Today, we released a minor update to Jetpack to make some new features in Jetpack 7.3 better.
Jetpack 7.3.1 includes a few minor updates like clarifying labels for the debug data in the new Site Health integration, removing a duplicate option in the Block Editor for Likes and Sharing, and more like that. Check out the full changelog for everything.
Creating a new site is exciting! If you’re like us, you want to launch it as soon as possible. To cut down on setup time, the latest version of Jetpack automatically enables fewer features to get you going faster give you more control over your site’s experience. When you’re starting a site, you also want to know that there’s help when you need it, so all Jetpack sites running WordPress 5.2—the latest version, also released today—have built-in monitoring and support tools
Recently we added a “hint” utility to Jetpack to help you discover all of its features. For quite some time now, we have been hearing from you, agencies, and hosts, that Jetpack has a vast amount of features that aren’t widely known. People can get stuck in a confusing loop trying to find Jetpack features by searching through the wp-admin.
Similar to buying a new phone or getting a new car, you don’t always learn about every single new feature on day one; instead you discover new things as you go. These hints are meant to help out in just that way.
However, we made a mistake, and we’re moving to correct it immediately. Our intention with these feature hints is to help you discover helpful features of Jetpack that you already have, right when you need them most. Today we’re correcting an error in judgement that resulted in the hints suggesting Jetpack features that actually required an upgrade. We’ve also made some design changes that make these feature hints less prominent. This way, you can choose to enable a feature of Jetpack that you already have installed, or you can quickly choose another great solution from the WordPress directory.
Go ahead and update Jetpack to 7.2.1; it’s now available for download.
We’ve removed all Jetpack hints that required an upgrade to work, so rest assured all recommendations are only for features you already have installed and ready to go.
We’re reducing confusion around feature hints by simplifying the design and changing some text; this way it’s clear that feature hints are from Jetpack and are easily dismissible.
A slideshow block bug has been fixed as well — now everyone will be able to easily move between pictures.
Going forward we want to help create a feature hints solution that works for all WordPress users and plugin developers. We are excited to work with suggestions like this one, by Joost de Valk and see how we might be able to find a solution in WordPress core to help users discover plugin features, and prevent this very common issue. Once a core solution is available, we plan to adopt it for Jetpack.
Our dedicated team of Happiness Engineers is one of the best reasons to jump into Jetpack. With direct access to a global team of WordPress experts, our customers know that they’ll always have the help they need to get things up and running smoothly.
These folks are smart — really smart. Any chance to pick their brains about all things related to WordPress and Jetpack is a great opportunity to learn something new! We recently caught up with Ryan, a longtime team member and passionate WordPress enthusiast, who has some interesting advice for the millions of folks building their online presence with WordPress.
It’s no secret that you know a lot about WordPress. How did you first get involved with the software?
I’ve been using WordPress since 2008 or so. Back then, I was working at a small company building websites for local businesses. As website requests got more complex, we had to find a way to serve our clients that didn’t require hand-coding sites from scratch. Luckily, I discovered WordPress and have been learning more about it ever since. It’s been really cool too see how much the platform has grown and matured over the years!
What does a typical day look like for you on the Jetpack team?
Most days, I’m working with our customers, doing my best to ensure they have the best possible experience with Jetpack. That might mean troubleshooting an issue, offering advice on how to best use Jetpack, or providing instructions on how to accomplish something they’d like to do on their site.
I’m also regularly working with and communicating with my teammates. We help each other investigate issues, share feedback, and discuss how we can keep improving our service. And we have a healthy amount of social chatter, too. The regular debate on the proper spelling of color/colour with some of my international teammates always gives me a laugh.
What are some of the biggest challenges in supporting our enormous — and awesome — community of customers?
You captured part of my response right in your question – the size of our community certainly brings some logistical challenges. We pride ourselves on providing hands-on support and we strive to help everyone that contacts us as thoroughly we can. That approach, combined with our volume of users, means we have to learn our products inside and out, so we can provide accurate and efficient help. It’s not the worst problem to have — we love working with users! — but it certainly keeps us busy 🙂
In your years of supporting Jetpack customers, what common missteps have you seen?
I find that a lot of folks don’t realize all the benefits that Jetpack can provide for a website. From backups and security, to our site accelerator and performance-related tools, I find newcomers and veterans alike are often surprised to learn about a feature they hadn’t known exists. My advice would be to explore — check out all of the features and give them a try on your site!
Beyond newcomers, what advice would you give the WordPress users running Jetpack on their sites?
You don’t have to go it alone! There’s a team of people, myself included, who are more than happy to help, whether you have a question about Jetpack or a suggestion you’d like to share with us. Don’t be afraid to give us a shout; it’s what we’re here for.
What’s your favorite memory of working here over the years?
Oh man, it’s hard to name just one. I’ve gotten to work on some very interesting sites. I get to work with an incredible team. And every day, I get to help people work towards their publishing goals. If I have to choose just one, I’d say that my favorite part is working with our customers and getting to hear their feedback. The kind words and positive feedback are always really nice to hear. And the constructive feedback and suggestions help us improve our products and our service.
We’ll be back soon with another opportunity to get to know the folks behind Jetpack. In the meantime, subscribe to our blog for updates on everything Jetpack and tips for securing and growing your site, delivered straight to your inbox.
One of the Jetpack features our users love the most is Publicize. And it’s easy to see why: a lot happens on social networks–Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others–and Publicize makes it easy to make sure your content is in the mix.
When you establish a Publicize connection between your WordPress-powered site and your social network accounts, your new posts are automatically shared in your feeds. As of March 1st, LinkedIn is making changes that will stop Publicize from sharing new posts to your feed there. To ensure your posts continue to be correctly shared, we’ve made some changes on our end to achieve full compatibility with these changes from LinkedIn.
To make sure the changes take effect for your site, you’ll need to disconnect and re-connect with LinkedIn. This will re-authenticate you with their systems, and then you can go back to not thinking whether your posts are getting shared–which is the point of Publicize!
Log in to wordpress.com, and select the site whose LinkedIn connection you need to update.
Go to the Sharing settings. You’ll find a link to this section in the sidebar:
Once in the Sharing settings, you’ll see a warning notice below the LinkedIn connection:
Click Disconnect button to turn off your LinkedIn connection.
You’ll see that button change to a Connect button again. Click it to start the connection process.
Authorize the LinkedIn connection in the pop-up that appears. You might need to log in to your LinkedIn account to complete this. All the instructions in this dialog come from LinkedIn.
This re-authenticates your connection and ensures that Publicize will continue sharing your posts to LinkedIn normally. Time to start writing again!
Jetpack 7.0.1 is now available for download. It addresses a security issue reported to us via HackerOne, and updates the Publicize feature in anticipation of changes to the LinkedIn API in the near future.
While striving to improve your site’s search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rates, you will come across the term “bounce rate.”
What is bounce rate, and how does reducing it improve your website’s performance? Read on to learn exactly what your bounce rate entails, and how you can use Jetpack tools to reduce it.
What your bounce rate reveals
A bounce rate is the rate at which users leave your site after visiting a single page. If your page has a 100% bounce rate, then not a single one of your site visitors is navigating elsewhere on your site from that particular page. Instead, they’re leaving your site altogether.
If your page has a 0% bounce rate, then every person who visits a particular page on your site is clicking an internal link and navigating to another page on your site.
For most pages, you’ll want a bounce rate that’s as close to 0% as possible.
Why your bounce rate matters
So, why should you worry about whether people are navigating away from your site after visiting one of your pages?
It’s important to monitor your bounce rate. The more pages and content that people consume, the more likely they are to take specific actions like making purchases, filling out a contact form, or bookmarking your site for later.
Although not unheard of, it’s quite rare for a first-time site visitor to become a customer or loyal fan after visiting a single page of your website. This is why you want to prevent visitors from “bouncing” away from your site, as it keeps them from exploring further and taking an action that might lead them to become fans or customers (which is what we call a conversion).
How to reduce your bounce rate
You can reduce a bounce rate by improving your site’s navigation and user experiences (UX). Here are some of the tools that you can try:
Within your posts, include internal links to related or popular content, like this post that features tips for getting visitors to stay on your website longer. You can enable Related Posts in your Jetpack settings. Jetpack will scan your content to find posts about similar topics, inserting their links at the ends of each post to supply visitors with more material to read. You can even specify whether you want to use text links or images to display your related posts.
The Top Posts & Pages Widget works in a similar way, but instead of directing users to other posts that are related to the one they’re currently viewing, it gives them a list of the most popular content on your site. This is the content that people have enjoyed reading, so adding links to it in your sidebar can encourage new readers to stick around.
Use Infinite Scroll to display an unlimited number of posts on your main blog page or archive pages. Infinite Scroll works similarly to Pinterest or Instagram’s infinite grid of images. Readers can endlessly scroll through your content without needing to leave that same page.
Use prominent share buttons and calls to action to encourage people to share the pages on your site that are most important for conversions (like your “Buy Now” page). Sharing will open up your content for engagement and will also help you reach new audience members. Users who share your content to their own social media accounts are generally fans of your content, and are more likely to view your other pages. You can activate social sharing links in your Jetpack settings and they’ll be automatically added to all of your posts.
Activate these tools to increase your visitor engagement, and tackle your bounce rate across a variety of channels.
Reduce your bounce rate for an effective website
You want each site visitor to stick around long enough to view multiple pages and a lot of content, as this increases the likelihood that they’ll become a customer or a fan. By following the tips above and testing Jetpack’s features, you’ll be on the right path to best serve your audience while decreasing your bounce rate.
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