19 Oct 2020

To use or not to use the Jetpack Plugin


Have you seen the Jetpack plug-in for WordPress? If you haven’t, take a look because it’s a full-featured kit containing modules that perform many common tasks that make your blog much easier to use.

You see, out-of-the-box WordPress is missing many features. This is because WordPress was designed to be a framework on which themes and plug-ins are used to add additional functions. That’s why when you first install WordPress, you will find that you really can’t do very much other than the basic features of writing posts, creating pages, and simple things like that.

This lack of functionality is actually one of the main strengths of WordPress. The basic skeleton is extremely fast and very extensible, and It’s your choice to add what you need to extend that skeleton into a working, beautiful site. Some bloggers choose many dozens of plug-ins and a complex theme to give their site incredible functions including e-commerce, databases, and mobile support. Others keep it stripped down, putting on only the bare essentials to get the point across in order to remain distraction free to their users and keep their blogs performing well.

However, some very basic features are missing from WordPress that are needed or desired by many bloggers.

Solving that problem is the purpose of the Jetpack plug-in.Once you install it on your blog, you have access to a huge number of features on yourself hosted word press blog.

What is Jetpack and What is it Used For?

The Jetpack plug-in contains over 40 modules that give you a wide variety of modules for your WordPress blog. These include everything from displaying ads seek in her income to allowing for custom CSS, sending notifications to your users, to adding a admin toolbar. It’s an incredible amount of functionality for one plug-in.

Each of the features supported by Jetpack, as of this writing, are listed on the Jetpack website.

Jetpack was free, and some of the basic functionality still are free, but recently they started charging between $3.50 to $29 per month, depending on the features that you want.

Reasons to Use the Plugin

If you using a significant number of the features of Jetpack, then it’s probably worth considering for your website. If you need more than the basic free functions, you’ll have to weigh whether or not it’s worth paying for them.

Jetpack Is designed to only load the modules that you want. The deactivated models are loaded into your site, so in theory they don’t impact site performance.

Reasons not to Use the Plugin

I found that I didn’t have a need for most of this plugin’s modules, and those that I did need had limited functionality or didn’t quite do what I wanted. Because of this, I found myself having to find alternatives to each module, and finally eliminated Jetpack completely.

One of the problems with Jetpack is that it requires a connection to WordPress.com. For me, this alone was a deal breaker. The connection was always breaking, requiring me to reconnect, especially after upgrades of WordPress.

When I had Jetpack installed on my blog, I notice severe performance issues, seeing as much as a 6 to 10 second delay for loading times.

The single sign-on feature of Jetpack allows you to log into all of your WordPress sites from a single screen. While this might seem to be an advantage, it introduces a potential security risk in that if the WordPress.com login is hacked, all your sites are vulnerable.

Since most of the alternatives to Jetpack are available for free, I don’t see any reason to be paying on a monthly plan to use the inferior modules within this plugin.

What to Use Instead of Jetpack

The alternative is to find individual plug-ins that perform a specific function.

Some of the more valuable replacements that I found include:

  • Contact Form 7 – This handy plug-in neatly replaces the contact form module in Jetpack.
  • Custom Post Type UI – Replaces and expands upon the Custom Contents Types module, and does a much better job of it.
  • Discus or wpDiscuz – Either of these commenting modules are far superior to the one in Jetpack.
  • Slimstat Analytics or Google Analytics – The advantage of Slimstat Analytics Is it doesn’t require a connection to anything, as the statistics are Locally. Google Analytics requires a Google Analytics account, but gives you a wealth of information. Either of these options puts the statistics from jetpack to shame. Another alternative is Facebook pixel, which uses a Facebook function to record statistics from your website.
  • Social Media Feather – This is an excellent option for displaying the social media buttons, and far superior to the Sharing function in Jetpack.
  • Visual Form Builder – An excellent contact form module, even better than Contact Form 7.
  • WP Add Custom CSS – This allows you to add custom CSS code directly to a post or page.

These are just a few examples of the alternatives to Jetpack modules. With a little searching, you can find modules to replace just about everything in Jetpack without the overhead and security risks.


I used Jetpack for several years, slowly becoming more and more unhappy with the product. Once they started charging for the various options, I concluded it was better to uninstall it for my blog, and find individual plug-ins to perform the specific functions that I needed.

If you’re not interested in performing that research to find replacements, or you just want something quick and dirty that does what you need, then Jetpack may be just the ticket for you.

Featured image copyright: bestgreenscreen / 123RF Stock Photo

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Marc Menard

Excellent points that you make Richard, I was pndering the same thing, especially the part about requiring a connection to WordPress.com. That alone seemed silly as the whole point of goung self-hosted is to not be limited by WordPress.com, using instead the framework WordPress.org. The article is just the little nudge I needed to jettison JetPack. Thanks!

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