Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include an interview I’m jumping up and down happy about, updates on the changes coming in WordPress 3.6, news about the new G+ Comments plugin that you must know before you even think about trying it, a plugin to help managing multiple sites, news on plugin security breaches, a new plugin that works like Akismet for the brute force attacks, a post to challenge what you think you know about SEO and online marketing, and updates on the party over at G+. So let’s get started. Listen to the podcast.
Oh hallelujah! Drew Poland interviewed one of my all-time fave folks, Chris Lema on the WP Daily blog and one of the questions they asked was about anything he would like to see implemented to WordPress as a core feature. And I’m going to quote Chris’ answer verbatim.
“Yes. When WYSIWYG first came out (yes, I’m officially old) it was a remarkable distinction from what had existed before and changed everything. But it feels like today we’re back to the pre-WYSIWYG days when I’m writing a post within WordPress.
I would like the editor to leverage my site’s own CSS. I know, it’s crazy. But here’s the thing – my site has a specific column width with a specific font size, and styles for my headings. I would like to see that on my editing side because if not, I don’t know if my heading is going to wrap to two full lines, or just have one extra word hanging.
I think it’s a problem worth solving.”
Finally! I’ve been jumping up and down about this for years. The only purpose of the text editor is to write code for a browser to read and the current WYSIWYG does a piss poor job of it. In my opinion, it’s the bane of WordPress. I’ve heard the folks who help develop WordPress moan about what a big task it is to overhaul the TinyMCE code the editor is based on. Will somebody get with the developers who made the TinyMCE Advanced plugin and at least incorporate the option they have to stop breaking the paragraph and break tags? Those are so inherently fundamental that it is an embarrassment they are not included in the core.
Now, to be fair, some CSS support was put in a few releases ago, but it also requires theme support, meaning that the stylesheet of each theme had to include a section especially for the text editor. But it’s nowhere near the level Chris wants to see.
Now, I’m a little fish and the WordPress developers don’t listen to me. But Chris Lema is a big dog and he knows folks who can do something about this. So, I hope they will listen to him on the next go round of updates, or at least consider it as an overhaul for the next major release of 4.0.
The big WordPress news is, of course, the release of version 3.6. Be sure to see my video on it so you’ll know what to expect. You’re going to see two of the big changes the minute you log in and then go to make a post. And, I’ll give you a little clarity on the difference in the new auto save feature and the revision save feature that was already there, plus a couple of changes they made to improve it.
The target release date is now May 20th. We’re currently on the Beta 2 version. I’ve been running it without major issues until a couple of days ago but, it’s a glitch. Beta 3 is due out tomorrow, May 1st. And then the first release candidate is due on May 6th.
I’ve been super busy making new video tutorials for you. I’m basically revamping the entire WordPress library while I’m doing it. Besides bringing all of the tutorials up to version 3.6, I’m adding new resources for you to download, and restructuring some of the content in the videos with updated news of how things are done, plus breaking up the videos into more focused content. You can see them in the Video Tutorial Library. The ones with the asterisk have been updated. And I have a few new ones on YouTube too, but the Library has the full length versions.
Do you manage multiple sites? Cam has a review on WP Daily for Infinite WP. There is a free version for you to try, but the cool features I would want are premium add ons. Even so, it’s a less expensive alternative to other options already out there. Be sure to read through the comments to see what other folks are saying about, including the developers, and the competitors who both chimed in.
Some of the links below are to the plugin developer’s page, but you can find most if not all of these plugins in the WordPress plugins repository.
The huge news in plugins this week is the new G+ Comments plugin. Don’t do it. The plugin is a hack of the new G+ Comments feature for Blogger. It’s not ready for prime time yet on WordPress sites. There are some major issues to be addressed like holes for spammers and hackers. And, you don’t have any way to be notified when someone leaves a comment, nor the opportunity to moderate them. You can see more about it, and the changes I’m making to BlogAid in my post titled Out with CommentLuv and In with G+ Comments.
The other big plugin news is about the security breaches on a couple of caching plugins. If you use Wp Super Cache or W3 Total Cache, read the report on Sucuri titled Update WP Super Cache and W3TC Immediately – Remote Code Execution Vulnerability Disclosed and do what it says about updating.
The brute force attacks are still rolling around the globe. There’s a new plugin out that does pretty much the same thing for this attack that Akismet does to filter spam comments on your blog posts. It’s called BruteProtect and it’s a cloud based database of IPs known to be involved in the attack and it blocks them from attempting to log in to any sites that have this plugin installed. And just like Akismet, you’ll need to get an API for it so your site can report that it’s protected and log IPs. But unlike Akismet, it’s free. I’m going to install it on a few of my sites and check it out. The only site I’m concerned about is the membership site for the video tutorials because that has so many people from so many IPs logging in. Plus, I’ve already run into a security plugin conflict on that site and had to switch to a different plugin than my usual one. So, keep that in mind if you run a member site or a forum. Also, until I check this out, I don’t know if it will play nice with Login Lockdown, which is my preferred plugin for limiting login attempts. I’ll let you know.
One other little helpful hint. If you’re listening to this on the podcast and intend to search for this plugin in the WordPress repository, there is no space between the words of the title. Sometimes putting a space between words yields a different search result, including nothing found. So, be sure to search for BruteProtect with no space.
Here’s a plugin for your mobile device, in case you ever need to log into your site from it. The plugin is called iPad Rubberneck Disrupter. As you type your password, each character shows while the previous one goes to a dot. This plugin makes them all dots, even as you type.
And I want to send a special shout out to all the nice folks at WP Daily who publish a list every single day of 20-30 new plugins, and periodically let us know about updated ones. Thanks guys. That’s a lot of work and we really appreciate it.
If you want to see all of my recommended plugins, visit the Plugins resources page on BlogAid.
Well, this is a good post, but I’m going to have a chat with my buddies over at HostGator because three points in it are out of date. If you’re a client and/or a regular Tips Tuesday reader I know you can spot them. It’s titled 21 Things SMBs Can Do to Make Google Love Their Website.
There have been some changes to SERPs in Google lately. Those are Search Engine Results Pages. Your byline now goes to your author page, which is on your site. It used to go to your Personal G+ Profile. And now the little snippet of how many G+ Circles you are in goes to your G+ Personal Profile. That’s a good change and makes a lot more sense. And it’s two more reasons why you need to get authorship set up and get active on G+.
And there’s another change concerning the Rich Snippet, which is the kind of search result that includes your happy face and the extra meta data with your byline and Circle count. I can’t say it any better, so I’m going to quote Mark Traphagen here.
“The Author Rich Snippet is never guaranteed because you have authorship connected. Google’s algorithm determines when it is good to show it for any particular searcher with a particular query. Since the first of this year it has been even more fickle. As you gain more authority and Google sees that people trust and share your content, it will show more often, but you should get used to the fact that it will not always show all the time. Also be aware that it shows only once per result page per author.”
So, don’t freak out if evidence of authorship is playing a now you see it, now you don’t game with you. And don’t go tweaking your authorship setup. If you followed the steps in my SEO and AuthorRank Video Course, everything is fine. It’s just Google doing what Google does.
Thrilled and grateful to see this from Martin Shervington. It’s a free download titled the Complete User Guide to Your YouTube Channel. I’m digging through it already and was delighted to see info included from one of the most helpful guys on G+, Ronnie Bincer. I hired him to help me get my YouTube Channels and G+ profile and page all hooked up right and now I’m squaring out everything on my main YouTube channel to make it my top referral source of traffic to my site.
I’ll have a full post for you soon with all of the details and I’m inviting and challenging you to go on this journey with me.
And here’s a way for you to get started. For the camera shy, here are tips from Becky on ways you can make videos. You’ll find links that walk you through creating your first Animoto video.
I have to tell you, the party is on G+ these days. I hardly want to even visit Facebook anymore. And I rarely login to LinkedIn either. And I want to help more of you get busy with G+ too.
In mid May I’m hosting a Google Account webinar with a presentation to help you understand the connections and an open Q & A to help you overcome any obstacle that’s stopping you from leveraging all of the powerful ways you can take advantage of the perks Google is making available to you now.
After that, I’m going to start a series introducing you to folks and resources to help you take this journey one step at a time into more visibility for what you offer. We’re going to bring your site and your entire web presence up a notch and we’re going to do it together.
BlogAid News subscribers will be the first to know.
There’s a super post on SwellPath about the new G+ Interactive Posts. It allows you to embed a clickable Call to Action on your post. What do you think that will do for your business?
Sarah Hill has a super post on CopyBlogger titled How to Build an Audience with Google+ Hangouts where she says that we are quickly moving beyond social media to human media. I agree with her, and G+ is leading the way with Hangouts. And Sarah is leading the way with the Human Media idea. If you’re not already following her, go do it right now.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday podcast. You can find this podcast on iTunes, as well as Stitcher, and the Blackberry Podcast. You can also subscribe directly to the blog posts http://www.blogaid.net/blogaid-news to get them via email. Visit BlogAid.net for more tips, tutorials, and free resources to make your site better.
And I’ll see you online!