The Jetpack WordPress plugin is a set of plugins developed by Atomattic for WordPress.com blogs, but now available to WordPress.org websites, as well. Jetpack will cover many of your small business WordPress plugin needs. As of this writing, Jetpack is about a year old and has grown from just a few to fourteen separate features; all are free except VaultPpress.
Jetpack incorporates some of the best Automattic WordPress plugins that used to be available as separate plugins – Sharedaddy, Grunion Contact Forms, Wicket Twitter Widget, After the Deadline, and WP LaTeX.
Jetpack WordPress Plugin Modules
- Worpress.com Stats – website statistics
- Jetpack Comments – allows commenting with Twitter or Facebook logins
- Subscriptions – users can receive your blog in their email; a service like FeedBurner is not needed
- Carousel – the newest module, a photo gallery lightbox
- Sharing – social sharing buttons for each post, like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+,
but no Pinterest(As of 08/02/12, Pinterest and Tumblr too!)
- Spelling and Grammar – uses After the Deadline proofreading
- VaultPress – paid automatic blog backup service
- Gravatar Hovercards – User profile info available in a pop-up
- Contact Form – creates a contact form, but also can be used for other forms
- WP.me Shortlinks – provides a shortened link of your post
- Shortcode Embeds – provides ease of use and more control over media embeds from YouTube, and other sources
- Beautiful Math – great if your blog features lots of Math equations
- Extra Sidebar Widgets – Add images, Twitter and RSS feeds to sidebar
- Enhanced Distribution – real-time post sharing
Install the Jetpack WordPress Plugin
Jetpack often comes installed when you use a one-click WordPress install from your hosting company. You can also install it like any other WordPress plugin, from your WordPress Dashboard using Plugins > Add New. Next, activate the plugin.
Then in order to use Jetpack, you will first need to click the green button that says “Connect to WordPress.com” to connect Jetpack to your account at WordPress.com. If you don’t have one, you can create an account during the connection process.
When you activate the plugin, you will see a screen with all 14 modules. All modules are already activated, except for VaultPress and Jetpack Comments. (As of 01/25/13, there are 24 modules, including Publicize, which sends your blog posts to your social media sites, but still allows you complete control over what is posted.) Some of them need to be configured, and have a “Configure” button.
If you decide you don’t need a feature, it is good practice to deactivate plugins that you aren’t using including Jetpack modules. If you don’t need a particular Jetpack feature,you can deactivate it by clicking the “Learn More” button. The “Configure” button will turn to “Deactivate” or a “Deactivate” button will appear. Click “Deactivate” and that module will no longer be activated.
It appears that Jetpack does not always auto-activate new modules, especially those that could cause issues for your website, so you will want to check the plugin for new features whenever you upgrade. Jetpack is a valuable WordPress plugin to help you add needed features to your small business website.
Note: Some developers have expressed dissatisfaction with Jetpack recently, primarily due to paid product placement, the required connection to WordPress.com, the loss of previous stand-alone plugins, and unconventional plugin behavior. A good discussion, including comments from WordPress founding developer, Matt Mullenweg, is at Brian Krogsgard.