Building a Beautiful Photoblog with Jetpack

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

Continue reading → Building a Beautiful Photoblog with Jetpack

Posted in Features | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Securing your Site with Jetpack

jetpack-security

Website security is important, although it can seem daunting or tedious — it doesn’t have to be. These six simple and effective best practices will help you protect your WordPress website from malicious, unwanted attention (hint: Jetpack can help!).

Continue reading → Securing your Site with Jetpack

Posted in Security Series | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Jetpack 3.9 — Sitemaps, a new Skype Sharing Button, and More

With the release of Jetpack 3.9, we’re introducing a brand new module, as well as a lot of improvements for several existing Jetpack modules.

Jetpack’s new Sitemaps Module

Jetpack already includes features like Subscriptions and Publicize, to let your readers know whenever you publish a new post on your site. You can now let Search Engines know, too!

What are sitemaps? Sitemaps are files that list each post and page that should be indexed by search engines like Google or Bing.

Once this new module is activated, two sitemaps will be created: a generic sitemap, available at yoursitename.com/sitemap.xml, as well as a News Sitemap, available at yoursitename.com/news-sitemap.xml. The News sitemap is useful if you want your posts to appear in Google News.

You can learn more about this new module here.

A new Skype Sharing Button

Skype Sharing Button

Now that Skype offers a Skype button, we’ve added it to Jetpack’s Sharing module. To add it to your site, head over to Settings > Sharing in your dashboard, and drag the new Skype button to your list of sharing buttons.

Social Menu

Social Menu is a new tool that is available for all theme developers. It allows site owners to create a new menu location which is used to display links to Social Media Profiles.

To learn how to add Social Menu support to your theme, you can follow the instructions on our support page.

And More…

This release also adds its fair share of improvements to existing modules, as well as bug fixes:

  • Added new options to allow management of users on your site directly from WordPress.com or from the WordPress.com Desktop app.
  • Made several changes to Photon to improve compatibility with WordPress 4.4. Custom image sizes are handled better now and all responsive image sizes will be properly displayed when using the Photon module.
  • Photon is now enabled by default on sites using HTTPS. You don’t need to use a filter to enjoy Photon on your HTTPS site anymore!
  • Added support for Wistia oEmbeds.
  • Fixed some issues with long album and track IDs in the BandCamp shortcode. Also added support for two new parameters: tracks and esig.
  • And a lot more! You can check the full changelog here.

Once again, a big thank you to all Jetpack Contributors:

Alex Shiels, Andrew Duthie, Andrew Ozz, Andy Peatling, Biser Perchinkov, Brandon Kraft, Dan Robert, Derek Smart, Dion Hulse, Miguel Polfliet, Eduardo Reveles, Elio Rivero, Eric Binnion, George Stephanis, Hiroshi Urabe, Igor Zinovyev, Jeff Golenski, Jennifer M. Dodd, Jeremy Herve, Jesse Friedman, Joen Asmussen, Joey Kudish, Jonathan Sadowski, Joseph Scott, Justin Shreve, Kat Hagan, Kelly Dwan, Lance Willett, Matt Wiebe, Michael Cain, Miguel Lezama, Rachel Baker, Richard Muscat, Rocco Tripaldi, Sam Hotchkiss, Scott Grant, Steve Seear, Stéphane Boisvert, Takashi Irie, Thomas Guillot, and Xiao Yu.

Posted in Releases | Tagged , , , , | 12 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, Spotlight, 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 Spotlight | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Jetpack 3.8.2 – Photon and YouTube Shortcode Fixes

Jetpack 3.8.2 is out! In this release, we focused on fixing a few specific and annoying bugs that popped up.

Jetpack – Supercharge your WordPress

Photon:

We fixed a regression created in version 3.8.1 where Photon did not respect some custom image sizes from other plugins or themes. Photon respects all image sizes again.

YouTube Shortcode:

WordPress 4.4 made some changes to the way Shortcodes are parsed, which broke our YouTube shortcode.  We’re now filtering this shortcode to output properly so you don’t need to go back update your shortcodes in your existing posts – we’ve taken care of that for you.

Wufoo Shortcode:

We’ve tightened up security in the Wufoo shortcode.  If you use this shortcode, you should upgrade to 3.8.2 as soon as possible.

Other minor fixes:

We’ve also cleared up a couple very minor bugs with Carousel, Publicize, Google+ widget, and Infinite Scroll.

Contributors for this release include Aaron Graham, Alex Mills, Alexander Concha, Brandon Kraft, Derek Smart, Eduardo Reveles, Elio Rivero, Eric Binnion, Igor Zinovyev, Jeremy Herve, Kat Hagan, Lance Willett, Miguel Lezama, Rocco Tripaldi, Sam Hotchkiss, and Takashi Irie.

Thank you for your contributions!

See full changelog.

Posted in Releases | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Photon Now Delivers Images Even Faster than Before

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

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

Image comparison - JPEG Image comparison - WebP
JPEG File Size – 43.84KB WebP File Size – 29.61KB

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

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

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

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

Posted in Features | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Jetpack 3.8.1 – WordPress 4.4 Compatible

With the WordPress 4.4 Release Candidate now available, we wanted to release our fully-compatible version of Jetpack a little early. So here it is, along with some minor bug fixes and accessibility improvements.

Jetpack – Supercharge your WordPress

Photon + Responsive Images

There are some cool things coming in WordPress 4.4, such as responsive images.  To take full advantage of this, we made sure that Photon serves responsive images as well.

Twenty Sixteen

If you’ve had the pleasure of testing out Twenty Sixteen, we’ve included some compatibility styling to make sure Jetpack features such as Related Posts, Share Buttons, Likes, and Infinite Scroll all look great.

Accessibility Enhancements

WordPress made some adjustments to the heading levels in 4.4 to improve accessibility. We scrubbed Jetpack to make sure our heading levels are semantic and accessible to screen readers as well.

More Streamlined

We went through and optimized the images that we display within the Jetpack Admin, which dropped our image directory from 1.8 MB to 856 KB. Every little bit counts!

Bug Fixes

Fixed some minor bugs with Carousel, Markdown, Single Sign On, and Subscriptions.

Contributors for this release include Adam Heckler, Alex Kirk, Brandon Kraft, Chris Wiegman, Derek Smart, Eduardo Reveles, Enej Bajgoric, Ian Dunn, Igor Zinovyev, Jake Jackson, Jeff Golenski, Jeremy Herve, Joey Kudish, Konstantin Obenland, Michael Cain. Miguel Lezama, Rocco Tripaldi, Sam Hotchkiss, Scott Grant, and Takashi Irie.

See full changelog.

Posted in Releases | Tagged , , , | 11 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 Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Jetpack 3.8 – Google+ Badges and More

With the release of Jetpack 3.8, we’re introducing some great new additions for Google+ accounts and enhancements to existing Jetpack features. We’re also happy that we’ve had some fantastic contributions from members of the Jetpack community in this release.

Google+ Badges and Social Media Icons

New in Jetpack 3.8 are Google+ Badge widgets for your Google+ profiles, pages, and communities. Because Google+ profiles, pages, and communities are different, we offer slightly different versions of the badges:

  • Profiles: Allow people to easily find you on Google+ and add you to a circle directly from your website.
  • Pages: Includes the profile badge features and adds some additional functionality.
  • Communities: Help people find your community and engage with other users on a topic they find interesting.

You can configure these badges by width, choose from a light or dark theme, and choose from a portrait or landscape layout. There are more options for each badge version and you can read more about this new addition to our Extra Sidebar Widgets feature.

We’ve also heard your requests to add Google+ to our Social Media Icons widget. You can now configure Google+ alongside Facebook, Twitter, and all of our other available options in the widget. Need a refresher on how to set these up? Visit our Social Media Icons support page for more information.

Twitch.tv Shortcode Embeds

We’ve added the ability for you to use a shortcode to embed Twitch.tv videos and streams to your Jetpack-powered site. Simply use the shortcode and you can embed your favorite stream or add your own stream. You can even configure things like height, width, and autoplay. Find out more about the Twitch.tv shortcode.

New WordPress Contact Form Features and Updates

We’ve updated the WordPress Contact Form with some new form options and fixes. First, we’ve added a new “Checkbox with Multiple Items” field to the available contact form fields. Previously, you were only able to set up a single checkbox per field. This option allows you to set up multiple checkboxes all in a single field, saving you time.

Also, we’ve improved the styling of the emailed form responses. Now any responses to your WordPress Contact Form submissions will show up in the order you set in your contact form. No more jumbled responses!

And More…

Other key changes in Jetpack 3.8 include:

We worked hard to make Jetpack 3.8 great and we hope you enjoy it!

 

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Community Involvement

In Jetpack 3.8, we’ve had some new features and fixes that have come from members of the Jetpack community. We’d like to take a moment to specifically thank these two community members who’ve taken the time to give back to the community:

First off, we’d like to thank Daisuke Takahashi for his exceptional work on the Google+ Badge Widget. Takahashi lives in Japan and is currently enrolled at university as a freshman and is a big fan of Open Source projects. He has been an active contributor to WordPress including speaking this past weekend at WordCamp Tokyo. Even with his self-professed “basic English skills,” he had no trouble with working with the Jetpack team on his initial code submission and subsequent changes to the widget. Thank you!

Secondly, we want to thank Eduardo Reveles for his substantial issue reports and patch submissions for Jetpack. Take a look at his GitHub profile to see all of his contributions to Jetpack. Thanks again for your help, Eduardo!

Want to help us make Jetpack even better? By contributing to Jetpack, you improve the functionality of millions of sites while gaining hands-on development experience. Best of all, people of all skill levels can help — whether you can barely recognize a filter (or don’t know what that means) or you’ve already authored your own plugins, there are ways for you to pitch in. See how you can help by visiting our Contribute page.

A special thank you to all who contributed to Jetpack during the 3.8 development cycle:
Adam Heckler, Alexander Kirk, Andrew Duthie, Brad Thomason, Brandon Kraft, Chase Livingston, Corey McKrill, Daisuke Takahashi, Dave Green, Derek Smart, Dion Hulse, Eduardo Reveles, Egill Erlendsson, Elliott Stocks, Enej Bajgoric, Gregory Cornelius, Ian Dunn, Igor Zinovyev, James Huff, Jeff Golenski, Jennifer M. Dodd, Jeremy Herve, Jesse Friedman, Joey Kudish, Jorge Bernal, Kat Hagan, Lance Willett, Marcus Kazmierczak, Michael Cain, Miguel Polfliet, Mo Jangda, Payton Swick, Richard Muscat, Rocco Tripaldi, Sam Hotchkiss, Sendhil Panchadsaram, Stephane Boisvert, Timmy Crawford, and Yoav Farhi.

Posted in Releases | 18 Comments
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