I may have been a little harsh on Jetpack in my previous post, The Plugin We Love To Hate, but even then I anticipated it would be much improved under active development. There have been several issues with Jetpack since they launched, load speed, control over activating modules, compatibility with other plugins, among others.
Jetpack is a vastly improved product, it’s been making steady improvements for long enough that it is barely recognizable. Now there is a slick interface for controlling modules. Modules can be activated independently, a feature that has been requested for some time now.
Some Jetpack options are placed under Media (tiled galleries) or Discussion (comments) and not under the main option panel. A bit annoying if you don’t know where to look.
Although I have not switch this site over to Jetpack, my personal blog, keepkalm.com, is utilizing it. We include Jetpack on almost all of the new WordPress installs now.
Before it only made sense to use for a handful of clients who were migrating from WordPress.com to keep the subscriber lists. There are so many good reasons to use Jetpack now.
- Tiled Galleries
Another plugin that I love to hate, NextGen Gallery, finally has some real competition from Jetpack. NextGen Galleries are ugly, difficult to work with, and haven’t shown any improvement over the years. Tiled Galleries in Jetpack are brilliant. Responsive design using the WordPress native media and the Photon CDN.
- Photon CDN
Content Delivery Network (CDN) distributes your content so that visitors can load your content from a server that is requires fewer network hops. Images are what people want, but they are slow compared to text.
- Infinite Scroll
Another neat feature. Not 100% sure if infinite scrolling is “better” than loading posts on click, but it is kind of a neat feature.
- Jetpack Comments
There are a lot of options out there for commenting systems, Disqus, Comments Evolved, LiveFyre, or take your pick. If you don’t want to think about it too hard, just use Jetpack.
- Related Posts
Again there are a lot of options to choose from, Zemanta, nRelate, and several others are in the relate posts game. And again, there isn’t a lot of difference in terms of form or function, and Jetpack does this adequately.
- Featured Content
Sticky posts get special treatment by Jetpack, if your theme supports it. If not, there are detailed instructions on how to do so.
- Social & Sharing
Connect your social media accounts to Jetpack for sharing and you can add links to your profile as well. Whether social buttons increase engagement and/or sharing may be up for debate, but just in case Jetpack has you covered.
- Mobile Theme
Not a responsive design true believer? Jetpack has a mobile theme option for your WordPress install.
We may start running Jetpack on SEO Bandwagon, it just keeps getting better. Thanks to the development team for their hard work, sorry I never made it to any of the sessions in Seattle to contribute, looks like things went fine without me.