Learn Why Jetpack is the Ideal Solution for Small Businesses (And Get Your Exclusive #SmallBusinessWeek Discount)

There’s a reason millions of small businesses use Jetpack for their WordPress sites.

Actually there’s five reasons.

As part of #SmallBusinessWeek we’re highlighting the features and benefits Jetpack brings to small business. Read on to learn about them or scroll to the bottom for the discount code!

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Reason #1: Free, Elegant, and Professional Designs

Whether you run a bookstore, cafe, restaurant, consulting firm, or are a freelancer, choosing a site design can be the hardest — and most expensive — first step.

Jetpack provides 165 free, professionally designed WordPress themes that you can then customize with Jetpack’s own design tools. Most small business owners find this is an easier way to get started than purchasing expensive themes and then hiring a designer or developer.

Read more about Jetpack’s free themes…


Reason #2: Cost-Effective and Affordable

The majority of Jetpack’s features are free. That’s already a great starting point for any business, especially since all our free features include most of what a typical website needs likes stats, related posts, an image CDN (saving you hosting costs), sharing tools, and email subscriptions.

And our paid plans start from an affordable $39 per year: less than 11 cents a day.

Read more about Jetpack’s cost-effectiveness…


Reason #3: Bulletproof Security

If you’re like most small business owners you don’t have the time — or the expertise — to be taking backups and auditing your site daily for hackers, malware, and spam.

Our free security tools — including brute force attack protection and uptime monitoring — make sure you never miss out on traffic and business leads because your site is hacked or being overrun by spam.

Our paid plans provide expert security support, automated backups (so if your site goes down you can get back up and running quickly), and security scanning to identify hacks and intrusions.

Read more about Jetpack’s security services…


Reason #4: SEO and Marketing Tools

Out-of-the-box and for free Jetpack gets you going with making sure your site has a sitemap so that Google can list your site accurately. You also get social media sharing tools, automatic promotion to Facebook, Twitter and other sites, email subscriptions, and related posts so that readers stick around your site for longer.

The main benefit most of our business users see here is not requiring a multitude of plugins to achieve these simple things and, just as importantly, not having to pay for them.

Read more about Jetpack’s marketing tools…


Reason #5: World-Class Support

If you asked our customers what they rave about, most of them will mention our support. At last count we have thirty WordPress experts all over the globe ready to provide assistance — even to free users.

Paying customers get priority which, when you compare the $39 minimum yearly cost to what a developer might charge, is significantly more affordable.

Read more about Jetpack’s support…


Bonus Reason #6: Exclusive Discount

Just for this #SmallBusinessWeek, in celebration of all the small businesses that keep the world turning, we’re offering a 20% one-time discount on all our paid subscriptions.

Just use the code SMALLBIZ at checkout.

And of course, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Next Steps: Compare plans and choose the right one for your site.

Posted in small business | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

Say Hello To 165 Beautiful Free Themes

Today, all Jetpack users have free access to the 165 themes professionally made by WordPress.com. Gorgeous, elegant, and multi-purpose themes all the way from classics like Hemingway Rewritten to our newest addition Lodestar.

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To browse, preview, and activate these themes, simply visit the WordPress.com Theme Showcase, select your Jetpack site from the sidebar (if you have more than one), and scroll down to the all-new “WordPress.com themes” section.

It’s now also possible to manage and upload any theme to your Jetpack site from this very same interface. You can also search through the new showcase by theme name (Lodestar!), feature (like Sidebar), color (try Green), type (Restaurant or Portfolio), and more.

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There’s more.

Although we’re announcing today that you can use 165 themes for free, we’ll continue adding more to our showcase. Last year alone, we added 11 new free themes, and we’ll be continuing that work to make sure that you always have a fresh look available for your existing or future sites.

Give it a spin. Try searching for a new theme and, as always, contact support for any assistance.

Pro Tip: Personal plan customers benefit from priority support and faster assistance.

Posted in Features | Tagged , , | 52 Comments

Custom CSS: The Basics

If you’ve ever tried to make changes to the appearance of your site, you’ve probably discovered that you can do so using CSS. In this article, we’ll give an overview of what CSS is, how Jetpack can help you get started with CSS customizations, and a few links to helpful resources to learn more.

Continue reading → Custom CSS: The Basics

Posted in Design Series | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Indispensable Jetpack features for theme developers

Jetpack offers a number of great features for theme developers that help you cut down both development time as well as load times. Most of these features work right out of the box, but you can also get under the hood to apply tweaks and customisations that really take your theme to the next level.

This article introduces you to:

  1. Speeding up your theme with Photon
  2. Showcasing posts with Featured Content
  3. Automatically loading posts with Infinite Scroll
  4. Instantly applying a Mobile Theme
  5. Customising CSS
  6. Providing Sharing functionality
  7. Integrating Social Links
  8. Showing similar content with Related Posts
  9. Additional resources

 

1. Speeding up your theme with Photon

Jetpack for developersPhoton is a free image CDN offered by Jetpack. As soon as Photon is enabled, it automatically serves the images found in posts and pages from WordPress.com’s speedy servers around the globe.

But did you know that you can use it to save bandwidth and speed up load times for images within your theme, too? You can link to a Photon-ized version of an image by calling the jetpack_photon_url() function. Its quite straightforward and we’ve put together some step-by-step instructions to make it even easier.

 

2. Showcasing posts with Featured Content

Featured Content SettingsFeatured Content is one of Jetpack’s lesser known features. But it’s a really powerful tool for theme development because you can use it to create a completely custom area in your theme for users to showcase posts. The appearance and placement is completely up to you, the theme author.

Your users can then specify which posts to show in that area simply by selecting a tag of their choice. There’s even an option to hide the tag from post meta and tag clouds.

Whether you are building an image slider on your homepage, or want to allow users to highlight specific posts, Featured Content makes it easier than rolling your own custom functionality. You can see a few examples of the feature in action here.

 

3. Automatically loading posts with Infinite Scroll

With Infinite Scroll active, users no longer have to click a link to get to the next set of posts on archive pages. Instead, your theme loads the next set of posts automatically into view when the reader approaches the bottom of the page. You’ve probably seen similar functionality on other sites, and thanks to Jetpack, it’s a snap to add it to your theme.

 

4. Instantly applying a Mobile Theme

Jetpack Mobile Front PageMobile internet usage is growing exponentially and any theme worth its salt should work on mobile devices. That’s why you’ll be happy to know that Jetpack ships with a full Mobile Theme ready-to-go out of the box.

Just use the .mobile-theme CSS class to style the mobile theme or take things a step further and use jetpack_is_mobile to target mobile visitors.

That way you can build the best user experience for your theme, no matter what device visitors are using.

Check out this article on customizing Jetpack’s mobile theme to learn more.

 

5. Customising CSS

If you’ve published a theme before you most likely know that users often want to customize its appearance. Savvy users might create a child theme, but more often than not, users will simply edit your theme’s files directly.

revision_listThat can get messy when you release a theme update that overwrites users’ modifications. But thanks to Jetpack, a much more user-friendly alternative is available through the Custom CSS feature which also includes a revision history.

After activating the feature, a ‘Custom CSS link’ is added to the Appearance menu in the Dashboard. From there, users can add their own Custom CSS, without touching the theme’s files. They can even use their favorite CSS pre-processer, as support for both SASS and LESS is built right in.

 

6. Providing Sharing functionality

The Sharing feature allows you to add social media sharing buttons to your theme. There are multiple display options built in and you can opt to use your own custom styles as well.

In this way you can integrate social sharing buttons in your theme, and keep complete control over their appearance. You can even alter the functionality with some jQuery magic. Our friends over at ThemeShaper have a great article with more information about this.

 

7. Integrating Social Links

Jetpack also makes it easy to include Social Links within your theme. After a user connects their social media accounts through Publicize, you can automatically use links to their accounts in your theme. You can add support with add_theme_support() and then use the Theme Modifications API to pull the data into your theme.

 

8. Showing similar content with Related Posts

Related posts in visually striking modeRelated Posts is one of Jetpack’s newer features. When activated, this adds a section to single posts that includes automatically generated links to similar content.

By default the section appears at the bottom of your content, but you can also move it to the top with a filter. In addition users can add a shortcode wherever they want the section to appear.

This means that you can include styling for the Related Posts section in your theme and then users are able to drop in a custom Related Posts section that matches the rest of their site wherever they want.

 

9. Additional resources

Finally, we’d love to see what you’ve done yourself and what you think of Jetpack. If you have questions, comments or your own tips drop us a comment below! In addition to that, we’re always open to suggestions, so feel free to get in touch. Thanks for flying with Jetpack!

Posted in Features, Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

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

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