10 Reasons Why You Should Start Using The WordPress Jetpack Plugin Today

10 Reasons Why You Should Start Using The WordPress Jetpack Plugin Today

Jetpack is a popular plugin developed by the folks over at Automattic, and over the past few years they’ve done a tremendous job improving the plugin by adding loads of useful features which makes managing a WordPress site a whole lot easier!

With their recent update – Jetpack 2.3, they have introduced Omnisearch – a combined search engine within WordPress that searches your site’s content and has the capacity to add more search engines using filters. 

In today’s article I’m going to list what I believe are some of the most useful features of Jetpack – ones which I personally love and use in all my sites.  With over 23 modules, you’re bound to find something you like.

Photon – Free CDN from Automattic

Photon

Talking about useful Jetpack modules/features, the first name that comes to mind is Photon. It is a highly acclaimed module inside Jetpack – one of the primary reasons (I think) you should use it.

What is Photon and why should I activate it?

Photon is a free CDN (content delivery network plugin) inside Jetpack that serves your posts’ images and featured images from the WordPress network grid which again is powered by EdgeCast. That’s a whole lot of bandwidth saved right there.

  • More bandwidth = higher costs
  • Less bandwidth consumption = lower/no extra costs
  • Photon = Less bandwidth = Save money

Bottom line – if you’re running a self hosted WordPress site on a shared hosting server or a VPS that does not come with unlimited bandwidth, then Photon is a must have; unless of course if you’re using a paid CDN service.

Carousel

Carousel

Full-screen immersive experience using Carousel in Jetpack

If you’re in the habit of using more than a few images in your blog posts – kudos! That’s a great way to grab your visitor’s attention. Here’s one plugin to enhance your site’s UX  – Carousel. This module turns your standard image galleries into an immersive, full-screen experience.

Tiled Layouts

Tiled Layout

This is like icing on the cake. Tiled layouts beautify your post’s content making easier on the viewer’s eye while gathering kudos points in his/her mind.

Publicize

Publicize

If you’re a regular blogger who just likes to think about the site’s content (and nothing else), then this Jetpack module is your social media Swiss Army Knife. Establish connections with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Tumblr, and once you hit the Publish button, your post is automatically shared in your social media profiles. The connection options are located under Settings > Sharing.

Sharing Buttons

Sharing Buttons

Although this module is a part of the Swiss Army Knife we talked about in the last paragraph, it deserves a special mention simply because of the sheer number of sharing channels available. Enabling/disabling or organizing the order of the plugin is cakewalk thanks to the drag-and-drop nature of the module. You also have other options such as displaying just the text/icon or both among others.

Mobile Theme

Mobile Theme Jetpack

Theme isn’t mobile responsive? No problem amigo. A couple of great free themes out there aren’t exactly mobile responsive. And if you’re not willing to shell out ~40 bucks for a custom theme, better go with the Mobile Theme module of Jetpack. When your site is loaded in a mobile device, Jetpack simply overwrites whatever theme you’re using and uses a clean blue mobile theme – one which focuses on readability and is beautifully minimalistic in design.

Infinite Scroll

We’re living in an age where some folks are too lazy to click a button and navigate to the next page. I for one am guilty of such a crime, but only on 9GAG. However, Jetpack takes care of us too – thanks to its infinite scroll module. You keep on scrolling till you run out of posts. This definitely improves user experience but on the downside, your page views and click-rate take a toll since people aren’t exactly clicking 5 times to view 50 articles.

Site Stats

Site Stats

Friend: You forgot Google Analytics eh? ;)

Me: No sir, I didn’t. Its just that we’re talking about Jetpack’s awesome power to display the number of visitors to my site using a cool histogram, not to mention also displaying the link origins and the internal clicks. :)

Friend: Oh I see. But Google Analytics gives you so much more. :O

Me: Sure it does, but let’s face it – for that to happen you’re gonna have to validate your site and install a plugin (optional), etc. But with Jetpack, none of this matters – just sit back and drool over the stats. ;)

Friend: Niceee, gonna try Jetpack then. :D

Me: Hi5!

Comments

Jetpack Comments

When you’re in a hurry and feel like leaving a comment, a quick Facebook or Twitter or WordPress.com account link come in very handy. Jetpack also allows you to have the traditional method of commenting, the social media links are an added bonus.

Contact Form

Contact Form Builder

Last but surely not the least, the contact forms feature in Jetpack is one of my favorites. I always love hearing back from my readers. Comments are one way to do that. A more personal touch requires email, which I easily achieve via a contact form. No additional plugins required – just a few simple clicks and I have a fully functional contact form.

Conclusion

Jetpack is undoubtedly one of the most useful plugins out there – to both hardcore WordPress experts and beginners, all thanks to its underlying principle – simplicity.

If you’re the former, maybe you could check our the JSON API and the Debugging module that Jetpack has to offer

Jetpack Gravatar Hovercards

Gravatar Hovercards

As for us everyday users, there are a lot more interesting modules to check out including Shortcode Embeds, Beautiful Math, Spelling and Grammar, Gravatar Hovercards and WP.me Shortlinks.

What are your favorite Jetpack modules? Let us know!

Jetpack’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it it’s like a whole bunch of plugins in one, and it’s completely free. If you’re into The Lord of The Rings book/movie series, there’s an interesting analogy:

Jetpack is like the one ring to rule them all!

But if you’d prefer separate plugins for different features, have a look at our recent post for 50+ Best WordPress Plugins for adding features to your website.

Sourav

Sourav

Contributor at WPExplorer
Sourav is a WordPress enthusiast, an avid gamer and a sitcom collector. His playlists include heavy metal, electronic, and new-age tracks. When he's not online, he's spending quality time with his friends and family. You can follow him on Twitter.
Sourav
This article has 41 comments
  1. James G says:

    I am kind of tired, so when I saw the headline, I thought it said “10 reasons why you should start using A jetpack today.” And I thought, preach it, brother!

    1. AJ Clarke | WPExplorer says:

      lol, now I have an idea for our next blog post ;)

      Admin
      1. Jason Bahl says:

        I would LOVE to see a post about that. It would make my day. Lol.

  2. Wayne says:

    I agree all these points, but the publicize portion seems to be broken with the current version. Even with a code fix I found on a WP forum, it’s still not working, so I’ll do some more research.

    1. Tim Moore says:

      Hi, we’re aware of the Publicize issue. We have a fix and will be releasing it next week. You should still be able to connect Facebook profile accounts; only FB Page accounts won’t work at the moment.

  3. ribena_wrath says:

    I find that Jetpack really slows my site down. I use it for analytics only, so deactivated everything else in it. But now days I just use Google Analytics. Much better speed, and as you say, more info. It’s hard to set up though. I find that using Cyfe.com helps a lot to give an awesome free overview of your website.

    1. AJ Clarke | WPExplorer says:

      I have never had issues with JetPack slowing my site down. I have run several tests before to test it. But also I have a very good server (WPEngine) ;)

      Admin
  4. Anirudh Babbar says:

    Jetpack is a great plugin, and i have been using it for over 2 years. Social sharing is good, analytics are perfect, form builders is easiest to use, but its truth it makes sites heavy, when you enable Jetpack Comments, your site become heavy, i was using this on my site, but after a test on pingdom, i had to deactivate jetpack comments while still using other jetpack features.

    But still on every wordpress project, I always install this plugin.

  5. neilyamit432 says:

    I have most of these activated except for Photon. I might as well try. Thanks for the post. :)

  6. jupiterjimj says:

    Sourav,

    I appreciate your well written post. You cover all the good things about JetPack and there are many, as you have demonstrated here.

    I must respectfully disagree with you, however, on JetPack. I hope you don’t mind me putting a link in my comment, but I wrote a Whole Blog Post about “Why I don’t use Jetpack” and, never will.

    Here’s the link and I hope some of your visitors will find the opposing view helpful. I just stumbled across your site when searching in Google for something totally unrelated.

    http://jupiterjimsmarketingteam.com/why-i-dont-use-wordpress-jetpack/

    Thanks so much for sharing your excellent review and hard work!

    ~ Jupiter Jim

    1. AJ Clarke | WPExplorer says:

      Thanks for sharing your views.

      As a developer I personally am not too bothered by some of the “bad” things JetPack does, because I know how to “fix” it ;) I do use Jetpack but I’ve optimized certain things to make it a bit lighter.

      That said, even right out of the box, on my server I don’t even notice any speed difference in site loading times. Then again I do have a very powerful server with WPEngine.

      The only thing that does bother me about JetPack is that sometimes when you update it, things seem to auto-enable themselves. Of course this is a minor nuisance though.

      Admin
      1. Tim Moore says:

        @Jupiter Jim and AJ Clarke:

        We’re always very open to talking about issues with Jetpack. You can contact me directly (tim@automattic.com) or our support channel (support@jetpack.me).

        If there are “bad” things going on, we want to talk about them. We try to hold ourselves to a high standard.

        Please get in touch with any comments or concerns.

        1. AJ Clarke | WPExplorer says:

          Thanks Tim for stopping by! I really appreciate it ;) I personally don’t have any real issues with JetPack, there a few nuisances to me, but nothing really major enough to make me not use the plugin. I still use it, as you can see here in the comments! Would be great though if @jupiter gets in touch though, seems like he is much more “against” the plugin. I know you guys have a lot of work to do over there, I really appreciate you stopping by and offering your assistance!

          Admin
  7. Alasdair says:

    Hi there, I am considering installing Jetpack as I have only recently found and it seems to cover everything I need. My one concern is that it will have problems working with other plugins on my site. I use the suffusion theme which covers a lot of the features that Jetpack has so I am wondering, can I only enable certain features on Jetpack and leave others disabled. Currently I have Disqus for comments, responsive theme in suffusion and contact form plugin etc. I wouldn’t want to enable Jetpack and find half my site has conflicting problems.

    1. AJ Clarke | WPExplorer says:

      Hi Alasdair,

      You can disable any module you want. For example we use Jetpack but the only enabled module we have is the one for comments (to help with spam). If you encounter any conflicts with a 3rd party plugin its more likely that that plugin is at fault then jetpack.

      I’m starting to use JetPack a bit less now though, mostly because I’m finding some better alternatives ;)

      Admin
      1. Alasdair says:

        Thanks for your reply. Just wondering if you could mention a few of the alternative plugins that you use over Jetpack?

        1. AJ Clarke | WPExplorer says:

          Honestly mostly my alternatives are built-in and not plugins, as a developer I have that luxury ;)

          – Instead of WP stats: use Google Analytics
          – Instead of subscriptions – http://wordpress.org/plugins/subscribe-to-comments-reloaded/
          – For social sharing – http://www.addthis.com/
          – Instead of Photon – We use the built-in CDN with our WPEngine host.
          – For Infinite scroll – https://github.com/paulirish/infinite-scroll

          etc, etc…This is probably best done as a new post ;)

          Admin
  8. darkdesigngraphics says:

    Thank you for that, being someone who has a very limited knowledge of any coding or anything I totally rely on plugins but I think I will give it a go anyway, there are a couple I am using that I am not too happy with and with all the good reviews of Jetpack and the fact it was developed by the wordpress team will definitely give it a try.

    Thanks again for your help, would definitely like to see a post like that!

  9. Jenn Worden (@SJBlahBlahBlog) says:

    Thanks for sharing I found a few plugins I am going to be trying out.

  10. webbingbadatoliver says:

    Thanks Sourav K for writing this great articles.I am just starter at wordpress and this helps to point out everything about using Jetpack.

  11. groepnijhofh.grn says:

    I do like the most features of Jetpack. Havent notice any real problems with connections and speed.
    Only one thing i sreally annoying{ strange WP didnt think about that] It register your own visits in your stats.

    Yes you can exclude various types of users, but that only starts to count once you logged in. And it determines it by registration instead of IP. Furthermore, various solutions i found on the internet, use cookie solutions. This only half a solution. If your browser deletes cookies after closure[safety] that is pretty useless as well.

    so a very simple plugin script that allows me to fill out specific IP adresses to exclude. then the stats would be pretty perfect.

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      That’s a good call. I personally use Google Analytics for all my tracking purposes, the jetPack as you say isn’t accurate enough.

      Admin
  12. Brian Hazard (@colortheory) says:

    I know this is an old post, but it came in handy for me today! Just installed it. What I was really hoping for was the look of your comments section here, but I see Jetpack doesn’t really do that. In particular, I love the styling, large avatar images, and “Reply To This Message” links after every comment. Is that part of your theme?

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      Jetpack only creates the comment submission form. The styling of the comments is done by the theme (I designed this myself).

      Admin
      1. Brian Hazard (@colortheory) says:

        You are a talented designer! It really does look fantastic.

  13. KnowAbutYou says:

    Seems to be a good news for WordPress users, The Pack combines the power of so many different WordPress plugin into one plugin and also uses the power of WordPress.com cloud servers. This is really awesome. Going to Jet Pack my blog now.

  14. hangup says:

    NIce Article , i think we should use jetpack for our wordpress website as it contains many features

  15. Chandra Bhushan says:

    I would never think of using another CMS for small business apart from WordPress. For large scale websites there are other options but for small biz you just can’t beat it.

  16. Ulrich Eckardt – Coach says:

    Thanks a lot for sharing this information of JetPack. I’ve read that it might cause problems with antispambee. Does anyone use these two plugins together?

    Thanks

    Ulrich

  17. Ahmad Fahrurroji says:

    Using jetpack plugin as well as one for all.

    Thanks Sourav, it’s a great post.

  18. BITSOD says:

    Seems to be a good news for WordPress users, The Pack combines the power of so many different WordPress plugin into one plugin and also uses the power of WordPress.com cloud servers. This is really awesome. Going to Jet Pack my blog now.

  19. Han Tuttel says:

    In respect of the comment part of jetpack/wordpress – it is a major shame that gravatar is only usable on a pc/laptop.

    When used on a tablet, or even worse, a mobile phone, the gravatar logo is blocking the content of the comment.

    So if you want your site-comments to look OK on tablet/phone, ditch gravatar logo’s !

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      Han, JetPack doesn’t output the Gravatars, the Jetpack comments module only alters the comment submission form. If you are having design issues with the comments on mobile devices you should be able to fix that up really simply by tweaking the theme design via a child theme or custom CSS plugin (or hiring a freelancer). I use the JetPack comments on this site and I think I did a pretty good job designing the comments to look good across all devices ;)

      Admin
  20. Juergen | dare2go.com says:

    Sorry to say, but “PHOTON” completely messed up the look of my site! I deactivated it…
    Within blog posts it displayed images which were too small (narrow) on high resolution screens (my theme is wider than most), the auto-cropped thumbnails were plain ugly (I create my own for “featured” images), and somehow all thumbnails were 1.5 times the size they had to be (probably assuming Retina-readyness – but my theme caters to Retina displays already).

    1. AJ Clarke says:

      Probably some sort of conflict with your theme. For Photon to work 100% it does require the theme to make use of the native thumbnails functions only. Thanks for sharing your experience though, hopefully it helps others!

      Admin

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