There is a lot of discussions about WordPress own plugin, Jetpack, and if you should use Jetpack or not. Jetpack bridges a gap between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Jetpack allows you to customize your sites easily. From LaTex Markup in your posts to comments and custom CSS, Jetpack allows you to customize almost all of the elements of your WordPress blog/website.
Despite its many uses, there has been a confusion among most of WordPress users on whether they should use Jetpack or not. The plugin has been said to slow down WordPress sites and make it a bit too heavy for some users, that’s why most people are asking the question “should I use Jetpack or not?”. Here are a few things that you need to know about the plugin if you consider installing it on your WordPress website.
Jetpack is a suite of plugins that may come with your self-hosted WordPress site. Provided by Automattic, the plugin can be used to serve your various purposes on your website. Jetpack is the plugin that bridges the gap between the WordPress.org and WordPress.com. This means that all you need to do is to have a WordPress.com account to download and install Jetpack onto your website.
Jetpack can be installed by going into the plugin repository of your WordPress backend and click Plugins -> Add New. Mostly it’s listed on the featured page but if not, just search for “jetpack” and it should appear. The plugin comes with 37 modules that can be used for different things like generating forms, adding features to comments on your blog, adding CDN for images and a lot more. Continue reading to find out if you should use Jetpack or not, depending on your case.
Understanding Jetpack Modules
The current modules of Jetpack include:
You can make use of LaTex markup to add on complex equations in your posts, whenever needed.
This plugin helps you to create fully functional image galleries on your website.
It can help you put in a comments section where people from Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress.com would be able to comment on your content.
You can edit the CSS of your site without having to create a child theme page or worrying about your changes being overwritten.
You can include twitter widgets, RSS links, image galleries, etc. on your sidebar with widgets by Jetpack.
Jetpack also links all of your WordPress.org installations so that you’re able to manage and work on them all at once, in one dashboard at WordPress.com.
Jetpack plugin takes great care of your website and sends you email notification in case it goes down.
Sharing and promoting your content becomes a lot easier with Jetpack. As soon as you hit “publish”, Jetpack shares your content on all of your social media accounts automatically if wanted.
Jetpack also has enhanced security which protects your website from any malicious login attempts.
You can also get a basic traffic statistics and analysis of your website with the help of Jetpack.
Why Should You Get Jetpack?
After seeing all the features offered by Jetpack, it’s highly unlikely that you would ask this question. However, there’s more to Jetpack than just these features, and here’s why you should get it for your website:
It’s free: Yes, you read that right. Along with the numerous features offered by the plugin, it is available free of cost to all its users. Except for its VaultPress and VideoPress features, you can make use of all the 37 modules provides by the plugin without paying anything at all.
It’s open source: The plugin is open source which means that you can customize it as per your wishes and use all the features that you’d like.
It’s compatible: Jetpack is highly compatible with the WordPress core functions and thus, doesn’t need many workarounds to make use of.
Upgraded modules: It’s various modules like publicizing, short code embeds, WordPress Stats, Extra Sidebar Widgets and more allow you to increase your reach and enhance the overall experience of your site. You can also allow users to comment on your content, provide them with beautiful image galleries, and infinite scrolling.
Mobile Theme: Jetpack also helps users to design a mobile app version of their site with its custom CSS codes. The module does require a lot of work but is very easy to use and handy.
Why Shouldn’t You Use It?
Despite its multiple modules, zero cost, easy installation, and compatibility, there are certain cons to Jetpack that may not be suited for your website. Not every plugin is beneficial for all and thus, the certain downsides to Jetpack may not work with your WordPress site.
Too much at one place: Quite a few critics have pointed out that Jetpack has way too many (over 30) modules for just one plugin. At most, many websites may require only 3 to 4 features of the ones offered, and thus, may find dedicated plugins for the same. However, Jetpack does allow you to activate only the modules that you need.
Slows down the site: What Jetpack wins with its deactivated modules, it loses with site performance. Many users have complained that some of Jetpack’s modules slow down the site, sometimes as much as 8 to 10 seconds.
Photon may be harmful: Photon is one of the best modules offered by Jetpack and is possibly used by everyone who has the plugin. It loads the images way faster than any other plugin as it’s a free CDN (Content Delivery Network). However, it caches your images forever and therefore, every time you want to display a new image on the site, you must use a new name as it doesn’t delete the previous original one.
One login for all can be a risk: Jetpack gives you one dashboard to control all of your WordPress activities at one place with a single login. However, the practice is as convenient for hackers as it’s convenient for you. If they hack into one of your WordPress sites, they’ll be able to hack all of them. Thus, it’s always a better practice to use a different login for different sites.
Should You Use Jetpack Or Not?
The biggest question of them all is should you really use Jetpack or not? And the answer to that question is, it depends. You could achieve a lot on your website with just one plugin but if you want only one or two of its modules, you could download some other alternatives dedicated to just those modules. Some of the modules of the plugin come active as soon as you install the plugin, even though you may not need them.
If you feel the need to use at least 5 or 6 of the modules offered by Jetpack, it could be really helpful. Otherwise, you could look around for other options.
Oskar Edin runs a web development company in Sweden, Northern Web, where he constantly works and learns new things which he later on shares with the community, here at CodeEnlightened.com. When he is not working you probably find him in his car driving around or hanging around with friends.