New to Blogging? Install These Five Jetpack Features First

You just started a blog and you’re ready to share it with the world. (Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!)

Lucky for you, you’ve stumbled onto our blog, so hopefully you’ve been given the good advice to install Jetpack. Jetpack is a plugin for WordPress with many features (cough, cough, more than 40) to make your life as a blogger a whole lot easier.

With so many features to explore, where to begin? We’ve got you covered.

If you’re new to blogging (or to Jetpack), activate these five features first.

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1. Keep your site safe and secure with Protect.

When you’re new to blogging, the last thing you want is to worry about your site’s security. Breathe easy knowing that your site is secure with Protect.

This feature allows you to protect your site against brute force attacks, which sadly, are becoming more and more of a frequent concern for website owners. By enabling Protect, your site will automatically block unwanted login attempts.

2. Spread the love on social media with Sharing.

Make it super simple for your blog readers to share your posts!

Sharing lets you add buttons to blog posts to give readers the ability to share a post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and a host of other social media/web services to amplify your message.

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3. Keep readers on your website longer with Related Posts.

Help readers better navigate your site by pointing them to related content you know they’ll love based on the blog post they’re currently reading.

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Related Posts scans all of your posts, analyzes them, and selects at least three related archived blog posts to showcase underneath or above your post. This helps readers figure out what to read next and keeps them on your site even longer.

4. Be the first to know when your website experienced downtime with Monitor.

Ugh. Dreaded website downtime. It’s never fun when your site goes down. Monitor keeps tabs on your site and alerts you the moment downtime is detected.

Fun fact: Monitor checks your site every five minutes and notifies you as soon as a problem arises. We’ll also email you when your site is back up!

5. Make your blog a beautiful place to visit with Photon.

Photos are an incredibly important piece of the puzzle when it comes to finding success as a blogger. Compelling visuals help keep site visitors interested and engaged.

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If you don’t size your photos properly though, you can seriously slow down your site. That’s where Photon comes in handy. Photon is an image acceleration and editing service. What does this mean for you? Less load time on your host and faster image loading for your readers.

Seasoned bloggers, what do you think? Which Jetpack features would you recommend to a new blogger?

Don’t have Jetpack installed yet to try out these features? If you don’t currently have Jetpack, be sure to install it so you can begin taking advantage of all the plugin’s features. The easiest way to install Jetpack is via your site’s Dashboard. Please follow these instructions to install and connect Jetpack.

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Spread the Love on Social Media: Five Must-Enable Jetpack Features

Social media has changed the way we communicate, the way we network and certainly, the way we interact and share online.

Sharing your content, images and stories on social media can help take your blog or website to new heights. Jetpack understands this and we’ve developed several useful features to help keep your social media game strong.

Check out five of our favorite must-enable social media features.

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  1. Social Media Icons: Make it easy for your readers to find you on social media with Social Media Icons. This feature allows you to add icons for the social media sites you use to your sidebar or other widget area on your website. Currently, you can add usernames for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, GitHub, YouTube, Vimeo, and Google+.
  2. Publicize: After you publish a blog post, your job is not quite over. Now, you need to make sure people actually read the content you’ve written! Publicize helps you save time by sharing your site’s posts on several social media networks automatically when you publish a new post. The feature is easily customizable: you can pick and choose which social networks to share to, as well as write custom messages to promote your post.
  3. Sharing: Now that you’ve shared your own content on social media, let your readers and fans do a little bit of the legwork too. When you enable Sharing, you give your readers the option to share your post to a number of social media sites including  Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Pinterest, Skype, Reddit, Pocket, Email, LinkedIn, WhatsApp and more. By default, the social buttons appear at the bottom of a post or page, but you can configure the plugin to move the buttons elsewhere.
  4. Likes: Social proof is super important. When a new blog reader sees that a post has received some Likes, they may be more likely to read it. Enabling the Likes feature lets your blog readers to show a little bit of love for your post with a Like.
  5. Extra Sidebar Widgets: Social media icons not enough for you? With Extra Sidebar Widgets, you can add separate widgets for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more. This way, your readers can see short snippets of your recent posts, hopefully enticing them to click over and become a new follower!

Looking for even more social media features? We’ve got lots more for you to discover!

Tell us your favorite Jetpack social media features! Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

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Get People to Stay on Your Website Longer

Writing a blog post is no easy feat.

When you publish a piece of content, you want people to stick around on your website to read your words. You hope blog visitors will be so fascinated, they’ll want to explore your blog to find even more useful content, just like the post that initially led them to your website. You hope they’ll love that content so much that they’ll convert into loyal fans, subscribers…and customers.

First things first, you need awesome content; that’s a given.

Continue reading → Get People to Stay on Your Website Longer

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Benefits of Jetpack Manage

Whether you’re a developer managing multiples client sites or you only post to a personal blog, Jetpack Manage unlocks a ton of awesome features to help you stay on top of your site. These are just a few of my favorite parts of Jetpack Manage — tools that are valuable no matter how many sites you have:

Before reading on, set up Jetpack Manage to get the most out of these tips!

Continue reading → Benefits of Jetpack Manage

Posted in Features, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The First Time I Used Photon for Business

It was 2012 and the holiday season was upon us. I was nestled in my cubicle and settling in for a long winter project. As the director of the web development team for an agency in Rhode Island, I was tasked with the development of a WordPress multisite that would power tens of thousands of websites. Jetpack had just been installed on our new network, and I was looking into all the tools we could use for these business websites.

Continue reading → The First Time I Used Photon for Business

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Five Things You Didn’t Know Jetpack Could Do

How well do you think you know Jetpack? Most people know about Stats, Publicize, and Sharing. You may even have your own personal favorite module like Tiled Galleries or Subscriptions. But what about the rest of Jetpack? Here are five things you might not know you can do:

Continue reading → Five Things You Didn’t Know Jetpack Could Do

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Building a Beautiful Photoblog with Jetpack

Jetpack is a powerhouse of added functionality for self-hosted WordPress. As a photographer, some of my favorite features are the ones that elegantly and easily add beauty to a site, helping you quickly launch a new photoblog or enhance an existing one. Jetpack makes it simple for WordPress bloggers of any proficiency level to create a stellar photoblog in very little time, no matter the theme — these four modules will get your photoblog off to a great start:

Continue reading → Building a Beautiful Photoblog with Jetpack

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Photon Now Delivers Images Even Faster than Before

We always strive to make your sites run as quickly and smoothly as possible, both on the front end and under the hood. Our most recent improvement? All self-hosted Jetpack-connected sites who have the Photon image service activated can now enjoy seamless support for the WebP image format.

What does this mean for you and your audience? This new feature provides size reductions of up to 34 percent for served images compared to a JPEG image of an equivalent visual quality level. Your viewers will save a lot of time loading your pages — time they can better spend enjoying the content you publish.

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JPEG File Size – 43.84KB WebP File Size – 29.61KB

Visually identical images in JPEG and WebP format with their respective sizes.

While WebP isn’t currently supported by all browsers (see the WebP FAQ for more details), you don’t have to worry about anything. We auto-detect which browsers your readers are using to make sure they can enjoy your images in the best quality and highest speed possible.

We should note that by default, Photon is compressing the WebP images at a high quality setting. If you want to get the most out of this new feature, utilizing the quality parameter will yield the best results.

If you’d like to learn more about this fast-loading image format, check out the following links:

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Jetpack: Protection From Brute Force XML-RPC Attacks

You may have read the recent news report from Sucuri about the latest vulnerability to your WordPress XML-RPC file: Brute Force Amplification Attacks via WordPress XML-RPC

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Brute force attacks against XML-RPC are one of the oldest and most common types of attacks to your site. Recently, according to Sucuri’s post above, attackers have found a way to “amplify” these attacks – making it easier for attackers to try and break into your site.

How can you protect yourself from these attacks?

Simple. Use Jetpack’s Protect module.

Sam Hotchkiss, one of our Jetpack developers, wrote an article today on his blog going over the more technical details on how this new attack method works and how Jetpack protects you from this new threat.

If you’re running Jetpack with Protect enabled, you don’t need to do anything to keep yourself safe from this. We’ve already got it taken care of for you!

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How to boost your traffic with “Related Posts”

Jetpack’s Related Posts feature scans all of the posts on your site (or blog), analyzes them, and shows your visitors other posts with related content that they might be interested in reading once they’re done reading the one that brought them to your site.

Most sites who activate this see an increase in traffic. On this site, Jetpack.me, when we compare pages with and without the feature enabled we see around 79% more visitors clicking through to one other post on the site.

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This data is based on a 6-month traffic comparison between blog posts showing related posts and pages with the feature disabled. Turning on the feature for us in essence means that almost twice as many visitors read something else besides the original post that brought them here.

How does it work?

The related content is automatically generated based on the content of the post and any tags or categories if they exist. Unlike many other related post plugins, we do all the analysis, processing, and serving from our cloud, so there is no additional load on your server. (That’s why many plugins like YARPP or Similar Posts are often banned by web hosts, but Jetpack Related Posts are allowed.)

This is not unlike other Jetpack features like Photon and Stats that rely on our cloud infrastructure for the heavy lifting.

Once its enabled (and if you have more than 10 posts in total on your site) the related posts will show up in a “Related Posts” section just below your main post content, very much like what you can see at the bottom of this post 🙂

How to enable it

First, you need to have Jetpack installed and connected to your WordPress.com account.

Once this is done, go to the Jetpack page in your blog’s dashboard and click the Activate button for Related Posts. You can also customize how the related posts section looks by going to your Settings → Reading page and scrolling down to the options next to “Related posts.”

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