WordPress Update 4.2.3 Issues

Many WordPress developers are up in arms this week over the latest WordPress security update that has a major impact on themes that use the shortcodes API. This causes some features to break, depending on how some developers use shortcodes in their themes. This update came from the discovery of a security exploit that was found this week.

WordPress Update

Does WordPress Update 4.2.3 Affect Your Site?

It all depends on how your theme uses shortcodes. It can depend on how you’ve used them in your theme, too. You may want to double-check your theme and make sure that everything looks right. They changed the way shortcodes work inside of html. There are restrictions now, which limit how you use them. For example, you can’t use them inside of quotes inside of attributes. This can get tricky, because tricks that developers have used with shortcodes may no longer work. If you’ve “magicianed” something together, you might wan to go back and check your site to see if it still works.

Should you avoid using shortcodes in your WordPress sites?

Not necessarily. I personally stay away from them, because they cause more problems than anything. For example, one of my sites used a shortcode to generate custom buttons. WHen I changed WordPress themes, that shortcode no longer worked. That means that on every single post where I used that shortcode, I had to go back and delete the shortcode wrapper from around the link. What a pain! That was more work than if I’d coded it myself.

Does that mean you shouldn’t use shortcodes? No, you can use them as much or how often you’d like. However, just keep in mind that they can break, and if you ever decide to change themes, you may be in for a bit of work. Also, if you use a shortcode plugin, you’d better keep it handy, in case your site gets hacked. Even if you use a plugin, they get updated, too, so those shortcodes could change at any time. You are kind of at the mercy of shortcodes and who has control over them.

Do You Use Shortcodes? Has Your site been affected by the latest WordPress update? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.