The new suite of plugins called Jetpack (by Wordpress.com) offers an all-inclusive set of features for self-hosted blogs. One of the things I am asked most by friends and strangers:
That plugins do I need for my Wordpress blog?
I get this question most often from people who have recently moved their blogs over from Wordpress.com to the self-hosted Wordpress.org version.
The core of both platforms is nearly identical with the exception that the self-hosted version requires you to install all of your own plugins. Most, but not all, of the features available in Wordpress.com are available as one-off plugins in the open marketplace.
Unfortunately, you are responsible for updates and anything that goes wrong if they experience bugs.
I've used Wordpress for about 7 years, and in all that time I have always wondered why certain plugins do not just come with the core Wordpress.org download. I know the reason is that Wordpress.org is an open source program that does not want to play favorites with certain developers. It makes some sense.
- Subscriptions - Let users subscribe via email.
- Image & RSS Links Widgets - Add them to your sidebars.
- Gravatar Hovercards - Enhance your Gravatars by allowing users to hover over a Gravatar to see more information about that user.
- WordPress.com Stats - The good old stats program you are used to from Wordpress.com.
- Twitter Widget - Tweet Tweet
- Shortcodes - Add embeddable content, like video players, to your posts with easy shortcodes.
- Shortlinks - Utilize the WP.me link shortener.
- Sharedaddy - Add social media sharing buttons to your posts.
- After the Deadline - Hands down the best spelling and grammar checker for Wordpress.
- Vaultpress - A premium (paid) service for backing up your entire blog.
- Beautiful Math - Allows you to add geeky math equations in posts.
- Enhance Distribution - Ping your content out to all the search engines and content aggregators.
There is a pretty significant benefit of automatic updates. The group of plugins will automatically update as new features and bugs are fixed. Jetpack also claims that new features will automatically be included as well.
I'm also glad to see that Automattic is starting to take advantage of their name...and making things Automatic.