Voiceover for the partially sighted
Jetpack is something that most website owners won’t be aware of, but the majority of designers will!
Jetpack can help in so many ways
Let’s take a look at a few ways in which Jetpack can help with your website. It has goodness knows how many options and features you can even purchase as add-ons, but for the most part, the free version does the job just nicely.
Within the plugin is an option to enable Tiled Galleries. It is what is says, but it’s a little more than that. Whereas a gallery might normally be tiled blocks of images in a standard squared format (like you might see on a Shop website), Jetpack can do Mosaic Galleries. “What’s that?” I hear you ask…. it is what it says actually – if you have a handful of photographs in varied shapes, tiling those would look pretty bad. Gaps all over the place.
What Jetpack’s Mosaic Gallery setting does is to automatically position the images in a smaller version (you can dictate the sizes) so that they are linked up in a tiled fashion, but in a custom grid.
Here is a good example of the format. You see the first two images are narrower that the third, and the one below is much bigger than any of them. So it formats them to fit on the screen really nicely. You can also set it to show a Caption of the image when you hover over it, to give a little bit of detail on it. Really smart!
Auto Submission to Social Media
There are a number of plugins that do this already, but Jetpack does it for you, and if you have it installed for other features, why not use its ‘Sharing’ feature. You do need a free WordPress account to use this.
Let’s say you have Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. When you publish a new post/blog, you want it to automatically send out that content, title, featured image to those channels – saves you logging in and doing it manually, plus the link will ping back the user to your website if they click it.
So how does it work? You connect your websites via WordPress – you need to be logged into the various SM channels to do this – then when you compose a new Draft, you will see on the right side, how Jetpack has seen what you want to share your content to, and shows you the Social Media accounts on which it will publish this new content.
Occasionally you will find that Linked In loses the connection. This can be for a number of reasons, but if you are signed into Linked In, just click the Reconnect button and it will do it pretty easily for you.
Alas it cannot connect to Instagram – this is mostly because (we think) that Instagram is for mobile only (mostly!), whereas the others are desktop.
Website Uptime monitored by Jetpack
No website has a 100% uptime factor. Hosts will normally give you 98-99%. But even then, if your website has a problem, a code issue, or a server problem, the site could be down. Jetpack ‘pings’ your site even 5 minutes or so. It’s not seen as a ‘hit’, but just a way of it saying “are you there?”. If the website’s Jetpack doesn’t respond, it waits 5 minutes. It then does it again – if no response, you will get an email to say your website is “not responding”.
For hosting companies that might have 10-20 websites in one account, and the server goes down, this generates a raft of emails! But it’s useful, as you can see your website is down before customers – depending on your hit level of course.
We find this tool very useful, as nothing ever goes 100% to plan. It means we can check and if the site is up, it means there was a little blip, and Jetpack saw that blip.
Jetpack’s CDN (Photon) image network
This is one area very few ‘amateur’ website designers will know even exists. A CDN is a ‘Content Delivery Network’. This means that your images (and some other files like CSS stylesheets and JS files) can actually be hosted elsewhere, and served up to the user from the remote server, rather than your hosts.
Why? Well, that CDN is designed to server up only those sorts of files, VERY quickly, and from the closest network server to yourself. Meaning that, in theory, your website’s content should load faster. Faster means better SEO, better performance – and less drag on your hosting server.
There are many CDN’s available, the one we talk about here is Jetpack’s, and it is free. We also use others for other websites, but Jetpack’s works just nicely on it’s own. There are comparison websites that show the differences between Jetpack and others, such as KeyCDN or Cloudflare. Worth a read.
You see there is so much to Jetpack. If you would like to know how we can help you integrate it into your website, or you want us to develop something amazing for you, and be your Web Designer, and incorporate these features for you, get in touch. We are here to help and develop your online business.