Make Your Business More Accessible with New Blocks

From our support sessions with customers each month, we know that growing your brand or business is a top website goal. And in this unprecedented time in which more people around the world are staying at home, it’s important to promote your products and services online to reach a wider audience and connect with more people.

Our team has been hard at work improving the block editor experience. We’ve launched six new blocks that integrate WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled sites with popular services — Eventbrite, Calendly, Pinterest, Mapbox, Google Calendar, and OpenTable — enabling you to embed rich content and provide booking and scheduling options right on your blog or website.

Whether you’re an online boutique, a pilates studio, an independent consultant, or a local restaurant, these blocks offer you more ways to promote your brand or business. Take a look at each block — or simply jump to a specific one below.

  • Eventbrite
  • Calendly
  • Pinterest
  • Mapbox
  • Google Calendar
  • OpenTable

Promote online events with the Eventbrite block

Looking for a way to promote an online event (like your museum’s virtual curator talk or your company’s webinar on remote work), or even an at-home livestream performance for your fans and followers? Offering key features of the popular event registration platform, the Eventbrite block embeds events on posts and pages so your visitors can register and purchase tickets right from your site.

Quick-start guide:

  • To use this block, you need an Eventbrite account. If you don’t have one, sign up at Eventbrite for free.
  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button and search for and select the Eventbrite Checkout block.
  • Enter the URL of your Eventbrite event. Read these steps from Eventbrite if you need help.
  • Select from two options: an In-page Embed shows the event details and registration options directly on your site. The Button & Modal option shows just a button; when clicked, the event details will pop up so your visitor can register.

Learn more on the Eventbrite block support page.


Schedule sessions with the Calendly block

Want to make it easier for people to book private meditation sessions or language lessons with you? The Calendly block, featured recently in our guide on moving your classes online, is a handy way for your clients and students to book a session directly on your site — eliminating the time spent coordinating schedules. You can also use the Calendly block to schedule team meetings or group events.

Quick-start guide:

  • To use this block, you need a Calendly account. Create one for free at Calendly.
  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button and search for and select the Calendly block.
  • Enter your Calendly web address or embed code. Follow these steps from Calendly if you need help.
  • Select from two styles: the Inline style embeds a calendar directly onto your site; the Link style inserts a button that a visitor can click to open a pop-up calendar.
  • This block is currently available to sites on the WordPress.com Premium, Business, or eCommerce plans. It’s free on Jetpack sites.

Learn more on the Calendly block support page.


Up your visual game with the Pinterest block

Strong visuals help to provide inspiration, tell your stories, and sell your products and services. Pinterest is an engaging way for bloggers, influencers, and small business owners to enhance their site content and expand their following. With the Pinterest block, you can embed and share pins, boards, and profiles on your site.

Quick-start guide:

  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button and search for and select the Pinterest block.
  • Paste the URL of a pin, board, or profile you’d like to display and click Embed. Note that you can only embed public boards.
  • Pro tip: in the block editor, go to Layout Elements and select Layout Grid to create a visually striking layout with pins, boards, and profiles, as shown above.

Display locations with the Map block

A map on your site is a quick visual way to display a location, like your restaurant’s takeout window or the drop-off spot for donations to a local food bank. Powered by mapping platform Mapbox, the Map block embeds a customized map on your site. Show the location of your business, a chain of boutique hotels, the meeting spots for your nonprofit’s volunteers, and more.

Quick-start guide:

  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button and search for and select the Map block.
  • In the text field, type the location you want to display and select the correct location from among the results that appear.
  • Click on the red marker to edit the title and caption of the marker.
  • Explore the toolbar for block-specific settings. Add more markers, for example, by clicking the Add a marker button.
  • In the sidebar, customize your map’s appearance (including colors, height, and zoom level).

Explore more settings on the Map block support page.


Share your calendar with the Google Calendar block

Are you an author planning a book tour (or a series of online readings)? A digital marketing consultant hosting social media workshops? A neighborhood pop-up bakery? With the Google Calendar block, you can display a calendar of upcoming events or your hours of operation.

Quick-start guide:

  • In Google Calendar, click the three dots next to your calendar name and select Settings and sharing.
  • Under Access Permissions, ensure Make available to public is checked.
  • Click on Integrate calendar on the left and copy the code under Embed code.
  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button, search for and select the Custom HTML block, and paste the code you copied in Google Calendar.
  • Publish your post or page. The next time you edit this post or page, you’ll see the code has been converted to shortcode.

Explore more settings on the Google Calendar block support page.


Streamline reservations with the OpenTable block

If you’re a restaurant or cafe owner, a primary goal of your site is to increase the number of bookings. Sure, people aren’t dining out right now, but you can be ready to take reservations in the future. With the OpenTable block, people can reserve a table directly from a post or page instead of calling or booking through a different reservation service.

Quick-start guide:

  • To use this block, your restaurant must be listed on OpenTable. Create an OpenTable listing now.
  • In the block editor, click the Add Block (+) button and search for and select the OpenTable block.
  • Enter your OpenTable Reservation Widget embed code. Check this OpenTable guide if you need help.
  • Explore the block’s toolbar and sidebar settings. For example, choose from four different embed styles: Standard, Tall, Wide, and Button.
  • This block is currently available to sites on the WordPress.com Premium, Business, or eCommerce plans. It’s free on Jetpack sites.

Learn more on the OpenTable block support page.


Which blocks are you most excited about?

Stay tuned for more new blocks soon!

Create With Confidence — and Better Blocks

In the last few years, the teams working on the block editor have learned a lot about how people build sites now and how they want to build sites in the future.

The latest version represents the culmination of these discoveries, and the next stage in the editor’s evolution.

With better visuals and more advanced features, it’ll keep designers, developers, writers, and editors productive and happy, and — tension-building drumroll — it’s in your editor right now!

What’s new

With a comprehensive visual refresh, a plethora of new features, and dozens of bug fixes, the new block editor comes with a lot to unpack.

What follows is just a small (but delectable) sample of the many ways we’ve upgraded your editing experience. (You can get the full list of goodies in the release notes.)

We hope you enjoy.

A revamped editor UI

The first thing you’ll notice is the slick UI. Buttons, icons, text, and dropdowns are all sporting a contrast boost, with bolder colors and more whitespace between buttons, text labels, and menu items.

The world is made of blocks
The new block editor’s UI

As you navigate through the editor’s menus, individual items are clearly highlighted, allowing you to quickly identify what you’ve selected.

Active menu items have distinct highlights

The block toolbars are now simpler, displaying the most commonly-used features. For example, paragraph blocks show only bold, italic, and link formatting buttons. You’ll find all the extra options in the dropdown menu.

The block toolbar options are simpler and uncluttered

What’s more, instead of listing blocks within a fixed-height container, the block inserter now spans the height of the window. You’ll now see more blocks and block categories at once with less scrolling.

Block inserter spanning the full height of the window
The block inserter spans the full height of your screen

Introducing block patterns

With the block editor as your canvas you can design almost any layout you can imagine – but building intricate page structures should never get in the way of your creative process.

Here’s where the blocks really shine: along with individual blocks, the editor now includes block patterns, a library of predefined and reusable block layouts, that you use on any page or post.

To check out the list of available patterns, click on the block pattern icon (on the top right) to reveal a collection of pre-built layouts:

Block patterns are groups of individual blocks combined to create elegant layouts

Pick the pattern you want to use, and it will appear in your editor ready for you to customize with your own content.

Right now, you’ll find a few introductory patterns – Two Columns of Text, Two Buttons, Cover, and Two Images Side by Side – but we’ll be adding more and more patterns as they’re available. When the block patterns API opens up to third-party authors, you’ll also be able to develop and share your own.

(Have an idea for a great pattern? The block editor developer community is actively seeking ideas. The more ideas they receive, the better your editor will be!)

Colors, colors everywhere

When it comes to words and columns, websites aren’t newspapers: things don’t have to be black and white.

Use the new Text Color selector tool to change the color of sentences, and even individual words and letters. Highlight the text you’d like to change, then click on the arrow dropdown and select “Text Color.”

Select “Text Color” from the options
Pick the color of your word or character

 

To change the background colors of your columns, select the column and head to the sidebar, to Color settings.

Columns get background colors too!

The road ahead is paved with blocks

There’s still a long way to go, and the editor’s community of contributors hasn’t given its collective keyboards a moment’s rest. Work on polishing UI elements like the sidebar and dropdowns continues along with advancements to block patterns and other exciting features.

Are there ways we could improve the site editing experience even more? Please let us know! We’re always keen to hear how we can make the web a better place for everyone.

How to Move Your Classes Online — and Charge for Them

We are proud to host many websites for language tutors, yoga schools, and personal fitness coaches around the world.

It’s exciting to see how educators and consultants across different industries are getting creative with their online offerings: language teachers conduct 1:1 sessions to help students hone pronunciation, yoga studios livestream group sessions, and instructors lead writing boot camps via Zoom breakout rooms. Even my own strength coach is monitoring my workouts — I launch the camera on my phone, place it against the wall, and do deadlifts while he supervises.

Last year we launched Recurring Payments to support creators, consultants, small businesses, and other professionals in establishing dependable income streams. We were very pleased to discover that online educators using this feature are thriving as well!

Marta, for example, runs Spanish Teacher Barcelona, a Spanish language school located in — you guessed it! — Barcelona. She offers 1:1 sessions and classes in a coworking space in the city’s Gracia neighborhood. For customers that cannot meet in person, she hosts private lessons online, available with a subscription. She offers three subscription plans to meet the variety of needs of her students.

Ready to set up your own subscription-based service or move your existing classes online? Here’s a quick guide to get you set up with the right tools, so you can focus instead on providing the best educational environment possible. 

Set up your online class today

Below, we’ll cover the steps you can take to get your classes or private lessons up and running with the Recurring Payments feature. We’ll also recommend tools to make scheduling 1:1 sessions and operating your classes easier, like the Calendly block and various video conferencing tools. 

1. Create a “Subscribe” page to promote your class or service

You need to convince your customers that your subscription is worth paying for. A typical way to do this is with a “Subscribe” page where you explain the benefits of your services.

Take a look at the “Join” page on Longreads.com, an online publication that publishes and curates nonfiction storytelling on the web and funds stories with memberships:

A few tips to make your offer irresistible:

  • Focus on the benefits for the customer.
  • Provide a few subscription options, such as classes at different frequencies and at different price points.
  • Add testimonials if you can — people love to read reviews.

Create this page by going to My Sites → Pages → Add New.

2. Add a subscription with the Recurring Payments feature

Recurring Payments allows you to create renewable payments. Your subscribers will enter their credit card details, and will then be charged automatically every month or every year.

Recurring Payments is currently available on any of our paid plans. To get started, you’ll need to create a Stripe account, which is a global money transfer service. We partner with Stripe to make sure payments end up safely in your bank account.

You can start collecting Recurring Payments in five minutes.

On the “Subscribe” page you created above, search for the “Recurring Payments” block:

After clicking “Connect to Stripe,” you’ll be able to connect your existing Stripe account or create a new one.

Now you can create your first subscription.

Set the price, frequency (we recommend monthly for start), and the title of your subscription, like Writing Bootcamp, 3 breakout sessions/month or Conversational French for Beginners, 4 classes/month.

That’s it! Your subscription is now created. Once you publish the page and activate your Stripe account, your customers will be able to subscribe to this service.

Subscriptions are dependable: your subscribers will be automatically charged at the beginning of the next renewal period (in a month or a year). You don’t have to remind or nudge them, and they also don’t have to remember to pay you — everything is handled.

For more details, please read this Recurring Payments support article.

Would you rather sell access to your services as a one-time purchase? Check out the Simple Payments feature.

3. Schedule your lessons

Your subscribers can set up a time for their lessons using a service like Calendly, a handy tool that allows them to select a free slot in your schedule. We recently created the Calendly block to bring some of the service’s key features to you. While editing your page, search for the “Calendly” block.

Remember to check if the subscription is active

Before hopping on an online meeting, you need to confirm that the person scheduling a call is indeed a paying subscriber. Check the list of your active Recurring Payments subscribers located in your WordPress.com dashboard under My Sites Earn Payments.

Read more about managing your list of subscribers.

4. Select a tool to host your class

Video conferencing tools are very useful for teaching. Apart from seeing the other person, you can share your screen, send files, or even host a session for multiple people, lecture-style.

You can use Google Hangouts, Skype, or Zoom (which is what we use for our meetings here at WordPress.com). Zoom has put together a handy tutorial for teachers.

If you’d like additional setup tips on selecting a theme for your website, adding content and media, and adding students as viewers or contributors, read our support tutorial on building a virtual classroom.

What amazing class are you going to launch?

Improved Offline Publishing

The best technology is invisible and reliable. You almost forget it’s there, because things just work. Bad technology never disappears into the background — it’s always visible, and worse, it gets in your way. We rarely stop to think “My, what good Wifi!” But we sure notice when the Wifi is iffy.

Good technology in an app requires solid offline support. A WordPress app should give you a seamless, reliable posting experience, and you shouldn’t have to worry whether you’re online or offline while using WordPress Mobile. And if we’ve done our jobs right, you won’t have to! 

We all need fewer worries in life, so if you haven’t already head to https://apps.wordpress.com/get/ to download the apps.

Offline Publishing

On the go and without a connection?  No worries! The apps will now remember your choices and once you’re back online,your content will be saved and published as requested.  But if you changed your mind about publishing a post while you’re still offline, you can still safely cancel it.

The new Offline Publishing flow.

This improved publishing flow comes together with a revamped UI for yourf post status.  You’ll be able to clearly see which posts are pending, saving or publishing.

Smoother Messaging

We removed several alerts that were being presented while you were offline.  These blocking alerts required you to take action but often provided no insights on either what the problem was, or how to resolve it.

  They have been replaced with contextual non-blocking messages both within the UI, and in notices appearingright above the toolbar.

As a result, you’ll see less disruptive and uninformative alerts, and more inline and informative messages, such as the one shown above.

Safeguards

We also added some safeguards to ensure there are no surprises!

You can cancel offline publishing.

Modifying posts that are scheduled for publishing will cancel the publishing action. Don’t worry, though – you can always reschedule the post for publishing.

All queued save and publishing operations will be canceled if your device stays offline for more than 48 hours.  We want you to be in complete control of what gets published and when.

WordPress.com and Fiverr Partner to Launch “WordPress.com Fundamentals” Course

Getting your new business website ready for launch? Want a little hand-holding — a step-by-step tutorial on setting up a WordPress.com site from start to finish, that you can work on at your own pace and on your own time? “WordPress.com Fundamentals,” a comprehensive video course created with our friends over at Fiverr, walks you through all the fundamentals in 90 minutes.

The course covers the basics of setting up a business website, but anyone new to WordPress.com can benefit from lessons on how to create an account, set up a site, customize a theme, publish content, and share it on social media. It was developed by WordPress.com Happiness Engineers with years of experience guiding thousands of new WordPress.com customers in chat, email, forums, and concierge sessions, so you know you’re getting expert guidance from people who know every WordPress.com tip and trick.

The entire course is just $31, which includes unlimited access to all the course materials, quizzes, and downloadable resources. Take it all at once, or learn at the pace that works for you — the course is divided into bite-sized chapters that you can refer to as many times as you need.

Students are also eligible for a discount of 25% on WordPress.com plan upgrades! So if you’ve been hesitating to explore the advanced features in the Premium, Business, or eCommerce plans, the course gives you both a great introduction to the ease and power of WordPress.com and a lower-cost way to try them out.

To get started, head over to the course page on the Learn from Fiverr website. Click on the green “Buy Course” button, and follow the prompts to create an account and purchase the course. And until the end of September, get 30% off the course fee by entering coupon code learnwordpress at checkout.

And if you do take the class, let us know what you think. Fiverr will send out a survey to all students after completing the class, so be sure to fill it out. We want to know what works for you, what you’d like to see more of, and where we can improve.

Celebrating Pride Month with WordPress.com

Happy Pride Month! My favorite parts about celebrating this month are the stories shared from LGBTQ+ folks, their loved ones, and organizations looking to show support. At WordPress.com, we strive to be a platform that democratizes publishing so that anyone can share their stories regardless of income, gender, politics, language, or where they live in the world. This month is a great reminder for why we work hard to expand the open web.

For me, democratizing publishing means more than just my ability to publish my own story. It’s about being able to share, but also being able to receive. As I celebrate Pride Month as a young, queer person, I think back to early online communities on which I found other LGBTQ+ people and how much I resonated with their stories. I feel lucky to be able to share my own story, but there are many LGBTQ+ folks who can’t.

To this end, we wanted to provide resources, inspire, and highlight organizations to support as you celebrate Pride Month in your own way, whether that’s seeking out stories or writing your own.

Resources

The LGBTQ+ community is vast — I’m part of it, but I’m still learning new things daily. Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or not, make sure you properly represent the community at large when you share your story with the help of these resources:  

  • It Gets Better Project’s Glossary
  • The Trevor Project’s Glossary
  • ILGA Europe’s Glossary

We know how important it is to find an image that perfectly fits your writing and, since stock-image libraries have historically struggled to represent all experiences, we wanted to share some free image options to ease your search this month:

  • The Gender Spectrum Collection from Vice
  • Pexels’ Pride Images
  • Pexels’ LGBT Images

Have any resources to recommend? Please share them in the comments below! Part of our company creed is to never stop learning, and I’d love to learn what resources you all have found useful.

Tip: Use the #celebratingpride tag to connect with other folks sharing their stories. Here’s more information about using tags.

Inspiration from WordPress.com Bloggers

If you want to write but are feeling stuck trying to find the words, take some inspiration this month from these writers with strong voices and varied perspectives:

  • CN Lester, the author of Trans Like Me, shares their experience at A Gentleman and a Scholar.
  • Sam Dylan Finch explores queen/trans identity, mental health, and self-care on his personal blog, Let’s Queer Things Up!
  • Blogger and memoirist Lori Duron shares her parenting journey of raising a gendercreative child at Raising My Rainbow.
  • Marlo Mack writes about her experience as a single mom of a transgender daughter at Gendermom.

Tip: Make sure to follow these sites so you don’t miss any future posts.

Organizations to Support from Around the World

In partnership with Out in Tech, volunteers, including some of my awesome colleagues, have worked together over the last few years to create websites for LGBTQ+ organizations around the world. As you look to find organizations to support, remember to think globally, especially considering there are still 73 nations with laws against being LGBTQ+. We hope this list gives you a great place to start:

  • Roopbaan (Bangladesh)
  • Samabhabona (India)
  • Almas Cautivas (Mexico)
  • TransWave Jamaica (Jamaica)
  • TweetIndia (India)
  • Hombres Trans Panamá (Panamá)
  • Russian LGBT Network (Russia)
  • Diversidad Dominicana (Dominican Republic & Carribean)
  • SAIL: Stop Aids in Liberia (Liberia)
  • African Queer Youth Initiative (Across Africa)
  • Rainbow Egypt (Egypt)
  • Rasan (Iraq)
  • The Rustin Fund (USA)

Happy WordPress-ing. Happy Pride.

For those of you sharing your own stories of being LGBTQ+ in this world, thank you for your bravery and vulnerability.

For those of you who can’t share your story, please know that it gets better and that you aren’t alone this month.

For those of you seeking out other people’s stories, thank you for being supportive, being open, and seeking to expand your perspective.

Introducing the 2019 ‘Anything Is Possible’ List

A coffee co-op owned by its farmers, a sewing community empowering people of all body shapes and sizes, and a 12-year-old journalist are among those named in WordPress.com’s first-ever “Anything Is Possible” List for 2019, celebrating 14 extraordinary people and organizations who are using the web to make the world a better place.

This year’s inaugural list includes nonprofits, artists who are using their work to raise awareness, and bloggers who created community when they saw a critical gap.

Here are 14 inspiring sites for 2019, where Anything Is Possible:

NappStar

Congolese-American sisters Melissa and Annette Roche started NappStar, an innovative hair salon specializing in loc hairstyles, after growing up watching their mother work on people’s hair in their community in Maryland. They now operate a thriving business in New York City.

It Gets Better Project

The It Gets Better Project was launched in 2010 to help LGBTQ+ youth feel supported and connected in the face of bullying and intolerance; over the years, the organization has collected a massive archive of over 60,000 stories all sharing the same theme of empowerment.

Orange Street News

Hilde Lysiak started Orange Street News, her small town’s only newspaper, at the age of 9. She’s been serving her community nonstop since then, reporting on everything from snow days to the local drug crisis.

The Sewcialists

The Sewcialists is an online global community that brings together sewing and knitting fans committed to celebrating their craft, making it accessible to people of all body shapes and sizes, and focusing on sustainability and empowerment.

Beer&Body Craft Beer Girls

In an often male-dominated industry and cultural niche, Kate Christensen decided women who enjoy craft beer need to have a safe community space in which to connect, educate one another, and discuss responsible consumption, health, and wellness.

Stephanie Land

A blog-to-book success story — Stephanie was a single mother facing homelessness when she started blogging about her experiences living with poverty and working as a house cleaner. After going viral a couple of years ago, she now has a new memoir, MAID, coming out in January.

The Spelling Champ

High-school senior Cole Shafer-Ray finished third at the Scripps National Spelling Bee in 2015; after coming so close to winning, he decided to channel his talent and energy into empowering others to excel at competitive spelling bees, starting a successful consulting business.

Pachamama Coffee

Based in Sacramento, Pachamama Coffee has a powerful story of social entrepreneurship: it’s a grower-owned cooperative through which coffee farmers from Ethiopia, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru sell their fair-trade beans across farmers’ markets, co-ops, and retailers around the U.S.

Ideas Beyond Borders

A nonprofit aiming to correct misinformation and fight against extremist narratives, Ideas Beyond Borders was founded by Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, who arrived in the U.S. as an Iraqi refugee in 2013. The organization focuses on educating and bridge-building via translation, bringing English texts on human rights and adjacent topics to Arabic-speaking communities in the Middle East.

Rebrand Cities

Founder Hajj Flemings identified a major obstacle for small businesses in American communities, including many owned by people of color: they are still on the analog side of the digital divide. Rebrand Cities works to bridge that gap by bringing small businesses online and opening up new opportunities for small business owners across the country.

Kelsey Montague

Kelsey Montague

Street artist Kelsey Montague explores the interaction between public art and the human experience, having created street murals in cities including Cape Town, Galway, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Manchester, and New York City. She will be painting a new mural in collaboration with WordPress.com in January, to be featured in Los Angeles.

Maeband

Maeband founder Holly Kjar and kids.
Maeband founder Holly Kjar and two of her kids.

While pregnant with her fourth child, Holly Kjar was frustrated by the lack of affordable maternity wear. So she teamed up with her mother to create a brand new belly band, and launched a new online business on WordPress.com that allows women to keep wearing their favorite clothes during pregnancy and empowers them to stay active while saving money.

Faces of Auschwitz

Faces of Auschwitz founder Marina Amaral
Faces of Auschwitz project lead Marina Amaral

Faced with growing ignorance about the Holocaust among younger people, master photo colorist Marina Amaral decided to bring victims’ stories and humanity to life by colorizing photos from the Auschwitz Museum archives. They can now be explored on the website of the organization she leads, Faces of Auschwitz.

Corvid Research

Seattle-based wildlife scientist Kaeli Swift launched a WordPress.com blog as a grad student to share the knowledge she’s collected through her research on urban crows. Her site has become a thriving online community for others who share her passion for these fascinating birds — and an entry point into the study of nature for people all over the world.

To read all of the Anything Is Possible stories, go to wordpress.com/do-anything.

New in the WordPress.com Business Plan: Jetpack Search

The WordPress.com Business plan combines fully managed hosting with the freedom to grow and scale your site without limits. Today we’re adding Jetpack Search to WordPress.com Business so you can enjoy powerful and fast on-site search functionality as part of your plan.

 

jetpack-search-corrected.png

Once you activate Jetpack Search, you’ll be using the same search engine powering some of the largest sites on the web. Jetpack Search provides a more engaging experience for your visitors: it relies on modern search algorithms that take phrase matches and the recency of your content into consideration, which in turn produces better search results.

In addition to more relevant matches, you can also configure the Jetpack Search sidebar widget to let your visitors sort their results or filter them by tags, categories, dates, and post types.

jetpack-search-sidebar.png

Whether you run a news site or sell products on your online store, a more engaging search experience will help readers and customers dig deeper into the content on your site and keep them there for longer visits.

As recently as three years ago, our enhanced search functionality was a $6,000-a-year add-on to our enterprise plan; we’ve since been able to scale the service and can now offer it as part of a Business plan that costs a fraction of the original price. Moreover, most search solutions come with limits on the total number of indexed posts or the number of monthly queries. Just like the rest of your WordPress.com Business site, unlimited is the name of the game. We want your business to be successful, so we don’t place arbitrary limits on the amount of content or number of searches that your visitors can run.

You can join the thousands of websites already using Jetpack Search by upgrading your site to WordPress.com Business today.

How to Enable Jetpack Search

  1. If you don’t already have it, go to the Plans page and add WordPress.com Business to your site.
  2. Go to My Sites → Settings → traffic to enable Jetpack Search on your site.
  3. If you want to enable sidebar filtering, customize your site and add the Search (Powered by Jetpack) widget. Configuration of filters is simple and can be done with a few clicks.

Read more about this new feature on the Jetpack Search support page.

Introducing the Simple Payment Widget

Since the introduction of the Simple Payment Button, we’ve been looking for more ways to streamline payments on WordPress.com and Jetpack-enabled sites. Today, we’re introducing a new variant of the Simple Payment Button, available to WordPress.com Premium and Business plan subscribers and to Jetpack sites on Premium and Professional plans.

Take payments anywhere on your site with the Simple Payment Widget

Use the Simple Payment Widget to add a quick payment option to the sidebar or footer of your WordPress.com or Jetpack site. (If you have Jetpack site, make sure its running version 6.3.3 or higher.) Then add the widget to your site via the Customizer, by going to Personalize → Customize → Widgets.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 11.40.15

Using the Customizer

You’ll be able to select an existing Simple Payment Button or create a new one to add to your sidebar, header, or footer.

Screen Shot 2018-08-06 at 15.06.55

Simple Payment Widget on a Site’s Footer

The widget also gives you the ability to manage all of your products or services from the Customizer — set pricing, add images, and write product description right in the widget settings:

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 16.05.10

Edit a Product on the Customizer

Once you’ve create multiple payment buttons, you can choose between them any time you add the Simple Payment Widget. And any button you create or edit via the Customizer is instantly available to use on the rest of your site, on any post or page.

Screen Shot 2018-08-07 at 15.11.30

Add a product created on the Customizer to any page or post.

We hope you enjoy this new feature and make the most of it. Let us know what you think in the comments! And if you run into any issues setting up your new widget, take a look at the support documentation or reach out to support.

Keep Track of Your Conversations in One Place

Today, we’re introducing Conversations: a tool in the Reader that makes it easier for you to monitor and participate in the discussions you care about the most.

Let’s face it: it can be hard to keep track of all the conversations you take part in online. When your favorite posts generate an active discussion, you might miss out on some meaningful exchanges. To find out if a post has new comments, you would have to manually search for it in your stream, or enable comment emails, which would then fill your inbox with every single comment coming from that post.

With the new Conversations page, new comments on your followed posts on any WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected sites will all appear in a single stream, including for sites you don’t follow. You’ll now be able to read and add your replies without having to leave the Reader!

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You can also view earlier comments by expanding the row of avatars under a post.

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Which posts will appear in Conversations? Any post you’ve Liked or commented on will show up there. You may also manually add a post by choosing the Follow Conversation option when you view the full post in the Reader…

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…or directly from your stream.

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If you decide to leave a conversation, just unfollow it to remove it from your Conversations stream.

By making it easier for people to monitor and participate in conversations they care about, we can encourage more interaction and allow everyone to easily join the discussions happening on your site.

Give Reader Conversations a try and let us know what you think in the comments below! Thank you, once again, for being part of the WordPress.com community.