Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank
WordPress has a lot of tools, features, and functions that make it a powerful site builder. With all of the plugins available, it’s difficult to determine the best ones. But what about adding Jetpack to WordPress?
If you’re looking for quick and easy, Jetpack may have exactly what you need. For being a free tool, it’s definitely one you may want to consider.
Keep in mind, I’m referring to the WordPress.org CMS, and not the free version of WordPress.com. There is a stark difference between the two.
What is Jetpack for WordPress?
Jetpack is a plugin for WordPress that comes with a variety of modules. It’s one of the few plugins that has several built-in purposes. This allows you to add a variety of common elements to WordPress from a single install.
From anti-spam and brute force protection to a built-in link shortener for URLs, it’s packed with the most common tools any website owner will want to use.
Jetpack does have a premium version of its setup, which means you can expand what you can do even further. But as a free, stand-alone plugin, I find it incredibly useful in a variety of situations.
6 Things About Jetpack in WordPress to Consider
Jetpack is kind of like the discount Swiss Army Knife of WordPress. I only say this because each of its abilities are easily expanded by installing the right plugin.
Meaning they are basic but highly functional.
However, what makes this an ideal plugin for many purposes is because of its simplicity. Not everyone wants the bells-and-whistles that come with more extravagant tools.
And with more than 20 modules to choose from, it may help solve a lot of problems when first setting up the website. For example, adding the Google verification code to authorize the website in Search Console.
Here are some of the things you need to consider when activating Jetpack for WordPress.
1. Traffic Stats and Insights
Probably the tool I use most in Jetpack is the traffic stats. The system will record organic visitors, location, most popular content, most popular authors, and much more.
While it may not be as heavy into data as something like Google Analytics, it does provide key details you’ll want to see.
For instance, I can see that out of all social media outlets I market on, YouTube is by far the most popular. And I can see what external links are clicked from my website.
2. Link Shortener
Another feature that I use quite often is the link shortener. Sometimes, URLs are just too long to put into a social media post, email, or other text fields that may be limited. The wp.me links solve this problem.
Instead of having to sign up with Bit.ly, or use some other shortening system, you can grab the shorter URL directly from your post in WordPress.
This cuts out an extra step when you want to share a piece of content with various platforms. Though, I would like to point out that some systems will use its own shortener.
For example, Twitter will convert links to the t.co domain…which is its own link shortener. So if you see that popping up in traffic analytics, it was either something you shared or a visit from someone else sharing your content.
3. Publicize Connections
Speaking of Twitter, when you want to market on the top social media sites, you need to make sure your posts are sent to your feeds. You can do this automatically in Jetpack from WordPress with the Publicize Connections feature.
This is a basic module that will automatically share your post with various social sites as soon as it’s published. This means if you schedule something to publish next Tuesday, Publicize will send it to social once WordPress makes it live.
You can currently connect Jetpack’s Publicize tool to:
- Google Photos
- Instagram (to connect the Instagram photo widget)
Currently, I only post to the top three. I really don’t need Tumblr, and Google Photos is there only to save images I take while out and about.
I really should use Mailchimp in the future for subscription and email signups. But, I want to create stability in my activities before I promise yet another thing I cannot currently manage.
The 24 hours we have in a day is simply not enough.
4. Adding a Media Carousel
If you like to add images to your site, Jetpack has you covered with a media carousel. Think of it as an interactive photo feed for your website.
But, using Jetpack in WordPress also lets you display the EXIF data for those photos. This is extremely useful for those who create travel blogs and want to share their experiences.
The EXIF data is the meta-information that is saved with every image you take with certain kinds of digital cameras. This can include GEO location, camera hardware and software specifics, and more.
As an added bonus, Media Carousel also tracks user specifics such as user agent, visiting URL, referring URL, timestamp of when someone saw the photo, and even the browser language.
This can help you get to know your target audience and what they want to see more of in the future.
5. Social Login for Comments
Commenting is why many people read and interact with blogs. It’s all about creating a discussion with the audience and engaging them. When you add Jetpack to WordPress, you get this ability as well.
In fact, you can set up your comment section to let users comment using various social logins, such as WordPress.com, Google, Twitter, or Facebook.
It’s an exceptionally useful commenting tool. And the only reason why I don’t use it is because I prefer the features in wpDiscuz. Though, I’ve only used the in-line commenting feature, like, once.
The bottom line is that you can set up a nice comment section by activating Jetpack and adding Akismet for spam monitoring.
6. Requires a Free Account on WordPress.com
One element that turns a lot of people away from adding Jetpack to WordPress is the requirement to set up a WordPress.com account.
This is a free service, and you don’t need to have a WordPress.com blog to use the features. In fact, I don’t have one for my primary account. I use it to take a look at the statistics for traffic, which is displayed in WordPress.com.
Not only that, but most of my blog’s subscribers are using the free WordPress reader from the website to view my content.
So, it’s definitely something that is worthwhile for me to set up.
To clear up any confusion, my websites are all set up at GreenGeeks web hosting. I only use the free WordPress.com account to view my traffic stats and automatically share blog posts with my readers.
Is Jetpack and WordPress Right for You?
Jetpack is automatically installed with WordPress on many web hosting accounts. It’s created by the same people who developed WordPress, after all. But whether it’s right for you or not depends on if you want to create a free account and give it a try.
Yes, every module in Jetpack has a far more elaborate plugin available. But sometimes, simple is better. For one thing, you won’t have to worry about plugins breaking each other.
At any rate, I use Jetpack quite often for a variety of purposes. What is a feature that matters most to you on your blog?
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