One reason the WordPress blogging platform has become very popular today is the abundance of plugins that makes your blogging experience an enjoyable one. With wordpress plugins you can do a whole lot of things with your blog.
However, there is one drawback to the use of plugins – the more the plugins you install the more the load on your site resulting in increase in use of server resources.
This has several negative effects on your blog. For example, slow loading sites are a headache to online users and therefore many will readily click away before the site loads. Also the search engines would penalize your blog with low page rank if it is too slow in loading. Besides, the increased use of server resources will help up to your cost as your webhost will expect you to upgrade your hosting package to accommodate the increase!
You can see therefore, that though using wordpress plugins can very beneficial to your blog they can also add some unnecessary cost and inconvenience to the blog.
Jetpack to the Rescue!
I recently started using the Jetpack plugin by wordpress.com across several of my wordpress blogs; and this is for a reason.
I remember using the plugin on the Web Income Journal blog a couple of years back but had to remove it after I read a blog post that spoke some negative things about the plugin. Yes, without actually really investigating and substantiating those claims, I pulled out the plugin and even made an uninformed post titled:
However, of recent while doing some research I read another blog post that mentioned Jetpack as one plugin that could do one of the things I was looking to do. This made me to take a second look at the plugin and I must say that I’m pleasantly surprised at what is contained in this plugin.
I’ve just discovered that besides helping to reduce site load, because it will help you reduce the number of plugins on your blog, Jetpack also gives you a wide range of blogging tools that will make your blog the better for it.
Why I Have Again Made Jetpack My #1 WordPress Plugin!
As I mentioned earlier, I once considered Jetpack as an unnecessary plugin but today that opinion has been reversed! I now consider Jetpack as one plugin that every blogger must have.
But why this sudden change?
Let’s take a look at some of the tools contained in this plugin to help you understand why I have suddenly made this “about-turn!”
1. Site Stats – All of us love those figures! Nothing gives you more joy than when you load your stats page and you see how many people have visited your blog, where they came from, what pages they checked out on your blog, how long they stayed on the blog, from which page they exited, etc.
I know that there are different plugins that helps you with this. However, while most of them require you to visit a third party website to know these stats, Jetpack gives you the ability of knowing all of these right on your wordpress blog dashboard.
2. Contact Forms – This is another very important aspect of your blog that is contained in the Jetpack plugin. Contact forms help you on several levels both as a feedback tool and a way of communicating with your blog readers.
Before now I have always used the Fast Secure Contact Form plugin for adding contact forms to my blog. But I’ve just dished that plugin for Jetpack! Why? Because that's one plugin less on the blog!
3. Social Sharing – In these days of our socially connected internet giving your site visitors some easy way to share your posts with their social media friends is something you don’t want to do without. Again, Jetpack has this built in and therefore you don’t need to add some extra plugin to your wordpress for your blog readers to share your posts on social media.
4. Publicize – Beyond the ability of your blog readers sharing your blog posts on their social media profiles, Jetpack also has a built-in module that helps you to automatically submit your blog posts to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and Path. To me this is really a great resource as you don’t have to manually submit your posts whenever you publish a new one.
5. Blog/Comments Subscription – Giving your blog readers a way to stay connected with your blog is important for the success of your blog. Once a reader is subscribed to your blog, they are able to receive new updates automatically without any extra work on your side. Also, readers can subscribe to comments enabling them to receive notifications anytime a new comment is added.
Several other plugins offer these separately but with Jetpack you have all in your package! The good thing about Jetpack subscription you can add a check box beneath the commenting box giving the reader an easy way to subscribe. Also there is a sidebar widget for adding the subscription box on the blog sidebar.
6. Mobile Theme – No doubt, at a time when more and more people are going mobile in all areas of life, enabling your blog for these users is the best thing you can do for your blog. Right now there are various plugins and tools that will help you do this. Some are free but others come with a price tag.
It will interest you to know that Jetpack come packed with a mobile theme that is ready for use on your blog. I actually found this to be one of the greatest tools you don’t want to miss.
7. Jetpack Comments – Of recent different third party blog commenting systems have come on stream. Most of these commenting systems seek to replace the default wordpress commenting system with their own while others simply integrate with the default commenting box.
Jetpack Comments will replace the default commenting box with a new design, readers can still use the default features when commenting. But beyond that Jetpack enables your blog readers to easily log into their WordPress.com, Twitter.com, or Facebook.com accounts when commenting on your site.
8. Extra Sidebar Widgets – This one helps you to easily add widgets for RSS feeds, comment RSS feeds, Twitter, Facebook Like Box and Images to your blog sidebar. I know that many of us are already using some other plugin to add these to our blog’s sidebar but why use something else when this on just one plugin?
9. Enhanced Distribution – This is one of the tools that are automatically activated when you activate the Jetpack plugin. What it does is to automatically take your published content and share it instantly with search engines. This is actually a plus for your blog as it helps to increase your reach and traffic.
10. Photon – We are all aware of the importance of having super fast-loading blog. There are different solutions for this, one of which is the use of third party content delivery networks. The Jetpack plugin comes with a built in content delivery network powered by WordPress.com. Activating this module will enable you to load your blog images from the WordPress.com content delivery network thereby reducing the burden on your Web host.
Jetpack Marketing Takeaway
The above are just 10 of the 26 different tools contained in the Jetpack plugin by WordPress.com. Implementing this plugin has helped me to remove about 7 other plugins which to my own estimation is definitely a great plus for the blog.
And so my advice is, if you have not tried it, now is the time to do so. Simply go to Plugins >>> Add New and then search for Jetpack. Looking forward to reading your own review of this plugin once you have installed it!
Over to you: Are you presently using the Jetpack plugin? What are your experience using it? If you are not using it right now do you have any specific reason why?