WordPress’ Jetpack Plugin and Other Tweaks

In continuing to tweak the modified 2014 layout that I posted earlier last week, I disabled a number of legacy plugins and replaced most of them with the streamlined Jetpack plugin by WordPress.

Those with blogs hosted on WordPress.com should already be familiar with the Jetpack features, but those with self-hosted instances of WordPress, like me, can get the same features now, too! For some reason, I remember trying to install this years ago, but failed or at least was caught off-guard at needing to sign up for a WordPress.com account to complete the set-up. Needless to say, I am happy that I finally revisited it, even if I am late to the party.

Here are some of the improvements that you’ll see:

Nicer social share icons: these icons are found at the bottom of both current and archived posts. I might take some time to replace or recolor the default icon set to match the theme, so just a heads-up in case you see any changes here (FYI, this is nitpicky, in the grand scheme of improvements that I am working on, so it might be pushed out to the future.)

Nicer contextual posts: these recommendations are found at the bottom of both current and archived posts. Right now, a lot of the related posts will not have featured graphics, but remember the content clean-up comment I made earlier this week? Well, I am continuing to work on cleaning up previous content, which will include adding featured images and basically purging the “General” category (a majority of the private posts will be re-categorized as “Personal” while others will be re-categorized as appropriate), so the related posts area will certainly look “prettier” in due time.

Enhancements in the comments: login using your online accounts (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) in order to post the comments, reply to comments (nested comments), and subscribe to comment feeds.

You’ll also notice that the size of the featured image for an individual post changed, such that the image is slightly narrower and the amount of unfilled space (diagonal lines) is reduced or, in most cases, completely eliminated. In the past, my featured images were not large enough or the sizes fluctuated over time, causing a diagonal line background/space filler to show. So glad I finally took some time to improve that one.

I am still continuing to tweak both the plugins and the layout, but the changes should be minor enough as we go along so I don’t see the need to take the site offline again. Still, if anything is completely broken, let me know.

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