Jetpack WordPress Plugin Review: Pros & Cons
In this article, we'll review and explore all the features and details of the famous Jetpack WordPress plugin, sharing the pros and cons
In this article, we’ll review and explore all the features and details of the famous Jetpack WordPress plugin, sharing the pros and cons. Whether you’re new to this industry or you’ve been around for a while, one of the most popular plugins you’ve probably already heard about is Jetpack.
This plugin is one of the very first items in the WP official directory and has the highest number of installations ever. The thing with popular plugins such as Jetpack is this: you’ll find plenty of people who can’t live without it, while others think it’s the worst thing you can do to your fledgling website.
Jetpack by Automattic since 2011. WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg first introduced the idea of Jetpack during his talk at the State of the Word WordCamp conference in San Francisco in 2009. His vision was that Jetpack would be ‘a way to provide feature parity between WordPress.com and WordPress.org for everybody’.
The first version of Jetpack included eight popular features: Hovercards, stats, an ‘After the Deadline’ spellchecker, a Twitter widget, shortcodes, short links, social media sharing buttons, and mathematics tools LaTeX.
Jetpack calls these features modules. Over the past eight years, many updates have appeared on the plugin, and the number of modules has grown to 43. However, Jetpack is so much more than the modules it offers.
Jetpack WordPress Plugin Review
As Matt envisioned, Jetpack is a bridge between WordPress.com and WordPress.org. Popular Automattic services from WordPress.com, such as WordPress themes, have been integrated into Jetpack, while their backup service, VaultPress, has been completely migrated to Jetpack. Today, the VaultPress website is just a landing page promoting Jetpack.
The actual integration with WordPress.com happens behind the scenes. Jetpack’s secret weapon is its ability to use WordPress.com’s fast and secure hosting infrastructure, and by offloading the heavy work to their efficient servers, Jetpack can improve your website performance significantly by reducing the number of intensive tasks your site performs.
Whether it’s website performance and security improvements, seeing how many website visitors you have, or adding helpful blogging features to your toolbox, there are many good reasons to install Jetpack.
What’s particularly interesting is that every WordPress website owner uses Jetpack for different reasons. In preparation for this article, I had a long email conversation with WinningWP founder Brin Wilson, whereby we discovered the Jetpack functionality that was essential to him wasn’t as important to me, and vice-versa.
Therein lies the beauty of Jetpack: The plugin offers dozens of valuable features, but you only need to activate the ones that apply to you. Let’s take a closer look at what Jetpack has to offer.
The security is at the heart of Jetpack, and it offers plenty of features that can make your website safer from attack. Security is listed first in the main navigation menu for Jetpack settings, as it’s the most critical category. The other categories are performance, writing, sharing, discussion, and traffic.
The priorities for every website owner are to keep their website secure and ensure it remains online. Jetpack provides a host of security tools to help protect your website from attackers and keep it running.
Jetpack’s Secure Authentication feature lets you switch your login system to WordPress.com, forcing users to use secure passwords.
There’s also an option to use two-factor authentication that, if selected, will require users to enter a verification code from an SMS that’s sent to their phone. Your login system can be protected further with Brute Force Attack Protection.
When you enable this feature, malicious IPs trying to access your website using the standard username and password combinations will be automatically blocked. Valid IP addresses can be whitelisted, so administrators, editors, and other staff aren’t excluded from blacklists.
The total number of attacks that Jetpack protects appears in your main dashboard. The Jetpack premium and professional plans also offer Security Scanning. Your website will be automatically scanned daily for malware, hacks, and other suspicious code on the Jetpack WordPress plugin review pros and cons.
With many known threats being removed immediately when they’re detected. Emails are sent to you whenever a threat is detected. If your website goes down due to a hosting issue, attack, or whatever, Jetpack’s Downtime Monitoring feature will notify you via email and mobile.
The tool will check whether your website is online every five minutes, so you’ll be made aware as soon as there’s an issue.
As noted earlier, Automattic’s VaultPress backup service has been integrated into Jetpack and is no longer available as a standalone service. It’s included in all premium Jetpack plans. Jetpack will perform backups automatically and allow one-click website restores and website migrations.
In the Jetpack personal and premium plans, one website backup is made daily, and backups are stored for 30 days. If you upgrade to the Jetpack professional plan, a website backup is made every hour, and all backups are stored for as long as you use Jetpack.
Another helpful feature is the Activity Log. This provides an audit log of every activity on your website. This is useful for debugging, user management, and general tracking.
The great thing about Jetpack’s security and backup features is that everything happens in the background, and you’re only alerted when something goes wrong. This reduces the amount of time you need to spend managing your website.
One of the most critical maintenance tasks WordPress website owners have to perform is plugin updates. Keeping your plugins up to date not only ensures you have the latest features but it also means you have the latest bug fixes and security upgrades on the Jetpack WordPress plugin Rin review.
Jetpack can automatically update WordPress plugins. This feature is listed in the security tab, but when you click the link, you’ll be taken to WordPress.com. On the plugin page, you’ll see a list of all installed WordPress plugins on your website. Each plugin can be deactivated from this page, and you can select whether it’s auto-updated.
This feature doesn’t support WordPress plugins that were downloaded outside the WordPress.org plugin repository. So, if you have premium WordPress plugins installed on your website, you’ll still need to update these from your WordPress admin area.
A Filter Anti-Spam
Spam remains one of the biggest headaches for website owners. Even if your website has no major spam problem, you still need to take time every week to delete spam comments.
Failure to delete spam can make your website look unprofessional and may even lead to your website being in backlinks. Some websites have chosen to remove comments from their website altogether because of terrible problems with spam.
With its popular anti-spam plugin Akismet, Automattic has been at the forefront of this fight for years. All Jetpack premium plans offer Spam Filtering. It’s an extension of Akismet that Automattic describes as the equivalent of an Akismet Plus plan (which costs $5 a month on its own).
The spam filtering feature automatically filters out known spam from comments, pingbacks, and contact form submissions. Comments that have a spam tag to review, and you can view recent spam activity on your website.
The default WordPress search engine has a reputation for being bad. It’s slow, causes timeouts on larger websites, and the search results aren’t relevant. Those upgrading to a Jetpack professional plan can address this problem using Jetpack Search for WordPress.
Powered by Elasticsearch, Jetpack Search will provide fast, relevant results and eliminate MySQL timeout errors. The Jetpack Search widget significantly enhances search functionality for website visitors by adding category and tag filtering and the ability to sort results by relevance or date. You can, however, continue to use the default WordPress search widget if you prefer.
Developers can also access the Elasticsearch API to customize the search query, and the search widget can style up and match your WordPress theme on the Jetpack WordPress plugin review pros and cons.
Speed & Performance
In addition to improving the speed of search results, Jetpack can help you reduce page loading times on your website. You’ll see a feature called Site Accelerator in the performance settings area.
If you enable this, images will be automatically resized for mobile devices, and images and static files will be optimized and served from a fast Content Delivery Network (CDN) that has distributed data centers worldwide.
This feature will not only improve the speed of your website, but it can also significantly reduce your hosting bandwidth costs. Lazy Loading can delay the loading of image files in your content. Your pages will load quicker as a result.
We only need to download the images once the user scrolls down the page. This feature works in conjunction with the Jetpack Content Delivery Network.
Another feature that works with the CDN is Video Hosting. Present in Jetpack premium and professional plans, it can deliver fast-loading videos without any ads. One thing I love about Jetpack’s performance features is there’s no limit to how many images, videos, or files are on their CDN.
Site Stats has been an integral feature of Jetpack since it launched. It allows you to see statistics about your website from the WordPress admin area, on WordPress.com, and via the WordPress mobile app. You can use these statistics to understand better your readers and what content they view on your website.
Stats include top referrers, clicks, search engine terms, top posts, and pages, the location of visitors, subscriptions, social media followers, and more.
Results can appear in days, weeks, months, and even years. I’ve always found Site Stats to complement Google Analytics well, as it shows me much information about my website in a more straightforward format. It’s convenient to check statistics from your WordPress admin area, but I encourage you to view your stats on WordPress.com, too, as it shows many additional metrics on the Jetpack WordPress plugin review pros and cons.
Jetpack Subscriptions is a fantastic way of connecting with your readers and encouraging them to return to your website. It can automatically email subscribers whenever you publish new posts. Comment updates can also be provided to those who check a box in your comment form.
Many bloggers may feel Jetpack’s subscription tool is too essential, but that’s its greatest strength for me. I recommend trying it out if you’re looking for an effective way of automatically letting readers know when you’ve published new content.
As a content creator, I’m always looking for ways to be more productive. Subscriptions are one of my favorite features of Jetpack. However, the plugin provides many additional tools that bloggers and other content creators will love.
Its Content Embeds feature uses shortcodes to simplify the process of embedding video, audio, documents, social media, and more. You can also improve how images to readers by placing them in galleries, carousels, and slideshows.
The markdown can speed up the process of formatting content. For example, you can bold text by placing two asterisks before and after the text you want to highlight.
The mathematical markup tool LaTeX is available too. Post by Email is a tool that more WordPress users should know. It can publish new articles by simply sending an email to an email address that Jetpack generates.
This would be restrictive, but you can define the post title, content, tags, and categories. You can also format text and attach images and image galleries on the Jetpack WordPress plugin review pros and cons.
Your website can receive verification from major search engines with Jetpack’s Site Verification Tools. Google, Bing, Pinterest, and Yandex. This will save you from verifying website ownership using an alternative verification method, such as uploading a file to your website.
Those who upgrade to the Jetpack premium or professional plan will also add functionality for Google Analytics, SEO preview tools, PayPal integration, and eligibility for the WordPress.com ad network.
Given how simple it is to add the tracking code to your website, I’m unsure why Google Analytics integration is for premium plans. Hopefully, this will be available in all versions of Jetpack.
The Search Engine Optimisation module will help you to add meta information to pages and change what’s on titles, descriptions, and more—Jetpack’s Ad Program for WordPress Websites to increase income to your website.
Ads are ready for the geographic locations and locale of website visitors, and you can check your statistics and earnings on WordPress.com.
As the name suggests, Simple Payment Buttons help you to insert PayPal buttons into your website. For each button, you can define a product image, product title, product description, price, and the corresponding PayPal email address you want to use on the Jetpack WordPress plugin review pros and cons.
Posts & Reading Jetpack Tools Review
Jetpack also offers Related Posts. With one click, you can display related blog posts you’ve published with their corresponding image thumbnails, which is an excellent way of keeping visitors on your website for longer. One of the biggest problems with WordPress-related post plugins is that they can be CPU intensive and slow down your pages.
This isn’t an issue with Jetpack, as related posts are on WordPress.com’s fast servers. Jetpack’s Comment Form replaces the default WordPress comment form, a significant improvement, as it allows users to log in using a WordPress.com account, Google, Twitter, or Facebook.
Subscriptions are in the comment form, an effective way of encouraging people to subscribe to your website, as they’re already in. Commenters can get updates about new comments via email, too. Jetpack has excellent support for social media on the Jetpack WordPress plugin Rin review.
Options include a like system, a social media icon widget, Twitter and Facebook widgets, and social media sharing buttons for your posts and pages. The feature I use the most is Publicize. Whenever you publish a new blog post, it sends a notification message to social media networks. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.
Unfortunately, Jetpack’s Proofreading feature, which was by After the Deadline, was quietly out in 2019. I understand the reasoning behind this, as many proofreading browser extensions are on the market, but I always found it helpful. Bloggers and writers will appreciate the additional functionality Jetpack provides for content creators.
Jetpack boasts so many features that it’s impossible to cover them all in one article, but I’d like to talk about other cool things Jetpack can do in this section. Portfolios and testimonial Post Types can be activated from the writing settings page of Jetpack.
Testimonials are a great way of displaying quotes from customers and influential people within your industry. Portfolios can be into different project types (categories) and have tags to them. Since it is a custom post type, you have more flexibility with how media is compared with a regular gallery.
The Jetpack Contact Form is quite essential, but I’m a big fan, as it’s a great way of building simple contact forms quickly. It allows multiple notifications to people when submitting the email. Four fields are available in the form: Name, email, website, and message, and you can define which fields to enter default values for them.
In the traffic settings section, you’ll see options to enable short links, sitemaps, and site verification. WP.me Shortlinks can create your posts and pages. This can be useful when sharing links on social media sites like Twitter. Jetpack offers two types of website XML sitemaps on the Jetpack WordPress plugin Rin review pros and cons.
The first sitemap is for search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing, and Ask.com. The second sitemap will help you to get your latest news articles on Google News.
WordPress Widget From Jetpack
More than 20 WordPress widgets are available through Jetpack. You need to activate widgets in the writing settings page. Various widgets are available, including Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Google Translate, author profiles, upcoming events, top blog posts, and more.
Options have limits in most of these widgets, but by enabling Jetpack widgets, you can save yourself from installing additional WordPress plugins.
Jetpack also lets you define who sees your widgets. If you enable widget visibility controls, you can say whether a particular widget appears for specific page types, categories, tags, dates, and authors. All of this is by a series of ‘if’ statements you create.
You can also set it so that all conditions. This changes all ‘if’ statements to ‘and’ statements. Check out the Jetpack widget support page for a full list of available widgets.
Enabling & Disabling Modules
At the bottom of every page in Jetpack is a navigation menu. The modules link in this menu will take you to a page where you can see all Jetpack modules and activate and deactivate them.
The modules page displays all Jetpack modules in a list. It’s a practical way of seeing which modules are active and which are not. In addition, we can order modules in alphabetical order or by newest or popular. You can filter modules by category, too.
Check the Jetpack module list if you’re unsure why specific functionality isn’t available. It helps you to see which modules are active quickly and lets you switch multiple modules on and off.
Personalizing Jetpack WordPress Plugin Modules
One of Jetpack’s greatest strengths is its simplicity. We can activate most features in Jetpack with a single click. Jetpack then takes care of everything for you. It’s one of the reasons I love Jetpack, but in some areas, the lack of customization options can be a little frustrating.
The Related Posts module is a great example of this. It’s one of the fastest related posts solutions available to WordPress users. Still, from the Jetpack settings area, you can only select whether you want the title ‘Related’ to be above posts and whether a thumbnail is on it on the Jetpack WordPress plugin Rin review Pros Cons.
A more significant concern is the related posts that are not visible by any date range, which makes the module unusable on blogs that have been posted more than a few years ago. Jetpack would show articles I published five, eight, or even 12 years ago on my blog. All of these blog posts are old and new. Because of this, I disabled the module on my blog.
When I disabled related posts on my website. We weren’t aware Jetpack gives you a way to modify its modules. All you have to do is add some code snippets to your website. Jetpack has a page showing you how to customize related posts and around a dozen examples.
You can copy and paste the relevant code into your website and make any adjustments you think are necessary.
Snippets & Custom
We can add ode snippets can in your theme’s functions.php file. However, a simpler solution is to use a WordPress code snippet plugin. I prefer this method because the code isn’t to a particular WordPress theme. The plugin I recommend is called Code Snippets.
For each snippet, you can add your code, name it, add a description, add tags, and set its priority. Define whether the snippet is at your website’s back or front end since the code was for the related posts module. We only ran the code at the front end of my website.
Using the examples by Jetpack, I could restrict posts to those in the past year. I also changed the number of related posts displayed from three to six. I encourage you to browse the Jetpack Support area for code snippets. So you can add to your favorite Jetpack modules.
You’ll find code snippets that will help you to modify subscriptions, contact forms, searches, and more.
By applying a few code snippets to your website. You’ll have a better appreciation of how Jetpack can suit your needs. I think the code snippet modification method makes sense in most situations. By reducing the number of options in the Jetpack settings area.
The developers ensure the plugin is user-friendly. Admittedly, there are a few Jetpack modules I’d love to see expanding. However, Jetpack offers code snippets for most of the modifications I need.
Pricing For Jetpack WordPress Plugin
The vast majority of features in Jetpack are available free of charge. You only need to sign up for a WordPress.com account to use the plugin. However, there are many valid reasons to upgrade to one of the three premium Jetpack plans.
The most affordable plan is a personal plan. For just $3.50 a month or $39 a year, you can unlock daily backups of your website. This will allow you to perform a one-click website restore. From any backup in the previous 30 days.
Moreover, the Akismet-powered spam filtering module is also present in this plan. In addition, 30 days of activity tracking and priority support.
When you consider that the Jetpack backup system was previously sold on VaultPress.com for $5 a month, and the spam filtering functionality costs $5 a month if you purchase it directly from Akismet.com, the Jetpack personal plan offers excellent value for money at only $3.50 a month.
Jetpack Premium Plans
The Jetpack premium plan costs $9 a month or $99 a year. Upgrading to this plan improves your website security by adding malware scanning and automatic security fixes. This plan includes video hosting, Google Analytics integration, SEO tools, WordPress.com ad network support, and PayPal buttons.
Jetpack Professional is the most expensive plan, retailing at $29 a month or $299 a year. This plan increases backups from daily to hourly, saving all backups as long as your membership is active.
The activity log will also track events for up to a year. As you can see, Automattic is being aggressive with its pricing. The core functionality of Jetpack remains free. However, offering their premium plans for just $3.50 a month makes upgrading very enticing.
Pros of Jetpack WordPress Plugin
1. All-in-One Solution
One of the biggest advantages of Jetpack is that it’s an all-in-one solution. Instead of installing multiple plugins for different functionalities, Jetpack covers a wide array of features, including but not limited to SEO, social sharing, performance optimization, and security.
2. Easy to Use
Jetpack has an intuitive and user-friendly interface. You don’t need to be an expert in coding or web development to navigate through its settings.
3. Security Features
Jetpack offers robust security features, such as brute force attack protection, downtime monitoring, and two-factor authentication. This makes it a valuable plugin for website owners concerned about security.
4. Performance Enhancement
The plugin also comes with features like image lazy loading and CDN support for faster website load times, directly impacting your site’s SEO.
5. Data Analytics
The built-in analytics tools are excellent for understanding your audience and performance metrics. This data can be vital for making informed decisions about your content and marketing strategies.
6. Professional Support
Premium versions of Jetpack come with priority support, ensuring any issues you have are resolved swiftly.
Cons of Jetpack WordPress Plugin
1. May Impact Site Speed
Because Jetpack offers many features, it can sometimes negatively impact your website speed, especially if you activate all its features.
While there is a free version available, the more advanced features are locked behind a paywall, which might not be ideal for those on a tight budget.
3. Feature Overload
Jetpack offers so many features that it can be overwhelming to navigate and decide what you actually need. You may end up using only a fraction of the available functionalities.
4. Limited Customization
While Jetpack is packed with features, it doesn’t offer the level of customization that you may get from specialized plugins designed for a single purpose on the Jetpack Review Pros Cons.
Jetpack WordPress Plugin Conclusion
The Jetpack WordPress Plugin is undoubtedly a powerhouse for adding functionalities to your WordPress site. With its wide range of features and ease of use, it’s worth considering for any WordPress user. However, be mindful of the limitations, particularly around site speed and cost, when deciding.
For those who want a multi-feature tool that is straightforward to use, Jetpack is an excellent option. On the other hand, if you require highly specialized features, you might want to consider a combination of dedicated plugins instead on the Jetpack Review Pros Cons.
Either way, understanding your needs and constraints will help you make the best choice for your WordPress website in 2023.