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.

jetpack-team

Jetpack Team – October 2015

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

The Food Blogger: Shayda Torabi

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

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

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

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

The Dedicated Developer: Aaron Ware

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

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

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

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

The New User: John Botte

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

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

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

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

The Convert: Michelle Schulp

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

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

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

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

Happy Birthday to Jetpack Support, too!

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

A few Jetpack Happiness Engineers on meetup - October 2015

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

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

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

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

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

What’s your story?

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

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

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

Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Jetpack 3.9.2: Maintenance and Security Release

Jetpack 3.9.2 is now available for download. We’ve added two security updates as well as several bug fixes and enhancements. We recommend that you update your sites to the latest version as soon as possible.

Jetpack – Supercharge your WordPress

Security updates

  • Beautiful Math: there was a potential XSS vulnerability when parsing LaTeX markup within HTML elements. The issue was discovered and fixed by our security team.
  • Contact Form: private site credentials could be saved in plain text in WordPress’ postmeta table when said credentials were set to be stored in Environment variables. The issue was discovered by Oliver Liu.

Other minor fixes

This release also includes other bug fixes:

  • Nova Menus: fixed notices as well as issues when adding menu items in bulk.
  • Publicize: Authors can now access their Publicize settings again.
  • Publicize: fixed problems for Australian and Canadian English sites using Publicize to send their posts to Facebook.
  • Embeds: it is now possible to embed Instagram posts using a www in the URL.
  • Widget Visibility: fixed an issue appearing when a page title matched an existing page ID.
  • And many more updates, listed in the changelog.

Enhancements

We added 2 new oEmbed providers, Codepen and Sketchfab. Just paste a URL in your post editor, and enjoy! Here’s a Codepen example:

We also added new filters to allow you to customize the Contact Info widget, define custom patterns to be ignored by Jetpack Markdown, or change the heading of the Related Posts.

Finally, we created a [jetpack_top_posts_widget] shortcode to allow you to display the Top Posts & Pages Widget anywhere on your site.

Staging Mode

Do you use a backup / cloning plugin to clone your production site to a staging environment? Starting with Jetpack 3.9.2, you can use a constant or a filter to flag a site as “Staging site”, thus avoid conflicts and synchronization issues with Jetpack.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to 3.9.2:

Alex Kirk, Allen Snook, Andrew Duthie, Barry Abrahamson, Ben Lowery, Bob Ralian, Brandon Kraft, Chris Rosser, Christopher Finke, Claus Colloseus, Crystal Barton, Dan Walmsley, Daryl L. L. Houston, Derek Smart, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, Gregory Cornelius, Igor Zinovyev, James Nylen, Jenia Laszlo, Jeremy Herve, Joey Kudish, Jorge Bernal, Justin Shreve, Kat Hagan, Konstantin Kovshenin, Lance Willett, Mahangu Weerasinghe, Marcus Kazmierczak, Matt Wiebe, Miguel Lezama, Mike Adams, Mo Jangda, Payton Swick, Rocco Tripaldi, Sam Hotchkiss, Sendhil Panchadsaram, Stephen Edgar, Timmy Crawford, and Veselin Nikolov.

Posted in Releases | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Five Things You Didn’t Know Jetpack Could Do

How well do you think you know Jetpack? Most people know about Stats, Publicize, and Sharing. You may even have your own personal favorite module like Tiled Galleries or Subscriptions. But what about the rest of Jetpack? Here are five things you might not know you can do:

Continue reading → Five Things You Didn’t Know Jetpack Could Do

Posted in Features | Tagged , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Hook of the Month: taking control of email subscriptions

Are you familiar with Jetpack Subscriptions? This month, we’ll use filters to customize this module, and control which posts should be sent to your subscribers.

Jetpack’s Subscriptions module sends an email to your subscribers every time you publish a new post. That’s practical, but sometimes you may not want to bother your subscribers for something that might not be interesting to them.

Use filters to take control of Jetpack Subscriptions

Posted in Code snippets, Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

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
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