New from the people at WordPress is Jetpack, a helpful add-on for those who manage their own personal copies of the popular blogging software.
WordPress is by far the best-known and most-used blog tool around these days, and it comes in two delicious flavors: WordPress.com is a fully hosted service, operated and maintained by the WordPress people themselves. WordPress.org, on the other hand, is there for the control freaks among us – the people who have to have complete control of their own site, right down to the server it’s hosted on. This is the version you download and install yourself, lovingly maintaining it through thick and thin.
The differences go deeper than that, though. The hosted .com service is constantly tweaked by the WP team, and comes with lots of extra bells and whistles that simply aren’t included with the .org download.
Until now. The new Jetpack plugin for .org users achieves some extra special web magic. You still have the freedom and control of hosting your own personalized copy of the WP software, but you also get access to some of those additional bells and whistles. Such as: stats, short links, spelling and grammar checks, and a pile of other useful features, with lots more promised in future updates.
For a lot of people, it’s the best of both worlds.
Announcing it, WordPress head honcho Matt Mullenweg wrote:
“Our users have been banging down the door for this. Every time we launch something new on WP.com the first question is always asking how people can get it for their self-hosted blog. Now you can have your cake and eat it too — host your own blog, completely under your control and with the freedom of the GPL, and still get all the cloud goodies of our hosted service.”
A bunch of some of the most popular web hosting services (Dreamhost, GoDaddy and Media Temple to name but three) are supporting Jetpack from day one, so for a lot of bloggers, getting started with Jetpack should be as easy as strapping one ’round your shoulders and hitting the go button. Go!