One Less Plugin, Thanks Jetpack

As a developer, I’m a huge fan of “red changesets”; when you get to delete more code than you add. Less code means less maintenance, less potential for bugs, security problems, etc. Today I got to “red changeset” the plugins powering this website because I realized I could just go ahead and delete the plugin I was using for update notifications.

I’ve been running a plugin here for a while now that emails me when I have updates available for plugins, themes or core on my WordPress installation. With the latest version of Jetpack though, I get that notification via a simple little indicator on WordPress.com (and I’m there every day already). In addition to the notification, I’ve enabled the auto-update feature for all plugins on all sites connected via Jetpack, so now I don’t even have to think about keeping my plugins up to date.

There’s a lot more cool stuff coming in this Jetpack/WordPress.com integration, and I’m really excited to see (and work on) what we can do to help make life easier for self-hosted users while leveraging the power of WordPress.com.

Moving Jetpack Sharing Buttons

I’m working on a new WordPress theme (for this site, and it’ll be released for download once complete). The theme is deeply integrated with Jetpack, and one of the things I wanted to do was have the Jetpack Sharing buttons appear in a location other than the very end of the content. Normally they are applied as a filter on the_content, so they just appear right at the end. I wanted to relocate them into a different location, and it turns out that’s really easy to do with the power of jQuery.

jQuery( document ).ready( function( $ ) {
	// Relocate Jetpack sharing buttons down into the comments form
	jQuery( '#sharing' ).html( jQuery( '.sharedaddy' ).detach() );
} );

The #sharing selector is just the DOM location where I want to move the buttons to, and the .sharedaddy one is the container that Jetpack places its buttons in normally. We just detach it from the normal position and then dump it into the new location exactly as it was.

Jetpack

For the past few months, my team at Automattic (Team Social FTW!) has been working on a super-secret project. Today, almost perfectly synchronized with the NASA space shuttle landing (total fluke, but awesome regardless) we launched Jetpack!

Jetpack is a new plugin that delivers a bunch of popular features from WordPress.com (the hosted site, which Automattic runs) to self-hosted installs of WordPress (such as the one that runs Dented Reality). Once you install Jetpack, you get some of the cooler things available on WordPress.com, automatically enabled on your own WordPress site. The modules you get today are just the beginning though, there are a lot more planned for future releases. We’re going to be targeting some of the biggest features that are easier for us to do on our massive grid/cloud infrastructure, but harder for folks to do on their own shared-hosting accounts.

We also managed to partner with a bunch of leading web hosts, so if you’re doing a one-click install on BluehostDreamHostGo DaddyHostGatorMedia Temple, or Network Solutions, you’ll get Jetpack as part of your install. This is huge for people installing their own WordPress.

This has been the coolest thing I’ve worked on at Automattic so far, and it’s been awesome to be involved in a project that has seen so many contributions internally (over 40 people were involved in everything from UX to design to internationalization to testing and debugging) and so many iterations since its inception. I’m really proud of what we’ve created, and hope that it sets a new bar for the design of WordPress plugins (I really think Jetpack is beautiful, amazing work Joen, Hugo and MT!).

So – check out Jetpack if you’re running WordPress on your own server, and let us know what you think!

Which features would you most like to see in Jetpack? Let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do 😉

PS: This post proudly proof-read by After The Deadline, as delivered via Jetpack 😉