How to Configure Jetpack Plugin for WordPress
Jetpack is one of the most popular plugins for WordPress and it includes a variety of tools to help you improve and grow your website. However, as Jetpack offers so many features, it can be hard to gain a good understanding of what it offers and whether it is a good choice for your new WordPress website.
The purpose of this Jetpack Guide is to de-mystify Jetpack and to introduce you to some of its best modules. By the end of this article, you will know whether Jetpack would make a good addition to your new website or blog. And you will have a good understanding of which modules to activate.
How to Configure Jetpack Plugin
Jetpack has three sidebar tabs – Dashboard, Settings, and Site Stats.
Let’s dive right into how to configure Jetpack for your site before looking at the dashboard and site stats pages.
- Security – downtime monitoring, auto-updates, brute force protection, and more.
- Performance – search functionality, speed optimization, and media offloading.
- Writing – full screen slideshows, Markdown/LaTeX support, and more.
- Sharing – social sharing, like buttons, and more.
- Discussion – additional commenting functionality, subscriptions, and more.
- Traffic – ads, related posts, shortlink generation, sitemaps, and more.
Jetpack Security Settings
With Jetpack, you can add backups, security, downtime monitoring, and more to your WordPress site. Let’s go through Jetpack’s security features!
Backups and Security Scanning (Paid Plan Only)
Jetpack’s “Backups and Security Scanning” feature is only available for paid plans. Every WordPress site should have a backup and security strategy in place. Jetpack’s solution is a great option if your host doesn’t offer backups and security scanning.
If you’re running a mission-critical website, having some sort of downtime monitoring strategy in place is important. With that said, Jetpack’s downtime monitoring feature isn’t very customizable in terms of monitoring and notification configuration. At this time, Jetpack only supports sending notifications to your WordPress.com email address – no Slack, SMS, and phone call support.
At first glance, Jetpack’s “auto-update plugins” feature appears to be a big timesaver, but we generally don’t recommend automatic updates for WordPress plugins. Over the years, we’ve seen our fair share of plugin updates causing PHP code conflicts and 500 errors.
Brute Force Attack Protection
WordPress is by far the most popular CMS in the world, and it’s a prime target for hackers and other malicious actors. It’s common for WordPress endpoints like
xmlrpc.php to be bombarded by bots designed to brute force your login credentials.
While brute force protection is an important layer of security, implementing it at the DNS (Cloudflare or Sucuri) or web server level (Nginx or Apache) is preferable to brute force protection at the application level (WordPress).
The option allows you to log in to your WordPress site with your WordPress.com login credentials. We don’t recommend enabling this feature because it doesn’t provide any added convenience, and opens up another attack vector for your site.
If you’re configuring the Jetpack plugin, it means you’re already logged in. With that in mind, there’s no need to add another login option just for the sake of doing so.
Jetpack Performance Settings
In 2020, ensuring your WordPress site is loading quickly is critical for user experience and SEO. Jetpack offers a few performance-oriented features like search optimization, image optimization, CDN, and video hosting. Let’s take a look at Jetpack’s performance settings.
Performance & Speed
height attributes. It also compresses images and converts them to WEBP format for supported browsers.
Jetpack Writing Settings
Jetpack has a few useful tools for bloggers and content creators like Markdown support, full-screen image carousels, LaTeX support, and more. Let’s go through them now.
Full-Screen Carousel Slideshows
If you’re a photographer or travel blogger, you probably embed a lot of images on your WordPress site. Adding full-screen carousel support for your image galleries can improve the user experience for your site’s visitors. With Jetpack, you can add full-screen carousel slideshow functionality to your standard WordPress galleries without writing any code.
Jetpack includes a few features to enhance writing and content management in WordPress.
- Copy Posts & Pages – this feature is useful if your workflow involves creating new posts and pages based on a single template.
- Markdown Support – Markdown is a syntax format designed for writing content destined for the web. It’s used by millions of people around the world, but WordPress never provided first-class support for it until recently with the Gutenberg editor. If you’re a Gutenberg user, there’s no need to enable this feature for Markdown support. If you’re still using the classic editor, enabling this option will let you write in Markdown.
- LaTeX Support – LaTeX is a markup language for writing equations and other mathematical texts. This feature is very useful for people who often write in LaTeX.
Jetpack lets you add two theme enhancements to your site – infinite scroll and an enhanced CSS customization panel. Infinite scroll replaces your WordPress site’s pagination with an AJAX-based loader that automatically fetches new posts without having to load the next page.
Jetpack provides three options for its infinite scroll feature.
- Load more posts using the default theme behavior
- Load more posts in page with a button
- Load more posts as the reader scrolls down
In Jetpack’s “Widgets” settings, you’ll find two options to customize widgets on your site.
- Add support for additional widgets including social icons, Flickr, top posts and pages, Twitter timeline, and more. For a complete list of included widget.
- Customize widget visibility on a per-post or page basis.
Sharing Buttons & Like Buttons
The “Sharing Buttons” feature is pretty self-explanatory. It lets you customize and add social sharing buttons to your posts and pages.
In addition to customizing the look of the button, you can also specify which content types you want to display the sharing buttons on.
In the “Comments” section, you can add additional authentication methods (WordPress.com, Twitter, Facebook, and Google) for commenting. You can also change the “comment form introduction” and color scheme of the form.
There are also a few other miscellaneous settings in this section – pop-up business cards, Markdown support, and comment likes.
Jetpack’s “Subscriptions” feature provides you with an easy way to add site and comment subscriptions to your WordPress site. With comment subscriptions enabled, you’ll see two additional checkboxes below the comment form, which will allow visitors to subscribe to either your site or new comments via email.
You can use Jetpack’s “Related Posts” feature to add a related posts widget to the bottom of each post. There are a few customization options that let you add a related content header and thumbnail images for individual posts.
Jetpack can automatically generate XML sitemaps for your WordPress site. If you’re not using a third-party SEO plugin to generate sitemaps, you can enable this option in Jetpack.
Jetpack’s “Site Verification” feature lets you verify ownership of your WordPress site with popular search engines like Google, Bing, Pinterest, and Yandex. If you’ve already verified your site, there is no need to enable this option in Jetpack.