The WordPress improvement staff, in a sequence of slips on October 29,2020, pushed out a flawed update that made it impossible to install new WordPress websites. When the development team paused the update rollout in an attempt to fix the problem, it created even more problems, which in turn required an emergency update to fix all the problems.
Flawed WordPress 5.5.2 Security Update
The routine update was meant to address critical security issues like Cross-Site Request Forgeries, XSS ( Cross-Site Scripting ) attacks, and more was rolled out on October 29, 2020. The fiasco began when the update also introduced a bug that caused new WordPress installations to fail. This is what WordPress explained about the bug “WordPress 5.5.2 makes it impossible to install WordPress on a brand new website that does not have a database connection configured. This release does not affect sites where a database connection is already configured, for example, via one-click installers or an existing wp-config.php file.” To fix this problem, WordPress stopped version 5.5.2 from rolling out to more sites, that’s when WordPress Alpha Update pushed itself out automatically creating further problems. While the WordPress improvement team was occupied getting WordPress 5.5.3 ready to fix the previous bug, WordPress auto-updates began pushing an update all over again. As Version 5.5.2 was still unavailable the automated WordPress system selected an Alpha version of WordPress to be downloaded and installed.
WordPress 5.5.3 Alpha Update – What went Wrong?
The Alpha Version was not supposed to be pushed out through auto-updates, this happened as the WordPress team stopped update in a way that opened the door for the Alpha version to begin rolling out. The slip-up was caused as there was no formal documentation on how to stop a WordPress update. The installation of WordPress Alpha introduced additional WordPress themes and installed Akismet. These installations did not create any issue when installed by publishers other than the burden of keeping them updated. The security risk would arise if the publishers fail to update those themes. The official WordPress announcement said: “Earlier today the auto-update system for WordPress updated some sites from version 5.5.2 to version 5.5.3-alpha. This was due to an error caused by preparations being made for the 5.5.3 release. The 5.5.3-alpha version at this point was functionally identical to 5.5.2 as no development work had been started on 5.5.3, however, the following changes may have been made: The default “Twenty” themes installed as part of the pre-release package. The “Akismet” plugin installed as part of the pre-release package.
WordPress 5.5.3 Latest Version
Finally, the latest updated version 5.5.3 is bug-free and is all that version 5.5.2 was supposed to be. Publishers are encouraged to update to Version 5.5.3 as Version before 5.5.2 contains security issues which make it critical to update to the latest version. WordPress Explained “This maintenance release fixes an issue introduced in WordPress 5.5.2 which makes it impossible to install WordPress on a brand new website that does not have a database connection configured. This release does not affect sites where a database connection is already configured, for example, via one-click installers or an existing wp-config.php file. If you are not on 5.5.2 or have auto-updates for minor releases disabled, please manually update to the 5.5.3 version by downloading WordPress 5.5.3 or visiting Dashboard → Updates and click “Update Now.” Do make sure to check your WordPress installations.