How Many Website Images Is Too Many?

A page with no images can look barren, but one with too many will load slowly, which might result in a high bounce rate. Kissmetrics reports that 40% of users will abandon a site that takes more than three seconds to load, and that each further second of delay results in a 7% loss in conversions.

A page with several, well-optimized images can load faster than one with a single, large image file. Finding that middle ground in terms of site images depends on multiple factors, and there are various techniques that can cut down your image load times.

Let’s take look at these factors, how you can use them to your advantage, and what limits you should observe.

Continue reading → How Many Website Images Is Too Many?

Posted in Photos & Videos | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Go Faster Than Ever with Jetpack and A2 Hosting

Looking for a fast new host for your WordPress site? We’ve got one for you! We’ve partnered with A2 Hosting to make Jetpack Personal available to their customers at no additional cost. If you’re using A2’s managed WordPress hosting, you’ll have access to Jetpack Personal for free.

Here’s a little more information about what this partnership means for those of you new to either A2 Hosting, Jetpack, or both.

A2 Hosting: Fine-tuned, blazing fast WordPress hosting

A2 Hosting’s top priority is speed. They sport page load times up to 20 times faster than other hosting environments, which helps reduce your website’s bounce rate, load large files more quickly, and keep visitors around for longer. All of this ultimately results in more clicks, conversions, and money for you.

A2 also offers valuable perks like an easy staging environment, LiteSpeed caching, a free SSL certificate, and WP-CLI pre-installed. And with Jetpack, the deal gets even better.

About Jetpack Personal

Jetpack Personal, offered with all of A2 Hosting’s managed WordPress hosting packages, offers everything a new WordPress user needs to grow and secure their website. Normally $39 annually, access to Jetpack Personal via your plan includes:

  • Off-site backups of your content, data, and settings with one-click restores.
  • An unlimited image content delivery network (CDN) to speed up image load times.
  • Spam filtering in your comments, contact forms, and product reviews.
  • Automated promotion of new pages and posts on social media networks.
  • Priority support from Jetpack’s WordPress experts.

How to get started

  • If you’re already an A2 Hosting customer, you already have access to Jetpack Personal. Log in to your account here to get started.
  • On the other hand, if you’d like to sign up for managed WordPress hosting with A2, you can do so by viewing their plans here.

If you have questions about Jetpack after signing up, please contact support for assistance. If you need help with your A2 Hosting plan, you can get in touch with their support team right here.

Enjoy, and let us know what you think of this new partnership in the comments!

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Enhancing the WordPress author page

What to Consider When Changing Your WordPress Theme

You’ve been thinking about changing the look of your site for a while now. You found a WordPress theme that you like, but you’re a bit nervous about what will happen to your site after you activate the new theme.

You’re overcome with questions: Will you lose any of your site data? How do you pick and customize a new theme? How will a new theme impact your site layout, and will widgets that you installed remain intact?

There are many things to consider before making the switch to a new theme. Knowing what to look for is half the battle, but we’re here to help guide you along the way.

Let’s explore exactly what you should keep in mind when changing your WordPress theme to make it a smooth transition.

Continue reading → What to Consider When Changing Your WordPress Theme

Posted in Website Design | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Six Newsletter Ideas to Connect With Your Readers

You just set up an email subscription sign-up form on your website. What should you do next? Email marketing can seem like an overwhelming concept for those just getting started, but it doesn’t have to be this way!

One of the most popular forms of email marketing is sharing a weekly or monthly newsletter. Let’s take a look at two of the most pressing decisions for beginners: what newsletter content should you create and how should you format it to achieve your goals?

Continue reading → Six Newsletter Ideas to Connect With Your Readers

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Jetpack 6.3.2: Simple Payment Widget Fix

Jetpack 6.3.2 is now available for download. This point fix addresses a fatal bug affecting all sites using PHP 5.3 and below.

For those keeping track, Jetpack 6.3.1 technically exists, but was never officially released. 6.3.2 is the latest and recommended version.

For this point release, we fixed a compatibility issue with the Simple Payment Widget, released yesterday, with PHP versions 5.3 and below. Initially this widget caused fatal errors upon activation.

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

Thanks for your support!

Posted in Releases | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Jetpack 6.3: Introducing the Simple Payment Widget

It’s another month, and you know what that means: Jetpack 6.3 is now available for download! 6.3 includes a few improvements and bugfixes, but the main draw this month is a brand new feature: the Simple Payment Widget.

We highly recommend that you update your sites to the latest version as soon as possible.

Here’s what’s new for July.

Take payments anywhere on your site: introducing the Simple Payment Widget

In a previous release, we introduced the Simple Payment Button for Jetpack, which allows you to add a PayPal payment button to any new post or page. With 6.3, we’re making it even easier to create these buttons and accept payments or donations with a new widget.

With the Simple Payment Widget, you can now add a quick payment option to any widgetized area on your WordPress site. Just set up the widget via the Customizer (Personalize > Customize):

Setting up a payment widget with Jetpack

… and you’ll be able to add something like the below to widgetized areas like your sidebar, header, or footer. Here’s an example from a footer area:

A completed Simple Payment Widget

This new option also gives you the ability to add and manage all of the products you want to accept payments for. To switch between products (or donations, services, or charitable causes), you’ll first need to set one up in a widget via the Customizer:

Adding a new product via the Simple Payments Widget

For each new product, you can add everything you can on a standalone Simple Payment Button, including a photo, description, and price.

Once one or more products have been created and saved via the Customizer, you can switch between them when adding a new widget or payment button. Just choose from the right button in the list when you’re setting up and you’re good to go!

We hope you enjoy this added feature! Let us know what you think of the addition in the comments, or reach out to support if you run into any issues setting up your new widgets.

More fixes and updates in this release

Aside from the Simple Payment Widget, we have a few other updates to share for 6.3. Here they are:

  • Lazy Loading Images: We updated the behavior of Lazy Loading Images for visitors with JavaScript disabled. Images will still load and will not display blank spots on the page.
  • Markdown: We updated the way we name the CSS class for <code> when attempting to specify a language for a code block. Prior to this release, you would receive class="language". Now you’ll get class="language-javascript" or the language you specified for the block.
  • Site security and bbPress: We fixed a compatibility issue with the bbPress login widget that was causing unncessary redirects upon attempting to log in.
  • Sitemap and formatting: We updated the date and time formatting for videos listed in the sitemap generated by Jetpack.
  • Site Stats: And finally, we fixed the width of the Jetpack Site Stats page so it’ll look a little nicer on wide screens.

Update to 6.3 today

As always, the full changelog has more details on this update if you’re interested. If you’re ready to go, install Jetpack on your site or update to 6.3 now!

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this release: Brad Griffith, Brandon Kraft, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, Filipe Varela, Igor Zinovyev, Jacopo Tomasone, James Nylen, Jeff Bowen, Jeremy Herve, Michael Arestad, Michael D Adams, Michael Turk, Mikael Korpela, Oscar Lopez, Ramon Ahnert , Rocco Tripaldi, Rodrigo Iloro, Rolf Allard van Hagen, Steven Lin, Weston Ruter, and Yaroslav Kukharuk.

Posted in Releases | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Using Custom Content Types with Jetpack

Jetpack’s Custom Content Types adds custom post types (CPTs) to your site, which allow you to create a new section of unique content without having to code. You can use CPTs to make your Portfolios, Testimonials, Simple Food Menus, or Comics shine. Once you distinguish your content types from regular Posts or Pages, you can use themes to present your new content types in stunning ways.

Let’s review what Custom Content Types are, their benefits, the different CPTs, and when you might use them to customize your Jetpack site.

Continue reading → Using Custom Content Types with Jetpack

Posted in Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Repurposing Content On Your Site with Jetpack

Do you have a great site filled with useful content, but you’re not sure what to write about next? Even if you’re experiencing writer’s block, you can still make a meaningful contribution to your website by revisiting and refreshing your existing content.

Repurposing content is not only a quick way to dive into writing on days when you are suffering from a creative ebb, but can be a great and efficient way to keep your site relevant and engaging.

In fact, you might consider building out, updating, and improving your existing content, depending on what your site visitors want to be reading.

Here are some ideas for how to breathe new life into your existing content.

Continue reading → Repurposing Content On Your Site with Jetpack

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Create a Good User Experience with Google Analytics

Creating a good user experience (UX) for people who visit your site is important for a number of reasons. A good UX enhances site accessibility and increases the chances that your visitors will engage with your content in deeper ways by exploring your blog, buying your products, or subscribing to your content.

Sites with strong user experiences may also notice increasing visitor numbers, as visitors will want to return to them. Additionally, SEO experts from Search Engine Land believe that good user experiences can have bigger impacts on search engine rankings.

The importance of good user experience has also grown with the rise of mobile internet browsing. Someone using a small screen doesn’t need a site to look beautiful as much as they need it to be laid out clearly, with an easy process for finding and consuming content.

A site with great UX will offer content that’s clear and readable, has an intuitive navigation system in place, a logical structure, tools such as search, and forms that are easy to use.

So, if you want your site to succeed, you’ll want it to have a good UX. But, how can you measure yours? There are a number of ways to test UX, including feedback, test sessions, and hands-on testing conducted yourself.

In this article, you’ll learn about some of the Jetpack tools you can use to measure the success of your user experience, and identify ways you can make improvements.

Continue reading → Create a Good User Experience with Google Analytics

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Hosting Resources Offsite Can Make Your Load Times Lightning Fast

Even the smallest delay in a web page’s loading speed can result in discouraged site visitors. According to research from Think with Google, 53 percent of mobile users will abandon a website if it takes more than three seconds to load — that doesn’t give you much room for error! If you want to attract new users and keep them engaged, it’s important to make sure that your site loads quickly.

Often times, the most engaging types of content (videos and images) slow down a site the most. Fortunately, you can host these elements offsite, on external servers, to speed things up.

Today, we will explain how you can improve site performance by moving some site elements onto faster servers, and how Jetpack can help in the process.

Continue reading → Hosting Resources Offsite Can Make Your Load Times Lightning Fast

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