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6.2 Installing and Configuring Jetpack

In this lesson, I'll show you how to make use of Jetpack for commenting, social media, site stats, and more.

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6.2 Installing and Configuring Jetpack

Hello, and welcome back to this tuts plus course on essential WordPress Plugins. In this particles, we'll continue looking at the Jetpack plugin, and I'll show you how to install and configure it on your site. So let's go to the dashboard, and then go to the screen for adding new plugins. Now, I don't need to do a search for Jetpack, because it's one of the highlighted ones that appears on the plugins screen. So I'll click on Install now, and then I'll click the Activate button to activate it. Now, I'll be taken straight to a Set up Jetpack wizard. So I'm gonna set up Jetpack, which basically consists of either creating a WordPress.com account or logging into my existing WordPress.com account, in order to link it to my account. And at this point, it also gives you the option to set up a premium WordPress.com account if you want. Now, you can see it pushes this at you. It wants you to get a premium account with things like backups. So if you wanted, you can actually use Jetpack to replace some of the other plugins that we looked at, for example backups, SEO and performance, but you have to pay for it. So I'm going to keep on scrolling down, I'm not gonna worry about all these different versions of premium plans, paid plans. Instead, I'm gonna click this slightly less obvious button which is start with free. So I will continue with that. And here, it's gonna give me some pop ups which is slightly annoying, and I'm now in WordPress.com. So I can manage my site from WordPress.com. There are elements of it I can do in WordPress.com. So I can add content in WordPress.com if I want to, and I can also manage which Jetpack features I'm using. But I'm gonna go back to my original site. So let's go to the dashboard. And then you can see, it's added this Jetpack item. And it's got some more pop ups. I'll take a look at the Privacy Center a bit later. So I'm on the dashboard screen. I've got my Site Stats, which is empty at the moment because this is a brand new site. I can upgrade for security, for anti spam and for backups, although you can actually get a Kismet for free if you're using a personal site, in much the same way as you would if you were using the Kismet plugin. In here, is telling me if my plugins are up to date, and I can manage them. And this also something called protect which I can use for security. Then that's not gonna have the same amount of security features as security plugin. But again, I've got the scan option, if I want it so I can upgrade. Now again, you're paying for that, but the benefit of it is it's one plugin providing everything. And it's gonna be a very reliable plugin, because it's based on WordPress.com. So if you're happy paying for that, it means you only have one plugin to keep updated. It means you know there aren't gonna be any clashes between the different plugins that you're running. So if you wanted to, you could have Jetpack as your one essential plugin, and you'd effectively be running a WordPress.com site on a self hosted site. Now you may be thinking, what's the point? Why don't I just get WordPress.com. I would always recommend getting a self hosted site. Because it's your site, you own everything in your site, if it's on wordpress.org self hosted. If you go on WordPress.com, although you can get a premium plan and you can install plugins and that sort of thing, it's still not yours, it's not on your tough. So I would always go with wordpress.org or self hosted WordPress. So I'm gonna activate this downtime monitor. And that will tell me if my website goes down. And it will also tell me when my website goes up again. So what you'll find, is you often get an email, and then another email about a minute later telling your websites back up again. I've got an image accelerator here for performance, which is very similar to the smashing was I did in the performance WP optimized plugin. So I can activate that to optimize my image sizes if I want. I'm gonna deactivate that because I've already got it activated via WP optimize. And I can also replace the basic search from wordpress.org, self hosted WordPress with a customizable search. Again, that's something you have to upgrade for. And to be honest, I think that's something you can get free plugin that will do just as well. Now here, there are WordPress apps. And because you're LinkedIn to WordPress.com, you can use the WordPress app to manage your self hosted WordPress site using Jetpack. So that's the main dashboard. And it tells you here what your plan is currently, and gives you these buttons that you can use to upgrade, and it also gives you the options for different plans that you can upgrade to if you want to. So now, let's take a look at the settings. So we've got some basic security settings activated via Jetpack, that we're able to deal with the free version. So we've got downtime monitoring, we can also use auto-update for auto-updating plugins. Which will save you time having to go in and manually update your plugin, if you want. We've enabled brute force protection, which will reduce the chances of your site being hacked. And here we can enable WordPress.com login and include two-step authentication for extra security if we want. But I'm not gonna worry about that just now. So now let's look at performance and again, performance is something that we already added using another plugin. And you can add extra performance features with Jetpack if you upgrade. So we've got this site accelerator which optimizes images and static files including CSS and JavaScript. And again, we did that using the WP optimize plugin. Got lazy loading for images, which is something that we did using WP optimize. Search, we've touched on, and again it's an upgrade. So those are some basic performance enhancements we can have there. If you wanted more, you'd have to upgrade and get a paid plan. We now have some writing options. So, Jetpack has some really nice media options, to make your media look better. So you can have fullscreen carousel galleries, and you can change the color on the background of that if you want. I like black. We've got some options for composing. So we can use markdown, we can copy entire posts and pages, we can use the LaTeX markup language, or use shortcodes to embed media from other sites. So I'm gonna enable that, cuz sometimes that can be useful. And then jetpack gives you two custom content types, which are testimonials and portfolios. Now, to be honest, I would ignore these. They are nowhere near as powerful as a custom post type in WordPress. They don't give you the same option, to include archive pages and to add custom text to those content types, so just ignore them. And we've then got some theme enhancements. And again, I would ignore these because your theme should be providing all that. Now there are extra widgets you can have. The subscription form can be quite useful, so I'm gonna enable that. And if you want, you can have widget visibility, so your widgets only displayed on particular posts or pages. So you can then set that up when you're setting up the widget, or when you're editing a post or page. You can publish posts by sending an email, which I'm gonna keep off, because I don't like the security risks with that. And you can enable the WordPress.com toolbar if you want. Which I'm not gonna do. I'll go back up here, and I'll save what I've done with the media here. And my other ones I've saved have been blanked out, so I don't need to click them. Now, here's one of my favorite features of Jetpack. And this is where you can share your posts and enable other people to share your posts. So this publicize option, means you can connect your social media accounts. And then when you add a new post, it automatically posts to all of those social media accounts, so you don't have to manually go and do it. It's particularly useful if you're scheduling your post for the future. And you don't wanna have to remember to go in and post that on Facebook or Twitter when it's published. Instead, Jetpack will do it for you. You can add sharing buttons to your posts and pages. And let's configure those. so here, we can configure those sharing buttons here. Edit those and add some more, that we don't print it. Let's add Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Pocket, that'll do. Close that, and you can select how it looks. So there's an icon, which is what I had on my website I showed you earlier, just text or the official buttons which will pull in from those websites. I think that looks a bit of a mess. So I'm gonna have Icon Only. And then you've got options as to where you show these. So I'm just gonna have them on my posts and not my pages. And you can include your Twitter username here. So that if people retweet something, or they share something using Twitter, it'll include your username. So I'm gonna save those changes. I'll close that window to go back into my Jetpack screen. And I'm also gonna add a like button to my posts and pages, so people can like those using their WordPress.com account. Now here, that's that comments form that I showed you before, which is better than the default WordPress one. I'm not gonna worry about these. I am gonna enable comment likes, and I'm going to let people subscribe. So I will enable those, because it's good to encourage as many subscription as possible. And those settings have been automatically updated, cuz it uses JavaScript to do that. And then we're looking back at traffic, and ways that you can optimize traffic and maximize it in your site. And the related posts option is a really good way of getting people to stay on your site and look at more content. So I'm gonna include a thumbnail image, and I'm gonna show a heading. And I can configure that in the customizer. I've now got SEO and analytics, but I need to upgrade for those which I'm not gonna be doing. But again, that could replace the SEO plugin that we've already looked at earlier on in the course. We can generate shortened URLs if we want using WP.me. I'm gonna enable that, and very importantly generate a sitemap. So XML sitemap is possibly one of the most important SEO features any plugin will have. Again, you got site verification with those webmaster tools which we looked at in our SEO plugins, and those are all of our settings for traffic and SEO. And again, you can upgrade if you want more. So those are the features that you can enable with a free version of the Jetpack plugin, and how you set them up. Now, I really like the Jetpack plugin. I know there are a lot of WordPress developers who are quite cynical about it, because they don't like WordPress.com and they don't like all of the extra features that you might not need in Jetpack. But I think having a plugin that includes all of those sharing options, as well as the related content and other options as well, which I think are really powerful. I think it's well worth installing, it's a reliable plugin. It will monitor your downtime as well. And if you upgrade to a paid plan, it can replace all of the other essential plugins that you've got on your site. So that's the Jetpack plugin. In the next part of the course, we're going to wrap up by recapping on what you've learned and what we've covered in the course. See you next time, and thanks for watching.

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