Jetpack is a Plugin and set of features from WordPress. Because it is designed by WordPress, it is expected to be well maintain for performance, security, and compatibility. It offers a bundle of capabilities that would otherwise require installing multiple plugins. This page describes some considerations for Jetpack use.
See the heading below for Features and Settings to learn more about what Jetpack offers and why you may want it.
To install Jetpack, follow these steps:
- Use of the Jetpack plugin requires a free WordPress.com account. Create one if needed, then login at the WordPress.com website.
- In your website’s WordPress Dashboard, under the Plugins settings, choose the “Add New” option.
- On the resulting page, you can search for the Jetpack Plugin and choose “Install Now” and then “Activate” the Plugin.
- To start using Jetpack you will need to connect it to your WordPress account. Once the connection is established, you’re ready to begin. You will be asked about some of the settings you would like to enable.
- Some of the Performance & Speed options may periodically cause issues with your site if the CDN (Content Delivery Network) is having problems. So, you may want to try the features and see if they cause problems for your site.
- Certain features may require a paid subscription to Jetpack, so consider starting with the free version and upgrading later if needed.
Features and Settings
You can configure Jetpack by going to the Jetpack sidebar in your WordPress Dashboard. Other than the default settings, here are some considerations for Jetpack Settings. The list below is organized based on the Jetpack > Settings page. Stats is listed last because it has a separate page under the Jetpack heading.
- Downtime Monitoring — This is helpful to have enabled. You will get notified if your site is down. Usually there’s nothing you can do about this, but at least you know the site is down. The problem is most often with your hosting company, perhaps running system updates. If the problem persists, it may indicate there’s an issue with your website.
- Anti-spam — This is a helpful feature that helps eliminate spam being sent though your site feedback and comment forms. This feature requires a little bit of setup and has a free option as well as some paid versions. The free level of service is adequate for most people.
- Firewall — The firewall feature provides protection that is typically only available with paid third-party plugins. It’s unclear what protections are available with the free beta version other than having a list of approved or blocked IP addresses. The advanced protection is only available with a subscription.
- Brute Force Protection — This is an important security feature that helps prevent hacking of your website.
- WordPress.com Login — Enabling this feature is helpful for providing additional site management. You can monitor and edit your site and settings using the WordPress.com interface rather than being limited to the default Dashboard options.
- The performance options rely on external services that can occasionally have availability issues. You may want to experiment with these and test your website over time to make sure they indeed offer a reliable improvement.
- The default settings for the Writing options should be fine. The ability to create a full-screen carousel gallery is a helpful feature.
- The sharing features can be a helpful way to promote your site on social media and help engage site visitors.
- The discussion features enhance comment functionality for site visitors. If you have comment capabilities turned on, you should be prepared for an additional ongoing responsibility of site management which involves reviewing and responding to comments.
- The Subscriptions option is a great alternative to costly newsletter services like MailChimp and Constant Contact. Your site visitors can get notifications sent directly to their inbox when new posts are published to the site.
- The features described as tools to promote traffic to the site are somewhat limited. The Related Posts feature may provide site visitors with relevant content, but sometimes the suggestions are not relevant. It’s best to manually offer links to relevant pages, posts, and category or tag searches.
- As mentioned earlier, the Stats page is not found in Jetpack > Settings, but instead has a dedicated Jetpack > Stats page.
- Any additional insights into your website visitors is helpful to better serve those who visit your site. You can spend more time revising and improving pages that are most popular. Free services from StatCounter and Google Analytics can be helpful auxiliary tools for insights into how your site is used.