What is Jetpack for WordPress?

What is Jetpack? WordPress Plugin review - image header

In the world of WordPress, the focus has been on making the visual editor – Gutenberg – the standard editor for the majority of WordPress users. Within that circle, there are a series of elite plugins that virtually every website—no matter how big or small—introduces into the ecosystem. The Jetpack for WordPress plugin, from Automattic, is one of them.

What exactly is Jetpack for WordPress? It is a versatile plugin that covers website security, optimization, marketing, and more. You get options for scanning your site, hosting for video, and even themes that you can use for your WordPress site!

What makes Jetpack so important? Jetpack gives you the best of both worlds. You get the control and flexibility of a self-hosted website and access to the WordPress.com server network and security hardening. The plugin facilitates this connection by linking your self-hosted installation with a free WordPress.com account you can create for yourself.

It also provides solutions for your WordPress site that keep you from having to get other plugins or services.

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Free Versus Paid Features

Like many elite plugins, Jetpack for WordPress strikes a good balance between free and paid features. The free features offer tantalizing value while the paid version offers higher-level services. We’ll start by listing all of the features and then identify the premium features that can take your WordPress judo to the next level.

Jetpack for WordPress Feature List

AdsDisplay ads on your WordPress site.
Beautiful MathUses LaTeX markup language for writing mathematical equations.
CarouselDisplay full-screen photos with comments and EXIF metadata.
CommentsComment system that replaces the default system used on Pages and Posts in WordPress. Includes social media login.
Comment LikesProvides an option for readers to “like” an existing comment.
Contact FormProvides a form for feedback.
Custom CSSUse custom CSS to modify an existing theme without creating a child theme
Custom Content TypesProvides custom post types for your WordPress site.
Enhanced DistributionAllows your content to be included in the WordPress.com public blog content.
Extra Sidebar WidgetsAdditional widgets that you can use for your WordPress site.
Gravatar HovercardsProvides visibility for your Gravatar profile.
Google AnalyticsUse Google Analytics to track your WordPress site statistics.
Infinite ScrollAutomatically adjust the position of a post so that it is visible when approaching the bottom of the screen.
JSON APIAllows applications to securely authenticate to your site in order to use your content or provide functionality.
Lazy ImagesSpeeds up page loading by providing the option of loading images in your WordPress site only when they are on the screen. Images load as the reader scrolls.
LikesSingle click like for posts in your WordPress site.
MarkdownUse markdown when composing posts or comments. Markdown allows you to use rich text through keyboard shortcuts.
MonitorProvides an email notification if your site goes down.
NotificationsGives you the option to receive notifications for new comments and likes through your admin bar or a mobile device.
Plugin ManagementGives you the option to choose which plugin updates automatically.
Post by EmailPublish posts with an email client.
ProtectProvides protection from brute force attacks.
PublicizeShare new posts through social media automatically. You can also schedule future shares.
Recurring PaymentsAllows you to add a payment button specifically for recurring donations with the Stripe payment gateway.
Related PostsShow other posts with similar content that a viewer might be interested in.
Security ScanningAnti-virus, malware, and threat detection for your WordPress site.
SearchA replacement for the default WordPress search using Elasticsearch in the WordPress.com cloud.
SEO ToolsProvides tools to help optimize your WordPress site for improved search engine results.
SharingGives you the option to add sharing buttons to your posts so that your viewers can share content.
Shortcode EmbedsEmbed content from various social media platforms on the internet.
Single Sign-OnUse one login to sign into your self-hosted WordPress sites. Works through WordPress.com.
Site AcceleratorFormally known as Photon. Optimizes images and serves them from a CDN.
Site BackupsProvide an option to backup your WordPress site.
Site StatsProvides stats by date, most popular Pages and/or Posts.
Site VerificationVerify your site in order to use it with Google, Bing, Pinterest and their tools.
SitemapsCreate a site map of your WordPress site. This provides an organized index of your website pages so that search engines like Google or Bing can find things easier.
Spam FilteringAutomatically filter spam from comments, reviews, or contact form submissions.
SubscriptionsProvides notifications for your viewers.
Tiled GalleriesAllows you to display images in galleries in three different styles: rectangular mosaic, square mosaic, and circular grid.
Video HostingA quick way to upload videos. Videos are hosted on WordPress.com.
WP.me ShortlinksCreate short and easier to understand links for your content using the wp.me domain.
Widget VisibilityAllows widgets to be displayed on specific pages.
WordPress.com ToolbarReplaces the default WordPress Administrator toolbar with a WordPress.com module. It provides links to the Reader, your sites, WordPress.com profile, and notifications.

Jetpack for WordPress Classic Editor Features

If you’re still using the classic editor for WordPress, then you will be limited to a set of features as listed below:

  • Contact Form
  • Markdown
  • Related Posts
  • Subscriptions
  • Tiled Galleries
  • Video Hosting

Jetpack Blocks

Each option above is also available through a block or an updated feature in Jetpack, but block specific options will only be available using the Gutenberg editor in WordPress version 5.0 and up, or by installing the Gutenberg plugin. The blocks listed in the Jetpack for WordPress feature list web page are listed in the table below. The full list of the blocks provided by Gutenberg can be found on the Jetpack Blocks page.

Contact Info BlockYou can display your contact information here.
Form blockForm for user feedback without displaying an email address.
GIF BlockProvides search options for animated GIFs from Giphy that you can add to a post or page on your WordPress site.
Map BlockAdd a map to a post or page.
Pinterest BlockEmbed Pinterest boards, profiles, and pins to your site.
Repeat Visitor BlockEnables the author to control the visibility of its nested block(s) depending on how many times a visitor has previously visited the page.
Simple Payments BlockAllows you to add a payment button to a post or page. You can also accept PayPal payments for products or donations.
Slideshow BlockAllows you to insert an image slideshow into a post or page.
Star Rating BlockAllows a site author to add reviews to the site.
Video BlockAllows to upload videos for hosting on WordPress.com.

Which Features Require a Premium License?

Jetpack Premium Features - Upgrade button
Jetpack Premium Features – Upgrade button

The features listed below require an upgrade to a paid license before you can use them. If you install the free version of Jetpack for WordPress, these versions will have the label “Upgrade” next to them. Each one is linked to the Jetpack site so that you can purchase the license if you wish to use it.

  • Backups and Security Scanning
  • Search
  • Video Hosting
  • Ads
  • SEO Tools
  • Google Analytics

The premium licensing for Jetpack is organized by type and can be paid monthly or yearly. To get the full details of licensing, please go to the Jetpack Pricing page.

What is Jetpack Mobile?

Jetpack Mobile is an application that you can install on a mobile iOS or Android device. This application requires that you have the Jetpack plugin installed on your WordPress site. You will also need to be able to login to your WordPress.com account.

Jetpack Mobile provides an interface for the major features provided by Jetpack on your computer. You can use backup and restore, check out the activity log, review or configure security, and see your site stats.

If you are a WordPress site manager, this is a valuable tool that will help you keep up-to-date with your WordPress sites. To see more details on its features, check out the Jetpack Mobile – Features page.

Who can use Jetpack for WordPress?

Anyone with a self-hosted WordPress site can use the plugin. Make sure that your version of WordPress is up-to-date before you install the plugin. You should also make sure to have a backup of your site before making any installations. The installation of Jetpack will require that you either create or use a WordPress.com account. Learn more about installing Jetpack by going to our linked tutorial.

If you are using Jetpack to replace a plugin, then be sure to carefully evaluate the function or functions that you are replacing. Make sure that the feature you are using in Jetpack meets your WordPress site requirements. Jetpack provides a wide variety of features that are mostly free. Additionally, it was made by the developers of WordPress, so compatibility should be no issue. Finally, technical support is only available with a paid license, so make sure to purchase one if you intend to get assistance when you are using the plugin.

Learn more about using WordPress and its plugins by going to our WordPress Plugins page!

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