Welcome back to the 5th edition of The Lab Report!

Mid-November is always a fun time to be alive as a web designer.

Clients scrambling last minute to make sure they have they have their sales funnels optimized for the holidays.

And pretty much every single piece of software on sale for BFCM.

Speaking of which, I just put up my curated Black Friday / Cyber Monday deals list here.

Best Black Friday Cyber Monday 2021 Deals for Web Designers

I’m going to be continuously adding to it over the next couple of weeks, so you might want to add it to your bookmarks.

Unlike most deals lists, I’m not including every single sale on there. Only the stuff I know, trust, and use.

Friendly reminder that you don’t need to buy everything that’s on there.

I know first-hand that the FOMO is real, but at the end of the day our job is to make money – not spend it all on software 😅.

Worst case, you can always pass the cost of software on to your clients.

With that out of the way, let’s get to this week’s newsletter!

😬 Siteground? More like Sitegrounded

Well this was an interesting story over the past week.

Starting November 8th, Siteground hosting users were noticing that their sites were falling off Google’s search results pages.

Siteground acknowledged the issue on November 10th and published a fix on November 12th.

Apparently there was a conflict between Amazon’s Global Accelerator and Google’s crawler.

I know this probably could’ve happened to anyone, but it’s definitely not a good look for them.

It wasn’t just little brochure sites that took a hit, but also huge ecommerce stores with tons of organic traffic.

Collectively, I’m sure the four day Google outage resulted in millions of dollars lost for their clients. That’s a big deal.

You can read more about the situation and what happened here.

P.S. if you are with Siteground and were wanting to make the switch, I’d recommend either managing your own servers with GridPane/RunCloud, or Cloudways if you’re looking for something a bit more hands-off.

🗺️ Using Rank Math? Double check your sitemaps

Quick tip for something that just happened to me this week.

I noticed that my posts were getting crawled by Google, but the Search Console said they weren’t included in any of my sitemaps.

Confused, I took a look at my posts sitemap and sure enough it didn’t have any of my posts from the last couple weeks.

I’m not sure what exactly caused this so I’ll be taking a closer look at it.

Cloudflare is supposed to exclude sitemaps by default, but I have a feeling that’s where mine was being cached.

I’ll report back once I know for sure, but if you’re having the same issue, here’s how to get your sitemap updated.

In WP Admin, go to Rank Math > Sitemap Settings. Change the “Links Per Sitemap” value from 200 to 201.

This will flush any sitemap cache, and you should see your updated post list now.

I’ll see if I can figure out what was causing this or if it was just a weird one-off.

Update: I published a fix for this issue here.

🤖 Webflow announces a bunch of new features

I know this newsletter is primarily focused on WordPress, but Webflow is one of the giants in the industry and they’re fun to keep an eye on.

I personally don’t use Webflow because I’m bought into the WordPress ecosystem and prefer to host websites on my own server, but I know a ton of people who swear by it.

This week they announced what’s next in store for them at their No Code Conf 2021.

The main highlights are:

  • Memberships: Webflow will now support native memberships and recurring subscriptions.
  • Logic: It’s not super clear what exactly this entails, but it looks like it’ll allow you to have front-end submissions, display elements conditionally, and trigger external integrations based on certain criteria.
  • Collaboration: Basically just user role permissions.
  • New controls in the designer: You can now use blending modes and backdrop filters.

You can read their full announcement here.

🌈 Using AI to pick your colors

I recently came across a tool called Khroma.

I know there are a lot of color palette generators out there, but this one is pretty neat.

It shows you a bunch of color options, you pick the ones you like, it learns what your preferences are, and then it generates color palletes based on those preferences.

Give it a try if you need some color inspiration!

💬 Closing Comments

That’s a wrap for this week.

Take a step back and enjoy the craziness of the week that lies ahead.

And as always…

Thanks for reading!

– Sunny