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6.1 What Is Jetpack?

In this lesson, I'll give you an overview of the Jetpack WordPress plugin and tell you about some of its best features.

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6.1 What Is Jetpack?

Hello, and welcome back to this Tutsplus course on Essential WordPress plugins. In this master course, we're gonna have a look at the Jetpack plugin which is by WordPress.com. So there's a free version of it here in the WordPress plugins directory. And you can also download it from the Jetpack website where you can get a premium version of it. Is this becoming familiar? So what does Jetpack do? Well, Jetpack basically turns your self-hosted WordPress.org website into WordPress.com website. So it gives you all the features of WordPress.com in your website. Now, some people don't like this. They think that it involves a lot of bloat because it does give you a lot of extra features, some of which you might not need. But you can turn those off. And you can just pick the features that you like. So for example, the features I particularly like, are the fact that you have some really good social features so you can automatically post new posts to social media. And I also like the related post feature, which adds a list of related posts at the bottom of each page, or each post in your site. But you can also add additional features such as security, backups, and a lot of the other features that we've looked at in some of the essential WordPress plugins today. But to get a lot of those, you would have to buy the premium version of Jetpack, or you'd have to buy a premium license. So I'm gonna show you some of the features that you get for free with Jetpack and some of the features that you have to pay for. And I'm gonna do that by showing you a site that I already have set up that I manage that includes Jetpack. So this is website I manage, and here you can see a post on that site. And one of the examples of something that's added by Jetpack is this related post feature here. So I get the featured image of each related post and it identifies which posts are similar to the current one. So this post is all about writing with an injury, and it picked out some posts on productivity and priorities for writers. Here's another set of features that come with Jetpack, and that's social sharing. So people can share this via various social media channels. So I've included a whole bunch of them here and they can also like it using their WordPress.com account. So people can follow my site if they've got their own WordPress.com site or their WordPress.com account. And that includes not only people on WordPress.com but other people who've got Jetpack enabled. Because to have Jetpack set up, you do need to set up a WordPress.com account. So people can like this using their WordPress.com account, and they can also follow the entire site. Another thing you can do using Jetpack is you can enhance comments. So you see here instead of the normal comment box, you can use WordPress.com to comment and you can use other channels as well. And this is something that you simply turn on by selecting an option in Jetpack because it's a feature of WordPress.com. And then under the hood in your dashboard, you have additional tools available to you with Jetpack. So here I've got site stats, and that shows me my visitors over a period of time. You can see tails off as Christmas gets closer and people are busy. And I can view more stats on WordPress.com. So I can click through to my WordPress.com account and I can see more. So let's login, and here I've got much more detailed insights. I can look at individual months, and years, and days. And I can look at where the sources of that traffic is. So I've got traffic here, and then I've got insights. So I've got access to a whole host of data about my site as a Jetpack user, just as I would, if I was using WordPress.com itself. Jetpack also gives you an Akismet account that you can use to ward off spam. And it gives you other features, such as optimising photos and creating galleries and carousels and that sort of thing. And I'm gonna show you how to set some of those up in the next part of the course. So what we'll do in the next part of the course is have a look at how you install the Jetpack plugin and how you configure it on your own site. See you next time, and thanks for watching.

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