Learn how to install and set up Jetpack on your WordPress website to get the most benefits out of this incredible, free plugin.
When it comes to WordPress plugins, Jetpack has perhaps the greatest love/hate relationship among the WordPress community of all of the plugins currently available. With one of the highest number of active installs, it’s a testament to the quality of the code and benefits that the plugin offers the website owner.
How to install and set up Jetpack on your WordPress website
1. If Jetpack isn’t already installed you will want to install it first. Follow our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin
2. When Jetpack is installed and activated you will be taken to the following screen.
3. Click the Setup Jetpack button to begin the process. You will be taken to WordPress.com and asked to create an account or sign in with an existing WordPress.com account. Follow the on-screen instructions to create an account and verify it once you receive the email
4. Once you have an account you will be taken to the plan screen. If you want to use a premium plan you can sign up for one of them or you can use a free plan which is hidden towards the bottom of the page. The paid plans do offer some amazing features which you can read about here
5. Once you select your plan you will be taken to the WordPress.com site overview screen. You can add multiple WordPress sites to one WordPress.com account and access all the settings and data from one location. In here you can add and edit posts and pages, manage themes, plugins and users as well as view site stats. For now click on Wp Admin at the bottom of the left-hand side menu
6. You will be sent back to the website. Now you can continue to learn how to install and set up Jetpack on your WordPress website. Click on Jetpack, settings. You will land on a page that looks like the one shown below.
7. Security options:
- Let’s begin with the first option. Every website will experience downtime at some stage. The sooner you are alerted to an event, the sooner you can resolve it. Jetpack will alert you by email if the site goes offline. We recommend enabling it
- Auto-update plugins. Updating plugins is one of the things that will turn many people away from WordPress as it’s seen as a chore. It doesn’t have to be. By enabling auto-updates you can be rid of one of the biggest time constraints and security issues that WordPress faces. Click on the choose which plugins to auto-update link.
- You will be taken back to your WordPress.com dashboard with the below screen. Here you can decide which plugins to auto-update. We recommend that extremely important plugins such as WooCommerce be excluded from auto-updates. The reason being is if there is a problem with a new major release it could possibly cause checkout problems. If you want to enable auto-updates for all plugins ensure you are making regular backups. If something breaks from a bad update you can quickly roll back to a previous working version. To enable auto-updates simply toggle the auto-update switch to on. It will automatically save the settings when you toggle each option on or off
- Back on your settings page, the next option is Brute force attack protection. It is strongly advised to enable this option. Click the little down arrow on the far right to open more settings. You will be shown your IP address. Copy and paste it into the Whitelisted IP addresses field. This will ensure that you aren’t unexpectedly locked out of your website
- WordPress.com login. If you want to allow your users to login to your website faster using their own WordPress.com login details you can enable them here. Once enabled you have two more options that you can use. You can match the email address to their WordPress.com account, which is recommended, and require these accounts to use 2 step authentication. Two-step authentication is an added security measure to help protect your website.
- Save the settings by clicking the button that appears next to the brute force options
8. Performance. Click on the Performance tab. In this section, we will be improving the overall performance and loading speed of your website. These settings will see significant improvements to your website for your visitors. You will see a page similar tot he one below
- Performance & speed. With these options, you can enable the site accelerator options. This is not a cache and should not be used as a substitute for a cache. What these options do is store the static assets of your website, things like images, CSS and JS files, and stores them on the WordPress.com servers located all around the world. When someone visits your website those static assets are loaded from the WordPress.com server that’s closest to the visitor, resulting in a faster loading page. If you are using another (content delivery network) CDN for these assets do not enable as they will conflict and may break your website. If the frontend breaks once these options are enabled you have a CDN in operation and will need to de=isable these options, Alternatively, you may decide to deliver images through Jetpack and static files through your CDN. There are technical reasons why you’d want do this, but it’s not necessary if you don’t want to do it. Keep it simple for now and enable the options.
- Enable Lazy Loading for images. This will improve performance when it comes to images. What this option does is only loads the image when it comes into view on the screen. Image heavy content will benefit in a big way when this option is enabled as the page will load a smaller page when it’s requested, significantly improving your speed score and overall performance.
- Media. Host fast, high-quality, ad-free video. You will need a premium account for this service. This option will allow you to host your own videos on their servers. There are SEO and performance benefits to using this option, and there are arguments against it. Generally speaking, it’s not recommended to host your own videos unless you use a service such as this, but you can also use something like YouTube for free.
- Search. Add faster, more advanced searching to your site with Jetpack Professional. This is another paid extension. WordPress comes with built-in search, but as a site grows with more posts or products the search can become slow as it struggles to find relevant content in the database. Using this paid extension will place the site search in the hands of WordPress.com which will improve overall site search speed and reliability.
9. Writing. The writing tab will help you when it comes to writing content, but also changes the way visitors to your website will view and interact with it. Click on Writing and you will see a page similar to the one below
- Media. Create full-screen carousel slideshows for the images in your posts and pages. If you want to display your post images in a beautiful carousel enable this option. Once enabled you can change the style of the carousel. You can also enable showing the image Exif data. Exif data shows viewers additional technical details of a photo, like its focal length, aperture, and ISO. Unless you have a photography blog you may want to disable the Exif data option
- Enable the option to copy entire posts and pages, including tags and settings. This option will allow you to duplicate a post of page with 1 click from the post or page list view screen. This can be extremely helpful if you have a post template you wish to work from or need to generate duplicate pages.
- Write posts or pages in plain-text Markdown syntax. Markdown is a special type of formatting that uses special characters to change content, such as heading tags, links and bold. You may have seen similar markdown used on forums. We recommend not enabling
- Use the LaTeX markup language to write mathematical equations and formulas. This option will allow you to write complex mathematical formulas. Unless you are a mathematician we recommend not enabling
- Compose using shortcodes to embed media from popular sites. While this option is still shown in the settings, it’s no longer required as the text editor now contains all of these options from links. We recommend not enabling
- Custom content types. In this section you can enable some custom post types. All content on a website that a visitor can read is a type of post. This option will allow you to include a few more common types of posts to your website. These two options are completely personal and should be decided on a case by case basis.
- Testimonials. Testimonials can be used for displaying testimonials from existing clients and customers
- Portfolio. The portfolio type can be used to showcase your portfolio
- Theme enhancements. Infinite scroll. The infinite scroll will appear on pages like archives, blog roll and shop pages that display all posts of products in a list or grid. As you approach the bottom of the page new content will load using Ajax. This can improve performance and reduce bounce rate. When enabled it will remove the next and previous or pages navigation from the pages. Not everyone likes this functionality and it’s recommended to monitor your users if you enable it.If the majority like it, leave it enabled. If the majority dislike it disable it.
- Widgets. Make extra widgets available for use on your site including subscription forms and Twitter streams. When enabled you will find additional widgets in Appearance >> widgets.
- Enable widget visibility controls to display widgets only on particular posts or pages. This does what it says, but you will find additional widget options on each widget in appearance >> widgets for their display rules.
- Post by email. This option will allow you to post by email without having to login to the website. Examples of cases where you may need to do this include in a work environment where you may not be able to access external websites or if you are trying to preserve mobile data. If you enable this option you will be shown an email address to send emails to that will automatically post new content. Use this with care as spam may get through and appear as a post
- WordPress.com toolbar. Replace the default admin toolbar at the top of the screen with a streamlines WOrdPress.com toolbar. I personally don’t like it, but you may. Try it and if it’s for you, enable it. If you don’t like it, disable it to return things back to how they were.
10. Sharing. Click on the sharing tab. You will see the following page. This section will have three toggles, but the configuration takes place at WordPress.com.
- Publicize connections. Automatically share your posts to social networks. We recommend enabling as it will share new posts to social networks that you connect. We recommend enabling
- Once enabled click the connect your social media accounts link You will be taken to WordPress.com
- Click the connect button for your first social network. It will open an authorisation screen where you can set where posts are shared when they are published. Enable as many or as few social networks as you like.
- Once all the social networks have been connected every time you publish a new post it will automatically share it to your social network using the account you defined during connection. This only works for publishing. Republishing doesn’t share again.
- Sharing buttons. Go back to your website and enable Sharing buttons.
- Once enabled click configure sharing buttons and you will go to WordPress.com again
- In here you’ll be able to change which buttons appear for sharing and how they appear. Simply select the options that you like.
- Finally, select which pages to show the sharing buttons on and your Twitter username and click save changes.
- Go back to your website. The final option is a like button. The like button will be available to readers with a WordPress.com account to show their appreciation for your post. When you get a like you will be notified. This is a personal preference and it’s up to each site owner if they use it or not.
11. Discussion. Click on the discussion tab at the top. This tab deals with comments on your website. If comments are disabled you can ignore this section completely. If they are enabled, read on.
- Let visitors use a WordPress.com, Twitter, Facebook, or Google account to comment. This option will allow visitors to login faster using either WordPress.com credentials or a social network account. We recommend enabling it
- Next, you can change the comment form intro text. Simply replace the existing content with your own wording.
- You can also change the colour scheme of the comment form. The options are light, dark and transparent. Select your preference or leave as default.
The following settings are optional for your own preference
- Enable pop-up business cards over commenters’ Gravatars. This will allow you to display your comments gravatar with additional information such as social links in a small popup.
- Enable Markdown use for comments. This will use the markdown which we mentioned earlier. I have a preference not to use it, but it will allow your comments to use styles in their comments
- Enable comment likes. Fairly simple. It simply does what it says. We recommend enabling this option
- Subscriptions. Allow your commenters to subscribe to comments. As new comments are left by others they will be notified by email, hopefully generating additional visits to the site and follow up comments which can be powerful for SEO. We also recommend enabling
- Enable the “subscribe to site” option on your comment form
- Enable the “subscribe to comments” option on your comment form
12. Traffic. The traffic tab is designed for getting people to your site through SEO and keeping them there longer. For the majority of the settings we would recommend using a dedicated SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO, but there are some here worth using.
- Generate income with high-quality ads. To enable ads from the WordPress ad network you will need to have a premium account. The ads option may be worth using for users who do not qualify for Adsense or have had their Adsense accounts terminated. If you intend on subscribing just for the ad network you will want some significant traffic (500,000+ a month) or else you will run at a loss. We recommend not using unless you have a high traffic website and have no other way to monetize your website
- Related posts. Generally speaking, displaying related posts is a resource drain for a website. Many managed WordPress hosts don’t allow related post plugins due to the additional load they place on a website. But jetpack is different. It will handle the related posts for you. Related posts can help reduce bounce rate by displaying relevant and related content to the reader at the end of a post. In fact, if you scroll a little further down you will see an example of the Jetpack related post option on this page. We recommend enabling all options
- Search engine optimization. We recommend using Yoast for these options, but if you don’t want to use a plugin you can continue with the below:
- Boost your search engine ranking with the powerful SEO tools in Jetpack Premium or Professional. This option requires a paid account, but it’s better to use Yoast. If you want to use this please upgrade
- Google Analytics. Once again you need a paid account, but there are plugins that will do this for free
- Site stats. Click the down arrow on the far right. It will expand the options for the site settings. You can set who it should log as a visit and which level of user can see these stats. See our page here for more about users. Set the options to your own comfort level, but we do recommend not tracking admin, editor, authors or contributors.
- Sitemaps. Allow Jetpack to generate an XML sitemap for Google and other search engines. Once again, we recommend using Yoast for this
- Site verification. You can use this section to verify site ownership with the search engines. You can do this here or in Yoast. This is really only to show the search engines you are who you say you are. To verify click the text links to each search engine and follow the instructions on their site for adding a domain. you will be given a piece of HTML tag to use for the verification. Simply copy and paste into the relevant fields and click save. Once done you can verify the site at the search engine.
That’s how to install and set up Jetpack on your WordPress website.
We hope you found how to install and set up Jetpack on your WordPress website helpful. We feel that it’s a must have plugin that all WordPress websites should be using due to the added benefits and features it offers.