First, let me preface this and that I officially don’t like bringing up negative things. I’d much rather focus on the positive – but when everything is rolling along fine you just don’t pay attention. I get it. I do the same thing.
But there’s something coming, and coming very soon, that is going to break a lot of sites and it might be yours. Consider this your warning.
I warned you back when Google was going to change their algorithm and start penalizing you for bad SEO. Actually there were two instances – one was the “Penguin” update and the other was the “Panda“. Both were Goggle’s attempt to stop some of the silliness that was currently happening in Search Engine Optimization. Some of you listened and started producing real content. Good for you! To this day, I still see sites doing that stuff. Bad for them!
I warned you back when Google said that your site had to be mobile friendly or they were going to stop listing you. That really wasn’t all that long ago (just 2 years). Is your site mobile friendly / mobile responsive? Every site I build these days is Mobile Responsive. I have a site that’s launching next week that I just converted. That means for the last 2 years they’ve been running with their mobile traffic effectively turned off.
Just recently I warned you that your site had to be SECURE because Google was going to start showing warnings in front of your site to scare people off. Even if your site doesn’t take credit cards you still need to be SECURE these days. That means you need that little https to start off your site. The s stands for Secure. Google wants every site to be secure. To do so they are now considering a properly built secure site as a ranking signal in SEO. Taking a bit further their browser is now warning people (as is their search results pages) about NOT SECURE sites. Most all of the sites I build now are SECURE.
If you’ve been paying attention the last three items were all about Google. The thing I’m warning you about today has nothing to do with Google. It’s called Gutenberg and it has nothing to do with that dude that printed all those bibles.
I take that back, it somewhat does. You see, the next version of WordPress is coming with a really big enhancement called Gutenberg. While the original Gutenberg’s claim to fame was printing presses with moveable type (which was revolutionary at the time) the software Gute also has to do with moveable type or more accurately blocks of movable type. It’s going to dramatically change the way you write posts and pages. See the connection? It’s going to be really cool.
The problem is that it’s going to break a ton of sites when it rolls down the highway.
Will it break your site? If I built it, no.
Everyone else out there – definitely maybe.
The problem is that it’s likely going to clash with visual page builders and badly written themes and plugins. There’s so many variations of themes and plugins out there so there’s it’s hard to definitively say Yes or No.
WordPress knows this, I know this, and now you know this.
The big question is what are you going to do about it?
Here’s the answer.
Right now, while you are thinking about it, before it comes, before it’s too late…
Back your site up. Back up your content, your pictures, the theme, the plugins, the code and the database. It’s as simple as that.
Not to be all salesy but if you are one of my maintenance plan clients I’ve got you covered. I back up all your content, themes, code and plugins on a weekly basis. I back up your database on a monthly basis. I then save those files away from your server in a safe place (an Amazon S3 Server designed just for that). If you want to hire me to do that for you, it’s $54 a month. If the poop hits the proverbial fan we’re just a few clicks away from restoring your site! It’s like a safe deposit box for your site.
If you don’t heed my warning, and the rollout breaks your site, I’ll be happy to collect the money from you to fix it. It’ll of course be a whole lot more as we’re going to have to rebuild everything from scratch but hey, you probably wanted a new site anyways, right? 😉
Now let’s talk about more positive things.