Jetpack is a free and very robust plugin made by the makers of WordPress itself (Automattic, Inc.). It comes with many useful features, giving self-hosted WordPress owners many of the bells and whistles available on the free WordPress.com platform. The most useful features I use on many of my sites are:
1. Secure contact forms (Create a contact page if you don’t have one already & make sure you have added this page to your navigation menu (Appearance–> Menus); Jetpack Contact Forms will be activated by default when you activate the Jetpack plugin. On your Contact page, in the WordPress editor, click the “Add Contact Form” button and go modify your contact form as you see fit; Go to email notifications to change the email address that will receive a notification (by default the notification is sent to the author of the contact page; Insert your form into your page). If you need more direction or support for Jetpack contact forms, visit Jetpack’s support website.
2. Site Stats: Site stats are active by default when you activate the Jetpack plugin. Your stats will appear in your Jetpack dashboard. To turn stats off, go to Jetpack–>Settings–>Engagement–>Site Stats and toggle the feature to “off.”
3. Social Sharing Buttons (Go to Jetpack–>Settings–>Engagement–>Sharing; Scroll down past Publicize to Sharing Buttons; Click the link to configure your sharing settings; Drag and drop the buttons you want to use at the bottoms of pages and/or posts; Adjust other settings as appropriate; Choose which types of content you want to display sharing buttons on and save your settings). You can then turn sharing buttons off on an individual page/post basis by going into the page editor, scrolling to the bottom of the page and unchecking the box for sharing buttons. For support with sharing buttons, visit Jetpack’s support website.
4. Social Media Blog Sync (Publicize) – Go to Jetpack–>Settings–>Engagement–>Publicize and open up the area to see the link to configure your settings. Connect your social media sites to your blog in a few easy clicks. Read more about using Publicize. I used to use Networked Blogs for this, but Jetpack makes it much easier.
5. Image Hosting (Photon) – Go to Jetpack–>Settings–>Appearance–>Photon to turn this feature on and your images will load from WordPress.com’s content delivery network (CDN). Learn more about Photon. *If you are using a CDN to host your website, such as CloudFlare, do not use Photon because it will create a conflict.
6. Enhanced Distribution for your blog posts – Go to Jetpack–>Settings–>Engagement–>Enhanced Distribution; This feature allows your content to be included in the big wide world of WordPress.com, which increases your exposure – more details here.
There are also some features that I consciously choose to deactivate in the Jetpack settings. One of those is Subscriptions. Because I use AWeber for email marketing, I don’t need the free subscription service Jetpack offers. However, if you want a free and easy way to allow viewers to subscribe to your blog, Jetpack Subscriptions works well.
Just keep in mind, with the jetpack subscriptions feature, the email notifications that go out to your subscribers are branded with the WordPress.com logo and colors, not yours. If you want to brand your blog subscription emails with your logo and styles to match your website, use AWeber.
Read more about why I use AWeber and how to use it for your email marketing plan.
This tutorial is part of a series of e-courses created by Cat Scholz to empower you with using the self-hosted version of WordPress to achieve your internet marketing goals. Get more information and/or sign up: