The WordPress 4.5 Update and What You Can Do If It Broke Your Website

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The WordPress 4.5 Update and What You Can Do If It Broke Your Website

Background

On April 12, 2016, WordPress released a core upgrade, or Coleman 4.5. So far, the upgrade has been downloaded over 5 million times. Major highlights of the upgrade include improvements to the Customizer and Comments components. Two new features in the customizer include; responsive preview of your site, which allows you to see how your site looks in mobile, tablet, and desktop before making changes to the appearance; and selective refresh, which is a framework that allows parts of the customizer preview, such as site title and tagline, to render in real time, ending the days when you had to load an entire preview screen. With regard to the comments, Version 4.5 includes several bug fixes and enhancements.

But, with over 3,500 themes and 44,000 plugins in the free directories alone, it not surprising that some issues have surfaced between this new version and existing features, most notably, the popular plugin Visual Composer.

Visual Composer

With over 1 million users, Visual Composer is the leading WordPress page building plugin. Unfortunately, after the Version 4.5 update, many people are having compatibility problems with Visual Composer. A lot of people are seeing the “white page of death” or the webpages have gone completely blank.

Some people have been able to simply update Visual Composer to the latest version, but, there is no promise more things won’t stop working as both VC and WP work out the kinks. There are a lot of people, however, who have not been able to update VC.  For example, if a specific version of Visual Composer is built into your WordPress theme, and the VC plugin was not added as an additional plugin later, you may be experiencing these issues. If you’re theme hasn’t been updated or isn’t supported anymore, you may have to install a new theme and purchase Visual Composer separately, or get a new theme that is supported and has been updated.

But even people who have the most recent version of Visual Composer, 4.11.1, are still having problems. A simple search of WordPress forums will uncover tons of issues. Lots of users have found that even after purchasing and updating her Visual Composer, they’re still having display problems on the front-end of their sites, despite everything being visible on the backend.

The conflict between Version 4.5 and Visual Composer has been added to the master list of known bugs according to WordPress, but since the plugin isn’t hosted by WordPress, they no authority on the fix, and VC will most likely have to fix these isuse themselves. and the issue is more likely to be fixed by Visual Composer rather than by WordPress. The official WordPress resolution to deal with this problem is to upgrade Visual Composer and if you are using Visual Composer and cannot upgrade, you will have to rollback to WP 4.4.2. But keep in mind, even if you purchase and upgrade Visual Composer, you are not guaranteed to fix the problem completely, and if you downgrade WordPress to the previous version, you are making your website very vulnerable to hacking if you don’t already have a website protection plan in place.

Version 4.5.1

In order to combat some of the issues that arose from the core development upgrade earlier this month, WordPress released another maintenance upgrade, Version 4.5.1, on April 26th. This version fixes 12 bugs, primarily an issue that broke sites based on the Twenty Eleven theme. However, as expected, this version did not fix the issues with Visual Composer. Even with 4.5.1, some users’ Visual Composer content is not loading and they are unable to edit pages. Some other common issues are user being unable to access theme options, backend editor not working, lost padding between row layouts, text not showing up in the backend, and empty pop-up boxes.

Lidyr’s Solution

WordPress is very user friendly, but sometimes issues like these arise that can only be fixed by an experienced web designer. It’s for this reason that we at Lidyr Creative not only provide our clients Website Protection Services to protect them from hackers and issues that may cause your site to break or crash, but we also have several packages designed to meet the needs of clients who need small website fixes, like those that may be occuring as a result of this WordPress update. For more information about any of our packages, please contact to schedule your FREE consultation.