When it comes to WordPress, the new updates are equally exciting and dreading for website owners because you can never know how it will affect your website. On the one hand, the update could bring in cool new features that you always wanted, and on the other hand, it may not work in sync with their plugins that have not yet been equipped to handle the new update.
What is the Latest Update for WordPress That You Should Be Aware of?
WordPress is all set to launch its last update for the year 2020 in December and the beta for this has already been rolled out. WordPress site owners must be alert about the new update because it comes with a jQuery change and can directly affect how your website works.
What is jQuery?
How Can jQuery Affect Your WordPress Site?
jQuery is used for most of the interactive elements you can see on a WordPress website, from sliders to theme customization. It is also the obvious choice for developing features for plugins.
Hence if the jQuery version is not compatible with the plugins or themes, you can expect glitches, and the features may not work how it should.
A break in your WordPress theme or feature could directly affect the user experience or the very functioning of your website.
What Are the Changes You Can Expect in jQuery-related Libraries?
Although it can't be finalized till the actual launch, the following jQuery-related libraries are most likely to be included in the next update (WordPress Trac ticket).
- jQuery 3.5.1
- jQuery Migrate 3.3.2
- jQuery UI 1.12.1
As you can see, the jQuery library is adapting a three-phase transition process in the new update similar to the one they had in the earlier June update. What WordPress is trying to do here is to bring together all the up-to-date versions of jQuery.
It is also worth noting that in the past, WordPress used to rely on older versions of jQuery for numerous release cycles. And since they used the older version, many of WordPress's plugin and theme ecosystem often had outdated features.
What Can You Do to Prepare for the Latest jQuery Update?
So, what can we do to make a WordPress site ready for the update, especially for one that comes with jQuery updates? There are two easy ways that you can ensure the smooth functioning of your WordPress site regardless of how major the update may be.
1. Test jQuery Updates Beforehand
Test jQuery Updates - an official plugin by the WordPress team is available to test whether different versions of jQuery and jQuery UI is compatible with your themes and plugins. Although it is not intended for use in production it gives you the edge of knowing what to expect from a new update and prepare accordingly.
2. Turn the Automatic WordPress Update OFF
This is one of the most common mistakes that WordPress site owners often make. Although the auto-updated version is preferred as they are an important security feature.
However, as we have discussed above, you also need to ensure the smooth functioning of your website. This is why in case of updates that can potentially affect your site's performance, it is best to prepare the site for the update before-hand.
a. Using Code
You can use a simple code to disable your WordPress website; however, it is not advisable that you do this unless you are at least familiar with what you are doing. All you have to do is access the Cpanel, go to your file manager, open the Wp-Config.php, and add the code ('WP_AUTO_UPDATE_CORE', false ); on the bottom.
Steps to Follow:
Access Cpanel → File Manager → Wp-config.php
b. Using a Plugin
For those of you who are not too comfortable making changes to the Cpanel, you can install a plugin and set it to stop automatic updates of your WordPress site. Unlike the method, which uses code, you can disable the auto-update right from the dashboard. One of the usable plugins for this is the Easy Updates Manager plugin available on the marketplace.
3. Update the Plugins
The second way to ensure your WordPress website's smooth functioning is to ensure that you have the updated plugins that can work seamlessly with the new version of jQuery. However, this is not very practical if you already have plugins installed, which is most often the case.
In the situation where you have plugins integrated to your WordPress site that are not updated for the new jQuery, all you can do is wait for the more recent version of the plugins. Now, considering that your plugin is among the leaders with regular updates, it shouldn't be a problem.
What you can do is keep all your plugins updated and ensure that you are on the lookout for any major WordPress updates. This will also give you time to be prepared for the update and cross-check the plugins or features that may get affected by the update.
4. Use the jQuery Migrate Plugin
The jQuery Migrate Plugin is yet another way you can save your WordPress site from going into shambles even after updating to the latest WordPress. The jQuery Migrate plugin is one that can be used to counter the jQuery conflicts relating to WordPress update.
The plugin provides a backward-compatible fix so that your WordPress site can keep on working smoothly even after the update. The plugin re-enables the migration script which essentially means that your website can work like it used to before the update. Although this too is not a permanent fix, it does give you some valuable time until your theme and plugin developers can get an update ready for their software.