Six Newsletter Ideas to Connect With Your Readers

You just set up an email subscription sign-up form on your website. What should you do next? Email marketing can seem like an overwhelming concept for those just getting started, but it doesn’t have to be this way!

One of the most popular forms of email marketing is sharing a weekly or monthly newsletter. Let’s take a look at two of the most pressing decisions for beginners: what newsletter content should you create and how should you format it to achieve your goals?

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Website Customization: Renaming Sections on Your WordPress Site

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.

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Jetpack 6.1: General Maintenance

Happy May and welcome to Jetpack 6.1. This month brings us another general maintenance release, so you won’t find any big surprises here, but there are still some important improvements to learn about.

The new things you’ll find in 6.1 are:

Privacy information links added

Jetpack’s position regarding its users and their visitors’ privacy has been enhanced in the process to make all of Automattic’s software GDPR-compliant.

You will now will see a footer on the “More Info” popover that appears next to each feature setting. These link to specific sections in our support docs describing privacy implications in the event you want to learn more about them.

Stats and Do Not Track changes

We now offer the users a way to have a clear map of the privacy implications of each Jetpack feature. We also introduced a new filter that will honor the Do Not Track feature for visitors that choose to take advantage of it.

Note that this only affects Jetpack’s own Stats feature and nothing else.

WordAds improvements

There are two improvements to the WordAds program to share this month. First, we’ve added support for the ads.txt file.

Second, we’ve introduced a new shortcode, [wordads], which allows you to include an ad inline on any given post or page content. This will give you even more flexibility in defining where your ads appear on your site.

Additional performance enhancements

There are a few bugfixes and enhancements in this release, but the main issues we tackled are the following:

  • When a post transitions to publish, Jetpack used to add Publicize post meta to all posts, whether or not it was a Publicize-able post type. This has been adjusted.
  • We removed the Sharing and Like display functionality from WooCommerce’s Cart, Checkout, and Account pages.
  • Users running their site on PHP 7.2 were seeing notices on their logs related to language features that were updated with this latest release of PHP. These notices should now be addressed.

Full changelog and thanks

As always, you can read the full changelog and see what else we have improved in this release.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade to 6.1 today to experience the latest and greatest!

Thanks to all the contributors to this release:

Aaron Douglas, Alex Mills, Allen Snook, Anthony Bubel, Brandon Kraft, Daniel Walmsley, David Newman, Derek Smart, Eric Johnson, Egill R. Erlendsson, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, George Stephanis, Igor Zinovyev, Javi Alvarez, Jacopo Tomasone, Jason Johnston, Jeremy Herve, Jeff Bowen, Jeff Stieler, Joan Rho, Justin Shreve, Lance Willett, Michael D Adams,  Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Mikael Korpela, Mike Jolley, Niels Lange, Oscar Lopez, Peter Westwood, Rastislav Lamoš, RC Lations, Rob Landers, Rocco Tripaldi, Taegon Kim, Tugdual de Kerviler, Yaroslav Kukharuk, and Žiga Sancin.

 

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How to Choose the Right WordPress Theme for Your Site

According to W3Techs, WordPress is the most popular content management system out there, powering more than 30% of the world’s websites. Part of WordPress’s popularity is due to how many themes there are to choose from, and how easily you can change the look of your site without needing help from a developer.

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.

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5 Steps to Create the Perfect Restaurant Website with Jetpack

A strong restaurant website is important for anyone who owns an eatery. After all, many people research restaurants online before deciding where to go. But you may not know exactly how the site you’re building can draw more people into your actual restaurant.

Jetpack offers a host of themes cooked up especially for restaurants. Coupled with the Contact Info widget and other great features, you’ll give customers the information they need to decide just how soon they should reserve a table at your place.

Read on to learn how WordPress and Jetpack can help you create the perfect restaurant website in five easy steps.

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Tips for Managing Your Site from Your Mobile Device

Since the advent of the smartphone, it’s rare to find a website that isn’t optimized for use on mobile devices. Managing your website via your phone or tablet, however, is still a fairly new concept.

Managing your site from a mobile device makes running a business more convenient. It’s beneficial for photographers who want to upload photos from their smartphones, bloggers who are inspired by their surroundings on-the-go, ecommerce sellers who want to keep tabs on their site stats, and any other type of website owner.

Let’s take a look at a few ways you can manage your WordPress site from your mobile device, and some tips for getting the most out of your mobile experience with Jetpack.

Continue reading → Tips for Managing Your Site from Your Mobile Device

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Jetpack 5.4: Date Picker in Contact Form, Comment Improvements, and Welcome Screens

Today’s release of Jetpack 5.4 includes the addition of a new field to our Contact Form editor, display improvements to Comments and how they integrate with themes, and welcome screens for users of our paid plans. We’ve also added a new search feature, currently in beta, that Jetpack Professional customers can help us test.

Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve included in this update.

Date picker added to Contact Form editor

We added a new field to the Contact Form editor that allows you to add a date picker to your forms.

You can now create forms with date pickers.

This allows you to ask visitors to submit delivery dates, their birthdays, the best day to contact them, or anything else you can think of.

Improvements to Comments and theme compatibility

We’ve made some improvements to how the Jetpack comment form is displayed in some themes.

When enabled on your site, the Comments feature should now display a form with a default height. There should also be no extra white space below it. Comments entered into the form will cause the height of the form to expand automatically.

Welcome screens added to paid plans

When purchasing a Jetpack Personal, Premium, or Professional plan, you’ll now see a welcome screen with some tips to help you make the most of the plan you just purchased.

Here’s what you might see if you purchase a Personal plan.

Jetpack Search (Beta) available for Professional plan customers

If you’ve purchased a Professional Plan for your Jetpack site, this new release will give you access to a new feature we’re currently still testing: Jetpack Search, powered by Elasticsearch.

To get started, go to Settings > Traffic on WordPress.com, and select a site using Jetpack 5.4 and a Professional plan. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enable the search feature.

This feature is still in beta, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback if you give it a try.

Miscellaneous updates and fixes

Finally, here are a few more updates we’ve made in 5.4:

  • Fixed some UI issues within the Jetpack settings interface for the Internet Explorer 11 browser.
  • The Simple Payments button received some minor display improvements.
  • Facebook embeds have received display improvements.
  • RTL style fixes for some shortcodes.
  • Added a new “Time Unit” setting to available widgets.
  • Third party plugin and theme authors can add new menu items to the WordPress.com toolbar.

Full changelog and thanks

The changelog provides the full list of updates and changes in this release. If you have questions or feedback, please get in touch.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade to 5.4 today and let us know what you think!

Thank you to the contributors to this release:

Alexander Concha, Allen Snook, Andrew Duthie, Anthony Bubel, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Donna Peplinskie, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, Erick Hitter, George Stephanis, Igor Klimer, Igor Zinovyev, Umang Vaghela, James Fraser, James Nylen, Jeremy Herve, Justin Shreve, Kirk Wight, Lance Willett, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Nick Daugherty, Nicole Kohler, Oscar Lopez, Paul Sieminski, RC Lations, Rastislav Lamos, Rob Landers, Rocco Tripaldi, Sam Hotchkiss, Scott Stancil, Stanimir Stoyanov, Steve Seear, Takashi Irie, and Thomas Guillot.

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WordPress Support Stories: When a Theme Update Goes Awry

Updating your WordPress theme is a normal part of site maintenance. Switching themes or even updating current theme files on a self-hosted WordPress site is a major change that should only be done with a full site backup, just in case something goes awry. Need proof? Read Les Tokar’s story.

Les publishes reviews and articles about solid state drives (SSD) and other data storage technologies on his two sites: TechnologyX and The SSD Review. What he thought would be a smooth theme upgrade quickly derailed, but a quick restore saved his site, his search engine ranking, and his income.

The Miracle Worker

Tonight we completed a theme upgrade that had taken the better part of a week to fine tune. Our website is a business that employs several and does very well. At 9:00 p.m., we followed the new theme’s instructions on how to import sample data.

What the update never told us was that it created a new website on top of ours. It imported dozens of pictures and pages and went live immediately. To share just a bit of what we endured, we had to pull automated posts off of each of our 23 social connections (FB/Delicious/Twitter etc.,) as the theme update auto-posted to all.

Next, Google picks up our content within three seconds of posting. Google realized something was wrong and dropped us from their rankings within 10 minutes. We went from hundreds of visitors at any one time to eight-nine within minutes. Long story short, we used Jetpack’s site restore for the first time and it worked quickly and perfectly. What little we have invested doesn’t compare to its value tonight alone. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

— Submitted by flamenko

Big changes like a WordPress site design overhaul can quickly go wrong for various reasons. It’s important to prepare for any situation with a complete site backup you can restore quickly and easily. Every minute your site’s offline reduces your business success. For site owners who generate revenue through their sites, downtime or hacking can mean a loss of data, income, brand credibility, and even search engine ranking.

Jetpack offers daily and real-time backups. There’s no cap on backup size, and three simple ways to restore your site.

  • If your site has several things wrong with it and you’re unable to pinpoint the problem or you’re migrating your entire site, a full restore will get you back on track.
  • You can also choose to do a faster partial restore or perform a single-file restore for common mistakes like accidentally deleting or messing up your CSS file.
  • Not sure what you need? Jetpack priority support is here to guide you through the process in your moment of need.

Jetpack offers security, backups, and easy restoration. Most importantly: expert and priority support when you really need it. Learn more.

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The Jetpack Personal plan: affordable site security, backups, and spam protection

As a site owner, you rely on your website to attract customers and earn money — regardless of whether you run a high-traffic, e-commerce site or a “brochure” site for your restaurant, consultancy, or small business. The new Jetpack Personal plan is an affordable way to safeguard your site’s content, data, and code from hackers and spammers, so that your site is always up and running when your customers arrive.

Introducing the Jetpack Personal plan

Our new plan protects your site at a much lower price — providing the security essentials you need to keep your site safe from hackers and spammers.

Learn more about Jetpack’s Personal plan

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