How to Fix WordPress 5.5 Update Breaking Websites

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How to Fix WordPress 5.5 Update Breaking Websites

If after updating your WordPress website to v5.5 you have a broken website, in this post we will cover why WordPress 5.5 is breaking websites and how to fix it.

What Has Changed in WordPress 5.5 to Break Websites?

WordPress 5.5 has turned off jQuery Migrate, a tool that WordPress has included for many years to help plugins and themes with outdated code still run properly. By turning jQuery Migrate off, many outdated plugins and themes no longer work properly, which can result in a broken WordPress website.

What is jQuery Migrate?

jQuery Migrate is a javascript library that has helped theme and plugin developers preserve the compatibility of deprecated jQuery code. Basically, jQuery Migrate helped old code run properly on the current jQuery version and later. Query Migrate was intended to help developers during the transitional period as they replace their code with more modern code (or remove it entirely).

Why Did WordPress 5.5 Remove jQuery Migrate?

Older versions of jQuery are no longer supported, so it is necessary for WordPress to update coding standards. As WordPress prepares to make the transition to updating to the latest supported version of jQuery, removing jQuery Migrate was a required first step to make sure plugins and themes are up to date and no longer using deprecated code.

Why is My Website Broken After Updating to WordPress 5.5?

Most likely you have outdated code in a plugin or theme that is no longer supported by the WordPress core, which has resulted in your website been affected. Plugins and themes with outdated code pose a major security risk to your website, so it’s a best practice to not use old plugins and themes that have been abandoned by their developers.

How to Fix WordPress 5.5 Breaking Sites

If your site broke after updating to WordPress 5.5, there are a few steps you can take to fix your site.

1. Download & Install the jQuery Migrate Helper Plugin

If you have a broken site after updating to WordPress 5.5, install the jQuery Migrate Helper plugin on your site. This plugin will re-enable the jQuery Migrate tool that was removed in WordPress 5.5, and provide you with information about what plugin or theme might be misbehaving.

NOTE: The jQuery Migrate Helper plugin is a temporary solution to repair your site. This plugin re-enables the jQuery Migrate tool for your site to give your plugin and theme authors some more time to update, and test their code, but it should not be used as a long-term solution to fixing your site.

After installing and activating the jQuery Migrate Helper plugin, you will see this message to explain that you will see warnings while using your WordPress admin, but they will not be shown on the front-end of your site.

2. Look For Warnings Generated by The jQuery Migrate Helper Plugin in Your WordPress Admin Dashboard

Pages in your WP admin generated by plugins that have issues in WordPress 5.5 should output this type of error message.

This error will give you an indication of which plugin(s) may be causing issues:

3. Use Your Browser Console to Find Additional Errors

The jQuery Migrate Helper plugin will also output error messages in your browser console to help you identify which plugin or theme has broken your site.

Troubleshooting this way is a bit more technical and for more advanced WordPress users.

4. Make sure Your Theme & Plugins Are The Latest Versions

If you do see warning messages, you should check the theme or plugin that generated them for a version update. Hopefully, there will be an update you can install.

  • If you discover you are not running the latest version of a theme or plugin, update it to the latest version. Available updates will be shown in your WordPress admin dashboard on the Updates page.
  • If you are running an outdated version of a premium plugin or theme, you will need to add your license key or purchase a new license to update to the latest version. Most premium plugins and themes use license keys to provide updates via your WordPress admin dashboard, so you should see any available updates after adding a license key.

If updating your plugins or themes fixes your broken site, and there are no more warnings, please deactivate Enable jQuery Migrate Helper.

5. If No Updates Are Available, Contact The Theme or Plugin Developer

Unfortunately, in order for you to continue using one of the themes or plugins with outdated code, the theme or plugin developer will need to update their code. If you get no response, you’ll need to remove the plugin or theme, as the code will no longer be functional in versions of WordPress moving forward.