I have a blog, now what? Who is reading my blog and how much traffic do I get? How can I optimize my blog? Is it easy to allow people to make comments?
If you’ve ever started a blog, some of these questions are likely very familiar. There’s an exciting new tool from WordPress which makes running a blog much easier by boosting what blow authors get out of the box with WordPress – Jetpack.
One of the awesome features of WordPress is its extensibility via plugins. Plugins have traditionally allowed blogs to do everything from easily capturing analytics with Google Analytics to facilitating feedback via feedback forms. In the past, however, there was no single plugin which tied together so many additional features many blog owners commonly want, including:
- Notifications on blog events, such as comments and new posts
- Statistics of blog readership and where readers are coming from
- Subscriptions allowing users to easily see new blog content
- Galleries for images and other rich media
- Contact forms which allow users to contact blog owners easily
- Mobile themes which make WordPress sites look great on mobile devices
- JSON API which allows blog owners to integrate with their site
The group behind the WordPress platform created the Jetpack plugin for WordPress which contains many of these commonly requested and much-needed features all in one simple to use and easy to install package. As a WordPress Blog owner myself, I can attest to the utility of having one plugin handle so much of the work needed to expand the usefulness of my WordPress blog. To underscore how awesome Jetpack is, I want to call out three of its nice features.
Knowing your blog’s audience is extremely useful and Jetpack makes it easy to caprture how many people visit your blog and from where they come. The following example shows the Jatpack statistics for this very blog; notice how detailed and accurate the metrics are.
Jetpack allows visitors to WordPress blogs to log in via their commonly-used social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to leave comments. This powerful feature makes it easy for users to interact with your content without burdening them to sign up for your site.
Mobile device use is growing immensely year over year and it’s very likely any WordPress blog will see more mobile users over the next few years. Instead of painstakingly designing CSS and XHTML which works on desktop clients and mobile browsers, the Jetpack theme automatically renders your site whenever it detects a mobile device. This means anyone on an iPhone, Android tablet, Symbian phone, or other mobile device can easily access your blog content.