The Problem with Visual Composer for WordPress 4.5

Users of Visual Composer for WordPress had rude awakenings in the last couple of weeks after updating WordPress to Version 4.5. They found the popular page building plugin they’d been using suddenly didn’t work with the new, improved WordPress.

The editing modules didn’t display automatically and all that was visible was code. When the Backend Editor was clicked, all they got was a never-ending pre-loader.

So frustrating!

Support forums have been swamped with complaints as well as suggestions about what to do about the problem. Clearly the problem is that WordPress 4.5 is only compatible with VC 4.11.2.


About Visual Composer for WordPress

Visual Composer is a drag and drop frontend and backend page builder that saves time for non-developers who want a slick, layered look on their site. You can add columns and rows, and choose from 40+ predefined elements (divided into logic groups) with a single click, using handy and intuitive UI. Then simply drag elements around to re-arrange them.

Visual Composer Backend
Visual Composer Backend

WP Bakery created Visual Composer for WordPress in 2011 and since then has sold over 100,00 uploads of the plugin. I see it in almost every premium theme I encounter and it’s widely scorned by the development community. Still, it’s a hard working plugin and non-coders like it and have given it a 4.72 average rating based on 6916 reviews.

Having worked on several sites that use Visual Composer, here are my suggestions for this breakdown in compatibility.

Update theme

Since most users came by Visual Composer bundled with their premium WordPress theme, they just have to wait for a theme update that includes Version 4.11.2.

Version 4.11.2 definitely works with WordPress, so the best fix is to upgrade the theme and plugin theme together.

I recently upgraded the Patti theme on and it worked perfectly, because it included Version 4.11.2.

However, I have a client whose theme was upgraded a month or so ago with Visual Composer v.4.4.3 and now she’s stuck in limbo waiting for the developer to release an update. Worse, that developer is not at all reliable.

Pay for the upgrade

If you paid for Visual Composer as a stand alone plugin, you should get the upgrade as part of your license.

If you can’t get satisfaction from your theme developer and you don’t want to take this next step, then you could always pay for the plugin. Visual Composer costs $34.

Downgrade WordPress

Until such time as your theme update is released, it’s possible to downgrade your version of WordPress back to 4.4.2.

The downside to downgrading is making your site vulnerable to security risks that WP 4.5.1 was meant to prevent.

Still, if this is the temporary fix for you, here is how downgrading is done.

Start Your Free Trial Today!

Compatibility is everything

Computing is complicated and all the bits and pieces of code have to speak to each other and work together.

When they don’t, as we’ve seen with problems between Visual Composer and WordPress 4.5, everything goes all pear shaped in a minute. That’s why we have to be aware that every update has to be be compatible with all others.

Good luck making your updates work!

And if you haven’t already, please subscribe to Blogsite Studio and get my free ebook, Secure Your WordPress Website. Cheers!

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4 thoughts on “The Problem with Visual Composer for WordPress 4.5”

  1. Thanks Mari Kane for the post! Informative. I had a couple of customers experience the same issue and eventually downgraded WordPress to version 4.4.X. Downgrading resolved any issues VC was experiencing with the new WordPress 4.5 update.

  2. That’s a good fix for now, Andrew, but eventually they have to update again. Hopefully they can get the update of VC first. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Thanks for the info, but this latest VC which I have installed, has still not fixed the problem it always had, i.e.html editing doesnt work fully with woo products, and vc is overbloated and slow to load pages. You also cant run sliders and forms on the same row (different columns) in ordinary posts. They clash and conflict. VC does not allow some html editing. Had to create a custom css script to force bullets in tabs, then when inserting tabs, a javascript pop up unresponsive script comes up with a jquery error, so every time I try to create a tabs section, I get a frozen screen and sometimes the whole TABS option drops of the elements menu. Then I got the tabs back displaying in drop options, but I still get 30 second delays while script doesnt run,(in the tab section settings). Unfortunately I dont know how to fix javascript errors, and because vc is bundled with theme, I cannot get help from VC authors to fix the error. My theme author treats it as a customisation which he would want to be paid to fix. This is an error with VC, and I should not have to pay for it to be fixed.
    What is also annoying is not being able to get new paragraphs in VC text boxes. I have to keep putting in code like [vc_empty_space height=”25px”] in between each paragraph. Even worse is the 15 second delay to load each website page, despite hiring developers to speed up page load. That really sucks.
    I spent so long blaming my theme developer for this when it was never his fault! DOH.
    So I have had to totally rebuild my clients website from scratch with new version theme and new vc, because of lost content inside old vc code, but they still havent enabled html functionality in text boxes, i.e. bullet points in woo products.
    Let me say categorically I do not recommend to use Visual Composer as it just doesnt work!

  4. Hi Gillian – Wow, that’s a world of problems you’ve got there! Your site is indeed running super slow. I find it curious that the theme author is not taking responsibility when they build the theme around VC. If you are having all the conflicts and errors due to VC, perhaps you should switch page builders. I use Thrive on this theme and it works well. Good luck to you!

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