WordPress’s favorite plugin Jetpack has updated to 5.3, bringing with it compatibility for PHP 7.1 – something the Jetpack team has been working on since January 2017, after receiving several reports of failure with PHP 7.1 and opcache. This issue began interfering with XML-RPC requests, and a wide array of users reported problems managing their sites and connecting to third-party apps. Downgrading to PHP 7.0 or disabling opcahce both provided a workaround, but with 5.3, the issue has been totally solved.
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In January 2017, Jetpack introduced WordAds integration, WordPress.com’s own native advertising platform. Over the past few years, WordAds has gotten better and better at distinguishing between the quality of traffic on a site, and allocating earnings accordingly. This change, alongside declining ad rates across the board, has given bloggers and publisher a more modest earning expectation, compared with the first few years. Jetpack 5.3 has updated it’s plugin to offer Premium and Professional customers more control over how ads are displayed.
This change allows publishers to display multiple ads and offers more options for where they can be placed. Since WordAds pays based on the number of impressions, rather than the number of clicks, the right combination of placement options is important.
Other changes include:
- Users can preview their sites without leaving WordPress.com
- WordPress.com Toolbar updated to include link to comments
- Omnisearch feature was removed
- Improved performance in the admin by cutting back on unnecessary requests
- VideoPress shortcode includes option to stop video from looping during autoplay
- Fixed compatibility issues with plugins using TinyMCE
- Re-added a filter for Widget Visibility that was accidentally removed
For a full list of all the changes included in Jetpack 5.3, check out the plugin’s changelog on WordPress.org.