Jetpack 5.8: A Focus on Speed with Faster Search and Lazy Loading Images

Today’s release of Jetpack 5.8 includes several features that have graduated from beta testing. We are very excited to bring them out for you to try.

Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve included in this update, and how today’s additions will help you speed up your site and deliver faster, more relevant content to your visitors — always a good thing!

New search service exits beta

The most exciting news first: all Professional plan customers will now be able to use the new Jetpack search service, which replaces the default WordPress search functionality with an Elasticsearch-powered service. This delivers more relevant results with powerful filtering options and unmatched scalability for sites with large amounts of content.

For sites that have a large number of posts, pages, or products, you will see significant improvements to both the speed of searching through the site, as well as to the relevance of the results returned.

For site builders, you can configure our sidebar widgets so that users can refine their search by any categories, tags, month/year, post type or any taxonomy. For developers, we expose the full power of Elasticsearch under the hood — send custom queries or use our template tags to customize the end-user search experience. Learn more about this feature on our support page.

Jetpack Elasticsearch-powered Search on a Photography blog

We received a ton of fantastic feedback from customers who tested this during the early stages, and we’d like to give our heartfelt thanks to everyone who submitted their feedback, test results, and ideas for improving this integration prior to today’s official launch.

Lazy loading images

Sites that have a large number of images — like photo blogs, travel sites, and online stores — have a new feature to try out that may significantly speed things up and lower their bounce rates. We’ve implemented a lazy loading images feature into Jetpack 5.8, which significantly reduces page load times for end users.

Lazy loading images work in this way: instead of waiting for the entire page to load before displaying it to a visitor, Jetpack will instead show the page’s non-image content as quickly as possible (usually instantly). Jetpack then requests and downloads images on the page when the user scrolls down, so they’ll appear right as the user gets to that point on the screen.

Here’s a short video showing the difference between a site with this feature and one without:

Combined with our existing image CDN, this has the potential to speed up media-heavy sites dramatically. We’d love to hear your feedback on it if you give it a try.

Get more for your money with Jetpack Premium

About a week ago, we quietly rolled out some changes to our Premium plan. The keen-eyed among you may have already spotted the changes or new features in your dashboard, but if you missed it, here’s what’s new.

Previously, there were some minor differences in the security offerings between our Premium and Professional plans. But now, Premium customers have access to on-demand security scanning and automated threat resolution.

We’ve also lifted the 13GB restriction on video uploads for the plan, so Premium customers now get unlimited video uploading and streaming services.

Jetpack’s video hosting service is designed and optimized for WordPress, integrates directly into the media library you use on a daily basis, and—best of all—is completely ad-free. It uses the same CDN as our images, so it’s blazing fast. If you haven’t already tried it, now’s a great time to experiment!

Jetpack Premium customers can now experience all our Jetpack SEO tools.

Finally, we’ve made all of our SEO tools available to Premium customers. You can now preview and optimize your site content, or get in-depth stats with our seamless Google Analytics integration.

We think all of these additions make our Premium plan an even better value for WordPress users. At just $99 annually, it’s the most affordable way to get best-in-class security tools, super fast photo and video hosting, features that will improve your site traffic and search engine rankings, and so much more.

Not a Jetpack Premium customer? We also have a major improvement coming for Jetpack Personal that we’ll be ready to announce in just a few weeks. Keep an eye on your dashboard for an important notice soon!

Additional enhancements and improvements

Finally, here are a few smaller changes we still think are worth mentioning:

  • We’ve significantly reduced CSS and JavaScript assets that Jetpack requires when using features like infinite scroll and embedding rich content with shortcodes. Our payload has been reduced by 500kb.
  • Support has been added for site language and timezone settings.
  • We’ve improved the display of notices inside the Jetpack dashboard.
  • The GettyImages shortcode has been updated to use the new format required by GettyImages.
  • For Premium and Professional customers using our ad program, we’ve now enabled the ads in the header by default. We’ve also added filters so you can control the display of the ads via code.
  • We’ve improved the display of the Development Mode notice.

Full changelog and thanks

As always, you can see a list of the additions, updates, and bugfixes in this release by reading the changelog for 5.8.

If you have any questions about these changes or feedback on the new features, please get in touch and one of our Happiness Engineers will gladly lend a hand.

Install Jetpack or upgrade to 5.8 today to see just how fast your site can go!

Thanks to the contributors to this release:

Adam Zielinski, Alex Mills, Anna Magdalena Kedzierska, Bernie Reiter, Daniel W. Robert, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Derek Springer, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, Greg Ichneumon Brown, Igor Zinovyev, James Nylen, Javi Alvarez, Jeff Bowen, Jeff Golenski, Jeremy Herve, Joell Lapitan, Jon Surrell, Marin Atanasov, Matt Wiebe, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Mikael Korpela, Nicole Kohler, Oscar Lopez, Peter Westwood, Richard Muscat, Rob Landers, Rocco Tripaldi, Rodrigo Iloro, Sam Hotchkiss, Sanket Parmar, Scott Hartley, Simon Prosser, Stephen Edgar, Umang Vaghela, Victoria Holland, Jonathan Sadowski, and Philip John.

Posted in Releases | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments

Jetpack 5.6: Enhanced Ecommerce, Jetpack Search Improvements, and Better Photon Tags

Today’s release of Jetpack 5.6 includes one major addition for Professional plan customers, as well as improvements to the Search feature you’ve been helping us test for the last few weeks. We’ve also changed the way our image CDN handles attributes in tags, plus minified some JavaScript in shortcodes to speed up your site.

Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve included in this update, and how it’ll help you run a faster, more successful site.

Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking support for Professional plan customers

Jetpack Professional customers using WooCommerce and needing some in-depth Google Analytics reports will be happy with this release: we’ve now added support for Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking, which gives you deeper insights into product page activity, shopping cart additions and removals, and purchase data.

To connect Jetpack, your WooCommerce store, and Google Analytics, first upgrade to a Professional plan (if you haven’t already), then:

  • In Google Analytics, navigate to Admin and choose the account you want to enable Enhanced Ecommerce for.
  • Click Ecommerce Settings and toggle both Ecommerce Settings and Enhanced Ecommerce Settings to On.
  • Return to Jetpack and visit Settings > Traffic. Toggle the settings below the Google Analytics label on or off to track (or not track) features like add to cart events, product impressions, and the checkout process.

Enable these ecommerce settings in Jetpack to hook Google Analytics into your online store.

You can read more about enabling Enhanced Ecommerce Tracking here, as well as learn about the benefits of this enhanced tracking on this page.

Jetpack Search improvements, and some initial results from our tests

In the release of Jetpack 5.4, we added a beta version of Jetpack Search for Professional plan customers. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve since fixed a number of bugs that were preventing faceted search and filtering from working properly.

This feature still requires some code to enable and customize, but it can provide a great search experience, especially for sites with a high number of products or posts. You can see a custom faceted search UI in action on KFF.org, a WordPress.com VIP site which was our initial launch partner for a similar search product in 2013.

You can learn a bit more about customizing Search here.

There are currently 200 sites using Jetpack Search in production. Here are some interesting stats we can share with you:

  • More than 10 of these sites have 100,000+ visitors per month.
  • Some of these are WooCommerce sites with hundreds or even thousands of products.
  • In fact, 20% of the sites using Jetpack Search are running WooCommerce!
  • 20% of the sites testing this feature are non-English — this is great to see because we support any language, and also do custom analysis for 29 languages.

If you’re a Professional customer, are interested in Elasticsearch, and/or want to serve faster results to your visitors, please give it a try and let us know what you think. We’ve been getting some helpful feedback so far:

… and we’d love to hear from you, too!

Photon now preserves attributes in image tags

Until now, when filtering content, our image content delivery network (CDN), Photon, removed width and height attributes from image tags. This was done to make sure images were never distorted, regardless of how they were being inserted into a post or page.

We’ve now improved this process and will avoid removing those attributes when we can. Photon will preserve these attributes in tags present in slideshows, galleries, custom (non-Jetpack) galleries, and individual images.

JavaScript has been minified for shortcodes that use it

We’re also now using minified JavaScript files for all of Jetpack’s shortcodes that rely on JavaScript to function. Minifying these files may result in improved performance of your site.

The affected shortcodes are:

  • Brightcove
  • Gist
  • Instagram
  • Presentations
  • Quizzes
  • Recipes
  • Slideshows

Full changelog and thanks

As always, the changelog provides the full list of updates and changes in this release. If you have questions or feedback, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to lend a hand.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade to 5.6 today and let us know how it goes!

Thanks as always to our contributors:

Alex Kirk, Allen Snook, Brandon Kraft, Chris R, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Derek Springer, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, George Stephanis, Hew Sutton, Igor Zinovyev, Jacopo Tomasone, Jason Caldwell, Jeremy Herve, Jose Jaureguiberry, Mark George, Mark Samman, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Nick Daugherty, Oscar Lopez, Philip John, Rocco Tripaldi, Rodrigo Iloro, and Umang Vaghela.

Posted in Releases | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Jetpack 5.6: Enhanced Ecommerce, Jetpack Search Improvements, and Better Photon Tags

Visit Us at WordCamp US to See What’s New and Get Exclusive Swag

Howdy! Are you going to be at WordCamp US in Nashville, TN? We are!

Jetpack is a Printer’s Alley sponsor of the third annual WordCamp US, and this year we’re more excited than ever to connect with you. We’ll be on site on Friday, December 1 and Saturday, December 2 to talk about what’s new with Jetpack, answer your questions, and give away some exclusive-to-WCUS swag.

If you have a question about using Jetpack or feedback to share with us, we’ll have plenty of staff available to talk with you. We’ll also have a satellite table at a separate spot where you can get help setting up the plugin, upgrading your plan, or troubleshooting specific issues.

If you’ll be in Nashville this weekend, make some time in your schedule to chat with our team, pick up some swag, and learn about the latest and greatest Jetpack features. We look forward to seeing you!

Posted in Events, WordCamp | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

A Dream Come True: Get Jetpack Professional with Your DreamPress Account

Exciting news: you can now get Jetpack Professional with a DreamPress Plus or Advanced plan at no additional cost. In other words, just pay for your DreamPress hosting and you get Jetpack Professional (a $299 value) for free.

This is an even better version of the deal we offered with DreamHost earlier in the year, which gave you Jetpack Premium for free. We were all so excited about the success of our original partnership with DreamHost that we wanted to make the deal even sweeter and give you our best plan.

Why DreamPress?

DreamPress is DreamHost’s managed WordPress hosting option.

Most hosts give you space on a server somewhere in the cloud, leaving it up to you to manage your WordPress site day-to-day. But DreamPress plans are custom-designed to make installing, using, and maintaining WordPress easier.

With DreamPress, WordPress comes pre-installed and configured right out of the box, updates are handled automatically, and you get 24/7 support from DreamHost’s WordPress experts. It’s a premier hosting experience that delivers faster, more secure WordPress sites — and now DreamPress Plus and Advanced includes all the perks of Jetpack Professional.

What’s included with Jetpack Professional

Jetpack Professional gives you all the top-tier design, marketing, and security features we have to offer. Normally $299 per year, a Professional plan includes:

  • Automated, real-time off-site backups of your site’s content, databases, plugins, themes, and settings with one-click restores.
  • Malware scans of your code, themes, and plugins.
  • Access to more than 300 professional WordPress themes, including over 200 premium themes.
  • Automated social media sharing and scheduling tools.
  • Unlimited storage for video delivered without ads, watermarks, or throttling.
  • Access to a high quality ad program and simple payment button to generate revenue.
  • Priority support from Jetpack’s WordPress experts.

How to get started

If this sounds like something you’d like to try out, here’s how you can get going:

  • If you’re already a DreamPress customer, you have immediate access to Jetpack Professional: any pre-existing Premium plans have already been upgraded automatically. Learn more here.
  • DreamHost users can easily switch to DreamPress and get Jetpack Professional for free right here.

As always, please contact us if you have any questions about Jetpack. Enjoy!

Posted in Spotlight | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Jetpack 5.5: Connection Improvements and WordPress 4.9 Compatibility

Today’s release of Jetpack 5.5 includes some changes to the Jetpack connection process meant to reduce issues and plugin interference. We’ve also prioritized compatibility with the upcoming release of WordPress 4.9, which is currently scheduled for release on November 14.

Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve included in this update.

Improvements to the connection process

We’ve made some changes to the connection process between Jetpack and WordPress.com. These changes should reduce the number of issues that may happen on a site when switching from a HTTP to HTTPS connection.

We’ve also improved this process to make sure that other WordPress plugins can’t interfere with your connection and accidentally disable features that rely on the WordPress.com servers (like our image CDN, Related Posts, etc.).

Syntax highlighting in CSS now handled by WordPress 4.9

The next major version of WordPress, 4.9, is currently scheduled to be released next week, November 14 (but you can try a release candidate right now!). 4.9 will include a lot of changes to its code editors, like syntax highlighting, linting, and auto-completion.

As part of those changes, the built-in CSS editor will now have its own syntax highlighter. Until now, this feature wasn’t available unless you used Jetpack and its Custom CSS module. So from now on, Jetpack will let WordPress handle syntax highlighting if you run version 4.9.

Jetpack’s Gallery Widget will be migrated to WordPress

The Gallery Widget provided by Jetpack will also be obsoleted by the 4.9 update, which will include its own Gallery Widget.

When you update to WordPress 4.9, we’ll automatically migrate any Jetpack Gallery Widgets to WordPress ones (as seen here).

If you use any Jetpack Gallery Widgets on your site, they will be automatically migrated and become WordPress Gallery Widgets once you update to WordPress 4.9.

You shouldn’t see any major changes to your Jetpack widgets with the migration. However, if you use plugins that enable additional widget settings (not provided as part of Jetpack), you could lose these settings due to the way those plugins store the data. You can avoid this by using a new Jetpack filter to force the legacy code to load and then migrate your settings to 4.9 manually.

Additional performance enhancements

Finally, let’s wrap things up with a few additional enhancements you may want to be aware of:

  • The Carousel feature has been improved, and you should see better performance in standard and tiled galleries, as well as with comments on Carousel images.
  • Videos directly embedded into a page will no longer be locked to a specific version of Jetpack. This ensures all users see the newest version of the video player.
  • Our SEO tools will no longer output any custom meta tags if another SEO plugin is active.
  • A new filter, (`jetpack_google_translate_widget_layout`), has been added to the Google Translate Widget to allow you to change its layout.
  • We removed the Press This sharing button if you are not using the plugin, which is no longer part of WordPress core as of 4.9.

Full changelog and thanks

As always, the changelog provides the full list of updates and changes in this release. If you have questions or feedback, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to lend a hand.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade to 5.5 today and let us know how it goes!

Thank you to the contributors to this release:

Adrien Missemer, Allen Snook, Brandon Kraft, Daniel Swiatek, Daniel Walmsley, Demitrious Kelly, Derek Smart, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, George Stephanis, Igor Zinovyev, Jacopo Tomasone, Jason Johnston, Jeremy Herve, Jonathan Sadowski, Kirk Wight, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Miklos Juhasz, Nick Daugherty, Oscar Lopez, Paul Sieminski, RC Lations, Rich Collier, Rob Landers, Rocco Tripaldi, Rodrigo Iloro, Scott Stancil, Weston Ruter, and Yoav Farhi.

Posted in Releases | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Three Small Changes That Will Increase Subscribers

Engaging content keeps your new readers on your site the first time, but it’s up to you to keep them coming back for more. One of the best ways? Encourage them to subscribe to your content.

You might think you need to do something drastic to gain subscriptions, but small changes can have big impact. This is especially true if you’re just starting your site or are new to growing a subscriber base.

Let’s take a look at how you can earn more subscribers with three small but effective changes to your site.

Continue reading → Three Small Changes That Will Increase Subscribers

Posted in Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Take Payments Easily with Jetpack’s Simple Payment Button

No matter what you use your Jetpack-powered site for, you want it to be successful — and profitable. But making money from your site has traditionally been a challenge if you don’t have the time to set up an online store.

Well, now it’s easier to take payments for your products, services, or charity. Starting today, Jetpack Premium and Professional customers can add a Simple Payment Button to any post or page, and start taking payments with PayPal in just a few clicks.

Add a Simple Payment Button to any post or page in a few quick steps.

To add a Simple Payment Button to your site, you’ll first need to add or edit a post or page in the WordPress.com Visual Editor. Click the drop-down arrow on the left, then choose Add Payment Button.

On the new screen that appears, you’ll be asked to add details for what you’re selling, an image (if you choose to include one), price and preferred currency, and finally the email address for your PayPal account (where the money will be sent).

You can add as much or as little information as you like here — it all depends on what you’re selling.

You can also allow customers to purchase more than one of this product — for example, if you’re selling handmade goods or food. Just toggle on Allow people to buy more than one item at a time to make it happen.

When you’re finished, click Insert and the button will appear on your post or page. Don’t forget to save your changes!

Customers can use Simple Payment Buttons with a credit card, debit card, or their PayPal balance. They don’t have to have PayPal to pay you — however, you will need an account to have your payments deposited into your bank account. Sign up here to get started.

You can use Simple Payment Buttons for anything you like: to sell physical products, accept donations for a charity, or take payments for appointments online. You can also add multiple buttons to a single post or page, or use the same button in multiple locations.

To learn more about adding, customizing, or accepting payments with Simple Payment Buttons, take a look at this support article.

We look forward to seeing how you use these payment buttons to make your site more profitable. Happy selling!

Simple Payment Buttons are available to Jetpack Premium and Professional plan customers. Upgrade now to start taking payments in just a few clicks.

Posted in Features | Tagged , , , | 86 Comments

5 Minutes to Better WordPress SEO with Jetpack

Bringing traffic to your website isn’t as easy as waiting around for the right people to show up. To get them to come to you, you need to make sure your site shows up in the places they’re looking — like search engines.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a technical term for tactics that you can use to attract more readers, clients, or customers from search engines. SEO is usually thought of as a complicated, time-consuming series of tasks, but with the right tools it’s well within your reach.

With Jetpack, you can optimize your WordPress site for search engines… and do it in less time than it takes to brew a cup of coffee. Here’s how.

Continue reading → 5 Minutes to Better WordPress SEO with Jetpack

Posted in Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Unlimited Video Hosting

Jetpack Premium now provies unlimited use of our video CDN. Save on hosting storage and bandwidth costs by streaming fast, ad-free video from our global network.

Learn More