Hello Happy Site Owners and Webmasters!
Tips this week include:
- What’s coming soon to the Gutenberg Ninja course
- Why you need to dig deep into settings if WordPress auto updated for you
- Whether it’s okay to update to WordPress 5.3 or not yet and why
- Whether it’s okay to update most plugins or not
- What’s in the Genesis 3.2 release and whether it’s okay to update or not
- You only have 14 days left to update your PHP version – see how
Listen to the Podcast
It’s been a bit of a coo coo week here with several projects experiencing unexpected issues.
So, I’m running a little longer than expected on my wait list. I appreciate your patience if you’re on it.
In fact, my whole schedule has been out of whack all week because of it, and that makes me feel a little scattered and pressured to get caught up.
So, this week’s Tips Tuesday is a little shorter than normal as I have not had time for all the reading I normally do during the week. And I’m under the gun with several deadlines.
Plus, the vMix connectivity issue with Facebook is still happening and I have not had time to research other connection types, so no livestream again tonight.
And because next week so many folks will be traveling in the U.S. for the Thanksgiving holiday, we’ll be skipping it too, for the livestream.
One of those deadlines is to get new Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg plugin tutorials into the Gutenberg Ninja course.
I’m hard at work with making them and will be releasing them in a full batch.
You will flip when you see all you can do with the blocks in this plugin!!!
And I’m making all kinds of examples for you too.
I’ll send an email to everyone in the course when those publish.
That’s the news from around here. Let’s dive into this week’s tips.
Auto Updates Can’t Happen on Major Releases
I’ve heard several folks report that some of their sites auto updated to WP 5.3.
That is not possible unless there is some 3rd party update mechanism in place.
Minor releases, like WP 5.2.3 to 5.2.4 will auto update.
But major releases, like WP 5.2.x to 5.3 will not auto update.
So, for anyone whose site did auto update, you need to dig deep and check if there is some update mechanism in play.
That could be from an update controlling plugin or from your host, or code in the wp-config file.
Still Not Generally Safe to Update to WP 5.3 Yet
Some folks are reporting no issues with this update.
However, I have also been hearing just as many reports with folks having issues.
That includes folks getting a whitescreen and blaming it on having the Gutenberg plugin installed.
I tried that very update condition on 2 sites. One was fine. And the other froze during the update – on 3 different attempts.
Ever since WP 4.5, there is a new lockout feature during updates that has to be manually removed from the wp_options table in the database.
There’s even a plugin that will do it for you.
Now, a frozen update did not keep me from getting to other areas of the site. So, it will be possible for folks to install that plugin to kill the lockout, if needed.
I’ve also heard of folks exhausting their host memory limit during the update. I’m not sure what the cause of that is yet.
I’ve got a post on the drawing board for the special order we need to do things in for this update, as it will be a little different.
And I’ll publish that post and send all of my BlogAid News subscribers a heads up on it, when I feel it is safe to update.
So, just hang in there a bit and I’ll let you know when it’s generally safe for us to update to WP 5.3.
I haven’t heard massive screaming about it, so thinking either most folks are okay, or most folks are waiting. I don’t know which.
I haven’t heard anyone screaming about doing plugin updates prior to doing a WordPress update.
But there is one exception.
TinyMCE Advanced has been updated to work with the WP 5.3 core changes. So, you should not update that one until after you’ve updated WP 5.3.
So, I’m calling it safe to do all other plugin updates.
There is a specific process to it and will save your bacon if a plugin update goes sideways.
WP Rollback will not help you if you don’t also use the process I outline in the post.
What’s in Genesis 3.2
The latest Genesis release is now available too and I’d give anything if they would stop making these releases right when WP has a big release out too. It’s like they aren’t even paying attention to what else is happening in the world.
There are several changes you need to know about, and definitely check after you update and purge your cache. And don’t just check right then, check the next day too.
The big changes include:
- Feature: Open Graph Tag support (off by default, disabled if select plugins are outputting OG tags, like the Yoast SEO plugin).
- Feature: Ability to disable footer widgets on single entries.
- Feature: Lazy load images in Chrome 76+ (off by default, enabled with genesis-lazy-load-images theme support is in play, so most of us aren’t going to have it). If you have a caching plugin, it may have lazy load on, so don’t setup a conflict.
- Feature: Modify entry meta output via Theme Settings in customizer.
My webmasters are telling me they’ve had no issues with the Genesis update, regardless of whether WP has been updated or not.
So, I’m calling that update good to go.
Again, if you have a specialty theme that has extra plugins or integrations, be sure to check with your developer or designer first.
And always take a full backup first.
Then purge your cache everywhere after the update and check the site over the next couple of days.
You have exactly 14 days to get your PHP version at your host updated to at least version 7.2 before support for version 7.1 drops and leaves a security risk on your site.
Read my post linked above for more, and it has a link on how to check and change your PHP version.
If you are waiting around for your host to do this for you, you may have a very unpleasant surprise in store if any of your plugins, or even your theme, suddenly breaks, as not all of them are compatible with the higher PHP versions.
So, check into this pronto.
That’s a wrap for this week’s Tips Tuesday.
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