Four Jetpack Features Worth Exploring

Even if you’ve been using it for years, you might be unfamiliar with some of Jetpack’s features. With the wide range of capabilities offered, it’s too easy for some of the coolest — and perhaps the most useful — tools to go unnoticed.

Today we’re going to look at four features that are lesser known, but just as powerful as those you might already be familiar with. These features will ultimately enhance your WordPress site in new ways, from improving its design to taking the hassle out of maintenance.

Continue reading → Four Jetpack Features Worth Exploring

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How Often Should You Back Up Your Site?

Backing up your site can feel daunting. Backups are undoubtedly important: one study found that 60% of small businesses that experience data loss go out of business within six months of the occurrence. But the question is how to minimize costs while keeping your website safe.

Looking for advice online yields plenty of opinions from endless viewpoints. It won’t be long before you begin reading about partial backups, full backups, rotating schedules, and other technical jargon that leaves you feeling confused. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and put off your research for another day.

The good news? You can use online services that were developed specifically to streamline the backup process. Jetpack, for example, offers full backups beginning with the Personal plan, complete with one-click restores and a 30-day archive. But even after you find a service that works for you, you still have to figure out how often your site needs backed up.

Let’s look at how you can find the right frequency for your site backups, including three major items you should consider when making your decision.

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3 Tips to Increase Your Site’s Traffic and Engagement

Imagine that you’re opening up a riding camp for horse enthusiasts. How can you encourage more campers to participate? This isn’t your typical business, so you wouldn’t expect its success to depend on website traffic; however, every business grows or fades due in part to the popularity of its website. To succeed, your riding camp’s website must attract and engage its visitors.

Whether you’re a blogger or a business owner, producing valuable content for your visitors is a must — but it’s only the first step. If you want your hard work to pay off with tangible results, you’ll need to find ways to place interesting content in front of your ideal audience members to keep them coming back.

So, how do you get started? There are several ways to promote your content, including sharing posts on your social media channels or improving your site’s search engine optimization.

Continue reading → 3 Tips to Increase Your Site’s Traffic and Engagement

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Thank you YoastCon

Last week the Jetpack team sponsored and attended YoastCon 2017 in Nijmegen. We had a fantastic time and we’d like to extend a big thank you to the Yoast team for a well-organized and diverse event.

We had some really insightful conversations with all kinds of WordPress pros, and we were overwhelmed by the interest in Jetpack and WooCommerce.

That interest may have had something to do with our Apple Watch giveaway! In case you missed the announcement at the event, the lucky winner was Marcel Bootsman from Nostromo. Marcel is a leading WordPress figure in the Netherlands so we’re doubly happy that he went home with the prize.

Apple Watch Winner

For everyone else who entered the contest, we also have something special for you. Make sure to check your inbox for an exclusive discount code.

Once again, huge thanks to Yoast and see you next time.

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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.

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Apple Watch Giveaway at Yoastcon 2017

This year, not only are we a Gold Sponsor for YoastCon, we are also giving away an Apple Watch to one lucky attendee.

yoastcon2

What is YoastCon?

YoastCon is a one-day conference focused on search engine optimization where you can get first-hand tips from world-class experts, ask questions about your own site, and improve your SEO copywriting skills.

Why is Jetpack a sponsor?

YoastCon is organized by Yoast, publishers of one of the biggest SEO plugins for WordPress. In their own words:

Yoast make[s] websites more usable, easier to navigate, faster and more reliable. In other words: we make websites work.

In other words, Yoast is in the business of helping make WordPress sites successful for their owners. Jetpack has a very similar mission and philosophy and aims to help WordPress site owners succeed with their sites by providing essential security and promotion tools as well as world-class support.

So, why wouldn’t we support and participate in an event that is so aligned with our objectives and gives us the opportunity to speak face-to-face with power users?

Got it. How do I get the Apple Watch?

Just visit our stand at YoastCon on the 2nd of November in Nijmegen to apply in person. We will announce the lucky winner by the end of the day.

We will be on hand to answer all your questions about Jetpack, our affiliate program, and all things WordPress.

If you’d like to schedule a specific time to meet up to discuss partnership or collaboration opportunities please email us before the event.

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Jetpack 5.4: Date Picker in Contact Form, Comment Improvements, and Welcome Screens

Today’s release of Jetpack 5.4 includes the addition of a new field to our Contact Form editor, display improvements to Comments and how they integrate with themes, and welcome screens for users of our paid plans. We’ve also added a new search feature, currently in beta, that Jetpack Professional customers can help us test.

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

Date picker added to Contact Form editor

We added a new field to the Contact Form editor that allows you to add a date picker to your forms.

You can now create forms with date pickers.

This allows you to ask visitors to submit delivery dates, their birthdays, the best day to contact them, or anything else you can think of.

Improvements to Comments and theme compatibility

We’ve made some improvements to how the Jetpack comment form is displayed in some themes.

When enabled on your site, the Comments feature should now display a form with a default height. There should also be no extra white space below it. Comments entered into the form will cause the height of the form to expand automatically.

Welcome screens added to paid plans

When purchasing a Jetpack Personal, Premium, or Professional plan, you’ll now see a welcome screen with some tips to help you make the most of the plan you just purchased.

Here’s what you might see if you purchase a Personal plan.

Jetpack Search (Beta) available for Professional plan customers

If you’ve purchased a Professional Plan for your Jetpack site, this new release will give you access to a new feature we’re currently still testing: Jetpack Search, powered by Elasticsearch.

To get started, go to Settings > Traffic on WordPress.com, and select a site using Jetpack 5.4 and a Professional plan. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enable the search feature.

This feature is still in beta, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback if you give it a try.

Miscellaneous updates and fixes

Finally, here are a few more updates we’ve made in 5.4:

  • Fixed some UI issues within the Jetpack settings interface for the Internet Explorer 11 browser.
  • The Simple Payments button received some minor display improvements.
  • Facebook embeds have received display improvements.
  • RTL style fixes for some shortcodes.
  • Added a new “Time Unit” setting to available widgets.
  • Third party plugin and theme authors can add new menu items to the WordPress.com toolbar.

Full changelog and thanks

The changelog provides the full list of updates and changes in this release. If you have questions or feedback, please get in touch.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade to 5.4 today and let us know what you think!

Thank you to the contributors to this release:

Alexander Concha, Allen Snook, Andrew Duthie, Anthony Bubel, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Donna Peplinskie, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, Erick Hitter, George Stephanis, Igor Klimer, Igor Zinovyev, Umang Vaghela, James Fraser, James Nylen, Jeremy Herve, Justin Shreve, Kirk Wight, Lance Willett, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Nick Daugherty, Nicole Kohler, Oscar Lopez, Paul Sieminski, RC Lations, Rastislav Lamos, Rob Landers, Rocco Tripaldi, Sam Hotchkiss, Scott Stancil, Stanimir Stoyanov, Steve Seear, Takashi Irie, and Thomas Guillot.

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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

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How To Create Content That Keeps Your Readers Coming Back

Publishing content on a regular basis is a great strategy to increase your website’s organic traffic — website visitors who didn’t get to your site by clicking on an ad. But getting those readers is only half the battle.

If you want visitors to subscribe to your newsletter, make a purchase, or engage with your content in any way, you have to keep their attention long enough for a meaningful interaction.

Here are three tips that will help you publish engaging content.

Continue reading → How To Create Content That Keeps Your Readers Coming Back

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Jetpack 5.3: PHP 7.1 Compatibility, Ad Placement Control, and Visual Editor Improvements

Today’s release of Jetpack 5.3 includes support for PHP 7.1, greater control over the placement of your ads, and several enhancements to the experience viewing and managing your Jetpack site with the WordPress.com visual editor.

Here’s everything you’ll find in this update.

PHP 7.1 compatibility

Sites running PHP 7.1.x with opcache enabled will no longer have any issues when managing their Jetpack site from WordPress.com.

Choose where and how you display ads

Jetpack Premium and Professional customers now have more control over the placement of the ads on their site. We’ve added new options to control where ads appear, along with the option to show multiple ads if you wish.

Visual editor improvements

When managing your Jetpack site from WordPress.com (and using the visual editor), you’ll now have the option to preview it without leaving WordPress.com.

We’ve also updated the WordPress.com Toolbar to include a link to your comments in the My Sites menu.

Various bug fixes

Finally, we’ve resolved a few smaller issues and bugs, including:

  • Addressing compatibility issues with plugins using TinyMCE.
  • Fixing Contact Form submission emails for sites hosted by SiteGround.
  • Fixing an error with the Sitemaps feature when posts or images had special characters in their titles.
  • Re-adding a filter for the Widget Visibility feature that was accidentally removed.

Full changelog and thanks

The changelog provides the full list of updates and changes in this release. If you have questions or feedback, please get in touch.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade your current version today and let us know what you think.

Thank you to the contributors to this release:

Andrew Munro, Artur Piszek, Ben Dwyer, Brandon Kraft, Copons, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Derek Springer, Devin Samarin, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, Filipe Varela, George Stephanis, Igor Zinovyev, Jacopo Tomasone, Jeff Bowen, Jeff Golenski, Kirk Wight, Marcin Bot, Marek Hrabe, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Mohammad Jangda, Nicole Kohler, Richard Muscat, Rodrigo Iloro, Ryan Kanner, Rocco Tripaldi, Shaun Andrews

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Say Hello to 200 Themes

Jetpack Professional now bundles 200+ Premium WordPress themes,
alongside business class security tools, and marketing automation.