WordPress Jetpack has powerful features


Jetpack is a free plugin for self-hosted WordPress blogs from WordPress.com that adds a plethora of new features and functionality. Stats and Shortcodes are among the most popular of its thirty modules. I’ve just added three powerful new Jetpack features to my blogs and to client blogs. They are Publicize, Photon, and Enhanced Distribution.

Publicize. Autopost to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Crossposting from blogs to social media is important, as focus inexorably shifts from blogs to social media. A blog is great for branding and as a home base. However, there is increasingly engagement on social media than on blogs. Jetpack Sharing appears on the Edit Post page directly under Publish. You can choose which sites to crosspost to. Best of all, it does a superb job of formatting the posts. It doesn’t schedule autoposts in the future, maybe a future version will.  If you need to autopost in the future, use Hootsuite.

Photon. Content Distribution Network for images.

CDNs host blog data and images on their servers across the country and planet, which cuts load on the blog itself and speeds delivery to users. The original images remain on your blog. The CDN copies them to its servers and that’s what users see. Some CDNs practically require a PhD to configure (Hi W3TC!) and while they offer much more, Photon will put all your images on WordPress servers with one click. Highly recommended.

Enhanced Distribution gets your content out there faster.

The plugin in author explains:

Turning off Enhanced Distribution will prevent your published posts and comments being sent to the companies that consume the WordPress.com firehose. This doesn’t mean they can’t get the data; it’s all available on your site feed. It just means they get it faster and they don’t have to poll your site.

The benefits might not be immediately apparent but they are there. Every company that receives firehose updates has the opportunity to show your content to more people.

Performance used to be an issue with Jetpack as it bogged down the site. These issues appear to be resolved. However, you should disable all JetPack modules you aren’t using.