Here’s What Jetpack Is Grateful For This Thanksgiving

As we gear up to celebrate Thanksgiving here in the U.S. this week, we checked in with six members of the Jetpack team to see what they are most grateful for.

Continue reading → Here’s What Jetpack Is Grateful For This Thanksgiving

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Related Content Boosts Traffic for Albuquerque Journal

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Tyler Green – Web Developer

Immediately after enabling Jetpack Related Posts, the Albuquerque Journal — a newspaper with 580k paid print subscribers and three million monthly page views — increased traffic by four percent. To uncover some of the hidden benefits of this powerful plugin, I interviewed power user Tyler Green, Data Analyst and Developer at the Journal.

Continue reading → Related Content Boosts Traffic for Albuquerque Journal

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5 years in, Jetpack is soaring higher than ever!

Today is a big day: Jetpack turns five!

On March 9th, 2011, a five-person team within Automattic released Jetpack 1.0 in an effort to extend a few excellent WordPress.com features to folks who host their own WordPress. Today, our team of 50 is proud to celebrate Jetpack’s 5th birthday, along with millions of our users and the rest of the WordPress community.

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Jetpack Team – October 2015

Jetpack has a unique connection to the WordPress community — we started with just a few features from WordPress.com and expanded that list over time, based on what we learned from our contributors, beta testers, and you. You’ve all had a hand in making Jetpack great, so we’re celebrating Jetpack’s birthday with your words and stories.

The Food Blogger: Shayda Torabi

Shayda is a long-time Jetpack user and the author and editor of Dine with Shayda, a food and travel blog showcasing the delicious meals she enjoys at restaurants all over the world

Dine with Shayda is a passion project, but I work on it like it’s a full time job. I love food and I love blogging, so it’s been fun to develop the site and learn new WordPress skills. I installed Jetpack immediately: It’s such a great suite of tools that I can’t imagine my site without it. I’ve got 20 or so of the features turned on, and they all improve the quality of my site. Not to mention, Jetpack is easy to understand and use.

I especially love Publicize because I don’t have to log in to Twitter or Facebook to promote my newly published posts; it happens automatically and it’s a time saver! And Related Posts, because one of the biggest things a blogger wants is engagement with their readers; I love its intuition to show my readers other posts they can check out, so it keeps them on my site longer. It’s a feature that just works without anything additional from me.

Pro tip: “Normally ‘related posts‘ plugins do their expensive text-processing and analysis on your server, using inefficient queries and too many resources. We use WordPress.com’s massive infrastructure to do that work for you, for better recommendations that don’t burden your server.” – Beau Lebens, Jetpack Product Lead

The Dedicated Developer: Aaron Ware

aaronAaron Ware is the president and founder of Linchpin, a full-service digital agency in Rhode Island. Aaron and his team of 10 manage 75 blogs, boutique sites, e-commerce stores, and online businesses, and Jetpack is one of their go-to tools.

I started using WordPress for a project in 2008. I realized how supportive the WordPress community was when I had a few questions, and I really gravitated towards it. At Linchpin, 100% of our sites utilize Jetpack Protect. Security is paramount, and Protect is one of those tools that just works out of the box.

Manage is an important tool for us as well. Using a single interface to update plugins and manage content allows us to spend more time working on projects and less time on day to day maintenance.

Pro tip: Protect guards your site against brute force login attempts. We use data collected from millions of websites to identify botnets and hackers. Through this unique algorithm we’ve already blocked well over ten billion malicious logins.” – Sam Hotchkiss, Jetpack Team Lead

The New User: John Botte

johnJohn Botte is a partner and co-founder at Digital Natives Group, an award-winning digital agency. Their Whisper communications platform provides web and mobile tools to help grow schools and student outreach. John and his team started using Jetpack a few weeks ago, after discovering the Photon module.

I immediately asked myself: why did I take so long to try this? I was blown away with how quickly my images went from being hosted on my server to Photon. It was like flipping a switch. I’m most impressed with the image optimization: it served up the same image file with no visible degradation, cut the file size in half, and sped up page-load times. Knowing resource usage and photo bandwidth won’t be an issue allows me to recommend more affordable hosting solutions to our clients.

I’m excited to try Manage and its auto-update feature. I dread updates on my client websites. Plugin updates across 50 sites can take away two to three days of productivity, and a tool that streamlines the process is invaluable.

Pro tip:Photon leverages WordPress core’s implementation of responsive images, so that not only are we serving you images from a super fast CDN, but they’re responsive!” – Derek Smart, Jetpack Engineer

The Convert: Michelle Schulp

schulp-headshot-2016-socialMichelle, founder of Marktime, is an independent visual communications designer and UX-focused theme developer. She came from a traditional design background, but grew into web development through WordPress. Today, she’s active at WordPress events as both a speaker and an organizer. Although she didn’t always use Jetpack, she now installs it on all her client’s sites. What won her over?

Intuitive modularization in conjunction with the fact that it provides a seamless, “core-feeling” experience to some powerful tools that all my clients come to expect. Also, many of the alternatives I looked into were pretty heavy and clunky.

Jetpack is now just a part of my clients’ WordPress sites, and they don’t think of it as a separate feature. They definitely appreciate the functionality and benefit of features like Stats, and it’s easy for me because everything just works.

Shayda, Aaron, John, and Michelle mentioned some great core features of Jetpack, but those features aren’t the only thing that make the Jetpack experience powerful. Thousands of our users have also experienced awesome support from our Happiness Engineers, and today is a special day for them too. 

Happy Birthday to Jetpack Support, too!

Since day one, we’ve provided free support for every Jetpack user. Our support team helps users with everything from getting set up to complex customization and coding questions.

A few Jetpack Happiness Engineers on meetup - October 2015

Just a few of our Happiness Engineers on meetup – October 2015

“We have a growing community ranging from the newly-minted user just starting with WordPress to the experienced engineer. It’s fun to help every single one of them.” – Jeremy Herve, Jetpack Mechanic

Jeremy is one of 21 Happiness Engineers who helps hundreds of users all over the world solve problems every day.

“Last year we responded to over 93,000 support messages over our email and forums support. The Jetpack support team is distributed across the globe, so we’re always available to help!” – Carolyn Sonnek, Happiness Rocketeer

Jeremy, Carolyn, and the rest of the support team not only help Shayda, Aaron, John, Michelle, and the rest of our users fix their technical issues and learn new ways to leverage Jetpack’s tools — they also play a vital role in Jetpack’s continued improvement.

What’s your story?

We are committed to continually improving Jetpack, and we have some really great plans for the future. We want to help you build faster and more secure websites, but to do that we’re going to need your help. Over the years we’ve tracked some of our favorite Jetpack sites, but we learn so much more about how you use Jetpack and what you want for the future through your stories.

Let us know how Jetpack saved you time, helped you build a faster website, or helped you generate more traffic. Help us understand what you want to see in the future — how we can improve your Jetpack and help you reach your goals for the next five years.

Comment below or use #JetpackTurns5 in your social media and WordPress posts so we can all hear your story!

Posted in Jetpack News | 8 Comments

Hook of the Month: Customizing the Top Posts & Pages Widget

Let’s kick off 2016 with a new series: welcome to the first installment of Hook of the Month!

Hooks are places in WordPress code where you can add your own code or change the default behavior of WordPress. Jetpack includes many of those hooks — 430 at the time of writing. In this series, I’ll introduce you to a new hook every month.

Today, let’s look at hooks help you customize one of our most popular widgets, the Top Posts & Pages widget.

Continue reading → Hook of the Month: Customizing the Top Posts & Pages Widget

Posted in Code snippets, Jetpack News, Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Mobile-Friendly: How Jetpack Can Help

Making your website mobile-friendly is becoming as important as having good content: over 75% of Americans now access the internet on both desktop and mobile devices, and the numbers of users who solely use a mobile device or tablet is steadily on the rise. A mobile-friendly site also helps attract new visitors; in April 2015, Google expanded mobile-friendliness as a ranking priority, so sites that are mobile-friendly rank higher in search results.

What does that mean to you as a website owner? A little time spent making sure your site looks good and works well on mobile devices can have big results.

Your site might already be mobile-friendly!

Most WordPress themes developed today are built to be responsive. That means the theme responds to the needs of the viewers and their devices, shifting the layout based on the screen size, resolution, and device capabilities.

Here’s the Twenty Fifteen theme, which is fully responsive, on a desktop computer, tablet, and phone:

Twenty Fifteen responsive design

Twenty Fifteen’s responsive design

The layout adjusts based upon the screen size. The site keeps a consistent look, but adapts to the smaller screens. No matter what screen size a site visitor is using, it will automatically adjust — and since screen sizes are continually changing, the site can adapt to any screen size today and in the future.

How can you check to see if your theme is responsive? If you’re on a desktop machine, go to the site you want to test, let it load, then make your browser screen narrower. If the site has a responsive design, the elements from the web page will start to adjust and rearrange themselves into a still-readable format.

You can also check this using your own mobile device: simply visit the site you want to test and see how it looks. If it looks like exactly the same as the desktop version but shrunk down, your site is likely not responsive.

How can Jetpack help?

Jetpack’s Mobile Theme in action.

If your site isn’t responsive and you’re not able to update your theme to one that is, you can use the Jetpack Mobile Theme to create a simplified, mobile-friendly version of your website. The Mobile Theme displays your content in a clean, uncluttered interface for phones, making it easy for visitors to access your newest content on the go.

The default mobile theme has a pleasing blue color, but you can also tailor the Mobile Theme to bring your site’s mobile experience more in line with the full-screen version. You can customize the kinds of content that appear on your mobile home page, the colors, and the header.

In addition, viewers have the option to switch to the desktop version of your site by tapping the “View Full Site” link at the bottom of each page, so they can still choose to have the full site experience.

Ready to make your site mobile-friendly? Activate the Jetpack Mobile Theme in your Jetpack settings, and check out our support documents for more detail on how to customize it!

Posted in Jetpack News | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jetpack users: Publish from your desktop with the WordPress.com app for Mac!

Great news for Jetpack users! With the release of the new WordPress.com, there are some exciting improvements for Jetpack users, too!

The Jetpack plugin now gives your self-hosted sites access to the new WordPress.com publishing and site-building tools — and the brand new WordPress.com app for Mac, along with a host of features to speed up, secure, and simplify site administration like automatic backups and plugin auto-updating.

Use the desktop app to focus on your content and design with no other browser tabs to distract you, or to keep your sites sidelined but accessible. Build your site anywhere, in whatever way helps you get your best work done: the app is powered by the same technology that runs WordPress.com, creating a seamless experience for publishing and browsing whether you’re in a browser, a mobile app, or the desktop!

(Windows and Linux users, we haven’t forgotten you! Visit the download page and sign up to be notified when your apps are available.)

Download the app

View the video below to see the improvements and an introduction to the new WordPress.com app for Mac:

To make sure you can take full advantage of the multisite management and publishing capabilities via the WordPress.com interface and the new WordPress.com app for Mac, turn on Jetpack Manage to enable site management in your plugin settings.

Learn more about the new WordPress.com and the WordPress.com app for Macthe technologies underlying the new WordPress.com and the process of building it, or read what our CEO has to say about the changes

Posted in Jetpack News | 8 Comments

Testers Needed: Jetpack Plugin Browser

While our Jetpack development team has been hard at work keeping your Jetpacks fueled up and ready for action – our developers over on WordPress.com have been busy too!

You may already be familiar with the great Jetpack features that utilize the WordPress.com interface: the ability to update your plugins across multiple sites with a single click, being able to view enhanced stats about your site, write new and update existing posts and pages with a beautiful editor, and more.

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Now, there’s even more new things to try!

Over on the WordPress.com Horizon, where the makers of WordPress.com test upcoming changes and new features with the WordPress.com community, there’s a call for testers for a new addition to the Jetpack management features on WordPress.com.

They’re currently looking for testers with Jetpack sites to test the new Plugin Browser feature.

The Plugin Browser lets you find and install plugins from the WordPress.org plugin directory. You can search for keywords or browse within Featured, New and Popular categories. If you’ve got plugins on your site that you no longer need, then this update also lets you remove (delete) those plugins from your sites. You can still activate/deactivate plugins, and turn on (or off) auto-updates as well.

As part of the plugin browser project they have added more details to the single plugin view, which now serves reviews and ratings from the WordPress community, as well as the full description, changelog and other information specified by the plugin author.

“That’s great – how can I help?” you might ask.

Simple! There’s a post on the Horizon Feedback blog with all the details you may need including what to test, how to test, and how to submit feedback to the WordPress.com development team.

The Plugin Browser will be open for feedback through September 28th – so head on over to the Horizon post and get a sneak peek at this great new feature.

Thank you so much if you take the time to test. We appreciate it!

Posted in Contribute, Jetpack News | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Automattic Acquires BruteProtect

I’m excited to announce that Automattic has acquired BruteProtect, a plugin and service that protects your sites from malicious logins, saves server resources so your site runs faster, and keeps all your sites on the latest and greatest versions of WordPress core, plugins, and themes.

The plugin and service are currently available, but over the coming months we’re going to build their functionality into Jetpack and retire BruteProtect as a standalone thing.

BruteProtect also has a premium service that starts at $5 a month per site — effective immediately, that will be free for every BruteProtect user and Jetpack-enabled site. If you’re already a BruteProtect subscriber we’ll be in touch soon to send you a surprise thank you for your early support. You can download and get started with Jetpack here.

The BruteProtect team is based in Bath, Maine and they’re long-time contributors to the WordPress community. We’re excited to see them join forces with the Jetpack team and up the level of security, protection, and peace of mind we’ll be able to bring to the millions of sites already using Jetpack.

Though Automattic is known for its consumer-facing services like WordPress.com and Jetpack, the infrastructure behind them is the bottom part of the iceberg. Taking services to web-scale is another one of Automattic’s specialties, whether it’s the 8 billion Gravatars we serve every day, the Simperium sync service, or the countless spam that Akismet has blocked (and time it has saved).

This is internet plumbing: when it works it’s completely invisible, and we love that. We’re now pushing 450 terabytes of data a day from 9 datacenters around the globe.

Welcome, BruteProtect! You can read more about the acquisition from Sam on their blog.

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Jetpack 2.0: Publicize to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr; Post by Email; Photon; Infinite Scroll

The past nine releases of Jetpack have started to reveal our vision for next-generation features that will boost WordPress’ incredible success by making it more social, more connected, more mobile, and more customizable.

Over three million downloads later, we’re excited to report that the community has embraced this seemingly impossible vision for combining the best of hosted and non-hosted WordPress. This tenth release brings some of the most-asked-for features into the hands of millions of Jetpackers.

Publicize to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr…

You no longer have to jump through hoops and developer portals to connect your blog to your friends on your favorite social networks. Through Jetpack and your WordPress.com account, you can connect to each network with just a few clicks and broadcast to your audiences and followers across several networks, making WordPress your true digital hub. Activate Publicize from the main Jetpack page in your dashboard, then go to Settings → Sharing to add social sharing connections.

Post by Email

If you live in Gmail, Outlook, your BlackBerry, or just find it easiest to email on the go, you’ll love the new Post by Email feature. Email anything to your secret address — a photo, a video, a bunch of photos, an audio file, ten pages of single-spaced text — and we’ll figure out how to make it beautiful and put it on your blog literally within seconds after you send it. Combined with Publicize and the previously-released Subscriptions module, that post will go out to all your friends including ones that subscribe via email, completing the loop of email / blog nirvana. To set up your special address go to Users → Your Profile in your dashboard and click the “Enable Post By Email” button.

Photon Your Images

Have you ever switched themes to find that full-width images break out of the layout and no longer fit your theme? Are you frustrated that images on your blog take too long to load? Jetpack Photon fixes all of that by making the advanced image acceleration and image editing service from WordPress.com available to the broader WordPress community, essentially making every image a fully dynamic object that themes and plugins can transform to their heart’s content without killing your server. In fact, if you enable Photon, you will see your CPU and bandwidth usage plummet as images are served through the global WordPress.com cloud, meaning less load on your host and faster images for your users.

Infinite Scroll

Infinite Scroll brings the future of reading on the web to your website. Speed and performance are key, and Infinite Scroll loads new content quickly without a full-page refresh. Instead of the old way of navigating down a page — by scrolling and then clicking a link to get to the next page and waiting for the page to refresh — infinite scrolling pulls the next set of posts into view automatically when the reader approaches the bottom of the page. Your theme needs support for this to work. There are already several themes in the directory with Jetpack Infinite Scroll support and theme authors will find documentation for adding it to any theme on jetpack.me.

Onwards…

Jetpack 2.0 isn’t just about shiny new things, we’ve also fixed dozens of bugs and under-the-hood things to keep Jetpack one of the smoothest running, most secure, and most stable plugins out there.

I want to personally thank all of the members of the Jetpack community who have shared countless hours of testing, feedback, and criticism. Your thoughts and passion have made the plugin immeasurably better than it would have been otherwise, and rest assured we’re still listening closely to your feedback around better stats, module activation and deactivation, developer mode, translation, and documentation.

Posted in Jetpack News, Releases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 90 Comments
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