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Jetpack is Automattic’s tool chest of features. There’s lots to discover.

Loaded with features, Jetpack is worth an install.

Loaded with features, Jetpack is worth an install.

Jetpack was born because, rightly so, WordPress doesn’t want to add too many features to the core software. Features that not everyone will want to use, activate, or even upload. Just like not every car has a sunroof, DVD player and a backup camera, WordPress tries to stay to the strongest of the foundation and leave the bonus features to plugins, themes, and customizations.

If you’re looking for a quick recommendation as to whether or not to install Jetpack, I would say yes.

There are powerful statistics, media gallery options, social media tools, embedding shortcodes, and a variety pack of other tools of varying importance and helpfulness.

One thing that’s annoying is that all modules are activated by default. But you can manually off the ones you don’t want.

I won’t go into detail for each of the modules, but rather highlight what’s least apparent at first glance.


Sure, Google Analytics is the grand daddy of stats, but WP stats are easy to read, right there in your WP Dashboard, and quickly give you some nice numbers and charts that you might need to do reports for elsewhere. For example, one table you don’t see splashing photos of is the Summaries tables. Just a table of numbers, but for example, one table shows number of visitors per month in a friendly big chart. Easy to tell how you’re doing long term. In other words, the important stuff.


This is one of those little modules that blows a few other plugins to smithereens. In other words, by activating this plugin you can usually remove a few others.

The module sends an update (Tweet, status, etc.) to a variety of social media players so … you don’t have to. Activated, connected, and enabled, every time you post something new, your Twitter account gets a new Tweet, your Facebook page has a new post, and your LinkedIn has a new status post. Boom, done. Thank you. Here’s more on Publicize.

Shortcode Embeds

I can imagine this one coming into core WordPress at some point as it’s just so useful. You want to embed a YouTube video but you’d rather not put in all of that nasty “iframe” code. Here’s an example of the YouTube embed code and how to use it: Embedding YouTube in WordPress.


This is an interesting one. Facebook likes are the ones that make all of the news, but has their own network–and it’s substantial. has millions and millions of blogs and sites, millions of users and there’s even more content. My strategy here might be: what could it hurt to have another place to Like your content? Is there a downside? Maybe the only thing is the confusing when someone doesn’t know what network that Like button belongs to.

Automattic keeps adding, upgrading, fixing, and improving Jetpack.

I like to think that because Jetpack is built by the same team that builds WordPress, they’re going to optimize it as best they can. Sure, they’re a company, they have to earn revenue and offer premium versions of things. But I’m going to go with the philosophy that they want WP to work as best it can.

If you have to choose between a plugin built by who-knows-who and one built by the team who built WordPress, who would you choose?

Here’s a list of  more. On the Jetpack page of your site, you can read more about each one and activate it, test it, and deactivate it.

  • Notifications: a status bar for your WordPress installation. Get notices about what’s going on right there in a top-mounted toolbar.
  • Subscriptions: Built right in and then no need for a third-party program such as MailChimp. That said, it’s not as powerful as those third-party programs. But hey, it works and is a good start. Visitors can also subscribe to comment streams per post.
  • Jetpack Comments: This is a new comment system that has integrated social media login options. This is another example of bring the and the world together. You can test it out–or not. Regular WP comments (without Jetpack Comments) do the job just fine, too.
  • Carousel: This is a great built-in feature to transform your standard image galleries into an full-screen slideshow experience.
  • Post by Email: Publish posts to your blog directly from your personal email account. You get a special receiving email address and it gives you yet another reason you can’t not hit publish.
  • Sharing: Another plugin killer: easily share content with Facebook, Twitter, and many more. None too fancy, but powerful and it just works.
  • Spelling & Grammar: Improve spelling, style, and grammar with the After the Deadline Proofreading service. If your browser doesn’t have a built-in spell check, this one works great.
  • VaultPress: This a premium option, but you get what you pay for: realtime backup and security scanning. It’s important stuff, but there are other options, of course. For example, BackupBuddy.
  • Gravatar Hovercards: Show a pop-up (Gravatar/ business card of your users’ gravatar profiles in comments. As the site owner, YOU should definitely have a Gravatar profile, but chances are that most of your readers might not.
  • Omnisearch: (New!) A single search box, that lets you search many different things and easily categorizes what you find into easy-to-decipher areas. When I first saw this, I thought it was for front-end users … hint, hint.
  • Contact Form: this form keeps getting better and more customizable, but I prefer more powerful forms such as Gravity Forms. That said, it does the job and you don’t need another plugin.
  • Tiled Galleries: Quite impressive that this powerful little tool can arrange your photos into a tiled mosaic that would usually take a more high-powered plugin. Give it a go.
  • shortlinks: is a URL shortener like but it’s built-into your admin and makes it easy to share short URLs.
  • Mobile Theme: I’m sure it does what it says, but if you customize the design of your site too much, it might break this. But give it a try, see how it works for your site.
  • Custom CSS: this module opens up a nice color-coded easy to work with window for adding some custom CSS. Sure, there are several places where you can put some CSS, but this one does boast a nice revision saving function which can save your skin.
  • Beautiful Math: with the markup language, perfect for complex mathematical equations and other über-geekery.
  • Extra Sidebar Widgets: this is nice, but I hope it will turn into more. The module now allows you to add images, Twitter updates, and your site’s RSS links to your theme’s sidebar.
  • Infinite Scroll: Automatically pull the next set of posts into view when the reader approaches the bottom of the page using some cool technology. Allows your page to keep going–for those who want to keep going–rather than having to click a Next Page link.
  • Photon: If you read much about boosting site speed, having your images hosted elsewhere will always come up. Photon gives your site a speed boost by loading images from the content delivery network.
  • JSON API: Allow applications to securely access your content through the cloud.
  • Enhanced Distribution: We’re going to have to assume this does what it says: share your public posts and comments to search engines and other services in real-time.
  • Mobile Push Notifications: If you use the awesome WP iDevice app, you can receive notifications about comments, etc.
  • Jetpack Debugger: (New!) I’ve had issues where Jetpack wouldn’t connect properly. Now they have an easier-to-use method for getting some help from their team.

Is that enough functionality for you? If not, just wait, they’ll add more. The bottom line for me is that I’m going to go out on a limb (albeit a short limb … ) and trust that the WP team is going to make their add-on products the best they can. If they don’t, they’re going to hear about it, fast, and hopefully get onto improvements .

Jetpack Love (& Less) from Around the Web


  • 10 Reasons Why You Should Start Using The WordPress Jetpack Plugin Today
  • How I Cut My Page Load Speed by 90% Using Jetpack, CDN, Dedicated Hosting, and More – Davis Media
  • 6 Reasons You Should Install the Jetpack Plugin for WordPress – Jerod Morris

Less than Love

  • Why I Don’t Use WordPress Jetpack – Jupiter Jim
  • Dear Jetpack: I really want to love you, but you make it so hard – Brian Krogsgard


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