Jetpack 7.2

The more you can tailor your website for your visitors, the more likely you are to engage them. Jetpack 7.2 adds two new options for customizing your content.

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Posted in Releases | 9 Comments

Jetpack 7.1.1: Maintenance Release

Jetpack 7.1.1 is now available for download. Following yesterday’s release, we discovered a few issues that impacted all sites using the latest version of Jetpack.

  • The Mailchimp, Tiled Gallery, and Slideshow blocks are now fully compatible with Internet Explorer 11; you should not see any errors when using those blocks and visiting your site using IE11.
  • We fixed notices that would appear on sites that did not use the Publicize feature.
  • We solved some conflicts between the feature suggestions appearing on the Plugins screen and other plugins displayed there.
  • We’ve made some changes to improve performance of the Top Posts and the Blog Stats widgets on high-traffic sites.
  • We fixed an issue that prevented displaying subscribers count in the subscription forms.

The full changelog has more details on this update, and we’re able to answer all your questions via our support channels.

Thanks for your support!

Posted in Releases | 10 Comments

Jetpack 7.1: all the blocks your business needs

We’ve been working hard to bring you more tools to build an attractive and engaging site. This time around, we’re focusing on a series of blocks that will be useful for all sites and businesses in particular.

Continue reading → Jetpack 7.1: all the blocks your business needs

Posted in Releases | 22 Comments

Meet Jetpack: Ryan

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.

Posted in Learn, Meet Jetpack, Tips & Tricks | 2 Comments
Jetpack supports LinkedIn API2

Love Publicize? Changes are Coming for LinkedIn

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!

  1. Log in to wordpress.com, and select the site whose LinkedIn connection you need to update.
  2. Go to the Sharing settings. You’ll find a link to this section in the sidebar: Menu with Sharing item highlighted
  3. Once in the Sharing settings, you’ll see a warning notice below the LinkedIn connection:Notice informing user that LinkedIn needs to be reauthenticated
  4. Click Disconnect button to turn off your LinkedIn connection.
  5. You’ll see that button change to a Connect button again. Click it to start the connection process.
  6. 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!

Posted in Social Media | 16 Comments

Jetpack 7.0.1: Security and Maintenance release

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.

Continue reading → Jetpack 7.0.1: Security and Maintenance release

Posted in Releases, Security | 4 Comments

Jetpack Tools to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

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:

1. Related Posts

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.

2. Top Posts & Pages Widget

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.

The popular posts and pages widget

3. Infinite Scroll

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.

4. Sharing

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.

Posted in Learn | Comments Off on Jetpack Tools to Reduce Your Bounce Rate

Create a Fashion Blog That Never Goes Out of Style

At first, creating a website or blog to share your passion for fashion and your unique take on style can seem out of reach. But, with the right tools, turning your hobby into an authoritative source for fashion inspiration, news, and reviews has never been more accessible.

Fashionistas, unite! Let’s talk about some resources that can elevate your fashion blog to generate income and best serve your readers.

Become a fashion blogger to share your style

A fashion blog gives you the ability to establish a personal brand, highlight your favorite style trends, and even generate income. While you might not attract one million followers and rake in generous profits overnight, there’s no reason why you can’t get your foot in the door, express your creativity, and have fun.

Getting started

Before sharing your unique style, you’ll need to set up a blog. The good news is that it doesn’t have to cost very much.

Jetpack grants you immediate access to more than 100 free themes. A theme will serve as your blog’s “outfit,” as it’s a pre-designed template to house your content and features.

There’s also a selection of premium themes available in the WordPress.com Theme Showcase. Sort through theme features to find ones that have the functionalities you need (like places for photo galleries, or a sidebar for social sharing buttons) and select one that best matches your style.

Must-have blogging accessories

After applying your theme, accessorize your blog with tools and features that never go out of style.

Photography

Our eyes are naturally drawn to photographs, and for good reason: they’re used to effectively communicate moods, attitudes, and emotions. Fashion is a visual art form. Whether it’s photos of your runway-ready ensembles or those worn by celebrities, don’t be shy when it comes to uploading images.

Jetpack offers a suite of features available to increase your blog’s visual appeal. If you’re looking to make an aesthetic impact with a post, create a stunning photo gallery with the recently-launched Tiled Gallery block. You can switch gallery layouts from time to time to better align with the outfits or topics you’re writing about.

Social Media Integration

Instead of including individual links to each of your social media accounts at the end of every Instagram post or Facebook update, use your blog as the hub for all of your social media activity.

Social Media Icons will add clickable symbols and links to your various social profiles. Place this tool in the header, sidebar, or footer of your blog. Fans can follow you across every medium, no matter what page of your blog they’re viewing.

Next, check out Jetpack’s Extra Sidebar Widgets to automatically add feeds from your Facebook profile or Twitter timeline to your pages. Readers will never miss an update if they’re all presented right on your blog’s pages.

Finally, give your fashion followers convenient ways to share your content with Sharing Buttons. This enables readers to share and post your content to their preferred social networks. It’s a great way to increase your exposure, as followers will introduce your blog to their own social circles. Start two-way conversations using these networks by asking your community to share what inspires them in the fashion world.

Make money with a fashion blog

A fashion blog is a fun way to express your creativity. But, have you considered mixing business with pleasure by using it to generate income? Here are two ways that you can monetize your blog.

1. Affiliate marketing

Do your friends ever ask where you shop? Are you receiving a lot compliments on your new watch? With a fashion blog, you can include links to the items that you recommend to others, and earn a commission for every sale that you facilitate.

According to Business Insider, affiliate marketing occurs when retailers pay websites or individuals for sales generated from their referrals. It’s one of the four largest sources of eCommerce orders. By becoming a brand affiliate, you’ll be positioned to earn money every time a fan clicks on your link to buy the particular shirt or watch you recommend.

For example, Kaylah Stroup (of the popular fashion and lifestyle blog The Dainty Squid) built her fashion blog using WordPress and monetizes her efforts with affiliate links to some of her favorite brands.

2. Sell your style

If you knit hats, design jewelry, or create fabric patterns, then your fashion website might be the right place to sell your unique crafts. While WordPress does offer robust eCommerce solutions like WooCommerce, the fastest way to get started (especially if you’d like to test the waters first) is by using the Simple Payment Button, which enables visitors to submit online payments through PayPal. You can embed these handy buttons directly from the WordPress Editor — just create a Simple Payments block with a few clicks and you’ll be set up in no time, whether the button shows up on a page or in a post.

There is a small processing fee associated with using PayPal, but it enables you to secure all transactions and keep more of what you earn. Customers will save time by using their existing PayPal accounts, instead of being asked to create brand new ones just to make purchases on your blog.

Make it personal

Fashion is personal, and your blog should reflect your distinct style. While it’s helpful to draw inspiration from others, your blog’s voice and tone should reflect your own. Your unique take on style is what will attract readers to your blog, and solidify your personal brand.

Don’t hold back when it comes to expressing your opinions, whether it’s in the form of fashion reviews, comparisons, or trends.

Now that you’ve been outfitted with the knowledge needed to create a fashion blog, accessorize it with the most popular features, and even monetize your efforts.

Posted in Innovate, Learn | Comments Off on Create a Fashion Blog That Never Goes Out of Style

What to Include in Your Website Privacy Policy

Whether you have a personal blog, manage a website for your business, or run an online store, you should have a privacy policy in place. Not only does a privacy policy protect you, it also helps your site visitors feel more secure while making your website compliant with rules and regulations.

Today, we’ll talk about the purpose of a website privacy policy, provide a few tips for crafting an effective one, and discuss the best locations for it to live on your website.

The purpose of a privacy policy

Privacy policies exist to inform site visitors about how you collect and use their personal information. According to Business Dictionary, a privacy policy is a statement that:

“Declares a firm’s or website’s policy on collecting and releasing information about a visitor. It usually declares what specific information is collected and whether it is kept confidential or shared with or sold to other firms, researchers or sellers.”

Why you need a privacy policy

Aside from complying with the law, there are many reasons why you need a privacy policy on your website. First of all, having a privacy policy in place makes your visitors feel safer. Knowing exactly what data is collected and how it’s used puts your readers, clients, and potential customers at ease, as they won’t need to worry about their information being sold to questionable third parties.

Additionally, privacy policies fulfill third-party requirements. Companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook require you to have a privacy policy in order to participate in their ad programs or use their analytics services. Without a privacy policy in place, you might be fined by the Federal Trade Commission, or similar governing bodies.

Last but not least, GDPR-compliant privacy policies help to build trust among your site visitors. If visitors feel safe on your website by knowing that their information won’t be used against their wishes, they’re more likely to recommend your site to their friends and family members, drawing in more readers and customers.

How to write a privacy policy

The content within your privacy policy will be unique to your website, and will depend on how you collect and use visitor data. However, there are general guidelines that you can follow to ensure that you’re complying with the law when creating yours.

1. Business name and contact details

Be sure to include your business’s name and contact information so that visitors can reach out if they have questions about your site or privacy policy.

Sony includes this information at the very bottom of its privacy policy page; however, you can also include it at the top of your policy statement.

2. Description of any data collected

If you collect any personal data like email addresses or phone numbers from your site visitors, you’ll need to include this in your policy and provide the legal basis for doing so.

Consider this example from Automattic, which provides a bulleted list of the various types of personal data that is collected from site visitors, and why this information is necessary for the company to have on hand.

3. How and when you collect data

Another website privacy policy requirement is to clearly state how and when you collect user data. This includes information like how data is used when visitors sign up for your newsletter, when they contact you, during the checkout process, when they leave a comment, and so on.

You should also mention any third-party services (such as Google Analytics or Facebook Pixel) that collect data on your behalf, as Instagram does with its privacy policy.

4. Why data is collected from visitors

Site visitors will want to know how you use their personal data. In the example below, Nike does a great job of explaining why and how it uses any collected customer data (in their case, it’s to create better user experiences on Nike’s website and mobile app).

5. If and how data is shared with third parties

As mentioned above, if you’re using a third-party service like Google Analytics or certain WordPress plugins, you’ll need to disclose how data is collected and shared, and for what purposes. This information should be noted in your privacy policy, as Airbnb does.

You can also include a link to the privacy policies of those third parties so that visitors have a better understanding of how their data might be used.

6. How visitors can opt out of data collection

Lastly, don’t forget to tell your visitors how they can opt out of data collection, as this is required for GDPR compliance. You can do this by including a contact or question section at the end (where you would list your contact information, as we suggested above). Include instructions for how they can request a copy of their data, as well as how they can have it deleted.

Consider another example from Nike that provides this information.

Where to place your privacy policy

Your website privacy policy should be located on its own separate page, and linked to on every page of your site. A common practice is to include it within the footer; this ensures that every visitor can access it no matter what page of your website they’re viewing.

Another good practice is to link back to your privacy policy within your contact forms, email opt-in forms, and on your checkout pages if you have an online store.

Customize your privacy policy with Jetpack

Some WordPress plugins may also collect visitor data. Jetpack is one such plugin, and it includes a free tool that can be used to explain exactly how data is obtained and used. With the Privacy Policy Helper, you can select the Jetpack features that you have enabled, and then copy the customized policy content into your privacy policy when you’re done.

Jetpack Privacy Policy

Protection and peace of mind for you and your visitors

When you create or update a website, it’s crucial to consider what privacy information will be displayed. You should also be transparent about how you obtain and use visitor data with regards to current rules and regulations. Customize Jetpack’s Privacy Policy Helper and use the tips above to help you draft a privacy policy and provide peace of mind to your visitors.

Posted in Learn | Comments Off on What to Include in Your Website Privacy Policy

Build a Helpful Medical Practice Website to Serve Your Patients

If you’re a medical practitioner, you understand how important securing patient trust is when building a successful practice. Having a helpful and informative medical practice website is an optimal way to share resources with patients, address their concerns, demonstrate your expertise, and spread the word about your growing practice.

To best serve your existing and future patients, read on to discover what you can accomplish with a medical practice website and why it’s important to have one.

1. Help current and future patients find your practice

Your medical practice will be more likely to show up in search engine results if it has a robust online presence, according to Moz. Websites can be used to fortify your overall search engine optimization. With best SEO practices in place, potential future patients who perform searches for medical professionals in their areas might be shown your practice’s website. Once they find you, they can click through to your site and learn about your specialization to determine whether you’re the right professional to assist with their medical needs.

2. Establish and build patient relationships

A website gives you a platform to provide current and potential patients with helpful information and tips for living healthy lifestyles. You can do this by sharing blog posts and creating a site page dedicated to useful links, research, or downloadable forms. This can help to establish you as a dependable source of information, which might attract new patients, resulting in more appointments booked.

3. Allow patients to book appointments online

Another compelling reason to create a medical practice website is to facilitate online appointments. Patients can schedule a visit using a Contact Form (which you can add to any post or page with Jetpack’s Form block) or through a booking plugin. Once they do this, you can send them appointment reminders as a courtesy (and to reduce the number of no-shows). This also gives patients the power to book appointments at their own convenience.

4. Reduce your administration time

Your patients should be able to find any necessary information (office hours, contact details) on your website. Once they have the option to schedule appointments through your site as well, you can significantly reduce the amount of time that you and your staff spend on the phone or on completing administrative tasks. By adding a resources list, a contact form, helpful blog posts, and other pages that answer questions potential patients might have, you’ll save time by eliminating those redundant phone conversations, and skipping over searching for the next available appointment slot.

Check your vitals: important resources to include on your site

There are certain elements that every medical practice website should have, as they position your site to be an appealing option for current and prospective patients.

1. Doctor directory

A directory of your practitioners and staff is extremely helpful if you work alongside several doctors. Your directory should contain each person’s profile photo, as well as their area of expertise. You can also include biographies, office hours, and relevant contact information.

2. Medical specialties

Your website should clearly convey what areas of medicine you and your team specialize in. This eliminates the need for potential patients to call your office to find out. If someone is looking for a pediatrician, but the doctors at your practice specialize in adult medicine, this will eliminate your practice as a possibility, saving the patient time. This also encourages patients who are looking for specialists in adult medicine to browse your site further and ultimately schedule an appointment.

3. Patient resources

You can take care of your patients’ needs before they even come through the door by offering informative resources. Make sure to include things like nutrition guides, the latest studies in the healthcare industry, new patient forms, instructions to prepare for an appointment or procedure, what to bring to the appointment, and even a list of healthy products or vitamin brands that you recommend.

4. Frequently asked questions

As a medical professional, you probably field a lot of the same questions. Consider answering them all on a separate page of your site, and linking back to it from other pages. You’ll also want to make it accessible from your navigation menu and “Contact” page to further reduce repeat calls asking about your insurance or cancelation policies.

5. Contact and location information

Finally, your website should include your office’s contact and location details. You can include this information along your sidebar or in your site’s footer so that it’s accessible from every page.

Consider using the Contact Info widget to display your physical location and email address, hours of operation, and holiday office closures. If you prefer to include a map in the body of a page or a post, you could simply add a Map block through the WordPress Editor.

Your patient experience begins with your website

By building a website for your medical practice and including the right resources and information within, you’ll be offering great user experiences to patients. A website will position you to humanize your medical practice, while building relationships with patients who put their trust and health in your hands.

Posted in Learn | Comments Off on Build a Helpful Medical Practice Website to Serve Your Patients
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