Last week I showed you how to install and configure the Jetpack plugin. I also showed you three options it offers, automatic post sharing on social networks, stats, and site notifications. The Jetpack plugin would be great even if that’s all it did. But oh, it does SO much more. Find what else this plugin can do in the Jetpack plugin review below.
Jetpack Plugin Review
I’ll list the different options the Jetpack plugin offers and how I use them:
Jetpack Comments: I “heart” this option so much! I can tell you I spend COUNTLESS hours messing and fussing with WordPress settings and odd plugins just to integrate Facebook comments on the site. In the end, the best I ended up with was a wonky solution which kept Facebook comments on one place and WordPress comments on the other. Not good at all if you want to encourage community conversation.
Jetpack easily integrates Facebook AND Twitter accounts, in addition to normal WordPress comments. It also allows you to choose between three color schemes – white, black, or transparent – to better match up the comment box to your website and customize the comment box heading (“Leave a Reply” is the default).
Note: If Jetpack comment box is not showing up, you may have a plugin that’s incompatible with it. I had to disable CommentLuv to get it to work. See full list of incompatible plugins here.
Subscriptions: This option allows someone to automatically sign up to receive replies to comments they’ve made on a post. Also, readers can opt to be notified when new posts are up on your site.
Likes: This option allows you to add a “Like” toolbar at the end of your post. This is different from Facebook likes, as they just track Likes without the user having to be logged in. You can then use these Likes to rank posts, if you want, which can listed on a sidebar widget.
Post by Email: Can’t access your WordPress dashboard? You can write your post on an e-mail and have it automatically post to your blog. Haven’t used this yet, but I can see the benefit to this method if you’re live-blogging from somewhere, say a warn-torn country, and happen to be on the run.
Carousel: Allows you to turn picture galleries into full-screen presentations. Have not used this.
Sharing: Allows readers to easily share your post to social networks. It also keeps track of the number of shares. You can customize the share button and the services available. Note that you don’t have to have an account at every social network to enable this.
Spelling and Grammar: This is my *favorite* option. It goes beyond WordPress’ spell checker and actually checks grammar for you. I’m definitely a better writer for it.
VaultPress: A backup service. Not free.
Omnisearch: If you need to add a search box to your site, use this.
Gravatar Hovercards: Allows your users to have Gravatar cards displayed when they mouse over someone’s profile. Not necessary, but a nice touch.
Contact Form: If you need to add a contact form to your site, this is an easy way to do it. Always have a “Contact/Email Me” link easily accessible on your site. Mine is right on the menu bar.
WP.Me Shortlinks: This creates a shortened URL link for you to share via social media.
Photon: This might actually end up being hugely useful. Slow loading time for a page is the biggest reason people decide to move on to stop browsing and move on to another website. Photon promises to improve the site’s speed by caching all your site’s pictures in WordPress.com’s huge Content Delivery network. Pictures seem to load faster since I started using it, but can’t tell for sure. It didn’t hurt things at least.
And that’s it! Well, there’s a few more options, but they’re more specialized and out of this site’s scope. If you install the Jetpack plugin, let me know what you think!
Does the Jetpack Plugin
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