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What to Do If You Update WordPress to 5.0 and End up with a Broken Site

With the launch of WordPress 5.0, many users will have to face the possibility of their website being broken. This doesn’t have to mean that all websites will be affected by this update but it also doesn’t mean that brand-new sites are not in danger. As you can imagine, there are many potential reasons that will cause a broken site after you update WordPress to 5.0, such as unsupported themes or plugins. Therefore, it would be best to learn about all the basic steps that may help with the possible issues you may be having post-update. The best practice for everything online is to always have a back-up, so, before trying anything else, try your pre-update back-up.

Back to the Classic Editor

When it comes to WordPress update 5.0 with a block-based editor (Gutenberg), one of the first debugging solutions that comes to mind is to install the Classic Editor plugin. Installing and configuring the Classic Editor plugin is very simple. All you need to do is find the plugin in the Plugins section as you normally would, click Install Now and then Activate.

Once you’re done with the process of installation, you should go to the Writing Settings under the Settings menu and select Replace the Gutenberg Editor with the Classic Editor. Don’t forget that the Default editor for all users has to be switched to Classic Editor while Allow users to switch editors should be false.

In this case, you shouldn’t have the Gutenberg plugin installed. This plugin could be installed for previous WordPress versions if you wanted to experiment and  use this block-based editor, but if you find yourself in situation that your site doesn’t work as it’s supposed to because of it, you have to shift to Classic Editor plugin and disable the Gutenberg one if you’ve installed it before.

If installing and configuring Classic Editor doesn’t solve your troubles after you update WordPress to 5.0, you may want to consider migrating your site to ClassicPress. It’s compatible with all WordPress themes and plugins but won’t use the Gutenberg editor. Even though ClassicPress is still beta it’s completely stable while migrating is quick and simple thanks to the migration plugin.

Use a test site

In order to make your website work properly with the new Gutenberg Editor, you’re probably going to have to try out many different things and make little tweaks here and there every so often. But, the point is, you don’t want to do this on your live site. Not to mention that you’ll probably want to try out different themes and looks for your site, not just the plugins. In that respect, having a staging site, a test site that you’ll use for testing different changes you wish to make on your own main website is definitely a must.

Update your themes and plugins

By some amazing chance, your biggest issue with the WordPress 5.0 may be due to the old and incompatible plugins and themes. If that’s the case, all you really have to do is pinpoint what presents the issue exactly and update it all. But don’t forget that all the changes you have made since installing a specific theme have to be moved to the child’s theme before updating the said theme. If you fail to do this, all the changes will be lost after the update. In case you’re still having issues with your website, even after all the updates are completely regulated, you may want to turn to the first tip we mentioned, which is the installation of the Classic Editor plugin.

Fix the custom code and structures

Unfortunately, there can be many code and structure causes for broken sites after you update WordPress to 5.0. In order to make things easier for you, the following issues can be resolved relatively simply.

  • If My Custom Taxonomies are missing you need to set the show_in_rest attribute to true.

  • If some of your categories/tags/terms are missing you may be facing the still unconfirmed bug that has to do with the 100+ terms issue due to the REST API limits. As it’s still not known whether this is an actual bug there’s no known solution aside from using the Classic Editor either.

  • Those of you who are having trouble with adding images to your posts, can’t seem to save added links or your ACF field groups are visible even when you have your visibility settings all set up, should use Classic Editor until you get to update WordPress to 5.0.1 which will fix these issues.

  • In case your jQuery events bound to custom metaboxes fail to fire, you will have to rework them completely in order to use event delegation. This is due to the fact that metafields come after the page load now.

  • If you notice that your post/edit page is blank you may need to check several different things in order to fix this issue. For starters, check whether REST API has been disabled, and if it has, enable it. Moreover, as a WordPress admin, you should enable the JavaScript.

  • With custom TinyMCE extensions missing you should check whether they are present in the classic block, since this is how they should function for now. You may need to attach new TinyMCE plugins through the tinymce_before_init filter.

Obviously, the list of issues is far from over. But, the best thing you could do if you can’t deal with these WordPress 5.0 troubles yourself is to ask for professional help. What’s more, don’t hesitate to let the WordPress core team know about the issues you’re having post WordPress 5.0 update so that they can work on fixing the problems as soon as possible.

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