Aug 202014
 
Article WordPress

Jetpack is a “combo” WordPress plugin that implements a large number of interesting features, that were previously unavailable, or were available only by the installation of individual plugins.

This post explains how to perform the installation of the Jetpack plugin on top of a “self-hosted” WordPress installation, together with a brief explanation of  the features available from this plugin.

Jetpack features

At the time of writing this post, the latest version of Jetpack is 3.1.1. This version includes thirty three features of different kinds:

Features to modify the appearance of the blog

  • Custom CSS – Customize your site’s CSS without modifying your theme.
  • Gravatar Hovercards Enable pop-up business cards over commenters’ Gravatars.
  • Infinite Scroll – Add support for infinite scroll to your theme.
  • Shortcode Embeds – Embed content from YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, and more, no coding necessary.
  • Mobile Theme – Optimize your site with a mobile-friendly theme for tablets and phones.
  • Widget Visibility – Specify which widgets appear on which pages of your site.
  • Extra Sidebar Widgets – Add images, Twitter streams, and your site’s RSS links to your sidebar.

Integration with social networks and traffic improvements

  • Jetpack Comments – Let readers comment with WordPress.com, Twitter, or Facebook accounts.
  • Publicize – Share new posts on social media networks automatically.
  • Sharing – Allow visitors to share your content on Facebook, Twitter, and more with a click.
  • WP.me – Shortlinks Enable WP.me-powered shortlinks for all posts and pages.
  • Likes – Give visitors an easy way to show their appreciation for your content.
  • Enhanced Distribution – Share your public posts and comments to search engines and other services.
  • Subscriptions – Allow users to subscribe to your posts and comments and receive notifications via email

Features for developers

  • JSON API – Allow applications to securely access your content through the cloud.
  • Jetpack Single Sign On – Allow your users to log in using their WordPress.com accounts.
  • Omnisearch – Search your entire database from a single field in your Dashboard.

Features to improve content writing and editing

  • Beautiful Math – Use LaTeX markup language in posts and pages for complex equations and other geekery.
  • Markdown – Write posts or pages in plain-text Markdown syntax.
  • Spelling and Grammar – Check your spelling, style, and grammar with the After the Deadline proofreading service.
  • Post By Email – Publish posts by email, using any device and email client.
  • Shortcode Embeds – Embed content from YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, and more, no coding necessary.
  • Custom content types -Create non-standard content

Statistics and site monitoring

  • WordPress.com Stats  – Monitor your stats with clear, concise reports and no additional load on your server.
  • Monitor  – Receive notifications from Jetpack if your site goes offline — and when it it returns.

Multimedia content – Images and videos

  • Carousel – Transform standard image galleries into full-screen slideshows.
  • Tiled Galleries – Display your image galleries in a variety of sleek, graphic arrangements.
  • Photon – Accelerate your site by loading images from the WordPress.com CDN.
  • Shortcode Embeds – Embed content from YouTube, Vimeo, SlideShare, and more, no coding necessary.
  • VideoPress – Upload and host video right on your site.

Other features

  • Related Posts – Display links to your related content under posts and pages.
  • Contact Form – Insert a contact form anywhere on your site.
  • Notifications – Receive notification of site activity via the admin toolbar and your Apple device.
  • Google+ Profile  – Give users the ability to share posts to Google+, and add your site link to your Google+ profile.
  • Site Verification Tools – Verify your site or domain with Google Webmaster Tools, Pinterest, and others.

Compatibility with WordPress multisite

Since version 2.9, Jetpack is compatible with WordPress multisite installations, as is the case of this openalfa blog.

Installation pre-requisites

In order to sucessfully install and activate Jetpack, a (free) WordPress.com account is required.

Alternatively, it is possible to install Jetpack in “development mode”. In this case, only features that do not require a connection to WordPress.com can be activated.

Development mode can be configured by adding to wp-config.php a line:

 define( 'JETPACK_DEV_DEBUG', true);

Jetpack Installation

The installation of Jetpack is done in the same way as most wordpress plugins:

From the site Dashboard, select “Plugins > Add New” from the left menu. Insert “Jetpack” in the search box, and click on “Search plugins”. Once Jetpack is located in the list of results, click on the link “install now”, and that’s all.

Alternatively, for wordpress installation without direct internet access, the installation file can be downloaded and uncompressed under the directory “wp-content/plugins”.

Once installed, proceed to activate it (On a wordpress multisite installation, the activation needs to be done for each of the blogs that we want to use the plugin).

When the plugin is activated, a welcome screen is displayed, asking to connect to WordPress.com:

jetpack-install

 

 

Clicking on “Connect to WordPress.com” a new screen is displayed requesting permission to access the blog from WordPress.com (if we are not validated to WordPress.com at that time, the screen includes fields to login/signup to WordPress.com):

jetpack-login

 

On clicking on “Authorize Jetpack”, the activation of the plugin is complete, and the left menu shows links to the Jetpack configuration screen, site statistics and Omnisearch:

jetpack-menu

 

Jetpack configuration

Being Jetpack a package of many different functionalities, configuring jetpack is a matter of configuring each of the modules it includes.

The first step it to decide which modules to activate. Selecting “Jetpack > Settings” in the left menu displays a list of all the available modules. Placing the cursor on top of each one, the link to activate/deactivate de module is displayed to the right. If the module is active, a link to configure the module is also displayed, if applicable:

jetpack-configuration

The configuration of most modules is quite straightforward. In the following posts in this series we will write a detailed explanation on the configuration and available functionality of some of the most interesting ones.

References

JetPack website

 Posted by at 2:30 pm

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