Jetpack 4.8 Introduces Settings Redesign, Adds Global Toolbar

Jetpack 4.8 was released this week with a settings redesign that is a continuation of the React.js-powered admin interface introduced last September. The new settings screen has been completely rearranged under a more simplified menu.

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

Arestad said he was inspired by the way mobile devices handle settings, especially how they rarely include a “Save” button unless it’s an option that isn’t a simple toggle. The Jetpack design team applied this to the settings screens so that most of them are now autosaved.

This release also introduces the ability to enable the Toolbar, a new feature that replaces the wp-admin toolbar with the My Sites menu, a link to the reader, a Write button that takes you to, and a notifications dropdown. It is essentially the same toolbar you see when working with a site.

Jetpack 4.8 includes several dozen improvements and bug fixes. A few of the highlights include the following:

  • New MailChimp Subscribe Popup widget
  • Sitemaps are faster and now support sites with a very large number of posts (1,000+)
  • Contact Form now has a plain-text alternative and better avoids spam filters
  • Debug form includes extra information to better prioritize support requests
  • Photon can now be used within the dashboard and supports bbPress topics and replies

Jetpack 4.8.1 Fixes PHP Incompatibility Issue

Many users reported fatal errors and blank pages after updating to Jetpack 4.8. A temporary fix was to load an older version of Jetpack. In a convenient turn of events, the WordPress plugin directory restored the ability to download older versions of plugins today (found under the new Advanced View link).

Jetpack 4.8 included PHP code that is incompatible with PHP versions lower than 5.4, which caused the fatal errors. The Sitemaps module also included an incompatibility with the WP Rocket plugin. Additionally, the release included many new translation files, which caused updates not to complete on sites that have limited resources for processing large files on updates.

Jetpack 4.8.1 was released a few hours ago to correct these issues. The Jetpack development team recommends manually installing the plugin via FTP/SFTP if your site crashed and you are unable to update through the admin.


6 responses to “Jetpack 4.8 Introduces Settings Redesign, Adds Global Toolbar”

  1. A sign that the hosted version of WordPress is slowly integrating into the self-hosted version piece-by-piece and to eventually convert users over to the hosted option. If not convert, then at least monitizing self-hosted WordPress with .com products and services.

  2. And still no way to list all modules on a single page, and still no visitors count in dashboard stats (only page views)… I can’t see any improvement other than attracting more paid users.
    BTW what’s the meaning of this sentence: “Photon can now be used within the dashboard” – which dashboard and how is this done?

    • You can access the full module list by going to this page in your dashboard:

      still no visitors count in dashboard stats (only page views)

      We haven’t redesigned the built-in dashboard Stats yet, and that’s indeed something where we have to work to do! Good news is, you can already get advanced stats in the dashboard and in the mobile and desktop apps.

      what’s the meaning of this sentence: “Photon can now be used within the dashboard” – which dashboard and how is this done?

      By default, Photon is only applied to images on your site’s front-end, when readers are looking at your posts and pages. We’ve now added a new filter, jetpack_photon_admin_allow_image_downsize, allowing you to have Photon applied to images in your wp-admin dashboard as well. You can find out more about the filter and how to use it in our code reference.

      • I got the same reply a couple of months ago when I asked the same question about the modules. At that time we still could click on the search magnifier and get the full list but now this has also been disabled. I don’t get what’s the game here and why the heck you don’t provide a clickable button with the link above.

        As for the stats, I also asked the same question more than a month ago and got the same answer. Your works in progress run for the eternity and I still don’t want to go and login to just for checking stats. If you have them just make them available at my site’s backend.

        The more you re-design this thing the more it gets unusable.

        • My colleague Michael explained our goals and the thought process behind the new design in the release post here. As he mentioned, this is very much a work in progress, and we will continue to iterate on the design based on the feedback we receive from all Jetpack users, including you.

          However, this also means that some things get worked on first, while others have to wait. The old Stats screen is definitely on our radar, but we haven’t worked on it yet. Keep an eye on our changelog, we’ll mention it there as soon as we make changes to the Stats screen in your dashboard.


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