Jetpack is perhaps the best-known WordPress plugin that is considered a “meta-plugin.” Instead of providing just one or two functionalities, WordPress Jetpack is renowned for its multi-faceted capabilities.
Given that it is developed and maintained by Automattic — the brain behind the WordPress platform —, it is easy to see why the plugin has attained such popularity and widespread use. It now powers over a million websites and offers extensive features such as user tracking, CDN support, and a very efficient and appealing dashboard.
- Jetpack Integration Prerequisites
- How to Install and Integrate Jetpack Plugin in WordPress
- Jetpack Configuration Settings
- Final Thoughts- Is Jetpack worth it?
This blog sheds light on the plugin’s installation prerequisites and integration steps. Moreover, we will also explore Jetpack’s usability by analyzing its features, which will help you determine if you need the plugin or not.
Jetpack Integration Prerequisites
To integrate the WordPress Jetpack plugin, you first need to fulfill the following prerequisites.
- A WordPress.com account (sign up).
- The latest version of WordPress.
- Your site must be publicly available (no authentication required, maintenance mode off).
- XML-RPC enabled and publicly accessible.
Note: Before you install the WordPress Jetpack plugin on your website, you first need to deactivate all the caching plugins on your website. This practice is done to ensure there is no plugin conflict, which, if not checked, can slow down your site.
How to Install and Integrate Jetpack Plugin in WordPress
Jetpack’s installation is surprisingly an easy process. Automattic has put in some excellent efforts to ensure that the installation process goes without a hitch. So let’s start with the steps!
- Log in to your WordPress Dashboard by using admin credentials.
For testing purposes, I have launched my WordPress application on the Cloudways Platform. By default, Cloudways gives a free cache plugin called Breeze. So first I have to deactivate the Brizy plugin on WordPress.
- Deactivate any existing cache plugins to avoid plugin conflict.
- Next, click the Plugins tab in the left panel and then click Add New.
- Search “Jetpack” in the Search tab on the top right side, then click Install Now and Activate the plugin.
- Activate the plugin once installed. Click on the installation tab, and then click Set up Jetpack to continue the setup.
- Choose any of your preferred plans or click Start for free to get started with the free version.
- Mention your site address to integrate Jetpack on your WordPress site, then click continue.
- The setup will take you to the confirmation window, click Approve.
- Ta-da! That’s it! You’re done integrating Jetpack with your WordPress site.
Jetpack Configuration Settings
Now that you have installed and integrated Jetpack on your WordPress site, I will take you through its configuration steps so that you can configure it as per your requirements.
- Navigate to Jetpack > Setting from the WordPress Dashboard.
Here, you will see six different tabs. We will cover each of them in detail below:
The Jetpack security tab lets you set up the security protocols to secure your site.
You can configure the following options:
1) Backups and security scanning
You can upgrade to enable automated scanning to catch all security threats and fix them with easy one-click solutions to safeguard your site from potential dangers.
2) Downtime monitoring
Enable this option will send you alerts when your site goes down. It also informs the user when the site is up and working after facing downtime.
The protect option lets the user turn on brute force protection, which helps tackle intruder attacks. Enabling this option will protect your site against bots and hackers and stop them from logging in to your website using easy and guessable usernames and passwords.
4) WordPress.com login
This security protocol puts on an additional security layer to your WordPress website by making it invulnerable to bots and securing authentication. You can implement this feature on your multiple sites and use the same login credentials to log in to each of those sites.
Jetpack’s performance customization tab lets you optimize your pages to match your users’ expectations and give them the best user experience.
The performance customization is divided into three parts that I have covered separately below:
Enabling the Jetpack search will facilitate your website visitors to search for the content they want to view. The incredibly robust and personalized search is quite handy to use on websites for easy site exploration.
2) Performance & speed
Jetpack also allows you to enable its image optimization for faster loading times and improve your overall site’s speed. Enabling the site accelerator speeds up the image and static file load times.
Page loading speed is one of the crucial aspects of SERP’s ranking. With a decrease in user’s attention span, you cannot risk slow loading media on your site as users aren’t patient enough to wait for them to load them. They’d instead move on to a website that loads faster.
Lazy load is the solution for visitors’ retention on your pages, as it readily loads the part of the page that they currently view and loads the objects and images when they are needed. You can enable lazy load on Jetpack to benefit from this feature.
Available as a premium option, the media customization allows you to get limitless video hosting and get rid of annoying ads.
What’s a website without content? A useless empty cart. Jetpack especially focuses on the written content and lets users customize the writing settings to complement their website’s content.
The writing customization setting is further divided into seven sections, and we will briefly cover them below:
People who like to load up their websites with tonnes of images can take advantage of the carousel support and get user’s attention via artistic carousels. Jetpack allows you to add full-screen carousel slideshows to your site and offers a light and dark theme as well.
The fully responsive and mobile-friendly carousel can be used by enabling the “Display Images in a Full-Screen Carousel Gallery” option. Moreover, you’re also given the options to enable comments area and php Exif metadata in your carousels.
Jetpack’s composition configuration allows you to enhance your writing and ease your content-building experience on WordPress.
Enable the time-saving “copy entire posts and pages” option if you work on the same template for different posts.
Next up is the markdown syntax; WordPress did not support markdown syntax until the Gutenberg editor’s release. Used by hundreds of thousands of users worldwide, this format is specially designed for web content writing. If you are already using the Gutenberg editor, you don’t have to enable it. However, classic editor users should enable it to write in Markdown.
Does your content contain mathematical equations and complex text? If yes, then LaTeX support (language for technical documents) is there for you to back you up as it lets you write the text in LaTeX.
Lastly, the compose using shortcodes option allows the user to embed media content from popular websites. Like markdown syntax, you don’t have to enable it if you are using the Gutenberg editor.
3) Custom content types
Jetpack offers you two content types to attract visitors’ attention with testimonials and portfolios. You can enable one or both as per your site’s requirements.
When enabled, Jetpack allows you to add portfolio items and testimonials on your site, and if your theme doesn’t support them, then you can use their shortcodes as follows:
- Testimonials shortcode: [testimonials]
- Portfolios shortcode: [portfolio]
4) Theme enhancements
Once a user lands on your page, what better way to treat them than to provide them all the relevant content without having to click on separate pieces? Jetpack’s infinite scroll does this task for you as it uses an AJAX-based loader to replace your site’s traditional pagination and shows the relevant and new posts to the users.
Jetpack allows you to choose from any of the three options as shown in the image below, choose as per your site and content’s requirements:
More into the bargain, you get the “Enhance CSS customization panel” option, which once enabled adds more features to your WordPress CMS editor.
If you want to add custom CSS, you just have to go to Appearance → Customize → Additional CSS, read the tips, and add your CSS.
Jetpack provides the following editing options that are given below the editor:
- Media width
When you’re done editing the CSS codes, you can preview the changes before you save them. If you like the changes, you can permanently save them by clicking the save and publish button. Moreover, you can also view the CSS history by clicking “See Full History” located at the Additional CSS windows’ bottom.
Fancy some extra functionality on your site, then enable the “extra widgets” feature to add widgets to the blog posts on your site.
This feature lets you add Twitter streams, Facebook like-boxes, Google translate, Google+ badge, Flickr, upcoming events, contact info, gravatar profile, Facebook page plugin, and more widgets to your site.
The other option provided in the widgets control is the “widget visibility controls” option that, once enabled, allows the user to configure widgets to appear on the selected pages via the visibility panel.
The user can control the visibility by the following aspects:
- Page type
6) Post by email
Don’t have the WordPress app installed on all your devices? Is that bringing obstacles in your timely posts? Shake the problem off with Jetpack’s post by email option. The feature allows you to publish posts on your site via an email address from anywhere.
Since post by email requires you to post directly from your email address, email should be left confidential. Hover to the post by email section in the writing tab, enable it and add your address, then click Create address.
Jetpack will generate a random address for you to maintain security but remember not to use this address from your own website. With every click on the regenerate address, you will get a random address. Note down that address somewhere safe, and start posting via email.
7) WordPress.com toolbar
Tired of the boring default admin bar? Replace it by using the WordPress.com Toolbar module and provide instant solutions to your visitors.
The toolbar comprises the following five menus:
- My Site: Directs you to your site’s main menu.
- Reader: Directs you to the reader menu, shows the latest posts of the followed sites, lets you discover tags, etc.
- Write: Moves you to the WordPress editor.
- Profile: Shows you a menu with the options, including account settings, security, manage purchases, and sign out.
- Notifications: Displays the list of all your recent notifications.
What’s a site without social features? A failure. Jetpacks takes the importance of social media into account and provides a plethora of social media features that lets the users easily connect with their audiences.
The sharing tab is further divided into three sections that we have separately covered below:
1) Publicize connections
Once you’re done writing and publishing the content, start the real job, i.e., promotion. What better way to promote your content than to take advantage of the social media platforms.
Jetpack’s publicize feature allows you to automatically share your website’s posts to your social media account just as it goes live on your site. It also allows you to share old posts and even schedule posts on social media.
You may follow the steps below to connect your website to your social media accounts:
- Log in to WordPress, and select your desired Jetpack-connected site.
- Go to Tools → Marketing → Connections.
- Choose the social media that you want to connect with, and click Connect.
- Log in to the selected social media website and authorize the connection.
2) Sharing buttons
A share button equals free publicity. Who doesn’t like free promotion in this competitive era?
Imagine writing a profound article that impressed your reader so much that they decided to share the blog but didn’t since there was no share button. Not every user goes out of their way to copy/paste the link, log in to their social media accounts and share your posts. Your job is to facilitate them, not trouble them.
Adding a share button to your posts will only benefit you, and Jetpack acknowledges the importance of a share button and offers the user to enable it on their sites. It gives you the freedom to configure the service to appear as text, icons, or a combination of both.
Jetpack offers the following customization options on the sharing buttons:
- Sharing label
- Twitter site tag
- Button style
- Show buttons
- Disable CSS and JS
3) Like buttons
Do you like being appreciated for your efforts? Toggle the “add like buttons” to add like buttons to your posts and pages.
Remember that the users need to log in to their WordPress.com account to like your posts due to the feature’s uniqueness to WordPress. Also, your likes will be reset if you transfer your site or alter the site URL settings.
Don’t like to have “likes” on every post of yours? Jetpack has options to cater to you here as well, as you can disable likes for selected posts by unchecking the “show likes” box.
Jetpack’s discussion tab offers you to configure the comment settings on your website and also allows you to enable the email subscriptions to increase your site’s audience.
Sick of the usual WordPress comment system? Jetpack ends the monotony by offering a replacement in the form of a new comment system with integrated social media options.
Activate the new comment system by simply toggling, “Let visitors use a WordPress.com, Twitter, Facebook, or Google account to comment.” Once the system has been activated, it’ll allow the site visitors to leave comments using their social media accounts or comment as guests.
Moreover, it also allows to show Gravatar hover cards apace with the comments and enable likes and markdown usage for comments.
Marketers believe that user retention is better and easier than gaining new users. One should never ignore the importance of user retention and follow all the practices to retain their existing users.
One of the proven ways for user retention is to let the users subscribe to your posts via email. Jetpack allows you to turn on the subscriptions feature, which notifies the users once they subscribe and helps with retention rates.
Toggle “Let visitors subscribe to new posts and comments via email” to turn on the subscriptions on your site.
You can add a subscription form widget to your site by following the easy steps below:
- Go to WP-Admin, hover to Appearance.
- Select Widgets, and locate the “Blog Subscriptions (Jetpack)” widget.
- Click the widget, and drag it to your site’s sidebar.
The last tab in Jetpack’s configuration settings is the “Traffic” tab which allows you to set up various settings like ads, SEO, google analytics, sitemaps, etc.
We have focused separately on all the settings that come up under the traffic tab as follows:
Jetpack allows its premium users to enable display ads on their site. The ads feature powered by WordAds, which adds ads to all pages of your site at the bottom.
2) Related posts
Imagine a user likes your content so much that they decide to read more of your content but can’t find relevant suggestions on the go. That’s when you’re at a loss. However, jetpack saves you here with its innovative “related posts” feature.
This feature scans and analyzes your content and uses its algorithms to suggest similar posts to the users once they are done reading the current piece.
The jetpack’s related posts feature has proven itself to increase traffic for many websites. On top of all this ease, your server is not affected by any load as the analysis and processing are done by jetpack’s cloud. So, all in all, using this plugin is a win-win solution for your site.
3) Search engine optimization
Jetpack offers built-in SEO to its premium users. When you enable the feature, it allows you to edit the meta titles, meta descriptions, image alt-texts, etc., in the WordPress editor.
With Jetpack, you can customize your site’s content titles appearance by reordering different items and add separators between them. This practice improves your ranking and gives users an idea of your content in the SERPs.
Every good SEO maintains the practice of optimizing the meta description of their content. Meta descriptions give an idea to the users about what’s inside the link when they discover it in the search results.
Having a relevant meta description can help you get better CTR rates. The 160 characters limitation (or 990 pixels concisely) enables you to cover the crux of the matter in a few words to catch your user’s attention. Optimize your meta description using Jetpack to gain maximum benefit.
Lastly, in the SEO section, Jetpack allows you to use the social previews feature to look at how your page will appear on social media and search engines. The social preview helps you optimize your title, meta description, and image before publishing your page.
4) Google Analytics
The ability to add a Google Analytics code to your site is another feature exclusively available to the Jetpack premium users. If you are a free user and want to upgrade your plan to use this feature, then click on “Upgrade” to change your plan.
5) Site stats
Once you have published your content, shared it on social media, and carried on the other promotional activities, your anticipation begins as you expect to see the results. That’s when you need stats to help you make better decisions and devise your strategies accordingly.
Jetpack’s site stats feature shows you your total site visits and gives you the statistical data on your best-performing posts and pages. Although this feature is turned on by default, you can turn it off if you like.
6) WP.me Shortlinks
Long URLs look spammy and can sometimes make internet users skeptical and scare them away from clicking on your page’s link. SEO professionals follow the practice of using short URLs and use solutions like quick links to shorten down long URLs.
Enable the Jetpack’s WP.me Shortlinks feature to generate shortened links to share your content on social media platforms.
Sitemaps is yet another SEO-friendly feature offered by Jetpacks that generates a list of indexed files for your convenience.
Once you have enabled the sitemaps feature, you will get the following four sitemaps.
8) Site verification
The site verification feature allows the user to verify their site’s ownership with the search engines. You don’t necessarily have to enable this feature if you have verified your website already.
Now, I have successfully integrated the Jetpack plugin on my WordPress site. Next, I will activate the Breeze cache plugin, which I had deactivated earlier in this article.
Final Thoughts – Is Jetpack worth it?
We have covered Jetpack’s installation steps and configuration settings in this piece. Now you know how this do-it-all plugin helps you in content optimization and improves your content marketing plans.
All in all, this meta-plugin is undoubtedly worth a try; at least every user should check its free version and then upgrade their plan if necessary.
What is a Jetpack in WordPress?
Jetpack is a WordPress plugin that serves as an all-in-one toolkit. Also known as a WordPress meta-plugin, you can use it to maintain your website’s security and use features like CDN, SEO management, traffic insights, site search, etc., to improve your site’s user experience.
Is Jetpack good for WordPress?
Yes, Jetpack is good for WordPress. This plugin is specially built for non-tech-savvy users to help them fulfill all their website’s technicalities in a matter of few clicks. This Automattic (WordPress owner) backed plugin offers a wide variety of features focused on improving your website’s user experience.
Is Jetpack part of WordPress?
Jetpack is available as a plugin on WordPress and is created and owned by Automattic (WordPress’ owner). You can install Jetpack on your WordPress site for free and upgrade, if wanted, to enjoy its premium features.
Is Jetpack no longer free?
No, Jetpack is still available as a freemium plugin on WordPress. Users can also upgrade to its premium version to enjoy the advanced features, but its free version is available to all users.
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Sarim Javaid is a Digital Content Producer at Cloudways. He has a habit of penning down his random thoughts and giving words and meaning to the clutter of ideas colliding inside his mind. His obsession with Google and his curious mind add to his research-based writing that inspires others.