If you’ve set up a new blog with WordPress lately, have you noticed something slightly different in your plugin installations? WordPress Jetpack plugin has made it to the default big screen!…
So big deal, and why should you care, right? OK, point taken, so take the time to read this short article, and I guarantee you WILL consider activating and configuring the WordPress Jetpack plugin by the time you reach the end.
First of all, I must start by letting you know that you must have a WordPress free account to use the Jetpack plugin on your self-hosted blogs. It’s all free; then, you can activate the plugin and authorize it as per screen prompts. When Jetpack is activated, you’ll notice that there are (at least) 15 different module/function boxes that you can configure. Each plays a vital role in how your blog performs, and the Jetpack developers are adding new functions frequently.
Jetpack Plugin Benefits.
Just like a 3yr toddler, I ask “why” when presented with a new way or means of doing something, and the same goes for WordPress plugins. They are notorious for slowing down websites, and oddly that takes me to the first benefit of installing Jetpack.
Speed Up Your Blog – I’ll start by saying that you will certainly avoid installing at least 3 of your regular plugin installs by installing the WordPress Jetpack plugin. You will be picking which ones by the end of reading the page. Also, the Jetpack WordPress plugin is a very light script, which means there is less load on your servers.
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Simple Concise Stats – For most of us, it would be nice to see who visited the site and what drove them to it. With just the click of a few buttons, you can forget having to install a separate analytics plugin as daily, weekly, and monthly stats are seen from the wp-admin area.
Comments Customisation – Small but significant changes can be made in the way your WordPress blog displays comments. Custom Gravatars are embedded, and you can pick the transparency of the comments box too. Enable threaded (nested) comments, and a really quite eye-catching graphic is enabled, which helps get more comments.
Subscriptions – Easily allow readers to subscribe to your new posts by email and receive blog comment follow-ups to comments they left on your blog. How easy? By just checking a box!
Carousel Embed – This is a really nice touch for those who want to display multiple images in one blog post or page. Seamlessly a carousel lightbox is added to your WordPress gallery allowing your images to “pop,” Certainly a new and welcome upgrade to WP picture gallery.
Cool Share – It’s not called “cool share,” I think it fits! The WordPress Jetpack plugin certainly is as good as any other social plugins that I’ve installed. Easy drag and drop interface with all the “usual suspects” to link to.
Spell Checker – I’m notorious for bad grammar and spelling, and is module has saved my bacon more than once. Checking spelling and grammar for all types of variables from Cliches to Phrases to Avoid. Priceless!
Security – Built right into Jetpack is VaultPress, which offers (as a paid extra) real-time backup and security scanning for your WordPress site. You may not consider it now, but I bet the first time you get hacked, you’ll be clicking to configure! There are free versions of WordPress backup through the plugin, and that’s my preferred option.
Contact Forms – Before the WordPress Jetpack plugin, when setting up a WordPress blog, I always installed contact form 7; well, that’s another redundant plugin on my list. Jetpack easily allows you to insert a contact form anywhere on your website you like. It’s a LOT easier to use than any other contact form plugin to customize fields too.
URL Shorts – No, not URL beachwear but a link shortening script. You know it comes in handy on sites like Twitter and the like, where you only have a limited amount of characters to use. It just makes life a little easier if you can shrink any URL into 9 or 10 characters.
Shortcode Embeds – Get the video to show in your blog posts so much easier than any other method you’ve tried to date. It’s as simple as just adding the video URL into the blog post and… that’s it. When your post or page is published, your video will be embedded and auto resized with no other input need on your part.
CSS Style – CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a code that tells the browser how to render a web page. If you are one of those webmasters who prefer to tweak their WordPress set-up for a unique look, it’s now a name even easier with Jetpack. By default, your stylesheet will be loaded after your installed theme stylesheets.
Beautiful Math – Now, to be honest, I don’t see too many using this. BUT if maths formula is your thing, integrated into WordPress Jetpack plugin, you can mark up your posts or pages with the markup language, perfect for complex mathematical equations.
Extra Sidebar Widgets – I must say that the ease of adding images to the WordPress sidebar is pretty slick. You can re-size the image and add a link URL from the widget area, but then again, it’s fairly easy to add basic anyway, especially if you copy the HTML code from a dummy post.
That’s not all… At the time of writing, the WordPress Jetpack plugin has other modules I could mention, but I’ll let you find out what they are when you configure the WordPress Jetpack plugin on your own website.