why did your site break after WordPress 5.5 went online

Why Did Your Site Suddenly Break After WordPress 5.5 Went Online?

WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for easily creating and maintaining a website. Most businesses understand the importance of a website to give their company legitimacy and connect them with potential buyers. 

The reason for WordPress’s popularity is because of how even the non-digitally-savvy can easily use their plugins to create a professional-looking web page.

Even those with no knowledge of HTML or Javascript can develop custom WordPress themes and manage their website directly. 

However, with the latest update of WordPress 5.5, many business owners found that their home pages were now “broken” by the new updates. Many assumed that the new updates came with a glitch, or were not rolled out correctly because of the issues.

However, this was exactly the result that WordPress intended to have when they rolled out the updates.

In this article, we will talk about why WordPress 5.5 “broke” so many websites, and how this can easily be fixed.

We will also touch upon the importance of not using outdated plugins on your website to ensure that your data is protected from hackers.

The problem: jQuery Migrate is no longer

The main reason for the broken home pages was because jQuery Migrate was removed from the updated version of WordPress. Past versions of WordPress ran this tool. 

The sole function of jQuery Migrate was to enable old plugins and other themes that relied on outdated code to still function. While WordPress was focused on moving their platform to the newest version of jQuery, they still needed to have a tool that would allow the websites that relied on old code to still function in the interim.

One of the best aspects of WordPress is that it is one of the best ways for small businesses to build professional, high-quality websites on a budget. Building a website can ultimately be one of the biggest expenses a small business incurs, and working to build a quality site without spending a fortune should be a top priority for any new business owner.

The reason WordPress achieves this by providing users with easy-to-use plugins and pre-written HTML codes for building their webpages.

There is now even a way to add Google Analytics to your WordPress website, which is a vital tool for digital marketers who need to quantify how many people are visiting websites and design marketing strategies around customer behaviors. 

Websites relying on outdated plugins and old codes have been encouraged to update their websites to the more widely accepted, newer version of jQuery.

While many have updated their websites and made adjustments on their own, there are still some websites on WordPress that rely on older versions of the code.

By removing jQuery Migrate completely in their latest update, WordPress made sure that all websites are adhering to the new code by removing their ability to function on the older versions.

Especially if your website stores customer data, such as companies that use WordPress for customer newsletters, it’s essential to make sure your website is safe for users and has all the necessary updates.

The solutions

1. Replace your old plugins

The good news is that there are solutions available to help fix the problem. One such solution is to replace your old plugins. 

The truth is, there are many reasons why using old, outdated plugins is dangerous. Unused plugins on your WordPress website can hinder your website performance and also create vulnerabilities for your website that open it up to hackers and cybercriminals. 

The reason software comes with regular updates is because software designers are constantly working to address new security issues as they arise.

When a hacker finds a way to break into a website or database, it’s usually not long after that a software engineer develops a fix to patch the gateway for hackers that is then included in the next update. 

If you’re someone whose website has been affected by the recent WordPress update, fear not. Although it may seem like a hassle, removing old code from your website will actually help keep you protected and enhance your experience using WordPress.

Making sure your website is secure and your customer’s data is safe is one of the best tips you can follow. The good news is that it’s easy to find old plugins in your WordPress design and remove them – we’ll show you how. 

2. Install jQuery Migrate Helper 

By installing jQuery Migrate Helper, you can use this program to help you pinpoint where the old code exists and how to remove it.

It’s a plugin offered by WordPress on their website. It will temporarily make the old code on your website visible, but only to assist you in updating or removing it.

Once you have downloaded and installed this plugin, you will receive “warnings” regarding your old code on your WordPress admin dashboard.

These warnings will not be seen by the front-end users of your website, so you don’t have to be worried about your existing clients and customers seeing warnings on your webpage. 

Once the jQuery Migrate Helper has pointed out which code needs to be replaced, it should be easy to find the corresponding updated version to install to replace the old one.

If the outdated theme or plugin was a premium feature, you may have to log in to your WordPress account before being able to download the updated version. 

It’s important to understand that jQuery Migrate Helper is a temporary solution to help websites get rid of their outdated plugins so you can instead rely on ones that can actually help make running your business easier.

If you use jQuery Migrate Helper to allow your website to continue to rely on outdated and unused plugins, you could be opening yourself up to the increased possibility of hacking and cybercrime. 

Once you are done with jQuery Migrate Helper, it’s important to deactivate it to make sure you removed all instances of the old code. 

Outdated and unused plugins: the number one cause of WordPress hackings 

Updating and securing your WordPress website site is essential for any business. Although your website might look great, it won’t be good for business if your customer’s data is at risk whenever they visit your home page.

The good news is there are several proven ways you can ensure the security of your WordPress site, including using a lockdown feature to repel brute force attacks, requiring two-factor authentication to login, changing your login URL, and renaming your database to guard against SQL injections. 

Companies that want to succeed in the future have to show their clients that they protect the privacy of data on their websites.

This is even more important now that hacking incidents have been on the rise since the pandemic hit as cybercriminals take advantage of the situation.

Also keep in mind that a hacking incident not only puts company and customer data at risk, it’s also sure to have a negative effect on your company’s reputation. 

Conclusion

If your website was one of those negatively affected by the WordPress 5.5 update, don’t get stressed. This can actually be a great wake up call for you, as it should motivate you to make the changes you need in order to ensure the safety of your online business and your customers.

Thankfully, WordPress knew about the turmoil that removing jQuery Migrate would cause and created a plugin specifically designed for those website owners who are having issues. 

By following the instructions in this article, you can address any outdated plugins you still have and make sure that your website is safe and secure from hackers and cybercriminals.

This article was written by Nahla Davies, a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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