Jetpack, the software designed to grant WordPress.com features to self-hosted websites, released Version 2.2.1 on Thursday, March 28th. Several enhancements and bug fixes have been included with the latest release (see a complete list of modifications by visiting the official Jetpack changelog page).
The all-new Development Mode is achieved by adding define (‘JETPACK_DEV_DEBUG’, true); to your wp-config.php file in order to enable an offline mode for localhost development. Note that only modules that don’t require a WordPress.com connection can be enabled in this mode.
Jetpack Development Mode
Automattic representative Tim Moore wrote Thursday, “We’ve put together a spring cleaning release for you today. Of note is the new Development Mode in Jetpack. With this, features that do not require a connection to WordPress.com servers can be activated on a localhost WordPress installation for testing. This has been one of the most demanded features from developers; we are very happy to provide this first iteration today.”
Developer Alex Mills (who is responsible for the most noteworthy change in Version 2.2.1) pointed out Thursday that the “development mode automatically gets enabled if you don’t have a period in your site’s hostname, i.e. localhost. If you use a different URL, such as mycooltestsite.local or something, it is then that you will need to define the JETPACK_DEV_DEBUG constant.”
New Filters For Shortcodes And Widgets
Another change is the fact that you can add a filter to the shortcode loading section so that a plugin can override what Jetpack loads for shortcodes. Up until now, the Jetpack shortcodes and widgets module was an “all or nothing” feature – but now you can filter the shortcodes and widgets that Jetpack loads by using a mini plugin of your own.
Simply use the new jetpack_shortcodes_to_include or jetpack_widgets_to_include to exclude the widgets and shortcodes that you do not want, or include new ones.
Jetpack features include WordPress.com Stats, which can be used to compile easy to understand stats related to website activity without any additional load on your server.
The Comments function lets readers use WordPress.com, Facebook or Twitter to leave a reply to a post or page on your website, while the Subscriptions feature lets users subscribe to a page or post and receive notifications on any updates.
Basically, Jetpack lets self-hosted websites enjoy free features that are already granted to WordPress.com hosted sites. The plugin is completely free to download (the company has promised it will always be a free download), with some features slated for potential premium release in the future.
In order for the Jetpack plugin to work on your self-hosted site, you will need to be using WordPress 3.3 or later. Jetpack will work on the latest WordPress release (3.5.1) as well.
Since its creation, Jetpack has been downloaded more than 4.5 million times and has a Star Rating of 3.8 Out Of 5 Stars (over 1,000 reviews). Weekly download numbers are still approximately 100,000 – meaning that the plugin is retaining its heavy popularity among self-hosted website owners.
For new downloads that are already using a separate feature included in the Jetpack software, the company advises that “as we upgrade each of our individual plugins to be a part of Jetpack, we’ll prompt you to switch over to the new, Jetpack-powered version. Don’t worry about upgrading, we’ll automatically take care of carefully switching over all of your settings and options so that it’s the smoothest experience possible. Once you’ve upgraded to Jetpack, you can remove the older versions of those plugins.”
If you would like to obtain the latest release, click on the following link to Download Jetpack Version 2.2.1 from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory. You can also find out more about the newest version by reading Tim Moore’s March 28th blog post.