Matt Mullenweg announced the release of a fantastic new plugin called Jetpack. The plugin uses WordPress.com to power a range of widgets such as Gravatar Hovercards, WordPress.com stats, Twitter, shortcodes, shortlinks, Sharedaddy and ‘After the Deadline’.
Jetpack is free to use and all of the features released so far have been free too, however Matt has indicated that premium features may be added in the future for a small fee. In order to you Jetpack, you need to connect your site to WordPress:
Once you have logged in with your WordPress.com account you can configure the features which you want to use. Most features are activated by default so you just need to deactivate the features you won’t be using.
Upon installation, one of my plugins stopped working, causing the sidebar to stop prematurely, however once I had upgraded to the latest version of the plugin the problems went away. If you have any problems, simply deactivate all plugins and reactivate them one by one until you find out which one is conflicting with Jetpack.
I only installed the plugin a few hours ago however I’ve already been impressed by the stats which WordPress.com provides. Referrers, keywords, incoming links, clicks, top posts and pages and much more. It’s a great way of seeing how your site is performing.
Gravatar hovercards shows pop up business cards of commenters who have a Gravatar account. It seems like a great feature but for some reason it doesn’t seem to be displaying for me (possibly due to the WPMods template code being a little out of date).
ShareDaddy is a really great looking social media plugin for WordPress. It’s simplistic but integrates well and allows you to easily add new services and display social media sites through text or through an icon and text.
Other features that Jetpack adds:
- WP.me Shortlinks – URL shortener service.
- LaTeX – Mathematical mark up language functionality.
- After the Deadline – Grammar, style and spell checker.
- Shortcode Embeds – Video embedder for YouTube, Vimeo and SlideShare.
Jetpack doesn’t give you anything that you can’t get elsewhere. There are lots of other stats programs available to you and dozens of alternative Twitter widgets available too. Therefore, individually, no feature of Jetpack is a must have; however collectively Jetpack is an incredibly useful plugin which adds some great functionality to your website. It’s not a ‘must have’ plugin like Akismet or Google Site Maps but I have no doubt that it will be one of the first plugins people install after setting up WordPress.
Another great effort by the WordPress team and one which I encourage you to check out.
Thanks for reading,