When the Yoast WordPress SEO plugin was updated, it became clear that something had gone drastically wrong for some users. Unfortunately, the issue appears to have resulted in fatal errors. Victims of the Yoast upgrade who were negatively affected had to revert to an earlier version of Yoast.
According to the email sent to one customer, their WordPress installation had notified them of a “fatal issue.”
Yoast took responsibility for the problem and quickly repaired it and apologized for what had transpired.
The Yoast Version 18.4 Plugin Update
Yoast 18.4 was supposed to provide a novel feature that used blockchain technology to provide content and structured data timestamps for copyright protection.
The new functionality was integrated with WordProof, a tool that gives verified timestamps that show site visitors when content was created and changed.
Yoast’s WordProof Integration Failed
The WordProof service is a copyright infringement tool and a blockchain certificate for confirming a timestamp. WordProof’s stated objective is to build trust in a website by offering proof and openness.
WordProof claims that: “The internet has deep-seated issues that are escalating daily: mistrust, plagiarism, and fake news. With the use of blockchain technology, WordProof hopes to establish a new norm for a more reliable and trustworthy internet.”
Unfortunately, the inclusion of this feature caused major problems for Yoast users. Some Yoast customers reported that this mistake affected Yoast versions 18.4 and 18.4.1 at the time of writing.
The Yoast free plugin version 18.4.1 and Yoast SEO Premium version 18.2.1, according to Yoast, are both stable versions that no longer incorporate the new WordProof feature. The husband and wife co-founders of Yoast are partners at WordProof, according to their About Us website.
Symptoms of the Yoast SEO Plugin Update that Went Wrong
Some customers were severely impacted by the failed Yoast WordPress SEO plugin update. Problems that have been noted in the past include:
1. An XML sitemap displays all content kinds, including secret content that should not be made public.
2. There was nothing in the Yoast Search Appearance settings tab.
3. Fatal Error message
4. WordPress Notifies You of a Yoast Plugin Error
The WordPress core emailed an alert message about the Yoast plugin, according to one user:
“Since WordPress 5.2, there has been a built-in feature that detects when a plugin or theme creates a catastrophic issue on your site and sends you an automated email to let you know.” In this situation, WordPress detected an issue with Yoast SEO, one of your plugins.”
Another Yoast customer described their problems on the public Yoast help page:
“I can see various issues in the site health status page after updating from Yoast SEO plugin 18.3 to 18.4:
…The REST API encountered an error Performance
…The REST API request failed due to an error.”
Another Yoast plugin user emailed Yoast to report a similar error:
“After updating WordPress 5.9.2 and Yoast 18.4.1, there was a serious mistake.” …An issue occurred during the REST API request.”
The REST API issue appeared to be a rather frequent concern, as reported by other Yoast update victims.
Yoast ruined his website, according to another Yoast plugin user:
“Suddenly, blank pages, error pages, and pages formatted narrowly on a desktop browser (i.e., not taking up the full browser screen as they used to begin to appear on my site.” I was also unable to alter my home page…”
Another appeal for assistance:
“I am unable to make changes to a post or a page. Error is thrown. When I turned off the plugin. The problem then vanishes.
…error: An unexpected error has occurred in the editor.”
The Latest Version of Yoast’s SEO Plugin is Now Stable, According to Yoast
Many customers began commenting on the Yoast plugin help page on WordPress.org after experiencing fatal issues due to the plugin.
Yoast published the following statement in response to the problematic update:
“Unfortunately, some users reported troubles with Yoast SEO 18.4 despite rigorous testing.” We were able to respond fast and roll back this release since they quickly contacted our 24/7 support team. ….We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you.”
Users were told that the latest versions (Yoast SEO 18.4.1 and Yoast SEO Premium 18.2.1) are stable and that WordProof integration would be revisited at a later date.
Yoast SEO Plugin Errors
Yoast is presently incompatible with PHP version 8 and up. At least one person who reported a problem said they were running PHP 8.0. Someone inquired if Yoast was compatible with the latest version of PHP, version 8. x, in an unrelated support inquiry.
Yoast’s customer service person wrote:
“Unfortunately, we haven’t had a chance to properly test the plugin with PHP 8 yet.” The WordPress community as a whole is still working on it.”
As a result, PHP 8.0 probably exacerbated the issues for that particular user.
Yoast advises using the most recent stable version of their plugin. It’s a good idea to make sure your website isn’t running PHP 8.+ and, if possible, to stage the site beforehand to make sure it works properly.