Jetpack 4.8: The Settings Redesign You’ve Been Waiting For

Today we’re very proud to unveil some changes to the Jetpack settings user interface — available now for upgrade or installation — that have been in the works for a few months.

Back in September, when we launched Jetpack’s new design, we knew it was just the first step in a longer journey. Since then, Jetpack engineers and designers have been collecting your feedback, designing prototypes, running tests, and writing code.

dashboard

New Jetpack dashboard.

To give you a tour of the new user interface, I spoke to Michael Arestad — the Jetpack designer who’s been the glue behind this project.


RM: Working on a product’s settings can be tricky, especially one like Jetpack, where multiple services, features, and users come together. How did you approach this challenge?

Michael: Last year a small group of designers met up to discuss making small, iterative changes to Jetpack’s and WordPress.com’s settings in order to bring the two a little bit closer and feel more organized and consistent. This sounded fairly straightforward, which should always be suspicious when approaching a design problem!

After analysing existing settings in WordPress core, WordPress.com, and Jetpack to see where things could align, it turned out that feature settings needed a bit more love than we had initially planned for. But they are fundamental in defining the WordPress experience so we dug in for the long haul.

connections

New Jetpack connection settings.

We went through every setting on WordPress.com and Jetpack to make sure it was necessary to keep around, and to find a good, logical home for each one. We ended up mirroring the WordPress core settings groups for now — they are familiar to people, and things fit well there.

RM: Were you inspired by any particular real-world or digital products as you took on this work?

Michael: Yes, but not so much by other web projects. I find inspiration in items that have “just enough” settings. I also was inspired by the handheld devices we all use regularly. They have fairly deep settings, but most of the time they move more complex or niche settings out of the way, and rarely feature a “Save” button unless there is a form field other than a toggle. This keeps the more important and more interesting options front and center, and reduces the learning curve and cognitive overload for users.

autosave

Auto-saving settings.

RM: What are you most excited about with this improved settings experience, and what do you think users will enjoy the most?

Michael: I’m most excited for the sturdy new foundation this project is giving Jetpack and WordPress.com. We now use solid design patterns that are much simpler to work with and expand upon, which frees us up to look at more exciting improvements for our users. I’m hoping they will find Jetpack and WordPress.com simpler to navigate and gain a clearer understanding as to what Jetpack does for them.

dotcom-writing

The same interface on WordPress.com.

RM: Do you have any tips for existing Jetpack users who are already familiar with the “old” way of doing things?

Michael: Absolutely. Be patient. Approach it with fresh eyes, if possible. If you’re having a hard time finding a setting, you can just search for it. For developers and agencies out there who set up many sites, I encourage you to try out using filters to disable modules rather than the old interface.

search

Jetpack settings search.

RM: So is it “job done” now?

Michael: Of course not! We’re shifting our focus away from settings, though keeping an eye on them so they remain as intuitive and clear as possible — and we’re always keen to receive feedback from our users. We have many improvements to make and we’ve got a pretty clear roadmap for the next several months. Good changes are coming to every corner of Jetpack.


Other Improvements in Jetpack 4.8

  • You can now consolidate your WordPress experience and notifications with a single, global toolbar. To try it out go to Jetpack → Settings on your dashboard and enable the WordPress.com Toolbar option.
  • The Sitemaps feature now also works on sites with a very large amount of posts (more than 1,000).
  • We’ve added a new MailChimp Subscriber Popup Widget that simplifies integration with your MailChimp email lists.
toolbar

Enabling the WordPress.com toolbar.


Full Changelog and Thanks

Read the changelog to see the full list of updates and changes in this release. As always, your feedback is extremely important — if you have any, please get in touch or leave us a comment on this post.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade your current version today and let us know what you think.

Thank you to the contributors to this release: Brandon Kraft, Christian Wach*, Dan Roundhill, Derek Smart, Derek Springer, Drew Butler, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, Erick Hitter, George Stephanis, Ian Dunn, Ignacio Cruz Moreno*, Igor Zinovyev, Jeff Golenski, Jeremy Herve, Kathryn Presner, Kelly Dwan, Marin Atanasov, Mark George, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Arestad, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Mohammad Jangda, Nabeel Sulieman, Nathan Bloomfield, Oscar Lopez, Rich Collier, Sam Hotchkiss, Stanimir Stoyanov*, Steve Kaeser, Takuya Matsuyama*, and Thomas Guillot.

* Special kudos to these Jetpack users who helped us find and squash these bugs!

Pro Tip: Personal plan customers benefit from priority support and faster assistance.

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Comments

  1. Sunipeyk says:

    New upgrade killed my site. I had to delete jetpack 😦

    Like

  2. Dave Z says:

    Thank you thank you thank you for increasing sitemap coverage!

    Like

  3. farlane says:

    And no thank you for causing fatal errors on the automatic updates. Test this – you should darn well know better!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sunipeyk says:

    Manually reinstall it. It appears, but cant connect plugin and wordpress.com. It seems ok in wordpress.com but not in my site with the free one… its in a loop.

    Like

  5. Ian H says:

    So, I just updated my websites to this new version of Jetpack, and now all that appears are blank pages!! HELP!!!

    Like

  6. me1queenie says:

    how can I get off this mailing list? omg

    On Tue, Apr 4, 2017 at 1:21 PM, Jetpack for WordPress wrote:

    > Richard Muscat posted: “Today we’re very proud to unveil some changes to > the Jetpack settings user interface — available now for upgrade or > installation — that have been in the works for a few months. Back in > September, when we launched Jetpack’s new design, we knew it was ju” >

    Like

    • Hi, you received this email notification because you previously subscribed to the Jetpack.com blog. You can unsubscribe by using the “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the email you received.

      Like

  7. Ty Rettke says:

    After this update, I started getting fatal errors from Jetpack plugin 😦

    Like

  8. Ian H says:

    OK, was able to load an old version of Jetpack from a backup file and the website is back up. However, I’m not going to attempt to install version 4.8 until I have an answer to the support request I logged today.

    Like

  9. Tamio says:

    Jetpack update leads to an internal server error 500. I deleted and re-installed jetpack leading to the same result. 😦

    Like

  10. Bjorn Larsen says:

    Well, after installing 4.8 the site disappeared. I am not able to see it in any browser, windows 7, 10 or android. Now I am trying to get rid of this weird plugin but cannot find the plugin folder. Did this jetpack delete it self or what is happening here? Please give me an answer ASAP.

    Like

    • Hi Bjorn, thank you as well for reporting and my apologies for this problem. I understand how frustrating this is. The problem is caused by updates we made to the Sitemaps feature that has created an incompatibility with older versions of PHP.

      We’re working to fix it and will release an update as soon as we can. In the meantime you can solve the problem temporarily using one of the options described here: https://wordpress.org/support/topic/fatal-error-after-updating-to-the-most-recent-version-of-jetpack-read-this/

      Like

      • Björn Larsen says:

        Well, many thanks for your answer but it does not solve my problem with getting rid of this terrible update. For me it does not look like it is just the code that is wrong, to me it looks like someone in your staff brought in an infected usb or are hacking your server.

        Like

      • Hi Bjorn, I can 100% assure you that nothing of the sort happened. We failed to put in a check for older versions of PHP which is something we are working to fix. We will post an update as soon as we have a new version that fixes the problem.

        In the meantime, if you feel there might be other issues affecting your site I would encourage you to contact our support team directly at: https://jetpack.com/contact-support/

        Like

  11. changken says:

    I have updated the latest version,but I could not get into my website!
    How should I do to solve this problem?

    Like

  12. jpduvaleix says:

    Hello, I had the same problems with last update. I renamed jetpack to have access at “admin” and uninstall. After that I Re-install and now it’s working but I cant see the stats in my website.
    Sorry for no response in lst February… I did not seen your answer !

    Like

  13. Hello. I want to delete jetpack via SSH to restore my site. Me too I’ve the same problem with an old version of php I can not upgrade because I do not have the credentials to do so. I just have to clear all the jetpack folder or you have to delete some other files. I have no access to the wordpress backend because I only see a blank page. How do I remove jetpack, reinstall the old version and make it visible again on the site? What files do I cancel?

    Like

    • Jeremy says:

      We’ve just released an update to fix that issue. To install it and solve the problem on your site, you’ll indeed need to log in to your site via SFTP, SSH, of the File Manager in your hosting admin panel, and delete the Jetpack folder that you can find here:

      wp-content
         plugins
           jetpack - DELETE THIS FOLDER
      

      If you’re not sure how to do this, you can ask your hosting company for help. They should also have documentation explaining how to edit or remove files from your site using FTP or a File Manager in your admin panel.

      Once you’ve done so, you can go to Plugins > Add New and search for Jetpack to install the most recent version of the plugin.

      I hope this helps!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I am still finding problems in adding a post. content editor does not work at all.
    More than that, anywhere I need to edit content, it does not work.

    Like

    • Jeremy says:

      We haven’t made any changes to WordPress’ post editor in this release, so your problem might not be related to this update. Just to be sure, could you delete the Jetpack plugin and reinstall it from scratch to ensure your installation of Jetpack is complete?

      If that doesn’t help, could you check for Javascript errors on the editor page, as explained here, and send us the results via this form?

      Thanks!

      Like

  15. mambro says:

    ERROR 500… after automatic or manual update.
    Reverted to previous version.

    Test plugin before release??

    Like

    • Jeremy says:

      Sorry for all the trouble! We’ve just released 4.8.1 to solve this issue. You can read about it here.

      While we do our best to test things prior to release, sometimes things fall through the cracks. We’ve added additional measures to make sure this type of error doesn’t happen again. If you’re interested in helping test Jetpack, you can join our Beta group here.

      Like

  16. sandyjuettner242 says:

    How long will it be until the update is fixed. I have 20+ sites that are white screened on 5 different hosting servers. And will the fix be automatically applied? Or will I have to manually fix each site?
    Thank you.

    Like

    • Jeremy says:

      We’ve just released an update that should solve the issue. You can learn more about it here. You’ll need to reinstall the latest version of Jetpack manually on those sites I’m afraid.

      Sorry for all the trouble!

      Liked by 1 person

      • sandyjuettner242 says:

        I ftp’d in and changed the jetpack plugin folder to zjetpack. When I was able to get into the WP dashboard. Considering that I did that, I was surprised and very happy to see the corrected version waiting for me to update! None of my settings were lost, all still connected to WordPress.com. Easy-peasy!
        Thank you!!

        Like

  17. Can you send out an announcement when this issue with the update from 22 hours ago is resolved? I too updated the plug-in and got the “white screen of death” — had to delete the plug-in from my FTP directory. Tried to reinstall thinking it was just an install error — and my site WOULD NOT reinstall it. Thankfully. Then I see all these issues about the update from 22 hours ago. Jetpack is OFF my site for now. I’ll reinstall it when the issues are addressed.

    Like

  18. Pingback: Jetpack 4.8 Introduces Settings Redesign, Adds Global WordPress.com Toolbar – WordPress Tavern

  19. When I try to make any changes to the settings (eg. enable the WordPress.com toolbar) I get “Error updating settings. Error: Cookie nonce is invalid”

    And where have you hidden the settings for the MailChimp popup?

    Like

  20. Hey was looking through the api, can you help point me to the filter where I can enable / disable settings programmatically? In other words, regarding “I encourage you to try out using filters to disable modules rather than the old interface.”: what filters?

    Like

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