Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- What’s new in WordPress 5.7 video tour and post
- Where to get update instructions for WP 5.7
- Links SEO workshop is this week
- All the new messaging on BlogAid
- Why to be careful who you hire for theme design
- An update on theme testing and which ones are back on the table
- A peek into the timeline for what’s coming to you this spring from BlogAid
- Why I’m putting W3 Total Cache back on my case study test list
- What causes 90% of Cumulative Layout Shift issues
- What will happen when Google stops selling ads based on 3rd party cookie tracking
- Why you need to do your own cookie tracking
- The new mastermind groups coming by summer
- Why you need to write like you talk on your blog posts
- The online tester tool I used to check the spam score on the email I use for newsletters
- How to avoid getting caught in the scam going around for domain renewals
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 BlogAid posts and tutorials are intended to assist business-minded, hands-on bloggers and webmaster designers who are serious about making money and who want to stay up-to-date with site changes.
Spring has sprung around here and I feel energized by it and have things to show for all that energy too!!
First, see my video tour and post about what’s new in WordPress 5.7.
It is expected to roll out today.
You’ll definitely want to watch this before you upgrade.
We’ll be waiting a few days, or maybe a week or so before we update to WP 5.7, mainly because of the changes to jQuery.
I’ll publicly announce when I feel it’s safe for most everyone to upgrade here on Tips Tuesday.
But, I’ll be sending the instructions for doing this upgrade only to my BlogAid News subscribers, so be sure you’re on that list.
This Thursday we’ll be meeting live in the DIY SEO course for the workshop on all of your links, including internal and external.
Links are a super important way that Google finds out how your content is related and more on the topics that you write about.
You know, it’s not too late to join us in the DIY SEO course. You’ll have no trouble catching up to where we are in the live workshop series. So do check it out.
More new messaging on BlogAid
A few weeks ago I reported in a Tips Tuesday that I wanted to change all of the messaging on BlogAid to ensure that I’m attracting clients and projects where we are a good fit for each other.
Michelle Phillips, of Codefetti has been helping with the content revamp and I think she has been spot on with it!!
And Marcy Diaz, of Amethyst Website Design, who built the BlogAid theme, has been applying all of the nice styling options I had to the Gutenberg blocks, so now I have all manner of styling choices between regular Gutenberg styling and then adding in all of these special styles.
Have a look at these newly revamped pages:
We’ve got a couple more pages to go, but I am confident that this new messaging will help ensure new clients are better informed about the services and that we are a good fit together too.
I believe it’s super clear now that I partner with you so that you can become an educated, confident DIY site owner. You’ll know exactly what is going on with your site and you can keep your site fast and secure too.
Careful who you hire for theme design or site work
And, I want to send a reminder that if you are my site audit client, you have to be super careful who you hire to do theme redesign or any site work, for that matter.
Your designer must be aware of:
Else, they could literally destroy ALL of the work you paid me to help you with in your audit.
Very often designers will create your new theme on one of their sandbox sites.
Then they will migrate that whole thing into your hosting account to replace everything you have there.
That can wipe out all of the critically important files below WP that contain your security and HTTPS and speed directives.
If they don’t know how to work with Cloudflare’s Dev mode, the caching will drive them crazy, as they will not be able to see their changes immediately.
So, be sure to check with me before you hire a designer.
Same goes for any support person that works on your site. You MUST document exactly what they did and ensure it does not undo your current setup for security and speed and such.
If you are designer and not sure you even know what to look for with a client’s existing security, HTTPS, and speed setup, or you don’t know how to provide those services yourself, then jump into my Webmaster Training course.
It’s made for designers and will teach you what you need to know about setting up sites securely, how to do full HTTPS conversions with zero trickery and all of the security headers Chrome now requires, plus make the site fast.
Theme testing update
Well, I don’t mean to seem wishy-washy about the theme testing I’m doing, but two of my webmasters fought a hard case to get me to reconsider GeneratePress so it’s on the testing list again.
Plus, I just finished up all the fixes for a site audit client using GeneratePress, and once we got all of the bloat out of the site with bad plugins and such, it returned near perfect scores. Then we threw a couple of speed tweaks at it and now it is perfect. And that convinced me that you can have all you need on the site and still have a fast online presence using GeneratePress too.
After last week’s meeting with designers, Kadence is back on the testing list again too, but for evaluation. We just need to spin it up and have a look before making a final decision.
We also checked into Blocksy, but they have a few privacy and licensing issues to work out still, so not on the list for testing, but we’re keeping an eye on it.
The bottom line is that there are definitely more themes to consider now due to being able to build any page type you need with Gutenberg – no page builder needed.
So, we’re looking into the base SEO and speed, plus Core Web Vitals, and how easy it will be to design with them.
BlogAid Timeline Peek
I also want to give you a peek at my upcoming project timeline.
WP 5.7 changes
First was getting us through the WP 5.7 changes, including the research required for what the new iframe lazy load may do to folks who run ads. That’s done now.
Gutenberg Ninja updates
Next, I’ll be updating the Gutenberg Ninja course for the new features that rolled in with WP 5.7. I’m working on those this week.
Video SEO course soft launch
Over the next 2 weeks I hope to be near to finalizing the new Video SEO course.
I need a name for it, so if you have ideas, please email them to me.
I’ll be doing a soft launch to my crew of testers to get their feedback first.
Video SEO course launch to BlogAid peeps
Next I’ll have a Grand Opening of the Video SEO course with special discounts for BlogAid followers.
And then I’ll start advertising to the general public for it.
Recipe Plugin Case Study
During the launch sequence of the Video SEO course I’ll be spinning up test sites for the new recipe plugin case study that will look super hard into the SEO issues we found while testing the video schema markup.
I’m so looking forward to working again with Marilyn Lesniak of Marilyn’s Treats on this project. We had such a good time when we did this a few years ago.
And after speaking with her over the weekend, we’ve decided that there really are only 2 plugin contenders that we need to test, which are all 4 versions of the WP Recipe Maker plugin, and the recipe card in the Create plugin by Mediavine.
I’ll be spinning up 5 test sites for each plugin and Marilyn will provide the basic recipe and post that we will be using on each one.
After I get my baseline tests then I’ll be calling on my video SEO testers again to place videos in the recipes and we’ll do more testing, and we’ll be correcting any SEO issues they are having with the plugin’s schema markup too.
Theme Case Study
In conjunction with the recipe case study, me and my webmasters will be diving deep into theme case studies.
Each of my webmasters has themes that they specialize in and I will be asking them to give us a tour of those themes so we can all get a peek at how the backside works.
Then, I’ll spin up test sites and invite them to all create the same post on those themes so we can do apples to apples testing on the same hosting and under the same conditions.
So, I’ll mainly be the coordinator and quality control person, but all of my webmaster volunteers will be participating and doing the bulk of the work, as far as building the sites.
We’ll also be able to use the power of the village to contact the theme developers en force and ensure they listen to our concerns instead of what some of them do now, which is blow us off as individuals and the only person reporting issues.
Continued client work
And of course I’ll continue to work with all of the clients who are on my wait list. I believe we are going into June at this point.
And thank you to everyone who has an open project for respecting that time is of the essence clause. Y’all have been so fast with doing your parts and keeping these projects in motion.
If you are on the wait list, just know that we are getting to your project as fast as possible.
So yes, it’s going to be a super busy start to spring around here!!!
But, I’m very excited about the work, especially the case studies and how much that data is going to help developers of all kinds, plus all of my clients.
We feel the need for speed and superior SEO and this is how we get it!!!
That’s all the happenings around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Testing W3 Total Cache
I don’t know how in the world I missed this news back in Nov 2019, that BoldGrid acquired the W3 Total Cache plugin.
I had considered W3TC a thing of beauty when configured properly, and I had used it for several years.
But it had just become too unstable, and looked like it was never coming out of beta despite a million downloads. So I gave up on it.
But, now that BoldGrid is managing it, and throwing massive R&D and support into it, I’m back on board with it and will be adding it to my free caching/optimization case study down the road.
The thing about this plugin is that you do have to know what you are doing with it to configure it properly. It’s not as simple as WP Fastest Cache.
But, it does give you much more granular control over things, and includes speed elements that no other free plugin has.
So, I’m looking forward to testing it again.
Honing in on Cumulative Layout Shift
My designers and I have found ways of testing to prove that 90% of Cumulative Layout Shift issues in Core Web Vitals on mobile is due to the navigation menu or other items above the header.
So, knowing how to setup these caching plugins, and how to read all of the testers is just as important as knowing how to fix the issues.
This is why it’s important to come in for a site audit and let folks who look at this stuff all day help you get it fixed.
Otherwise, you’re just throwing darts in the dark without the data to know exactly what the problem is that needs to be addressed.
Here we go!! Just as I had predicted last year, Google is finally making changes to the way they sell ads now that Chrome is nearing the time it will be dropping 3rd party cookie tracking.
Advertisers will no longer be able to track you from site to site and base their ad spend on that info.
The Firefox and Safari browsers dropped this type of tracking last year.
Chrome drug its feet on the change because they had a dog in the race – namely, Google Ads.
I started voicing concern last year about what this would mean to folks who blogged for ads.
And I met with my BB Hub site audit plus clients in January to tell them everything I was seeing in my crystal ball about it, plus what they needed to do to secure their income.
And I want to thank BB Hub member Blair Massey of Always Looking Your Best for sharing this Wall Street Journal article with us that gives more details about how Google ads are changing.
Why you need to do your own cookie tracking
Social Media Today confirmed that Google will not be providing an alternate data tracking option when it drops 3rd party cookies.
This means that your 1st party cookie data will become a gold mine to advertisers.
This is also why the bigger ad agencies have invented their own way to collect your 1st party cookie data too.
Having that info makes them more attractive to advertisers.
And hopefully that will translate into higher paying ads, a percentage of which those agencies share with you as their publishing partner.
But, what you do need to keep your eye on is just how much that data is worth all by itself, and keep your eyes open for other, more lucrative opportunities for how you can make use of it besides just giving it away to the ad agencies.
It’s too early to tell what all opportunities may open up, but I’m thinking that by fall we should start seeing them, including more scams over it too.
New Mastermind Groups coming by summer
During the live chat with my BB Hub and Webmasters back in January, everyone voiced an interest in more mastermind groups for other ways to generate revenue.
It is my strong desire to get those going for us before summer and have folks actively working what we discussed before fall so we can gather the data to see what strategies work best for everyone.
Writing helps you perfect your message before you publish for the world to see.
But, all that editing and perfecting can make the tone of your blog posts seem stiff or stuffy too.
How about instead you follow the advice in this post from the nice folks at Content Marketing Institute and write like you talk.
In fact, start reading your posts aloud and you’ll see what I mean about how different your writing voice is from your speaking voice.
I hear from folks all the time that they listen to the Tips Tuesday podcast while they are reading it because they think my inflections are a hoot. Heck, they think I’m a hoot too!!!
But that is exactly what endears folks to me and has a lot to do with why they trust me.
And, this type of writing like you talk practice will warm you up for making talking head videos too, or doing voice overs for your videos.
Are you having trouble with your subscribers receiving your newsletter, or your clients receiving your emails?
There’s an online tester where you can check the potential spamminess score of your email address.
It’s called Mail-Tester.com and they say that they don’t retain or sell the email address you use for your test.
When you go to the site, you’ll be given an email address to send something to from the address you want to test. I just put the word test in the subject and a blurb in the body, so it wouldn’t send an empty email.
Then you’ll be taken to a screen where you watch a little rowboat make its way across the progress bar. It ran through that sequence 4 times for me before it showed my score, so be patient with it.
Then you’ll see your score out of a perfect 10 and get suggestions for ways to improve it.
My newsletter email score was 9.8 and it said that the popular SpamAssassin tool, that many hosts and email services use, thinks I could improve and gave me specifics on exactly what things to have a look at.
But, on one of the checks it said my DKIM signature was invalid and on another it said it was valid, so I’m not sure what to make of that.
I think it’s worth running the test, especially if you have reports that your email is not making it to the receiver’s inbox.
Scam for domain renewal
I want to thank Michelle Phillips of Codefetti for the heads up that the scam emails from
Domain Registry Corp are making the rounds again.
They are requesting payments for bogus renewals on your domain registration.
Anytime you get any email requesting money, don’t click anything.
Instead, log in directly to that vendor and see if you have any messages or if there are any renewal notices or such.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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