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Hi Everyone

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


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Wordpress 5.0 Gutenberg Upgrades Are Failing and Crashing Websites

The long awaited wordpress 5.0 is finally here. Within 12 hours we started getting notified and called about failed wordpress 5.0 upgrades with the gutenberg editor. Just like any time you do an upgrade, you need to follow a set of protocols. Also, are you sure you want to upgrade just to get the new gutenberg editor. It takes the page editing to a new level, and is more complicated than the core editor your used to. You may lose some of that simplicity that you want with wordpress in the first place. When you set up your staging site, install the plugin for gutenberg and try it out first. If you dont like it you can stay at the latest version of WP 4.9+. They are not going to discontinue the 4.x.x series for quite a while.

Number 1 and foremost, never upgrade a live site, especially when it is a major core upgrade like this one. Always try it on a copy (called a staging area) of your website first. Yes, I know you have upgraded your WP many, many times without an issue. Well...this time its a different type of upgrade. Upgrade on a staging area first and save yourself possible and considerable down time. 

Number 2) Backup Your Website. We recommend akeeba backup. It is free and will back up your database and files so you can move your complete site to the staging area.

Number 3) Perform the incremental updates between your current version and wordpress 5.0. Those incremental upgrades will prepare your website with the files it needs for wp 5.0. Make a backup between each incremental update so you can revert if any of these fail.

Number 4) Server Compatibility. The basic requierments for workpress hosting have changed. You need to make sure you have the proper hosting environment. From our experience most sites are running on older versions of php and the new wordpress is not designed for those. It has to be PHP7+.
  • PHP version 7.2 or greater.
  • MySQL version 5.6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.0 or greater. Actually you need mySQLi. mySQL has been deprecated. 
  • HTTPS support. Your site should already have an SSL. Thats just a basic rule for some time now.
Number 5) Plugin Compatibility. Just because the core is upgraded, does not mean the plugin providers have upgraded thier plugins to work with the new wordpress core. Plugins usually lag behind core updates, and in many cases, have to be completely redeveloped to work with the new core scripts. Some, even popular plugins, never get upgraded for compatibility. Check the issues tracker and the plugin developers websites for compatibility with PHP 7+ and WP 5.0.

Number 6) Theme Compatibility. Check the theme provider for PHP7 and wordpress 5.0 compatibility. If a later version is recommended, make sure you do the updates. Backup first.

Number 7) Also before starting, if your using a DNS based cloud firewall, you will need to go into the firewall configuration, disable the firewall, and then make sure the caches are cleared.

If all of this is beyond your sklll level and you still insist on the upgrade, please call us. Our team will assess your website to make sure that it is a candidate for the new wordpress 5.0 and perform the upgrade for you. If we do it, you will have no downtime. Better safe than sorry. 
One more thing to consider. You cannot usually run multiple versions of php on a single hosting instance. We have the proper environment where we can set up the upgrade in PHP7+. Then when the site is completed, we can upgrade you PHP and move the new site to your hosting account. Really think about this, you can't have 2 seperate hosting configurations on one hosting account. We have the infrastructure to accomodate this problem. And lastly, do not rely on hosting account backups. They are notorious for having failed to run, over written with corrupted website copies, and old. Please, if your doing this your self, manually backup your site with akeeba. Its free.

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Don't forget your website has to meet the new google compliance rules

1) mobile responsive via template

2) google mobile first rule (pc versions of websites are no longer indexed)

3) monitor resolutions (must scale via template)

4) you must have a google webmaster account, and it must be properly configured.

5) You have to manually submit to the new google mobile (smartphone) index via fetch and render. Non-compliance will incur search engine listing penalties. It is reported that if you don't do this, your site will not be in the new search index at all. Compliant websites will show up first.



Many customers are getting notices from the hosting companies about upgrading. Your notice may look something like this:


"We have detected that your server is using PHP 5.3 which is obsolete and no longer receives official security updates by its developers. The Joomla! Project / Wordpress / Drupal / Magento recommends upgrading your site to PHP 7.2 or later which will receive security updates at least until 2019-12-01. Please ask your host to make PHP 7.2 or a later version the default version for your site. If your host is already PHP 7.2 ready please enable PHP 7.2 on your site's root and 'administrator' directories – typically you can do this yourself through a tool in your hosting control panel, but it's best to ask your developer if you are unsure."

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Your first line of defense in the case of your website breaking or getting hacked is your backup program.
Learn about Website Backups Basics, wordpress backups joomla backups  drupal backups.

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Google webmaster tools is an absolute requirements for your websites search engine indexing. Google webmaster tools account is where you manage your websites indexing and configurations. It is here where you can instruct what google can see and access so your site can be fully indexed correctly. 
Do not confuse this with google adwords or analytics, this is for indexing configurations only


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