Let Users Showcase their Posts with Featured Content

Featured Content Settings

The power of showcasing content

Featured Content is a great way to let users highlight their most important posts. Our Theme Wranglers use it often on WordPress.com, but this awesomeness is available to all theme developers.

The concept is simple: each theme can determine where and how Featured Content is displayed. Then, right from their blog’s dashboard, users can specify a tag to determine which posts to showcase in the Featured Content area. Users can even specify how many posts they want to show, and decide if they want to hide the tag from post meta and tag clouds.

Featured Content in Action

If you’ve been following the development of the Twenty Fourteen theme, you’ve seen the prominent featured posts section on the front page. This area was created with Featured Content! The user specifies which posts they want to feature, and the theme does the rest of the work. Check it out here.

Twenty Fourteen

Another great example of Featured Content is the rotating header on the Superhero theme. In Superhero, Featured Content was coupled with Flexslider to create the beautiful post slider that you see at the top of the front page.

Superhero Theme

The possibilities really are endless. Photography themes can use Featured Content to display beautiful photos, and business sites can highlight their most important news and alerts. Best of all, users don’t have to worry about Custom Post Types or theme-specific categories or tags. They simply set a tag, and the theme handles the rest.

Add Featured Content in a snap

Adding Featured Content to your theme is a piece of cake. You can find all of the information you need to get started on the Featured Content support page.

Keep in mind that Featured Content is designed to spotlight content right on your theme’s homepage. If your theme includes a front-page.php file, that’s the only template file to which you’ll need to add the Featured Content area.

Do you have a great idea for Featured Content? Or have you done something cool with it on your own site? Let us know! We’d love to see how Featured Content is being used in the wild!

Posted in Features, Tips & Tricks | Tagged | 4 Comments

Jetpack 2.7: Share your content on Google+

We recently released a slew of Google+ integrations for WordPress, and mentioned that Google+ Publicize support would be coming soon to Jetpack users. Publicize makes it easy to share your new posts on other social networks (like Facebook and Twitter). Using it is a great way to build your readership and expose your content to new audiences.

Well, the wait is over — we’re excited to announce that you can now share your latest content on your Google+ Profiles and Pages!

Improved overall performance

Jetpack 2.7, which has just been released, adds Publicize to your site. In order to connect your account(s), head to your dashboard, then go to Settings → Sharing. Clicking on the “Connect” button next to the Google+ logo will prompt you to authenticate your account. Once you have, you can start enjoying the benefits of publishing your content to Google+ — just make sure that you’ve enabled the Publicize module.

Jetpack 2.7 also contains multiple bugfixes and other little features. You can view a full changelog of these updates by visiting this page.

We hope you enjoy Jetpack 2.7!

Posted in Features, Releases | Tagged , , | 44 Comments

Jetpack 2.3.5: Share Your Path Moments with Publicize

Jetpack 2.3.5 is out and contains an update to our Publicize feature! Our Publicize feature is a quick, simple way to build your readership and share your latest content automatically on other social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.

Working with our good friends at Path, we’re excited to announce that you can now connect your WordPress blog and Path account. Once connected, when you create new content on your site, a Path “moment” will also be created, with a link back to your site.

Read the Path announcement on WordPress.com to find out more.

Posted in Features, Releases | 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.

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

Jetpack 2.3: Omnisearch, Social Links, and DIY Debugging

Version 2.3 of Jetpack has launched! New features like Omnisearch, Social Links, the Debugger, and more give you powerful, simple ways to customize and administer your Jetpack-powered site.

Ominsearch

Omnisearch

Omnisearch: one search box, global results. Don’t waste time digging for that one comment with the useful link — or was it a post you saw it in? Search once and get results from all of your posts, pages, comments, and plugins.

It’s also incredibly simple to let other plugins offer search results for when a user does a search. Do you have a plugin to build forms? Let Omnisearch provide your users with relevant points of contact from their visitors. Shopping cart plugin? Use it to find individual orders or products. Omnisearch is easy to extend via WordPress’s native Filters API to create a comprehensive search experience within your Dashboard.

Social Links

Social Links

Are you using a theme that supports Social Links? Now, you can configure your social icons directly from the Customizer (just make sure you’ve connected your social services using Publicize first).

Debugger

Debug Module

Debugging your Jetpack connection has never been easier. Activate the Jetpack Debugger, find out why Jetpack isn’t working for you, and submit a help request directly from your Dashboard. Our support folks can see the test details, helping them hone in on the issue more efficiently.

Other Enhancements

In addition to these features, you can now customize the “submit” button text on contact forms, as well as captions used by slideshows

(We’ve also spent a lot of time fixing bugs. For a complete list of changes, take a look at the changelog.)

If you’re already running Jetpack, head to your dashboard to update to 2.3. Otherwise, download Jetpack today!

Posted in Features, Releases | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Tiles and Circles and Squares, Oh My!

Jetpack has lots of different modules that do all sorts of fun and interesting things to supercharge your self-hosted WordPress site. Not everyone uses all of these modules, though — with so much good stuff, it’s easy to miss something. To help you discover all the great things you could be doing with Jetpack, we’ll be highlighting the most-overlooked modules and the modules we get asked the most about. First up: Tiled Galleries!

Are you tired of plain old thumbnail galleries? Are row after row of tiny squares getting you down? Do you spend tons of time using photo editing software to create more interesting layouts for your images? Well have no fear, Tiled Galleries are here! Jetpack lets you display images in a variety of bold, elegant layouts with just a few clicks.

To insert a gallery into a post or page, the first thing you need, of course, are some images. Do you want to showcase your recent trip to New Mexico? Or maybe that new puppy you got? Any collection of images can be turned into a Tiled Gallery, whether you uploaded them to your site weeks ago or are just uploading them now.

Then, make sure that you’ve enabled the Tiled Galleries module in Jetpack. Activate it by going to the Jetpack page in your dashboard, and click the blue “Activate” button on the Tiled Galleries card.

Next, you’ll want to insert a new gallery into your page or post. To add a gallery, click on the “Add Media button,” and then on “Create Gallery” on the top left. You can then either upload new images or select images that are already in your media library. Choose the images you want, then click on the “Create a Gallery” button on the bottom right. Once you’ve created the Gallery, you can drag-and-drop the pictures to put them in the order you want them to appear in.

Now the fun part: choose the layout style that you want for your gallery, in the “Gallery Settings” area on the right, and let the Tiled Galleries module work its magic. You can have:

Square Tiles

or Circles

and my favorite, Tiled Mosaic

Great pictures, aren’t they? And they look smashing in the Tiled Galleries. Jetpack takes care of all the cropping and arrangement, and your site visitors can click any tile to pull up the full image.

I hope this inspires you to turn your regular Thumbnail Galleries into stylish Jetpack-powered Tiled Galleries!

Do you have any questions about Tiled Galleries? Is there a particular Jetpack module you’d like to learn more about? Let us know!

Posted in Features, Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments

Jetpack 2.2: Likes

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the web, it’s that people really like to like things. That’s why the latest version of Jetpack introduces a “Like” feature. The new feature enables a “Like” area at the bottom of your posts and pages. A button allows your readers to show appreciation for your posts as well as save your posts for later viewing on WordPress.com using the Reader.

Screen Shot 2013-02-26 at 11.37.05 AM

Once a user likes your post, their Gravatar will be displayed below your content, allowing you to engage with them further. You’ll also receive a notification in your toolbar if you have the notifications module enabled, and an email notifying you of the action.

Likes isn’t the only new feature in this release. We’ve also added a Readmill widget, a bulk spam feature to the contact form, improved our Pinterest share button integration, and a slew of bug fixes.

For a complete list of changes, see the changelog.

Posted in Features, Releases | Tagged , , | 36 Comments

Jetpack 2.0: Publicize to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr; Post by Email; Photon; Infinite Scroll

The past nine releases of Jetpack have started to reveal our vision for next-generation features that will boost WordPress’ incredible success by making it more social, more connected, more mobile, and more customizable.

Over three million downloads later, we’re excited to report that the community has embraced this seemingly impossible vision for combining the best of hosted and non-hosted WordPress. This tenth release brings some of the most-asked-for features into the hands of millions of Jetpackers.

Publicize to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr…

You no longer have to jump through hoops and developer portals to connect your blog to your friends on your favorite social networks. Through Jetpack and your WordPress.com account, you can connect to each network with just a few clicks and broadcast to your audiences and followers across several networks, making WordPress your true digital hub. Activate Publicize from the main Jetpack page in your dashboard, then go to Settings → Sharing to add social sharing connections.

Post by Email

If you live in Gmail, Outlook, your BlackBerry, or just find it easiest to email on the go, you’ll love the new Post by Email feature. Email anything to your secret address — a photo, a video, a bunch of photos, an audio file, ten pages of single-spaced text — and we’ll figure out how to make it beautiful and put it on your blog literally within seconds after you send it. Combined with Publicize and the previously-released Subscriptions module, that post will go out to all your friends including ones that subscribe via email, completing the loop of email / blog nirvana. To set up your special address go to Users → Your Profile in your dashboard and click the “Enable Post By Email” button.

Photon Your Images

Have you ever switched themes to find that full-width images break out of the layout and no longer fit your theme? Are you frustrated that images on your blog take too long to load? Jetpack Photon fixes all of that by making the advanced image acceleration and image editing service from WordPress.com available to the broader WordPress community, essentially making every image a fully dynamic object that themes and plugins can transform to their heart’s content without killing your server. In fact, if you enable Photon, you will see your CPU and bandwidth usage plummet as images are served through the global WordPress.com cloud, meaning less load on your host and faster images for your users.

Infinite Scroll

Infinite Scroll brings the future of reading on the web to your website. Speed and performance are key, and Infinite Scroll loads new content quickly without a full-page refresh. Instead of the old way of navigating down a page — by scrolling and then clicking a link to get to the next page and waiting for the page to refresh — infinite scrolling pulls the next set of posts into view automatically when the reader approaches the bottom of the page. Your theme needs support for this to work. There are already several themes in the directory with Jetpack Infinite Scroll support and theme authors will find documentation for adding it to any theme on jetpack.me.

Onwards…

Jetpack 2.0 isn’t just about shiny new things, we’ve also fixed dozens of bugs and under-the-hood things to keep Jetpack one of the smoothest running, most secure, and most stable plugins out there.

I want to personally thank all of the members of the Jetpack community who have shared countless hours of testing, feedback, and criticism. Your thoughts and passion have made the plugin immeasurably better than it would have been otherwise, and rest assured we’re still listening closely to your feedback around better stats, module activation and deactivation, developer mode, translation, and documentation.

Posted in Features, Milestone, Releases | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 90 Comments

Jetpack Comments Now Available at a Launchpad Near You

The wait is finally over. You’ve been asking for it for months and we are finally ready to ship it.

Jetpack Comments has arrived!

We’re breaking down the barriers between you and your audience. 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.

Since it is a large change, we are making Jetpack Comments opt-in. To activate it, just visit the Jetpack menu on your Dashboard and click the Activate button inside the Jetpack Comments box.

When activated, Jetpack Comments takes the place of your theme’s comment form in this nifty, sleek form:

To leave a comment, just click in the box and start typing.

After a visitor has written a comment, they will have several ways to identify themselves. A visitor can leave a comment as a guest¹, or they can choose to use their WordPress.com, Twitter, or Facebook account. For example:

You can also change the “Leave a Reply” heading and the color scheme of the Jetpack Comments form under the Settings → Discussion menu.

Bug Fixes

We’ve also fixed a few outstanding bugs in this release:

  • Multiple fixes for Sharing, such as updates for language locales on the Facebook Like button and making the More button more reliable.
  • Updates to the YouTube and Audio shortcodes for better URL escaping.
  • Update the YouTube shortcode to respect the embed settings in Settings → Media when appropriate.
  • Code clean up for After the Deadline.

You should see the update available in your WordPress dashboard shortly. Alternatively, you can always download the latest version of Jetpack here at jetpack.me as well.

Remember to contact support if you need help.

On the Horizon

We’re always excited to bring more features to Jetpack. While we can’t provide any estimates on when these will be included in Jetpack, here are some of the additions or improvements that we are planning:

  • Increased customizability of the Subscription feature’s emails.
  • A better Jetpack management interface.
  • A refresh of the Sharing options.

¹ Guest commenting is still controlled by the options in Settings → Discussion; if you disable guest commenting, visitors will not be able to use this option in Jetpack Comments.

Posted in Features, Releases | 193 Comments

How to view your email subscribers

With the addition of email subscriptions in Jetpack 1.2, one common question is: is it possible to view your list of subscribers? The good news: you can. The bad news: it’s disturbingly hard to find.

Unless you posess psychic powers, or you are one of the programmers who worked on this, you’re unlikely to find it.  We’ll work on making this simpler in the future, but for now, here’s what you do:

  1. Go to your Dashboard
  2. Click on Site Stats
  3. Scroll all the way down
  4. On the left, you’ll see a section labeled Subscriptions

If you click on the link labeled blog followers, you’ll see a list of all of the email address of people who have subscribed to your blog.

Again, we’re sorry this is so hard to find, and we expect to simplify this in the future. I could explain why this happened, but that rarely satisfies anyone, so I won’t.

Ok. If you really want to know, I can share one important fact. At the time we released Jetpack 1.2, WordPress.com was moving away from use of the term subscriber, in favor of the term follower. If we followed along (ha ha), we’d annoy people by using a new term. But if we didn’t, we’d annoy people by using an old term. Either way we’d annoy some percentage of our users. We went with the later approach, We also knew that when 1.2 released, we’d likely get questions about what’s going on, and need to write a post like the one you are reading, explaining why there were some strange design choices in how subscriptions worked in Jetpack.

In the short term, this post should help clarify things. In the long term, we’ll consider paving over this UI pothole with pure Jetpack goodness. Thanks for reading, and jetpacking.

Posted in Features | 81 Comments
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