Every WordPress site is going to require maintenance with the August 11th release of WordPress 5.5 “Eckstine”.

5.5 is a MAJOR WordPress release.  This update should be monitored by someone familiar with your software package.  Clients of WebProvements with a Maintenance Plan will be updated in the next 7 days.

Plug-ins - Since the release (10 days ago) many plug-ins have encountered compatibility issues.  Well maintained and premium plugins are addressing these changes (which can cause your site to “break”).  Allowing time for plugin developers to fix issues before we update is the WebProvements method.  It is a balance of timing…not too early (allow bugs to be worked out) and not too late (performance/security issues).  If your site uses a plugin that is no longer being maintained, you will be contacted to discuss different options.

Builder – Builder Compatibility.  It is best to monitor the known issues with a builder on the developer site.  Beaver Builders does a great job noting compatibility issues that often will result in a Javascript Error message.  Here is an article on Known Beaver Builder incompatibilities for WordPress 5.5.

Themes -  This issue will not affect sites built by WebProvements.  Included with your maintenance package.   If you site is built with a theme (from a repository), you might want to check and see if your theme is being maintained.  IF YOU THEME IS NO LONGER BEING MAINTAINED, YOU ARE LIVING ON BORROWED TIME…you must update your theme and child theme SOON.  If you know the name of your theme, you can search it on Google or WordPress.org or Themeforest .  If you are not sure what Theme you are using,  I am writing an article on How To Find out what Theme your WordPress Site is Using.

Notable WordPress 5.5 Changes

Here are the “non-techy” details about changes that you might find interesting;

  • Faster Loading Speed – Great, but you must make sure there are no conflicts with speed tools installed on your site (like Async Javascript#)
  • New XML Sitemaps – Now is a great time to manually submit your sitemaps to Google for indexing. If DIY, don’t forget your mobile indexing too!!
  • Auto Updates – This can be a good and bad thing. If you know your software package is compatible with updates (after checking), auto updates can be a time saver.  Updates without checking compatibility…BAD!!   That is when the EMERGENCY calls come in!  Regular maintenance and familiarity with the mechanics of your site are the best ways to avoid emergencies.  Learn it or hire someone!!!  Working with WordPress since 2008…hiring WebProvements for maintenance might be the answer for you!!
  • Accessibility – additional functionality and improvements.

If you use the Gutenberg Block Editor there are some added functionalities.  Most of our clients use a BB builder on pages, but may use Gutenberg for posts.  Some of you prefer the “Classic” editor which is familiar to long-term WordPress users.  Some of you may never want to touch the back-end of their site and have Nancy make content changes.  100% up to you!!!

If you have any questions about these update please let me know.

All Maintenance Clients will be updated manually to WordPress 5.5 in the next two weeks.  WooCommerce Clients will be last to update (most issues).

All SEO/Marketing Clients will have their sitemaps re-submitted and Accessibility improvements will be a focus going into Fall.

PHP version check on your server will be performed for All Maintenance Clients in September.

Please reach out if you need to schedule any special projects for September.

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