Some of the many benefits of self-hosted WordPress.org are its out-of-the-box features and flexibility through plugins and themes.
Many choose WordPress.org over WordPress.com for more access and control over a website. However, WordPress.com comes with some valuable features that require a plugin to run on WordPress.org. One of them is the WordPress Jetpack plugin.
What is the WordPress Jetpack Plugin?
jetpack is a suite of productivity, security, and optimization tools developed by Automattic and used on all WordPress.com sites.
There is also a Jetpack plugin version for WordPress.org users who want the same features on a self-hosted website. Jetpack connects you to a WordPress.com account and gives you access to features you didn’t have before.
Jetpack comes pre-installed with WordPress by many hosting companies. Users must first sign up for a WordPress.com account to access all Jetpack features. Then activate the plugin on the self-hosted WordPress.org installation.
Is the WordPress Jetpack Plugin Free?
There are four pricing tiers for Jetpack. The lowest tier is free and includes the core features of the Jetpack plugin.
Upgraded Versions offer additional security and performance features, such as automated backups and spam filtering. They are:
- Personal: $3.50/month ($39/year)
- Premium: $9/month ($99/year)
- Professional: $29/month ($299 per year)
There are three ways to install the free version of the WordPress Jetpack plugin.
- Download it from the WordPress repository.
- Use the Jetpack Wizard†
- Search for it in your WordPress dashboard by going to . to go Plugins † Add new.
Jetpack’s modules range in functionality from key features like backups and site stats to minor features like Gravatar hovercards and post-likes.
Jetpack modules and features
Jetpack includes a wide variety of modules to add different features to your site. Although they are all activated by default, you can change the settings by navigating to jetpack † Settings in your WordPress dashboard.
From there you can deactivate modules you don’t want to use or keep the default settings as they are.
The free WordPress Jetpack plugin features include:
- WordPress security: Downtime monitoring and protection against brute-force attacks.
- WordPress performance: Lazy loading image and unlimited hosting of images and static files.
- Traffic and revenue: Automated social media posting, actionable site stats, and displaying related content to keep visitors on your site longer.
- Site activity: Shows activity records of everything happening on your site for the 20 most recent events.
Free Jetpack users also get basic email support.
There are dozens of modules available from Jetpack. Some are free and some require an upgrade to access. Below are the most popular and useful ones:
Security is the main feature of Jetpack.
- Protect and prevent brute force attacks
- Check the site for downtime
- Update plugins
- Site Backups
- Filter spam in comments and on other forms
- Scan for malware and protect with automated resolution
- Load next messages automatically with infinite scrolling
- Optimize, cache and serve images from WordPress.com CDN
- Use conditional rules for displaying specific widgets
- Load only images on screen to increase page speed with Lazy Image feature
- Show images in tiled galleries
- Add share buttons to pages and posts
- Allow users to comment with social media logins
- Additional sidebar widgets such as Twitter timelines, RSS links, and Facebook-like boxes
- Receive notifications for new likes and comments on your mobile device
- Keep visitors on your site longer by displaying related posts
- Upload and host your videos on WordPress.com
- Automatically share newly published content on your social media profiles
- Use shortcodes to embed tweets, YouTube videos and other media
- Use shortcodes to create simple contact forms
- Add custom post types to your website
- Publish blog posts with any email client
- Add a grammar checker tool to proofread content before publishing
WordPress.org offers many plugins to perform some of the above functions. However, Jetpack offers them all in one place.
Benefits of using Jetpack
Jetpack’s secret weapon is the ability to use fast and secure hosting from WordPress.com. It offloads the heavy lifting from your server to theirs. This results in a reduction in the number of tasks your site performs on your server and improves the performance of your website.
Since the core functionality of Jetpack is free, there is no need to spend a lot of money on other premium plugins. The WordPress Jetpack plugin is maintained and updated regularly. More features are added to the plugin all the time.
It’s a great way to quickly and easily add more features and functionality to a standard WordPress experience using a single plugin without worrying about coding.
Disadvantages of WordPress Jetpack Plugin
The sheer number of different categories and modules offered with Jetpack can slow down your site. Don’t enable them all if you want your website to run fast.
There are many submenus and toggle switches. It can be difficult to find the modules you want to enable or disable. Professionals don’t all agree on whether Jetpack slows down sites or not. Some users find that it slows down their site significantly.
The best solution is to enable only the features you need and disable the features you don’t. Jetpack is a huge plugin and it is highly unlikely that you will need to use every feature. Please note that the WordPress Jetpack plugin connects your website to your WordPress.com account. This is helpful in one sense because some of your content is pushed to the servers on WordPress.com.
On the other hand, some users believe that there are security risks associated with linking your account. If you are concerned about your privacy, Jetpack may not be your best solution.
Do you need to install Jetpack on your website?
The answer is it depends. Do you need the functionality of the Jetpack modules? How much will you use?
If you only use some of the modules, it makes more sense to use other plugins that serve the same purpose. This prevents the extra bloat that comes with Jetpack.
The WordPress Jetpack plugin is an excellent all-in-one solution. Use it to speed up your site, improve security, and add ways to engage with customers.