Jetpack is one of the most popular plugins in the WordPress plugin repository. Odds are you have it installed right now. But are you really using it to its full potential? Here’s a look at 10 Jetpack features to make managing your site easier.
1. WordPress Site Stats
When I first launched my site, WordPress Site Stats was the main reason why I installed Jetpack in the first place. I wanted to be able to to quickly see stats every time I logged into my dashboard. Now, I’m not sure how accurate these stats are, but I like to think they’ll give you a general idea of your site’s traffic. I don’t pay attention to the numbers (that’s what Google Analytics is for), but I use the chart to gauge whether I’m getting more or less traffic than previous days. It’s just a quick and easy way to get a ballpark figure of traffic when I’m visiting my WordPress dashboard.
2. Custom CSS
How many times have you customized a theme, only to have an update erase all of your customization? If you’re not tech savvy enough to create a child theme, the Custom CSS feature is perfect for you. When enabled, it adds a new page where you can enter custom CSS. This means you no longer run the risk of all your theme edits disappearing. Note: this feature only applies to CSS, so any changes you want to make via functions.php or another theme file still have to be done via the theme itself.
3. Related Posts
If you want to increase pageviews, the Related Posts feature can help you do just that. It adds a section below each of your posts with links to a few posts that readers might be interested in based on the post they’re currently on. And unlike other related post plugins, the analysis is done on their server, so there is no extra load on your site.
We all know how important it is to make your content shareable. Enabling the sharing feature adds customizable sharing buttons to the bottom of each of your posts, which makes it easy for your readers to share your content.
5. Site Verification Tools
If you’ve ever faced verifying your site on Pinterest or setting up Google / Bing webmaster tools, then you might be familiar with the chunk of code you’re presented, yet have no idea what to do with. The Site Verification Tools feature makes it easy by adding 3 simple text fields to your Tools page. Simply add the code to the appropriate box and you’re done.
Want to know when your site goes down? Enabling Monitor allows you to do just that. It checks your site every 5 minutes and if it notices your site is down, you’ll be notified via email. You’ll then receive another notification when your site is back up.
Jetpack’s Protect feature protects your site from brute force attacks. Think it won’t happen to you? Enable this setting and wait a few days. It displays the number of malicious login attempts beneath your stats. Prepare to be surprised.
8. Site Icon
Want to customize the little icon associated with your site in your browser (called a favicon)? The Site Icon feature adds a setting to your Settings page which allows you to upload an image to be displayed in the browser. And if you ever decide to change themes, your icon remains the same (unless you change it).
9. Widget Visibility
Do you have a certain widget that you only want displayed on certain pages? With Widget Visibility you can easily select what pages you want widgets displayed on. You can even hide widgets from certain pages if need be.
10. Extra Sidebar Widgets
Enabling Extra Sidebar Widgets adds 9 new widgets to your widgets page. I’m not going to go into details on all of them, particularly since I don’t think most of them are necessary, but I do want to point out a few that I think come in handy. Social Media Icons allows you to add social media icons to your sidebar easily, while the Image Widget makes adding images a breeze. Also worth noting is the Twitter Timeline widget, which lets you embed a Twitter stream in any of your widget areas.
Have a favorite Jetpack feature? Share below!