Enable jQuery Migrate Helper Plugin Passes 10K Active Installs

In just one week since WordPress 5.5 was released, the Enable jQuery Migrate Helper plugin has passed 10,000 active installs, as users look for a fix for broken sites. The plugin was developed by the WordPress Core team to mitigate jQuery-related problems users may face after updating to 5.5. WordPress has removed jQuery Migrate 1.4.1, but many themes and plugins are now broken because they use outdated/deprecated jQuery functions that relied on the script.

The official support forums are inundated with reports of broken sites after updating to 5.5, as most users who don’t follow core development are not aware that jQuery Migrate has been deprecated. Because it’s related to jQuery, many of the sites have very visible problems or broken functionality that prevents users from doing things like viewing and editing content. Those who are still using the Classic Editor have been particularly hardest hit by the 5.5 update, since older plugins that hook into the old editor are more likely to be using deprecated jQuery functions.

The Enable jQuery Migrate Helper plugin has racked up 34 five-star reviews, as it instantly fixes most users’ problems:

“After updating to 5.5 my hero slider images disappeared and this plugin fixed the problem immediately.”

“After updating to WordPress 5.5 my edit a post page and several other things ended up breaking despite having all plugins and my theme updated. This plugin fixed my issue!”

“As a newspaper, not being able to see the content of our posts is a pretty big deal. This fixed it. Thank you.”

The plugin gives users time to figure out which themes or plugins are causing the problems and request the authors of those extensions to update them for compatibility with the latest version of WordPress.

One user, David Halchester, reported a problem with a vanishing navigation menu to the support forums before discovering the Enable jQuery Migrate Helper plugin.

“Voila,” Halchester said in his review. “It worked like magic. My beautiful custom page is working again. That said — if WP does not want to lose customers, it needs to make sure its updates are compatible with older sites.

“Thank you to the people who created this plug-in. I just saved myself about $300 or more in fees to have someone ‘fix’ it.”

He makes a solid point about the plugin saving users’ money that might otherwise have gone to developers to fix the problem. For those who discover the plugin as a fix, it only costs them the time and frustration of seeking help from their hosting company or volunteers on the support forums. Others who may not be as persistent will likely have to pay for professional troubleshooting.

Justin Tadlock published a post last week that outlines WordPress’ three-stage plan for updating jQuery to the latest version. The plan outlines how a new version of jQuery Migrate will be added in WordPress 5.6 to help users update from jQuery 1.12.4 to 3.5.1 (or later). The tentative plan is to remove the script once more in WordPress 5.7, which is expected in 2021.

In the meantime, the Enable jQuery Migrate Helper plugin functions as a temporary bandaid. Looking ahead towards the prospect of opt-in automatic updates for major Core releases, which is expected to land in WordPress 5.6, it will be important to consider how wide-reaching these breaking changes can be along to path to updating jQuery, especially for those hanging back with the Classic Editor plugin.

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11 responses to “Enable jQuery Migrate Helper Plugin Passes 10K Active Installs”

  1. Jim Casey says:

    I don’t know if I need this plugin or not but it might correct a rough spot I’ve noticed lately.

    More to the point, I downloaded it just now to my cell happily knowing I can more easily upload the zip file to my site later because of those belated changes. 🙂

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  2. Rod Olman says:

    I guess this is one of the steps to permanently killing the Classic Editor. One more nail in the WordPress coffin (why use WP when one can already use Wix or Squarespace without having to put up with an alpha version page builder?).

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  3. A shoutout to jQuery Manager which allows your site to include a newer and safer version of jQuery along with jQuery manager should you need that.

    And may I suggest, that all of us who identify issues with old jQuery version dependencies, get in touch with theme and plugin developers, revealing the issue to them. During my personal WP 5.5 release candidate tests, I encountered unusually many issues, and every single developer I have been in touch with, expressed an interest in fixing any issues before release, so that poor experiences with core updates can be avoided.

    Take care
    Bjarne

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    • Excellent idea – the problem is, there are so many plugins and themes that are no longer supported and the developers have ghosted, that end-users have no idea what to do now… rebuild their entire site? Never update WordPress again, after learning their lesson? I hope not. A new industry of recoding old plugin/theme’s Javascript files will be born, and perhaps that’s what’s needed to keep WordPress up to date – users need to understand their plugins and themes should be updated regularly, and if updates are no longer available, recoding the outdated code is vital, whether it be jQuery, PHP, or mysql() calls.

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  4. Sam says:

    Congratulations to the WordPress team for another successful plugin after the Classic Editor.

    They’re on a roll!

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    • Otto says:

      Even developers have agreed that this step needed to happen. The jQuery library is years and years past the code still included in WordPress. Breakage was inevitable and necessary.

      The plugin makes the old code work, and gives admin notices telling you which plugins need to be updated or replaced. If you’re using old and outdated code, then stop doing that.

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      • Peter Shaw says:

        “Even developers”?

        Most I know have been calling for this for ages.

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      • I agree it’s a much needed step forward, but in my opinion the warnings (this plugin) should have been added to core first, and give people time before just removing jQuery Migrate and breaking their sites – most end users are non-technical and have no idea what broke or how to fix it, and it tarnishes the reputation of WordPress along the way. I am not sure how it makes sense to remove it first.

        Perhaps core could have detected deprecated code, and offered a warning to update plugins etc, and show an option to enable jQuery Migrate again, with a constant warning “jQuery Migrate Helper is installed – you have plugins that need to be updated”, and clicking on the link expands to show a list of the plugins or theme.

        The major issue isn’t developers that ignored all the announcements made about it being removed, it’s about the vast number of outdated plugins and themes that are no longer actively maintained, and the developers have ghosted on end users. I am now hunting down old JS code across hundreds of websites, developing patches and search/replace scripts [find .live() and replacing with .on()] etc. Many of these clients pay for quality maintenance and security, and I treat these websites like they are my own, so I’ll ensure they are patched if no updates are available, and no replacements easily implemented.

        Sadly, I’m also seeing lots of very popular plugins like Restrict Content Pro using old jQuery libraries and causing warnings (not sure if these are site-breaking issues yet) with their latest just-released versions.

        With the pain comes progress, and this will blow over, but warnings for users first before making breaking changes like this should be a priority. These jQuery Migrate removal changes aren’t even mentioned in the 5.5 field guide at all!

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  5. Ordinary site owners would have been helped by first merging some code that would make it easy for them to identify out-of-date plugins/themes. i.e. Ones that haven’t been updated for a long time and have no updates apparently available. Such code will always be the major area of risk when upgrading.

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  6. Herb Miller says:

    After updating to WordPress 5.5 I had a number of problems which jQuery Migrate “fixed”. But I dug deeper and found lots of problems when the only activated plugins were Gutenberg 8.7.1 and Yoast SEO. I then discovered the WordPress core bugs that had been raised, and for which a fix was being developed. After applying the fix I noted I didn’t actually need the jQuery Migrate Helper. Perhaps others have had similar experiences to those I documented here: https://herbmiller.me/how-to-survive-wordpress-5-5s-removal-of-jquery-migrate/

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  7. Sam Petrick says:

    I completely agree with this jquery migrate helper plugin, It’s not for non-technical users they don’t know how to fix.

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