Photon Now Delivers Images Even Faster than Before

We always strive to make your sites run as quickly and smoothly as possible, both on the front end and under the hood. Our most recent improvement? All self-hosted Jetpack-connected sites who have the Photon image service activated can now enjoy seamless support for the WebP image format.

What does this mean for you and your audience? This new feature provides size reductions of up to 34 percent for served images compared to a JPEG image of an equivalent visual quality level. Your viewers will save a lot of time loading your pages — time they can better spend enjoying the content you publish.

Image comparison - JPEG Image comparison - WebP
JPEG File Size – 43.84KB WebP File Size – 29.61KB

Visually identical images in JPEG and WebP format with their respective sizes.

While WebP isn’t currently supported by all browsers (see the WebP FAQ for more details), you don’t have to worry about anything. We auto-detect which browsers your readers are using to make sure they can enjoy your images in the best quality and highest speed possible.

We should note that by default, Photon is compressing the WebP images at a high quality setting. If you want to get the most out of this new feature, utilizing the quality parameter will yield the best results.

If you’d like to learn more about this fast-loading image format, check out the following links:

Posted in Features | Tagged , , | 7 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
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