WordPress being the world’s leading blogging software is loved by most bloggers. Constant innovation is one of the reasons for the affection. One of such relatively recent innovations is the Jetpack mega-plugin. I called it a mega-plugin because it is a plugin like no other; it comes with several functionalities that would have otherwise only have been available by installing multiple plugins.
WordPress comes in two variants. The self-hosted WordPress.org that one installs manually or via one’s hosting control panel, and WordPress.com the ready-to-go blogging platform that requires no installations. WordPress.com is hosted by Automattic, the company behind WordPress, and so are all blogs hosted under WordPress.com
What Jetpack does is to bring some additional functionalities that were hitherto exclusive to WordPress.com platform, to WordPress.org users. The image below is self-evident.
Jetpack can be installed easily from within your WordPress installation, just like most other plugins but the additional power it brings to your blog is unrivalled. Jetpack adds the following features to your WordPress blog:
- WordPress.com Stats: Simple, concise site stats with no additional load on your server.
- Comments: enables your visitors to use WordPress.com, Twitter, or Facebook accounts when commenting on your site.
- Subscriptions: Allow users to subscribe to your posts and comments to receive a notification via email.
- Contact Form: Easily insert a contact form any where on your site.
- Sharing: The most super duper sharing tool on the interwebs. Share content with Facebook, Twitter, and many more.
- Spelling and Grammar: Improve your spelling, style, and grammar with the After the Deadline Proofreading service.
- Gravatar Hovercards: Show a pop-up business card of your users’ gravatar profiles in comments.
- Shortcode Embeds: Easily embed videos and more from sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and SlideShare.WP.me Shortlinks: Enable WP.me-powered shortlinks for all of your Posts and Pages for easier sharing.
- Beautiful Math: Mark up your posts with the markup language, perfect for complex mathematical equations and other über-geekery.
- Extra Sidebar Widgets: Easily add images, Twitter updates, and your site’s RSS links to your theme’s sidebar.
- Enhanced Distribution: Share your public posts and comments to search engines and other services in real-time.
Installing Jetpack is simple. You can install it from within WordPress without having to download/upload anything as is obvious from the image below: