Building a Beautiful Photoblog with Jetpack

Jetpack is a powerhouse of added functionality for self-hosted WordPress. As a photographer, some of my favorite features are the ones that elegantly and easily add beauty to a site, helping you quickly launch a new photoblog or enhance an existing one. Jetpack makes it simple for WordPress bloggers of any proficiency level to create a stellar photoblog in very little time, no matter the theme — these four modules will get your photoblog off to a great start:

Tiled Galleries

There are countless tools and programs on the market for constructing storyboards and image collages — but none are as simple as creating a gorgeous tiled mosaic gallery with Jetpack. Once you upload a few images to your Media Library, creating a Tiled Gallery is as simple as a few mouse clicks. Jetpack automatically arranges your photos into a beautiful mosaic that automatically fits the width of your theme’s post area.

Learn more about Tiled Galleries.


Activate the Carousel module, and when a visitor to your site clicks on an image within a Jetpack gallery, it launches into a full-screen viewing experience. Carousel puts your image front and center on a white or black background, and includes a space to display EXIF data. Your readers also have the ability to comment directly on the image or navigate to your previous and next photos from right within Carousel. Click on one of the photos in the Tiled Gallery above to view these features in action.

A sample image in Carousel, displayed on a black background.

A sample image in Carousel, displayed on a white background.

Learn more about Carousel.

Extra Sidebar Widgets: Galleries and Images

Jetpack includes two popular photo widgets available on the Gallery Widget and Image Widget. Both add visual interest to your site and are simple ways to feature some of your favorite images in a prominent position.

Take a look at how all these features — plus a few other Jetpack modules — come together in one blog post. The main post area displays a Tiled Gallery with Jetpack sharing buttons and Likes just below, while the right sidebar houses two Gallery widgets, an Image widget, and the new Social Media Icons widget:

A sample of how just a few Jetpack modules can take a free WordPress theme from basic to exceptional. The theme is Sketch, and the featured modules are Tiled Galleries, the Social Media Icon, Gallery and Image Widgets, and Jetpack Sharing and Likes.

Learn more about the Gallery and Image Widgets.


Photon is a content delivery network (CDN) that accelerates image load time by serving your images from our speedy servers. This means a reduced load on your host and faster delivery of images for folks navigating your site. Faster images engage your readers, allowing them to consume your visual content more readily rather than waiting on long load times. Photon also supports the WebP image format on compatible browsers, resulting in size reductions of up to 34 percent for the images it serves when compared to a JPEG image of equivalent quality. The upshot? A faster site that doesn’t use your resources.

Learn more about Photon.

Photographers and other visual artists will love the features that Jetpack offers, whether they’re experienced WordPress users or just starting a site. Jetpack makes elegant display for your images easy.

Is there a specific topic or feature of Jetpack that you’d like us to cover more in-depth in a future post? Let us know in the comments!

All photographs by Jen Hooks.

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  1. I like the contact form built into Jetpack, as well as Markdown, custom css, Protect, and the sharing icons.

    Photon CDN is appealing except for the fact that it caches images forever. Changing the name of the image isn’t really an option when the image name is part of a scheme that depends on the name recognition – such as in product sequence naming.

    Any plans to have future iterations of Photon able to refresh the cache?


  2. Michael says:

    Thanks for this overview. Very useful.


  3. Jen H. says:

    Reblogged this on my three birds and commented:

    Jetpack is the free WordPress plugin that my team supports, and today, I wrote a post for the blog about some of the features that photographers and other visual artists will love. Experienced WordPress users and novices alike will find that Jetpack has ways to elegantly and easily display photography and other art.


  4. These are beautifully done. Any chance they work with Fotomoto?


  5. Soni says:

    Hi, I’m failed to use Jetpack in (.id) domain, this is the related screenshot:

    Please help me to fix this problem, thanks.


  6. Leo says:

    I wonder if I upload 1600px width and display it on smartphone, will it get displayed as 1600px or smaller version which wordpress resized and compressed?


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