WordPress sites loaded via Google Chrome Browser v44 are broken!

It has come to our attention that anyone trying to access many WordPress sites using the latest version of the Google Chrome Browser, Google Chrome v44.0.2403 will currently see a seriously broken website. Many of these WordPress sites have been broken since this new Google Chrome version was rolled out over recent days.

This is causing a great deal of distress to many businesses that rely on their website to generate traffic and hence new enquiries as their websites are both un-viewable and unusable!

The problem manifests itself, in some cases, in both the WordPress websites layout and its underlying functionality being completely broken.

Why did this problem arise in the first place?

We believe that this bug was accidentally introduced into Google’s latest version of the Browser to encourage the use of HTTPS in websites, to deliver a more secure Web experience to Website visitors.

Keeping users secure online is of course a noble cause but by encouraging the use of a secure link (if there’s one available!) the Browser forces this version of the Google Chrome Browser to redirect to HTTPS pages that DO NOT EXIST!  Ooooops!

Why is my WordPress website broken and what can I do to fix the problem?

The problem is due to the browser sending an incorrect HTTPS header value across of ‘1’. The WordPress function ‘is_ssl()’ then reads this value and sets the HTTPS as TRUE!

What this results in, for WordPress sites that are not set to use SSL, and where there is naturally no Security Certificate present, is for all files such as JavaScripts, CSS, Images and links to be set to go through a HTTPS connection in error!

This then breaks the sites layout and functionality which is most unfortunate!

This problem does not affect other browsers such as Safari, Firefox, Opera, IE or earlier versions of Google Chrome either.

There is an emergency fix available for affected websites here.

Why is my WooCommerce site broken and what can I do to fix the problem?

For those with an Ecommerce site using WooCommerce in their WordPress theme, this is also a potential problem.

For these users their webmaster can simply update their version of WooCommerce to the latest version as a quick fix.

This should correct the problem for those using the WooCommerce Plug-in on their WordPress website.

Bear in mind that there may be other themes and Plug-ins within the WordPress installation that also call the’is_ssl()’ function. If so these sites may still not work!

When will the underlying problem with Googles Chrome Browser be fixed?

This is down to Google releasing patches into a new version of Google Chrome.

We have heard that the problem should be fixed within a new version of the Browser which is expected around 27th July. If you can live with any issues until then that is fine. If not, we hope that this information has helped you to get your Website back up and running on the Chrome Browser for now!

What to do once Google have fixed the bug in the Chrome Browser

There will be a fix out as soon as possible for the Browser. Once that has been rolled out, if you have installed the Plug-in linked to above then you should remove it from your WordPress installation as it will not be needed. This is because it is best practice to remove unused Plug-ins from WordPress installations.

At MintCandy we have developed many WordPress websites and have found that, where they are hosted on Cloud based Servers, then there is no issue, website layout and functionality does not seem to be affected! Interesting indeed.

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