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Using The Jetpack Plugin To Supercharge Your WordPress Website

Posted on November 9, 2014 by in Resources | 23 comments

Using The Jetpack Plugin To Supercharge Your WordPress Website

Jetpack has been around for awhile now, but that doesn’t make it old hat. Since its original release, the plugin has seen quite a few updates including new features added and a nice logo facelift for a more brandable product.

Aesthetics aside, the Jetpack plugin has a lot of impressive features that are effective ways to boost both site speed, readership, and much more.

Reasons To Use The Jetpack Plugin

Jetpack Plugin

Jetpack’s New Logo

1) It Was Created By The Minds Behind WordPress.com

Jetpack is a product from Automattic — the same team behind things like WordPress.com, VaultPress, PollDaddy, and Askimet. With a well-rounded team of creative and talented people collaborating on a single plugin, it’s hard to ignore the plugin altogether.

2) Features Will Continue To Be Added and It Will Continue To Be Updated

The Jetpack is an evolving product, therefore, it will continue to see features added to it. Most recently, it has seen features added to it like the Related Posts and Site Verification options.

And since it comes from a solid company, you can rest assured that the plugin will be updated to keep up with bug fixes and WordPress core updates — something that doesn’t always happen with other plugins.

3) Consolidates Some Your Plugin Needs Into One Single Plugin

Why use 4 different plugins when you could use one to accomplish the same thing? Jetpack has some amazing features within the plugin that could eliminate your need for other plugins that you’re currently using in your backend.

This could slim down the need for updates across a variety of your plugins and eliminate the need for multiple plugins.

Why You May Not Want To Use Jetpack

Jetpack has received some mixed reviews since its release. Some people love it, and others simply don’t like it. As it stands, I’m sort of inbetween with the plugin but I like it well enough to use on all the blogs I create and run.

Forasmuch as I like the plugin, there are reasons why you may want to shy away from using it.

1) You Don’t Need or Want To Use Any Of The Features

This one seems pretty obvious, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. Jetpack comes with 33 features that you can use on your WordPress site, however, many people find that they just don’t want to use the features, or they already have plugins that they like that have many of the features that Jetpack contains. As that is the case, there’s really not point in using Jetpack.

Many WordPress installations will come with Jetpack, but if you don’t ever plan on using it, then the plugin is just a waste of space on your server. If you’re not going to be using any of the features in the plugin, then you should just delete it so that it’s not taking up any unnecessary space.

2) You’re Only Going To Use One Feature

Jetpack has a lot of features, and due to those features, the plugin itself is a pretty large plugin — or at least is can be if you include all the language files in your upload when you don’t plan on using them. (More on this below.)

If you’re not going use a lot of the Jetpack features on your WordPress site, then the plugin isn’t going to do you much good. It’d be like using an iPod as nothing more than a really expensive jump drive. Sure, it does the job, but why spend so much (or in this case, take up so much space on your server) on something when you’re not going to use it to its full potential?

If you only want to use one feature in Jetpack, then finding another plugin for that one option is probably a best.

The Best Features To Use In Jetpack In Order to Supercharge Your Site

Though it’s true that some of the features in Jetpack are not going to be something that everyone needs, there are some great ones that just about everyone should be using if they’re using the plugin.

Photon To Boost Page Load Speed

Activating Photon means that the images in your posts and pages are going to be served through the WordPress.com CDN (Content Delivery Network). This, like other CDNs, takes a lot of the loading pressure off your host and help your website load faster. Boo-yah!

Site Verification Tools

In order to track the traffic on your site or verify ownership on services like Google, Bing, and Pinterest Analytics, you generally have to copy and paste the code you’re given onto home page or try to figure out how to upload an HTML file to your site; it can get a get complicated.

With the verification tools in Jetpack, you can eliminate the hassle of figuring this out and just paste the given code into the designated area that Jetpack assigns.

Related Posts To Help Lower Bounce Rate

If your post has managed to keep your visitors’ attention long enough for them to make it to the very end of the post, then they obviously like what you have to say. Why not offer them the option to browse other posts on your blog so that they can find something else to read?

Not only will this help keep your visitors’ on your site longer, and thus lower bounce rate, but it will help them navigate your site with easy.

Monitor for Email Notifications of Downtime

Wouldn’t you hate it if you found out your site had been down for over and hour and no one notified you? Just think of how much traffic you’d lose! With the monitoring feature activated in Jetpack you can, at the very least, get an email notification that your site is experiencing downtime.

The early warning could be nothing to worry about, but if it persists, then you’ll get another email that will tell you that it may be time to contact your host provider. It’s just one more way to stay one step ahead of the game.

Custom CSS

If you know how to do a bit of code, then modifying the CSS on your website could be a nice touch for changing things up a bit. However, if you delete or change the CSS within your theme’s Stylesheet, then all your modifications are going to go out the window when the theme is updated.

Instead, it’s best to use a separate stylesheet where you can enter your modifications in order to override the existing ones in your theme’s stylesheet. Jetpack comes with a Custom CSS function that you can use to do just that. Simply activate it and you’re good to go.


Like to know what’s happening on your site the moment something takes place? Then you’ll probably like the notifications feature in Jetpack. Not only does the feature setup a notification section in your WordPress Toolbar, but you can also be notified of comments made on your site via the WordPress for iSO app as they happen.

WP.Me Shortlinks

Shortlinks are nothing new in the online world, but now you can create a shortlink within your post that you can use in a tweet or in any other way you’d like.

Troubleshooting Tips For Jetpack

For as great as some of these features are, the plugin itself isn’t without some bugs; many people run into issues while using the plugin. Some of the issues encountered are due to image paths or plugins, but in case you’re new to the plugin, here are some known issues with Jetpack and what you can do to try and troubleshoot the problem.

Incompatibility With Certain Plugins

Better WP Security and BulletProof Security Plugins

If you’ve tried using Jetpack while you’re running one of these security plugins, you’re bound to hit a snag. The two plugins listed above block access to a certain file (XML-RPC file) that Jetpack needs in order to connect to WordPress.com. Fixing that issue means that you’ll need to find a way to configure your plugins so that they don’t block file access or change over to another security plugin.

Anti-Spam Bee, CommentLuv, Spam Free WordPress, Bad Behavior, and WP-Spam Shield Plugins

This seems like a pretty long list, but don’t freak out. The only part of Jetpack that these plugins don’t work with is the Jetpack Comments module. For the sake of your own sanity, just don’t use the comment feature on your site — especially if you run one of these spam blockers. There are plenty of better options out there, and the WordPress default commenting system is usually fine for most sites anyway.

Minify in W3 Total Cache

Like many other plugins out there, W3 Total Cache and Jetpack don’t meet eye to in the minify department. If you start experiencing issues, your best bet is to deactivate the minify option in W3TC.

For a full list of known compatibility issues, you can visit Jetpack.

Troubleshooting Other Issues In Jetpack

Related Posts: Feature Activated but Nothing Shows

This issue tends to happen with newer blogs. In order for the Related Posts option to kick in, there has to be a minimum of 10 posts on the blog. Just start adding content and the feature should start showing up at the bottom of the of your posts.

More on Related Posts Troubleshooting Here

Photon: Pictures Appear Broken After Activating

This is probably one of the more common issues with Jetpack, and it can be a little unnerving when you didn’t have the issue until you activated Photon. If pictures appear broken, then this is usually due to the file size of the issue; if the photo takes longer that 10 seconds to be fetched from the server it will appear broken. Try uploading the photo under a new name (very important) in a smaller size. That tends to fix things.

More On Photon Troubleshooting Here

Publicize: Doesn’t Post To Facebook

Publicize is a nice little option for many who would like to take the hassle out of publishing posts to social media channels after the article is initially posted to your blog, however, it doesn’t always work right. Many have had issues with the feature not publishing to Facebook even though they’ve connected it. This usually has to do with Open Graph Meta Tags.

Either your site is missing the necessary meta tags for Facebook to generate the correct content or something else with the tags went awry. Jetpack should automatically generate the needed Open Graph Meta Tags, but it will turn off when it’s met with a conflicting plugin (WordPress SEO by Yoast is one such plugin).

Try looking through your plugins to see if there is one that has Open Graph tag generation option and then enable it. If you’d prefer using Jetpack to generate the meta tags, then you can use the Always Use Open Graph with Jetpack plugin to override settings and force Jetpack to work

If you know the Meta Tags are there, try using the Facebook Debug Tool to see if an error occurs. The issue likely lies within your theme or another plugin, and the debug tool will help ID the problem.

More On Publicize Troubleshooting Here

Wrapping Up

While most people find that they will not need all the features in Jetpack, but there are a couple that are undoubtedly powerful.

The Photon CDN, for example, feature is limited but still a very effective tool to boosting site speed — something that is important for page rank and traffic. (*Fist pump*)The Related Posts feature is also something that should not be underestimated.

People like being guided through a website — especially one that they like the information on or may be new to. Featuring related posts at the bottom of your blog posts will keep people on your site longer as they navigate more of what your website has to offer. It’s a small feature, but its power for promoting sustained readership (aside from providing good content) is nearly unmatched in that regard.

When used properly, Jetpack really has the ability to supercharge your WordPress.org or .com blog. As time goes on, it will see more fixes and more features added to help it do just that. But what about you guys? What is your opinion on the plugin? Be sure to comment below.

Oh, and happy November!

Article Thumbnail by Author Saranyoo Wongchai Via Shutterstock

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  1. Easily one of the best articles I’ve read on JetPack. So many people write about JetPack, but always seem to avoid the topic of how much it might slow down your site and/or what to do about it…and you covered that nicely.

    Also, I liked your blurbs on the modules you felt were most useful.

  2. But Photon doesn’t play well with Divi… There are blank images that show up with question marks often.

    • This. For my Photon breaks all themes I try. Bad.

    • Jetpack is OK for non tech users… but if you understand a bit of PHP you see how this plugin is heavy for such little features.

      Yes sometimes is better to install 5-6 plugins to replace Jetpack, your server`s hard drive and your page speed appreciate.

      • It’s worth noting that we’ve worked hard on improving Jetpack’s speed and performance over the past year. The last release (3.2) was focussed on performance.

        If you find issues, or or you can think of possible improvements, feel free to open issues or contribute code via our GitHub repository:

        We’re always opened to feedback and contributions to make Jetpack better!

    • Does the issue disappear when switching to another theme? If the problem remains, it might be caused by an image hotlinking protection service stopping Photon from accessing your images.

      In any case, whenever you run into issues with Photon or another module, feel free to send us an email, we’ll be happy to help!

      • Ariel

        Thank you for commenting on the blog, Jeremy. It’s always great to get info from someone who knows the plugin inside and out 🙂

  3. I heard first time about Jackpack plugin. Really love the features of the plugin. Surely I’ll give a try.

  4. Great article. I tried jetpack a long time ago and it crashed the website i was working on. I should give it another try maybe.

  5. Thank you for this clarification and the easy tip you shared on shedding the load of jetpack, now I can considered using the nifty plugin again. Cheers!

  6. Hi,
    thats al fine, but why must i register my Site to WordPress, and why, all my Clients are tracked by WP.com???

    Not only in Germany its a Problem for “Data Protection Law (Privacy Law???)”

    • One of Jetpack’s main goals is to make WordPress.com features available to self-hosted WordPress sites, so a lot of the modules do indeed rely on WordPress.com and its infrastructure. Here are a few examples:

      Stats are calculated on WordPress.com servers, and Related Posts are indexed and calculated on WordPress.com so your server doesn’t have to do the work.
      Subscription emails are sent via WordPress.com servers so you don’t have to worry about deliverability and limits your host may have on outgoing emails.
      Photon caches, optimizes, and serves your post images from WordPress.com servers to save you the bandwidth

      Of course, and as mentioned in the post, if you don’t want to use modules that rely on WordPress.com for personal or legal reasons, you can deactivate the module you don’t want to use.

      You can also choose not to connect Jetpack to WordPress.com at all, thus making sure you’ll only be able to use modules that don’t require a WordPress.com connection. To do so, you’ll need to enable Jetpack’s Development mode:

      I hope this helps!

  7. Hi,

    This is the most comprehensive article I have read on Jetpack. Had it installed and deleted it because I didn’t really get it. After reading your article, I am definitely going to take another look at it. Thanks for such great information. Love the great info you guys provide in your blog posts!

  8. Thanks for the good info on Jetpack. We’ve not used it yet but are planning on giving it a try out.

  9. Helpful and informative, thanks! I’ve used some other features but never Photon so I’ll give that a try…

  10. I was just starting to configure Jetpack, and this post is just the perfect guide for doing it.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Ariel

      So glad it helped 🙂

  11. Thank you for a really great post. I did add Jetpack to my Divi theme website and tried to activate their social comments, only to find that the avatar used looks became too large, unresponsive and horrible on mobile devices. I deleted them for now, unless I figure out how to fix this issue.

  12. Jetpack is great! It’s definitely one of those things that you can’t live without once you start using it. It is a bit buggy though, with some themes, but their support is pretty great.

  13. This is a timely article for me. I’ve used a few of the modules, most with success. I recently started exploring other features and see lots of possibilities. Thanks for the insight.

  14. HEY, I just bought a domain and hosting.I installed wordpress and when I was looking up for my site on google I was asked to verify it.After searching for answers on how to verify I got this article.Thanks a lot.

  15. Hey Ariel.
    I am in the process of having my website built for the sole purpose of blogging, any insight you have into must have plugins etc. for someone new to blogging online, I’d appreciate it. I read your article top to bottom twice on jetpack and I appreciate it very much and will definitely be utilizing it. What is the best Antispam plugin to use on a blog. I hear all the stories about the spam posting on websites and want to stop this as much as possible from the get go. I am not real tech savvy

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