WordPress Jetpack 2.0 packs a punch!

WordPress Jetpack 2.0 packs a punch!

It’s official

Automattic, the company behind WordPress, has officially released version 2 of their popular plugin, Jetpack. For those not in the know, “Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that supercharges your self-hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.” This statement couldn’t be any more true in the latest version.

Highlights

Let’s take a look at some of the new features now available. These features range from content syndication to your social networks all the way to free image hosting via WordPress.com’s CDN (Content Delivery Network).

Publicize

Jetpack Publicize

For a while, I have been so unhappy with syndicating my content or clients content to their social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. Sure, there are plugins out there, there are API’s a developer can use, but nothing ever functioned as I needed them to or how I liked. Now with Publicize in Jetpack, WordPress will do that for you! So far, in my testings, it works just as I have always needed from the many alternatives in the wild. Actually, if you came to this post from either my Facebook or Twitter accounts, I used this very feature to do so!

One of my biggest gripes with the social media publication plugins out there is they offered too much, or they offered too little. Publicize gives you just the right amount of publication options in Facebook, which is where I’ve always had my issues. I can tell WordPress to post only to my personal Facebook account, or I can tell it to post to Facebook pages I am an admin for. You can also tell Publicize to allow all authors in the blog to have the same privileges, or you can do it on a user basis. One issue though, you can’t tell it to post to both your personal and a Facebook page. Which is probably a good thing as far as spamming your readers.

Over time I’d love to see something close to what Buffer does, which is allow you to schedule times to post your new posts or pages to your different networks. So I may want it to post to Twitter the second I publish my post, but have it syndicate to Facebook 10 minutes later.. I know that’s a feature a lot of my Social Media Marketers friends use.

For more detailed information on this feature check out the documentation at jetpack.me

Post By Email

Jetpack Post by EmailI’ll admit, this is a feature I probably will never use. I see no use, in my work flow, to make a blog post with email. I’m packed to the brim with mobile devices and the amazing crew at Automattic have done a stellar job with bringing excellent native apps for all popular platforms. I realize that not every one has made the leap to “smart phones” but yet their device still checks email, this is a great solution. No need to single out your users right? Ok enough of that, let’s talk about what’s packed in this.

Post By Email is enabled on a by user basis. This means that my username of JohnDoe has the ability to post by email, but JaneDoe doesn’t. To do so, you can enable the option in the Settings > Users section.

For many of us, email is just plain text… however, you can toss HTML in here and WordPress will display that in your Post By Email. But it doesn’t stop there! No, no! You can also add attachments which get posted along with using shortcodes too! Ok, things are looking pretty good here :) But most post have categories and tags, well, Post By Email will handle that too! There’s a ton of features that are supported in this option to make sure you are able to make a blog post and never have to worry if the outcome was correct when published.

For more detailed information on this feature check out the documentation at jetpack.me

Infinite Scroll

Jetpack Infinite ScrollYES! This is great. We now have (essentially) Infinite Scroll in WordPress. It’s not exactly in core, but this is close enough. One major thing point out is that it’s not just available and ready to go with every theme! Your theme needs to support it! If you’re a theme developer, you better make sure you offer this!

If you don’t know what infinite scroll is, no worries, I got you covered! Have you ever been on Twitter or Facebook, and when you scroll to the bottom, more content loads? That’s infinite scroll. This is an alternative to “paginating” content by making the theme responsive to the fact that we need more content. So with this, we essentially make an ajax call to the database to fetch the next 10 posts (or however many you have set up in your WordPress install). Setting this up is not for the light-hearted. You need to know your way through PHP and WordPress’ action and hooks to make your theme compatible. Thankfully all the documentation to add support for it is in the documentation, which you can find a link to below :)

I know I’ll be making use of this in all of my themes. Will you? For more detailed information on this feature check out the documentation at jetpack.me

Photon

Jetpack PhotonThis feature I absolutely love! Although, I activated it on my blog… and things broke… haven’t had time to debug quite yet, so that tells me there is some tweaking needed. BUT, with that aside, this is a feature developers have screamed for.

Photon is an image acceleration and editing services for sites on WordPress.com or Jetpack enabled websites. With this enabled, your images will be served from WordPress.com’s CDN (Content Delivery Network) which is great because that now means less load on your hosting provider and it’s freeeeeeee! :P

Not only that, but it’s the Photon API that is amazing. Back in the day, developers used what is known as TimThumb. It’s a PHP image resizing script. This would create new images on the fly based on what size the image is requested at. HOWEVER, this led to a massive security hole and a lot of websites got hacked and the issue still exists today for a lot of themes if the script wasn’t updated.

With the Photon API, we now have a secure API built FOR WordPress to generate, on the fly, images for our themes and plugins. AWWW YEAH! I had seen chatter about this in Trac and I thought it was being built for 3.5. Seems it got past me and was brought to Jetpack instead :) Which makes sense because other wise it’s impact on hosted sites will suffer. WordPress now provides the technology to auto generate your image sizes.

The options for the Photon API are pretty robust and easy to use really. I’ll be playing with this and experimenting with it further and plan to try and make full use in any theme possible. For more detailed information on this feature check out the documentation at jetpack.me

Still more to be seen!

These our just four of the many features with in Jetpack. The power behind this plugin is phenomenal and should never be over looked, in my opinion. I’ll be honest, for a while I didn’t care too much for the plugin in its initial release, but upon enabling it and playing with it, I’m blown away. Go download it now if you haven’t yet! As time moves on, we see more awesomeness brought to our WordPress sites from the amazing team at Automattic. Keep it up guys!