Elementor Update Breaks Site: Step-byStep Fix

An Elementor update breaks site because it’s a plugin that is critical to site functionality.

Updates are integral to daily website maintenance. But, it’s a carefully choreographed dance. In fact, if your site crashed after updating the Elementor plugin, you are far from alone. You may have tried to reach out to Elementor for help or read their blogs on troubleshooting. But the information can be overwhelming, it’s a lot of work, and sometimes it plain doesn’t work.  

An update is critical because of their added functionality and security fixes. But what can you do if a critical plugin like Elementor crashes your site every time you update it? Do you have to sacrifice security and functionality for your site? Can you afford to just use the older version? 

As a website owner, you shouldn’t have to choose between a plugin update and your site’s stability. In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of recovering your site and provide guidance on how to safely update the plugin without facing the same issues again.

TL;DR: Elementor is a crucial plugin for your website. Always take a backup and test updates on a staging site before applying them to your live site to avoid crashes. We recommend you use BlogVault for both. It takes reliable, automatic, offsite backups. It also has an easy to use staging site.

Updating Elementor can feel a lot like playing a high-stakes game. On one side, you have the importance of keeping everything updated for security and functionality; on the other, you face the risk of your site crashing and causing chaos.

If you find yourself on the losing side of this update gamble, don’t worry. Below, we’ve compiled a list of steps to help you get your site back on track and ensure smoother updates in the future.

Step 1: Recovering your site

If you reach out to Elementor support, they will suggest that you regenerate CSS and sync libraries. What does that actually mean?

Think of CSS as the instructions that tell your site how to look—like colors, fonts, and where things are placed. Sometimes, these instructions can get mixed up or outdated when Elementor updates. By regenerating CSS, you’re asking Elementor to rewrite these instructions from scratch so everything appears as it should.

Your website also uses widgets and templates from Elementor, which are like pre-built sections and elements. Syncing your libraries ensures you have the latest versions of these widgets and templates. It’s like refreshing your toolkit to work seamlessly with the new updates.

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Find the Elementor section.
  3. Click on Tools.
  4. Press Regenerate CSS.
  5. Press Sync Library. 

Step 2: Rollback the update

Sometimes, the simple fixes might not be enough. If regenerating CSS and syncing libraries don’t solve the problem, you may need to restore your site to a previous state and test for incompatibilities. Here are two ways to do it:

  1. Restore from a backup 

If you have recently taken a backup of your site, now is the time to use it. Restoring from a backup will revert your site to a stable version, minimizing downtime and frustrations.

BlogVault users can rollback just the single plugin from the dashboard, keeping all other parts of the site intact. 

  1. Rollback to a previous version (if you don’t have a backup)

In the absence of a backup, you can revert to an earlier version of the Elementor plugin itself. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Navigate to the Elementor section and click on Tools.
  3. Find the Version Control tab.
  4. In this tab, you will see an option to Rollback Version.
  5. Select the previous version of Elementor you wish to revert to from the dropdown menu.
  1. Click on the Reinstall button.
  2. Give it a minute, and your site should be back to its previous state.

We strongly recommend taking a backup with BlogVault once you’re done. So you have a fallback for the future. 

3. Manual restore

In case you can’t access your WordPress admin area to rollback to a previous version, you’ll need to get your hands a little dirty. That’s right, we’re going to use FTP. 

  1. Go to the the WordPress plugins repository and find the Elementor page.
  2. Click on the Advanced View link on the right hand side.
  3. Scroll right to the bottom, where you should see a dropdown menu with Development Version text, next to a Download button.
  4. Find the last stable version of Elementor for your site and download it.
  1. Next, fire up your FTP client and connect to your remote server with FTP credentials. You should be able to get these from your hosting dashboard.
  2. Navigate from the root folder to the wp-content/plugins folder.
  3. Locate the Elementor folder and rename it to deactivate it.
  4. Then, upload the zip of the older version.
  5. Check if your site starts working again and follow the steps below.

Step 3: Create a staging site

Once your site is back to its functional state, it’s crucial to avoid future disruptions by testing updates in a controlled environment. This is where a staging site comes in handy. A staging site is a clone of your live site, allowing you to test updates and changes without affecting your actual website. 

Apart from bulletproof backups, BlogVault is a great tool for creating staging sites effortlessly. It also provides an easy Merge option, allowing you to seamlessly integrate the updates into your live site.

Incorporating staging into your workflow ensures that your site remains stable and functional, even when updating critical plugins like Elementor.

Step 4: Update the plugin on the staging site

This might seem counterintuitive but update the Elementor plugin on a staging site. You’re trying to recreate the problem, so you can fix it. So, go back to the dashboard and trigger the update again.

Elementor updates sometimes also involve database updates. If you see that notification, make sure to apply that update as well. 

Step 5: Revert to default theme

When troubleshooting failed plugin updates, it’s essential to rule out compatibility problems caused by your current theme. Reverting to a default theme, such as WordPress’s Twenty Twenty-Four or Elementor’s Hello theme, can help identify if the theme is problematic.  

  1. Log in to your staging site’s WordPress dashboard. This is the cloned environment created using BlogVault or another staging tool.
  2. In the WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes.
  3. Locate the default WordPress theme like Twenty Twenty-Four or Elementor’s Hello theme. These themes are often pre-installed with WordPress.
  1. Click on Activate to switch to the default theme.
  2. If the site works perfectly with the default theme, it indicates that your custom theme might be causing the problems. You can either seek support from your theme’s developers or consider making necessary changes to ensure compatibility.
  3. If the issue persists, you know the theme is not the problem, and you can proceed with further troubleshooting, focusing on plugins or other site configurations.

Step 6: Troubleshoot plugin conflicts

Plugins can sometimes conflict with each other or with updates to your themes or other plugins like Elementor. Deactivating them helps isolate which plugin might be causing the problem. Deactivating plugins one by one, or all at once, helps determine the root cause of the issue without affecting the live functionality of your website. 

  1. Use an FTP client like FileZilla, Cyberduck, or any other FTP software. You’ll need the FTP credentials provided by your web hosting service.
  2. Once connected, go to the root directory of your WordPress installation. This is usually a folder named public_html, www, or after your site’s name. Within it, navigate to the wp-content/plugins directory.
  3. Within the plugins folder, you will see folders for each plugin installed on your site. Deactivate individual plugins, open the plugins folder and rename specific plugin folders by adding `-deactivated` at the end (e.g., `elementor-deactivated`).
  4. After renaming, try accessing your site again. You should be able to reach your WordPress dashboard if the issue was caused by a plugin. If you regain access, go to Plugins in your WordPress dashboard. You will see that the plugins you renamed have been deactivated.
  5. Rename the plugins-deactivated folder back to plugins (or revert the individual plugins’ folder names to their original state). Reactivate plugins one by one from the WordPress dashboard and check your site’s functionality after each activation. This helps identify the specific plugin causing the conflict.

Step 7: Clear cache

Think of a cache as your website’s short-term memory, storing temporary data to speed up load times for returning visitors. However, this stored data can become outdated or corrupted, especially after updates. This leads to display problems or functionality issues. By clearing your cache, you’re essentially resetting this temporary memory, ensuring that your website pulls the most recent content and settings. Whether it’s from a caching plugin installed on your WordPress site or your web browser’s cache, clearing this data can resolve many common glitches and ensure your site functions smoothly with the latest updates. Always remember to clear cache in both your browser and any caching plugins to achieve a thorough refresh.

Step 8: Check if you have all of Elementor’s requirements

Elementor has a set of requirements. It checks for things like PHP versions and server compatibility. This is a way to make sure that the plugin has everything it needs to function.

Step 9: Merge changes

After thoroughly testing your updates and changes in your staging environment, it’s time to merge them into your live site. This process ensures that all the improvements and fixes are applied without interrupting your site’s functionality. With BlogVault, you can just click Merge.

Step 10: Test everything

Check that everything works correctly after updating a plugin like Elementor. 

  • For starters, check for basic functionality. Verify that your homepage and other key pages load correctly. Check for any broken elements or missing content. Ensure that you can access and use other critical admin tools, such as SEO plugins, caching plugins, and analytics integrations.
  • Ensure that your site’s main navigation menu works as expected. Test any dropdown menus or mega menus for functionality.
  • Test all forms on your site, including contact forms, submission forms, and any other interactive forms. Ensure form submissions are processed correctly and that confirmation messages appear as intended. Test user registration, login, and account management functionalities to ensure they work smoothly.
  • Verify that pop-ups, sliders, tabs, accordions, and other interactive elements function smoothly. Test any call-to-action buttons to make sure they are operational.
  • If you have a WooCommerce site, check that product listings, descriptions, and images display correctly. Ensure that the add-to-cart functionality works without errors. Go through the process of adding items to the cart and proceeding to checkout. Verify payment gateways and that orders are processed and confirmed correctly.
  • Open Elementor on various pages and test editing any elements to ensure the editor loads and works without errors. Check that all widgets and modules you commonly use are functional.
  • Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to test your site’s load times and performance. Compare results before and after the update to ensure that there is no significant drop in speed.
  • Check the site’s error logs for any PHP errors or warnings that might have been introduced due to the plugin update Ensure your server’s resources are not being overwhelmed.
  • Lastly, test how your site looks and functions on different devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile). Ensure that all elements are responsive and display correctly on various screen sizes. Verify that your site works seamlessly on different browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge.

Pro tip: If you use both Elementor and Elementor PRO, they have to be updated separately. 

Why is an Elementor update breaking your site?

Updating the Elementor plugin is necessary to avoid vulnerabilities. But, if they fail, the disruptions can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to ensure the latest features and security patches are applied. Understanding the common causes and types of errors can help you troubleshoot more effectively.

According to Elementor, you can tell a lot from the different types of errors. 

  1. Fatal Error: Uncaught Error

This is a type of critical error that causes your site to stop functioning entirely. You may see a message like Fatal error: Uncaught Error in /path/to/wordpress/file.php. This indicates that something in the codebase has gone wrong, which is preventing the site from executing properly.

  • Elementor requires specific versions of WordPress to function correctly. If your WordPress core is outdated, it may not support the latest version of Elementor, causing compatibility issues and crashes.
  • Just like WordPress core, your database must also meet certain version requirements. An outdated or corrupt database can lead to problems when Elementor tries to read or write data.
  • Conflicts with other plugins can cause issues, especially if multiple plugins are trying to perform similar functions or if another plugin interferes with Elementor’s operations. Incompatible plugins can lead to fatal errors or performance issues.
  • Themes deeply integrated with Elementor might not be compatible with the latest updates. Issues can arise from custom templates, widgets, or CSS that do not align with the new version of Elementor.
  • Improper folder naming within the WordPress directory can lead to issues where Elementor cannot locate or execute its necessary files. This generally happens if the folder name is manually changed or incorrectly configured during installation.
  1. Fatal errors with the word Elementor in it

If the error message includes the word Elementor, it suggests that the problem specifically lies within the Elementor plugin. This could be due to a bug in Elementor, conflicts with other parts of your site, or issues with Elementor’s own modules or functionalities.

Using a beta or developer version of Elementor can introduce instability as these versions are typically not fully polished. They might contain bugs or untested features that can break your site.

  1. Third-party add-on critical errors

Critical errors that mention third-party add-ons indicate that a plugin or extension designed to work with Elementor is causing the issue. These errors can severely affect site performance and functionality.

Add-ons designed to extend Elementor’s functionality may not always keep pace with Elementor’s updates. Elementor’s advice is to reach out to the author of the add-on for a compatible update or support to resolve these issues.

Final thoughts

Elementor is designed to make your life easier by providing powerful tools to help you design and customize your website effortlessly. However, this convenience comes with a dependency—your WordPress site relies heavily on Elementor for functionality and appearance. Because of this, it’s crucial to take necessary precautions whenever updating the plugin to avoid disrupting your site.

Always start by creating a backup of your site. This ensures that you have a safety net to fall back on in case something goes wrong. Tools like BlogVault make it simple to not only back up your site but also create a staging environment where you can test updates safely. Using a staging site allows you to identify and resolve potential issues without risking your live site’s functionality.

By carefully managing updates and using best practices like backups and staging, you can continue to leverage the powerful features of Elementor while maintaining a stable and reliable website. Taking these steps will help you ensure that any updates enhance your site rather than becoming a source of problems.

FAQs

Why is my Elementor page broken?

Your Elementor page may be broken due to several reasons, including:

  • A recent plugin update or an incompatible plugin might be causing issues. Try deactivating all plugins except Elementor to see if the problem resolves.
  • Your current theme may not be compatible with the latest version of Elementor. Switch to a default WordPress theme, like Twenty Twenty-Four, to check if the issue persists.
  • Ensure that your WordPress core, Elementor, and other plugins are up-to-date. Compatibility is often key to resolving broken pages.
  • Outdated cached data might cause your site to display incorrectly. Clear your website and browser cache to see if it fixes the problem.

Why is Elementor Pro crashing my WordPress site?

Elementor Pro might be crashing your WordPress site due to:

  • Your hosting environment might not meet Elementor’s requirements, especially in terms of PHP version, memory limit, and necessary extensions.
  • Conflicts between Elementor Pro and other plugins, or even with WordPress itself, can lead to crashes. Make sure all components are compatible.
  • Some add-ons designed to extend Elementor’s functionality might not be up-to-date or properly tested. If an add-on is causing the crash, contact the author for support.
  • An incomplete or failed update can result in corrupted files or database entries. If these issues arise, restoring from a backup or rolling back the update can help.

Is Elementor slowing down my website?

Elementor may slow down your website if:

  • Using many widgets, animations, and heavy elements can impact load times. Optimize your page content for better performance.
  • Large images and media files can significantly slow down your site. Use optimized images and lazy loading techniques.
  • Running too many plugins or additional scripts can reduce performance. Deactivate any unnecessary plugins and clean up unused scripts.
  • Your hosting environment plays a large role in site speed. Ensure you are using a reliable host and that your server resources are sufficient for your site’s needs.

Is it safe to update Elementor?

Yes, it is generally safe to update Elementor, but to ensure a smooth experience, take the following precautions:

  • Always take a full backup of your site before performing any updates. Tools like BlogVault can help you easily manage backups.
  • Test the update on a staging site before applying it to your live site. This approach helps you identify any potential issues in a controlled environment.
  • Ensure that your WordPress version, other plugins, and themes are compatible with the new Elementor update.
  • Keep an eye on Elementor’s release notes and community forums to stay informed about any known issues or additional steps required for the update.

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