Today is a big day: Jetpack turns five!
On March 9th, 2011, a five-person team within Automattic released Jetpack 1.0 in an effort to extend a few excellent WordPress.com features to folks who host their own WordPress. Today, our team of 50 is proud to celebrate Jetpack’s 5th birthday, along with millions of our users and the rest of the WordPress community.
Jetpack has a unique connection to the WordPress community — we started with just a few features from WordPress.com and expanded that list over time, based on what we learned from our contributors, beta testers, and you. You’ve all had a hand in making Jetpack great, so we’re celebrating Jetpack’s birthday with your words and stories.
The Food Blogger: Shayda Torabi
Shayda is a long-time Jetpack user and the author and editor of Dine with Shayda, a food and travel blog showcasing the delicious meals she enjoys at restaurants all over the world
Dine with Shayda is a passion project, but I work on it like it’s a full time job. I love food and I love blogging, so it’s been fun to develop the site and learn new WordPress skills. I installed Jetpack immediately: It’s such a great suite of tools that I can’t imagine my site without it. I’ve got 20 or so of the features turned on, and they all improve the quality of my site. Not to mention, Jetpack is easy to understand and use.
I especially love Publicize because I don’t have to log in to Twitter or Facebook to promote my newly published posts; it happens automatically and it’s a time saver! And Related Posts, because one of the biggest things a blogger wants is engagement with their readers; I love its intuition to show my readers other posts they can check out, so it keeps them on my site longer. It’s a feature that just works without anything additional from me.
Pro tip: “Normally ‘related posts‘ plugins do their expensive text-processing and analysis on your server, using inefficient queries and too many resources. We use WordPress.com’s massive infrastructure to do that work for you, for better recommendations that don’t burden your server.” – Beau Lebens, Jetpack Product Lead
The Dedicated Developer: Aaron Ware
Aaron Ware is the president and founder of Linchpin, a full-service digital agency in Rhode Island. Aaron and his team of 10 manage 75 blogs, boutique sites, e-commerce stores, and online businesses, and Jetpack is one of their go-to tools.
I started using WordPress for a project in 2008. I realized how supportive the WordPress community was when I had a few questions, and I really gravitated towards it. At Linchpin, 100% of our sites utilize Jetpack Protect. Security is paramount, and Protect is one of those tools that just works out of the box.
Manage is an important tool for us as well. Using a single interface to update plugins and manage content allows us to spend more time working on projects and less time on day to day maintenance.
Pro tip: “Protect guards your site against brute force login attempts. We use data collected from millions of websites to identify botnets and hackers. Through this unique algorithm we’ve already blocked well over ten billion malicious logins.” – Sam Hotchkiss, Jetpack Team Lead
The New User: John Botte
John Botte is a partner and co-founder at Digital Natives Group, an award-winning digital agency. Their Whisper communications platform provides web and mobile tools to help grow schools and student outreach. John and his team started using Jetpack a few weeks ago, after discovering the Photon module.
I immediately asked myself: why did I take so long to try this? I was blown away with how quickly my images went from being hosted on my server to Photon. It was like flipping a switch. I’m most impressed with the image optimization: it served up the same image file with no visible degradation, cut the file size in half, and sped up page-load times. Knowing resource usage and photo bandwidth won’t be an issue allows me to recommend more affordable hosting solutions to our clients.
I’m excited to try Manage and its auto-update feature. I dread updates on my client websites. Plugin updates across 50 sites can take away two to three days of productivity, and a tool that streamlines the process is invaluable.
Pro tip: “Photon leverages WordPress core’s implementation of responsive images, so that not only are we serving you images from a super fast CDN, but they’re responsive!” – Derek Smart, Jetpack Engineer
The Convert: Michelle Schulp
Michelle, founder of Marktime, is an independent visual communications designer and UX-focused theme developer. She came from a traditional design background, but grew into web development through WordPress. Today, she’s active at WordPress events as both a speaker and an organizer. Although she didn’t always use Jetpack, she now installs it on all her client’s sites. What won her over?
Intuitive modularization in conjunction with the fact that it provides a seamless, “core-feeling” experience to some powerful tools that all my clients come to expect. Also, many of the alternatives I looked into were pretty heavy and clunky.
Jetpack is now just a part of my clients’ WordPress sites, and they don’t think of it as a separate feature. They definitely appreciate the functionality and benefit of features like Stats, and it’s easy for me because everything just works.
Shayda, Aaron, John, and Michelle mentioned some great core features of Jetpack, but those features aren’t the only thing that make the Jetpack experience powerful. Thousands of our users have also experienced awesome support from our Happiness Engineers, and today is a special day for them too.
Happy Birthday to Jetpack Support, too!
Since day one, we’ve provided free support for every Jetpack user. Our support team helps users with everything from getting set up to complex customization and coding questions.
“We have a growing community ranging from the newly-minted user just starting with WordPress to the experienced engineer. It’s fun to help every single one of them.” – Jeremy Herve, Jetpack Mechanic
Jeremy is one of 21 Happiness Engineers who helps hundreds of users all over the world solve problems every day.
“Last year we responded to over 93,000 support messages over our email and forums support. The Jetpack support team is distributed across the globe, so we’re always available to help!” – Carolyn Sonnek, Happiness Rocketeer
Jeremy, Carolyn, and the rest of the support team not only help Shayda, Aaron, John, Michelle, and the rest of our users fix their technical issues and learn new ways to leverage Jetpack’s tools — they also play a vital role in Jetpack’s continued improvement.
What’s your story?
We are committed to continually improving Jetpack, and we have some really great plans for the future. We want to help you build faster and more secure websites, but to do that we’re going to need your help. Over the years we’ve tracked some of our favorite Jetpack sites, but we learn so much more about how you use Jetpack and what you want for the future through your stories.
Let us know how Jetpack saved you time, helped you build a faster website, or helped you generate more traffic. Help us understand what you want to see in the future — how we can improve your Jetpack and help you reach your goals for the next five years.
Comment below or use #JetpackTurns5 in your social media and WordPress posts so we can all hear your story!