Clients are the backbone of every service-based business — web design freelancers and agencies included. After all, without clients, there are no booked projects and no steady income.
While there are quite a few ways to market yourself as a web designer, the best place to start is with an attractive website and online portfolio that shows potential clients what you have to offer and the value of working with you.
Portfolios are how potential clients can get a feel for your design aesthetic. They can also see which past projects of yours are similar to theirs, and decide whether or not you’re the right designer to bring their ideas to life. In other words, your portfolio shows off your web design skills and helps you eliminate prospects that don’t fit your ideal client profile.
Today, we’ll cover how Jetpack can help to showcase your web design skills with a Portfolio.
Continue reading → Create an Online Portfolio to Highlight Your Web Design Skills
One key task that dedicated blog owners eventually need to address is how to boost site engagement. While encouraging your visitors to engage in discussions by leaving comments and showing them related posts can encourage them to interact with your site, there are a few other tactics that you can implement to increase their involvement even more.
Jetpack offers different sidebar widgets that can help keep readers on your site for longer periods of time, and can even increase your following. On the other hand, too many widgets can clutter your sidebar, which might lead to the opposite effect: poor user experiences.
As such, you need to be strategic about which widgets you add to your sidebar. Today, we’ll review three Jetpack widgets that will present your visitors with compelling information without overwhelming them.
Continue reading → How to Boost Site Engagement with an Optimized Sidebar
You’ve been thinking about changing the look of your site for a while now. You found a WordPress theme that you like, but you’re a bit nervous about what will happen to your site after you activate the new theme.
You’re overcome with questions: Will you lose any of your site data? How do you pick and customize a new theme? How will a new theme impact your site layout, and will widgets that you installed remain intact?
There are many things to consider before making the switch to a new theme. Knowing what to look for is half the battle, but we’re here to help guide you along the way.
Let’s explore exactly what you should keep in mind when changing your WordPress theme to make it a smooth transition.
Continue reading → What to Consider When Changing Your WordPress Theme
When someone visits your website, you probably want them to be dazzled by your photos or wooed by its background images. You want to share visuals that will capture and hold their attention.
However, sometimes your images can take a long time to load, which might lead to decreased site traffic and lower search engine rankings.
According to Pew Research Center, the share of Americans that own smartphones is now 77%, up from just 35% in Pew’s first survey of smartphone ownership conducted in 2011. With a growing number of visitors having access to WordPress sites from their mobile devices, performance optimization is more important than ever before. If you’re not paying attention to your website’s performance, it’s like leaving money on the table.
Fortunately, you don’t need to settle for a slow site; Jetpack’s Lazy Loading images feature has got you covered.
This useful feature helps to improve the performance of your website by only loading images once they actually appear on your viewer’s screen. Enabling this tool helps reduce the total resources used by your website, which will speed it up significantly.
Today, we’ll learn more about Lazy loading images by discussing what it does to improve your website, why performance optimization is so important for WordPress websites, and how to enable it with Jetpack.
Continue reading → Speed Up Your Jetpack Site with Lazy Loading Images
Website customization is one of the best ways to ensure that your site reflects your brand’s voice, style, and personality. It typically involves incorporating your brand’s colors and fonts, uploading your logo as the header image, adding a background design, and including branded images in your posts.
However, the branding process of site development doesn’t have to stop with the basics. There are a few extra customizations that can get overlooked, even though they’re some of the easiest ways to add an extra touch of personality to your site. One of these customizations is the ability to rename site sections.
Today, we’ll explain why you want to rename your site sections, and the various tools and widgets available to customize the different parts of your website.
Continue reading → Website Customization: Renaming Sections on Your WordPress Site
From photographers and DIY bloggers, to advertising companies and freelancers, many professionals and businesses rely on online portfolios to promote their work.
If your site could benefit from an online portfolio, now might be the perfect time to create one. Often times, site visitors make first impressions after viewing online portfolios, so creating a powerful portfolio page can be extremely important to the future of your business.
Today, we’ll cover how to create an online portfolio with your self-hosted WordPress site and Jetpack.
Continue reading → Create Stunning Portfolios with WordPress and Jetpack
Jetpack takes this ease of use a step further by offering everyone more than 150 free themes, and more than 200 premium themes to Professional plan subscribers. This not only allows you to preview each one, but you can even search for themes with specific features.
But with so many great themes available, it can be hard — sometimes really hard — to pick just one. How do you choose the one that’s best for your site?
Today, we’ll review what you should look for in a theme when picking from the very best that the world of WordPress has to offer.
Continue reading → How to Choose the Right WordPress Theme for Your Site
Every website owner, from blogger to eCommerce entrepreneur, wants visitors to engage with their site. The longer you keep a visitor around, the more invested they become in your brand — and the more likely they are to make a purchase or subscribe to your content.
That’s why it’s important to capture their attention and keep them clicking through your site past the page they landed on.
1. Keep them reading with relevant content
A great way to keep your readers on your site longer is to entice them with more of your own content — but in a targeted way that speaks to their interests.
When a reader is already on a post, you can show them related content below to keep them clicking and reading. To do this with your WordPress site, just activate Jetpack’s Related Posts feature.
To start using Related Posts, visit Jetpack → Settings → Traffic → Related Posts and select the Show related content after posts option.
PRO TIP: It’s a good idea to always include relevant images in your posts. When you select the Show a thumbnail image where available option, your Related Posts sections will be that much more compelling.
2. Make your content easy to access
Keep your readers engaged by showing just how much there is to explore on your site at a glance. By featuring links to content in a sidebar or footer area, you can make it easy to access more posts and pages and keep your readers around longer.
Make use of your website’s real estate by adding lists and links to your content in your widget and menu areas. Widget areas could be your sidebar, footer, or other blocks of content built into the design of your WordPress theme.
Use the Top Posts & Pages Widget to promote your content with the most views. To add a widget, go to Appearance → Widgets. Then, select one of the many widget options to link to your posts and pages. You can add the Top Posts & Pages Widget, the Display WordPress Posts Widget, a Categories widget, or you could generate a tag cloud to help people find content related to specific topics.
If you’re unable to find the Top Posts & Pages Widget, make sure that you have the Widgets feature enabled from Jetpack → Settings → Writing:
PRO TIP: using Jetpack’s Widget Visibility feature, you can have complete control over where widgets do – and do not – appear across your site. This allows you to better target visitors with relevant links and content, depending on which page they’re currently browsing.
3. Highlight your content using image widgets
Another fun and effective way to advertise your content is using Jetpack’s Image widget. You can add temporary images linking to interesting posts, popular products, items currently on sale, or any content where you’re looking to drive lots of traffic.
Use this flexible feature to create your very own advertisements directly on your site. The visual cues will direct a reader’s attention to the content or products you want them to explore. This can be very useful for eCommerce sites, service providers, and websites offering special promotions.
When you add a new Image widget to your site, you can either select an image that has already been uploaded to your media library, upload a brand new image from your computer, or insert an image directly from a URL.
PRO TIP: If you need some help creating compelling promotional images or badges, we recommend checking out Canva (it’s free!). In just a few minutes – with no design experience required – you can be up and running with a beautiful design.
4. Communicate through clear navigation
It’s important to remember that if your content isn’t linked in your navigation menu or promoted on your homepage, your visitors may simply never find it. Make sure everything is easy to access bycreating custom menus in your menu or widget areas.
These could be short menus or a single complex drop-down menu. Either way, the goal is to make it easy for your visitors to navigate your site with a thoughtful and straight-forward menu structure. When your content is categorized and put on display, it becomes much more pleasant and intuitive to explore your site.
Learn how to create and customize your menus from Appearance → Menushere.
PRO TIP: While you’ll definitely want to include all of your static and important pages in your primary navigation, don’t be afraid to include links to other content that you’re trying to promote. This can include posts or even external links. If you want your visitors to see something, getting it in front of them on the home page and in the primary site navigation is really important.
Use these tips to keep your visitors engaged
Whether you run a personal website or a large eCommerce marketplace, you don’t just want traffic: you want your readers to engage with your website in a meaningful way. That’s why it’s important to reward them with relevant content that delivers on their expectations and adds value to their lives.
The more readers enjoy being on your site, the longer they’ll stay — and the more likely they will become a subscriber or customer. A proven way to build your following is to use Jetpack’s Related Posts feature, the Top Posts & Pages Widget, Image widgets, and WordPress’ custom menu feature to make it easier for your readers to engage.
What about you? What tips do you have to keep visitors on your site for longer? Share them with us in the comments.
If you’ve ever tried to make changes to the appearance of your site, you’ve probably discovered that you can do so using CSS. In this article, we’ll give an overview of what CSS is, how Jetpack can help you get started with CSS customizations, and a few links to helpful resources to learn more.