Today I have a very exciting and jam-packed post for you! We are going to be talking all about one of my favorite WordPress plugins: Jetpack.
What is the Jetpack Plugin?
A lot of you probably already have this installed on your blog if you use WordPress.
Jetpack’s main function for most bloggers is that it shows you your traffic stats, sort of like Google Analytics, but less intense and it’s right inside your website. At a glance, you can easily see how many pageviews you have that day and where that traffic came from. Of course, using Google Analytics will give you slightly more accurate data, but I still use Jetpack when I just want to do a quick check on things, because it’s “close enough.”
There is a Google Analytics plugin that you can install if you want to check out your GA stats from inside WordPress, but I don’t use it, because I really try to limit the amount of plugins that I have on my blog. Lots of plugins slows down your site speed dramatically, which makes people less likely to visit your site and decreases your SEO ranking.
But this is why Jetpack is one of my favorite plugins. It’s like a million plugins in one! Most people only use it for site stats, but it does so much more. That’s why I wanted to share with you everything you need to know about the Jetpack plugin — it’s got a lot of secret tools that you might not even know about.
Everything You Need to Know About the Jetpack Plugin
First things first, let’s install this bad boy. There are two different ways to download (most) WordPress plugins. You can either download the zip file a website, or install it straight from within your WordPress dashboard.
To download the file, head over here.
To download the plugin from WordPress, hover your mouse over the “Plugins” menu item in your WordPress dashboard, and choose “Add New.” Simply search “Jetpack” in the search bar, and then click “Install Now.”
After you install Jetpack, check out the Settings to really see what this badass plugin can do.
The Settings page features a list of THIRTY-SEVEN features that you can activate (or deactivate) and start using. While some of the features I wouldn’t necessarily recommend activating, there’s also some really awesome ones.
7 Best JetPack Features:
- Contact Form
- Custom CSS
- Enhanced Distribution
- Related Posts
- Site Stats
You can even click on the title of a feature to get more information about it and what it does.
Jetpack’s Contact Form
I think that my top favorite feature would have to be the contact form. A lot of people download plugins like Contact Form 7 in order to create contact forms on their sites, but Jetpack has a great one already! Why download a second plugin for something you already have access to?
I also used to put them at the ends of all my service and portfolio pages back before I moved my services over here. Those Jetpack contact forms were actually a huge source of income for me when I was first starting out. Strategically placed, they can definitely encourage people to inquire about your services!
Jetpack’s Custom CSS
Some themes have an area where you can add your own custom CSS within the theme panel, but if your theme doesn’t have this feature, Jetpack does! All you have to do is activate that feature under Jetpack’s Settings, and then you can add your CSS by going into the Jetpack menu and clicking on “Custom CSS.”
Jetpack’s Enhanced Distribution
Jetpack has a few SEO (search engine optimization) features, and this Enhanced Distribution goes hand-in-hand with those. Normally, it takes Google a little bit of time to find and index new posts that you publish on your blog. But if you have Enhanced Distribution activated, Jetpack submits those new posts directly to the search engines, allowing you to take advantage of SEO for those posts sooner.
Jetpack’s Related Posts
Basically, using things like keywords, Jetpack figures out which of your posts are similar to each other, and then recommends those posts to your readers when they get to the end of one of your articles. This encourages readers to click and read more, which increases their engagement, means that they’re more likely to subscribe, and is really good for SEO!
Another one of my most-used Jetpack features, Shortlinks allows you to grab the link of a post before you publish it. I use this all the time to pre-schedule my social media posts the day before a new post goes live!
You might’ve heard before that having (and submitting) a sitemap for your blog is really important for SEO purposes. It basically makes Google aware of the fact that your site exists, and gives them a map of all the pages and posts you have. Setting this up through Jetpack is super easy!
Jetpack’s Site Stats
We talked a little bit about this at the beginning of the post, but here’s some more about Jetpack’s Site Stats feature. Using the Jetpack menu, you can easily reach the Site Stats dashboard, which gives you an overview of your page views for the past month, plus shows your traffic referrals, top posts, and clicks for the day.
As you can see in the above screenshot, you can also easily toggle to see referrers and top posts for both today and yesterday, plus you can get more detailed information by clicking on “summaries” for each section.
See? Jetpack is a seriously awesome plugin…and I only covered a few of its features! So I guess this post is more like almost everything you need to know about the Jetpack plugin.