New to Blogging? Install These Five Jetpack Features First

You just started a blog and you’re ready to share it with the world. (Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!)

Lucky for you, you’ve stumbled onto our blog, so hopefully you’ve been given the good advice to install Jetpack. Jetpack is a plugin for WordPress with many features (cough, cough, more than 40) to make your life as a blogger a whole lot easier.

With so many features to explore, where to begin? We’ve got you covered.

If you’re new to blogging (or to Jetpack), activate these five features first.

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1. Keep your site safe and secure with Protect.

When you’re new to blogging, the last thing you want is to worry about your site’s security. Breathe easy knowing that your site is secure with Protect.

This feature allows you to protect your site against brute force attacks, which sadly, are becoming more and more of a frequent concern for website owners. By enabling Protect, your site will automatically block unwanted login attempts.

2. Spread the love on social media with Sharing.

Make it super simple for your blog readers to share your posts!

Sharing lets you add buttons to blog posts to give readers the ability to share a post to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and a host of other social media/web services to amplify your message.

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3. Keep readers on your website longer with Related Posts.

Help readers better navigate your site by pointing them to related content you know they’ll love based on the blog post they’re currently reading.

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Related Posts scans all of your posts, analyzes them, and selects at least three related archived blog posts to showcase underneath or above your post. This helps readers figure out what to read next and keeps them on your site even longer.

4. Be the first to know when your website experienced downtime with Monitor.

Ugh. Dreaded website downtime. It’s never fun when your site goes down. Monitor keeps tabs on your site and alerts you the moment downtime is detected.

Fun fact: Monitor checks your site every five minutes and notifies you as soon as a problem arises. We’ll also email you when your site is back up!

5. Make your blog a beautiful place to visit with Photon.

Photos are an incredibly important piece of the puzzle when it comes to finding success as a blogger. Compelling visuals help keep site visitors interested and engaged.

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If you don’t size your photos properly though, you can seriously slow down your site. That’s where Photon comes in handy. Photon is an image acceleration and editing service. What does this mean for you? Less load time on your host and faster image loading for your readers.

Seasoned bloggers, what do you think? Which Jetpack features would you recommend to a new blogger?

Don’t have Jetpack installed yet to try out these features? If you don’t currently have Jetpack, be sure to install it so you can begin taking advantage of all the plugin’s features. The easiest way to install Jetpack is via your site’s Dashboard. Please follow these instructions to install and connect Jetpack.

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Get People to Stay on Your Website Longer

Writing a blog post is no easy feat.

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

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Hook of the Month: Customize Related Posts

Jetpack’s Related Posts module is a simple and easy way to add contextual posts your visitors might be interested in when they reach the end of a post on your website. To use this feature, go to your site’s Jetpack settings and enable the module. All the magic happens behind the scenes, on the WordPress.com cloud: Jetpack’s natural language search engine scans all of your posts, analyzes all their content based on several factors, and returns a list of related posts for each one of your posts.

Now that Jetpack has worked its magic1, let’s discover how to customize those related posts or how to customize their display on your site.

Related Cats

Use filters to customize how Related Posts are displayed on your site

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Related Content Boosts Traffic for Albuquerque Journal

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Tyler Green – Web Developer

Immediately after enabling Jetpack Related Posts, the Albuquerque Journal — a newspaper with 580k paid print subscribers and three million monthly page views — increased traffic by four percent. To uncover some of the hidden benefits of this powerful plugin, I interviewed power user Tyler Green, Data Analyst and Developer at the Journal.

Continue reading → Related Content Boosts Traffic for Albuquerque Journal

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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 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.

  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.

 

Interaction

Finally the last set of features deal with enabling your visitors to interact with your site, content and the community in a smoother fashion:

  1. 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.

  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
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