Jetpack is well known for its image CDN, backup features, and stats, but did you know it also offers more than 30 other ways to customize your website? With a modular approach — no features are automatically enabled, and you choose which items to turn on individually — it adds features without loading unnecessary code, so your website runs efficiently.
Even if you’ve been using it for years, you might be unfamiliar with some of Jetpack’s features. With the wide range of capabilities offered, it’s too easy for some of the coolest — and perhaps the most useful — tools to go unnoticed.
Today we’re going to look at four features that are lesser known, but just as powerful as those you might already be familiar with. These features will ultimately enhance your WordPress site in new ways, from improving its design to taking the hassle out of maintenance.
Continue reading → Four Jetpack Features Worth Exploring
When you publish a piece of content, you want people to stick around on your website to read your words. You hope blog visitors will be so fascinated, they’ll want to explore your blog to find even more useful content, just like the post that initially led them to your website. You hope they’ll love that content so much that they’ll convert into loyal fans, subscribers…and customers.
First things first, you need awesome content; that’s a given.
Continue reading → Get People to Stay on Your Website Longer
Jetpack has a ton of features (more than 30) that help you improve your WordPress site or blog in many ways – both for yourself as administrator as well as for your readers. Today I’m going to focus on eight Jetpack features that you can use to improve the User Experience of your site so that visitors find it easier to navigate and stick around longer.
Performance and Stability
It can seem like a no-brainer but the absolute worst user experience when visiting a site is when the site doesn’t work at all or takes a long time to load. Jetpack comes with two must-have features that stop this from happening:
Photon Turning on Photon means that all your images get automatically served to users from the WordPress.com content delivery network (CDN) which means faster images for your readers (and less load on your host). To turn it on all you have to do is go to the Jetpack page in your blog dashboard and click the Activate button for Photon. And if you’re a developer, you can also speed up your theme with Photon.
Monitor All sites go down once in a while. It could be your database, your host, some rogue code – whatever the reason, your visitors don’t really care, they just want to see your stuff! Jetpack Monitor will keep tabs on your site, and alert you the moment that downtime is detected so that you hear it from us first.
If you keep tabs on your traffic you’ve probably noticed you’re getting more and more visitors browsing your site from a mobile device: smart phones and tables of all shapes and sizes. Jetpack provides two features that help you make the reading experience on these devices significantly better:
Mobile theme Jetpack comes with a responsive theme that works instantly on all mobile browsers. It also comes with various options and settings that enable you to choose exactly how you’d like your mobile browsing experience to work.
Custom CSS Jetpack’s Custom CSS feature lets you tweak your site’s appearance to your heart’s content in a way that doesn’t break your theme when an upgrade is released. In addition, you can also create custom CSS for your mobile theme, further refining your mobile experience.
Finally the last set of features deal with enabling your visitors to interact with your site, content and the community in a smoother fashion:
Likes This feature puts a “Like” button on your posts and is a way for people to show their appreciation for your content. Enabling it is a short two-step process.
Related Posts This feature pulls relevant content from your blog to display at the bottom of your posts. If the feature is enabled, a section of related posts appears just underneath your Likes (if you’ve turned these on). Just activate the feature from your Jetpack dashboard to turn them on but you can also customize how they display.
Infinite Scroll Infinite scroll simply means that when a visitor scrolls to the bottom of your posts page Jetpack will automatically load the next set of posts without requiring clicking on any buttons. Activating it is similar to “Related Posts” above but not every theme supports it.
Jetpack Comments When someone reads an article on your site and wants to comment, they can now use one of their existing social networking accounts to post a comment. No longer do they need to create yet another account and profile! You can also customize how Jetpack Comments display.
That’s it! Eight Jetpack features that can help your visitors have a more pleasurable experience when visiting your site. If you’ve not used Jetpack before, read our step-by-step installation guide here to try it out for yourself.
If you are a Jetpack user already please tell us what you think in the comments and, if you’d like to get involved by writing a guest post about Jetpack get in touch!
To enable Infinite Scroll in your theme, you can follow the steps described here. However, if your theme uses the Masonry library you’ll need a few extra steps. Luckily, WPTheming put together a great tutorial: Jetpack Infinite Scroll + Masonry
Posting photo galleries on your WordPress blog is a fun way to share your experiences with the world, but do plain old thumbnail grids truly express your artistic side? No, they don’t. That’s why we’ve added tiled galleries to Jetpack.
Tiled galleries allow you to create beautiful photo mosaics for your blog posts. Just activate the Tiled Gallery module (and optionally set the tiled layout as the default) to create gorgeous galleries in seconds. Your friends will envy you, and your enemies will fear you.
You might be thinking, “Are tiled galleries the only new feature in Jetpack 2.1? If they are, that’s certainly understandable, because it’s an amazing addition to an already feature-rich plugin.” No, tiled galleries are not the only new feature; we’ve also added a slideshow mode for galleries. Just choose Slideshow from the Type dropdown when creating your gallery, and you’ll instantly have a dynamic photo display. Slideshows and tiled galleries both look amazing on mobile devices, and they both integrate seamlessly with the Carousel module.
In addition to giving you new ways to show off your photographs, we’ve spent a lot of time fixing bugs, too. Photon, Infinite Scroll, Publicize, Sharing, and the Contact Form modules have all been given some TLC, and the Custom CSS editor has been updated. For a complete list of changes, see the changelog.
Update: Jetpack 2.1.1 has been released to fix a bug that was preventing updates from Jetpack 1.9.2 and older.
This release continues to refine Jetpack’s handling of images in Photon (our image accelerator) and enhances theme and plugin compatibility with Infinite Scroll.
Jetpack’s Custom CSS Editor also gets a major overhaul for this release. The editing experience is now more streamlined and supports Sass and LESS as alternatives to traditional CSS. Write your site’s styles in your preferred language, and Jetpack handles the rest.
Those are the highlights, but this release also fixes many other issues you reported. For a complete list of changes, see the official Jetpack Changelog.
The update will be available in your WordPress dashboard shortly. Alternatively, you can always download the latest version of Jetpack here at jetpack.me.
Remember these fixes are made possible by bug reports submitted by you (thanks!), so please contact support or post in the support forum if you need help.