Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- Site and page SEO workshop this week
- The speed test help falling into my lap
- Progress on whole site editing coming to Gutenberg
- The WordPress 5.4 Beta 2 has been released
- Why we’ll all be grateful for the new WP notification system in the works
- Progress on native support for XML sitemaps coming to WordPress
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All tips, advice, and suggestions in this, and all BlogAid posts and tutorials, are intended to empower DIY site owners who are not on hosting that is restrictive in what you can and can’t do with your site and hosting setup.
Is February in a Speed Warp Bubble?
Every day of this month I’ve been wondering where the time went.
I get to my desk around 8am and the next time I look at the clock its noon and it feels like only an hour has gone by. At least it feels like that’s all the work I’ve gotten done should have taken.
Either I’m moving slower than normal or the clock is running fast!!!
And here we are nearly at the end of the month already. Geez!!! I’ve still got a lot of goals to meet before it’s over.
Do you feel that way too?
One of the things I look forward to every week is meeting live with the DIY SEO course members on Thursdays.
This week we’ll cover exactly what Google sees when crawling on your site.
And we’ll get into the first 5 SEO elements you need on your pages.
Pages carry more SEO weight than posts, and how you apply SEO differs too, as pages have different conversion priorities than posts.
Doing explicit SEO to be found in SERPs may not actually be the highest purpose of the page.
So, I’m looking forward to us finally digging into the SEO of our content now that we have our full foundation laid for our Technical SEO to ensure we have no crawl errors or issues, and now that we know how to track our SEO performance.
If you’re not already in the course, it’s not too late to catch up with where we are in the live workshops.
Speed Test Update
As y’all know, I’m in the middle of my annual speed tests. And right now I’m testing caching and optimization plugins.
Well, the whole universe seems to have spun into action to help me do this.
I’ve had several site audit clients this month who are using some of the optimization plugins I have never tested before.
It has been a real bonus to see them in action and see how they behave with how they are configured.
That has saved me a ton of research time into them.
I also met yesterday with one of my webmasters who is a whiz with spreadsheets.
She very quickly helped me figure out how I want to put all of the test summary data into the sheets so that I can make bar graphs that clearly show the plugin performance.
It should be very easy for even non-techie folks to clearly see the winners that way too.
So, that will make creating posts for the public a lot easier too, as I can take snapshots of those graphs. I’m very excited about that.
Plus, I’ll be sharing this test data with the plugin vendors and they will be able to see how they did and improve their plugins, which is a bonus for us users too.
Next I’ll be doing head-to-head hosting tests and again the universe brought me a client on one of the new hosts on my list that I have never worked with before.
It was great to get a good look at the backside of how they do things and know what to expect in my own testing.
So, things are moving along with it, albeit a little out of order. But I’m okay with the help coming in whatever way it does.
Site Services Update
Of course, the bulk of my time has been focused on the wait list for my site services such as audits and migrations.
I am running on track with those and getting to folks in the timeframe I guessed at when they contacted me.
Right now I’m booked solid into mid March, but will likely have some holes in the schedule, as a few folks on the list specifically requested services in early April.
So, if you want a good spring cleaning on your site, be sure to get on the list for an audit and we’ll see what all those speed drags and performance holes are on your site.
Heartwood Art Update
It has taken me all month, but I’m on the last post and video of what turned into a 5 part series for my dog kennel build. This thing has taken every spare minute of my time this month, and has put me behind on other goals, like getting my Pinterest stuff really rocking for the woodworking site, or doing any other posts for that site.
But, I’ve learned a lot about filming the whole build instead of taking stills as I go.
And I’ll have a post about that process for you in my Hobby to Money Making Site series as soon as I can.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s dive into this week’s tips.
There are a lot of exciting things to report this week about all manner of advancements WordPress is making and I’m delighted to see so many old frustrations get some attention too, instead of it all being just new shiny things.
There must be a time warp bubble happening for the WP devs, but in a productive way, as they are moving fast now on Phase 2 of Gutenberg, which is to make it a full site editor.
The mockups and user flow experiments have a lot more examples to see. And that makes it even faster for more developers to contribute to the working model.
Plus, they are pretty close to having an MVP, Minimum Viable Product ready for editing all things in the sidebar with Gutenberg now too.
Last year I predicted that we would see full site and even theme editing come to Gutenberg before the end of 2020 and it now looks like we may even get there by summer.
Now, this doesn’t mean everything will be to the point that WP natively supports all that we’ll want to use to make a fully Gutenberg editable site do everything our current sites do.
But what it does mean is that the underlying core code will be in place.
And from what we’ve already seen with blocks, 3rd party developers are going to radically enhance that core code and build things that do fully replicate the functions and fashions we have on our current themes.
All I can say is that if you still think Gutenberg is not ready for prime time, you’re the one behind the times and missing the train that has already left the station.
By 2021 Gutenberg will be the thing everybody wants to jump over to.
And the sooner you can learn about Gute, the better, as you’ll be prepared for what comes next.
In last week’s Tips Tuesday I mentioned all of the new Gutenberg features coming in WordPress 5.4 and how excited we are about them.
Well, they’ve just released the Beta 2 of WP 5.4, as they are working through the bugs found by testers in Beta 1.
I’m going to wait another couple of weeks before I test the beta, as the full release is not expected until March 31st, and I want to make updated and new tutorials for the Gutenberg Ninja course based on what will likely be the look of the final version.
Wouldn’t you love to learn Gute in a course that keeps up to date with the latest changes instead of watching out of date YouTube videos? I know everybody who is in the course sure does!!!
And of course I’ll have a post and video out to the public with all the new goodies in WP 5.4 as we get close to the release too.
I was so thrilled to read this new proposal for making a better way for plugin and theme devs to communicate with end users.
Right now, the only way plugin devs can give us news is by splashing notification bars across the top of our WP admin pages.
And some plugins splash way too many promotional notifications at us too.
On top of that, some of those notification bars can’t easily be dismissed, or don’t stay dismissed.
It’s insanely distracting and annoying every time we log into our site to do work.
Well, this new proposal is all about setting guidelines about those notification bars, as well as giving developers a better way to communicate with us.
The hope is to make it easier to separate notifications of when we need to take action from pure marketing notifications. And a better way to dismiss notifications. Plus, I hope, some restrictions on pure, in your face advertising happen too.
I’ll be keeping my eye on this for us, and let’s all send them good vibes to make this happen as soon as possible.
And here’s another WP advancement that we are tickled about.
The team working on bringing native XML sitemap support to WordPress is having their 2nd meeting today.
Right now they are still in the process of defining some of the core functions involved, as well as determining limits, like how many items can be in a single sitemap. They had suggested 2,000, but Yoast and other XML sitemap generators have it at 1,000. So they are rethinking things like that.
I believe that sort of baseline functionality type discussion will go on for a few weeks more.
And once they have all of that worked out they can begin the code development to make it happen.
I appreciate their thoroughness in getting all of these parameters defined first, which should make it easier to create this thing.
I haven’t seen any word from Yoast on this yet. And I don’t know if he has anyone on the team that is developing it or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find that so. For years now Yoast has been paying for developers to work on WP core code. And that’s how a lot of businesses that depend on WP do too.
I’ll be keeping an eye on it for us and will keep you posted.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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