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 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.

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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.

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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.

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How Enhanced Distribution Drives Traffic to Your Site

Many website owners and content creators seek to build their brands by reaching out to the widest possible audiences. The question is, how do you make potential customers aware of what you have to offer?

If your goal is similar to the one described above, then pay attention to Enhanced Distribution from Jetpack.

Let’s discuss what Enhanced Distribution does, and why you should apply it to your website.

The WordPress.com Firehose

Enhanced Distribution enables your website’s public posts to be included within the WordPress.com Firehose. This is made available to search engines and other entities that use real-time content streams in a variety of ways. You can be included in the Firehose even if you’re a self-hosted WordPress site owner.

With Jetpack, your site’s content is eligible for inclusion in the Firehose. Just enable Enhanced Distribution. If you ever want to disable this (or any other Jetpack) feature, you can do so from the Jetpack Debugging Center.

Increase traffic and backlinks to your site

The primary benefit of enabling Enhanced Distribution involves quickly attracting site traffic.

Take search engines, for example. Enhanced Distribution enables your content to be indexed almost immediately upon being published. This increases your chances of being discovered by target audience members.

In addition, other site owners can use the Firehose to display content on their own websites. Whenever they do so, they’re required to link back to the original source. This drives visitors to your site by increasing the backlinks leading to it. According to an analysis from Backlinko, backlinks are correlated with higher Google search rankings as well.

Support your site with Enhanced Distribution

Enhanced Distribution can help you generate more site traffic and build your backlink strategy. It doesn’t require any added effort besides consistently publishing content to your site. From there, it will automatically be shared to the WordPress.com Firehose.

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Keep Your Site Secure With an SSL Certificate

The following popup is sure to send a shiver down your spine:

Screenshot of security warning in Google Chrome for site without SSL certificate

Even if a site visitor doesn’t share any sensitive information with the above site, they’ll probably feel unnerved by its insecure connection. When people lose trust in a website’s security, that site loses potential customers and fans.

This is why your website needs an SSL certificate. You owe it to your site visitors to provide a secure connection and peace of mind. You also owe it to yourself to install an SSL certificate to guarantee your website’s security and maintain the trust that you worked so hard to build. Not to mention, browsers like Google Chrome now require sites to have them.

Today, you’ll learn what SSL means, what an SSL certificate does, and three reasons why your site needs one (whether or not you’re collecting visitor data).

Learn the SSL basics

SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer, which is the standard protocol that establishes encrypted connections between websites and web browsers.

Having an SSL certificate installed on your website positions you to create a secure connection between your site and its visitors. This is critical if you ever request any personal data from them, including names, addresses, credit card details, or other sensitive information.

To obtain an SSL certificate, you need to use a Certificate Authority (CA). CAs are companies and organizations that verify a website’s legitimacy.

Upon request, certain site hosts will handle the SSL process for you. Others may offer lists of recommended providers. Reach out to your provider’s support team to determine what they recommend when installing an SSL certificate on your site.

Why your site needs an SSL certificate

1. It validates your identity

Verifying the credentials of the entity requesting an SSL certificate is part of the process that Certificate Authorities go through when issuing them. It’s a fairly comprehensive process that involves multiple credible sources of verification. Thus, when you have an SSL certificate on your site, savvy visitors know that you’re in fact who you say you are, making them more likely to trust you.

2. It enables you to securely accept payments, protect passwords, and gather information via forms

Making sales on your website requires more than just establishing trust with your potential customers. Oftentimes, you need an SSL certificate in place to accept credit card payments.

If your site pages require passwords to be accessed, you will need an SSL certificate to keep those passwords safe. Additionally, if you have forms on your site — from contact forms to robust questionnaires that request personal information — you need an SSL certificate to protect the data being submitted by visitors.

3. Google will flag your website as unsafe

Google Chrome will generate and present a message to site visitors whenever they land on a website that doesn’t have an SSL certificate installed.

The cascading impact of lacking an SSL certificate goes beyond creating negative experiences for current site visitors. It’s likely to prevent future visitors from finding your site, as Google will rank it lower in its search engine results.

According to the SEO experts at Search Engine Land, it doesn’t matter whether there’s a specific algorithm in place for having an SSL certificate or not. If enough visitors notice that your site isn’t secure and leave, your bounce rate will increase, and your time on page will decrease. This negative change in metrics can cause your site’s search engine ranking to suffer.

Consider an SSL certificate to be a necessity

Preventing site visitors from receiving warnings that your site isn’t secure is enough of a reason to have an SSL certificate in place (even if you never collect any sensitive data).

Even if you don’t sell products or store sensitive information on your website, an SSL certificate gives your visitors a sense of security while they’re browsing through your content. It can also be the deciding factor for ranking higher than competitors in search results.

Don’t let a lack of trust and lost revenue from an oversight like not having an SSL certificate happen to you.

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Learn About the Benefits of Push Notifications

Managing the activity on your blog posts or web pages can be tricky, especially if you’re not monitoring your site all day. Paying attention to your site visitors and responding to their comments in a timely manner, however, does wonders for your brand and audience growth.

Notifications can bridge the gap in receiving real-time updates by alerting you of any new likes and comments as they come in. Having this information empowers you to gauge reactions, respond to questions or queries, and take action in a timely manner.

Let’s take a look at the benefits of push notifications, and how you can receive them from any device to stay on top of real-time conversations.

Push notifications are real-time alerts

Push notifications use the Push API to deliver instant alerts to your devices once you opt in to receive them from apps, websites, or other services.

After you enable the push notifications for a particular website, you won’t need to have that site open to receive alerts. A background process referred to as a “service worker” will handle any incoming notifications. You’ll be informed of any updates or activities, like when someone comments on a post.

Jetpack’s different notification types

With Jetpack, you can receive instant notifications whenever a site visitor leaves a comment or like. This further facilitates engagement with your readers. Notifications are enabled by default, and you can choose to receive them in three different ways:

  • Within your toolbar: All notifications are displayed in your WordPress toolbar. From there, you can view likes and comments while moderating and participating in your visitors’ discussions.

  • On your desktop computer: Most major web browsers support push notifications. Once you give a browser permission to display notifications from Jetpack, they will generate within your desktop’s notifications area. You don’t need to have a particular site page open to receive these alerts, but a working internet connection is necessary to deliver them.

  • Mobile notifications: You can also receive instant activity alerts by installing the WordPress mobile application (available for Android and iOS) on your smart devices, including phones and tablets.

Jetpack Mobile Notification

Push notifications create opportunities for engagement

Push notifications inform you the instant a site visitor comments on or likes your post. With this information on-hand, you’ll be less likely to miss opportunities for audience engagement. Notifications appear on your WordPress toolbar, desktop computer, and smart devices, allowing you to stay in-the-know no matter where you are, or what device you’re using.

Push notifications can be particularly useful if you host an “Ask Me Anything” session, where visitors are encouraged to leave questions about any topic in your comments section. Every time someone asks a question, you’ll be notified in real time. You can answer in a timely fashion to keep the dialogue going, without being strapped to your monitor or constantly refreshing your pages. This format is a great way to source material for new content, increase user engagement, and rally fans.

If you respond to comments promptly, participants are more likely to reply. Use this arrangement to pull other voices into the dialogue, inviting new site visitors to contribute their thoughts as well. Throughout this process, you’ll learn more about your readers while developing stronger connections with them and your content.

Make the most of your site with push notifications

By moderating conversations and responding to comments in real time, you can personally recommend relevant content for your visitors to check out. Additionally, responding to negative comments or feedback right away can improve your overall user experience.

These are the factors that will encourage visitors to stick around your site for longer periods of time, explore more of your content offerings, and recommend you to their friends.

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Find Your Community at WordPress WordCamps

When you think about WordPress, websites and blogging likely come to mind. While this is certainly an accurate association, WordPress is much more than just a publishing and site-hosting software: it’s a community of users and developers across the globe. Almost every weekend, somewhere in the world, these users get together at a local WordCamp.

As a WordPress user yourself, you have an open invitation to attend WordCamps. Want to uncover what WordPress WordCamps are all about, what to expect, and the benefits of attending? Read on!

WordCamps are about community

The first WordCamp was hosted in San Francisco in 2006. Since then, these events have been held in 65 countries, across six continents.

WordCamps are informal meetups, organized by community members. They typically focus on all things WordPress, and provide users (regardless of experience level) with a place to collaborate, share ideas, and learn from each other.

WordCamps are hosted and organized by volunteers. While each one features a regional flavor, they generally follow the WordCamp Organizer Handbook. Below are some elements that you can expect to see at every WordCamp event.

Passionate attendees

One of the overarching themes present at every WordCamp is making WordPress education accessible to everyone. This is why these events attract a broad range of people — from new users to those who actively contribute to WordPress software development. You’ll meet bloggers, website owners, graphic designers, developers, WordPress consultants, and everyone in between.

Scheduled sessions

WordCamps typically take place over the course of a weekend. Many occur from a Friday to Sunday, while others are single-day events. Each day includes sessions that span a variety of formats. This might include workshops, panels, interviews, lectures, and live demonstrations.

Upon arrival, you’ll be presented with a schedule of sessions. Schedules are frequently organized by skill level and topic. For example, “Social Media Sharing for Beginners” or “Advanced Strategies for Search Engine Optimization.”

Session at WordCamp San Diego 2016. Photo by Joe McDonald (http://mcdonaldmediaproduction.com/)

Associated costs

WordCamps are not-for-profit. They’re meant to be low-key, affordable events. Tickets usually run from $20 per day, and include full conference access, snacks, and a t-shirt or other branded merchandise.

WordCamps are positioned to offer value for a low price because they’re subsidized by sponsors like Jetpack. In case you’re curious, here’s why Jetpack loves supporting WordCamps.

Jetpack Sponsor Table at WordCamp Europe 2017. Photo by Oliver Gobet (https://www.flickr.com/photos/gd6d/)

Organizers, volunteers, and speakers

WordCamps are led by teams of organizers, volunteers, and session speakers. Everyone involved in running the event is a volunteer, the majority of whom are locally based.

These volunteers donate their time and energy out of their love for WordPress and its community. They frequently wear matching t-shirts so that you can quickly identify them. Should you have questions or need anything at a WordCamp, find a volunteer to help.

Volunteers at WordCamp Dallas-Fort Worth 2017

Reasons to attend a WordCamp

Not sure if attending a WordCamp is right for you? Here are a few reasons to reconsider:

Learn something new

At every WordCamp, you’ll dive deeper into familiar topics, find new ways to improve your website, and become familiar with features that you might not be using at this point. In short, you’ll leave with insights and an eagerness to test out some new WordPress knowledge.

If you want to attend multiple sessions scheduled for the same time, don’t worry. Most WordCamps record sessions and post them on WordPress.tv afterward.

Visit new cities

Thanks to the affordability of WordCamp tickets, attending an out-of-town event might also factor into your budget. Consider this a great excuse to visit a new city and connect with the locals.

Additionally, if you’re attending WordCamp for business purposes, you might be able to deduct certain travel expenses from your taxes. Of course, you’ll want to check with your accountant first.

Meet the Jetpack team in-person

Jetpack sponsors WordCamps all over the world. As a part of that sponsorship, Jetpack team members attend events and host booths. At numerous WordCamps, you can stop by the Jetpack booth, meet the team that creates and supports it, and maybe even pick up some free merch.

Jetpack at WordCamp US 2015. Photo by Sheri Bigelow (https://flic.kr/p/CxRD7W)

Get your questions answered

Meeting experienced WordPress users who can help you overcome site obstacles is one of the greatest benefits of attending an event. Many WordCamps even offer a Happiness Bar where you can ask for website help throughout the weekend.

Expand your network

You’ll find ample time between sessions to chat with other WordPress enthusiasts. WordCamps are a great way to make business connections, find freelancers for hire to assist with your website development, and meet others who use WordPress and Jetpack in a similar way.

Go WordCamping

Each WordCamp is positioned to help attendees learn, engage with others, and discover the larger WordPress community. You might become exhausted from all the exciting new information and interactions, but chances are high that by the time you leave, you’ll already be thinking about your next WordCamp.

WordCamp Medellin 2016. Photo by Samantha Hare.

If you haven’t yet attended a WordCamp, now’s your chance! Find an upcoming WordCamp near you.

Posted in Events, Learn, WordCamp | Comments Off on Find Your Community at WordPress WordCamps

If You’re Looking to Generate More Leads in 2019, Make the Most of Jetpack’s New Form Block

When people visit your website, they should do more than just browse a page or two and move along to another site. You should give them the opportunity to become a customer or a fan.

That first glimpse of your website is just the beginning of your relationship with a site visitor. The goal is to encourage them to keep coming back, buy your products, or use your services while becoming an advocate for your brand.

With a new year mere hours away, let’s focus on how to generate leads — potential future customers — by allowing visitors to subscribe to your mailing list and website, and share tips for incentivizing them to do so in 2019 and beyond.

Generate leads to build a loyal fanbase

It’s tempting to assume that your website will become a selling powerhouse all on its own — that if you run an eCommerce store, people will browse through your products and services and make purchases right away.

Things don’t always work that way. People are unlikely to make a purchase the very first time they come into contact with an online business. According to Pew Research Center, 86% of American shoppers believe that it’s important to be able to compare prices from different sellers before making a purchase. Therefore, depending on the nature and price of your product or service, it could take a number of interactions before a shopper is convinced to buy something from your site.

To maintain a relationship with a potential customer after they navigate away from your site, you’ll want to request their contact details so that you can follow up and address any concerns or questions they might have. Alternatively, you might want to tell them about other products or services they might not have seen the first time they’d visited your site.

If you gather leads and use them effectively, you can gradually develop relationships with prospective customers. In turn, these relationships can lead to sales. You can also nurture these relationships over time, encouraging shoppers to return to your site for repeat visits while recommending your products and services to their friends.

Using forms to gather leads

One of the most effective ways to gather leads from your website is by using a contact form. Contact forms let you collect site visitor information (like email addresses), so that you can contact prospective customers to answer any questions or let them know about your services. With the new Form block — available to anyone with the latest version of Jetpack — creating a contact form on any post or page has never been easier. You can customize it to your needs, and even include a checkbox so visitors can confirm that they agree to receive emails from your business. Once they’ve opted in, send emails about your offerings, specials, or promotions.

Curious to see how a form might look on your site? Here’s how you will see it in the WordPress Editor:

Once you publish a page or post containing the Form block above, this is what visitors will see on your site:

Adding a form to a widget

You don’t need to limit your contact forms to posts and pages. To add your form to a widget (so that you can display it in your footer, sidebar, or any other widget area in your theme), follow the instructions on creating a simple Contact Form Shortcode and enter the resulting code into a Text Widget.

Adding contact form to widget

Gathering leads through subscriptions

Another popular method for gathering leads is encouraging visitors to subscribe to your site. This way, they’ll receive notifications whenever you post new content. Users can subscribe through the Subscriptions Widget.

The Jetpack subscribe widget

This ensures that your site visitors won’t miss your latest posts. When they receive notifications that you’ve published new content, they’ll be more likely to keep you top-of-mind when they’re ready to make purchases.

Incentivize your leads to become customers

Some lead forms are more effective than others. How do you encourage as many people as possible to complete yours? Here are some tips:

  • Offer leads something in return for filling out a form or subscribing to your site. This might take the form of a discount, a free download, or exclusive content. Whatever you choose, follow up and deliver it immediately.
  • Keep the number of form fields to a minimum. People may scoff at a form that takes a long time to complete. If all you really need is an email address and a checkbox, include only these items.
  • Ensure that your form is mobile-friendly. Your theme is most likely responsive, but it never hurts to check how your form appears on a mobile device.
  • Play by the rules. When someone submits a form, they will either be redirected to a custom page within your site, or will receive a confirmation message (depending on which option you choose). On your site page or within the message, tell subscribers what they’ll be receiving, how often you’ll be contacting them, and remind them that they can unsubscribe at any time.

Communicating with new leads

After you secure new leads, don’t forget to follow up with them. The moments following a signup or subscription are among those when your new leads are most receptive to hearing from you.

Linking Jetpack to an automated email service like Mailchimp will position you to send subscribers friendly emails right away, including information about your products and details around the freebie or discount code that you initially offered as an incentive.

If a user subscribed to your site content, make sure you’re publishing regularly so they don’t forget about you.

Gather leads to boost sales

Website lead generation enables you to build a loyal following of customers and fans. Gathering leads and effectively following up on them will help you win over more customers in, increase repeat site visits, and acquire a loyal fanbase. If you follow the tips above, 2019 can be the year your website can become the powerful selling tool that it’s always had the potential to be.


Posted in Learn | Tagged , , | 2 Comments
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