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 WordPress.com 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 WordPress.com Toolbar, a new feature that replaces the wp-admin toolbar with the My Sites menu, a link to the WordPress.com reader, a Write button that takes you to WordPress.com, and a notifications dropdown. It is essentially the same toolbar you see when working with a WordPress.com 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.