Let’s Get Visual: Five Jetpack Features to Try

Fun fact: according to a recent Hubspot blog post, researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.

No doubt, when it comes to publishing a compelling blog post or designing an eye-catching landing page, it’s important to consider visuals, including both photo and video.

Here at Jetpack, we make it simple for you to incorporate photo and video into the stories you share on your website.

Get acquainted with five Jetpack features to help you get visual.

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  1. Gallery Widget: Slideshows are a popular way for many media organizations and bloggers to display photos. Jetpack’s Gallery Widget provides you with a simple way to display a photo gallery or slideshow in your blog’s sidebar.
  2. Carousel: When you activate Carousel, any standard WordPress galleries you have embedded in posts or pages will launch a gorgeous full-screen photo browsing experience with comments and EXIF metadata.
  3. Photon: If you don’t size your photos properly, you can seriously slow down your site. That’s where Photon comes in handy. Photon is an image acceleration service that resizes your photos and serves the right image size for your visitors from our free CDN. What does this mean for you? Automated image optimization, and faster image loading for your readers.
  4. Custom CSS: Want to customize your theme to create a site that displays media exactly the way you want? With Jetpack’s Custom CSS feature you can write a few lines of CSS in an easy-to-use editor without having to modify files or upload code. Take control of the layout and design of your images and videos with this advanced tool.
  5. Tiled Galleries: Tiled Galleries offers up another fun and creative way to display photos. This feature allows you to display image galleries in three styles: a rectangular mosaic, a square mosaic, and a circular grid. Best of all? Captions are hidden and slide into sight when you hover over the image.

Over to you! Do you have a favorite Jetpack feature for visuals? We’d love to hear how you’re using these tools on your blog or website.

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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

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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!

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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

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Jetpack 2.3.4

Jetpack 2.3.4 is out! Included are a number of bug fixes and enhancements — from using the freshest Genericon assets to improving many of our translations, it’s the best Jetpack yet.

We’ve also lightened the load by dropping many of the “retina display” versions of WordPress Core assets that core has had come bundled with since 3.5. If you’re still running WordPress 3.4, it may be time to look at upgrading!

For a full changelog, check out http://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/changelog/

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Photon and Themes

Theme crafters often ask whether Photon — the free Image Content Delivery Network module in Jetpack — can be used to speed up page loads and save on bandwidth when delivering images from their themes. The short answer: Yes! Read on for the how-to.

Continue reading → Photon and Themes

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Security & Maintenance Release: Jetpack 2.3.1

Howdy, Jetpack Community!

We’ve just released v2.3.1 to the plugins repository.  This is both a security release, and fixes a number of minor bugs that we’ve found in the past few weeks.

The security aspect related to a missing capability check that permitted a non-intuitive, but feasible method for authenticated users to activate modules, but not to view or change any configurations. We added in the proper checks to ensure that this never happens in the future, and are currently looking at retooling the administrative UI for the next release.

Other changes include:

  • Comments: We added in some additional classes to the comment form markup to mirror the upcoming changes in core.
  • Debug: We improved the test results output by making the error messages clearer and more succinct.
  • Likes: We fixed a static warning, and added some styling if you’ve got MP6 enabled.
  • Omnisearch: We fixed a couple strict warnings from newer versions of PHP, delayed the inclusion and declaration of providers until admin_init, and made it easier to search custom post types.
  • Sharing: We applied a couple of layout patches including: updating the Pinterest element width when necessary, adjusting length to better fit tweets, and migrating the LinkedIn button to their official sharing link.
  • Social Links: We refactored the class for a more consistent codebase.
  • Twitter Timeline Widget: We started applying some better data validation for the widget dimensions.
  • We added a MINUTE_IN_SECONDS and related constants for backward compatability with WordPress 3.4

As always, please let us know if you have any issues cropping up, so that we can quickly deal with them!

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Custom post type and metadata support in the REST API

Developer Resources

We’ve recently made some updates to the REST API which is available here on WordPress.com and for any Jetpack-enabled site that has the REST API module activated. The API now has full read and write support for custom post types and post metadata.

You can specify a post’s post type when you create or edit it. If you’re fetching a single post, you will receive its post type in the response. Of course, you can also specify a post type when fetching a series of posts. In all cases the parameter to use or look out for is type.

You can also query posts by metadata using the new meta_key and meta_value parameters. You can add, update, delete or retrieve a post’s metadata when creating, editing or getting a single post, using the new metadata parameter which accepts an array of metadata keys, ids, previous_value

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Urgent Bug Fix: Jetpack 2.2.4

Dear Jetpack community,

I want to apologize, firstly, for pushing multiple updates out to you in one day. We’ve been doing our very best over the last several months to make sure that our releases are stable and tested in as many disparate environments as possible.

In this case, a bug cropped up because of an oversight in how we loaded a compatibility file for bbPress in Jetpack. It wasn’t caught in testing, which is unfortunate. This is a good example, though, of how we learn from our mistakes, improve our processes, and do better with the next release.

For those users effected by this, we decided it would be better to release Jetpack 2.2.4 as soon as possible to resolve this issue.

As always, please get in touch with us if you run into an issue. We’d be very happy to help!

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Spring Has Sprung; Jetpack 2.2.3

Hello Jetpack community,

We’ve been hard at work on Jetpack over the last couple of weeks. Since releasing version 2.2.2 (which was mainly a bug fix release), we have focused our attention on making sure that Jetpack will play nicely with WordPress 3.6 when it is released. Here are the highlights:

  • Yahoo! Updates API is going away, so Yahoo! has been pulled out of Publicize;
  • The Shortcode module now includes a Bandcamp shortcode;
  • The Audio flash player was removed in 2.2.2 for security reasons. We fixed the vulnerability and reenabled the flash player;
  • The plugin adds Infinite Scroll support to Twenty Thirteen;
  • With Jetpack 2.2.3, the reply-title portion of the comment form can be styled by the theme;
  • and many other things that you can read about in the changelog.

Keep an eye on our news feed! We will be posting some articles on how to use Jetpack-beyond-the-basics, plus some on “getting to know”-the-Jetpack-folks.

Thanks, as always, for following along with us. Here are some updated ways to get in touch:

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