Jetpack is a popular plugin developed by the folks over at Automattic, and over the past few years they’ve done a tremendous job improving the plugin by adding loads of useful features which makes managing a WordPress site a whole lot easier!
In the past you would need to have a whole barrage of plugins to do what this one does.
It also provides a number of services that will help you see how your site is performing and provide a good range of statistics. Jetpack could not be easier to install and set up, considering how many different benefits it provides.
Install and Basic Usage Jetpack Plugin
To install it, just go to Plugins –> Add New and then type “jetpack” into the search box. It’ll be the first result. Hit “Install Now” and you’re ready to go (unless you need to create a WordPress.com account, which is necessary so you can link it with your blog and Jetpack). Once you’ve got the plugin activated, it will create its own dashboard nav bar menu section right at the top.
The main overview page for Site Stats provides a wealth of information at a glance. I just installed Jetpack on another of my sites a few minutes before starting this post, and it’s already generating useful data: In addition, with the Jetpack Post Statistics Link companion plugin installed, you get link next to each post in the dashboard that sends you to the stats for that individual post. This is going to be greatly appreciated by all of the writers for MSF, many of whom had trouble navigating Google Analytics easily to figure out the stats for their articles. Now it will all be there at the click of a button without having to leave the dashboard.
Publicize your posts
To push links to your new content out to your social accounts, you’ll need to give permission. Connect the social accounts you want to be able to post to and log in/ grant access. Connect all of the accounts you may want to post to – you’ll be able to select and deselect specific account when it comes time to publishing your posts.
You’ll also be able to add simple Share This buttons to your pages and posts from within the plugin.
To do this, simply drag buttons from the Available Servicesbox into the Enabled Services box, and arrange them as you’d like to see them displayed. You’ll see a live preview of how your share button will look at the bottom, and you’ll also be able to choose whether your buttons display as icons, icons with text, text only, or official buttons with counters.
Screenshot of the Contact form by Jetpack
Here are some features of Jetpack that I think work in it’s favor:
- Create multiple contact forms, only one per post though.
- Each form can have its own recipient list.
- Create your own custom fields.
- Jetpack uses Akismet so the amount of spam should be minimal.
- A feedback management area is provided where you can see and manage all the messages sent to you.
There are some negatives to be considered:
- You cannot provide a file upload field.
- You cannot includes CAPTCHA’s for better security.
- You cannot easily modify the structure of the form.
- It does not use Jquery and AJAX for form submissions without page reload
Although you can’t change the style and structure of the form easily, it is very simple to use and it would suit a beginner WordPress user’s needs. It being bundled with Jetpack is another advantage, as you already have it installed and that’s one less plugin to install.
So these are just a few things you can do with WordPress Jetpack plugin. This and many other tutorials and recomendations are available in our training program.
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