Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Why we’re still waiting to update to WP 5.6, and where to find instructions for doing it
- All about Cloudflare’s APO email you may have gotten, and why we won’t be using it yet
- 38 states file suit against Google’s search monopoly and what it means for your SEO
- Why Astra has become too much of a moving target
- My revised holiday hours for BlogAid
- A few host migration tips and help
- What folks who are just now getting back to blogging should do
- An update on my Video SEO research and how Team Yoast helped
- When the Quick Checks for the DIY SEO course will come out ahead of our live workshops starting
Listen to the Podcast
Join me Live to Discuss Tips Tuesday
I hope you’ll join for tonight’s livestream at 8pm ET / 5pm PT on the BlogAid Facebook Page. It’s a great way to get the deeper story on what’s reported in Tips Tuesday. And, I almost always have breaking news for the day too. So come join us live for the party.
Who I Help
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?
We don’t have a lot of news this week. So, I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you about some changes I’m making to how I run BlogAid that will make things better for both you and me.
And I’ll have a post out next week with a year-end wrap up of what worked and what didn’t with BlogAid this year that will have even more details and I’ll tell you about that in a moment.
Revised Holiday Office Hours
I had to get a new computer this year and I’ll be taking my current one down to the shop tomorrow to have them transfer all of my data.
And y’all know that it takes a while to get all of your software back in and things settled down so you can work.
For that reason, I’ve decided to revise my office hours and take a little more holiday time off from client work because I’m not sure when I can schedule it.
I’ll be off Wed through Sunday of this week and will return on Monday, the 28th.
Current Waiting List Status
My current waiting list is first of April, at the earliest. And that’s just my best guestimate.
So, if you haven’t already signed up for an audit or other site service, then I will not be able to help you address Core Web Vital issues before they become a ranking factor in May 2021.
That doesn’t mean I can’t help you. It means that we won’t finish your project before that deadline.
So, if you need any site service of any kind, and want it done before spring is over, now is the time to sign up.
And if you’re thinking about moving to a new host, I can’t do a migration service for you before spring either. So, if you need to go monthly with your current host, plan on that.
I’ve had several folks new to BlogAid contact me who have already purchased hosting during the Black Friday sales and such. I’m sorry that you jumped the gun on it and advise that you consider either getting your money back before your 30 day refund window is out, or be okay with losing some of your time. And, if you just can’t wait, then you can’t, and you may choose to attempt that migration yourself. Just know that you will have blown your one shot at hiding that brand new IP address to make your security more effective.
READ: What is Managed Hosting so you can also see the radical difference in different hosts now so that you will be fully aware that you are changing to a completely different hosting environment as well, and your migration may not go smoothly without some help.
READ: How to Migrate to New Hosting if you still think you want to do it yourself and see what all is involved.
SEE: Migration Service to see what all I’ll be doing for you to help your migration go smoothly.
Or, you can continue to listen to non-techie site owners in blogging groups who have done one migration in their whole life and have zero idea what issues and conflicts there are on the backside and think everything is fine. Send them to me to get a site audit and I’ll show them what’s not fine and how much traffic and money they’re losing over it.
Combine Migration with a Site Audit to save money
And if you’re really serious about your site success, and want to save some money, combine your host migration with a site audit.
Instead of the flat fee for the audit, the whole thing is done at an hourly rate, as so many of the migration pre-checks and security changes between the two services overlap.
Plus, audits don’t normally come with any fixes, and the security changes are what most folks hire me to do for them anyway.
So, you save a lot of money compared to doing the services separately.
Getting Back to Your Site
I’ve heard from a bunch of existing clients lately that CoVid really threw you off your blogging schedule this year and you’re just now finding a way to get back to your site.
Here’s the thing – nothing about site tech took a break for CoVid.
And we have a BUNCH of changes that have happened this year that you need to be aware of.
So, I hope you will scan through at least the last 4 months of Tips Tuesday posts to help you get caught up on the arcs of changes we’ve been making so you’re up to speed again.
Year in Review Posts Coming
Next week I plan to put out a Year in Review for what worked and what didn’t with BlogAid and Heartwood Art in 2020.
Plus, I’ll give you a look at how I’m continuing to pivot BlogAid for the future and how I’m dealing with the growing pains of running a successful business that is getting beyond what I can do just by myself.
And you’ll get a peek into what’s coming for you in 2021 too, that will help you make more money with your site as well.
Video SEO research status
I had to scramble my schedule this past week due to the computer change and trying to get open client projects to a good stopping point for the holiday break.
So, that meant I didn’t have time to do anything with more research into what me and my clients found during our preliminary video SEO testing that revealed everybody has totally different SEO which we need to address well beyond just the video SEO.
But, I did chat with Yoast SEO support a little more and got a list of all the video player plugins that they support with their Video SEO plugin.
That’s really going to cut down my research time and I can’t wait to check them out!!!
I already had a couple of them on my test list, as they radically cut down the YouTube video player bloat and help speed up the site. But, I didn’t know if Yoast’s Video SEO plugin could also wrap them in the extra schema markup.
Now I know!!!
And I’ll be testing to see what the differences are between them and will have a recommended list for us.
In just a few weeks I’ll be launching our Quick Checks for the DIY SEO course to ensure your foundation is properly set ahead of us getting into the live workshops in mid January.
And, I’ll be adding a new workshop for checking your schema markup output. This comes right out of what we found in the video SEO research. And we all need to check our base output to ensure it is what Google wants.
So, be looking for those quick check emails in January.
That’s all the happenings around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Still waiting to update to WP 5.6
No, it’s not time to update to WP 5.6 yet.
And no, I don’t know when it will be time.
I’m still waiting to see if enough folks will scream about the new auto update feature for major releases to the point they bring us our opt-out checkbox back or not.
And I’m waiting to see what folks scream about that’s breaking due to the jQuery change.
So, we’re going to give it a bit more time before updating.
How to get your WP 5.6 update instructions
Only BlogAid News subscribers will get instructions for how to do the WP 5.6 update when it’s time to do it.
So, be sure you are subscribed.
I started making my list of the tutorials I’ll be updating and/or making anew for the WP 5.6 Gutenberg changes.
I don’t see any bugs with those things, and I don’t anticipate them making core changes, so I’m going to start making the new course tutorials as soon as I get my new computer setup to do so, meaning over the holiday break.
However, I won’t be releasing them into the Gutenberg Ninja course until after I make the announcement that it is safe to update to WP 5.6.
That way the current functions are still in the course for you to reference.
And I’ll make a list of the tutorials that were updated and/or new tutorials, so you’ll know what to watch after I release the new ones.
FYI, the Gute course is still on holiday sale too.
Cloudflare sending emails for new APO feature
You have heard me mention Cloudflare’s new Automatic Platform Optimization (APO) feature a few times over the past month or so.
And you’ve heard me mention that I don’t think it’s ready for prime time yet and that we won’t be using it for a bit longer.
Well, last week I had the opportunity to attend a live Q&A chat with someone from Cloudflare.
See first of last week’s Tips Tuesday livestream for more on how that went.
Basically, Cloudflare works in a bubble and doesn’t really think about how what they make has to interact with any other speed optimization you might already have on your site.
And, they’re quick to boast how their new thing is the bomb, and how you won’t need anything else – yet without a shred of comparative analysis to back it up.
I’ve also spoken with Emre, the dev of WP Fastest Cache and we have a case study test coming in early 2021 because I do need hard data before I make recommendations.
So, if you get that email from Cloudflare, just put that shiny new thing on ignore for now, and keep watching Tips Tuesday for news on it.
Here we go!!!
Europe has brought multiple suits against Google, mainly for privacy.
And now 38 US states are bringing suit over the search monopoly Google has created that squelches, or even destroys businesses, both online-only business as well as brick-and-mortar.
This, coupled with more folks dropping Google over the privacy concerns, plus Chrome finally making plans to drop 3rd party cookie tracking that will directly impact their AdSense service, is going to make for a volatile SEO landscape in 2021 and beyond.
You know I’ll be keeping my eyes on all of this for us.
Astra has become too much of a moving target
I fell in love with the Astra theme as a great way for site owners, who are swapping over to Gutenberg, to take more control over their design.
But, over the last half of 2020, Astra everything has become too much of a moving target with how they do things.
They are now suddenly bundling the Gutenberg plugin with their Starter Templates.
What the hell? Why would they put an unstable plugin on your site that you don’t even need?
Gutenberg is the native WP editor. The Gutenberg plugin is the beta version of stuff that may roll into WP core someday and is not considered stable.
Their new header and footer customizer is very cool, but it is running too far ahead of WordPress core support for Full Site Editing, and will need be revamped once we have that in WordPress core.
I’m also seeing too many site owners make major mistakes with Astra design that actually kills their site speed and negatively impacts responsiveness and such too.
I called them out on that Gute plugin thing in the Astra FB group and they thought I was asking about their Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugin, which we love. Maybe that’s what they meant to bundle in. Who knows?
So, I still like Astra.
I still think it is a good contender for site owners to check into when they make the switch to Gutenberg, and in light of it natively being way faster than any other theme out there.
But, I’m also going to start issuing a disclaimer to use at your own risk if you don’t hire a pro designer to ensure that you have everything setup correctly for speed, responsiveness, and user experience.
I already have the disclaimer in my course that Astra does cutting edge stuff that may make it more unstable than Genesis. But then, that’s the price for staying cutting edge with Gutenberg as it continues to improve too.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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