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.
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.
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.
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 marikane.com 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.
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.
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!