How To Fix Broken Themes And Plugins On WordPress 5.5

Has the recent WordPress 5.5 update caused issues for you on your website? You’re not alone.

I’ve noticed a couple of major issues with WordPress 5.5 while working on client websites and through others in the WordPress sphere. Please watch this video on everything new in WordPress 5.5.

Removal of jQuery Migrate

jQuery Migrate is a script that loads on the front end of your website. This script loads whenever someone used jQuery for WordPress. By default, WordPress comes with a bundled version of jQuery. This is commonly used to ensure everything on the backend of your WordPress website works. WordPress has used the JavaScript framework since it’s inception and has always come with jQuery Migrate.

WordPress 5.5 removed jQuery migrate, however, this left a lot of WordPress sites broken. Some common issues include:

  1. Images Not Uploading
  2. Mobile Menus and Mega Menus Stop Working
  3. Sliders Stop Working
  4. Plugin Screens in Admin Panel Freezing

Installing the jQuery Migrate Helper Plugin

The WordPress.org team released a plugin to help alleviate the issues that the WordPress 5.5 update caused. To install this plugin…

jquery migrate helper
  1. Navigate to the Plugins Menu In the WP-Admin Panel
  2. Click Add-New
  3. Search For the jQuery Migrate Helper
  4. Enable the Plugin

This plugin currently has 200,000+ active installations. This indicates that there were a lot more broken websites than what the WordPress.org team expected. 200,000 broken websites are a lot more than 1000 broken websites. Several million websites had issues. The removal of jQuery Migrate broke several popular plugins like Updraft and WP File Manager. The jQuery Helper Migrate plugin will load the old WP Core version of jQuery Migrate. The installation of this plugin will also load a notice on your website that says you are using the plugin and that it is only a temporary fix.

jquery migrate helper

If you have a theme or plugin installed that is utilizing out of date JavaScript, this screen will change to red, list the out of date JavaScript file(s), and the associated plugin(s). This is done to alert you that a plugin or theme relies on a function found in jQuery Migrate and is causing an error.

The Future of WordPress and jQuery Migrate

WordPress 5.6 is going to bring back an updated version of jQuery Migrate. This is part of the three-stage plan to eliminate WordPress’ reliance on the aging jQuery library.

If you have ever run a test on your WordPress website, the test may return something along the lines of the below bullet points.

  • Flags an Out of Date JavaScript Library
  • Tells You About Known Vulnerabilities

The WordPress Core team patched any known vulnerabilities in jQuery. Part of the issue with WordPress utilizing such an out of date version of jQuery is it’s missing functions of the newer jQuery versions.

jQuery Migrate will be updated in WordPress 5.6. When WordPress 5.6 is released and jQuery migrate is updated, expect additional breakage. This is similar to when the WordPress Core team releases a new update for PHP and requires PHP 5.6 to be installed in order for WordPress to run. If you try and skirt around upgrading PHP, you’ll most likely end up with a broken WP-Admin panel. The same goes for any plugin or theme that requires a certain level of PHP in order for it to function properly.

Closing Thoughts

If the jQuery Migrate Helper plugin flags any plugins or themes on your website, you should contact the developer(s) for each and ask them to integrate a fix in an update.

scott hartley

About the author

Scott is a web performance geek, lover of all things coffee, and avid video game player. His WordPress work delves into web performance, web security, and SEO.

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