It has been less than 24 hours (12/8/2015) since the release of WordPress version 4.4. The new version of WordPress has all of these wonderful features that you can read about later. Today I am blogging about one of my favorite plugins that I have been telling everybody about for a long time. I’m talking about the Jetpack plugin. A couple days ago, there was a brand new user interface released to the world that you can download on any Apple or Mac computer. This is a single user interface that allows you to manage any WordPress.com or Jetpack enabled website. Keyword Jetpack enabled.
Since WordCamp Vegas 2015, I have been telling you that you should be using the Jetpack plugin. I have been telling you that Jetpack is the future of WordPress, at least for now. And boy was I right. It’s not because I have a crystal ball or I can see into the future. I have been talking to my friends that work for Automattic. They have been telling me about some of the new features they have been working on. Those features include the new WordPress.com.
The Jetpack Plugin
Jetpack is one of those plugins that people either love or hate. If you go to any WordCamp event across the country, you are going to here one of two things. You’re either going to hear people tell you how much they love Jetpack or you are going to hear them tell you that they are not a fan of the Jetpack plugin.
This argument about the Jetpack plugin has been going on for a long time now. This is not something new. There are a lot of people that will tell you that Jetpack is a wonderful plugin. They will show you the benefits, and they will teach you how to use it.
There are also a lot of people that say negative things about this plugin. They will not show you how to use the Jetpack plugin. Why? They themselves, do not use Jetpack. The only thing you will hear is that Jetpack is bloated, it slows down your site, and there are too many smaller plugins combined into one plugin.
I personally think that Jetpack is a wonderful plugin. I am a fan of any service that is going to make my life easier. I am a fan of any service that is going to let me focus on my content. Jetpack does that for me. Maybe it doesn’t do that for you. That’s ok. Here’s the kicker. If you want to manage all of your WordPress.com or Jetpack-enabled sites from the new app, you’re going to have to use the Jetpack Plugin. Queue the horror music!
Yep. You have to use it.
I’ve been telling the WordPress community to give the Jetpack plugin a chance. Not because I have stock or anything. I truly believe that it’s an amazing tool to use. The New WordPress.com supports that statement.
If you host your own website that uses WordPress to manage the content, you’re going to have to use the Jetpack Plugin to manage your WordPress websites. Not forever, hopefully. Just for now. After you activate the Jetpack plugin and log into your wordpress.com account, there will be a setting called “Manage”. Simply click on activate. Just like that, you can now manage your WordPress website with the new WordPress.com app. Give it a second and restart your WordPress.com app. You should now see your Jetpack-enabled site. Head over to WordPress.com and log in. You’ll be able to see your site there as well. Pretty neat right?
That is the only feature that you need to activate inside of the Jetpack plugin.
Other than that, you don’t have to use anything else inside of the Jetpack plugin. SO there is some good news for all you Jetpack haters out there.
Am I being forced to use the Jetpack plugin?
In a sense, yes. There are other tools that you can use to manage all of your WordPress websites. However, you will need to use another plugin to make that connection as well. Is there really a difference? OK, maybe you don’t have to use a plugin. Maybe you just need to have the XML-RPC feature activated on your WordPress install. Bad news. Most of the managed hosts do not allow for this. So what are you to do?
The good news is that someone, hopefully, will come up with a way to connect to the new user interface without using Jetpack. Until then, use the Jetpack plugin and learn to love it. Use it for a month. Turn on the Photon feature and use the WordPress.com site as a CDN for all of your pictures. Let Jetpack handle your site stats. You’ll be surprised at how awesome the Jetpack plugin really is.
Here’s a great article with Lead Developer George Stephanis
Here’s a great article by WPSitecare on How to Disable Jetpack Modules Like a Pro.