Recommended Jetpack plugin alternatives for WordPress

Since switching my blog from WordPress to ClassicPress, one casualty has been that I can’t use Jetpack anymore. Jetpack is a plugin created by Automattic (WordPress’ maintainers) that offers multiple functions, from social share buttons to basic contact forms. It’s a convenient way for WordPress users to gain a lot of basic functionality and extras.

That said, Jetpack isn’t perfect. Some dislike the amount of resources Jetpack consumes. (Though I haven’t had issues with that under WordPress.) There’s also the reliance on a single “jack of all trades” plugin, when either not all of the functions are needed, or a stand-alone plugin might handle a certain function much better.

Here’s a list of alternatives I’ve used for some of Jetpack’s functions.

Contact forms

I use Contact Form 7 (https://contactform7.com/) for the site’s contact forms. It offers a pretty decent feature set, plus is flexible. That said, it’s not as user-friendly as some other options.

Another alternative is WPForms (https://wordpress.org/plugins/wpforms-lite/).

Site stats

I use Matomo (https://matomo.org/), a self-hosted open source analytics platofrm that was formerly known as Piwik. Matomo allows me to do the same things Google Analytics and Jetpack’s site statistics feature offer. Since I’m hosting it myself, it gives a bit of a privacy boost for site visitors.

Another option is Google Analytics itself (https://analytics.google.com/analytics/web/), of course. There’s plugins for, and manual methods of, installing the Google Analytics code on a site.

Post share buttons

There’s dozens of different plugins offering social share icons for posts. The one I’m currently using is Social Pug (https://wordpress.org/plugins/social-pug/), a freemium plugin offering share buttons for: Facebook; Twitter; LinkedIn; Pinterest; email; and printing. The paid version offers about a dozen others, including Tumblr and Pocket.

Related posts

I’m using Related Posts Thumbnails (https://wordpress.org/plugins/related-posts-thumbnails/), which as its name suggests shows related posts. It comes with some more extensive settings than Jetpack’s version, including limiting related posts to certain tags, categories, or date ranges.

WordPress on a laptop near a coffee cup
Photo by 27707 (Pixabay / CC0)

Other Jetpack alternatives

Here’s some other alternatives that might be useful.

  • Lazy Images: I use Autoptimize; along with optimizing CSS/Javascript on the website, the plugin also supports lazy loading for images.
  • Mobile Theme: I don’t see a need for this Jetpack feature, as any modern WordPress theme should support responsive design by default.
  • Photon: CloudFlare is probably the most popular free CDN.
  • Proofreading: Most browsers and/or operating systems offer some rudimentary built-in spellchecking. For more robust spelling and grammar checking, Grammarly seems to be a popular service.
  • Protection/Security Scanning: I’d suggest a more robust plugin for basic WordPress security; I favor either Wordfence or iThemes Security.
  • SEO Tools: I suggest either Yoast or The SEO Framework.
  • Site Backups: Again, there’s third-party backup services, including some built into security plugins. One such backup service is UpdraftPlus.
  • Site Verification/Sitemaps: Such features are usually built into SEO plugins like Yoast.
  • Subscriptions: There’s not a lot of alternatives I can think of that’re free. If you can afford it, I’d consider starting a newsletter, as you can also email new blog posts that way.

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