Jetpack’s latest release comes with new Gutenberg blocks to help you interact with your readers. We’ve also improved the Map Block and Tiled Gallery blocks to give you even more display options to make your site just-so.
This month’s release is packed with improvements to the features you love. We’ve also ensured that your favorite plugin will work seamlessly with the newest version of WordPress, scheduled for release in just a few weeks.
Jetpack 7.8 ships several under-the-hood improvements and bug fixes that make Jetpack’s features work even better for you and your website. Jetpack is more than the sum of its code, though — it is the collective work of an amazing group of designers, product experts, Happiness Engineers, and code wranglers at Automattic.
In this month’s release, we’ve improved the user experience around connecting your site to WordPress.com. It’s now faster and more reliable, helping you to diagnose and fix issues as quickly as possible.
Additionally, some new tools will now allow you to transfer a connection to a different administrator on your site.
Happy May and welcome to Jetpack 6.1. This month brings us another general maintenance release, so you won’t find any big surprises here, but there are still some important improvements to learn about.
The new things you’ll find in 6.1 are:
Privacy information links added
Jetpack’s position regarding its users and their visitors’ privacy has been enhanced in the process to make all of Automattic’s software GDPR-compliant.
You will now will see a footer on the “More Info” popover that appears next to each feature setting. These link to specific sections in our support docs describing privacy implications in the event you want to learn more about them.
Stats and Do Not Track changes
We now offer the users a way to have a clear map of the privacy implications of each Jetpack feature. We also introduced a new filter that will honor the Do Not Track feature for visitors that choose to take advantage of it.
Note that this only affects Jetpack’s own Stats feature and nothing else.
There are two improvements to the WordAds program to share this month. First, we’ve added support for the ads.txt file.
Second, we’ve introduced a new shortcode, [wordads], which allows you to include an ad inline on any given post or page content. This will give you even more flexibility in defining where your ads appear on your site.
Additional performance enhancements
There are a few bugfixes and enhancements in this release, but the main issues we tackled are the following:
When a post transitions to publish, Jetpack used to add Publicize post meta to all posts, whether or not it was a Publicize-able post type. This has been adjusted.
We removed the Sharing and Like display functionality from WooCommerce’s Cart, Checkout, and Account pages.
Users running their site on PHP 7.2 were seeing notices on their logs related to language features that were updated with this latest release of PHP. These notices should now be addressed.
Full changelog and thanks
As always, you can read the full changelog and see what else we have improved in this release.
Aaron Douglas, Alex Mills, Allen Snook, Anthony Bubel, Brandon Kraft, Daniel Walmsley, David Newman, Derek Smart, Eric Johnson, Egill R. Erlendsson, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, George Stephanis, Igor Zinovyev, Javi Alvarez, Jacopo Tomasone, Jason Johnston, Jeremy Herve, Jeff Bowen, Jeff Stieler, Joan Rho, Justin Shreve, Lance Willett, Michael D Adams, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Mikael Korpela, Mike Jolley, Niels Lange, Oscar Lopez, Peter Westwood, Rastislav Lamoš, RC Lations, Rob Landers, Rocco Tripaldi, Taegon Kim, Tugdual de Kerviler, Yaroslav Kukharuk, and Žiga Sancin.
Today’s release of Jetpack 5.8 includes several features that have graduated from beta testing. We are very excited to bring them out for you to try.
Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve included in this update, and how today’s additions will help you speed up your site and deliver faster, more relevant content to your visitors — always a good thing!
New search service exits beta
The most exciting news first: all Professional plan customers will now be able to use the new Jetpack search service, which replaces the default WordPress search functionality with an Elasticsearch-powered service. This delivers more relevant results with powerful filtering options and unmatched scalability for sites with large amounts of content.
For sites that have a large number of posts, pages, or products, you will see significant improvements to both the speed of searching through the site, as well as to the relevance of the results returned.
For site builders, you can configure our sidebar widgets so that users can refine their search by any categories, tags, month/year, post type or any taxonomy. For developers, we expose the full power of Elasticsearch under the hood — send custom queries or use our template tags to customize the end-user search experience. Learn more about this feature on our support page.
We received a ton of fantastic feedback from customers who tested this during the early stages, and we’d like to give our heartfelt thanks to everyone who submitted their feedback, test results, and ideas for improving this integration prior to today’s official launch.
Lazy loading images
Sites that have a large number of images — like photo blogs, travel sites, and online stores — have a new feature to try out that may significantly speed things up and lower their bounce rates. We’ve implemented a lazy loading images feature into Jetpack 5.8, which significantly reduces page load times for end users.
Lazy loading images work in this way: instead of waiting for the entire page to load before displaying it to a visitor, Jetpack will instead show the page’s non-image content as quickly as possible (usually instantly). Jetpack then requests and downloads images on the page when the user scrolls down, so they’ll appear right as the user gets to that point on the screen.
Here’s a short video showing the difference between a site with this feature and one without:
Combined with our existing image CDN, this has the potential to speed up media-heavy sites dramatically. We’d love to hear your feedback on it if you give it a try.
Get more for your money with Jetpack Premium
About a week ago, we quietly rolled out some changes to our Premium plan. The keen-eyed among you may have already spotted the changes or new features in your dashboard, but if you missed it, here’s what’s new.
Previously, there were some minor differences in the security offerings between our Premium and Professional plans. But now, Premium customers have access to on-demand security scanning and automated threat resolution.
We’ve also lifted the 13GB restriction on video uploads for the plan, so Premium customers now get unlimited video uploading and streaming services.
Jetpack’s video hosting service is designed and optimized for WordPress, integrates directly into the media library you use on a daily basis, and—best of all—is completely ad-free. It uses the same CDN as our images, so it’s blazing fast. If you haven’t already tried it, now’s a great time to experiment!
Finally, we’ve made all of our SEO tools available to Premium customers. You can now preview and optimize your site content, or get in-depth stats with our seamless Google Analytics integration.
We think all of these additions make our Premium plan an even better value for WordPress users. At just $99 annually, it’s the most affordable way to get best-in-class security tools, super fast photo and video hosting, features that will improve your site traffic and search engine rankings, and so much more.
Not a Jetpack Premium customer? We also have a major improvement coming for Jetpack Personal that we’ll be ready to announce in just a few weeks. Keep an eye on your dashboard for an important notice soon!
Additional enhancements and improvements
Finally, here are a few smaller changes we still think are worth mentioning:
Support has been added for site language and timezone settings.
We’ve improved the display of noticesinside the Jetpack dashboard.
The GettyImages shortcode has been updated to use the new format required by GettyImages.
For Premium and Professional customers using our ad program, we’ve now enabled the ads in the header by default. We’ve also added filters so you can control the display of the ads via code.
If you have any questions about these changes or feedback on the new features, please get in touch and one of our Happiness Engineers will gladly lend a hand.
Install Jetpack or upgrade to 5.8 today to see just how fast your site can go!
Thanks to the contributors to this release:
Adam Zielinski, Alex Mills, Anna Magdalena Kedzierska, Bernie Reiter, Daniel W. Robert, Daniel Walmsley, Derek Smart, Derek Springer, Elio Rivero, Enej Bajgoric, Eric Binnion, Greg Ichneumon Brown, Igor Zinovyev, James Nylen, Javi Alvarez, Jeff Bowen, Jeff Golenski, Jeremy Herve, Joell Lapitan, Jon Surrell, Marin Atanasov, Matt Wiebe, Michael Turk, Miguel Lezama, Mikael Korpela, Nicole Kohler, Oscar Lopez, Peter Westwood, Richard Muscat, Rob Landers, Rocco Tripaldi, Rodrigo Iloro, Sam Hotchkiss, Sanket Parmar, Scott Hartley, Simon Prosser, Stephen Edgar, Umang Vaghela, Victoria Holland, Jonathan Sadowski, and Philip John.