The core of WordPress is designed to be lightweight, to maximize flexibility. However, this means that you need to add extra functionality to achieve your desired results. Plugins offer custom functions and features so you can tailor your site to your specific needs. The downside is too many plugins can slow your site. Jetpack for WordPress is a plugin that offers the same functionality as dozens of individual plugins, offering you the flexibility you need without slowing your site.
How Jetpack For WordPress Can Boost Your Blog’s Performance
Jetpack for WordPress is a free (for the basic version) plugin made by Automattic (the company behind WordPress). It allows you to connect your self-hosted blog to a WordPress.com account and take advantage of all the features usually available only to WordPress.com users. Jetpack comes with a staggering 37 features which you can activate and deactivate according to your preferences. Here are some of the most useful features included with Jetpack:
- Carousel: Turns a standard WordPress gallery you have embedded in posts or pages into a full-screen photo browsing experience with comments and EXIF metadata. Great for photo bloggers.
- Comments: Enables your visitors to use their WordPress.com, Twitter, or Facebook accounts when commenting on your site.
- Contact Form: Provides a great way for your readers to get in touch without giving out your personal email address. You will receive any feedback by email and also in the feedback management area of your dashboard.
- Mobile Theme : Automatically shows the responsive, mobile-friendly version of your site to smartphone visitors. Today, more and more of your visitors will be accessing your site via a smartphone so it’s important to give them a great experience.
- Publicize: Allows you to connect your blog to popular social networking sites (currently restricted to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google+, Path, and Linkedin) and automatically share new posts with your followers.
- Sharing: Adds sharing buttons to your posts and pages making it easy for your readers to share your posts on Twitter, Facebook, and many other services.
- Shortcode Embeds: Allow you to easily embed media from other places (YouTube, Flickr, Google Maps etc.) in your site.
- Site Stats: Provide an easy to understand summary of your site’s visitor numbers and page views.
- Subscriptions: Gives your visitors a way to subscribe to your blog and receive updates in their inbox when you publish a new post.
- Tiled Galleries: Allow you to create magazine-style mosaic layouts for your photos without having to use an external graphic editor.
- Widget Visibility: Allows you to control which pages your widgets appear on, greatly improving conversions on your blog.
How to Activate Jetpack for WordPress
Jetpack comes preinstalled with every new WordPress install. All you have to do is activate it. For that, you need a WordPress.com account. You may already have one if you’ve been blogging with WordPress.com. If not, you’ll need to create one and connect it with your Jetpack plugin. Just follow the slideshow blow.
- When you log in to your WordPress dashboard, you’ll see a reminder to connect Jetpack. Click the button to begin.
- To activate Jetpack, you need to connect it to a WordPress.com account. If you already have one, log in to connect. If not, click to create a new account.
- To create a WordPress.com account, enter your email address, choose a username and password, and click sign up. Your WordPress.com account will be created and connected to Jetpack.
- Click approve and to finalize your WordPress.com account creation.
- Select which Jetpack plan you want. The free plan is packed with features so select that. You can always upgrade later.
- You’ll be taken back to your dashboard where you’ll be prompted to jumpstart your account with their recommended features. If you want to customize the features, click settings instead.
- This screen shows a few of the popular features. To view them all, click See the other 28 Jetpack features.
- The features highlighted in blue are activated. The white ones a deactivated. To activate or deactivate features, simply hover over them and click.