Ensuring Your Site is Mobile-Friendly

Featured Image -- 2575

Jen H.:

Really great post about making sure your site is mobile-friendly, from my colleague Krista!

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Today, Google released a change to its algorithm that gives higher search scores to sites it deems “mobile-friendly.” Curious WordPressers might be asking:

  1. How can I be sure my site is mobile-friendly?
  2. What can I do if my site is not mobile-friendly?

1. See if your site is mobile-friendly

Visit Google’s mobile-friendly test link and enter your site’s address (e.g., http://dailypost.wordpress.com or http://automattic.com). Google will then analyze your site and declare it mobile-friendly or not.

Did your site pass? YAY! Pass GO and collect $200 from the Community Chest.

2. What can I do if my site is not mobile-friendly?

If your site failed Google’s test, you might be using an older theme that’s not responsive. Responsive themes change their layout slightly when someone visits via tablet or mobile phone to ensure that important content like the site title, post titles, and post content can be read on smaller screens.

View original 140 more words

Columbus, Ohio, USA

Jen H.:

It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Actually, it is kind of a tough job. But it is rewarding, deeply satisfying on a personal and intellectual level, and I get to work from coffee shops and wine bistros.

You should click that blue “Work With Us” button, and check it out.

Originally posted on Office Today:

Working from Cork Wine and Dine – great wifi, great atmosphere.

View original

The post where I catch up on 2013.


I’m feeling a bit sorry for myself today.

Today was supposed to be the first day of my holiday vacation. My mom was going to come and spend a few days before the rest of the family came, and we were going to shop, eat sushi, and get up to our elbows in sugar and flour and bake until our wrists and feet ached. We’d been planning for months.

But I’ve got the flu.

Last year, we had strep throat over Christmas, and missed out on a lot of revelry. This year, I’m the third in the house to get influenza in the span of two weeks, and we’re holding our breath (literally and figuratively) that Peanut and Panda don’t get it.

So instead of a day of baking and Bing Crosby and much needed time with my mama, I’m having a sick day. I have a hard time being idle, so I tried to think of something low-key that I can do that is both restful and mentally stimulating. I decided to make this post.

I haven’t really blogged regularly since May of 2013, when I was still pregnant with Panda. I never blogged about his birth, I didn’t blog about our massive, impulsive, practically-instantaneous move from South Carolina to Ohio, and none of the minutiae in between. The supreme irony of it all is that I work every day supporting bloggers, and barely do it myself. My resolutions for 2015 are to be less busy, get back to photographing my family more, and blog more.

In this post, I’m going to catch up on 2013, in photos. Let’s start with Panda’s birth on July 27, 2013.

I was almost 42 weeks pregnant, and my labor started around 2:00 am, with my contractions only about two and a half minutes apart. We got to the hospital just before 5:00 am, and my water broke around 8:30. I joked that he was going to be born before 9:00 am, and he made his entrance after five pushes, at 8:59, at 8 pounds, 3 ounces. Almost seven hours to the minute, after my active labor started. He had to spend a few hours in the NICU because of meconium, and I didn’t get my hands on him until around 11:00 am. I don’t remember many times I’d felt so bereft in my entire life. I pumped eight milliliters of colostrum for him while he was in the NICU, and obsessed about it affecting his nursing. My worries were unfounded; he was still at his birthweight when we left the hospital two days later. He was our smallest newborn, but now, he’s enormous, just a few pounds lighter than his three-year-old sister.

The girls settled right into life as big sisters once we were all home on Minstrels Way.

Two Little Monkeys Photography did an amazing newborn photo session for us.

My sweet boy even slept for mama for some photos at twenty days old.

Days at home alone with the kids were long, but looking back, I realize that the time was incredibly short. This feels like a lifetime ago.

Peanut turned two (covered with bruises from daycare tumbles) and Panda turned one month old on the same day – August 27th.

At the end of August, we took what we didn’t know at the time would be our last trip to Myrtle Beach as residents of South Carolina. We decided about a week after we got home that we were going to try to move to Ohio. I’m so glad the kids got to see their Great-Grandmother Rose.

The only photos I have from most of September and October are iPhone photos. The first POD arrived at our house in South Carolina on September 13th, five days after we officially decided that we were going to move. Before our house was officially on the market. Before either of us had jobs or house prospects in Ohio. And a nine week old. Wow.

The only photo that I can find of Pumpkin’s birthday was an iPhone photo, taken the morning before she went to daycare. You can see the air mattress on the floor of our bedroom behind her; we were two days away from moving. I’d posted the following message on Facebook along with the photo:

“Today, she is four. Frazzle haired, her face sporting scratches from her baby sister’s fingernails and a scraped nose from a fall at the park, she’s my feisty, mighty little girl.

We’re going to have cake and balloons on Saturday at grandma and grandpa’s. Today will be her last day at “school”, so they’ll sing her happy birthday there. She is so excited to be a big girl now.

Happy birthday to my firstborn!”


We stayed with my mom and dad for about a week before finding a one-bedroom suite at the StayBridge extended stay hotel in Dublin. It was close to the zoo, which we got a membership for immediately. It was a very hectic time, with house hunting, job hunting for Keith, and the beginning of my Happiness Engineer Trial with Automattic. It was also blessedly simple; breakfast was made for us every morning, and three days a week, dinner was included with our stay. There was no cleaning to be done, we were close to family, we lucked out and found a great daycare that was close, Keith found a job very soon after we moved, and I loved every second of my trial with Automattic. The realtor we started working with was a dream, and she helped us find our dream house, within just a few weeks.

I didn’t take many photos of the kids or of our new house for the first few weeks of being there, but I did get my camera out to take some photos of my handsome fellow on November 16, when he was just shy of four months old.

By Thanksgiving, we still had boxes everywhere, and weren’t even remotely settled in. I got my camera out for a few snaps throughout the day, but it wasn’t near a comprehensive story of the day. We had snow on the ground, but despite that, we stuck with our fledgling tradition of grilling out on Thanksgiving. None of us are big fans of turkey, so The Captain grilled baby back ribs, and I made some yummy Brussels sprouts, dressing with cranberries and sausage, and sweet potatoes.

December 2nd was my first day as a full-time Automattician, Peanut discovered my beloved old teddy bear Theodore, and Panda discovered video games with daddy.



On December 7th, my parents came over, and my mom and I did our annual holiday baking. Panda loved playing peekaboo with his cousin.

On December 15, the kids’ grandma “GeGe”, and great-aunt came for a visit from South Carolina, and Ohio treated them to some even more frigid weather than usual. A good time was had by all, though I’m fairly sure that the sharing of the joke teeth is when we all dosed each other with the strep throat that held us hostage over the holidays.

Christmas morning 2013. I can’t believe it is seven days until Christmas 2014, and I’ve just now gotten around to editing and sharing these.

Finally, the last two photos I took in 2013, snuggles with my two littlest after Christmas morning revelry. Here’s to a less busy, more photographed, healthier, bloggier 2015.



Field Notes: BlogHer PRO 2014

Featured Image -- 2335

Jen H.:

I went to BlogHer PRO 2014, and it was super neat. My colleague Cheri wrote about it. Read more here!

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

Automatticians, the people who build WordPress.com, participate in events and projects around the world every day. Periodically, they report back on the exciting things they do when not in front of a computer — from talking about making great products to using design to tackle social challenges.

Recently, Story Wrangler Cheri Lucas Rowlands and Happiness Engineers Carolyn Sonnek, Deborah Beckett, and Jen Hooks attended the third annual BlogHer PRO ’14 conference, an event for professionally minded bloggers looking to take their blogs, brands, and businesses to the next level.

A conference is a great way to dive deeper into your passion of blogging. You invest in specific skills you want to hone and get inspired by big ideas, and also take a break from that glowing screen. It’s fun to immerse yourself in an inspiring setting where avatars become faces and Twitter handles become real people.

2014_dec_jenhooks_blogherpro-130 Image by Jen Hooks

BlogHer PRO ’14 was a…

View original 338 more words

BlogHer Pro 2014, Silicon Valley


I was fortunate to get to go to BlogHer PRO 2014 to represent Automattic, WordPress.com, and our awesome services for self-hosted blogs, like Jetpack, VaultPress, and Akismet. I met so many phenomenal people there, and I took lots of photos! Feel free to save and share if you find one of you, I’d just appreciate attribution to Jen Hooks, and a link back here.

Keep on making the web a better place, BlogHer bloggers.

Winter is here.

Snowy home in Ohio.

It is easy to love the snow when you work from home, and your children’s daycare is only five minutes away.


I’m still working from my dining room table on the days I don’t work at the cafe or Starbucks. My new desk should arrive this week. I really look forward to being back in my office with my space heater, but the view here in my dining room is undeniably lovely right now.

This will be our second winter since we moved from South Carolina to Ohio last September. It seems a bit surreal that it is snowing again, as it feels like we just made it through last winter. Spring and summer are a blur to me. Are we really back to weeks and weeks of snow already?

This past year, I’ve felt mostly like we were just visitors here, despite having my friends and family close(r), and the familiarity of Ohio, my home state. But now that we’ve come full circle on the seasons, I finally feel my roots sinking in. I have memories now of things we did here as a family last winter. I know now that in spite of the cold, gray days and early dusk, that there is love and light and warmth in this home. I know where the bulbs will be sprouting in my yard in the spring. I know that the flowering trees in my yard are hawthorns, and their berries will feed sparrows outside of my office window through the cold months, and they will burst into flower petal confetti in the spring.

I am home.


Today’s Office


Today, my office is my dining room, at my grandparents’ dining room table. It just got here this weekend. My office is full of other things of theirs that my mom and dad brought over the weekend, so this morning I worked at a cafe, and this afternoon, I’m home. My productivity isn’t great when there is clutter in my office, so I need to head to other places.

Working from home, I can eat pie whenever I want. How did I get so lucky?