WordPress 5.5 released on August 11, 2020, and brought with it a plethora of improvements. One of the changes, however, has caused cascading problems with themes and plugins. Below is the solution to WordPress 5.5 problems due to the disabling of jQuery Migrate.
Earlier, I posted an article addressing the issues of automatic updates. This release emphasizes the dangers of what can go wrong under normal circumstances.
What is are WordPress 5.5 Problems?
WordPress utilizes a variety of third-party libraries for functionality. One such library is jQuery Migrate, which is a development tool designed to help migrate away from APIs and features with jQuery that have been removed or will be removed. Most of the major problems with WordPress 5.5 occur because of the removal of jQuery Migrate
According to the WordPress Core blog, the theory was that websites with up-to-date jQuery, themes, and plugins that are compatible with jQuery 1.9 or jQuery 1.10.2 (the default version released with WordPress 3.6, which was released on August 1, 2013) could safely remove jQuery Migrate 1.x without issue.
This change would make room for the latest versions of jQuery and jQuery Migrate to be integrated with the WordPress 5.6 release. jQuery Migrate would then be removed in WordPress 5.7 with testing.
The reality is that the removal of jQuery Migrate caught a lot of people by surprise.
For the most part, the removal of the script didn’t have an immediately obvious effect. I noticed some quirky issues but assumed it was due to active plugins that had not been maintained all too well over the past year.
Thankfully, there are two fixes. The first is to re-enable jQuery Migrate programmatically but I do believe this to be a waste of time. The second and recommended solution is to install and activate the plugin Enable jQuery Migrate Helper. Once enabled, most of the issues I have come across have been solved.