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Safe Mode

Safe Mode helps to prevent an “Identity Crisis” with development and staging sites.

What is an Identity Crisis?

When you first connect your Jetpack-enabled site to WordPress.com, we assign a unique blog ID and a token that is tied to the site URL – similar to a username and password. We use this blog ID to keep track of a lot of things, including your site’s stats information and your subscribers. When the URL changes, the system should update the ID with that new URL and keep everything properly connected.

Oftentimes, though, the system would recognize the new URL as a new site and would then assign a new blog ID, despite the fact that it’s the same site. It then appears that your historical statistics and site subscribers are “lost.” This is what we call an “Identity Crisis.”

How does Safe Mode Help?

Safe mode helps prevent these problems before they start.

There are several cases where your Jetpack-enabled site’s URL could change:

  • You bought a new domain name and updated your site to use that domain.
  • You clone your site from production to staging.
  • You allow two URLs to point to the same WordPress installation.
  • Any other scenario where the URL of your site might change.

In most cases, we can safely update the URL and not cause an Identity Crisis. But, there are a handful of cases where we’re not able to automatically determine whether we should update the URL on the shadow site.

In these cases, Jetpack takes some extra steps to make sure that we’re not causing an Identity Crisis:

  • We don’t allow syncing any more information from the Jetpack-enabled site to the WordPress.com shadow site.
  • We begin displaying the Jetpack Safe Mode notice.
  • We continue showing that notice until an admin of your site resolves the potential Identity Crisis.

What does the Safe Mode notice look like?

When the notice is first displayed, you’ll see something like this:

Jetpack Safe Mode box asking to confirm safe mode or fix the Jetpack connection

Clicking the “Confirm Safe Mode” button will hide the notice and leave your site in Safe Mode. Clicking the “Fix Jetpack’s Connection” button will present you with something like this:

Jetpack Safe Mode dialog box with options to Migrate Stats & Subscribers and Start Fresh & Create New Connection

What does each button mean?

Looking at the two above screenshots, there are four actions you can take. Below is an explanation of why you would click each button.

Confirm Safe Mode

If you have cloned your site for testing purposes, then you’ll want to click the “Confirm Safe Mode” button. This will keep your site in Safe Mode and hide the notice. Many hosts will refer to this as a “staging” environment.

screen-shot-2016-11-20-at-2-36-56-pm

After clicking the “Confirm Safe Mode button, you will see a “Jetpack Safe Mode” button appear in the admin bar. Clicking that button will open the initial Safe Mode dialog box again in case you need to fix your connection using one of the other methods.

Fix Jetpack’s Connection

If your site is not set up for testing purposes, and you’re seeing the Safe Mode notice, then you’ll want to click the “Fix Jetpack’s Connection” button. This will then give you two options to choose from for fixing your site’s connection.

Migrate Stats & Subscribers

You would click the “Migrate Stats & Subscribers” button if the new site URL is replacing your old site’s URL. The most common case of this is when a developer is taking a site from a development environment to a production environment.

For example: Going from newsite.mydevelopmentwebsites.com to newsite.com.

After clicking this button, WordPress.com will migrate all of your stats and subscribers from the old site to the new site and then we will place the old site in staging mode.

Note: After clicking the “Migrate Stats & Subscribers” button, the Safe Mode notice should  disappear immediately on your new site but it could take a few minutes for stats and subscribers to migrate.

Start Fresh & Create New Connection

You would click the “Start Fresh & Create New Connection” button when you’re creating a new and separate site. The most common instance for this would be to create a copy of site A that will be used as a starting point for site B.

After clicking the “Start Fresh & Create New Connection” button, you will be redirected to WordPress.com to authorize the connection. After clicking the “Approve” button there, your new Jetpack-enabled site will have its own connection and the Safe Mode notice should disappear.

Still have questions?

We’re here to help! Just contact us and we’ll be happy to clarify things.

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