How to Use the Jetpack WordPress Plugin

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Being one of the oldest plugins, Jetpack is often neglected by most WordPress users. I think that happens because most users don’t know about the various features of the plugin. That is why I have decided to introduce some of the awesome features of the Jetpack WordPress plugin in my post for today. Let’s get started.

Setting up Jetpack

If you don’t have Jetpack installed already, download and install it from the plugin repository. After activating the plugin, it will create a new menu item titled ‘Jetpack’ in your website dashboard. Clicking on that menu will take you to a page like the following –

Jetpack Plugin Welcome Page
This is the welcome page for the Jetpack plugin

Click the ‘Connect to WordPress.com’ button. You will be taken to a page similar to this –

Jetpack Plugin Authorization Page
This is the authorization page for the Jetpack plugin

Click ‘Authorize Jetpack’. The authorization process will start automatically. Once the process finishes, you will be taken back to your website dashboard.

Using Jetpack

In order to use various Jetpack features, go to Jetpack > Jetpack. Click the ‘See the other 25 Jetpack features’ button from the bottom. At this point, you will be taken to a page like the following –

Jetpack Plugin Settings Page
This is the settings page for the Jetpack plugin

In this page, you will find all the Jetpack features listed. You can start using any feature by hovering over the feature name and clicking the ‘Activate’ link. You will find an additional ‘Configure’ link for some of the features. Jetpack will activate some of the features by default. To stop using any feature, hover over the title and click the ‘Deactivate’ link.
It is likely that you will never use all the 25 features of Jetpack, probably nobody does that. However, there are some features that are really worth using. Here are some of my favorite features:

Carousel

This feature will help you to turn your image galleries into scrollable carousels. By default, images open in a new window. But with Jetpack’s Carousel feature, you can provide a nice touch to your images along with previous and next buttons.

Contact Form

If you only need a single contact form for your website, there is no point in using fancy contact form plugins. Instead, you can use the Contact Form feature of Jetpack. Besides editing the default fields, you can add custom text, text area, radio, checkbox and drop-down fields too.

Sharing

This extremely useful feature lets you add social sharing buttons to your posts and pages. The simple, lightweight feature supports all the popular platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pocket, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc.

Extra Sidebar Widgets

This feature adds some very useful widgets to your existing widgets list. The widgets include contact info, display WordPress posts, Facebook like box, Gravatar profile, RSS Links, Top Posts & Pages, Blog Subscriptions, Image and Twitter Timeline.

Site Stats

Another excellent feature of Jetpack is its user-friendly site stats section. You can access this section by going to Jetpack > Site Stats from your website dashboard. Various sections of the page will provide you with detailed information about the average page views, referrers, search engine terms, top posts & pages, etc.

WP.me Shortlinks

This is another area where Jetpack frees you from using a separate plugin. By using this feature, you can instantly get short links of your posts which could be shared easily.

Sidebar Visibility

This amazing feature will be very useful if you have a crowded sidebar. By using this feature, you can specify visibility rules for each widget. As a result, all the widgets will not be visible at the same time and your sidebar will remain clean.

Final Words

Backed up by Automattic itself, Jetpack is continuously adding new features and improving the existing ones. If used properly, Jetpack can provide a huge boost to your website. And I think this article could be an excellent starting place for you.
So, which is your favorite Jetpack feature? And if I didn’t mention your favorite Jetpack feature, let me know by leaving a comment below.

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