For years, I was very skeptical about Jetpack WordPress plugin.
But…today I’m a Jetpack convert.
If you don’t already know, Jetpack is one of the most popular WordPress plugins.
It is owned by and pushed heavily by Automattic, the for-profit corporation that more-or-less runs the WordPress project.
They’ve got a lot to gain, financially, by its success and its footprint in the WordPress eco-system.
I am wary…very wary of letting a corporate interest like that gain a large footprint on my and my customers’ WordPress sites.
But here’s why I have finally come around and granted Jetpack/Automattic access to my own WordPress sites and why I recommend Jetpack to customers.
Why Jetpack WordPress Plugin Is Awesome
Jetpack takes care of a number of critical, value-add website features out-of-the-box, for free, with a few clicks of the mouse!
Here are the Jetpack features I always enable:
- Carousel: Never worry about adding a fancy gallery slideshow plugin again!
- Social Comments: Visitors can comment using their Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Lazy Images: Load your site faster and waste fewer server resources!
- Downtime Monitoring: Know when your site is down.
- Image CDN: Load your site faster and save server resources!
- Login Protection: More security means fewer headaches for you and for visitors and for SEO.
- Auto-Post to Facebook, Twitter, & LinkedIn: Save time, money, & energy by auto-posting to your social media accounts!
- Related Posts: Reputable shared hosting companies will not allow you to do related posts (for good reason)…until now!
- Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Social Sharing Buttons on Posts: If you absolutely need these sharing buttons (you probably don’t), this is the best way to add them!
- Nightly Backups: The simplest and best backup tool for WordPress. I’ve been using this service since before Jetpack!
Trust: Jetpack is supported by Automattic, a company with a vested financial interest in the WordPress eco-system and WordPress community and, generally-speaking, in WordPress’ continued success.
Many of the features above will save you money and headaches.
Why Not Use Jetpack WordPress Plugin
The criticism of Jetpack, which I empathize with for the most part, is that we are relying on a for-profit company for some nice-to-have website features.
You can also do all of the above stuff with other free WordPress plugins that aren’t tied to a for-profit corporation.
For me, given most of the functionality Jetpack provides is non-critical, the pros outweigh the cons.
Like every WordPress plugin, you will run into bugs and other issues unexpectedly.
I’ve had websites where Jetpack was causing a white screen of death unexpectedly. Not good.
But honestly, in my line of work, I see this sort of thing all the time, and so long as the Jetpack dev team is on top of things and actively-fixing bugs, I’m okay with the occasional issue.
Y’all know I’m someone who appreciates fewer dependencies, especially when it comes to depending on for-profit corporations.
But in the case of Jetpack, for now, the benefits outweigh the risks.
You’ll eliminate some headaches, better-secure your WordPress investment, and add some nice-to-have website features in the process!