The release includes 34 bug fixes, 5 enhancements, and 5 bug fixes for the block editor.
For users who have updated to 5.5 and have automatic background updates enabled, the 5.5.1 maintenance release is automatic.
What Caused Issues Updating to WordPress 5.5?
When WordPress 5.5 was released in August 2020, users immediately reported issues.
Due to disabling jQuery Migrate in WordPress 5.5, many users encountered broken WordPress sites after trying to update to 5.5.
Removing jQuery Migrate, to encourage developers to stop using deprecated code, was one of the steps taken in the process of WordPress transitioning to using a current supported version of jQuery.
Which caused WordPress sites that relied on plugins and themes using jQuery Migrate to stop working correctly.
Unfortunately, what was thought to be an issue that affected a small number of themes and plugins, affected millions of sites when WordPress 5.5 was released.
What Themes and Plugins Were Affected by WordPress 5.5
According to the Google spreadsheet of themes shared on the WordPress Core blog, over 80 themes were affected by the removal of jQuery Migrate, including:
- Shop Isle
- Colibri WP
Some of the plugins affected by WordPress 5.5 include:
- WooCommerce Services
- Rank Math
- Ocean Extra
- Gutenberg Blocks – Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg
- Nextend Social Login and Register
- Funnel Builder by CartFlows
- Contact Form, Drag and Drop Form Builder for WordPress
- AMP for WP
- ThemeGrill Demo Importer
While some theme and plugin developers have already updated their code and released new versions, many others have not been patched.
What WordPress Site Owners Need to Do
All self-hosted WordPress site owners should update to WordPress 5.5.1 immediately to receive the patch as well as other bug fixes, enhancements, and updates.
Site owners or the people who maintain their sites should:
- Conduct an audit of the themes and plugins on their site
- Research online or contact plugin and theme developers to learn whether their product was impacted by the 5.5 version
- Find out what steps the developer plans to take to fix their code
- If developers aren’t planning any fixes, identify an alternative theme or plugin that provides the features you want
What WordPress Theme and Plugin Developers Need to Do
The plan is to remove the patch code in WordPress 5.7, which is currently scheduled for March 2021.
Developers have until March 2021 to update their themes and plugins to remove the old code and start using the new code.
I suspect the majority of currently maintained themes and plugins will be updated quickly by developers. However, there are likely dozens, if not more, old themes and plugins used on sites that won’t be updated.
This is a great opportunity to do housekeeping on sites.
It’s crucial that all self-hosted WordPress users update to 5.5.1 to receive the patch, bug fixes, and updates to resolve issues that occurred when updating to 5.5.
Site owners/maintainers need to audit site plugins and theme, contact developers about updates, and/or identify alternative plugins and theme which have been fixed or aren’t affected by the 5.5 release.
Developers have until March 2021 to remove deprecated code and start using the new code recommended by de Valk in his post.