For this week’s plugin as part of our Plugin of the Week series, I’ll be showing you all the features and benefits of Jetpack by WordPress.com. Jetpack has many features from customisation options to mobile themes, content tools to site performance. I promised something more advanced this week and as you will see here I haven’t disappointed.
However don’t let that deter you from using it. I will explain every detail of this plugin so you get the most out of it.
If you already blog on WordPress.com then everything here will already be implemented into your website. This blog is only for people hosting their own wordpress powered site.
So without further ado
After installing and activating Jetpack you will then need to Connect Jetpack to your WordPress.com account.
Don’t have a WordPress.com account? Don’t worry. Sign-up is free and will only take 30 seconds to setup.
Once you have signed in you’ll be asked to “Jump Start” your site.
Here Jetpack wants to activate a number of features straight away. You can click on “learn more” for more details on what each feature does. We can later activate and deactivate each one individually.
They recommend activating these and I would have to concur. So go ahead and click Jump Start.
Performance and Security Settings
First thing we will look at is a few features based on, you guessed it, performance and security.
- Photon does exactly what is says on the tin, speeds up images and photos. It does this by caching your images on WordPress.com which reduces the burden on your site.
- Protect is a brute force prevention tool. If an IP has too many failed login attempts within a short space of time it blocks them from logging in to any site with Jetpack installed. You can click on the cog to configure this and enter your IP address from home/work from ever being blocked.
- Single Sign On lets you configure your site to be able to log in using your WordPress.com credentials.
- Monitor reports anytime your site is down. They check your site every 5 minutes and send you an email if its down. I would recommend leaving this inactive as many users have complained about repeatedly getting “site down” emails even when its accessible.
- VaultPress is a paid backup feature. I don’t see any reason to pay for this as there are many other free Plugins that can do this for you. One of Carol’s blogs previously done on Plugin of the Week shows you how to use such a plugin.
Next up, we’ll take a look at the traffic growth features.
- Site Stats is a simple, easier to read version of analytics. You can configure different aspects of this including adding a bar chart of views in your admin bar and also which registered users can see it.
- Sharing adds share buttons to your posts and blogs. Although active by default you should deactivate it and use the Simple Share Buttons Adder that I have previously reviewed. It’s much better!
- Publicize is an extremely handy feature which automatically shares new posts through your social media accounts. To do this click on the setting and connect which ever social media site you wish to use.
- Related Posts adds relevant links from your post under your share buttons. Always useful for keeping users on your site.
- Enhanced Distribution helps increase your reach and traffic. It does this by sharing your content with other WordPress.com users. If they display content from your blog they are required to link back to your blog.
You will find this from Jetpack on your Dashboard. This is where you will find all you websites analytics. You can use this to view your visits, referrers, top posts and pages as well as your subscriptions and search engine terms. These help you see how visitors are finding your website. Keep an eye on this to see what is working and what is not in regards to your content.
Note: If you have downloaded and activated the Jetpack Plugin but you see this error:
“Your website needs to be publicly accessible to use Jetpack: site_inaccessible” or “Jetpack not activated: site inaccessible”
Then our friends over at Reverb Studios have discovered a fix to this problem.
And that’s that…
So that covers the primary functions of Jetpack. I would highly recommend this plugin for any website, you won’t find another plugin that serves such a wide variety of functions.
If there are any plugins you would like me to cover, or you have any questions relating to this one, don’t hesitate to comment below. What elements of Jetpack do you prefer to use?
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