15+ Plugins To Get Jetpack Functionality Without Using Jetpack

Jetpack LogoJetpack is a plugin developed by Automattic, made up of a bunch of useful modules.. However, some of these modules require a connection to WordPress.com. You also can’t use one or two modules unless Jetpack as a whole is installed. I decided to challenge myself to see how many plugins it would take to mimic the functionality bundled with Jetpack. As you’ll find out, not every module can be replicated in a plugin.

WordPress.com Stats – WordPress.com Stats makes the most popular metrics easy to understand through a clear and attractive interface. WordPress.com stats was merged into Jetpack in favor of the stand alone plugin. As an alternative, you can try Google Analytics.

WP.com Stats In Jetpack
WP.com Stats In Jetpack

Publicize – Publicize automatically shares links to published articles on networks connected to the plugin. The networks supported are LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Patch. 1-click Retweet/Share/Like is able to push out links to over 30 social networks, including the ones supported by Publicize. NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster is another plugin that can automatically post links to a number of social networks.

Publicize In Jetpack
Publicize In Jetpack

Notifications – Keep up with the latest happenings on all your WordPress sites and interact with other WordPress.com users. Since this module interfaces with WordPress.com, there are no alternative plugins.

Notifications In Jetpack
Notifications In Jetpack

Jetpack Comments – Jetpack Comments enables your visitors to use their WordPress.com, Twitter, or Facebook accounts when commenting on your site. Social Login allows your visitors to comment, login and register with 20+ Social Networks.

Jetpack Comments
Jetpack Comments

Subscriptions – Allow users to subscribe to your posts and comments to receive a notification via email. Simple Email Subscriber is a nice alternative that even allows users to select which categories of the site they would like to subscribe to. You can also try Subscribe2.

Jetpack Email Subscriptions
Jetpack Email Subscriptions

Likes – Likes allow readers to show their appreciation for posts and other published content using their WordPress.com accounts. Readers will then be able to review their liked posts from WordPress.com. Since this feature of Jetpack relies on the inner network of WordPress.com, there are no alternative plugins.

Jetpack Likes
Jetpack Likes

Carousel – With Carousel active, any standard WordPress galleries you have embedded in posts or pages will launch a gorgeous full-screen photo browsing experience with comments and EXIF metadata. Gallery Carousel Without JetPack provides similar functionality without needing to connect to WordPress.com.

Jetpack Carousel
Jetpack Carousel

Post By Email – Publish posts to your blog directly from your personal email account. Post By Email by Kat Hagan provides the same functionality without needing Jetpack.

Post By Email In Jetpack
Post By Email In Jetpack

Sharing – The most super duper sharing tool on the interwebs. Share content with Facebook, Twitter, and many more. Jetpack Sharing by Anas H. Sulaiman is almost an exact replica of the module found in Jetpack.

Spelling And Grammar – Improve your spelling, style, and grammar with the After the Deadline Proofreading service. After the Deadline was merged into Jetpack in favor of the stand alone plugin. TinyMCE Spellcheck is a nice alternative and is actually a fork of After the Deadline.

Jetpack Spelling and Grammer
Jetpack Spelling and Grammer

VaultPress – VaultPress provides real-time backup and security scanning for your WordPress site. This plugin ties into the VaultPress service, similar to how Akismet works. Sucuri provides similar services. It’s worth noting that VaultPress has a lite plan that is very affordable.

VaultPress In Jetpack
VaultPress In Jetpack

Gravatar Hovercards – Show a pop-up business card of your users’ gravatar profiles in comments. Jetpack Gravatar Hovercards is a replica of the module found within Jetpack without all of the extra stuff.

Jetpack Gravatar Hovercards
Jetpack Gravatar Hovercards

Omnisearch – A single search box, that lets you search many different things. Jetpack Omnisearch is an exact replica of the Jetpack module. Considering Omnisearch will at some point be added to the core of WordPress, this will eventually be removed from Jetpack.

Contact Form – Easily insert a contact form anywhere on your site. If all you’re looking for is a simple contact form, there is no shortage of plugins available on the repository. One of them is Real Simple Contact Form. Although a little more complicated, Contact Form 7 is also a good choice.

Jetpack Contact Form
Jetpack Contact Form

Widget Visibility – Control what pages your widgets appear on. If you want to use this feature without using Jetpack, try Jetpack Widget Visibility which is a direct replica of the original module.

Google+ Profile – Show a link to your Google+ account in the sharing area of your posts and add your blog URL to your Google+ profile. While I was not able to locate a plugin that offered similar functionality, I discovered a number of plugins that take advantage of Google+.

Google Plus In Jetpack
Google Plus In Jetpack

WP.me Shortlinks – Enable WP.me-powered shortlinks for all of your Posts and Pages for easier sharing. Jetpack Lite which is a fork of Jetpack only contains two modules. WP.com stats and WP.me shortlinks.

Jetpack Shortlinks
Jetpack Shortlinks

Tiled Galleries – Create elegant magazine-style mosaic layouts for your photos without using an external graphic editor. Tiled Galleries Carousel Without Jetpack does exactly what its name describes: Tile Galleries without any other Jetpack modules.

Tiled Galleries In Jetpack
Tiled Galleries In Jetpack

Shortcode Embeds – Easily embed videos and more from sites like YouTube, Vimeo, and SlideShare. Shortcodes allow you to easily and safely embed media from other places in your site. With just one simple code, you can tell WordPress to embed YouTube, Flickr, and other media. Viper’s Video Quicktags plugin is a substitute. In fact, this plugin was the catalyst that provided oEmbed support into the core of WordPress.

Shortcode Embeds In Jetpack
Shortcode Embeds In Jetpack

Mobile Theme – Automatically optimize your site for mobile devices. WPtouch by BraveNewCode is a free alternative. ManageWP.com has a review of wpTouch from a year ago.

Jetpack Mobile Theme
Jetpack Mobile Theme

Custom CSS – Customize the appearance of your site using CSS but without modifying your theme. Custom CSS Manager stores changes inside of the WordPress Options Database instead of editing the actual CSS file.

Jetpack CustomCSS
Jetpack CustomCSS

Beautiful Math – Mark up your posts with the LaTeX logo markup language, perfect for complex mathematical equations and other über-geekery. I only know of two people who have used this module but if you’d like to use LaTeX in WordPress without Jetpack, try LaTeX for WordPress, WP LaTeX, and Easy WP LaTeX.

LaTeX In Jetpack
LaTeX In Jetpack

Extra Sidebar Widgets – Easily add images, Twitter updates, and your site’s RSS links to your theme’s sidebar. I searched across the web and did not find a WordPress plugin that provided a similar group of widgets. To mimic the functionality of this module, you’ll need to install anywhere between 3-4 separate plugins with widgets.

Jetpack Extra Sidebar Widgets
Jetpack Extra Sidebar Widgets

Infinite Scroll – Automatically pull the next set of posts into view when the reader approaches the bottom of the page. Sometime this feature is built into the theme and can be controlled from within the theme options. However, if a theme doesn’t have infinite scroll support, you can add it via the Infinite-Scroll plugin.

Photon – Give your site a boost by loading images from the WordPress.com content delivery network. The alternative to Photon is any other content deliver network such as MaxCDN, CloudFlare, or jsDelivr.

WordPress.com Connect – Let users login with their WordPress.com Credentials, through WordPress.com Connect. Since this module is tied directly to WordPress.com, there are no alternatives.

Enhanced Distribution – Share your public posts and comments to search engines and other services in real-time. The simplest alternative to using enhanced distribution is to navigate to the Writing Settings page in the back-end of WordPress and make sure http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ is in place where it says Update Services. When a post is published, Pingomatic automatically contacts a number of services letting them know your site has published new content.

JSON API – Allow applications to securely access your content through the cloud. JSON API is a plugin with a similar goal. There is also JSON REST API by Ryan McCue.

VideoPress – Quite possibly the easiest way to upload beautiful videos to your blog. VideoPress still has a stand alone plugin available.

Mobile Push Notifications – Receive notifications on your mobile device. Pushover Notifications for WordPress allows your WordPress site to send push notifications straight to your iOS/Android device.

Jetpack Mobile Notifications
Jetpack Mobile Notifications

Conclusion

As I’ve illustrated above, there are a ton of features that come with Jetpack. For some modules, there are plugins that replicate the same exact functionality. For others, it requires two or more plugins. All of the modules that interface with WordPress.com and its network can not be replicated because their network is off limits to plugin developers.

What I’ve learned from this challenge is that it’s possible to obtain most of the features inside of Jetpack from alternative plugins but for the most part, it’s much more convenient to have them packaged into one plugin in which I can simply turn modules on or off.

I encourage you to comment with links to additional plugins that mimic specific Jetpack modules.

31 Comments


  1. Nice roundup. Whenever doing custom projects or helping out a friend, there’s always a module or two in Jetpack that I’d like to use. But, I refuse to add that entire plugin to a site for just a couple of features. I’d much rather install a one-off plugin that simply does one job.

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  2. @Justin Tadlock – Thanks. It was a bit of a challenge finding plugins that replicated some of the Jetpack module functionality. Some of the plugins mentioned are exact replicas of the module they are based on. Others are close but not exact.

    As mentioned in the previous comment, Slim Jetpack is a nice alternative.

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  3. I may be wrong, but I think there is a big difference between photon and at least the free version of cloudflare. Photon claims to request a resized version of your image (to suit the space it will be displayed in) while cloudflare simply caches the file as is, and returns it. This may be significantly larger than is needed for the display device, taking longer to download, and occupying more of the available cache space on the device (and thus flushing more data from the cache).
    If the viewer is using a high spec PC on a fast fibre internet connection, then the difference won’t matter, but for a handheld mobile device it may matter much more. As well as taking much longer to download the first time, it would consume much more of the device’s limited space for caching internet files, and itself be cleared from cache on the next similar page view.

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  4. Excellent timing. Just canned JetPack from a dozen sites. Don’t like having all those eggs in one basket. And the TinyMCE Spellcheck is great. Thanks for the leads.

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  5. I’m with Justin T about installing a plugin with functions I won’t use so this is a fabulous resource.

    Good to see mentions of the good old “must have” plugins like Contact form 7.

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  6. Hi there, has anyone run any speed tests regarding using Jetpack or a number of alternatives? I was under the impression that as long as you deactivated the modules you didn’t need it’s bloatedness was reduced.

    I wonder what the tipping point for using Jetpack is against separate plugins? 4 modules or more maybe. Surely too many extra plugins instead of using just Jetpack is a bad thing.

    And finally, one would hope, that coming from Automattic the code would be kept up to scratch which sometimes can’t be said for other plugins.

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  7. But does it make sense to replace Jetpack with 10 standalone Jetpack replacements when I have disabled the modules I am not using?

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  8. I also don’t love installing tons of plugins when we only need one. But Jetpack has so many great things in it that in many cases we use it anyways.

    Re Google+ integration: Yoast’s WordPress SEO plugin has this built in so if you’re running it, make sure you enter your Google+ URL in your Profile, and you’re good.

    Re shortcode embeds: I really don’t understand why this needs its own whole plugin when WordPress supports oEmbed. I mean, what’s easier than just pasting the URL of the piece of media you want to share in the editor (ok, and then unlinking it so it’s not an active link, but still!)?

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  9. @jeffro:

    I enjoyed this post a great deal. Love the blog and have RSS’ed it.

    Here’s the problem I’m having.

    I tried Simple Email Subscriber as you suggested and it just won’t work on my site. I’ve taken off all my Jetpack functions except Subscriber and yet Jetpack still takes up 25 per cent of my upload time for my two sites, bulldogottawa.com and bulldogcanadian.com.

    I need a lightweight plugin in which I can insert my subscriptions from Jetpack and that just sends out emails when I publish a post. I can’t say I find Subscribe2 very helpful.

    I’d really like to get my sites as efficient as possible and have spent many, many hours trying to find a good replacement for Jetpack subscriptions. I like the plugin but I don’t like the amount of capacity it uses. It’s the last Jetpack function I use.

    I really need some simple plugin alternatives.

    Thanks for your help and any suggestions from your readers as well.

    cheers

    kgray

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  10. Slim Jetpack looks like a very good alternative to Jetpack to avoid using a connection to WordPress.com. Unfortunately for comment avatars you need Gravatar as a backend, which you only can use if you have a WordPress.com account.

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  11. I admit to still using Jetpack Lite for the stats and the short urls, but I had issues with Jetpack proper right from the get-go. The “Tiled Galleries Carousel Without Jetpack” plugin actually works better than its Jetpack counterpart for some reason.

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  12. Thanks for this but most “alternatives” here aren’t worth and we are still stuck with this thing and prisoners of WP.com for a while. Interesting reading here: http://jupiterjimsmarketingteam.com/why-i-dont-use-wordpress-jetpack/

    I’m regretfully running JP just for 2 modules only – Comment and Subscriptions – because nobody on this planet was able to make such ultra basic plugins in order to allow a visitor
    1. to subscribe to following posts when he leaves a comment and/or to new posts
    2. add a simple checkbox to user subscriptions thats says “subscribe my email address I just entered also for receiving new posts”

    You have exactly the same issue here with your own blog: you are using Jetpack Comment module right here, and at completely different place the Subscription module – and all your subscribers are managed by WP.com.

    That’s a shame as those settings should be just basic WP settings.
    It seems WP.com wants to get more from us…

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  13. Thanks Jeff, but here again that’s a very partial solution. The BASIC needs for any site or blog are to allow visitors to post comments, follow-up with them and subscribe to new posts/news. Those needs should be grouped together in core configuration and closely tied to the setting “Users must be registered and logged in to comment”.

    But this isn’t the case, and certainly not planned, so that WP can take this out of your site and manage at their own servers by providing “cool” plugins that let you think you can do “cool” things with them – while they take care of your subscribers and you lose control over them.

    This deals with a more global question: who has full control of your site’s content? You or third party companies?

    The more we give access to those “cool” third party gadgets the more we lose control.

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  14. PS: I don’t find it “cool” at all to be forwarded to wordpress.com when subscribing to your own blog, right here, in order to confirm or manage my subscription.

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  15. I’m guessing that a handful of random plugins would introduce more bugs and cause more performance issues than a collection of modules (which can be deactivated) backed by Automattic. On the other hand, there is always room for improvement. I’d rather gain subscribers with a plugin like Mailchimp than through Jetpack.

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  16. What’s the deal with connecting to wordpress.com ? Why do you think that’s a big issue?

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    1. It seems to be a huge pain especially when developing client sites.

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  17. WP-Stats-Dashboard NOTE: NO LONGER MAINTAINING THIS PLUGIN. PLUGIN IN NEED OF COMPLETE OVERHAUL. Might want to replace this suggestion with something else that offers stats like WordPress.com

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  18. Great list of alternatives to Jetpack. Even though I like all the functionality Jetpack gives, I am not a big fan of the chain and the collar that comes with it.

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  19. Love the information, thanks for sharing

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