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WordPress Gutenberg 10.2 Causing Fatal Errors

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WordPress Gutenberg 10.2 Causing Fatal Errors via

WordPress Gutenberg

Gutenberg is a visual WordPress site editor that represents a radical departure from how websites were built natively within the WordPress core.

It allows publishers to create sites using graphic user interface of blocks. For example, a web page can be visualized as blocks representing the top of the page (header), the content area, sidebar, etc.

Gutenberg is not yet finished, full site editing capability is still on the way. So naturally as a not yet mature technology bugs are to be anticipated, if not expected.

Gutenberg 10.2 Fatal Error

A member of the Advanced WordPress Facebook Group started a discussion to document a fatal error encountered when updating to Gutenberg 10.2.

The post stated that the fatal error manifested in WordPress version 5.6. It was also noted that a GitHub post on the error noted that Gutenberg 10.2 is not compatible with WP 5.5, either.

WordPress and Gutenberg Release Timeline

WordPress 5.7 was released on March 9, 2021.

The Gutenberg 10.2 site editor was released a little over a week later on March 17, 2021.

Gutenberg site publishers who updated to WordPress 5.7 and then updated to Gutenberg 10.2 should not be seeing this error.

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However publishers who updated to Gutenberg 10.2 but not WordPress itself may experience the fatal error.

The fatal error is particularly prone to happen to publishers who set their Gutenberg installations to automatically update (autoupdate) but aren’t set up to autoupdate WordPress itself.

An error was noted in the official Gutenberg WordPress support forums but at the time of this writing there was no follow up.

The fatal flaw issue was also documented on the official Gutenberg GitHub page.

From the GitHub report:

“After updating to 10.2.0 I got an email about a technical issue with the plugin:

An error of type E_ERROR was caused in line 59 of the file… I was able to de-activate the plugin via ftp. Now I don’t want to activate it until I know this has been addressed.”

Another person posted that they noticed the same thing and posted a screenshot:

WordPress Gutenberg Fatal ErrorScreenshot of WordPress Gutenberg fatal error

The user who published the screenshot followed up with:

“I was running WordPress 5.6. After the upgrade to 5.7, everything started working as expected.”

The person who initiated the original GitHub post affirmed that this was their issue as well.

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“Thanks for letting me know about 5.7. I hadn’t updated WP either, now I can re-activate Gutenberg.”

Gutenberg 10.2 Incompatible with Older Versions of WordPress

Another GitHub Gutenberg report highlighted that Gutenberg 10.2 caused fatal errors in older versions of WordPress.

A publisher using WordPress version 5.5.3 also reported a fatal error that caused a crash.

The person reporting the issue confirmed that it was specific to Gutenberg 10.2, stating:

“I deactivated the Gutenberg plugin 10.2.0. When I tried to reactivate the plugin the fatal error came back.

Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Class 'WP_Block_Supports' not found in..."

The person made a helpful observation and suggestion that Gutenberg 10.2 should not be allowed to update (or autoupdate) on WordPress versions less than WP 5.7.

“It should not be possible for autoupdating Gutenberg plugin on an older WP site. As the result seems to create a fatal error. As there can be a lot of sites that will come across this problem.”

That is a good solution to the problem! If a known incompatibility exists between Gutenberg 10.2 and older versions of WordPress then it makes sense that autoupdates in those situations will stop and generate a warning of an incompatibility.

Users of Gutenberg site editor who are publishing with a version of WordPress that is older than WP 5.7 are may consider it prudent to update to the latest version before updating to Gutenberg 10.2.

Citations

GitHub:
Gutenberg 10.2.0 Locked Caused a Fatal Error #29977

GitHub:
Fatal Error in Gutenberg Plugin 10.2.0 #29972

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Facebook: Advanced WordPress Group (group membership required to View)
FYI, the Latest Gutenberg plugin 10.2 Update Will Cause a Fatal Error

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NEWS

Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

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But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

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One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

[embedded content]

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