WordPress.com has recently made some serious changes, removing support for their wp-stats plugin and now pushing out their Jetpack WordPress plugin. The Jetpack plugin gives WordPress.com features to people who are running WordPress on their own servers. These features include:
- A Twitter widget for displaying tweets in the sidebar
- Gravatar Hovercard support
- WordPress.com Stats
- WP.me Shortlinks
- LaTeX (an typesetting language)
- Shortcode Embeds
- Sharedaddy (social media bookmarks)
- After the Deadline (grammar & spell check)
Sounds like a wonderful plugin that someone using it could not resist. But there are several bugs and problems with this plugin:
- The Stats section requires that you have a working WordPress.com username and password whereas other WordPress statistic plugins do not need such a username. This is assumed to be because Automattic does not want to reveal how they collect stats or compile their graphs.
- Jetpack has significant negative effects on server speeds. This website as well as others have noticed a loading lag after installing the plugin for testing that can accumulate in reduced performance.
- Jetpack is bloated. They have not created something new but are trying to replace several individual plugins that work just as well. If you only want the stats and proofreading sections of Jetpack, you cannot individual download them.
- Jetpack was created by Automattic, a FOR profit company funding WordPress.com and trying to walk the line of being free and still earning money. For now the plugin is free, but future features have already been guaranteed to be “premium” sections.
- WordPress and Jetpack are starting to resemble the Mircosoft and Internet Explorer controversy because their one-click installations of WordPress at HostGator.com and Dreamhost.com come packaged with Jetpack and Akismet but exclude all other non-Automattic plugins.
So for now, we will not be hosting the Jetpack plugin and instead supporting the individual coders that meet our specific needs. We will see what comes of Jetpack, if they get rid of the bloating, the performance and WordPress.com account issues, and ever cross that “free” line.