Yoast SEO 19.7 causes fatal errors and website crashes
Yoast SEO WordPress plugin version 19.7 was discovered to contain a conflict with other plugins, which resulted in fatal errors on websites.
This is the third time this year that a conflict with another plugin has caused a Yoast update to fail.
Luckily, Yoast investigated the reports and quickly released a new update which fixed the issue.
WordPress Fatal Error
There are several causes of fatal error, but in this situation it was caused by a Yoast SEO update where the coding conflicted with another plugin.
This can happen because two plugins try to do something but one essentially overrides the other or stops working.
A metaphor for a plug-in conflict might be two cars going in opposite directions on a single road.
Ideally, a plugin takes into account in its coding other plugins, especially the most common ones, so that none of the plugins tries to do something that prevents other plugins from doing their job.
This is exactly what happened with the Yoast 19.7 update.
Yoast 19.7 had a conflict with other plugins (or custom coding) that change the admin login URL.
Changing the login URL is a security measure designed to trick hacker software that automatically navigates to the default URL for administrator logins and attempts to guess login password credentials.
Yoast Announces Update Bug
Yoast was 100% transparent about the bug and posted a tweet that told users what was going on.
“After the release of Yoast SEO 19.7, we were informed that this version causes a fatal error when used in combination with plugins or code that changes the default WordPress login URL.
We have identified the problem and are working on a solution.
One of the changes introduced with Yoast 19.7 (according to the Yoast plugin development changelog) was an improvement to how Yoast handles fatal errors by preventing it from running in the login page.
“Improves fatal error handling in the front-end by preventing Yoast SEO from running in the login page, allowing users to access their dashboard.”
Could that have been the cause?
Why do fatal errors occur with plugins?
Plugin conflicts are not exclusive to Yoast. It’s just more noticeable when it happens to Yoast because their user base is in the millions.
However, this is the third time this year that a fatal error plugin conflict has been associated with a Yoast plugin update this year.
Yoast SEO Plugin founder Joost De Valk explained in a tweet that it is not always possible to account for the thousands of plugins in the WordPress ecosystem with which a coding conflict could arise.
“This is the kind of #WordPress plugin conflict situation that I literally don’t know how to prevent from happening.
Over 60,000 plugins: how to test your plugin against all of them.
If anyone has any good ideas, I’m all ears”
Joost too tweeted that Yoast always tests its plugin updates before they are released with most of the most popular plugins.
“We’re testing against the bigger ones, not caring so much, but a few small ones together still cause enough headaches.”
“…it’s never fun when you break stuff. We test very rigorously and always things pass. Creating plugins for a large number of users is “just” difficult.
Solution offered in a few hours
Yoast released a new update within two hours of announcing that they had identified a bug in the update and were working on a fix.
We fixed the issue and released a hotfix. You can now safely update to Yoast SEO 19.7.1.
We have marked the incident report at https://t.co/sBvJewCAeX as resolved.
— Yeast (@yoast) September 20, 2022
Recommended action to take
Yoast has released a new update, version 19.7.1. The Yoast Development Changelog Reported:
“Fixes a bug where a fatal error would be generated in combination with certain plugins that change the standard login page URL.”
Yoast SEO plugin users may consider updating to the latest version of Yoast, version 19.7.1
Featured image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero