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The Yoast SEO 19.5 plugin update causes WordPress sites to report fatal errors.
Publishers who update to Yoast SEO 19.5 may have experienced more than they expected. Reports of serious bugs caused by the update soon started to surface. Interestingly, the error seems to be limited to certain situations rather than everywhere.
Yoast SEO Plugin Version 19.5
Yoast plugin version 19.5 includes several changes that improve the user experience, fix validation issues in structured item data, and fix some minor bugs.
An important improvement is the frontend SEO inspector, which provides an overview of posts and various SEO settings such as meta tags and structured data.
Unfortunately, in certain situations, errors also occur which cause fatal errors.
Fatal errors can occur when there is a conflict between two plugins.
Yoast Plugin Fatal Error
Search engine marketing expert and author of the popular book Product Led SEO, Eli Schwartz tweeted about the fatal error.
— Eli Schwartz (@5le) August 10, 2022
Turns out an update from @yoast broke it 😢
— Eli Schwartz (@5le) August 10, 2022
It’s not uncommon for random conflicts between plugins to cause problems. But it wasn’t a coincidence because other people had confirmed the same thing happened to them.
I faced the same issue yesterday when I tried to update one of my new client's website @EasyPowerUg
— Webiro (@Webiroagency) August 11, 2022
Yoast’s official SEO support page on WordPress.org also has a fatal error message.
One user wrote:
I woke up today and tried to access the dashboard of my website and I was met with a Fatal Error, I’m not able to access it through backend nor Login.
How can I solve this issue.”
Two others responded with the same problem, with one making this comment:
“I went from 19.4 to 19.5.1 and it still broke my site. I don’t think .5.1 fixed the entire issue. I never updated to 19.5. Went straight from 19.4 to 19.5.1.
I have yoast, Yoast premium, and woo. all 3. First, one to try to update was regular yoast. All other plugins and WP on my site are current. Hope that helps to fix 19.5.1
Glad I never trust autoupdate, Not a fan of paying anyone to be a beta tester. Yet this one still got me.”
Others with the same free and premium setup repeated this report and posted:
I have installed free version, premium version and Yoast SEO Local and latest update of the free version took down my website with the below fatal error:”
A Yoast support representative apologized and responded with the following explanation:
“We’re sorry that you’re experiencing a fatal error. Thanks for reporting. We’re investigating and it seems to be a problem with the latest update of Yoast SEO while the newest Premium wasn’t released yet. This shouldn’t have happened.
We’re looking at getting this resolved as soon as we can by releasing a patch for free and also by releasing Yoast SEO Premium asap. Either should fix the fatal error.”
Yoast Identified The Problem
The last commenter noted that they have two versions of the Yoast plugin installed, the free version and the premium version, which may be the key cause of the fatal error as this situation is cited as the cause of the fatal error.
Yoast responded to issues quickly and released a fix, version 19.5.1, on the same day.
According to the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin changelog, which documents what is included with each update:
“19.5.1 – Bugfixes:
Fixes a bug where a fatal error would be thrown on the front-end when Yoast SEO 19.5 was used with an older version of Yoast SEO Premium.”
Problem Resolved With Version 19.5.1
Yoast 19.5.1 fixed this issue.
One user posted this comment on the Yoast support forum:
“Update 19.5.1 fixes the problem.”
However, since there are millions of users with millions of other plugin combinations installed, it is almost inevitable that very few edge cases of problems will arise.
For example, in a post on the official Yoast support forum, a user described an upgrade from 19.4 straight to 19.5.1 and an unsatisfactory experience.
It’s not uncommon for edge cases to appear with every update, and this could be the case with Yoast 19.5.1.
The cause of the problem seems to be that Yoast released an update for the free version of Yoast (19.5) but not an update for the premium version at the same time, which then caused the two plugins to clash, resulting in fatal results. error.
Source: Yoast SEO on WordPress Support
Featured image by wayhomestudio/FreePik