I have tried to warn everyone about the upgrade issues. For most people it has gone ok, with only minor issues. For other wordpress websites, it has been a disaster.
Here is one of many wordpress 5.0 upgrade disasters we experienced.
The customers website was not working correctly already. Before the 5.0 upgrade. We where hired to fix the website. What happened to this customer is that they had a woocommerce store with a custom theme that integrated with and overwrote and replaced key core woocommerce files. So, over the last year as she kept upgrading wordpress, she did not upgrade the theme or plugins. Now the versions are falling out of sync. Then she upgraded woocommerce, which conflicted with the themes custom files. The themes woocommerce files then where over written again with the real woocommerce files. The issues were minor, but were compounding. The customers developer never checked compatibility for wordpress, woocommerce or any other plugins. No one ever does. We figured all this out and we were in the process of repairing on a copy on our dev server. NEVER WORK ON A LIVE SITE. NEVER UPGRADE A LIVE SITE. Always do it on a copy first.
So, anyway's, I informed the client that the theme will not be compatible with the new version of wordpress. That we were going to replace the theme with one that would not conflict with woo commerce. Well, low and behold, godaddy upgraded her site to 5.01. She was on a managed godaddy wordpress account. The upgrades are automatic. The result was her website crashed and did not load. All she had was a white screen. The tech at godaddy said that she should hire them to fix the site or we could do it. We are at least 5 days away from completing. We asked the tech to revert. He refused. Fortunately she is one of the few people who paid for backups and I was able to revert myself. If your manages hosting account does not have backups, you screwed. There is no way to revert without backups. She is ok until godaddy ties to upgrade again. Godaddy seemed to be quite overwhelmed and did not know at all what the upgrade issue was. I informed the tech that the upgrades were crashing because:
Basic Wordpress 5.0 Requirements.
1) WP 5.0+ needs php7.2.
2) the database needs to be at least mySQLi or Maria DB.
3) you have to check the theme and make sure it is compatible with 5.0 and PHP7.2+
4) you have to check all the plugins and make sure they are compatible with 5.0 and PHP7.2+
5) you have to check the theme and make sure it is compatible with 5.0 and PHP7.2+
This is not your normal upgrade as the hosting environment needs to change to support the new Wordpress 5.0+ version. So..., long story short, managed hosting with automatic upgrades are crashing websites.
Here is why it is so crucial to make sure you website is compatible. PHP 5.6 and below are no longer supported or getting security patches. This leaves the server vulnerable to hacking and PHP itself is the vulnerability. The hosters have to keep the server secure, thus they need you to upgrade. Next, the database calls have changed between 5.6 and 7.0+. If you don't have themes and plugins that are compatible with php7+, then your website code cannot communicate with the database.
And the next issue is that not all the themes and plugins have been upgraded to work with php7+. It takes time, and many themes and plugins are so complicated, they may never be upgraded and may just be discontinued. This means that in some cases, you will need to rebuild your website with a new theme and plugins. Such is the case with the customer I started out discussing.
You cannot delay the upgrade. If you don't take care of this and have your site professionally upgraded, you will be without a website until you do the upgrade. This is not a marketing ruse or a track to up sell. You can ask the people we have been helping this week.You cannot rely on the hosting companies to do the right thing. I have no problem with wordpress and our staff are experts. It is actually a very good thing in the log run that they have changed the core of wordpress.
Also note, we have also seen the situation where the website was compatible with PHP7.+. But the hoster did not upgrade the PHP version form 5.x and did not migrate the db. Thus they crashed. We just had to get them on the correct hosting environment. Please, Please, Please, think about all I have said.
Call Us If You Are Having Any Issues At All