Jetpack

How to boost your traffic with “Related Posts”

Jetpack’s Related Posts feature scans all of the posts on your site (or blog), analyzes them, and shows your visitors other posts with related content that they might be interested in reading once they’re done reading the one that brought them to your site.

Most sites who activate this see an increase in traffic. On this site, Jetpack.me, when we compare pages with and without the feature enabled we see around 79% more visitors clicking through to one other post on the site.

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This data is based on a 6-month traffic comparison between blog posts showing related posts and pages with the feature disabled. Turning on the feature for us in essence means that almost twice as many visitors read something else besides the original post that brought them here.

How does it work?

The related content is automatically generated based on the content of the post and any tags or categories if they exist. Unlike many other related post plugins, we do all the analysis, processing, and serving from our cloud, so there is no additional load on your server. (That’s why many plugins like YARPP or Similar Posts are often banned by web hosts, but Jetpack Related Posts are allowed.)

This is not unlike other Jetpack features like Photon and Stats that rely on our cloud infrastructure for the heavy lifting.

Once its enabled (and if you have more than 10 posts in total on your site) the related posts will show up in a “Related Posts” section just below your main post content, very much like what you can see at the bottom of this post :-)

How to enable it

First, you need to have Jetpack installed and connected to your WordPress.com account.

Once this is done, go to the Jetpack page in your blog’s dashboard and click the Activate button for Related Posts. You can also customize how the related posts section looks by going to your Settings → Reading page and scrolling down to the options next to “Related posts.”

Posted in Features | Tagged , | 20 Comments

“Hear it from us first”: Why every site should run Jetpack

Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that helps you optimise your site on various fronts: traffic, development and user experience amongst others. There is one feature however which I feel is critical: Jetpack Monitor. Simply put, Jetpack Monitor keeps tabs on your site and alerts you the moment that downtime is detected.

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Like a lot of people who work in web, before I joined the Jetpack team I did quite a bit of client work: both freelance and at agencies. For me the absolute worst thing in this business is receiving a call from a client, most likely while you’re relaxing on a beach or just waking up, desperately asking you to fix her site because she’s losing money, clients or brand value while her site is down.

Jetpack Monitor might not do away with the frantic scrabbling you’ll need to do to fix the site but it will put you back in the driving seat. Because you get notified first you can turn the tables around and call your client yourself, calmly saying “Hey, as I’ve been keeping tabs on your site I noticed it just went down 10 seconds ago. Don’t panic, I’m on it.” At times the problem might even be a trivial one meaning that you can actually call your client and say that its already sorted!

Of course the same applies if you maintain your own site. You’ll get notified by us rather than by one of readers (or customers) making it more likely you can fix the problem before it affects too many of your users.

That’s it. With Jetpack Monitor, if your site goes down, you’ll hear it from us first.

Its entirely likely, indeed desirable, that you will turn this feature on when you install Jetpack and then never think about it again. But if, for whatever reason, your site or your client’s site does go down you will be thanking your lucky stars this feature is enabled.

Try Jetpack for yourself by connecting it to your site or by downloading the plugin files directly if you prefer that route. Oh, and do let us know in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions.

Posted in Features | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

How to increase your blog’s traffic with Jetpack

Jetpack comes with a set of features specifically designed to help you increase your site’s traffic and grow your audience. That is after all the reason we build websites and blogs and write content – for people to see them, read them and enjoy them :-)

Jetpack helps you tackle this along two fronts: attracting new visitors to our sites and encouraging the existing ones to keep coming back.

 

Getting more traffic

Its worth mentioning what countless people have said before: writing well-written, useful and targeted content is eighty percent of the job. Neither Jetpack, nor any other plugin, is a silver bullet that can ever be a substitute for that. However, if you’ve got that nailed, these features will help you with the other twenty percent:

  1. Publicize
    Jetpack PublicizePublicize simply automates what you probably do already: posting your articles directly to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a few more social networks. Once you set this up (about 5 minutes usually) you can sit back and not worry about this and focus on writing great content while your friends and followers read what you’ve just posted.

  2. Sharing
    The Sharing feature, when enabled, places share buttons at the bottom of your blog posts. This allows (and encourages!) your readers to share your content with their own networks giving you broader reach. Currently we supprt Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Digg, LinkedIn, Google +1, Print, and Email. Additionally you can define your own custom services.

  3. Site Verification
    Verifying your website with external services like Google, Bing and Pinterest. This means you will be rated as “safe” by these services (e.g. by getting a “Verified” badge) and gives you to access advanced features (e.g. Webmaster tools).

  4. Enhanced Distribution
    At WordPress.com we have a service called “Firehose” which is a stream of the public data (public posts, comments, etc.) that flow through WordPress.com as well as Jetpack blogs that enable Enhanced Distribution. The firehose in turn is used by companies and people to display your content at which point they are required to link back to your blog. This means that you get both traffic back to your site as well as building up quality back-links.

  5. Google+ Profile
    Sharing_Settings_GoogleLastly, when you activate and connect this feature you connect your blog and with your Google+ accounts. Now, displayed below your posts, will be a link back to your Google+ profile, a Google+ follow button and a link will also be added to your Google+ profile allowing Google+ users to find you more easily.

 

Keep them coming back

The other side of the coin is staying in touch with the visitors who’ve seen and read your content so that they don’t forget about you and come back to see what else you have to say. You may not necessarily want to use all of these of course as it depends a lot on the kind of site or blog you’re running. But because Jetpack makes it easy to turn these on and off some of our users opt to try things one at a time to test out their effect.

  1. Jetpack Comments
    Comment Module NotificationsComments are a great way of enabling your visitors to join the conversation. It can be a pain for them however to have to creat a new account if its their first time visiting your site. Jetpack Comments enables your visitors to use their existing WordPress.com, Twitter, or Facebook accounts when commenting on your site making it more likely they’ll do so.

  2. RSS Widget
    RSS is used by millions of people to keep track of blogs they like. When you enable Extra Sidebar Widgets in Jetpack you can show widget that allows you to add links to your blog’s RSS feeds in your sidebar. This makes it easy for your readers to stay updated when you post new content or receive new comments.

  3. Likes
    Likes MetaboxLikes allow your readers to show their appreciation for your posts and other published content. They will then be able to review their liked posts from their WordPress.com Reader which will remind them your blog exists and encourage them to come back.

  4. Subscriptions
    Easily allow any visitor to subscribe to all of your posts via email through a widget in your blog’s sidebar. Every time you publish a new post, WordPress.com will send a notification to all your subscribers. Depending on their preferences this notification will either show up on their WordPress bar (top right) or they will receive an email directly in their inbox.

  5. Notifications
    Example of a comment Push Notification from the WordPress for iOS app

    Example of a comment Push Notification from the WordPress for iOS app

    Finally, this last one is for you, the site owner. With Notifications enabled you will be instantly notified when somebody comments on any of your posts or previous comments. This means that you can instantly comment back making your interaction with your readers feel more personal and in real-time.

 

And of course, Jetpack also gives you great stats so that you can see the effect of your work! 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 Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Interview: Andrea Barghigiani on Jetpack

Andrea is a long-time WordPress user and runs the popular WordPress blog wpAndMore aimed at Italian WP users and developers. We got in touch with him recently to find out what he thinks about our Jetpack plugin. Andrea lives in Italy and can be found on Twitter @Andrea_AndMore.

 

Who is Andrea?

Andrea

What do you do for a living?

For the last five years I’ve been developing WordPress themes and plugins. Recently I began to teach other people how to develop with this platform via articles and video tutorials on wpAndMore.info.

What’s the best thing about your job?

In a nutshell, that I can use WordPress to satisfy the requests of my clients :-)

How did you first start using WordPress?

I’ve been using WordPress since version 2.7. At the time I was looking for a framework/platform able to help me speed up my develop process and give more power to my clients – WordPress was the best fit.

 

Thoughts on Jetpack

How’d you first find out about Jetpack?

I always keep myself always updated about WordPress news and I think I read about it on the WPTavern blog (even if I can’t be so sure!). Since then I’ve installed it on more than ten WordPress sites.

What’s the one Jetpack feature you couldn’t do without? Why?

My favourite is the Related Posts feature. I like it because it decreases my bounce rate (I can show more articles to my hungry readers when they finish reading one post) and because it does not stress my server in doing so.

What do you think of the the Jetpack setup process: Easy, hard?

The setup process is very simple, all you need is a WordPress.com account and you’re ready to go!

What do you value about Jetpack?

Based on the kind of site, Jetpack helps me in many ways. First and foremost it helps me keep my installations more organized and streamlined, since I have to install less plugins. Jetpack also helps me run the sites even faster with the CDN options (Photon) that it provides.

 

Working with Clients

Do you generally recommend Jetpack?

Well, looking at the latest improvements, in my opinion Jetpack is a must-have plugin. The various features improve our WordPress installations in many ways, starting from the social aspect (like the social buttons or the amazing Publicize feature) to the more text based ones (like LaTeX and the After the Deadline integration).

Does Jetpack help you with client work?

Sure! Unsurprisingly, my clients are usually happy to install something for free that will give them loads of features. Photon, Carousel and Tiled Galleries are always welcomed by them and the social feature integrations I mentioned previously are very useful in helping them with promoting their sites and content.

 

Jetpack Frustrations

What frustrates you about Jetpack? Why?

If I have to be honest, the only thing it frustrates me is right after install. By default Jetpack activates several modules that I do not need and I have to disable them one by one each time I install it. But I mean, it’s not a big deal ;-)

What would you like to improve?

Apart from the above (ie: letting me activate only the modules I need) I’d love it if you could implement a bit of AJAX technology, so I do not have to refresh the page each time I activate or deactivate a module.

 

Get involved!

Try it out

If you’ve not used Jetpack before, read our step-by-step installation guide here to try it out for yourself.

Contribute

If you are a Jetpack user already please tell us what you think in the comments and, if you’d like to get involved yourself by writing a guest post about Jetpack or being interviewed yourself, get in touch!

Posted in Contribute | Tagged , , | 8 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 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

Interview: How Paul Jarvis works with Jetpack

We got in touch with one of our users Paul Jarvis to find out what he thinks of the Jetpack plugin – how it has helped him and what he’d like to see in a new version. Paul is a freelance web designer/developer as well as an author of various popular books who’s been using WordPress since before he was born.

Paul lives in British Columbia, Canada. You can stalk him on Twitter @pjrvs or read about his books and work on his website.

 

Who is Paul?

paul-jarvis-2

What do you do for a living?

I’m a freelance web designer/developer and author. I’ve built websites for 20 years and written books for the last 4.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I can set my own hours and stop working when I’ve made enough for the year (typically 3-4 months off per year).

How did you first start using WordPress?

I’ve been using WordPress since sometime in early 2004. For client websites, I jumped on the bandwagon early of doing whatever I could to let clients update their own content on their site. This gave me more time to focus on design/development and less time doing tiny updates of content.

 

Thoughts on Jetpack

How’d you first find out about Jetpack?

I live and breathe WordPress so it’s hard to miss things like this! Since I began using Jetpack I’ve installed it on at least 30 sites – practically every site I’ve built for a client since 2011.

What’s the one Jetpack feature you couldn’t do without? Why?

Stats. Both for myself and for my clients, the stats page is such a perfect example of a single screen that gives a ton of information.

What do you think of the the Jetpack setup process: Easy, hard?

Easier now that the setup has been re-designed. The settings are much better now making it quicker to customize what modules I want and which I don’t but I still have to go through disabling the pieces I don’t want (which are the same for every site) for each setup.

What do you value about Jetpack?

Like I mentioned, the stats are great. But other things I use are: sharing, subscriptions, spelling, contact form, related posts. These are all added value for the sites I make for clients.

 

Working with Clients

Does Jetpack affect your work with clients?

Clients all ask for things like easy stats, related posts, sharing buttons – so Jetpack lets me add those things in a few seconds.

Can you think of a cool thing Jetpack helped you do for clients?

I use stats to teach my clients the basis of using metrics for their business. How to look for trends in popular content, how to spot where most of their traffic comes from and how to gauge what content is working the most for them (so they can create more or related content). For a developer it seems like very basic stuff, but for a non-technical client, this is very important for their business.

 

Jetpack Frustrations

What frustrates you about Jetpack? Why?

Previously it was the setup and taking a LONG time to disable all the modules I didn’t want, but now it’s much easier and quicker although it can still stand some improvement.

What would you like to improve?

If there was a way to save my “favourite modules” so on any new install I could pick my profile and those modules were activated – that’d be BOSS.

 

Get involved!

Try it out

If you’ve not used Jetpack before, read our step-by-step installation guide here to try it out for yourself.

Contribute

If you are a Jetpack user already please tell us what you think in the comments and, if you’d like to get involved yourself by writing a guest post about Jetpack or being interviewed yourself, get in touch!

Posted in Contribute | Tagged , , | 9 Comments
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