I’m a big fan of the Jetpack plugin by WordPress.com and I use it in almost all my WordPress-powered websites and here is why I feel you should also do the same. Many people argue that the Jetpack plugin is bloated and that it can reduce your site’s performance, cause issues related to SEO and that you don’t own your image if you enable the Photon feature, causes server overload, etc.
What many of them don’t realize is that – the number of features packed into this single plugin is nearly enough to supercharge your website! With Jetpack, you won’t be needing separate plugins for social sharing, related posts, enhanced comments, email & comment subscriptions, sitemap generation, site verification, 24/7 downtime monitoring, brute force thwarting, single sign on, image CDN, custom CSS, wp.me shortlinks, contact form, spelling and grammar check, etc. There are even more features that can be enabled in Jetpack and all these features come free of cost and bundled into a single plugin with a neat and easy to navigate user interface so that you can enable the features you want and disable the features you don’t.
Jetpack, to be honest is a powerful beast forced inside a single plugin ready to set roaring once you let it out. All you need to do install it right away from the WordPress.org plugin repository. Enabling various features in Jetpack plugin is as easy as sliding the control to turn it on. To reap the benefits of Jetpack plugin, you will need to have an account on WordPress.com.
Let’s see the various features what Jetpack has to offer to your WordPress site…
Jetpack allows you to authorize applications and services to securely connect to your website and allow them to use your content in new ways and offer you new functionalities. Developers can use WordPress.com’s OAuth2 authentication system and WordPress.com REST API to manage and access your site’s content.
Jetpack Stats provides you with insights like how many people visit your site, your most popular posts and pages, traffic source (referrer URLs), popular outbound links and search engine terms that lead to clicks to your site.
With Jetpack, you can easily add various social sharing buttons to your WordPress site and allow visitors to share posts with their friends and followers.
Publicize makes it easy for you to automatically share your posts on various social media networks whenever you publish a new post thereby reducing your need to share them manually to every site out there.
The Related Posts feature scans through all of your posts, analyzes them, and allows you to display contextual posts related to the current post the visitor is reading. This increases the time the visitor stays on your website and also helps reduce the bounce rate.
Jetpack Comments replaces your default WordPress comment form with a new comment system that has integrated social media login system.
The Like button is a way for people to show their appreciation for your posts. It’s also a way for content creators to boast how popular their content is.
This feature allows users to subscribe to your posts and comment threads and receive notifications via email. This is very useful if you can’t afford premium services like Aweber, Constant Contact or MailChimp.
A Gravatar is your profile on the web, and the Hovercard is one way your information is made visible to others. It’s an easy way to help people find your blog or other profiles on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc.,
Sitemaps are files that lists posts and pages that should be indexed by search engines like Google, Bing or Yandex. Jetpack allows you to generate such files thanks to the Sitemaps module. Once you activate the module, Jetpack will generate two different sitemaps for you: a sitemap listing all your public posts and pages, and a News sitemap built specifically for Google News.
Enhanced distribution allows your blog’s public content to be included in the WordPress.com firehose. The firehose is a stream of the public data (public posts, comments, etc.) that flow through WordPress.com (and Jetpack blogs that participate in Enhanced Distribution). The firehose is used by companies and people who are interested in public blog content. When these firehose users display content from your blog, they are required to link back to your blog.
For most sites, in order to verify your site for webmaster tools, you normally need to add a hidden “meta tag” to your page. Since editing the theme files of your site is not easy for beginners and normal users, enabling this tool makes this easier.
Jetpack Protect allows you to protect your site against traditional brute force attacks and distributed brute force attacks that use many servers against your site.
Jetpack’s botnet security features work automatically when you install and connect Jetpack to a WordPress.com account. With botnet protection in place via Jetpack Protect, your site will block unwanted login attempts. You can view the number of attacks to your site via a widget in your site’s dashboard.
Jetpack’s Monitor module will keep checking your site every five minutes. If it looks like your site has gone down, it will fire off an email notification to the WordPress.com account that Jetpack is connected under.
Single Sign On
Using the same log-in credentials you use for WordPress.com, you’ll now be able to sign in to self-hosted WordPress.org sites quickly and securely.
With Tiled Galleries you can display your image galleries in three styles: a rectangular mosaic, a square mosaic, and a circular grid. The rectangular and square tiled layouts also have hover-over captions to save space while making captions accessible.
Photon is an image acceleration and editing service. It acts as a content delivery network and serves the images from the WordPress.com Grid instead of serving it from your server. It can also be used to resize images on the fly. This means lesser load on your server and faster images for your readers.
With Carousel active, any standard WordPress galleries you have embedded in posts or pages will launch a gorgeous full-screen photo browsing experience with comments and EXIF metadata.
Extra Sidebar Widgets
The ‘Extra Sidebar Widgets’ module includes widgets you can add to your blog. From RSS Links to Twitter Timelines and Facebook Like Boxes to social icons, this module makes it easy to add extra functionality to your site.
The Widget Visibility module enables you to configure widgets to appear or to be hidden only on certain pages by using the Visibility panel.
The Custom CSS Editor allows you to customize the appearance of your theme without the need to create a child theme or worry about theme updates overwriting your customizations. Starting with WordPress 4.7, you can now add custom CSS to your own theme directly from the Customizer
Instead of having to click a link to get to the next set of posts, infinite scrolling pulls the next posts automatically into view when the reader approaches the bottom of the page. Unlike many of the modules in Jetpack, Infinite Scroll only works with themes that support it. Since each theme is constructed a bit differently, the Infinite Scroll module needs information about the theme to function properly.
Jetpack’s Mobile Theme displays your content in a clean, uncluttered interface, making it easy for mobile visitors to scan your site. Furthermore, the mobile theme is as lightweight as possible to ensure faster loading times.
Enable snow falls on your site starting from the first week of December which will automatically stop after January 4th to celebrate the season of Wine & Dine!
Shortlinks are a quick way to get short and simple links to your posts and pages. They use the wp.me domain so you can have more space to write on social media sites like Twitter.
Shortcodes allow you to embed videos from YouTube, tweets from Twitter, and other media across the web directly in to your WordPress-powered site.
A contact form is a great way to offer your readers the ability to get in touch with you, without giving out your personal email address.
Spelling and Grammar
Jetpack can check your spelling, grammar, and style using After the Deadline Proofreading technology.
Markdown lets you compose posts and comments with links, lists, and other styles using regular characters and punctuation marks. Markdown is used by writers and bloggers who want a quick and easy way to write rich text, without having to take their hands off the keyboard, and without learning a lot of complicated codes and shortcuts.
Post by Email
Post by Email is a way of publishing posts on your blog using your email. Any email client can be used to send the email, allowing you to publish quickly and easily from devices such as phones or tablets if you don’t have the WordPress mobile app installed.
LaTeX is a powerful markup language for writing complex mathematical equations, formulas, and more. Jetpack combines the power of LaTeX and the simplicity of WordPress to give you the ultimate in math blogging platforms.
Custom Content Types
The Custom Content Types module adds custom post types (CPTs) to your site. These CPTs allow you to add content that doesn’t necessarily fit into a post, but isn’t right for a static page either. Since this is part of Jetpack, you can even switch themes without losing these custom post types!
I guess all these features and the added benefits coming along with it are enough to convince you now to install the Jetpack plugin right away! 😛