Feedback needed: Social sharing buttons and “Jetpack”

When the current generation of UMaine websites launched in 2015, we chose to adopt a set of features (a “plugin” in WordPress terms) that included social sharing buttons for posts. As an administrator for your site, you may have noticed a link in your dashboard for “Jetpack” that includes many features that can be enabled for a site.

In the last year, we have come to realize that Jetpack is not a good fit for every site on As has grown to include over 350 websites, each activation of this Jetpack feature has required additional overhead to maintain server performance. Of greater concern is that Jetpack is a large and complicated set of features that mostly go unused, and it has required updates and analysis to ensure our site is secure from exploits.

In the coming months, we will be de-activating Jetpack on most websites. For many sites this will be a seamless transition. The most commonly used feature that will disappear are the social sharing buttons at the bottom of posts (see above image for an example of this). Our own research into current best practices has shown that these social sharing buttons are not used as much as they had been years ago, and we do not plan to replace this feature.

If you use your website for posts (news and updates, usually) and are concerned about this change, we want to hear from you. Please email to share your thoughts.