With this next update of WordPress, we have updated WordPress core as well as plugins, and have introduced a new plugin called Jetpack.
What is Jetpack? From the makers of Jetpack, they say “Jetpack supercharges your self‑hosted WordPress site with the awesome cloud power of WordPress.com.”
From our standpoint it is a number of WordPress modules that will add some benefit to your site, including site subscriptions, posting a blog post via email and more. But to use Jetpack you have to understand the peculiarities and actually see if some of the features will work with the theme that is being used. In a nutshell, the theme has to be able to support Jetpack.
We are outlining some of the steps and peculiarities that we have encountered in our testing with the OSU Responsive theme which is the primary theme we are testing against at this time. All other themes are unsupported for Jetpack at this time.
Steps to use Jetpack
1. First you will need to connect to wordpress.com, which means you need a wordpress.com account.
Best practice for departments and organizations. Create a wordpress.com with a generic account. That way it can stay with the organization rather than with an individual.
Why do you need a wordpress.com account? The plugin itself uses wordpress.com’s cloud infrastructure to do some of the processing, and where we can offload some of this is a good thing.
2. Then connect to Jetpack from the Jetpack Dashboard. Once you connect to a wordpress.com account, you will see the Connected in your Jetpack screen navigated to from your Dashboard.
3. Next is to look at the variety of options and activate the ones you would like to use. Please note that not all of these might work with the theme that is being used. For OSU Responsive, WordPress.com Stats, Subscriptions, Carousel, Like, Post by Email, Sharing, Contact have all been tested in our limited testing capabilities.
Please note the Contacts feature of Jetpack is not compatible with the Sociable plugin.
You can disable Sociable under Plugins menu located on the left in your administrative menu.
So you get all that done and you decide you don’t want to use one of the features any more. But where to turn it off? It wasn’t intuitive when I first went looking for it, that was certain, but a quick Google search found the answer.
Once a Jetpack feature is activated, there might be a configure button there. If it is clicked, it will expand the area, and it is in that expanded area that the Deactivate button will be. Why there? I don’t know but after using it a few times, I was able to manage remembering where it was the next time around.
Overall it looks like some good pieces are there. As you are using this, remember to keep in mind everyone. There are accessibility policies to keep in mind, as well as just a general sense of if you really will be using a a feature that is activated. As we get more information we will put up, but the best thing right now is to visit the Jetpack site for more information. We’ll be writing more as we use the features ourselves. As always we would love to hear your feedback, so try out the contact form that we’ve just put in as part of the Jetpack feature set and send us some feedback about your experience with Jetpack.
In the intervening time between our blog posts, we still have some work to do to fix the Responsive menu structure. More than one level deep in a menu and it isn’t too useful and on the mobile side, the mobile menu has a bug we know about that does not expand it beyond a certain length, making part of the menu not visible. That fix is in the works.
At this point, however, we want to give you the ability to take off with Jetpack.