Archive for the ‘Accessories’ Category

Managing Your Blog On a Mobile Device

Have you given the WordPress mobile apps a try lately? We’ve been working hard to make sure our iOS and Android apps are simple to use and have the features you need to blog right from your phone or tablet. Here are a few recent additions and updates that make blogging on the go easier:

Add Categories and Tags

Before publishing a blog post, you can add categories and tags right in the app’s post editor. To add categories and tags to a post in the iOS editor, tap the at the top right, then Options. On Android, tap the gear icon at the top right.

(Need a refresher? Categories allow you to group related posts together on your site, and tags help people find you in the WordPress.com Reader. Keep in mind that the Reader will filter out posts using more than 15 categories and tags total, so stick to 15 or fewer.)

Edit Post Slugs and Excerpts

A post slug is the part of a post’s URL after the .com (or the .blog, .org, .net, or whichever kind of address you use). WordPress generates one for you automatically based on your post’s title — but if your post has a very long title, it will also have a very long URL. Now, you can edit your slugs in the apps to shorten them.

You can also add and edit excerpts — little summaries of your posts — in the app. Some themes display post excerpts on your home page; if yours does, you’ll want to add one to each post. They also display in the WordPress.com Reader, giving you more control over what appears there.

To find the slug and excerpt in the apps, go back into your post’s settings: head to a post and tap on … → Options (iOS) or on the gear icon (Android), Scroll to the bottom of the screen to find the slug and excerpt options.

Add a Featured Image

Lots of themes use Featured Images to draw readers’ eyes to your posts and pages. And when readers share your posts, the Featured Image is often used by Twitter, Facebook, and other networks. It’s the first part of a post most people see, and plays a big role in whether people decide to read.

To add a featured image to a post, open a post and go back to — you guessed it! — …→ Options (iOS) or the gear icon (Android). You can change an existing featured image there, too.

Easier Reading and Accessibility

The apps have seen several changes to make them easier to use, including better button and image descriptions for screen readers and improved zooming to increase text size. If you’ve had trouble with small text in one of the apps before or found something to be inaccessible, give it another try and be sure to let our support team know if you see areas where we can improve further.

In-App Support

If you have any questions, you can reach our support team right in the apps by going to Me → Help & Support → Contact Us. We’d love to hear your feedback!

Don’t have the WordPress mobile app yet? Download it here.

Filed under: Mobile
Go to Source

New Premium Themes: Small Business and Photo Blog

Today we’re excited to announce two new premium themes: Small Business and Photo Blog.

Small Business

Small Business is a new premium theme for your entrepreneurial endeavors. At an introductory price of just $5 (or free with the Premium or Business plans), it’s a worthwhile investment for your business.

Small Business Theme Setup Instructions

We know that running a business is no small task, which is why Small Business includes comprehensive video instructions for its key features so you can get your business’ website online faster.

Small Business was designed with a simple, single-column layout for a consistent reading experience no matter the device or screen size, and uses system fonts to reduce page-load time. We’ve also included a few tailored features just for small businesses, like:

Contact Information: Your customers are busy people – that’s why easy access to essential information like your phone number and address is so important. Small Business displays a banner with your contact information on every page and turns all the information into links, so your customers can call, email, or find you on a map with a click.

Small Business - Contact Info

Promo Area: Do you have a new product coming out? A seasonal sale? A special event? Whatever it is, you’ll want to put this information right on the front page to make sure your customers see and act on it. Small Business includes a Promo Area area that makes it as easy as flipping a switch!

Style Packs: If Small Business’ bold design doesn’t feel right for you, choose one of the three included Style Packs — Modern Flair, Country Charm, or Classic Elegance — for a different look and feel with the click of a button.




Learn more about how to use all of Small Business’ features with these step-by-step instructions and videos or by checking out the demo — or just try it out on your own site!

Photo Blog

Photo Blog is our new premium theme for visual storytellers. It’s available for $36, or comes free with the Premium or Business plans.

Photo Blog comes with many features that help your photographs shine:

Layout: Along with its default square layout, Photo Blog comes with two additional layout options. The Grid layout adds space between your images, while Masonry creates an interlocking grid, which respects your image orientation and pieces them cleanly together.



Featured Images Filter: Photo Blog comes with a variety of image filters you can apply to your Featured Images. Choose from faded Reyes, black-and-white Willow, saturated Lo-fi, or one of the other 23 options.




Style Packs: If you’re searching for a different look for Photo Blog, check out its Style Packs — Elegant, Retro Photo, or Vintage Paper — to change up your site’s appearance.




You can learn more about Photo Blog by checking out these step-by-step instructions and videos, or visiting the theme’s demo site!

Filed under: Themes
Go to Source

Updated Privacy Policy

As part of our commitment to privacy and transparency, we’re updating our Privacy Policy. We want to give you more and clearer information about how we collect and use personal information — in a more organized and readable format.

Your privacy is critically important to us. These are the first words of our Privacy Policy, and words we live by when designing and building our products.

Here are some of the updates you’ll see:

  • We split the Privacy Policy up into sections titled: “Information We Collect,” “How We Use Information,” “Sharing Information,” “Choices,” and “Security.” Our aim is to make the Policy easier to follow and understand. We really want you to read the whole thing!
  • We added specific information about how our Privacy Policy applies to Jetpack sites and the WordPress mobile app.
  • We included real-world, concrete examples to illustrate our policies and give you a clearer picture of how we collect and use personal information. For example, to explain our disclosures about access to mobile device data, we say: “[i]f you give us permission to access the photographs on your mobile device’s camera roll, our Services may access the photos stored on your device when you upload a really amazing photograph of the sunrise to your website.”
  • We provided more information, in the “Choices” section, about how you can limit and control the data that you provide to us when you use our services.

New Privacy Policy Effective January 3, 2018

Our new Privacy Policy will take effect on January 3, 2018. We’re releasing it now to give you time to take a look at it. If you continue to use our services on or after January 3, 2018, that will indicate your consent to the new Privacy Policy.

….And Stay Tuned for What’s Next

Our commitment to your privacy means more than just updating our Privacy Policy. We’re continually thinking about new ways to be more transparent about how we use data, and are building new tools and features to give you more control over the data you entrust to us.

Some of these efforts are in anticipation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) — a new EU privacy regulation that will affect Automattic and many of our customers. You can read more about our GDPR-readiness plans here.

***

Although we updated a lot of the wording in our Privacy Policy, our core values remain unchanged: We strive to be fully transparent. We help protect our users from overreaching government demands for information. We keep the data we have a reason to keep. And we are thoughtful about how we collect, use, and share personal information.

Filed under: Admin Bar
Go to Source

Update Your Avatar on WordPress.com

We’ve given one of our favorite features a boost! You can now manage your profile photo, or avatar, right on WordPress.com. This avatar, powered by a service called Gravatar, is the image that represents you online — a thumbnail that appears next to your name when you interact on blogs and websites. With this recently refined feature, you can upload, edit, and update your avatar at wordpress.com/me.

Your avatar shows up in many places on WordPress.com. For example, you’ll see it on your site next to your blog posts:

And when you like someone’s post:

Or when you comment on a post:

As you can see, your avatar helps to establish your identity and credibility on WordPress.com — but also across the internet. It will also appear on other websites that use Gravatar, like Stack Overflow and Hootsuite. This means that you don’t have to re-upload the same photo multiple times across the web.

How to Update Your Avatar

While logged into your WordPress.com account, go to wordpress.com/me or click your profile icon at the top-right corner of the screen. You’ll see the edit screen for your profile:

From here, you can either click on your photo to change it:

Animated GIF showing clicking the button to change the Gravatar

Or drag and drop a new photo from your computer:

You can also edit the photo — rotate, flip, or crop — before setting or changing it:

Animation showing editing image

When you’re happy with your image, click Change My Photo and you’re all set!

We’ve also made this update for the desktop app. If you have questions, refer to the Gravatars Support page or contact Support for assistance. We look forward to seeing your faces around the web!

Filed under: Avatars, General, Profile, WordPress.com
Go to Source

A New Media Picker for the iOS WordPress App

Sometimes it’s the extra touches that make all the difference; on your website, that’s the photos and video that give your content life.

You asked for streamlined access to your media library and the camera and photos on your device, to make uploading and inserting photos and videos easier. We hear you loud and clear! A freshly-updated media picker is now available in version 8.5 of the WordPress app for iOS.

What’s New

The new media picker was designed to allow quicker access to your media right from the new Aztec editor. Now you can insert videos and photos without leaving the editor. Click the plus sign — just like in the desktop editor:

 

The picker’s toolbar has buttons that provide full screen access to media already on your device, the camera, and your site’s media library.

ios_media_picker_toolbar

Whether you need to insert a photo you’ve already uploaded, capture a new video with your camera, or peruse all the special moments already on your device to find the perfect pic, you’re covered.

Open Source and Proud of It

Giving back to the software development community is part of Automattic’s DNA. That’s why our Android and iOS apps are 100% open source and will remain that way. In fact, the new media picker is a stand-alone iOS library that can be used in your own projects. We encourage you to try it out!

Thank You!

The Mobile team truly appreciates all of our wonderful users. Our goal is to build tools to help you make your site the best it can be. We look forward to your feedback and hope you enjoy the new media picker as much as we do.

Filed under: Mobile, Photos, Video

New iOS Media Picker Demo

Go to Source

New Theme: Radcliffe 2

Today we’re happy to introduce Radcliffe 2, a refreshed version of a tried-and-true WordPress theme. We’ve optimized it for speed, and added new features specifically with small-business websites in mind.

Radcliffe 2 was a collaborative effort by several members of WordPress.com’s Theme Team. We wanted to update the popular theme for a more mobile-centric landscape, and to add new features that our small-business customers need.

Some specific design considerations for mobile include:

Standard fontsRadcliffe 2 uses system fonts — fonts that are already available on computers and mobile devices — rather than loading its own custom fonts. This reduces page-load time, since sites no longer have to load special font files, and benefits people browsing your site on mobile devices. Like with other WordPress.com themes, the fonts can be changed using the Customizer.

No sidebar: For a more consistent experience between desktop and mobile screens, Radcliffe 2 has a single-column, no-sidebar layout. This helps sites retain the same look and feel, regardless of the device used to load it.

We’ve tailored Radcliffe 2’s other major features for small-business sites:

Logo Resizer: For a perfect fit, increase or decrease the size of your logo.

Style Packs: Looking for a different feel for your site? Style Packs allow you to customize your design to match your brand in seconds. Check out Modern Bauhaus, Vintage Paper, or the Upbeat Pop Style Pack options! Each pack includes unique colors and fonts that create a cohesive style.



Contact Information: This is an easy way to display your phone number, email address, physical address, and hours of operation in your website’s header or footer. Mobile visitors can simply tap on your number to directly call your business’s phone.

Featured Prompt: Create an eye-catching area with text, a linked button, and a background image to draw visitors to a specific area of your site.

You can learn more about Radcliffe 2 by reading the Theme Showcase documentation, checking out the demo, or trying it out on your own site!

The original Radcliffe was released almost four years ago by Anders Norén, a prolific and talented themer.

Chatting with Anders about his theme, it’s clear we can credit Radcliffe’s bold images and typography to its predecessors. “Radcliffe was my fourth free WordPress theme,” says Anders. “The previous three, Lingonberry, Hemingway, and Wilson, are all pretty traditional blog themes with a thin content column and (in the case of Hemingway and Wilson) a sidebar with widgets. I wanted to do something a bit different with Radcliffe. Something that used the full width of the screen for people who want their images to take up more space.”

The original Radcliffe theme.

The result was a theme that balanced eye-catching featured images with a deft treatment of the written word.

Anders’s passion for creating free WordPress themes, originally a hobby, led to his career in web design. He notes that while technology and WordPress have changed, some things haven’t.

“The basic tenets of what makes a WordPress theme — and a website — great are still pretty much the same. Accessibility, a good layout, thought-through typography, smart functionality, and a couple of small, user-experience enhancing flourishes here and there.”

His design process has evolved too, but the core purpose of why he creates remains. “I start in whatever end I have in my head and pull on that thread to see how long it goes,” he says. “If the single view comes first, I try to get a feel for how the archive view would fit together with it, and vice versa. The rest grows from there. It’s not a very structured approach, I’ll admit. And that’s the best part about releasing themes for free. The only requirement I’ve set for myself is that I have fun doing it.”

Filed under: Themes
Go to Source

Upload Once, Blog Anywhere: Photos from Google

Google Photos is one of the most popular ways of storing and sharing photos online. WordPress.com is one of the most popular ways to blog. Wouldn’t it be great if they played well together — if you could use photos you’ve uploaded to Google on your site?

We thought so, too: starting today, you can browse, search, and copy photos from your Google account right from your blog posts and pages. Introducing: photos from Google!

To get started, open up your Media Library on WordPress.com and select the media source dropdown. Then choose the Photos from Your Google library option:

The first time you do this you’ll need to connect to your Google account by pressing the connect button.

Once you’re connected your WordPress.com Media Library will display your recent Google photos. Select the image you want to use, click the Insert button, and poof! The image will be copied to your Media Library and inserted into your post.

It doesn’t end there: since Google analyzes and automatically categorizes your photos, you can use their sorting to browse and search your photos whether or not you’ve added any tags or descriptions. (Thanks, Google!)

Have photos of cats you want to post? Search for “cats,” and Google picks out your cat photos. Want to create a gallery with photos of your trip to Japan? Search for “Kyoto” and you’re all set.

If you have a WordPress.com plan that offers video support, you can display videos from your Google account, too. And fear not, self-hosted WordPress users: you also can use this feature through the Jetpack plugin.

We’re working on integrating this deeper into your WordPress.com experience, and we hope to integrate more services with WordPress.com in the future. You can find more help at our Photos from Google support page, or by contacting us.

Filed under: Admin Bar, Photos, Posting
Go to Source

Simpler On-the-Go Publishing: Background Media Uploading for Android

Version 8.1 of the WordPress for Android app is now available, with some great enhancements to publishing: background media uploading.

Adding images to a post or page? Now, you can publish — and move on to other things — while your media uploads. No more waiting inside the editor while images gradually upload! Tap the Publish button and the app takes care of finishing the uploads and publishing, leaving you free to leave the post editor and get on with other things.

You can do the same thing while saving drafts. And yes, you can have multiple posts uploading media in the background at once.

We’ve also spruced up the interface, adding notifications so you always know the status of your posts and uploads. Visit your post list at any time for a progress report on all your uploads.

These features work best with the new Beta editor, codenamed “Aztec,” so be sure to enable it in your app for the full experience — check out the details and get instructions on enabling it.

If you haven’t already, download WordPress for Android from the Play Store, give it a try and let us know what you think!

Filed under: Mobile, New Features, Photos, Posting, Video
Go to Source

Add A Simple Payment Button To Your WordPress.com Premium Or Business Site

May 2016: Hajj Flemings, CEO of Rebrand Cities with renowned photographer, Shawn Lee, in a redesigned school bus en route to working with small business owners in Detroit.

Earlier this year, while working in Detroit with small business owners and the Rebrand Cities team, it became clear that entrepreneurs and publishers are looking for a simpler way to accept digital payments on their sites.

Our Happiness Engineering team — the guardians of our customers — also weighed in, and we knew that we wanted to make an existing process simpler. So we set a design goal of bringing a 15-minute-long process to under a minute — especially for a customer that has never used PayPal before.

So a small team of engineers and designers came together to solve that problem with the intent of releasing a “Version One” with which we could start to understand how a simpler payment button could be used by our customers. It’s currently limited to our Premium and Business Plan members while we tune and refine how it can work best.

Here’s how it works: Open a new post, select “Insert Content,” then choose “Add Payment Button.” You’ll fill out the details for what you’re selling, add the email address for your PayPal account (where the money will be sent), and that’s it! 

Read more about how to get started with the new Simple Payments feature for Premium and Business Plans on WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites.

***

It’s easy to think that making simple things is, well, simple. But that’s never the case. Austin, Texas-based engineering leader Bob Ralian led the product team that pulled this live, working prototype together in record time. I had the opportunity to observe the design team in action working with the engineers, and the following is a brief interview with Bob on how all the pieces came together.

JM: So tell me a little about yourself, Bob!

BR: I’ve been building websites and web applications for the better part of 20 years, and I’ve worked at Automattic for four years. I’ve done a mix of engineering, team management, and project management. I live in Austin, Texas, with my wife, three kids, and two dogs.

JM: How does an engineer think versus how a designer thinks?

BR: As an engineer I usually think in terms of what I have and what I know. I can work within a system, take different pieces and turn them into something new. Take duct tape, dental floss, and a rubber band, and turn it into a bicycle. Or I can look at a process and think through how I can make it better. But I’ve found that designers are able to create something totally new out of nothing. They’re not intimidated by a completely blank slate. It’s a superpower that I greatly admire!

JM: They sound very similar!

BR: I think we’re motivated by the same things. We want to make something that people like and appreciate and makes their days a little better. Really, we just want our users to be happy and enjoy what we’re building.

JM: An unusual amount of planning went into this little button — it started in Detroit with a group of designers and then was packaged into a variety of concept sketches and little movies. Does all that up front work really pay off? If so, how?

BR: We spent a lot of time with customers, particularly small business owners, to learn about what they need from their websites. We learned that many of them just want a simple way to take payments. So we used that as our guiding principle, make it as simple as possible for these business owners to add a payment button to their site.

JM: What’s an “MVLP”? I heard the designers use that term with the engineers.

BR: MVLP stands for “minimum viable lovable product.” It means that rather than taking a long time to build a complicated product behind a curtain, we try to build small, simple features and launch them early. It’s ready when it solves a real user need and we can feel proud of it – something we can love. Then we let our customers tell us what they want next and how to make it better. This keeps us focused on building for real user needs.

“MVP → M♥E (Minimum Lovable Experience) = Easy to use, Meets value prop, and Well crafted.” —Maria Giudice #EUX16 pic.twitter.com/GM7VRT4yz2

— John Maeda (@johnmaeda) June 9, 2016

JM: As an accomplished musical artist yourself, how does “love” play into the engineering of products?

BR: To me it’s all the same; composing a song, writing a blog post, building a new feature, or making something with my hands. I just really love the process of “making things.” Bringing something new into the world is an act of love. It’s an act of vulnerability and generosity. It’s saying to the world “We did our best, and we really hope this makes your life a little better.”

JM: Thanks Bob! Our huge thanks to the engineers who built it; Jason Johnston (who led the project), Artur Piszek, Damián Suárez, Don Park, Jarda Šnajdr, Payton Swick, and Rastia Lamoš! And special thanks to designers Takashi Irie and Dave Whitley for thoughtfully crafting the experience design for this very first MLVP of the Simple Payment button.

Filed under: Admin Bar
Go to Source

Better Blogging Through Podcasts: Announcing RadioPublic Embeds

We love podcasts: they’re like the blogging version of radio, a medium anyone can jump into and use to share their story. They introduce us to new voices and give us glimpses into new perspectives… and they pair perfectly with blogs and websites, where they can add more texture and interest to what you’re already publishing.

Thanks to a new partnership with RadioPublic, you can choose from a quarter of a million podcasts to embed into your posts and pages on WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered websites. Whether you produce a podcast yourself, write about them, or just like to listen, you can share podcasts with your visitors, no matter where the podcasts are hosted.

What Can a Podcast Add to My Site?

Use a RadioPublic embed to share and promote your own podcast !  But even if you’ve never even listened to a podcast before, there are ways you can use them:

  • Round up your favorites: everybody loves a good top-ten list, especially when includes a few surprises. Recommend some sports shows that break the mold (like 30 for 30 and The Rematch), podcasts about art (try A Piece of Work or The Lonely Palette), or amazing audio fiction. By embedding the shows right into your post, you make it easy for readers to sample, listen, and add the shows to their own listening list.
  • Add a relevant episode to a post to give readers more to chew on. Writing about architecture? There’s probably a 99% Invisible episode that you could tie in. Pop culture? Check out Still Processing.
  • Not everything has to be heavy: maybe your readers could just use a few minutes of cats purring — there’s a podcast for that, too!

With over 250,000 podcasts out there, there’s probably a show on whatever you’ve writing about.

Howdy, RadioPublic!

We’ve partnered with RadioPublic,  one of the leading podcast technology providers. They share our commitment to an open web, using open protocols to deliver free audio on demand, across all platforms — their founders have been innovating for years when it comes to the delivery of rich, immersive podcasts. Their technology makes sharing podcasts easier on all WordPress.com sites, opening up a world of opportunities for discovery, curation, and new voices.

The How-To

As with other kinds of media, you can embed a podcast with a few clicks:

  1. Head to search.radiopublic.com to find a show.

  2. Click on the name of a show. If you’d like to embed a specific episode, click the title of the episode.

  3. Ta-da! The URL of that page is your embed link. Select it, copy the full link, and paste it right into your post editor, on its own line.

So for example, this URL:

https://play.radiopublic.com/song-exploder-yWw069

…will display this embed player:

(For more detail, head to our RadioPublic embed support doc.)

Did we mention that if you embed a show (rather than a specific episode), the player will automatically display and play the most recent episode? It’ll keep your site fresh without you having to lift a finger.

Start embedding right now by visiting search.radiopublic.com. Enjoy!

Filed under: Embeds
Go to Source