I’ve made a lot of WordPress websites over the years, both for clients and myself. They pretty much all require work out-of-the-box to get right, exclusive of applying a theme and styling.
These tweaks include:
- Installing a contact form plugin (usually Gravity Forms or Contact Form 7)
- Configuring Akismet
- Installing and configuring an analytics package (Google Analytics or similar)
- Social plugins (I used to do this as part of the theme though, admittedly)
- Replace comments with Disqus or Facebook Comments (or remove entirely)
- And, depending on the site, integrate automatic social posting (eg. post to my social media profile when I make a new post)
So, wouldn’t it be great if you could skip all of this and just install one plugin? Yes, it would, and that’s why JetPack exists.
JetPack is a set of solid plugins and addons for your WordPress site, mostly taken from their WordPress.com counterparts.
Aside from the long list of features (33 and counting), the big advantage for me is that it is made by Automattic, the company behind WordPress. That means you can be sure security has been taken seriously, updates will come as and when they are needed and development won’t just stop suddenly. It’s also highly popular so if you need to do something there’s almost always someone on hand to help via the usual support channels.
Why isn’t it part of WordPress?
WordPress does a variety of tasks very well. WordPress can do this because it’s relatively vanilla. There’s nothing in WordPress that doesn’t need to be in there, and that’s important. It keeps WordPress lightweight and appeals to the masses rather than a niche. Adding a huge feature set will serve to annoy those who don’t need or want these features. That’s what plugins are for.