A pleasant Jetpack support surprise (#E11)
Now something wholesome from grumpy me – around two weeks ago, one of the many WordPress updates caused the subsequent Jetpack update to fail. Jetpack, for those who do not know, is to me mainly a stats extension to the whole WordPress shebang, but they do offer quite a bit more than that, especially in the paid plans (which I do not have). Login security, backups, SEO, you name it. When hosting on wordpress.com, that stuff is included by default, and for self-hosted WordPress installations, it’s basically the first plugin to activate. Automattic (the Jetpack guys) and WordPress(.com/Foundation) are closely related.
Now when the update failed, it did so without a meaningful error message. Only thing I could do was to deactivate and reactivate, which somehow caused it to come to life again. Well, thanks, you could have done that by yourself, little upgrade script.
But that deliberate disconnect from the mothership caused Jetpack to start all over again. I mean, I do not really rely on the site stats, but four years of page views, search terms and other data lost is pretty shitty. As Jetpack should host that on their side, it’s also not like a restored backup of the entire site would restore that data as well.
It took me a few days to decide what to do – suck it up (it’s a free service, so…meh), rant about it and accept the restart, or write a support ticket. So I did the latter. 19.12.2019, 20:05 UTC+1 was the time stamp of the confirmation mail.
At 21:10 on the same day, Kristin S., a friggen Happiness Engineer, replied and told me that the stats were back. My disconnect just couldn’t be reversed because (she wasn’t specific) the former installation likely ran on the raw hosting domain of the blog, which changed in early 2016 when I moved to Uberspace. So when reactivating the plugin, that looked like a new domain to them, hence I started out fresh. Could have also been the forced HTTP->HTTPS change that happened in 2018, but I doubt their scripts wouldn’t catch that.
Not only did Kristin correct that for me, but she also merged the recently generated data to the old big chunk that was untouched since the update failure. Subscribers also were moved, I did not realize those were even affected. So zero data loss – I just had to ask nicely to make things work. On a Thursday before Christmas, within one hour in the evening, for a free user.
Now feeling the slight urge to get a paid plan, encouraging them to keep their customer satisfaction level right there…