Woodie’s stretching his wings a bit this week and talking about Jetpack, the new series of plug-ins brought to you by Automattic, the makers of WordPress.
Now if you’re on WP.com, you can skip the entire segment today, maybe make up a fresh vegetable salad or pick up a planter full of pansies for your favorite woodchuck.
If your site, however is self-hosted, or a WordPress.org site, then you’re going to want to bend an ear, or at the very least, listen up, dude. =)
Jetpack combines many plug-ins that the .com users use, and make them available to .org users. Most of you know that installing too many plugins can slow down the performance of your site. Some plugins are badly made or poorly maintained, sometimes leaving you with conflicting plugins that battle it out to YOUR detriment.
Jetpack is designed to eliminate quite a few of those problems.
First you’ll need to connect Jetpack to your WordPress account. This might seem easy, but you have to have a WordPress account! If you don’t have one, go sign up at WordPress.com. Then Jetpack will connect and you’re off and running.
Now go to your dashboard and you’ll see Jetpack installed. From there, you can configure which options you want to use. Statistics, sharing your blog via Twitter and FB, allowing subscriptions via email. In a way, it’s giving you the benefits of WordPress.com all in one little plugin.
If you click under each section, it will pop up a window that says Learn More.
This will give you a run down on what this particular part of the plugin does. If you click “Configure” then you can set up that particular part of the plugin. Just want the stats and sharing? No problemo. Only configure those two. One thing to remember is that installing Jetpack will occasionally disable some of your other plugins, so double check that!
Currently Jetpack is free. Rumor has it that in the future they may charge for some premium plugins.
Should you use Jetpack? Absolutely give it a try. One of the main good points is that it’s made by the same people who make WP, so it will work perfectly with each update. Don’t like it anymore? Go to your plugins page, click deactivate. You can further delete it, then reinstall it later. Easy as pie. Yum, peony pie. =)
The final judge on whether to use Jetpack or not is YOU.