages and content like crazy lately for that reason too.
Plus, I’m doing the same homework I gave to my SEO Workshop peeps too, with updating page titles and meta descriptions. Sort of a spring cleaning on my site.
Next, I’ll be looking for any broken links for all the stuff I removed. Screaming Frog is a good tool to help with that process.
This is huge news for any site owners who have EV level certificates. Those are the ones that give a green bar in the URL bar of your browser, not just a green padlock. And, they are supposed have more business vetting and insurance on them too.
Symantec is a leading issuer of that level of certificate and it appears they have not been doing the proper checks before issuing them.
That includes issuing SSL certifications for google.com and the www version of the domain to a company that was impersonating Google.
To say the least, Google is pissed!!
They requested an independent audit and say as many as 30k certs were mis-issued like this.
So Google, via the Chrome browser, is going to stop recognizing the validity of any such cert issued by Symantec.
It’s a good bet that FireFox will follow suit.
Now, most of us don’t need this level of SSL certification. But for those who do, be sure you get one issued by Comodo, which is another leading company for certs.
It’s also the one that backs up the certs issued by cPanel and the free shared ones issued by CloudFlare.
You may receive an email from your host if they partnered with Symantec for SSL certificates, telling you to switch to another one of their issuers so you can retain trusted site status.
Folks, please get pro help with your HTTPS conversion especially if you need a paid certificate. This sort of thing has to be right the first time, including where and which cert to get, and all the extra security headers and such too.
Me and my team stand ready to help you with that.
Google snuck one in on us again. Podcasts are now getting some rich snippet love on Google’s search pages. You’ll want to go read the article for what’s required in your feed.
It just makes me wonder if feeds being tailored for iTunes is what kept this from happening for so long. I mean, Google had to literally buy YouTube before it started promoting videos there in search, and now they’re frequently featured first in SERPs. Maybe that will happen for podcasts there now too.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
Be sure to register for The Future of WordPress Site Ownership webinar!
Find these tips helpful? Share them with your peeps!!!!
Thanks so much to Tammy, Marilyn, and Manny for sharing and liking my posts on social media!!!! I see you and appreciate you!!
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Be sure to visit BlogAid.net for more tips and resources and I’ll see you online.