Today we have noticed that most non HTTPS (secure) WordPress sites, accessed from the latest version of Google Chromes Browser (v.44) are seriously broken! A great many of these WordPress Websites have been broken since this most recent version of Google Chrome was rolled out over the last few days.
Naturally, this is upsetting for many businesses that are reliant on their website to generate sales or enquiries. Their websites users are finding them to be unusable and dysfunctional to boot!
The problem is apparent in both the WordPress websites designed layout and its underlying functionality which are both completely broken!
How did this problem arise?
It would seem that a bug was unintentionally introduced into Google’s latest version of their flagship Browser in order to encourage the use of HTTPS in websites. Google has been aiming to deliver a more secure Web experience to Website visitors and this would seem to be a side-effect of this approach.
It is of course important to keep users secure online so Google had the right intentions with this recent roll-out!
The bug itself encourages the use of a secure link – where one is available – the Browser then forces this version of the Browser to redirect to HTTPS pages that have not been created, hence the problem!
What can I do to fix the problem?
What seems to be happening is that the browser is sending the wrong HTTPS header value across, it is sending ‘1’. The WordPress function implicated is ‘is_ssl()’ – this function reads this erroneous value and then sets the HTTPS as TRUE!
The end result is that the site is then broken as its layout and functionality are turned into unintelligible gibberish!
Browser such as Safari, Firefox, Opera, IE or earlier versions of Google Chrome are unaffected.
There is a fix available at https://github.com/IshYoBoy/aaa-ishyoboy-google-chrome-44-ssl-fix and further advice regarding how to implement it and what other options there are to resolve this problem in a timely manner.
I have a broken WooCommerce site – what can I do?
If you are running an Ecommerce site using the WooCommerce Plug-in within the WordPress theme that you are using then this is also a potential problem that you may need to deal with.
You should update your version of WooCommerce to the latest version of the Plug-in as an emergency fix for this serious issue for now.
Doing this ought to fix the problem but only for those using the WooCommerce Plug-in within their WordPress website.
Please do bear in mind that you may have other WordPress themes and Plug-ins within your WordPress installation and that some of these will also call the’is_ssl()’ function mentioned above. If so then these sites will be similarly affected and thus may not work either.
When will this bug with Googles Chrome Browser be fixed?
As the Chrome browser is a Google product then naturally they would be expected to fix the Browsers bug. This will therefore be resolved (probably) within the next release of the browser from the Chrome team at Google.
The rollout of this highly desirable and newly fixed version of the browser is expected to start around July 27 2015 but may take a little time to be rolled out to all locations. Should your business be reliant on its website then this is of course a major issue to you. If you follow the guide at the link then you should be well on the road to recovery of your website!
What happens once Google have fixed this Chrome Browser bug
This is an interesting question because, if you have followed the advice that we have linked to above then you may well have downloaded a plug-in that will then become redundant once the browser bug has been fixed! It is best practice to remove unused Plug-ins from WordPress installations for speed, security and other reasons too!
Here at Best Hosting we have the experience of hosting many different mission critical and enterprise wide WordPress websites. As responsible hosting service providers we are doing our utmost to get this message out to those that are in need of help right now.
We have found that our clients, with web hosting on our state of the art Cloud based Servers, have been unaffected by this nasty bug which is good news indeed for our website hosting customers!