Support » Fixing WordPress » READ THIS FIRST WordPress 5.3 Master List

  • Moderator Marius L. J.


    First steps | Core changes | Not a bug | Reported bugs | Plugin issues | Theme issues ]

    Hooray! WordPress 5.3 “Kirk” is here! But OMGWTFBBQ!? Everything is now broken?

    Don’t Panic!

    Before you go any further, make sure you’ve updated your plugins and themes to the latest versions, clear your browser’s cache and cookies and re-log into your WordPress dashboard.

    The New Editor can be disabled!

    If you’re in a pinch and need the editor rolled back ASAP, please install the classic editor – – which will restore the old editor.

    Still having problems? Okay, read on!

    This thread contains the known issues with plugins and themes found in the latest release. Please read this WHOLE topic and come back and check again later, as it will be updated.

    Remember to be calm, be patient, and be respectful. Volunteers are out here to try and help you, but we need your help too. All of the normal forum rules still apply. Remember, you are just as important as everyone else.

    If your post doesn’t show up right away, please be patient. With the higher than normal post volume, more posts get flagged as spam by our auto-spam tool. We’re working hard to keep the queue clear, but making multiple posts slows us down, as we have to go back and check if you already posted. Post once.

    • Do use proper capitalization in post titles and body. Punctuate your sentence properly and humanely, it helps us read.
    • Do use descriptive subject lines. “All permalinks broken since 5.0” is much better than “Augh! Help ASAP! This version is terrible!”
    • Do describe the problem clearly. Explain what you’re seeing, include error messages and link to screenshots if needed. Linking to your site, if the problem is on the front-end, also helps.
    • Do be patient. We know it sucks to be down, but posting multiple times doesn’t get you help any faster.
    • Do make your own topic unless you are using the exact same version of WordPress on the same physical server hosted by the same hosts with the same plugins, theme and configurations as the original poster. You may find it weird, but it will be easier for us to help you specifically if you have your own topic.
    • Do mark your topic as resolved when it’s fixed so we know not to come looking there anymore.
    • Do remember you’re not alone.

    Also keep in mind that not liking the direction of WordPress’s design is a not a bug. If you don’t like a feature, please don’t make a series of posts complaining about it. Look and see if someone already did, and post there, or consider joining the process earlier on (like in Beta or even test via SVN). What you’re seeing today is the result of thousands of hours of work and testing, and unless something is outright broken, it’s highly unlikely to be changed.

    Again, before you post:

    Make sure you’ve read this entire thread and New Features in 5.3 Article.

    Go to your own install’s about page – (or click the WordPress logo in the top corner) – to see what’s new.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Moderator Marius L. J.


    Before posting, please make sure you’ve tried started by performing the troubleshooting steps outlined below:

    • Flushing any caching plugins you might be running, as well as server and/or browser caches. Not just your browser, but any op cache or content network cache as well such as Cloudflare. That will solve many weird JavaScript issues.
    • Flushing Managed host caches. Managed WP hosting often has special caches. If your host has a “Purge Varnish” or “Flush Memcache” tool, try that. You can ask your provider to flush memcache and Varnish for you if necessary.
    • Resave your Permalink settings. In a few cases, we’ve seen third-party installers, such as Softaculous, creating sites with slightly incorrect rules in the .htaccess file. While these rules would not have been a problem in previous versions, having these incorrect rules can break the REST API in newer versions. Resaving the permalinks on the Settings->Permalinks page in WordPress will fix these rules in the .htaccess file, and possibly fix “failed” errors in the new editor.
    • Troubleshooting with your browser. Your browser can help you identify JavaScript issues or conflicts and this article can assist you in doing that diagnosis. This could help identify Visual Editor issues as well.
    • Make sure you have the Visual Editor enabled. Visit your Users->Your Profile page. The first option will disable the visual editor. Make sure that option is unchecked, and save your profile settings.
    • Deactivating all plugins (yes, all) to see if this resolves the problem. If this works, re-activate the plugins one by one until you find the problematic plugin(s). If you can’t get into your admin dashboard, try resetting the plugins folder by SFTP/FTP or PhpMyAdmin (read “How to deactivate all plugins when you can’t log in to wp-admin” if you need help). Sometimes, an apparently inactive plugin can still cause problems. Also remember to deactivate any plugins in the mu-plugins folder. The easiest way is to rename that folder to mu-plugins-old
    • If you can install plugins, install “Health Check”: On the troubleshooting tab, you can click the button to disable all plugins and change the theme for you, while you’re still logged in, without affecting normal visitors to your site.
    • Switching to the Twenty Nineteen theme to rule out any theme-specific problems. If you can’t log in to change themes, you can remove the theme folders via SFTP/FTP so the only one is twentynineteen. That will force your site to use it.
    • Manually upgrading. When all else fails, download a fresh copy of the file of 5.3.* (top right on this page) to your computer, and use that to copy up. You may need to delete the wp-admin and wp-includes folders on your server (NOTE: do not delete the wp-content directory or your wp-config.php file) Read the Manual Update directions first.

    If you need to create a support topic, you can provide debug data for the support volunteers by visiting the Site Health section under Tools > Site Health > Info.

    Moderator Marius L. J.


    Core Changes

    New default theme: Twenty Twenty

    WordPress 5.3 comes with a new default theme, Twenty Twenty. This simple, yet stylish, theme provides multiple menu configurations, a page template that uses the featured image as large background image, color options that maintain accessible color contrast, and styles that work in the block editor and in the classic editor.

    New Site Admin Email Verification Screen

    When you next login, you may be presented with a screen prompting you to ensure the Site Admin Email is correct. This is the address used by WordPress to contact a site owner if cases such as failed updates, fatal errors, and more.

    This screen will, by default, show up once every 6 months, much like other popular services prompt you to keep your contact details current. The frequency can be changed, or the feature disabled, through code or plugins.


    You can find all the release details in the Field Guide.

    Moderator Marius L. J.


    Not a bug

    Noteworthy and recurring scenarios users are encountering that are not actually bugs, but rather changed or new behaviors.

    Elements in the admin area have borders now!?

    WordPress 5.3 ships with improved contrasts for the admin area. This is part of the project’s ever ongoing work to improve accessibility.

    Some of the blocks in my editor look strange

    Some changes wee made to the HTML used to display blocks. Although this won’t affect any existing content, editing or writing new content where a theme or plugin is expecting certain styles may look strange. We recommend updating your themes and plugins, or reaching out to the authors if there’s no updates available to address this change yet.

    The Gutenberg plugin stopped working for me

    With the release of WordPress 5.3, only version 6.6 or newer of the Gutenberg plugin is compatible, so please update the plugin and all should be good.

    Uncaught TypeError: $ is not a function

    Users may see the above if plugins or themes are trying to use the jQuery JavaScript library incorrectly. In WordPress version 5.2 or earlier, there was a bug in a part of the code that is used called mediaelement.js, this bug has been patched, and that means previous incorrect usage no longer works as expected.

    More technical details can be found at

    Dates or times being incorrect, permalinks being off by a day, other weirdness related to “time”

    WordPress 5.3 received a significant upgrade to its date and time handling code. The previous code dated all the way back to over 10 years ago, when PHP 4 was still supported. This was a significant chunk of code scattered all through the core of WordPress, and it was very slow and a drag on performance.

    With 5.3, most of this code has been updated or replaced with saner PHP 5.6 compatible code. A lot of the legacy has been removed. However, some plugins and themes may have relied on the side effects from how this code previously operated.

    For this reason, some plugins or themes may be doing incorrect things. One such thing would be to call the date_default_timezone_set() function in PHP. WordPress works by setting the default timezone to UTC and then performing its own calculations to adjust times. Setting the default timezone incorrectly to anything else will result in these calculations being incorrect. WordPress will be overcompensating the timezone adjustments.

    For backwards compatibility, it is crucial that plugins *not* change the default PHP timezone. The default timezone must be set to UTC at all times. Any problems you find with timezones or dates shifting is likely going to be a plugin or theme which is doing-it-wrong. This may not have mattered as much in previous versions of WordPress, but now that WordPress is using these newer functions more and less reliant on the old PHP 4 compatible code, then this is far more critical.

    If you find a plugin or theme with a problem like this, please report it to their authors, or report it to the plugins team.

    Moderator Marius L. J.


    Reported bugs

    Bugs that have been reported against this release of WordPress, with links to tickets for further followup will be listed here.

    None as of yet.

    Moderator Marius L. J.


    Reported plugin compatibility issues

    This section contains noteworthy (high impact/large) plugins with compatibility issues, and their responses when available.

    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 2 days ago by Marius L. J..
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by James Huff. Reason: added Ocean Extra
    • This reply was modified 3 weeks, 1 day ago by James Huff. Reason: Ocean Extra has been fixed
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 6 days ago by James Huff. Reason: Polylang has been fixed
    Moderator Marius L. J.


    Reported theme compatibility issues

    This section contains noteworthy (high impact/large) themes with compatibility issues, and their responses when available.

    None reported at this time.

Viewing 6 replies - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
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