How to install and set up the Jetpack plugin for WordPress

Jetpack is a free plugin that introduces many of the features of WordPress.com to your self-hosted website. In this post I’ll show you how to install Jetpack and set it up.

If you are a WordPress user then I’m sure you will have heard of Jetpack.

Jetpack is a free plugin that brings over many of the tools and features available on WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress website. So if you previously use WordPress.com and you miss its features, you are going to love this plugin!

But saying that, even if you have never used WordPress.com before, I’m sure you will be interested in what Jetpack has to offer.

Jetpack’s features fit into three main categories:

  • Design – To help you to customise the appearance of your website and improve the experience for your users.
  • Marketing – To help you promote and drive traffic to your website.
  • Security – To improve the security of your website and protect your content.

In this post I’m going to show you how to install and set up the Jetpack plugin for WordPress. I also show you how to activate settings, and deactivate settings that are active by default. 

How to install Jetpack

To install Jetpack, hover over Plugins in the left hand menu and then click Add new.

How to add a new plugin in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

It’s likely that Jetpack will be on the front page of the Plugins page as it is a very popular plugin. But if you can’t see it, just do a search for “Jetpack” and look for the green logo.

How to install the Jetpack plugin in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

Click Install Now and then when prompted click Activate.

How to set up Jetpack

After you have activated the Jetpack plugin, you should be taken to a page where you will be asked to set up Jetpack. Click Set up Jetpack to get started.

Set up Jetpack in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

If you aren’t redirected to this page, just click on the new Jetpack link in the left hand menu. Here you will see a page that looks similar to the one above. Again, just click Set up Jetpack.

Next, you will be asked to sign into your WordPress.com account.

Log into WordPress.com to set up Jetpack | HollyPryce.com

If you don’t have a WordPress.com account you will need to set one up for free here.

A WordPress.com account is completely separate to your self-hosted WordPress website, and setting up a WordPress.com account will not have any impact on your current website. You can also use your WordPress.com account to set up other plugins such as the anti-spam plugin Akismet.

Once you have logged in, you will be asked to choose your Jetpack plan. In this tutorial we are going to be using the free version of Jetpack so click Start with free at the bottom of the page.

Jetpack plans | HollyPryce.com

Of course, you can upgrade to a premium package if you wish but I recommend doing your research first to see if it’s a worth while investment for you. We will discuss this in another post.

And that’s that! Jetpack is ready to use.

You should now be redirected back to your WordPress admin area and more specifically to the Jetpack dashboard.

Recommends features in Jetpack | HollyPryce.com

Here you might see box containing a list of recommended features and the option to activate these recommended features. I suggest that you don’t choose the “Activate recommended features” option and instead you only activate the features that you really want to use. I will show you how to activate features individually in the next section.

It’s worth nothing that there are some features that will be activated by default even if you choose not to activate the recommended features. Some of these features cannot be deactivated through the main Jetpack settings page, but we will discuss this later in the post.

Click the X in the top right hand corner of this box if you don’t want to activate the recommended features. You’ll now be able to see your Jetpack dashboard.

Viewing Jetpack’s features

To view all of Jetpack features, hover over Jetpack in the left hand menu and click Settings.

How to access Jetpack settings in WordPress | HollyPryce.com

On the settings page you will see 5 tabs at the top of the page: Writing, Sharing, Discussion, Traffic and Security.

Jetpack settings | HollyPryce.com

If you click on these tabs you will see that each one contains a number of different features that you can activate.

You will see that settings have little toggle buttons next to them. If the button is grey, it’s deactivated, and if it’s blue it’s activated. Some settings might require some further configuration before they work.

Jetpack settings | HollyPryce.com

After activating (or deactivating) the settings you want to use, make sure you click the Save Settings button.

I will be sharing a separate post that runs through each of the settings in Jetpack so make sure you pop back for that.

How to deactivate features that are active by default

As previously mentioned, there are some features in Jetpack that cannot be deactivate or activated via the settings page. The good news is you can access a full list of Jetpack’s features (or modules as they are sometimes called) where you can easily active or deactivate features. It’s just not very easy to find!

To access this page, scroll to the bottom of the Jetpack dashboard or the settings page. Here you will see a link that says Debug. Click on this.

Debug link in Jetpack | HollyPryce.com

On the debug page, scroll down until you see a link that says “Access the full list of Jetpack modules available on your site“. Again, click on this link.

Jetpack debugging centre | HollyPryce.com

Now you should be able see a list of all the Jetpack features. The activate features are highlighted in blue.

Full list of Jetpack modules | HollyPryce.com

If you hover over an activated feature you will see the option to deactivate it, and if you hover over a deactivated feature you will see the option to activate it. For some features you will also see a Configure link.

How to deactivate a module in Jetpack | HollyPryce.com

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