Isn’t Jetpack Just A Bloated Plugin?

Today I talked about Jetpack at the Ventura County WordPress Interest Group. My slides for the presentation may be found on Speaker Deck.

A lot of developers do not like Jetpack because they say it is bloated with a lot of unnecessary features. This is always my response, “You could call it bloated but you have to remember that it is several plugins rolled into one, and you can disable any modules you do not want to use. Also, there are performance enhancements that offset the resource heaviness of the plugin, like the Photon CDN, so you are still ending up ahead if you use it.”

Some people are still stubborn, so I have come up with this list of 5 reasons why you should definitely be using Jetpack on all of your sites.

  1. Stats

    View top stats without leaving your dashboard with no additional load on the server! Also powers: Top Posts widget, the graph in the admin bar, the annual report, and provides nifty graphs like the one below:

    Blogging Works

    You can see that something major happened February 1st, this is when I started blogging everyday! It works!

  2. Publicize

    Publicize allows you to do what many other 3rd Party Services such as Twitterfeed and Feedburner have tried to do but failed. When enabled, Publicize automatically posts your new posts to your connected social networks. Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and Tumblr are all taken care of with this feature, you only have to manually post your blog post on Google+. This is only because there is not an API for Google+ yet, but once they get one, I am sure it will be added.

  3. Sharing

    There is no shortage of plugins that will add social media buttons to your posts and pages, but I have not found one so simple and reliable as the one that is featured in Jetpack. I have even seen some that load malware or spam, or just take an incredible amount of time to load. With Jetpack, you can customize the buttons to have text, just icons, or use the official buttons. The buttons appear at the bottom of the post by default, but I think this is fairly easy to change if you dig into the code.

  4. Blog Subscriptions

    This is a no brainer for me, and I am surprised that I do not see it being used more often. There is a widget that offers a ‘subscribe by email’ option, and it works like hot knife and butter. The emails generated are nicely formatted, and you can manage all of your subscriptions and the frequency at which they are sent centrally at

  5. Contact Form

    I love Gravity Forms, but most of my clients do not need to make advanced forms. They just need the simplest of contact forms that do the bare minimum and work well. Jetpack’s contact form is quick and easy to use, all the responses are recorded in the database for viewing under “Feedbacks”, and it allows for some simple customizations. The other great thing about the contact form is that spam protection is built right in, no need for any annoying CAPTCHAs or weird challenge questions, just enable Akismet and you will be good to go.

  6. To sum it all up…

    So what did we learn about Jetpack? You should definitely use it, if only for the modules I mentioned. As you can see, the benefits far outweigh the bloat that is caused by unwanted features, and those can always be turned off. If you added individual plugins to your site to add the features I mentioned, you may not be guaranteed the same effort will be put into keeping the code up-to-date or the same commitment to adding new awesome features that the team at Automattic puts into Jetpack. Definitely take advantage of that!

Published by Suzette Franck

Suzette Franck has been in web development for over twenty years; she started making hand-coded HTML websites on geocities with font tags and tables back in 1995. Since then, she has taught herself CSS, Sass, PHP, MySQL, as well as becoming a Wordpress expert; evangelizing and presenting at over twenty-two WordCamps across the country and multiple WordPress meetups in Southern California where she resides, about all aspects of building and maintaining sites on WordPress. Suzette is passionate about WordPress the application as well as the WordPress Open Source Community, and loves to code and teach others the wonders of WordPress. She is a purveyor of lowbrow art, and when she is not WordPressing, she is painting or visiting Los Angeles art galleries to add more work to her growing art collection.

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  1. I’ve always been a little intimidated by ALL of the stuff that JetPack does. I will have to try it on the next site I build! Thanks Suzette! 🙂

    1. Not necessarily. Best of breed could be overkill for your purposes (Gravity Forms), and in a lot of cases, the Jetpack version is still better than the standalone alternative (Contact form 7). Also true in the case of Twitterfeed/Feedburner vs. Publicize, and the Jetpack Sharing buttons are superior to other plugins I have seen.

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