Power Up Your Site with Jetpack for WordPress
Freshly downloaded, WordPress offers amazing features, but it doesn’t offer all of the functionality you might want for your website.
Don’t spend hours looking around for a half-dozen plugins that might or might not work. Instead, give Jetpack a try. It brings significant additional functionality to your WordPress website.
What is Jetpack?
The Jetpack plugin is built by the same folks who bring you WordPress.com. It adds a lot of new functionality to your WordPress website, including a variety of image galleries, the ability to customize the stylesheets on your site, protection from brute force attacks, a contact form, sharing buttons for your content, and much more.
The fact that there are so many features in one plugin leads some developers to discredit it. One of the biggest issues some people have with Jetpack is that it comes with a ton of stuff. Admittedly, it’s a large plugin and it comes with some features you may never use. Even so, the solutions Jetpack brings to the table are powerful and worth trying out.
In the end, despite its critics, we recommend using Jetpack for your WordPress website or blog. Below we’ll take a look at just a few of Jetpack’s features that make it worth installing on your site.
Brute Force Protection
If the security of your website is not something you’ve thought about, you might want to change that.
With Jetpack installed and connected to your WordPress.com account (free, if you don’t already have one), the Protect module blocks against brute force login attempts. This is well worth the time to click, install, activate, and connect to WordPress.com.
We’re talking about five minutes or less of time and you can have this protection in place. Try it. Install Jetpack and enable Protect. Come back in a week and see how many malicious logins were blocked.
Let’s say you want to change the font you use on your blog. Or maybe the color for your links.
Something like this is generally handled in your theme’s style sheet, known as the CSS (cascading style sheets). If you’re comfortable editing your theme, the Custom CSS Editor gives you a place to try out styles before committing them to your style.css file. If editing code isn’t your cup of tea, then the CSS editor gives you a place to safely add custom styles.
The more popular your site gets, the more you have to consider scaling and performance. A poorly-coded related posts plugin could cripple your server in no time if you get a large traffic spike.
Jetpack’s Related Posts module offloads all the calculations and loads onto WordPress.com’s servers. This gives you related posts for your content without causing slowdowns on your server.
Beyond those three features, there are many more you might want to consider. Do you need site stats? Jetpack’s Site Stats module can help, offering easy-to-read graphs of your site’s visits on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis.
Need a way to easily add sharing capabilities for your posts? The Sharing module is simple and effective, giving you an easy way to encourage your site visitors to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. They also offer a whole host of other social media options.
Want a different way to format your content? There’s a Markdown module.
Rather than put your email address on your website, use Jetpack’s Contact Form feature, allowing you to create a custom contact form that your site visitors can fill out, sending the information privately to your email address.
We hope we’ve convinced you that Jetpack is a powerful plugin with features you can use on your blog today. It’s easy to work with, especially with the overhauled interface, built using React.js. Try it out—you might find it the best tool in your site’s toolbox.
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Building relationships is key to any successful partnership, be it in business or life in general. At Crowd Favorite, Pat Ramsey gets to do that every day as Director of Ongoing Client Support. When he’s not building websites, Pat can be found organizing the Austin WordPress Meetup or helping with the tech networking community, Refresh Austin. He’s been a trainer and advisor for Knowbility’s Accessible Internet Rallies and AccessU, and a founder of the WordPress conference “after-after” party, CigarCamp. Pat is a former Navy Reserve sailor, a native Texan, and enjoys cooking large quantities of crawfish.