Introducing Jetpack’s Incredible Volume of Features
The Jetpack WordPress plugin has a ridculous amount of features, and in this part of the guide, we will take you through each one, detailing what it is, what it does, and – in some cases where it is necessary – take you through the configuration process for the features too.
Step 1) Login to the WordPress Dashboard.
Step 2) From your Dashboard, scroll down to Jetpack and click on Jetpack from the dropdown options.
Step 3) Scroll down the page to the list of features. You will see that the team at Jetpack have their own personal favourites, including custom CSS (which helps you to customise your site without modifying your theme), single sign on (one-click signing in) and WordPress stats (which we’ll guide you through in a seperate part of the guide).
Step 4) Scroll past the Jetpack Team Favourites and you’ll find all the Jetpack features. You can use the search box provided too, or search via Newest, Category and Alphabetically. Alternatively, scroll down and you’ll see all of the available features in one place.
Now we’re going to guide you through each one, one-by-one.
Step 5) Custom Content Types – This is where you can create different types of content for your site, including Portfolios, Projects and more. It gives you more options than the standard posts and pages.
Step 6) By clicking on Configure at the bottom of the page, you will be taken to the Writing settings of your site. From here, you can choose whether to enable Portfolio Projects for your website or not.
Step 7) Site Verification – You can verify your website with external services such as the search engines, webmaster tools and Pinterest, and is extremely useful. Click Configure at the bottom of the page to add them to your site.
Step 8) On the Categories and Tags Converter page, you can add any services to your site. As you can see below, Google Webmaster Tools, Bing Webmaster Tools and Pinterest are all available. Add your meta tags here (you can follow the link to use the converter at the top of the screen) and your site will be verified.
Step 9) The Related Posts feature is useful as it allows for relevant links to be shown at the bottom of your posts, which is great for keeping website visitors on your site and showing that you are a trusted source of information. It can also help you to build relationships with other website owners, if you link out to them using this feature.
Step 10) Markdown is a cool way to write posts that allows you to compose posts and comments with links, lists and other features using regular characters. It makes for a quicker way to create posts without having to step away from the keyboard to add codes, links, etc.
Step 11) The Jetpack Single Sign on is a great way to register your site with WordPress so that you and your users can login and register in no time at all with their WordPress.com credentials. Quick and easy!
Step 12) Monitor – This is a great features that emails you when your site is down for whatever reason. Jetpack checks your site every 5 minutes, so any issues will be detected and you can get on it right away.
Step 13) Google+ Profile – Currently the 2nd largest social network after Facebook, Google+ is an important part of social networking, as it belongs to the largest search engine in the world. If you link up your G+ profile with your website, your posts will automatically be posted to your profile, and your site will be linked with your account.
Step 14) Widget Visibility – Widgets are extremely useful, but they don’t always belong on certain pages. With widget visibility, you can turn them on and off on certain pages or posts and mix them around throughout your site.
Step 15) Likes – Similar to social network Likes, this feature allows WordPress.com users to Like your posts, and their Gravatars and number of bloggers who like your posts will appear at the bottom of your posts.
Step 16) Tiled Galleries – This feature allows you to create magazine-style galleries throughout your site without becoming a coder or Graphic Designer. Follow the instructions on the page to tamper with the layout style of your galleries.
Step 17) Post by Email – This is a great feature for folks who are on the go and want to be able to update their blog or website whilst away from the site. Using an email client, you can upload content to your site via email by using your mobile phone or tablet. Follow the links on the page to find out how to customise and add attachments to your post via email.
Step 18) When you follow the link, simply click on Enable Post By Email to add the email address and enable this feature.
Step 19) Photon – This feature allows you to maintain a high level of speed on your site by uploading images from the WordPress.com content delivery network, thus relieving your servers of some of the burden of photos that take up a lot of space on them.
Step 20) Infinite Scroll is a feature that is extremely popular with blogs and news sites, as it allows a user to continue to scroll your site without going to another page. Some Themes do not support Infinite Scroll (Genesis, for example), so be sure to check your Theme before Activating the feature.
Step 21) Publicize is great as it allows you to connect your blog to all of the most popular social networking sites, which means that, whenever a post goes live on your site, it is also distributed to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ via your accounts.
Step 22) By clicking on the Configuration settings for Publicize, you will be taken to the Sharing Settings page, where you can connect your accounts as shown below. When you click ‘Connect’ for each social network, it will either ask you for login details, or if you have those accounts open, it will ask you to confirm whether you want to authorise the accounts for WordPress. Click Authorise and your accounts will be linked in no time.
Step 23) The Google+ profile feature connects your site to Google+ so that your posts and account will be more visible on Google+.
Step 24) The Notifications feature keeps you updated with any new followers, Likes and comments made to your posts and pages, via a small box in the top right-hand corner which will light up if you have notifications to be read. This saves you having to keep checking your Dashboard for Comments, Likes, etc.
Step 25) JSON API – A useful feature that allows you to authorise applications and connect them to your blog.
Step 26) By clicking the Configuration button on the JSON API, you will be taken to the page that gives you the option to allow remote management of themes, plugins and WordPress itself via the JSON API. Tick the box if you agree, and when you hook up an outside account or service, Jetpack will authorise it for you.
Step 27) Smartphones account for around 70% of web traffic these days, so you need your site to translate to the small screen in an effective way that doesn’t put readers off. Jetpack’s Mobile Theme feature allows users to view your site without making any changes. Simply activate the feature and they’ll take care of the rest.
Step 28) The Custom CSS feature allows you to make changes to your Theme and receive instant feedback on whether your changes are valid or not, which is great if you are learning or have made errors that might otherwise screw your site up.
Step 29) Once in the CSS Stylesheet Editor, you can copy and paste your code and save it to make changes to the way your site looks. Make sure you read all the info on this page before you make any changes.
Step 30) Carousel is a feature that makes your standard WordPress galleries launch into full-screen photos once clicked upon.
Step 31) Jetpack Comments – Activating this feature will allow users to make comments on your site via Twitter, Facebook or their WordPress accounts.
Step 32) A Contact Form is an important part of any website, and Jetpack’s form allows users to contact you via email with opening the door to spammers. All comments are filtered by Akismet to ensure you don’t get bombarded by spam.
Step 33) Extra Sidebar Widgets – Jetpack gives you a wide range of extra widgets for your sidebar, including social media, images, gravatars, popular posts and more. Take a look through the list below, then hit configure if you want to make changes and add them.
Step 34) On the Widgets page, scroll down the Available Widgets section to the left and drag and drop your preferred widgets into the area you want them to be on your website. The sidebars will change depending on what Theme you are using.
Step 35) Enhanced Distribution – If your content is of top quality, Jetpack will automatically share it with the search engines, which will in turn increase your traffic and reach.
Step 37) Subscriptions – Newsletters and email marketing are useful tools, and by setting up Subscriptions via Jetpack, your users can subscribe to all new content that goes live on your site, and will be sent it in the form of an email.
Step 38) By clicking on the Configuration button, you will be sent to the settings page, where you have the option to create Follow buttons for both the blog and comments, which is useful for keeping in the loop.
Step 39) Sharing – This feature allows you to enable users of various websites and social networks to share your content on those channels, including Reddit, ShareThis and the likes of Facebook, Twitter and email.
Step 40) Spelling and Grammar – This feature, known as ‘After the Deadline’, is a proofreading service that can improve your writing by using AI to check over your content for all manner of issues, from basic spelling and grammar to the likes of cliches and translation.
Step 41) When configuring your Spelling and Grammar functions, tick the boxes that apply to what you feel you need help with in your writing. Obviously, the more boxes you tick, the longer it will take to check over your posts before they go live, and not every post will need checking for double negatives, jargon, etc. But they are useful tools to have, particularly for longform posts.
Step 42) WP.me shortlinks is a tool that shortens your URL’s, which is extremely useful for social media sharing (especially Twitter, which has a 140 character word count).
Step 43) If you are going to be using formulas or any complex writing forms, the Beautiful Math feature is extremely useful for creating code that translates the language for your WordPress posts without room for errors.
Step 44) Gravatar Hovercards is a feature that will show a users full Gravatar profile when you hover over it, so you can see who is commenting or liking your posts.
Step 45) Shortcode Embeds is great for adding images, audio, video, maps and many other forms of media with simple code, and saves you a great deal of time. Simply follow the instructions provided.
The next step of the guide will focus on How to Setup Jetpack’s Site Stats.