WordPress 5.5 is Breaking Websites

This Week In WordPress

WP release 5.5 is breaking websites

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When a WordPress update is about to drop there's always an air of excitement for those much anticipated features we are dying to try out. Unfortunately, as is the case with software development, comes with some potential downsides for website owners and plugin developers. 

In this weeks top story, we'll cover exactly what happened with WordPress 5.5, who's to blame and how to fix your broken website.

Main Story

WordPress 5.5 Why It’s Breaking Sites and What’s The Fix?

Last week, WordPress 5.5 was released. We were pretty excited about it.

Largely, 5.5 has been a success. There’s a real problem though. It’s breaking some websites. 


There are two main issues – a jQuery issue and a pagination one. We’re going to take a quick look at the problem and tell you the fix. 

Let’s start with the jQuery problem. 

WordPress 5.5 turned off jQuery Migrate, a javascript library that essentially helped plugins and themes with old outdated code to run on the current version. They removed it because older versions of jQuery are no longer supported. This is all part of WordPress’s wider jQuery gameplan.

Simply – if you are still using outdated themes or plugins, they may now cause issues on your site. You shouldn’t be using them anyway, as they are a security risk. But oh well.

Have you been naughty by still using old, crusty plugins and themes? Your site may now be broken. 

What’s the fix? Luckily, it’s fairly straightforward. 

Firstly, download the Enable jQuery Migrate Helper plugin. This is a temporary bandaid that should bring any broken plugins and themes back to normal. 

Hopefully, the developers of the problem plugins/themes are working hard to update and fix the deprecated code. 

Hoping isn’t enough though. Go through your plugins and make sure they are updated to the latest version. If some have not been updated for over a year, they are probably abandoned. You should remove them entirely and seek a more alive alternative.

This requires some detective work, but your site will be back up and running and you can be confident that active, popular plugins will soon have the updates they need. 

Some sites have also faced problems with pagination – the navigational page numbers at the bottom of a multi-page document. The problem is that WordPress uses the word “page” for pagination but only with a numerical value, but some themes are using “page” with non-numerical values. 

The fix is to temporarily downgrade and tweak the theme’s custom code so the variable “page” has only numerical values. You can rebuild the theme with some substitute like “mypage=” instead of “page=” in the query string. 

So there’s why 5.5 is breaking sites and how to fix it. We hope you get back up and running soon – good luck!

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