WordPress down: Websites across world stop working after strange glitch

Websites across the world have stopped working because of a strange WordPress glitch.

The issue meant that websites either failed to load or did so with default templates, making them look like a blog.

It hit major publishers such as the BBC, Techcrunch and The Sun. But it also affected companies that use WordPress blogs for their official news hubs, such as Facebook.

In an update posted to its blog, WordPress said the issue was with its VIP Go service, which allows companies to use its blog technology on their own websites. That meant that the problem quickly rippled out across the various websites that use it, which includes many of the world’s biggest media organisations.

The problem was leading to pages completely stopping working, the company explained, meaning that users might see a 503 error if they tried to load pages.

But it was also leading to “missing theme files”. That meant that the personalisations that websites apply on top of WordPress’s default blog template – to make the pages look like their own – had disappeared, meaning they simply loaded like any other WordPress blog.

The issues also meant that any attempts to make changes to the pages would simply force the websites to revert back to their previous state, explained Jeremey DuVall, who works in customer support at Automattic, which runs WordPress, in a blog post. 

WordPress explained that the problem had been located and a fix had been rolled out, but that it might not appear on all websites immediately.


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