Hello Happy Site Owners! This week’s tips include a new revision control on the WordPress code editor for themes and plugins, a responsive slider plugin, the new Twitter API, the release of BackupBuddy 4.0, a new WordPress Landing Pages plugin, unique caching for membership sites, how G+ and Gmail are messing up your analytics, bunches of Rich Snippet examples and how to do them, the release of the new MailChimp interface, and two plugins for G+ Hangouts to make them more like a webinar experience. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.
The times, they are a changin’. And you better get used to changing with them or get left behind. That’s just the way it is with running an online business, and keeping up has become almost overwhelming for a lot of site owners. I’ve been reading the tea leaves of what’s coming down the pike and making big changes to BlogAid to position myself to take advantage of them. You can read all about it in my post on The Future of Successful Site Ownership and what it all means for your site. I cover what’s coming for WordPress, Social Media, Hosting, Multi-Media, and SEO. Plus, I give you peak into a new branch of the BlogAid business that I’ve been quietly test running for a few months. It will likely become the mainstay of my business in the very near future.
There’s an interesting post on the WordPress Core blog. Alex is a new intern for the summer and just wanted to say hi and tell us about what he’ll be working on, which is a revisions creator for the theme and plugin editors. He pretty much got slammed by a few developers who do everything they can to keep client’s from poking around in those areas. I strongly discourage my clients from touching them too. But basically what Alex is creating are rollback points, and checking for fatal code before being allowed to save. That’s good in theory, but if someone makes a change that doesn’t set off a fatal flag warning, and then it creates a situation where they can’t log into their site, then what? It won’t be possible to do the rollback. So, I hope Alex inputs Plan B code into his changes. And for now, I’m going to keep telling clients that if they goof up their code, it’s going to cost them big time to fix it.
And no, we still don’t have any word yet on when version 3.6 will be out. A lot folks, including me, are finding their silence on this rather disturbing. Theme and plugin developers really need to be able to know what their schedule will be regarding releases and it’s rather unprofessional to hold everyone in limbo like this.
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 Responsive WordPress Slider – Soliloquy plugin has been updated. I think sliders are cool, but I also think they are a fad that has run its course. They have a great wow factor, but they require a site structure that often doesn’t lend itself well to most solopreneurs who need to prominently feature elements like their email opt-in or other offers. And, if you use them to feature posts, you’re roped into having to acquire big pretty images all of the time. And that can get expensive. Do you have a slider on your site? Do you regularly visit sites that do? Tell us about in the comments.
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If you use a Twitter plugin on your site, be sure to go check that it is still working. As of June 6th the 1.0 version of the API was retired and has been replaced with version 1.1. The initial announcement that this would happen came months ago, so most plugins have already been updated. But best to check your site to ensure that all is well.
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There’s a new WordPress Landing Pages plugin I want to check out. What looks so promising to me is that you can use your own site page template, or one of theirs, or one from any theme you have loaded on your site, whether it’s active or not. Plus, you can run split tests and discover which layout is getting the most conversion. And it already integrates with the top form plugins, like Gravity Forms, which is paid, and Contact Form 7, which is free.
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For those of you who run, or want to run, a membership site, you’ll want to read this post by Chris Lema on caching options because it has to work a little differently for logged in users than regular caching plugins allow. In fact, several things have to work so differently that I decided to create a whole other site for my membership to the BlogAid Video Tutorial Library.
And Chris has a link in that post to a super comparison of membership plugins. I would offer one word of advice on that. Look for the plugin that will meet your ultimate goals, not just the ones that are easy to set up. I use WishList Member, which is the most complex of them all, but also has all of the features and integration that I need. And, you’ll save yourself a week’s worth of pulling your hair out and throwing things if you just hire someone to help you with the initial setup too. It’s pretty easy to run after that.
Are G+ and Gmail users killing your analytics data? Yep. Super post on Kissmetrics for cracking the “not provided” stat and why it’s growing due to logged in Google users.
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Rich Snippets in search are real eye catchers. They usually have an image and extra data like who the author is, or reviews, or even upcoming event listings. Ann Smarty has a super post on it titled Types Of Google Rich Snippets (+ How To Add Them To WordPress Blogs). She includes explanations and links to tutorials on how to add the kind of rich data you need on your site.
Now, the one not shown is the six pack for a site. It will show six additional pages for your site under the main meta description. That comes mainly from your XML Sitemap. Not only do you need to create one for your site, you need to submit it to Google Webmaster Tools too. That’s something I show you how to do in the SEO and Authorank Video Course, along with how to properly make the connections and loops for authorship too, so your picture will display in those Rich Snippets.
A brand new MailChimp interface was released yesterday and you can bet I’m all over it and updating my MailChimp Video Course too. You’ll have until July 15th to voluntarily make the switch. Be sure to look for my posts on it as I dive in to all the changes.
Kim Castleberry has an excellent review of two new plugins that simulate on G+ Hangouts all of the missing perks you get from pro webinar software. They are Hangout Plugin and Webinar Express. I got Webinar Express, which is still only $47 through today and then will jump to $297. I agree with Kim on everything in her review except for one thing. I don’t think that Webinar Express is worth $297 yet. But it will be. The development team is already working on the cons she listed. And when they get those done, I’ll become an affiliate too.
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 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!