Did you know that you could get the best WordPress.com features in your self hosted WordPress blog just by adding a WordPress plug-in. WordPress.com has some amazing features which are missing in WordPress.org installations, and the Jetpack WordPress plugin is the best way to incorporate all these amazing features in your WordPress blog.
Firstly I was apprehensive to install this WordPress plugin, since it was a collection of multiple WordPress plug-ins in one large plugin and I was concerned about the server load and how it would affect my site speed. I was using the WordPress stats plug-in for several years, and a large banner on top of my WordPress installation kept nagging me to upgrade to the new version which is available only in the JetPack.
JetPack WordPress Plugin
I have been a fan of several useful WordPress.com features lplugindPress stats, contact form, WordPress short links, subscriptions etc. so I decided to install Jet Pack and try out the new plug-in features. And to my surprise it was a collection of very powerful and useful features.
- Subscriptions – it enables your site visitors to subscribe to your posts and comments and get updates via e-mail. It proved a quick replacement to my earlier amazing subscribe to comments plug-in.
- WordPress.com stats – I have been using this WordPress plug-in for several years and it provides a quick snapshot of your site statistics. Jet pack includes the latest version of this plug-in, and all future versions of the stats plug-in will now only be available through the Jet Pack. Of course now the data provided by the plug-in is much more detailed than before.
- Spelling and grammar – helps to improve your writing by contextual spell checking, advanced style checking and intelligent grammar checking of your articles. It is powered by After the Deadline open source technology.
- Social sharing – powered by ShareDaddy, this plug-in provides an array of custom social sharing buttons which are then placed beneath your articles and improve the social engagement of your visitors.
- VaultPress – this is a useful WordPress backup plug-in which we have been using for several years and is a useful tool in case your WordPress database crashes or you need to restore your site. Read our VaultPress review about this real-time backup and security scanning plug-in. It is highly recommended.
- Contact form – is a useful plug-in to insert a contact form on any page or post you like, and is a good replacement for any contact form WordPress plug-in you might be using.
- Gravatar Hovercards – if you support Gravatar profiles in your comments, then this plug-in will show pop-up business cards of these users from their gravatar profiles.
- WP.me short links – creates a short link for all your pages and posts which can be easily shared on social media sites like Twitter.
- Short code embeds – allows you to use short codes to embed videos from YouTube, Vimeo, slide share etc.
- Beautiful math – allows you to use specialised markup language to post complex maths equations.
- Sidebar widgets – some new widgets appear in your WordPress blog which allow you to add images, Twitter updates and RSS feed links in your sidebar.
- Enhanced distribution– allows better sharing of your post articles and comments in real-time by distributing them quickly to search engines. A good pinging tool.
At first I had difficulty in deciding which plug-ins I should use. I also found it difficult to deactivate a few plug-ins since they were all activated by default and I did not need all these features. I learnt that you need to click on “Learn more” button, to make the “Deactivate” button appear! Then I could choose which plug-ins I actually needed to use.
Right now I am using the Subscriptions, WordPress.com stats, spelling, Vaultpress, Contact form and Enhanced distribution. The main advantage is that this is created by Automattic, the official WordPress team, so it promises to be tightly integrated in your WordPress.org installation easily.
So if like me, you decide to use some of the amazing WordPress.com features on your WordPress.org blog, then try the JetPack plug-in and you will find it useful.