The First Time I Used Photon for Business

It was 2012 and the holiday season was upon us. I was nestled in my cubicle and settling in for a long winter project. As the director of the web development team for an agency in Rhode Island, I was tasked with the development of a WordPress multisite that would power tens of thousands of websites. Jetpack had just been installed on our new network, and I was looking into all the tools we could use for these business websites.

Continue reading → The First Time I Used Photon for Business

Posted in Features | Tagged , , | 7 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

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


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

How to improve your User Experience using Jetpack

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:

  1. Photon
    Turning on Photon means that all your images get automatically served to users from the 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.

  2. 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.


Mobile Devices

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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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:

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

Posted in Features, Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

How to use Photon to serve custom cropped Post thumbnails

The Photon module resizes your site’s images on the fly, without cropping them. However, in some cases you might want Photon to apply a custom cropping when resizing certain images.

In the following example, we will use photon to serve Post thumbnails with custom cropping, and use a different cropping on single pages:

if( function_exists( 'jetpack_photon_url' ) ) {
    add_filter( 'jetpack_photon_url', 'jetpack_photon_url', 10, 3 );
function jeherve_display_custom( $content, $post ) {

	global $post;

	// If you didn't define a post thumnail, let's forget about all this
	if ( !has_post_thumbnail( $post->ID ) )
		return $content;

	// What's the cropping and the size of image we should use on Single pages?
	// See for parameters
	if ( is_single() ) {
		$args = array(
		    'crop'   => '50,50,200px,200px',
	// resizing on other pages
	else {
		$args = array(
		    'resize'   => '200,400',

	// Let's create a Photon Image URL from the Post Thumbnail
	$feat_image_url = wp_get_attachment_image_src( get_post_thumbnail_id($post->ID), 'full');
	$photon_image_url = jetpack_photon_url( $feat_image_url[0], $args );

	// Let's build the image tag
	$our_image = sprintf( '<div class="post-media"><a class="featured-image" href="%1$s" title="%2$s"><img src="%3$s" class="wp-post-image" alt="Featured Image"></a></div>',
		esc_url( get_permalink() ),
		esc_attr( sprintf( __( 'Open %s', 'dot' ), get_the_title() ) ),
		esc_attr( $photon_image_url )

	// Let's return the image, right before the post content
	return $our_image . $content;

add_filter( 'the_content', 'jeherve_display_custom' );


Posted in Code snippets, Tips & Tricks | Tagged , | Comments Off on How to use Photon to serve custom cropped Post thumbnails

Photon and Themes

Theme crafters often ask whether Photon — the free Image Content Delivery Network module in Jetpack — can be used to speed up page loads and save on bandwidth when delivering images from their themes. The short answer: Yes! Read on for the how-to.

Continue reading → Photon and Themes

Posted in Features, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 20 Comments

Skip an Image with Photon

Once you activate the Photon module, it will automatically cache and serve all images you’ve added to your posts and pages that have been uploaded to your site.

You can exclude a specific image or an entire page from Photon easily.

To exclude an entire post or page from using Photon, you can modify this snippet to fit your needs and add it to your theme’s functions.php or a core functionality plugin:

function no_photon_by_page() {
  if ( is_page( 2 ) ) {
    add_filter( 'jetpack_photon_skip_image', '__return_true');

add_action('wp', 'no_photon_by_page');

In this example, Photon won’t be used on the page with the ID of 2, but you can use any of the WordPress Conditional Functions.

If you’d like to exclude an image from being cached and served by Photon, you can add the following code to your theme’s functions.php file:

function my_photon_exception( $val, $src, $tag ) {
        if ( $src == 'YOUR_IMAGE_URL' ) {
                return true;
        return $val;
add_filter( 'jetpack_photon_skip_image', 'my_photon_exception', 10, 3 );

If you’d like to disable Photon in other specific situations instead, you can check this tutorial.

Posted in Code snippets, Tips & Tricks | Tagged | Comments Off on Skip an Image with Photon

Jetpack 2.1: Tiled Galleries

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.

Posted in Releases | Tagged , , , , , , , | 73 Comments
  • Recent Comments

    Matt on Let’s Get Visual: Five J…
    Jeremy on Jetpack 4.3 and 4.3.1: A faste…
    Jeremy on Jetpack 4.3 and 4.3.1: A faste…
    Jeremy on Jetpack 4.3 and 4.3.1: A faste…
    Jeremy on Jetpack 4.3 and 4.3.1: A faste…
  • Archives

  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Install Jetpack to see our lineup of features.

    Install Jetpack Now

    Don’t need all Jetpack’s features? No problem. Only activate what you need!