Hello Happy Site Owners!
Tips this week include:
- WordPress 4.7.5 rolls out for security fixes
- Do you have a contingency plan in place for your online business?
- A powerful new integration for bringing Google Search Console data into Analytics
- Upcoming livestream from Google on Ads, Analytics, and DoubleClick
- What’s up with the WordPress 4.8 Beta Release
- Why I yanked the W3TC plugin off my recommended list
- What’s significant about Pressable adding Jetpack Premium for free
- A really cool photo gallery plugin that craft/foodie/lifestyle bloggers will want to check out
- 3 compelling reasons to make the switch to PHP 7
- How to create an effective About Me page with some way cool examples
- The case for not using Google PageSpeed Insights
- What reseller hosting is, and how to take advantage of it
Listen to the podcast
Shout Out Thank You
Thank you so much to John Overall of WP Plugins A to Z for including my posts in his weekly round up. I really appreciate that so much John.
And do check out his weekly podcast because it’s a great place to learn about new plugins. John and his podcast co-host actually test them out and they give each one a rating.
Still Playing Catch Up
My internet was down again this past week. So, I changed providers. They tell me this is a dedicated line and the only way for it to go out is the main hub server to smoke or the fiber optic trunk to get cut. Interestingly enough, both of these things have happened in the past. So, let’s hope lightning doesn’t strike twice on those same things.
I have a full contingency plan for my business, including multiple types of POAs and techie and website folks lined up to help my POA take care of things like accessing all of my accounts and properly shutting them down and notifying my clients and such.
And while I was in Nashville, I had a contingency for extended power and internet outages too. But I don’t have that part set up in my new place.
And there’s only so much work I can do from my iPad.
So, I’m working on finding places to set up with my Chromebook that has secure internet connections. You won’t find me on a free wifi at a coffee shop because I have to log into client sites and such. So, that’s got to be a secure connection.
Do you have a contingency plan?
Do you have a way to make it easy on your POA to find and know how to deal with all of your online accounts?
If you have clients, do you have a way for them to be taken care of or someone to pass them along to?
I know I sleep more peacefully having mine done.
That’s all the news from around here. Let’s jump into this week’s tips.
Several months ago, Google came out with a powerful new integration for bringing part of your Search Console data into your Analytics.
I think this is a great idea because savvy site owners watch their analytics like a hawk. But most site owners rarely visit Search Console.
Now, they have a way to see how their content is doing in search and the queries that folks are using to find them. And then, tracking how that traffic moves across their site.
I hope you saw my post on it yesterday with more info on the data that’s being brought in and what you can do with it.
On May 23, 2017, Google will livestream its marketing Next keynote address where you can learn more about the latest innovations for your marketing.
It’s free, but you do need to register.
There are 6 security fixes in this release, including:
- Insufficient redirect validation in the HTTP class. Reported by Ronni Skansing.
- Improper handling of post meta data values in the XML-RPC API. Reported by Sam Thomas.
- Lack of capability checks for post meta data in the XML-RPC API. Reported by Ben Bidner of the WordPress Security Team.
- A Cross Site Request Forgery (CRSF) vulnerability was discovered in the filesystem credentials dialog. Reported by Yorick Koster.
- A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was discovered when attempting to upload very large files. Reported by Ronni Skansing.
- A cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability was discovered related to the Customizer. Reported by Weston Ruter of the WordPress Security Team.
Plus, there are 3 maintenance bug scrubs for version 4.7.4.
This is an auto update and should continue to roll out over the next 24 hours to everyone.
The next major release of WordPress is 4.8. It’s the first major release this year. The beta version became available on May 12. And the first Release Candidate is slated for May 25, with a final release date of June 8.
The devs are very concerned about so many major changes being crammed into a 5 week release cycle. They checked with Matt Mullenweg, who has taken the dev reigns for now, and he said to push it forward with whatever is ready. Whatever is not will go into the next release.
I appreciate the fact that Matt is doing everything to keep this train moving.
But, I’m also concerned about potential bugs in these next few releases, especially with the changes to TinyMCE, which is the text editor.
So, we’ll be holding off on doing the update until they shake it out a bit more. I’ll let you know when it’s safe.
I’ll also have a sneak peek video for you when the first Release Candidate hits. I don’t want to make that too soon, as we’re not sure what all will make the final cut. But, I am excited to show you the new widgets.
To say the least, this will be disruptive. And we’ve got a long transition period ahead of us. But, it is the best way forward, according to Matt.
Same is true for them getting on the REST API and PHP7 bandwagon too.
In the 2nd meeting on May 9, the devs got a feel for what they have undertaken. And it’s a mountain to climb. So, this is going to be a much bigger project than folks anticipated. And one of the main issues is lack of qualified devs to help.
Like I said, it’s a bit of a mountain.
I really hated to take this plugin off my recommended list. It was one of the top 3 winners in my local caching plugin test.
But, site stability takes preference.
When we get to the point that a plugin is so unstable that we’re scared to update, it’s time to ditch that plugin.
See my post for what else I’m recommending these days, and why which type of host server you’re on matters.
Webmasters be on the lookout for new WP Rocket tutorials already in the making.
I’m delighted to be able to reveal more of the private conversation that I had with WordPress co-founder, Matt Mullenweg a few months ago.
Automattic owns the Pressable hosting service and now they are including the premium version of Jetpack with all accounts.
Now, y’all know that I don’t advocate using Jetpack normally on self-hosted sites. But, if you’re on the Pressable hosting, it’s okay to do. They have the same dome of protection over it that’s over WordPress.com.
And if you do go that route, you still need to be careful about the JetPack setup. Ensure you turn off all the modules that you’re not using. It comes with 19 turned on by default.
And, there may be more coming to both Pressable and WordPress that I can’t reveal just yet either. So stayed tuned.
DIY, craft and foodie bloggers – listen up. All those big pretty images in your posts are killing your page load time.
There is a way around this problem.
Use an image gallery plugin for some of those nice pictures.
The nice folks over at Foo Plugins have just the thing for you. Their FooGallery plugin lets you create super photo galleries with text captions. They have a nice set of Next/Previous buttons too. And it only takes up one spot in the post. Visitors can click through your images, like a tutorial.
Sure will help you with page load speed.
You can see a great example of it on their blog with a tutorial on how to make lemonade.
If you’re wondering what all the hoohaa is about with PHP7 and why you need to switch, John Hughes has a nice post on Torque explaining it.
He has a bit of a tutorial on there about how to check your site for PHP7 compatibility.
If you want a tutorial with a bit more hand holding, see mine.
And then if you run into plugins that aren’t compatible, join us for the Seriously Old Plugin Challenge.
We’d love to hear about what plugins you found that weren’t compatible, and any plugin replacement suggestions you may have too. You can see the full list we’ve gathered so far.
There’s no such thing as too many examples of a great About Me page. It is one of the most important pages on your site.
One of my favorite bloggers, Ann Smarty, has a guest post on my friend Ileane Smith’s Basic Blog Tips site with how to create an effective About Me page.
What sets this post apart is that Ann includes tools to help you create that page, as well as several examples that are varied enough to give every site owner new ideas.
The nice folks at Moz have a post on why Google’s PageSpeed Insights is not the most helpful test you can conduct on your site. And I think they do a good job of making the case on why it is one of my least favorite testers to use for site audits.
Basically, I include it and Pingdom just to show clients how much info they are missing with these testers, and just how inaccurate they can be. We’ve already found all of the issues on the site because of the in depth checks I’ve run at the host and with other online testers.
Audits are a big puzzle with pieces of data from multiple sources. It takes an experienced eye to put them together. While no single source is definitive with all site issues, some are more helpful than others. And Google PageSpeed Insights simply isn’t one of them.
For anyone who designs sites for clients, or for any site owners that have multiple sites, you’ll want to check out this post from A2 Hosting about what Reseller Hosting is.
Now, I don’t advocate becoming reseller yourself, or having your site on a designer’s reseller account.
But, what I do advocate is having all of your sites in their own cPanels. And a reseller account is the only way to affordably do that.
And, A2 Hosting is the only host I know of that has a shared reseller account package that is super duper affordable and flexible. In fact, I’m the reason they have it. I needed a way to not only host all of my sites. I also needed a way to create temporary training sites.
Designers, this is the best way for you to create new mock up sites for clients under your branded sub-domain. This way you retain full control over the site until you get paid and then you can migrate it to the client’s hosting account under their domain.
Plus, because the site is in its own cPanel, you can even ask the client’s host provider to migrate it for free.
Now, A2 also has reseller accounts on VPS, and they have a wee bit more flexibility with each site size. So, if you have one main site that gets a ton of traffic, and then a few smaller sites, that may be the right reseller package for you.
You may also see reseller accounts referred to as a WHM account. WHM is the master, or umbrella account and access portal for all the different cPanels. Makes it super easy to manage all of the individual sites too.
Other hosts, like SiteGround, also have reseller accounts. But they are literally made to be resold and are just too expensive if you’re not using them that way, in my opinion.
And, be careful with other hosts that offer reseller packages. See if they allow them to be oversold. That almost guarantees that you’ll be on a slower server, and you don’t want that.
If you do choose to get a reseller package on A2, or any hosting plan, I appreciate you using my affiliate link.
That helps support all the research and testing info I make available freely here on BlogAid, like this Tips Tuesday roundup.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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