Tips Tuesday and WordPress 3.7, SEO, Themes, HOAs, and More

tips-tues-200Hello Happy Site Owners! This is the BlogAid Tips Tuesday Podcast for October 29 2013 and I’m your host, MaAnna. This week’s tips include the stumbling release of WordPress 3.7 and what to do about the auto updates feature, the new Focus Pro theme from StudioPress, alternatives to managed hosting, how to algorithm proof you SEO, why we don’t need to care if AuthorRank is turned on or not, my fave Hootsuite and Buffer mentor, breaking news about Hangouts on Air that have them rivaling webinars finally, and my new favorite podcast. So let’s dive in. Listen to the podcast.

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Featured

The new BlogAid site changes are almost done. At least this round of them. I’ve got at least one more round to go for more performance and usability changes, but I wanted to go public with the new offers and services that I’ve been doing quietly for months now and open them up to more folks.

I’ve been sharing with you for a while now that I’m repositioning BlogAid for the future. Well, that future is already well upon us. Of course, I’m in a tech industry and things change all the time. But, I can tell you that if you are not keeping your online presences current, then your whole business is falling behind.

I don’t mean bleeding edge current. I mean current within the past year. I recommend that everyone update their sites every 1.5 years. It’s not just for looks. Online business trends change too. And, you may have changed what you offer and some of your core content no longer serves you well.

Right now I’m working with three site owners that are revamping their online strategies. And along with it they are revamping their sites because they now see how it was holding them back. Sometimes it takes another set of qualified eyes to help you see that. Even I hired help with my redesign for that very reason.

Cyndi Papia and Pamela Coyle have done a bang up job. And, I’m keeping Pam on retainer to come after me if I go back to my old habits. I’ll have more on that for you when the new design and offers go live, which will probably be later this week.

WordPress Tips

WordPress 3.7 was released last week and it was not without incident. Some sites experienced immediate plugin conflicts. That includes issues with adding or updating plugins after 3.7 was added. So many popular plugins were affected that version 3.7.1 Beta was released almost immediately behind it. As of the time I posted this blog, it has not rolled out officially yet.

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Also, WordPress 3.7 has a new auto update feature. You may not want to turn that completely off. It has several settings. Be sure to see my post from yesterday with all the details.

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And WordPress 3.8 will be on us before the end of the year. Two of the things that are slated to be included are a revamp of the admin Dashboard, which hasn’t had an overhaul in years and really needs it.

Plus, inclusion of the MP6 plugin into the core. If you’ve been watching the WordPress tutorials in the BlogAid Video Library, then you’ve already seen what it looks like. It restyles the whole look of the admin area. You’ll notice the color change first, but I’m really happy about the font change. Makes everything so much easier to read.

Themes

StudioPress has released the Focus Pro theme. It’s the latest release of their upgraded stock themes that now supports Genesis 2.0 features, including global microdata markup. To me, it doesn’t look like it had much changed in the look, which is a departure from the trend of their other stock theme updates, which had a bit of a facelift too. Go check it out for yourself and see what you can find different.

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You don’t have to be a developer to appreciate this post from Chris Knowles on WPMU.org titled How To Test WordPress On Tablets And Mobiles You Don’t Own. I suggest you go check your site to see how it looks, especially if you have a fully responsive theme. You will be amazed at how much it rearranges itself to the different screen sizes.

Hosting Tips

WP Engine Rebrands and Restructures is a post on Post Status by Brian Krogsgard about the recent changes at a hosting company that has come to dominate their space as a managed hosting provider. And they didn’t do it by being cheap, which is a testament that all of us can learn from. While other hosts are engaging in pricing wars, WP Engine hit its target market with the right product at the right price.

In the post, Brian details more about the changes at WP Engine that will keep it viable in what is becoming a more crowded market.

And while managed hosting is a super idea for some sites, it’s over-priced and over-kill for others. It runs around $75-$100 month.

There are other options, and you need to shop before you buy. Managed hosting usually has restrictions on plugins and some settings and uses. That helps them maintain a controlled environment, which is generally a good thing, but check on your situation to ensure it’s the right fit for your site and budget.

Alternatives include site maintenance packages, which several companies, VAs, and trainers offer now and include things like monthly plugin and security checks and such. The ones I’ve seen run from $15-$30 a month.

Another choice is site management, which BlogAid offers to select clients who need more technical skills than some designers and VAs offer. It’s a good choice for busy entrepreneurs with growing sites that move or change a lot and need custom integrations like member sites and such.

SEO Tips

If you’re still freaking out over Google going 100% not provided on showing the keywords folks are searching to find your site, then Tracy Mallette has a post you’ll love on the Success Works site titled Where have all the keywords gone? It’s your (not provided) John Wayne SEO Copywriting.

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+Eric Enge was recently part of the Algo Proofing panel at Pubcon Las Vegas. He laid out the impact of various algorithm changes and new products from Google. Basically, his opinion is that Google is systematically killing off tactical SEO and forcing folks to think more strategically.

Go see his SlideShare presentation and notice what a central role G+ plays in all of it now.

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Is AuthorRank real and is it turned on yet? +Mark Traphagen, who is one of the biggest SEO guys on the planet, doesn’t give a rip whether authorship is on or not. See why in his post titled Google Author Rank: On? Not Yet? Why I Don’t Care. It will put you into a position to not have to care either. You’ll be ready when it is.

G+ Tips

I do believe +Mike Alton has become my fave blogger on social media. He’s so clear on the how-to. And this post titled 6 Ways a Formatted Google+ Post Will Increase Engagement and Interest is a real winner. Mike also has a super series on using social media tools like Hootsuite and Buffer that is worth you checking out.

And Mike is the one I first heard from about the recent Buffer hack that sent spam out to Twitter and Facebook on a few accounts. It’s fixed now. So, if you want to stay on top of news like this, follow Mike.

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And wow, just wow. +Ronnie Bincer has broken some amazing news with Hangouts on Air and Events. You have go to read his post on G+ about the timeline of how his upcoming Event came together. Basically, Hangouts on Air are about to seriously rival webinars for marketability.

Ronnie also gives you a sneak peek into a new feature that will be coming out soon. He’s one of the Beta testers.

Podcast Tips

I want to turn you on to a podcast I’m listening these to these days. It’s hosted by +Ryan Hanley who is one of my G+ peeps. It’s called the Content Warfare Podcast and he always has on guests that are right on top of what’s happening right now in online marketing. Highly recommended to add to your podcast subscriptions.

Wrap Up

That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday podcast. Please feel free to share this post and podcast with your friends.

You can find this podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, and Blackberry Podcast and I appreciate everyone who votes for the podcast there. 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!

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