Ben is a lifelong Nintendo fan who likes to build websites, and make video games. He buys way too much Lego.
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Jetpack. All the themes we sell on Pro Theme Design support features in Jetpack so I found the slides from this talk about Jetpack for Theme Developers (from WordCamp Montreal 2015) really interesting. I’ve worked with Jetpack quite a bit but there were still a few things in there I didn’t know about. Plus – there’s other things I know about that weren’t mentioned.
Check out the slides:
Why do I like Jetpack then?
So why do I like it so much? There’s a few reasons:
- There’s a lot of functionality in there – and I can use it for free, and not have to maintain loads of extra code.
- There’s no theme lock in – if a user switches theme then, providing the theme supports the Jetpack functionality, their data will go with them.
- A user can install the plugin and then their site will get better just by updating the plugin. No work for me – better site for the user. Win win.
What else is missing?
Other features I like that weren’t mentioned in the slides:
- Photon – free image sizing & CDN.
- Integrated CSS editor for easy customizations that don’t get lost when you update the theme.
- Related posts.
- Blog Share buttons.
- Blog Subscriptions.
- Markdown support.
- Website monitor and alerts when there’s a problem.
- Featured content – for sliders and stuff. Theme purchasers love those things! 🙂
… and there’s a lot of other good stuff.
Why the hate?
I know there’s a lot of WordPress developers out there who consider Jetpack a bloated resource hog – and there’s no denying it’s big – but it’s also really powerful. The benefits of not having to develop these things myself, and of having the site improve without my input just make so much sense.
The biggest complaint from developers seems to be the amount of modules that are loaded by default – however there’s an easy way around this. You can disable modules with filters. Jeremy Herve – one of Jetpacks developers – explains how in this post on his blog about Customizing the list of modules available in Jetpack.