I can’t stand paying for something when I know I can get it for free. It’s just a pet peeve. And the latest pet peeve of mine is paying a lot of money for blog services when I’m only just starting out. I think a key to any successful endeavor is keeping costs lower than income, and right now – this blog is not necessarily earning me enough money to justify an expensive monetary costs on a monthly or annual basis.
I recently let me Jetpack subscription expire and have been on the hunt for the tools that can replace it. But before I dive into that, let’s look at the pros and cons of using the Jetpack Plugin in the first place.
Pros of Using Jetpack Plugin
Here are the advantages of using the Jetpack plugin on your WordPress website.
- This one plugin has all essential features in an easy to manage package.
- This plugin is optimized for performance with Automattic’s powerful infrastructure. PS -Automattic is the company behind Jetpack and WordPress.com)
- It has a sleek and easy to understand and navigate users interface
Cons of Using Jetpack Plugin
Here are the disadvantages of using WordPress Jetpack plugin on your website.
- You’ve got to have a WordPress.com account – sorry Squarespace and Blogger users 🙁
- Jetpack core is free but many of its (best) features require a paid subscription. Boo.
- You end up with a website that’s pretty much entirely dependent on one plugin, which could be a PRO but it also means that as you grow your website, it might be much harder to replace over time.
- The email functionality is super lame and limited. You can’t even email your subscribers without publishing a blog post. Also, my Jetpack counter says I have 1000+ subscribers, but I can’t seem to access the list. I don’t know if this is a glitch or something but it stinks.
Jetpack alternative for spam filtering: Akismet
Jetpack alternative for a CDN: Cloudflare
The Jetpack Photon CDN is great if the only thing you care about is optimizing your website images to keep your site running fast. But the Jetpack Photo CDN ONLY handles image files and nothing else, which is why Cloudflare is a much better alternative. FYI – This IS NOT a plugin. Rather you integrate it with your site and your content is served through their large delivery network which ultimately speeds up your website.
Jetpack alternative for site stats: Monster Insights
Google Analytics is hands down the best tool for collecting and analyzing your site data about visitors. But Jetpack requires a premium plan to get the Google Analytics data to apepar on the WP Dashboard, and well, I’m not keen on paying for that. Monster Insights does the exact same thing for free and offers real-time stats and a super quick integration (like I set it up in less than 5 minutes). Another alternative is Orbit Fox, which does the same thing for free AND it has a wide range of other features like social sharing, menu icons, and template library. I’m definitely going to give Orbit Fox a go after a trial Monster Insights a little longer.
Jetpack alternative for contact forms: WPForms
Okay, the Jetpack form features is actually pretty good and they don’t charge for it – BUT there’s other options out there that are free AND have more flexibility. Don’t you want more for the same low price of NADA. I suggest WPForms but another good options is the Pirate Forms plugin.
Jetpack alternative for the publicize feature: WP to Buffer
One of my favorite parts of Jetpack that is included in the free edition is their Social media posting. Unfortunately, the scheduling tool is a premium add-on which is super lame. To keep my blog costs down, I prefer to use WP to Buffer. It has a fully built in scheduling feature and it pretty much supports every social network out there.
Jetpack alternative for backups: UpdraftPlus
Do you have a blog? Then you need daily automatic backups. Daily automatic backups are only offered via the paid Jetpack version but I think you can do equally well by selecting as UpdraftPlus your preferred plug in for this feature. It’s prettier on the eyes and the user experience is a lot more intuitive and you can save your site to places like Google Drive and Dropbox. That’s a YES for me!
Jetpack alternative for SEO: Yoast
Let’s be honest – you ain’t doing nada with your blog if you’re not optimizing for search engines. And sadly, one of the weakest features of Jetpack is their built in SEO Features. In good news, there’s a really great alternative for search engine optimization for your blog. If you’re looking to really improve your SEO efforts, the best (and obvious) choice is Yoast SEO. I have used Yoast for all of my client websites built on WordPress. Plus there’s a comprehensive post and page planning section where the plugin tracks keyword density (big deal!) and also provides loads of tips for improving optimization.