The road ends, but the journey continues...

wp5.8 upgrade issues

The Fix was Simple. Finding It Was Not.

Consider this a blogger-buddy public service post…A little over a week ago I set up a staging site to make a few changes to my site, perform updates on various plug-ins and to install the new wp5.8 upgrade. I really like that my hosting company offers a fairly easy way for this non-techie to do this task. I’d even go so far as to say, it’s kind of fun to poke around in my cPanel!

That said, after doing a manual backup, then setting up the staging site, I began my task in earnest.

Plug-in updates – piece of cake. A few other minor fixes – done and done.

Now for the biggie – the wp5.8 upgrade.

At first glance, all looked just like it always looked. Upon further perusal, my site appeared to function as usual.

In my giddiness of having triumphed over the ever looming threat of a broken site due to update/upgrade glitches, I was all set to depress the ‘push to live’ button.

But – and I think this is where my maturity and ever nagging sense of doing things ‘right’ kicked in – I decided to check just one more thing. That being, actually writing up a new sample blog post using the extra Gutenberg Blocks that came with the upgrade.

Blithely clicking the ‘add new post’ button on my dashboard, I expected to begin a fun jaunt into exploring the nuances of the newly added Gutenberg Blocks.

What unfolded before my very eyes, however, was far from being anything fun…What unfolded before my very eyes was…

The White Screen of Death

I could easily navigate back and forth from the emptiness of that edit page to my dashboard, but what good is a website/blog if one has no way to write or publish new content?

Oh and, let’s not forget, I discovered this ‘glitch’ as an after thought! I almost nixxed all my hard work in the protected environment of a staging site with the single ‘push to live’ command.

While hugely grateful to my inner OCD self to have diverted such a disaster, I was more than a bit resentful that I had yet another hurdle to jump over just to get my site up and running on a basic wp5.8 upgrade.

WordPress is not for the faint of heart…but I digress…

Thus began my long and arduous deep dive into troubleshooting. I’ll spare you the details of that deep dive, but I do want to point out that for all the ‘help’ offered, there isn’t much related to what I experienced. So I began expanding my search in more obscure reaches of that ‘help’.

Which lead me to the support forum for the Hemingway Theme, thinking perhaps it all had to do with theme incompatibility (go here to read the rapid unfolding of what became The Simple Fix).

Turns out, Gutenberg Block Editor does not ‘play well’ with my browser of choice, Mozilla Firefox.

The Fix?

Update that darn Browser and make it ‘play nicely’ with my newly upgraded WordPress site.


  1. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet

    Laura, I am wrestling with computer issues right now. I just spent half a day with Apple updating to the newest version. The problems persist. Late next week, we will have time to contact the internet company to see if the problems lie there. Both of us are having problems. Thank you for a very relatable post. I am sorry for your troubles, but at least I know I am not alone > πŸ™‚

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh I feel for you, Cheryl. It’s such a painstakingly arduous task – anything techie! And, you’re right, you are not alone – I’ll be watching for your celebratory post in the coming weeks/months?!?
      Hang in there.

  2. zippyquilts

    Which is why I sincerely hope to never update anything. Glad you prevailed!

  3. anne54

    I was happy to read your post. Not happy that you had to go through all those issues, but happy because I have the same problem. The screen to write posts on is a white page. It’s been like that for a month or two, and I haven’t had the head space to work on it. I am able to use my phone to post, but it is more fiddly than the laptop. Unlike you I just have the basic WP, and my browser is Safari. So I will start by changing the theme. Fingers crossed!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Just don’t forget to backup your site!!!!! Good luck!

  4. paywindow7

    I tried to upgrade my blog a few years ago and somehow managed tp delete the comments and reply’s from my posts. My fault or wordpress? Mostly mine, but when I tried to contact them to try and salvage some of the damage, no response. Still none.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I distinctly remember going to your site one time and seeing a post you’d posted the day before had vanished. I **figured** it was a wp snafu…

  5. Khaya Ronkainen

    Oh, dear! White screen of death sounds very scary. You are really lucky that you listened to your gut feel, and try your post button before going ahead.

    And you are so correct, WordPress is not for the faint-hearted… Backing up one’s work before fiddling with anything is imperative. But good to hear you got sorted in the end, and with a simple fix, nogal. πŸ™‚

    • laura bruno lilly

      How ironic that us creatives are drawn to this wp platform yet it requires much technical prowess (at the very least, a greater sense of patience than I usually have!!!) to continue using it…oh well!
      Glad it’s over – for now! HA!

  6. marissthequilter

    With deep admiration for your persistence and deep dive into the mysterious realms of technology. I think I will just avoid Gutenberg Blocks (whatever these may be — not, I assume, a reinvention of the printing press) and upgrades for as long as possible.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Well, I managed to do just that for several years back when I was a newbie blogger – so I know it’s possible to get by that way!
      Thanks for the kudos on the techie perseverance – it really does zap my inner energy reserves! But now, I’m free to forget all that and go back to my practice stool and continue with what really feeds my soul – ya know?

  7. Glad you avoided a disaster and why does WP keep trying to fix/upgrade what ain’t broke?!?! They must be bored over in WP software developer land…

    • laura bruno lilly

      You got that right!

  8. Jennie

    Ah ha! I thought I was the only one with a white screen. After my panic and chatting with those Happiness Engineers, I had to switch from Safari to Chrome when using WP. On a side note, have you ever not been able to ‘like’ or reblog a post? Same solution works. Thanks, Laura.

    • laura bruno lilly

      We are nothing if not resourceful, eh Jennie?

      • Jennie


  9. Ally Bean

    Huh. Interesting, but does beg the question why doesn’t WP want to play nice with you and your preferred browser? Why must we accommodate it rather than vice versa? No answer, of course. And I”m glad you found your fix so all’s well…

    • laura bruno lilly

      You’re right, Ma Bean. No answer but the question is pretty basic. Why shouldn’t wp begin to approach ‘business’ in that manner? Signify from the very start of a subscription the computer/browser requirements etc…at the very least put a sort of disclaimer to their assertion that wp is sooooo user friendly, even for the non-techies etc. HA!

  10. Andy

    I switched from Classic when I heard (somewhere . . . ) that this new version was coming in anyway and so I thought I’d better get familiar with it.
    Anyway, your β€˜White Screen Of Death’ has me now longing for winter ?

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, I really had no real problems adjusting to the Gutenberg Block Editor over a year ago…I had no idea it could be the cause of problems beyond my ability to work with it in the editing of posts and such.
      Yikes! Even for a Manc Northerner, it’s way early to be longing for those winter days – dream on!

      • Andy

        ?There are signs already that the nights are beginning to draw in. Love it!

  11. Marie A Bailey

    First, congratulations on being OCD enough that you saved your blog πŸ™‚

    So when people say “WordPress is not for the faint of heart,” are they talking about or I have always used (if I’m understanding this correctly). Still, I’m losing patience with the new block editor. I didn’t think I’d switch back to Classic but I might have to. Life is too short to spend fussing πŸ˜‰

    • laura bruno lilly

      HA! Let’s hear it for OCD!
      You’re right about life being too short for fussing with stuff like stupid wp updates! As for ‘people’ I can only speak for myself – I’m on which means I have greater freedoms to do what I want with my website/blog than if I were on but have to deal with more techie stuff by myself and with the aid of a quality hosting company.
      I think both have their pros and cons…but both share the wp software core that even seasoned programmers say is a bear to deal with!!!!
      Stay on-line, Marie, even if it means going back to Classic!

      • Marie A Bailey

        Funny, I switched to Classic for my latest post. The block editor failed me! LOL πŸ™‚

  12. Janis @

    Nothing like you experienced, but I had a WP issue last week too. That after a year of thinking the new block editor was a piece of cake. I finally got help from the (un)Happiness Engineer but it was several days after my Sunday Stills post was set to publish so I canned the whole thing. If I had run into what you did, I’m not sure what I would have done. I’m glad you got it all worked out!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks, Janis…it’s good that’s it’s over for now.
      I, too, had no real issues with that ‘new’ block editor until it messed with my Browser! Like I said – a simple fix, but why so hard to find it??????
      Stay sharp – at least enough to keep on blogging with WP! HA!

  13. Chela's Colchas y Mas

    I am in the midst of a WP dilemma. I am told I need to upgrade. Seriously thinking of giving up the blog.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I know where you’re coming from…in my early years of wp blogging, I stopped upgrading and blogged on wp3.6 for many years! The big leap to wp5.2 occurred when I migrated my site and ‘they’ handled the upgrade as part of their migration package…I mention this because I did manage to keep my blog intact and running on that way old version of wp3.6. But it was a scary ride!
      All that to say, I hope you don’t give up your blog out of sheer desperation…I’m hoping you can find a way through this obstacle zone called WP!
      I’m rooting for you, Chela!

  14. LA

    The worst part of blogging is dealing with WordPress and the actual sight. Frustrating

    • laura bruno lilly

      Very true. We seem to make our peace with it as the blogging years accrue!

  15. piecefulwendy

    I find techie stuff like that extremely stressful. I’m glad you discovered the fix, though!

    • laura bruno lilly

      HA! See my response to Pete Springer below…I get where you’re coming from, Wendy!

      • piecefulwendy

        My typical response is “maybe if I just ignore it a while longer . . .” – this is not good advice – haha! Calling tech support is right up there, too – too many technical terms for my little brain!

        • laura bruno lilly

          Been there – my first 6-7yrs of blogging I lived on a wing and a prayer…only updated wp once & who knows about those plug-ins? Thankfully I now am at a better hosting service – like I said, kinda fun to toodle around in the cPanel! And you’re right, tech support is a very big deal!

  16. L. Marie

    Oh Laura! So true that WordPress is not for the faint of heart. I switched back to the Classic Editor mode after advice at Ally Bean’s blog. That advice saved the day for so many people!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, I remember that conversation. By the time Ms Bean suggested that, I’d already found my own way around the Gutenberg Block Editor debacle so decided to keep on with that pathway!
      Sooo happy us blogger-buds (especially you!) are trying our best to keep on bloggin’!

  17. Marty

    WordPress is decidedly NOT for the faint of heart. Great suggestions, thank you!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Glad to offer some tips! Anything to keep us blogger-buddies in circulation!!!!!!

  18. petespringerauthor

    I can imagine your feelings of frustration and hopelessness as technology woes do that to me every time. So glad you figured it out.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Until recently (the past 4 years or so), my physical response to anything techie would be classic high-anxiety symptoms: profuse sweating, pounding heart, shallow breathing…Thankfully, such an extreme response is not my ‘automatic’ response anymore – but it took a focused effort on my part to correct it and lots of time for the process to take root!
      I guess cuz you’re a (retired) teacher, that prompted my true confession!

      • petespringerauthor

        Haha! I absolve you of your sins. ? We’re like stylists; people tell us everything. That reminds me of when a child in the class would start to tell a story about their family. I’d cut them off mid-story and say, “I don’t think your mom would want you to share this.” ?

        • laura bruno lilly

          Too funny! I’ll bet those parents were grateful/relieved.

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