JetPack is one of those jack-of-all-trades plugin most newbies to WordPress install at first. I used it, and I enjoyed it. Until I checked my Yslow score. JetPack options and services seem appealing at first glance, but over time you will notice its usefulness fades away. This post will help you replace it with alternatives.
Replaceable Free JetPack Options:
JetPack’s CDN seems appealing, however it will bloat your site with tons of invisible GIF pixel trackers and lower your Yslow score.
Solution: Use your own CDN, i.e. host the images yourself.
Problem: Images are too big?
- Reduce their size with WebP! Check out this guide to enable WebP for nginx.
- Make sure your enable SSL + HTTP/2 to parallelize content serving. SSL certificates are free, so it’s not acceptable in 2018 not to use them.
- Your provider cannot let you to use your own SSL certificate unless you pay top dollars? They want you to pay for something free? Tell them to go to hell and switch to AWS or 1&1 IaaS and host your site yourself!
Custom Widget Location
This one is really important. Showing a table of content for instance, only for single posts and pages. You really need that.
Solution: install Widget Context
Site Stats and Analytics
The statistics shown by JetPack are barely enough to be of any use anyway.
Solution: install WP Statistics
Be alerted about any unexpected downtime the moment it happens. Receive an email or push notification in the mobile app the instant Jetpack detects your site is down.
Again, useless service. Why?
- If you are hosted by a web provider, there is a 99.99% chance that your site is always up (this depends on your provider’s SLA though).
- If you installed WordPress/Apache/Nginx/SSL/etc yourself on the Cloud, you have the maturity to understand how useless this is. You can always setup unavailability emails by yourself.
- Email monitoring sucks. You better use the free available services such as Uptime Robot, Pingdom, or New Relic.
Guard your site against brute force login attacks
Guard your site against brute force login attacks, spam, and harmful malware injections.
Hmpf. The only free option they offer is the login brute-force protection. The rest is premium.
Solution: there is a plethora of plugins designed to protect your WordPress admin area and login screen available. I just cannot list them all.
Another problem here: JetPack social sharing buttons are bloated with invisible GIF pixel trackers and wtf JS scripts you just cannot cache (thank you query strings).
Take a look at this waterfall of dozens of queries with Pingdom tools:
Isn’t that insane? Just for showing up social sharing buttons?? What’s the meaning of this!?
Now have a look at the next part of this waterfall:
Isn’t that a tremendous number of hidden tracking pixels? Did you ask for these? Do you benefit from it? Sassy Social Sharing offers the same social share buttons and absolutely none of these filthy stuff.
These are almost a 100 of redirects adding up to your site loading time, and this is why you will get a Yslow score of F.
Solution: install Sassy social Share
Automated social media posting and scheduling in advance
That must be another joke… Have you checked the posts they generate? Have you noticed they are posted as soon as you publish your post? What if you mistakenly published it before it’s ready? What if you forgot to disable the posting before clicking on Publish?
Not only you have no control whatsoever on what excerpt is used when posting, but you cannot resubmit your post to your network if you didn’t post it when publishing it. Oh yes you can, with a Premium subscription ????
Solution: install Blog2Social: Social Media Auto Post & Scheduler
The delayed posting at convenient time is premium, but at least it let you chose what will be posted and when. It also lets you re-post if you wanna spam your network. I love that.
Pardon me? What tools?
Solution: install Yoast SEO, it does a 10,000% better job.
Premium Features You Couldn’t Put Your Hands On Anyway:
Premium feature. Move away.
Can be done for free by All In One WP Security.
Advertising program that includes the best of AdSense, FB, etc
Premium feature. Move away.
Solution: I’m not into that nonsense of adding ads everywhere, I even showcase Ad blocking solutions. So I cannot help you on that.
Elasticsearch-powered related content and site search
Humm, not sure what that mean. WordPress search bar already does its job, what’s up with this “option”? Is it about an auto-complete option for your search bar? Premium feature indeed.
Solution: ElasticPress or any other of the few plugins available… Anyway it’s for people who know what they want. I don’t need it, and the common blogger don’t need it either. Woo Commerce users do need it, though.
Simple PayPal payment buttons
Same answer. Are you selling things? Either you are already an expert, or you are using a professional/better solution. Either way, you certainly don’t need JetPack just for that.
Malware scanning, code scanning, and automated threat resolution
Blah blah blah. Other plugins do that better.
Is this even needed anyway? Has it come to your mind that if your site is spreading malwares, wouldn’t that because you got hacked?
On the other hand, if your site is a crackers’ pot, maybe you should consider another job?
Uhhh… I am at the bottom of it. Can you think of any other service that I missed here? If you follow this guide, you will have much better service than what options JetPack provided at first. I do not deny the usefulness of JetPack as a starter for newbies though. It helped me discovering all the options available for WordPress. If only I found this guide earlier…
Always remember that many dedicated and perfected plugins always do a better job than a jack-of-all-trades.