A new core update is available for WordPress. But as you know, I’m not keen on being an early adopter of updates because they can make or break your website.
I believe it’s important to keep your website up-to-date, but I like to wait a few days to see what the new software will do to the websites that update first.
So, I’ve done my research on WordPress 5.5 and here’s a quick summary of what I’ve learned.
What’s New with WordPress 5.5
This update packs a few new features that are noteworthy.
- Changes to the Gutenberg Block Builder (Usability and feature improvements)
- Automatic updates for plugins and themes (Security improvement)
- Generated XML sitemaps (SEO improvement)
- Lazy load images (Site speed and performance improvement)
- Plugin and theme updates by zip file (Usability improvement)
If you’re curious, WPBeginner has an article with a more detailed explanation of all those features.
So the good news about this update is… those new features are great improvements. The bad news is… this update is breaking websites.
What’s Happening to Sites after this update?
So, on September 1, 2020, a fix was quickly released to resolve a major part of the problem. That update was named 5.5.1.
Although this new update fixes a common issue on most sites, there are still a list of widely used themes and plugins that have compatibility issues.
It may be in your best interest to wait before applying the update. In my opinion, the benefits of this core update do not outweigh the negatives as of yet.
But if you do choose to update, be sure to create a backup copy of your website. That way you can revert back if your site is broken.
UPDATE October 28, 2020: I’ve successfully updates a couple sites to the latest 5.5.1 version of WordPress and the sites appear to be working fine.