WordPress 5.6.1 Deployment, PHP 8 and another WordPress Milestone

WordPress 5.6.1 Deployment, PHP 8 and another WordPress Milestone
February 15, 2021 GB

Hello and welcome to the February 2021 update. It’s a wet and windy day here in Auckland as we move into another Level 3 lockdown 😥 . Past lockdowns have shown us that our customer’s sites see increased activity during these times, so we will be monitoring the situation closely to ensure that all sites are running smoothly.

If you have any questions or concerns about your WP NET hosting services or support during this time, please just open a support ticket and we’ll be happy to help. Stay safe and take care!

WordPress 5.6.1 Deployment

The first point-release of the WordPress 5.6.x branch has been released and so we will soon begin rolling out the update to any WP NET customers still on 5.5.x.

This release marks the mid-point of the staged upgrade of the jQuery libraries in WordPress core. As with the 5.4 -> 5.5 update, there is potential for some site functionality to break, particularly for sites with themes or plugins that have not been updated for some time. Newer WordPress sites with up-to-date themes are much less likely to be affected.

Whilst we test all customers sites as we go — things can occasionally slip by — and these jQuery changes can sometimes be difficult to detect at first. So — if you can — please do test your site and let WP NET support know if you experience any issues. Typical problems you might see due to the jQuery changes are menus not working as expected, sliders and animations not working, etc.

If you update your site yourself and find you have problems, the first thing to try that will likely remedy the problem is to install the jQuery Migrate Helper plugin. While this is only a temporary solution – you will need to udpate your theme and plugins eventually – in the vast majority of cases, this will get you back up and running in the short-term.

If you need any help, or have any questions, please open a support ticket.

WordPress Now Powers 40% Of the Web

The incredible success story of WordPress continues by reaching another milestone: 2 out of every 5 websites use it now.

A recent article on TechRadar announced the latest milestone in the WordPress story: it’s now estimated that 40% of all sites — or about 2 out of 5 — are powered by WordPress.

While there are plenty of WordPress alternatives including Shopify and Squarespace, WordPress is still in a league of its own.

Read more on the TechRadar site and the W3Techs site.

PHP 8 Available for Managed Servers

The latest version of PHP, version 8 is now available for Managed Server customers only. We don’t recommend that you try PHP 8 with any production sites, as WordPress support is still only partial, and many plugins are not yet compatible.

Will My WordPress site Work with PHP8?

Short answer: probably not – no.

It’s early days for PHP 8 and we recommend you stick with PHP 7.3 or 7.4 for now. Feel free to give it whirl on a staging site to see what happens, but we strong advice against activating on a production site.

It’s important to remember that WordPress core, your theme and all plugins will need to be compatible with PHP 8 before you can switch your site over to using the new runtime.

More information is available from this article on WordFence.com: PHP 8 What WordPress Users Need to Know.

You can read more about the PHP 8 release on the PHP 8.0 Announcement Addendum.

Thanks for reading! Until next time.