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Tools For WordPress Bloggers - Jetpack

Bring the power of the cloud to your site.

There seems to be no limit to the amount of tools for bloggers but Jetpack brings a lot of those tools together into one neat & powerful package. There's some other tools too you might want to check out like the Scrapbook add-on for Firefox or any of the Zemanta tools.

What is Jetpack?

Jetpack is the plugin for self hosted WordPress sites to give those users the same awesome features that users of get with their sites - like social sharing, powerful stats and CDN access. It's maintained by Automattic, the company behind, AkismetGravitar and Polldaddy. Automattic serve more people per day that many other sites, they do that by trying to make the web better.

The best thing about Jetpack is that it's cloud enabled - it offloads the hard work from your own server to WordPress' super fast could network so you get everything that a self hosted WordPress site has but with all the power of's servers. The list of features keeps growing and as of writing currently Jetpack has 25 individual modules. Some of the things you can do with them are:

  • Stats collecting - all processed in the cloud, no additional server load.
  • Image hosting - from their super fast, worldwide, content delivery network.
  • Writing checker - check spelling, grammar, hidden verbs, passive voice and many more writing errors using After the Deadline.
  • Social commenting - allow users to comment using their social profiles, no signup needed.
  • Social sharing - using Sharedaddy Jetpack enables share buttons on each post for your readers to share it on their favorite social network. Publicize shares to your preconfigured social networks every time you create a new post.
  • Custom CSS - add custom CSS code to your theme without needing to modify the theme files, this way you won't lose edits during theme upgrade.

That's just a short list of all the things you can do with Jetpack - the whole list is exhaustive. You can see all of the features on the Jetpack homepage or you can click the screenshot on the right.

Who are Automattic?

Automattic have been helping make the web better since 2005. They're a company of 137 employees who serve over half a billion people a month. They do that amazing feat by providing services that do actually make the web a better place and nothing illustrates that point better than their Akismet service - a complete anti-spam solution. When I checked it just now their running total was a massive 81.1 billion spam comments blocked.

One of the core beliefs at Automattic is that they should be making the web better and they do so by filling a gap, or improving something, and then making it available to everyone.

Main Jetpack Modules

There's 4 main Jetpack modules that I find to be the most useful, I have then enabled on all my sites and enable them all for my clients. Stats

If you have a WordPress site surely you want to know how often people are visiting it and what pages are the most popular. Tracking your own stats is an option but that puts additional load on your server, which should be directed at making your site run as fast a possible.

Jetpack's stats module offloads all of that work and to their stats servers, ones that are stored in the cloud have more than enough processing power to handle your stats.

Photon - The CDN Module Of Jetpack

The Photon module is fairly new to Jetpack but it's one of the most underrated features. Photon unlocks access to the WordPress CDN to host your images. CDN stands for content delivery network and it's the term given to a collection of servers located all around the world that host your static content. These servers are configured to be extremely fast and because they're located all around the world the person visiting your site gets that content delivered to them as fast as possible.

The WordPress CDN takes your images, optimizes them, crops them to the exact size needed then serves them up in your page lightning fast. It's an instant speed boost and I see no reason why anyone wouldn't want a speed boost to their site.

Social Sharing

Social shares are one of the things that modern day websites crave. It's tells you how many people found your content useful and shared it with their friends plus it gets you a link back to your site. You can customize the look of the buttons and what networks are included.

All the popular social networks are included in the share module.

Jetpack Contact Forms

Every website needs a contact form. It might be for business enquires or even just so someone can contact you through your block if they want to. The point is that every site should have one and with Jetpack Contact Forms you can simply paste a shortcode into your page/post and your contact form will appear where you placed it.

There's many more features that Jetpack has to offer, I've barely scratched the surface in this post.

WordPress has grown dramatically in the last few years, as a Web Developer William has built his fair share of WordPress sites and using Jetpack from Automattic has made some of the tasks that are required on every website much quicker, easier and user friendly.

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