WordPress.com offers a wide range of resources to boost your site’s functionality. If you run a WordPress site using a different host but still want to incorporate features like advanced search engine optimization (SEO), security tools, and backup services, look no further than Jetpack — a plugin created and provided by WordPress.com.
So what is Jetpack, exactly? How does Jetpack work? Read on for the Jetpack basics!
All WordPress.com websites come equipped with several plugins. These include tools that power the analytics, social media, and SEO across your pages. Jetpack is a plugin that allows all WordPress sites to enjoy some of the same powerful features offered on WordPress.com. With more than 20 free tools available, Jetpack features:
- Site stats and analytics
- Automatic sharing across social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
- A function that displays related posts next to your content
- Security features like downtime and uptime monitoring
- Secure logins and two-factor authentication
You can use Jetpack to create a professional-looking site without investing in web designers. For example, if you own a bakery and want to drive traffic to your site, use the related posts function to display links to your other menu options whenever a fan views one of your posts. You can also configure your site to automatically share your posts on Twitter by utilizing the social media sharing feature. With Jetpack, view your site stats to determine which posts are receiving the most views. If your cupcake posts are more popular than the muffin ones, plan your content accordingly. Adhering to reader preferences will foster a loyal following.
Other free features included with Jetpack are image slideshows and carousels, embedded multimedia content from Google Docs and YouTube, customizable sidebars, and a high-speed content delivery network (CDN) so that your site loads faster.
Yes, despite offering all these features, Jetpack is made to increase page load times. Some worry that, because of all it offers, Jetpack might slow down their website. That’s simply not true, and there’s proof. Check out this article that answers the questions: does Jetpack slow down your site?
Paid Jetpack plans (Personal, Premium, and Professional) are also available if you want even more features for your site. With a paid plan, you can access tools that will boost your SEO score across Google searches. You’ll receive security tools like daily backups, spam filtering, and a 30-day content archive. Finally, paid plans deliver high-speed, HD, and ad-free video hosting which includes access to advertising programs that will enable you to display ads on your site, generating some extra revenue.
There are three tiers of Jetpack plans paid on an annual basis: Jetpack Personal, which includes WordPress.com security support and daily backups, unlimited storage, spam filtering, and the ability to restore your entire site in just one click; Jetpack Premium, which offers more enhanced security features; and Jetpack Professional, with enhanced automation, real-time backups, and unlimited video hosting.
Since many Jetpack features are available for free, you should take advantage of the tools that will work best for your site — whether you’re a photographer using the image gallery to display your work, or a restaurant owner setting up automatic Facebook posts about your weekly specials. Although Jetpack is an all-encompassing plugin, you can pick and choose which features you want to activate, giving you more control over your site’s functionality and performance.
When deciding whether to purchase a paid Jetpack plan, consider the elements of your website or business that make it unique, and if Jetpack’s paid features can enhance those aspects. If you store customer information or other proprietary data on your site, the premium security features included in a Jetpack paid plan will keep private information safe. If you primarily engage with your audience through videos, the video hosting services offered through a paid plan are probably worth investing in.
Whether you use Jetpack or not, understanding the ins and outs of the plugin will help you unlock new website tools to make your site more user-friendly and professional, allowing you to build an engaging destination that continually draws in visitors.
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