WordPress Hangout #18: WordPress Community and Contribution with Ben Lobaugh

ben-lobaughThis week, Suzette Franck of (mt) Media Temple and Natalie MacLees of Purple Pen Productions will be talking with Ben Lobaugh, of Automattic about how to go from Zero to WordPress Hero through contribution and community involvement.

Airing at 11:00 PDT on Thursday, July 17th.

Ben Lobaugh hails from Seattle, Washington, and is an Automattician, Musician, Sailor, Seattle WordPress/Camp organizer, Christian, International Speaker, Mephobia sufferer, and you may follow him on twitter at https://twitter.com/benlobaugh.


Inland Empire Meetup: Jetpack 2.2.5

I was the main presenter the fine folks over at the Inland Empire WordPress Meetup.

Jetpack 2.2.5: Back in the day, there were great features available to WordPress.com users that were not available on self-hosted sites. Jetpack is a plugin that connects to WordPress.com and enables awesome features, powered by the WordPress.com cloud infrastructure. You may view the presentation slides below:


Supercharge Your Website with Jetpack: Part Three of Three | Media Temple

by Suzette Franck, WordPress Evangelist Lead at Media Temple

In the second edition of “Supercharge Your Website with Jetpack”, I covered features such as Blog Subscriptions via email, using Publicize to spread your post across different social networks, and using Sharing to enable social media icons on your site. I also reviewed Jetpack Comments and explained the extra sidebar widgets.

In this final chapter of the Jetpack series, I’ll cover the more advanced modules in Jetpack, including the Photon CDN for images, the built in Stats capability, the Contact Form, and the Image Carousel.

Read full article at: Supercharge Your Website with Jetpack: Part Three of Three


Five Reasons You Should Use Jetpack

Isn’t Jetpack Just A Bloated Plugin?

Today I talked about Jetpack at the Ventura County WordPress Interest Group. My slides for the presentation may be found on Speaker Deck.

A lot of developers do not like Jetpack because they say it is bloated with a lot of unnecessary features. This is always my response, “You could call it bloated but you have to remember that it is several plugins rolled into one, and you can disable any modules you do not want to use. Also, there are performance enhancements that offset the resource heaviness of the plugin, like the Photon CDN, so you are still ending up ahead if you use it.”

Some people are still stubborn, so I have come up with this list of 5 reasons why you should definitely be using Jetpack on all of your sites.

  1. WordPress.com Stats

    View top stats without leaving your dashboard with no additional load on the server! Also powers: Top Posts widget, the graph in the admin bar, the annual report, and provides nifty graphs like the one below:

    Blogging Works

    You can see that something major happened February 1st, this is when I started blogging everyday! It works!

  2. Publicize

    Publicize allows you to do what many other 3rd Party Services such as Twitterfeed and Feedburner have tried to do but failed. When enabled, Publicize automatically posts your new posts to your connected social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Tumblr are all taken care of with this feature, you only have to manually post your blog post on Google+. This is only because there is not an API for Google+ yet, but once they get one, I am sure it will be added.

  3. Sharing

    There is no shortage of plugins that will add social media buttons to your posts and pages, but I have not found one so simple and reliable as the one that is featured in Jetpack. I have even seen some that load malware or spam, or just take an incredible amount of time to load. With Jetpack, you can customize the buttons to have text, just icons, or use the official buttons. The buttons appear at the bottom of the post by default, but I think this is fairly easy to change if you dig into the code.

  4. Blog Subscriptions

    This is a no brainer for me, and I am surprised that I do not see it being used more often. There is a widget that offers a ‘subscribe by email’ option, and it works like hot knife and butter. The emails generated are nicely formatted, and you can manage all of your subscriptions and the frequency at which they are sent centrally at WordPress.com.

  5. Contact Form

    I love Gravity Forms, but most of my clients do not need to make advanced forms. They just need the simplest of contact forms that do the bare minimum and work well. Jetpack’s contact form is quick and easy to use, all the responses are recorded in the database for viewing under “Feedbacks”, and it allows for some simple customizations. The other great thing about the contact form is that spam protection is built right in, no need for any annoying CAPTCHAs or weird challenge questions, just enable Akismet and you will be good to go.

  6. To sum it all up…

    So what did we learn about Jetpack? You should definitely use it, if only for the modules I mentioned. As you can see, the benefits far outweigh the bloat that is caused by unwanted features, and those can always be turned off. If you added individual plugins to your site to add the features I mentioned, you may not be guaranteed the same effort will be put into keeping the code up-to-date or the same commitment to adding new awesome features that the team at Automattic puts into Jetpack. Definitely take advantage of that!


Supercharge Your Website with Jetpack: Part Two of Three | (mt) Media Temple

In my last article, Supercharge Your Website with Jetpack: Part One of Three, I wrote about the basics of Jetpack: what it is, a rundown of the applications included, how to install, and how to connect it to your WordPress.com account to enable all of the awesome features. In this second post of this series, I will cover the rich social media features that are included as a part of Jetpack and how to get the most out of them.

Using the built-in social features of Jetpack, any blog owner can easily and effortlessly get their message out to the broadest audience possible. Blog Subscriptions allow users to subscribe to your content and receive notifications of new posts via email updates. Publicize automatically publishes your content to popular social media networks. Sharing allows visitors to help to promote your content with a click of a button, and Extra Sidebar Widgets give you the tools necessary to display your Twitter Feed, an image, or an RSS link in your sidebar.

Read full article at (mt) Media Temple » Weblog » Blog Archive » Supercharge Your Website with Jetpack: Part Two of Three.