Jetpack 5.5: Connection Improvements and WordPress 4.9 Compatibility

Today’s release of Jetpack 5.5 includes some changes to the Jetpack connection process meant to reduce issues and plugin interference. We’ve also prioritized compatibility with the upcoming release of WordPress 4.9, which is currently scheduled for release on November 14.

Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve included in this update.

Improvements to the connection process

We’ve made some changes to the connection process between Jetpack and WordPress.com. These changes should reduce the number of issues that may happen on a site when switching from a HTTP to HTTPS connection.

We’ve also improved this process to make sure that other WordPress plugins can’t interfere with your connection and accidentally disable features that rely on the WordPress.com servers (like our image CDN, Related Posts, etc.).

Syntax highlighting in CSS now handled by WordPress 4.9

The next major version of WordPress, 4.9, is currently scheduled to be released next week, November 14 (but you can try a release candidate right now!). 4.9 will include a lot of changes to its code editors, like syntax highlighting, linting, and auto-completion.

As part of those changes, the built-in CSS editor will now have its own syntax highlighter. Until now, this feature wasn’t available unless you used Jetpack and its Custom CSS module. So from now on, Jetpack will let WordPress handle syntax highlighting if you run version 4.9.

Jetpack’s Gallery Widget will be migrated to WordPress

The Gallery Widget provided by Jetpack will also be obsoleted by the 4.9 update, which will include its own Gallery Widget.

When you update to WordPress 4.9, we’ll automatically migrate any Jetpack Gallery Widgets to WordPress ones (as seen here).

If you use any Jetpack Gallery Widgets on your site, they will be automatically migrated and become WordPress Gallery Widgets once you update to WordPress 4.9.

You shouldn’t see any major changes to your Jetpack widgets with the migration. However, if you use plugins that enable additional widget settings (not provided as part of Jetpack), you could lose these settings due to the way those plugins store the data. You can avoid this by using a new Jetpack filter to force the legacy code to load and then migrate your settings to 4.9 manually.

Additional performance enhancements

Finally, let’s wrap things up with a few additional enhancements you may want to be aware of:

  • The Carousel feature has been improved, and you should see better performance in standard and tiled galleries, as well as with comments on Carousel images.
  • Videos directly embedded into a page will no longer be locked to a specific version of Jetpack. This ensures all users see the newest version of the video player.
  • Our SEO tools will no longer output any custom meta tags if another SEO plugin is active.
  • A new filter, (`jetpack_google_translate_widget_layout`), has been added to the Google Translate Widget to allow you to change its layout.
  • We removed the Press This sharing button if you are not using the plugin, which is no longer part of WordPress core as of 4.9.

Full changelog and thanks

As always, the changelog provides the full list of updates and changes in this release. If you have questions or feedback, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to lend a hand.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade to 5.5 today and let us know how it goes!

Thank you to the contributors to this release:

Adrien Missemer, Allen Snook, Brandon Kraft, Daniel Swiatek, Daniel Walmsley, Demitrious Kelly, Derek Smart, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, George Stephanis, Igor Zinovyev, Jacopo Tomasone, Jason Johnston, Jeremy Herve, Jonathan Sadowski, Kirk Wight, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Miklos Juhasz, Nick Daugherty, Oscar Lopez, Paul Sieminski, RC Lations, Rich Collier, Rob Landers, Rocco Tripaldi, Rodrigo Iloro, Scott Stancil, Weston Ruter, and Yoav Farhi.

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Jetpack 5.4: Date Picker in Contact Form, Comment Improvements, and Welcome Screens

Today’s release of Jetpack 5.4 includes the addition of a new field to our Contact Form editor, display improvements to Comments and how they integrate with themes, and welcome screens for users of our paid plans. We’ve also added a new search feature, currently in beta, that Jetpack Professional customers can help us test.

Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve included in this update.

Date picker added to Contact Form editor

We added a new field to the Contact Form editor that allows you to add a date picker to your forms.

You can now create forms with date pickers.

This allows you to ask visitors to submit delivery dates, their birthdays, the best day to contact them, or anything else you can think of.

Improvements to Comments and theme compatibility

We’ve made some improvements to how the Jetpack comment form is displayed in some themes.

When enabled on your site, the Comments feature should now display a form with a default height. There should also be no extra white space below it. Comments entered into the form will cause the height of the form to expand automatically.

Welcome screens added to paid plans

When purchasing a Jetpack Personal, Premium, or Professional plan, you’ll now see a welcome screen with some tips to help you make the most of the plan you just purchased.

Here’s what you might see if you purchase a Personal plan.

Jetpack Search (Beta) available for Professional plan customers

If you’ve purchased a Professional Plan for your Jetpack site, this new release will give you access to a new feature we’re currently still testing: Jetpack Search, powered by Elasticsearch.

To get started, go to Settings > Traffic on WordPress.com, and select a site using Jetpack 5.4 and a Professional plan. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and enable the search feature.

This feature is still in beta, and we’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback if you give it a try.

Miscellaneous updates and fixes

Finally, here are a few more updates we’ve made in 5.4:

  • Fixed some UI issues within the Jetpack settings interface for the Internet Explorer 11 browser.
  • The Simple Payments button received some minor display improvements.
  • Facebook embeds have received display improvements.
  • RTL style fixes for some shortcodes.
  • Added a new “Time Unit” setting to available widgets.
  • Third party plugin and theme authors can add new menu items to the WordPress.com toolbar.

Full changelog and thanks

The changelog provides the full list of updates and changes in this release. If you have questions or feedback, please get in touch.

Install Jetpack on your site or upgrade to 5.4 today and let us know what you think!

Thank you to the contributors to this release:

Alexander Concha, Allen Snook, Andrew Duthie, Anthony Bubel, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Donna Peplinskie, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, Erick Hitter, George Stephanis, Igor Klimer, Igor Zinovyev, Umang Vaghela, James Fraser, James Nylen, Jeremy Herve, Justin Shreve, Kirk Wight, Lance Willett, Marko Andrijasevic, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Nick Daugherty, Nicole Kohler, Oscar Lopez, Paul Sieminski, RC Lations, Rastislav Lamos, Rob Landers, Rocco Tripaldi, Sam Hotchkiss, Scott Stancil, Stanimir Stoyanov, Steve Seear, Takashi Irie, and Thomas Guillot.

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Jetpack 5.2.1: Fixing Widgets Bug

Yesterday Jetpack 5.2 was released which unfortunately introduced a bug that prevented content in new widgets from being saved. The issue did not affect existing widgets, only newly created ones.

Thanks to prompt reports from our users we’ve released an update (5.2.1) which fixes the issue.

We apologize for the inconvenience and recommend you update now.

Thank you to the contributors to this release: Rocco Tripaldi, Miguel Lezama, Derek Smart, and Elio Rivero.

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

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Jetpack 4.8.2: fixing more PHP version incompatibilities

Jetpack 4.8.2 fixes issues appearing in Jetpack’s new Settings area, on sites running older versions of PHP.

This release is recommended for all users.

After releasing Jetpack 4.8 earlier this week, we immediately noticed some issues that we had missed during Beta testing. We released Jetpack 4.8.1 on Thursday to address those issues, but unfortunately noticed a few more issues since then:

  • On sites running PHP versions below 5.4, it was sometimes impossible to activate or deactivate some of the features via the new Settings screen.
  • We took the opportunity to remove another function incompatible with PHP versions below 5.4 in Jetpack.
  • In some cases, site owners would only see a blank page when visiting the new Jetpack Dashboard.

All of these problems have now been fixed. You can update to Jetpack 4.8.2 by going to Dashboard > Updates in your dashboard. Another alternative is to update manually by following the instructions in our last post.

If you want to learn more about what was updated in this release, you can check out the changelog.

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Jetpack 4.7.1: Markdown, Widget Visibility, and SSO Fixes

Jetpack 4.7.1 is here to fix a few more bugs, available now for upgrade or installation.

Continue reading → Jetpack 4.7.1: Markdown, Widget Visibility, and SSO Fixes

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Jetpack 4.7: The Answer is Always 42

Welcome to Jetpack 4.7, available now for upgrade or installation.

After a few releases chock-full of new features (like Google Analytics and Ads) we decided to focus an entire release cycle on some cleanup, enhancements, and bug fixes. An early Spring-cleaning if you will, getting us ready for some even more exciting feature announcements later in the year.

Continue reading → Jetpack 4.7: The Answer is Always 42

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Jetpack 4.3 and 4.3.1: A faster, simpler user interface, powered by React

This week we shipped Jetpack 4.3 (and 4.3.1) which includes a total visual redesign of the Jetpack user interface and a front-end built entirely in React—the same JavaScript library which powers WordPress.com and which enables us to provide you with a faster and more modern user experience.

This version has been a year in the making and is based on feedback from more than 8,000 active Jetpack users around the globe so we can’t wait for you to try it out and let us know what you think. Here are the highlights:

Continue reading → Jetpack 4.3 and 4.3.1: A faster, simpler user interface, powered by React

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Jetpack 4.2.2: Facebook Sharing Counts and Bug Fixes

Jetpack 4.2.2 addresses an update to Facebook sharing counts and a few bug fixes.

Jetpack Sharing Icon

Facebook Sharing Counts

If you use the Jetpack Sharing Buttons, you may have noticed yesterday that any existing sharing counts for Facebook disappeared! This was due to Facebook turning off a feature in their API that we used to grab and display Facebook sharing counts. There’s a great post on WordPress.org that goes into more detail into the problem.

Since it was only a matter of updating the API that we use to pull the sharing count data from Facebook, we wanted to get this out to you as soon as possible!

Other Bug Fixes

  • Mobile Theme: fixed an issue with the Minileven mobile theme which was preventing it from loading properly.
  • Theme Compatibility: fixed an issue which caused PHP notices to get logged for users of the Twenty Fourteen theme.
  • General: added some improvements to Sync performance.

If you want to see the full list of what was updated in this release, you can check out the changelog.

Big thanks to those who contributed to this release:

Andrew Duthie, Daniel Walmsley, Elio Rivero, George Stephanis, Jeremy Herve, Marin Atanasov, Rich Collier, and Sam Hotchkiss.

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Jetpack 4.2 and 4.2.1: Performance Improvements and More

Jetpack 4.2 brings you performance improvements along with some important security updates and enhancements to existing Jetpack modules.

Performance Enhancements

Jetpack requires a connection to the WordPress.com servers which helps offload processes from your own server and also opens up a wealth of features that you can use to speed up your site, protect your site, and increase engagement of your readers. All of these features rely on the communication between WordPress.com and your site.

Since these features rely on that back and forth communication, we’ve focused in this release to make that communication channel even more efficient. Below are some key points highlighting the improvements in performance comparing Jetpack version 4.1.x to Jetpack 4.2.

Key Points:

  • Front end database queries reduced by 69% for all front-end page views.
  • Reduced wp-admin database queries by 43%.
  • Memory usage improved by over 20% when the site is viewed by logged out users.
  • Improved load time by 9.9% on shared hosting environments

Please note these numbers don’t reflect all types of WordPress installs and plugin configurations. In these comparisons, we’re running the latest version of WordPress (4.5.3) and Jetpack is the only plugin installed. You might see different results with other setups and server configurations.

All of these features rely on the communication, and syncing of some data, between WordPress.com and your site. This data begins to sync when Jetpack is installed and connected to a WordPress.com User ID.

If you’d like to read in more detail about what we sync, why, and what we do with it, please refer to this support page.

Security

Our development team is always working to make Jetpack secure and safe to use on your sites. In Jetpack 4.2, we continue that work and have fixed a few vulnerabilities in this release.

  • Contact Form: we made changes to avoid potential formula injections in Contact Form submission exports.
  • General: XSS Vulnerability due to the misuse of the add_query_arg() function. Kudos to Karim Valiev, Mail.Ru Security Team
  • General: More changes to harden Jetpack security by implementing the hash_equals() function in an effort to avoid timing attacks when comparing strings. Thanks to Scott Arciszewski.

And more!

  • Shortcodes: Added several new parameters to the Dailymotion shortcode.
  • Custom CSS: added support for font-feature-settings in the Custom CSS Editor.

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to Jetpack 4.2:

Alex Mills, Andrei Lupu, Andrew Duthie, Brandon Hubbard, Brandon Kraft, Chase Livingston, Dan Walmsley, Derek Smart, Dion Hulse, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Ephraim Gregor, Eric Binnion, George Stephanis, Jeremy Herve, Jesse Friedman, Josiah Sprague, Lance Willett, Martin Falkus, Miguel Lezama, Nick Daugherty, Oscar Lopez, Rich Collier, Sam Hotchkiss, Tunghsiao Liu, and Will Woodward.

Jetpack 4.2.1

Jetpack 4.2.1 is being released to address a few issues in 4.2.

  • We fixed a conflict between Jetpack and W3 Total Cache that blocked some site owners from accessing their dashboard.
  • We fixed some issues with Publicize and Custom Post Types.
  • Now, very large Multisite networks with millions of users can be synchronized with WordPress.com.

Special thanks to those who contributed to Jetpack 4.2.1:

Daniel Walmsley, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, and Sam Hotchkiss

If you’d like to learn more about these releases and the other changes brought to Jetpack, you can check the full changelog here.

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Jetpack 4.1: Secure Sign On Improvements, Two New Sharing Buttons, and More

Jetpack 4.1 is here, and it’s packed with performance improvements, new features, improvements to existing features, and bug fixes!

Continue reading → Jetpack 4.1: Secure Sign On Improvements, Two New Sharing Buttons, and More

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