Need to power up your self-hosted WordPress site? The Jetpack plugin from Automattic gives you access to all the best features you miss from WordPress.com. From visitor engagement to site stats, from security features to display options, Jetpack has it all. Find out if it’s is right for you in our Jetpack review.
What Is Jetpack for WordPress?
You know all the reasons why WordPress.org beats WordPress.com for most users. With a self-hosted WordPress site, every aspect of your site is under your complete control.
But sometimes, don’t you miss some of the features available on WordPress.com? Those site stats on your dashboard are so convenient, and the image caching can really speed up your site.
No need to switch back to WordPress.com — you can get those features and more with Automattic’s Jetpack plugin for WordPress.
Jetpack works by connecting you to your WordPress.com account, giving you access to features that were previously available to WordPress.com users only.
The Jetpack plugin includes a huge variety of modules that add various features to your site. You can choose to activate only the modules you’ll use.
Certain modules are activated by default. But you can navigate to Jetpack » Settings after installing and activating the plugin to decide which modules you want to use.
Just click the blue slider next to the module you’d like to activate or deactivate, and click the area to configure any available settings.
What Jetpack Modules Are Available?
There a dozens of modules available, many free and some paid. Here are some of the most useful and popular:
Visitor Engagement Modules
- Site Stats: Get insights into your traffic and other analytics from your dashboard.
- Sharing: Add simple social sharing buttons to your posts and pages.
- Publicize: Automatically share newly published posts on your social media accounts.
- Related Posts: Keep readers on your site by display similar content below each post.
- Protect: Prevent brute force login attempts.
- Monitor: Checks your site every 5 minutes and notifies you of any downtime.
- Tiled Galleries: Display your images in tiled arrangements.
- Photon: Optimize, cache, and serve your images from the WordPress.com CDN.
- Widget Visibility: Add conditional rules for when to display widgets.
- Custom CSS: Keep your CSS edits in a separate location from you theme.
- WP.me Shortlinks: Enable shortlinks for all your blog posts.
- Contact Form: Create simple contact forms with shortcodes.
- Markdown: Write posts or pages in plain-text Markdown syntax.
You’ll see that the modules really run the gamut of possibilities. There are plenty of plugins that offer these features individually, but none like Jetpack that offer them all in one plugin.
Jetpack Tiled Galleries vs. Envira Gallery
Jetpack Tiled Galleries allows you to create very simple galleries within your posts or pages.
Just click the Add Media button on any post or page, and you can click on the Create Gallery link on the right to select images from your media library.
The simple settings are on the right:
As you can see, the options are pretty limited. It’s impossible to link images to custom URLs, for example. If you want to expand the images into a simple slideshow when clicked, you can activate the Jetpack Carousel module.
The resulting galleries do look nice and are responsive.
But if you need to create more advanced galleries, you’ll need a plugin like Envira Gallery.
With Envira Gallery, you have a huge amount of options for creating your galleries, and it’s still just as easy to use as the Jetpack Tiled Galleries module. Envira Gallery is also the fastest image gallery plugin we tested. Check out our full Envira Gallery review for more details.
We also recommend Soliloquy for creating fully-featured image sliders. Unlike other slider plugins, Soliloquy is easy to use, beginner-friendly, and lightweight — it won’t slow down your site. See our Soliloquy review for more information.
Jetpack Contact Form Module
Jetpack’s Contact Form Module is a simple tool for creating forms with shortcodes. Just click the Add Contact Form button on any post or page and choose your options.
The resulting shortcode output will look something like this:
It’s not immediately apparent how to edit the form, but you can do so by clicking the Add Contact Form button again while your cursor is on the form. To save your changes, click the Add this form to my post button again. It will change the existing form instead of adding a new one.
Looking for a more user-friendly plugin for creating forms? We recommend WPForms, the most beginner-friendly form plugin for WordPress.
Pricing and Support Options
The Jetpack plugin and most modules are available for free.
There are also two premium subscription options available that give you access to premium features, including:
- automated daily backups with one-click restoration
- daily malware scanning
- premium WordPress support
Before deciding to use Jetpack, take a look at the available modules and think about which ones you’ll use.
If you’ll only use one or two of the modules, it may be better to look for individual plugins that add the same features.
You know that saying, “jack of all trades, master of none”? Jetpack has a lot of different modules, but none of them are the best at what they do. If you choose a standalone, dedicated plugin for that feature instead, you’re likely to find one that’s better developed, faster, easier to use, and with more options than the Jetpack module.
But if all you need is simple, and you’d rather deal with everything in one plugin, Jetpack isn’t a bad choice. It’s frequently updated and well supported.
We give Jetpack 4 out of 5 stars. Here is the breakdown of our review scores: