Hi Paul, I noticed that after installing the Essentialist theme + Jetpack, Jetpack is considerably slowing down my site. Do I really need it for the theme to function properly? And is the masonry view of galleries (as shown here: http://essentialist.mauer.co/galleries-showcase/) generated by Jetpack, or is it done by your theme?
However, I still recommend using Jetpack. For instance, it powers the Open Graph tags — they make sure that when links to your website are shared on Facebook they have correct picture and title. Also, it powers sharing the posts (basically the sharing buttons you see in the demo come from JetPack as you might have read in the User Guide). Jetpack is also pretty useful in XML-RPC attacks. Photon module is not a good soultion, if you ask me though.
As for the speed. Running my own tests, I haven’t noticed any real impact of Jetpack on the speed of the demo website.
If you enjoy the theme (or the support), I would really appreciate if you could rate it on ThemeForest. This literally takes a moment and actually helps a lot. Thank you.