Some people love it, some hate it, and some seem to be totally baffled by it. I thought this would be an excellent time to explain its features and why I think you will find it extremely useful.
What is the Jetpack plugin?
First of all, Jetpack is not so much a plugin as it is a whole box full of tools, widgets, and services. Previously these were only available for users of WordPress.com. With Jetpack, Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, has packaged all favorite features into one place to make them available for the self-hosted WordPress websites.
Currently, the Jetpack stack includes more than 30 powerful features. They cover topics from site customization, content tools, and user engagement, to site performance and security.
Because Jetpack allows you to hook up your self-hosted WordPress site to WordPress.com’s infrastructure, you will need to create an account with WordPress’ commercial version in order to run it. But don’t worry, it’s quick and easy to do and free of charge.
How to install Jetpack on your WordPress website
Though it comes with a whole host of features, Jetpack’s installation is no different from that of any other plugin. The only extra work you need to do is the aforementioned setup of a WordPress.com account to connect Jetpack to its service.
1. Install Jetpack from the WordPress directory
The easiest way to install Jetpack is from within WordPress itself. Log into your site and go to Plugins → Add new. Search for ‘Jetpack’ if it doesn’t already show up on the front page. You can then install the latest version of the plugin by clicking ‘Install Now.’
Alternatively, you can also download Jetpack from the WordPress plugin directory and install it manually. To do so, click the download link on the plugin page download it to your computer. Unpack the archive and upload the plugin’s folder to wp-content/plugins on your server via FTP. Then log into your site, go to the Plugins menu and there click ‘Activate’ right under the plugin name. All done.
2. Set up a (free) WordPress.com account
You can go to this link for the signup. To set up your own account, you will only need an email address, a username, and a password. Fill in the necessary information and submit. You will receive an email from WordPress.com to confirm your account. Follow the link to finish the setup.
3. Connect Jetpack to WordPress.com
Once you have activated Jetpack, you will see a big green bar on the top of every screen inside your WordPress dashboard with a prompt to link your new plugin to WordPress.com. If you click on the link within the banner, it will take you right to the page where you can do so. Input your newly set up credentials and click on ‘Authorize.’
How to activate modules within Jetpack
To activate and deactivate the Jetpack’s features, go to Jetpack → Settings. Here you can see a list of all available modules and their status. On the right, you can order the list in several ways, by active or inactive modules, alphabetically, by newest, by popularity, and by topic.
In order to activate any of them, simply hover over the module in question and an ‘Activate’ link will appear. Click it and your new feature is ready to use. Hovering over a module which is already active will show a link for its configuration.
Beware of the bloat!
With more than 30 features and services to choose from, it is easy to go a bit overboard with Jetpack. Unfortunately, the plugin doesn’t help with that either as it will activate a whole number of modules by default. When I installed the latest version of Jetpack for the sake of this article, I found 20 of its modules already running when I first entered the settings page.
Therefore when you install the plugin, disabling everything you are not going to use should be the first thing you should do. Fortunately, this has gotten much easier over time and doesn’t require several clicks per feature as it used to. The new interface even lets you deactivate in bulk. For good reason.
Jetpack: 8 highlights from the feature list
Which modules should you keep running? That’s a fair question. With so many features, widgets, and services to choose from, it can be difficult to determine what is worth it and what is not. To help you decide, I will first give you a list of the highlights from the Jetpack app stack before moving on to the full list of available features.
Photon is a free CDN (content delivery network) plugin. It allows you to use WordPress.com’s infrastructure to load images appearing on your website (currently only for posts, pages and featured images) from an external source. As a consequence there are less bandwidth demands placed on your server, your website loads faster, which in turn is good news for readers and SEO.
Photon is one of the favorite modules of Jetpack and for good reason. It’s free, it’s fast, and because it’s part of the WordPress.com infrastructure, it is highly reliable. All you need to do is turn it on and it will automatically load all of your images into the system.
2. WordPress.com stats
Let’s face it, everyone with a website loves looking at their stats. Seeing the numbers for page views and visitors climb can be quite a thrill (or frustration). It’s probably safe to say that there are people out there who check their website statistics more often than their email.
However, there’s no need to log into Google Analytics for that. With Jetpack, your WordPress website will have its own stats right there on the dashboard, complete with:
- Number of visitors on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis
- All time views of your content
- Top-performing posts and pages
- Main referrers and search engine terms
- Most-clicked links from your website
In addition to that there are also enhanced stats available on WordPress.com.
Granted, the level of information is by far not as sophisticated as Google’s analytics solution. However, WordPress.com stats give you enough for a quick peek at how your site is performing.
Imagine you type in the address of one of your websites for a routine check. Instead of taking you right to it, you wait and wait and . . .the connection times out. What? Your site is down? How long has it been that way? How many visitors have you turned away without knowing? Oh my gosh, this is a disaster!
To avoid this kind of situation, Jetpack comes with Monitor. This service, the subject of a recent Weekend WordPress Project, will check on your site every five minutes and notify you via email if it detects downtime. This simple yet powerful feature alone is almost enough justification to install Jetpack on your website.
Every marketer knows that pushing your content out to the social web is necessary these days. However, connecting your WordPress site to all social accounts can be a pain. Luckily, Publicize makes it a breeze.
The service allows you to connect up to six social accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Path, and Google+. After you have done so, whenever you publish new material on your website, it will now be automatically shared on these accounts. Pretty neat, huh?
5. Related Posts
The folks over at WP Engine have a list of plugins which they don’t allow to be used on their platform. Among them are almost all popular ‘related posts’ plugins. Why? Because they are extremely database intensive.
If you look further down, however, there are a few plugins of the same kind of that they don’t have a problem with and Jetpack’s related posts plugin is among them.
The reason for that is that Jetpack allows you to outsource all the heavy lifting to the WordPress.com servers. What they effectively do is index your WordPress website and – from analyzing the available content on your site — then suggest related content underneath your posts. Good news for your loading times!
6. Jetpack Comments
Let’s face it, the native comments of the WordPress platform are already quite nice and there are a bunch of plugins out there, which make them even better. So what can Jetpack do that others don’t?
First of all Jetpack comments do not hijack the entire comment section as other solutions do. Instead, it offers a few key improvements that make life (especially that of your users) a lot easier.
Most notably is the fact that Jetpack gives them the opportunity to log in with their social and WordPress.com accounts. That way they do not have to set up yet another login with yet another website just to interact with your content.
Jetpack Comments can also be further enhanced with Subscriptions. This functions allows visitors to subscribe to comment threads and your entire website from the convenience of the comment field. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
7. Spelling and Grammar
Though many of us who use WordPress mainly as a blogging tool like to think of ourselves as word magicians, there is always room for improvement. Luckily the Spelling and Grammar module is here to help with that.
It’s essentially a spelling plugin for the TinyMCE editor that uses Automattic’s ‘After the Deadline’ service to improve your content. Smart suggestion technology offers improvements for spelling and grammatical errors, as well as customized profiles for users. It has never been easier to write better content.
Jetpack makes integrating social media on your website as easy as drag and drop. Literally. Sharing allows you to change the number and type of social buttons visible underneath your content with just a few mouse clicks.
Besides the usual suspects, there are also a number of less common sharing services available such as Reddit and Pocket. If that is not enough for you, you can even create you own options. Besides that there are a number of customization settings available to make it all look the way you want.
Jetpack features – the full list
These eight services alone make installing Jetpack worthwhile. However, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Here is what else Jetpack has under the hood:
The settings area is broken down into 5 categories and they are:
GENERAL – Besides the connection tab there is also:
- MANAGE – Manage all of your sites in one place.
- NOTIFICATIONS – Get notifications on your admin toolbar and mobile device.
- JSON – Allow applications to securely access your content through the cloud.
- SEO TOOLS – Paid accounts only.
- SITE STATS – Of course, this is where it collects your stats, insights, and who gets counted in those stats.
- SHARING – This one is an important one. It includes the PUBLICIZE tab. Once you connect your social media accounts it will automatically post to them whenever a post publishes. It has an area where you can add sharing buttons to your posts/pages.
- PUBLICIZE – Redundant since it takes you to the exact page as SHARING.
- RELATED POSTS – This allows you to show related posts at the bottom of your blog posts.
- COMMENTS – Basic comments.
- LIKES – Adds WordPress likes at the bottom of each post.
- SUBSCRIPTIONS – Allows readers to subscribe to your blog posts or comments.
- GRAVATAR HOVERCARDS – Allows a “business card” of the commenters gravatar profile when you hover over their name.
- SITEMAPS – Creates sitemaps so that your site is easily indexed by search engines.
- ENHANCED DISTRIBUTION – Increases reach and traffic.
- SITE VERIFICATION – This tab verifies your site or domain with Google Search Console, Pinterest, Bing, Yandex.
- SCANNING – For paid accounts only.
- PROTECT – Prevents brute force attacks and Whitelist management which mean that you can put your IP addresses in there so that you can never be blocked out of Jetpack.
- MONITOR – Reports to you whenever your site is down.
- AKISMET – Spam detection.
- SITE BACKUPS – For paid accounts only.
- SINGLE SIGN ON – Your users will be able to log into your site with their WordPress.com account. This includes two-factor authentication making it the safest login mechanism for your site.
- TILED GALLERIES – Allows you to create image galleries that you put into your posts/pages.
- PHOTON – Speeds up images. I’ll talk more about this one further on. Photon is an image acceleration and editing service for sites hosted on WordPress.com or on Jetpack-connected WordPress sites. That means less load on your host and faster images for your readers. This speeds up your photos by serving your images to your viewers on the powerful WordPress.com servers.
- CAROUSEL – You can make slideshows out of your images. You can also choose white and black.
- EXTRA SIDEBAR WIDGETS – This is a really good one. It adds all kinds of great widgets that you can use. Add images, Twitter streams, your site’s RSS links.
- WIDGET VISIBILITY – Allows you to easily decide which pages show which widgets. You can turn them off and on easily inside your widgets area.
- CUSTOM CSS – Allows you to add CSS to your child theme.
- INFINITE SCROLL – Infinite scrolling pulls the next set of posts automatically into view when the reader approaches the bottom of the page.
- MOBILE THEME – Optimize your site if your theme isn’t mobile responsive. This is another one I’ll discuss further down.
- HOLIDAY SNOW – Yes, you can make it snow on your site. Used mostly during the holiday.
- WP.ME SHORTLINKS – Give your posts shortlinks.
- SHORTCODE EMBEDS – Allows you to easily add videos from Youtube, Vimeo, Slideshare.
- VIDEOPRESS – Upload and embed videos to your site.
- CONTACT FORM – Create a contact form on your site.
- SPELLING & GRAMMAR – Checks your spelling, style, & grammar.
- MARKDOWN – Compose posts and comments with links, lists, and other styles using regular characters and punctuation marks. A quick and easy way to format text without needing any HTML or coding. More on this later.
- POSTS BY EMAIL – You can upload any post from any client by email.
- BEAUTIFUL MATH – Add math equations to your posts/pages.
- CONSTANT CONTENT TYPES – You can enable portfolios or testimonials.
So, is Jetpack worth downloading?
There’s no denying it, Jetpack is chock full of a lot of awesome features. Putting them all in one centralized place inside “one plugin to rule them all” also sounds very appealing. Especially if you take into account that it is run by the people behind WordPress.com and each feature has therefore been stress tested on hundreds of thousands of blogs.
The biggest downside of the plugin, however, is the price you pay for its feature richness — the size. Unzipped, Jetpack is many times larger than the WordPress core. Especially for those running their websites on shared servers, this is an important consideration. Plus, pretty much all modules inside the WordPress stack can be had in other form as individual plugins, often with more features.
So should the Jetpack plugin be a part of your site? More than 13 million people, me included, have already answered that question with yes. However, it really depends on your needs. If you are only going to use one of its main features, you might be better advised to find another plugin for that purpose. But even if you will only utilize two or three of its compartments, in my opinion you should go for it. Either way, you will only find out if you test it.
Do you use Jetpack? What is your favorite feature? Or if you don’t use it, why did you decide against it? Let us know in the comments.
I’ve been creating lots of cool new things for the resource library and I wanted to share the latest one with all of you. Below are 135 terms that every blogger or small business owner should know. I’ve tried to think of as many as I could, but there is no way of getting it all.
If you think of a term that isn’t included and I’ll add it to the list. I hope it comes in handy for you! You can find this and other great resources in downloadable form by signing up for my weekly newsletter. I accidentally sent two emails out this week and I wanted to apologize for that.
I’m working on the best days and times to send it, but right now I’m sticking to Saturday morning right after my post is published. That’s it once a week. I know how it is to have an overrun email. I have two of them…okay three, four…Next Saturday we’ll be talking about stock images. Does, don’ts, and where to find them.
Above the fold – A newspaper term the refers to the top half of a website.
A/B Testing – Testing of an advertisement, sales page, or piece of content by creating alternate versions and seeing which ones visitors respond to the best.
Admin Bar – A floating bar that contains useful administration screen links such as add a new post, see pending comments, edit your profile etc. It can be extended by plugins to add additional functionality, for example, SEO and more.
Affiliate marketing – A way for bloggers to monetize their sites by special links to other website’s products or services for a fee.
Alexa – An analytics website often referred to when comparing websites against one another. Provides a ranking and information on traffic, audience demographics, and inbound links.
Algorithm – The formula that determines how a blog’s pages or posts ranks within a search engine’s search results.
ALT. TAG – AKA: Alternative tag/Alternative text/attribute – The field tied to an image for the purpose of describing an image. An alt tag is helpful to both users and search engines should the image not fully render. Alt text is a word of phrase that describes an image on the web.
Anchor text – Used to anchor a URL to some text on a web page. When users view the web page in a browser, they can click the text to activate the link and visit the page whose URL is in the link.
API – Aka Application Programming Interface. The set of programming instructions and rules by an application that allows other applications to communicate with it.
Avatar – An avatar is a photo, graphic or image that represents you across blogs and other social-networking sites. This is not required nor used by all and is sometimes displayed within the profile or comment sections.
Backend – The part of the website where authorized users can modify content.
Backlink – a link one website gets from another website. Backlinks make a huge impact on a website’s prominence in search engine results. This is why they are considered very useful for improving a website’s SEO ranking.
Bandwidth – The amount of traffic and data that is allowed to occur between your web site and the internet.
Blog – a type of website or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual or group of people.
Blogger – 1. A person who blogs. 2. A free blogging platform owned by Google.
Blogpost – An individual post on a blog.
Blogosphere – The community of all blogs and bloggers on the Internet.
Category – One of the predefined taxonomies in WordPress. It is used to sort and group content into sections.
Click-through rate – The number of times an ad is clicked on.
CMS – This is short for content management system. It is a software program that allows you to add content to a website more easily.
cPanel – A web-based hosting control provided by many hosting providers to website owners allowing them to manage their websites from a web-based interface.
Child theme – A sub-theme that inherits all of the functionality of its parent theme. Child themes are a safe way to modify a WordPress theme without actually making changes to the parent theme’s files. See also theme, parent theme.
Conversion rate – The percentage of visitors who convert visits or page views into some type of action, such as signing up for a newsletter, or purchasing an e-book.
CPC – Aka Cost-per-click. The amount earned each time a visitor clicks on an ad.
CSS Stylesheet – Aka Cascading Style Sheets – A style sheet language used to define visual appearance and formatting of HTML documents.
CSV – A type of file that stores plain-text data (such as newsletter subscriber information) made up of records and fields. Each field is separated by a comma or tab.
Database – A structured, organized set of data. A software used to organize and store data. WordPress uses MySQL as its database management system.
DNS – Aka Domain Name System – A system that points a domain to a physical IP address. The purpose of DNS is to use easy to remember domain names for websites instead of their numeric IP addresses. It also enables website owners to change their web hosts without changing domain names.
Domain Name – A name used to identify a website on the internet.
Default theme – A default theme allows you to display the front-end of a website. It is the first theme that you see when you first install WordPress. It can then be changed to any theme.
Dedicated hosting – Web hosting packages that provide a dedicated server with dedicated resources to a single client. Ideal for WordPress websites with a large number of visitors.
Dofollow links – Allows google (all search engines) to follow a link and reach your website. Giving you “link juice” and a backlink. If a webmaster is linking back to you with this link both Search Engine and Humans will be able to follow you.
Editor – A pre-defined user role in WordPress. An individual with editor roles can write, edit, publish, or delete blog posts. They can also moderate, approve, and delete comments.
Embed – To place content from another website within your own blog’s post or page.
Evergreen – A type of post that does not date quickly, and is therefore as relevant today as it will be in years to come.
Excerpt – An article summary with a link to the whole post.
Favicon – A small graphic, typically your logo or other representation of your website that appears in a browser’s address bar, favorites or bookmark lists. In HTML it is referenced as the following rel= “shortcut icon”, and should be saved or uploaded as favicon.ico.
Featured Image – Aka post thumbnail – A WordPress theme feature that allows theme developers to add support for using a representative image for posts, pages, or custom post types.
Feed – RSS standing for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary – Provides users with frequently updated content. Content distributors syndicate a web feed, thereby allowing users to subscribe to it in RSS reader or via e-mail.
Filters – Functions that WordPress uses to pass data through. Allows developers to modify the default behavior or a specific function. Functions used to filter data are called hooks.
Fluid Layout – A layout that uses proportional values as a measuring unit for blocks of content, images, or any other item that is a part of a WordPress theme. This allows the web page to stretch and contract relative to the user’s screen size.
FTP – Aka FILE TRANSFER PROTOCOL – An internet protocol used to transport files across the internet from one computer to another
FTP CLIENT – A software that runs your personal computer and allows you to transfer files from your computer to and from your web server.
Functions.php – Aka theme functions – A template used by WordPress themes. It acts like a plugin and gets automatically loaded in both admin and front-end pages or a WordPress site.
GPL – Aka General public license/GNU GPL – The most commonly used free software license. This software can be freely used, modified, and redistributed by anyone.
Header – This is the top part of your blog, and appears before any pages or posts. Headers generally include items such as logos, taglines, and navigation menus, which are meant to set the tone or theme of your blog.
Header widget – Usually the widget area to the right of the logo or header.
Heat map – A map of your blog, showing which areas of a specified page are clicked on the most, usually represented using colors where one color indicates a high number of clicks while another represents a low number of clicks.
Homepage – The main page of a website.
Hooks – Aka webhooks – Functions that can be applied to an Action or a Filter.
.htaccess – A configuration file read by the server. It is able to override many server configuration settings and can be used for authorization, cache control, website optimization, and URL rewriting.
HTML – Aka Hypertext Markup Language – The language used to write webpages.
Hyperlink – Clickable content within a web page that takes the user to another page, website, or within part of the same page.
iFrame – An inline frame used within a web page to load another HTML document inside of it.
Index(ed) – The process by which search engines find your content and then make it available to users by storing it and displaying it in search results.
Inner wrap – What sits behind your posts and sidebar.
IP address – A unique string of numbers that identifies every computer that’s connected to the internet.
.jpeg – An image file format used to compress information within a photo or picture. The most widely used.
Keyword – A word or concept of great significance. A word that acts as the key to a cipher or code. An informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document.
Landing page – A dedicated page on a website created with the intention of converting visitors into sales leads or e-mail marketing subscribers for a particular product or database list.
Loop – PHP code that displays WordPress posts.
Malware – Short for malicious software. Code or scripts designed to disrupt software or collect of information such as passwords.
Media – 1. A tab in your WordPress admin sidebar which is used to manage user uploads such as images, audio, video, and other files. 2. Any image, literature, audio, or video.
Meta Keywords – The most popular and well-known element describing the content of a web page. Search engines realized that this piece of information was often inaccurate or misleading and frequently lead to spammy sites. As such this tag is no longer followed by search engines.
Meta tags – A comprehensive term that is comprised of meta titles, descriptions, and keywords. These three items are referred to as meta tags. The tags are elements that provide information about a given web page, most often to help search engines categorize them correctly.
MySQL – A database management system that is used by WordPress to store and retrieve all of your blog information.
Navigation Menu – Aka Primary navigation, menu, Sub navigation, or footer navigation – A WordPress theme feature that allows users to navigation menus by using the menu editor found in the admin dashboard. Users can add posts, pages, or custom links to a navigation menu.
Niche – A subset of a market.
Nofollow link – A link attribute which prevents links from being crawled by search engines. As a result, no SEO credit gets passed from one page to another.
Open Source – A term used to describe a computer program with their source code available for everyone to study. WordPress is an open source software and anyone can use, change, and redistribute its source code.
Outbound link – A link that points to an external website or webpage.
Parent theme – A theme that is declared parent by another theme (child theme). Allows users to make modifications to larger more robust WordPress themes by creating a child theme. See also theme, child theme.
Parallax – A web design trend that involves the background moving slower than the foreground when scrolling, giving a 3D effect.
Permalinks – The permanent URL of a individual piece of content on your WordPress site.
PHP – A programming and scripting language to create dynamic interactive websites.
Pingback – Allows you to notify other bloggers that you have linked to their article on your website.
Plugin – A piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to your WordPress website. They can extend functionality and add new features.
.png – An image file type that unlike JPG doesn’t lose quality when editing. Usually, having a transparent background.
Podcast – A digital file available for downloading to a media player (such as an iPod) or computer.
Popup – A form of online advertising displayed in a smaller window that appears upon visiting a site, or performing an action (such as submitting details). May include an ad, encouragement to sign up for a newsletter or enter a competition.
Post meta – Aka custom fields – Allows users to add additional information when writing a post.
Post slug – The user-friendly and URL valid name of a post.
Post status – Allows users to set a workflow status in WordPress. The 8 default statuses are:
- Auto draft
Primary Menu – See Navigation Menu
Quickpress – A compact post authoring displayed on WordPress admin dashboard. Allows users to quickly create posts without opening the full featured post edit screen.
Redirect – An alternative URL used to direct a user to a different location. A 301 permanent redirect is applied when you change the URL of a page.
Responsive theme – A theme that provides optimal user experience across various devices and screen resolutions.
Robot.txt – A text file which allows a website to provide instructions to web crawling bots.
RSS – See feed.
Screen options – A button located at the top right corner of your WordPress admin area. Screen options menu shows options to configure the view of that particular page in the admin area.
SEO – Aka Search Engine Optimization – The practice of optimizing a website for better representation of search results.
Shared hosting – Web hosting service plans where multiple websites share the resources of a large web server.
Shortcodes – Little bits of code that allow you to do various things with little effort.
Sidebar – A widget-ized area in WordPress to display information that is not part of the main content.
Sitemap – A public directory to help users easily access pages of your website. This is a page on your site where you tell users about key pages of your website by listing them in an outline format and then linking to those internal pages. This makes your content easier to find by users including search engines.
Slider – A slideshow added to a web page.
Slug – See post slug.
Spam – Unwanted user content
Splog – A blog created for the sole purpose of linking to other associated websites.
SSL – Aka Secure Sockets Layers – Encryption protocols used on the internet to secure information exchange and provide certificate information.
Static front page – A dynamic blog-style front page. Used to show customized content.
Tag – A predefined taxonomy that is smaller in scope and focused on specific topics.
Tagline – A short phrase or sentence, like a slogan, describing your blog or your mission.
Taxonomy – Used as a way to group posts and custom post types together. See categories, tags.
Template – Defines part of a web page generated by a WordPress theme.
Text editor – 1. A computer program for editing code. 2. One of 2 post edit screens. This one requires you to manually add any formatting like italics, alignment, and spacing using HTML.
Themes – A collection of templates and stylesheets used to define the appearance and display of a WordPress powered website.
Theme editor – Located at Appearance<Editor in the WordPress admin dashboard. Allows you to modify WordPress theme files.
Theme framework – Refers to a code library that is used to facilitate the development of a theme. Also considered a parent theme. See parent theme, child theme, theme.
Theme options – A page in the admin area that allows users to modify theme setting without modifying theme files or touching any code.
Thumbnail sizes – Any images can be defined as thumbnail sizes. Once a new size is chosen then WordPress will generate a copy of each size. It only applies to new images, not to ones previously uploaded. Use regenerate thumbnails for older images.
Trackback – A method of notifying a blogger that another blogger has written something about their blog post and linked to it.
Updates – Informs users when a new version of WordPress, themes, or plugins becomes available.
Unique visitors – An analytical term that represents the number of visitors who visited your site during a certain time frame.
URL – Aka Uniform Resource Locator – The addresses of individual pieces of information that can be found on a web page. Images, posts, pages, document.
URL Shortener – A tool that creates a shortened version of a URL.
User roles – Defines permissions for users to perform a group of tasks. Editing, publishing, etc.
VPS Hosting – Aka Virtual Private Server Hosting – Allows each hosting account to be as its own machine with its own resources and operating system.
Visual Editor – One of two edit screens inside of WordPress. It is a WYSIWYG editor which means what you see is what you get. However, the content shows up on your display is exactly the way it will be when it is published.
Vlog – A video blog.
Webinar – An online seminar, workshop or presentation.
Web server – A computer containing software for hosting a website.
Widgets – A small block that performs a certain function. In WordPress, you drag and drop the widgets of your choice into the predetermined widget areas.
Widget areas – Certain areas of your WordPress website that allow you to display custom contact in predetermined spaces according to the theme.
WordPress.com – A proprietary blog hosting service provider. It is not related to WordPress.org While it uses the WordPress.org core there are certain limitations to it. Offers limited theme support. NO plugins allowed.
WordPress.org – An open source CMS software. Allows you to create customizable websites. Offers full theme support. Plugins allowed.
Wp-config.php – One of the core WordPress files. It contains information about the database including the name, host, username and password.
Wrap – Sometimes considered the background it is the area behind your content.
WYSIWYG – Stands for What You See Is What You Get. This refers to what’s being displayed in your post editor corresponding with what appears when the post is published.
Say the words “Blog Maintenance” and you will get a “nervous roll of the eyes” from most bloggers!
I understand it’s not as glamorous as hanging out on Facebook or writing those awesome viral posts. I get it, maintenance isn’t fun…but it is a necessary evil that all bloggers have to bite the bullet, so to speak, and get the shit done!
Why you should be maintaining your blog?
- To keep out hackers.
- To have it running quickly and correctly.
- To make sure you’re running the latest plugins, themes, and WordPress.
- Keeping your spam comments emptied.
- Make sure that your links aren’t broken.
- That you don’t have any malware
- Saves space which in turn saves money.
- The list goes on and on!
If you don’t maintain your blog all kinds of horrible problems can develop and they can happen pretty quickly.
So, if you’re here then you must want to know how to maintain your blog like a boss! Pull up a chair, grab a glass of wine, and get ready for me to drop some knowledge on you!
Have you ever gone to a slow site with broken links?
Bet you didn’t stay there long. It’s so annoying to go to a site that takes FOREVER to load! I click right off and I bet you do too!
What about those sites that make McAfee sit up and beg?
You know if they start with a WHOA!!!!!!!!!! You don’t want to go in there. Then it whispers quietly, “you might get a browser STD! Sssshhhh, don’t tell anyone!”
You’ll also keep your web hosting pricing down because the less garbage you have on your site the less storage it’s going to take therefore SAVINGS!
When a Brand comes looking at your website in consideration for sponsored posts or influencer jobs or even a product ambassador they want their product to be shown in the very best light so it behooves them to check sites out before they hire someone. If your site is not running quickly, looking its best, or you have links that are broken they are going to give you a big fat NO THANK YOU!
I don’t want that to happen to you! Last night, I created a brand new PDF that entails my own monthly maintenance plan. Everything from: What I do, What I use, and How I do it is included. That’s right, everything that I do for my maintenance plan clients & my own personal sites I’m going to share with you. Why because I sincerely want you to put your best foot forward and shine!
On the other hand, maybe you’ll realize how crazy busy your life is or maybe you’ll think about the last time you actually did maintain your site and you’ll realize how much easier it is just to pay me the $149 FOR A WHOLE YEAR which by the way comes to about $12.50 a month and you’ll never have to think about maintenance again, but if not, it’s okay! We’ll still be friends…my blog will just look better than yours! Just kidding…kind of.
So let’s get down to it and if you want the downloadable version sign up right over here ⇒ & then you’ll get a password for The Blogging 911 Resource Library where this and a whole lot of other resources are housed!
BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING TO YOUR WEBSITE YOU MUST MAKE A BACKUP!!
I really can’t stress that first point enough! Backup, Backup, Backup!
For this, I use the Updraft Plus backup plugin or the WP-Backup plugin depending on the theme you are running. Updraft is my first choice because with all of my sites I like that I can connect with Dropbox and all of my backups are just a click away when I need them.
My next step is updating and with everything else, there is a system. I always start by updating WordPress first, followed by themes and finally plugins. The reasoning behind this is that everything runs off of WordPress so if it needs an update everything else will follow. Think of it as a hierarchy.
Next on the list is optimizing the database and the plugins I use are the Optimize Database While Deleting Revisions plugin or the WP-Optimize plugin.
Have you ever written a blog post and as soon as you got it all set up you see a misspelled word? Then you went back in and fixed your mistake saved your work only to realize you forgot to put an important link in?
Each one of these instances has created a new revision and those revisions can add up quickly. That’s why optimizing your database is so important. These revisions bloat your site, slow it down and also cost you more money because it makes your site larger when it doesn’t have to be.
Now you have backed up your site, updated it, optimized your database next you want to scan for malware. For this, I use the Wordfence plugin.
The next thing I do is check for broken links (on some sites). I no longer offer this service because the tool I used to use no longer exists. There is a broken link plugin, but I’m not going to recommend it because it can really slow down your website.
After all of this, I like to go to the front end and check things out. Updating can sometimes make unwanted changes to your site and you may have to make a couple of adjustments.
The very final thing I do is to go to an outside source called GT Metrix and do a site speed test. Anything that comes in above 5 seconds needs to investigated to try to make it faster. REMEMBER THIS THOUGH: Site speeds can change just from the time of day you check, the server it uses to perform the test or even something simple as what day you check. Take this speed with a grain of salt and try to go in at different times and check the speed. This will give you a good average.
That is website maintenance in a nutshell and if you’re not doing this at least once a month then you’re playing Russian Roulette with your website.
Don’t forget to get your copy of the maintenance log I created!