Jetpack

Jetpack 3.2: Speed Improvements and a Centralized Posting Experience

Last week we released Jetpack 3.2, bringing  you speed improvements and a centralized posting experience.

Speed Improvements

jetpack-3.2-graphs-related-posts-2

We’ve improved the caching mechanism for Related Posts. Previously, you’d have to wait up to 12 hours for the cache to flush and related posts to appear on newly-published posts. Now, it happens in just a few minutes!

jetpack-3.2-graphs-site-speed-2

We’ve also worked on speed improvements at the heart of Jetpack, including consolidating and streamlining CSS and reducing the number of resource requests Jetpack makes. Coupled with Photon, this makes your site load faster – just one of many planned performance enhancements in store for Jetpack.

A Centralized Posting Experience

newposting-3

With Jetpack connected, you can now publish posts to your self-hosted WordPress site with the same editor available on WordPress.com giving you one centralized place from where to publish content, irrespective of where your WordPress site is hosted. Additionally, the new editor works great on mobile and tablets (and desktops!).

To try it out, head over to wordpress.com/post and pick your site from the site picker on the top left of the editing window (after connecting and updating Jetpack).

How To Update

To update Jetpack, login to your WordPress Dashboard and update directly from the Plugins tab or download the plugin files and install manually.

Bug Fixes, Enhancements, and Feedback

There are also many minor enhancements and bug fixes with Jetpack 3.2. For full details, please see the change log.

Please give us your feedback by leaving a comment and letting us know what you love or what you’d like to see in future updates. If you find any possible bugs or issues, please file a new issue on GitHub, create a new forum post, or simply contact our support team.

Subscribe to our mailing list to get notified by email of new things coming soon from Jetpack.

Posted in Releases | 20 Comments

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.

related-posts-graphic-2

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

Automattic Acquires BruteProtect

I’m excited to announce that Automattic has acquired BruteProtect, a plugin and service that protects your sites from malicious logins, saves server resources so your site runs faster, and keeps all your sites on the latest and greatest versions of WordPress core, plugins, and themes.

The plugin and service are currently available, but over the coming months we’re going to build their functionality into Jetpack and retire BruteProtect as a standalone thing.

BruteProtect also has a premium service that starts at $5 a month per site — effective immediately, that will be free for every BruteProtect user and Jetpack-enabled site. If you’re already a BruteProtect subscriber we’ll be in touch soon to send you a surprise thank you for your early support. You can download and get started with Jetpack here.

The BruteProtect team is based in Bath, Maine and they’re long-time contributors to the WordPress community. We’re excited to see them join forces with the Jetpack team and up the level of security, protection, and peace of mind we’ll be able to bring to the millions of sites already using Jetpack.

Though Automattic is known for its consumer-facing services like WordPress.com and Jetpack, the infrastructure behind them is the bottom part of the iceberg. Taking services to web-scale is another one of Automattic’s specialties, whether it’s the 8 billion Gravatars we serve every day, the Simperium sync service, or the countless spam that Akismet has blocked (and time it has saved).

This is internet plumbing: when it works it’s completely invisible, and we love that. We’re now pushing 450 terabytes of data a day from 9 datacenters around the globe.

Welcome, BruteProtect! You can read more about the acquisition from Sam on their blog.

Posted in Milestone | Tagged , , | 12 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.

angryclients2

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

Jetpack 3.1: Portfolio Custom Post Types, a New Logo, and Much More

The latest Jetpack update adds exciting new features like additional JSON API endpoints and Custom Content Types — which includes the Portfolio Custom Post Type. And we’ve got a spiffy a new logo!

Custom Content Types

Custom Post Types (or CPTs) allow you to have content that doesn’t necessary fit into a post but isn’t right for a static page. Now, you can enable Custom Post Types via Jetpack. More and more CPTs are supported by themes on WordPress.com, making the ability to access this custom content critical if a user migrates to a self-hosted site.

Introducing the Portfolio Custom Post Type

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The Portfolio Custom Post Type gives you an easy way to manage projects you want to showcase on your site. It’s already supported by a number of themes, and more theme developers are planning on adding it.

If your theme doesn’t support it yet, enable the Portfolio Custom Post Type by activating the Custom Content Types module in your Jetpack settings. Then, enable the feature by going to Settings > Writing in your WordPress admin and checking the option under “Your Custom Content Types” to enable the Portfolio Custom Post Type.

You can then choose to display the portfolio using the portfolio shortcode ( [portfolio] ) or with a link to the portfolio in the menu.

New Jetpack Logo

Jetpack 3.1 also unveils a new Jetpack logo. Without further ado, here it is!

New Jetpack Logo

Why do we need a new logo? Glad you asked! Jetpack is ever-evolving and is a major part of Automattic and WordPress. It’s grown a lot since its introduction in 2011, and its branding should grow too. Something better, faster, stronger.

If you would like to use the new logo, you can find the official PDF on the Automattic press page.

Features for Theme Developers

If you are theme developer — or just like to tinker with your theme — you’ll enjoy Jetpack 3.1’s additions

First off, we’ve added responsive video support! One of the things that is often overlooked when developing a responsive theme is making videos responsive. To add support to your theme, just add the following line to your theme’s functions.php file.

<?php add_theme_support( 'jetpack-responsive-videos' ); ?>

This ensures that any videos are responsive, no additional markup or special coding required. It just works! Every video on your site will display just as nicely on mobile devices as they do on your largest display.

We’ve also updated to the most recent version of Genericons (3.1). For specific changes, please see the Genericons releaselog.

Features for Plugin Developers

For sites that opt in, we’re also adding additional JSON API endpoints that allow you to manage themes and plugins as well as Jetpack feature activation. If you’ve not yet explored the WordPress.com JSON API, you can do so online at the WordPress.com developer console.

More Updates to the Jetpack Admin Interface

Jetpack 3.0 dramatically overhauled the Jetpack admin interface. Thanks to your feedback, 3.1 makes new design even more user friendly and accessible! Now, you can activate, configure, and deactivate Jetpack features right in the feature description box. Manage the feature with a single click and configure its settings without backing out of the description.

We also improved the RTL support for many Jetpack features. With WordPress and Jetpack used globally, this makes it easier for people who use languages that read from right to left to better use these features.

And so much more!

As always, there are many minor enhancements and bug fixes with Jetpack 3.1. For full details, please see the change log.

We value your feedback, so please comment and let us know what you love, and what you’d like to see in future updates. If you find any possible bugs or issues, please file a new issue on the Jetpack GitHub page, create a new forum post, or simply contact our support team.

Posted in Releases | 21 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

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
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