WordPress 4.3 Term Splitting

The WordPress 4.3 update includes automatic shared WordPress 4.3 term splitting that can affect some of the themes settings.

1. Terms splitting explained

Older WordPress versions (prior to version 4.1) used to create shared terms between different taxonomies when the term has the same name. For example, if you have a post category called “featured” and you also have a portfolio category called “featured”, WordPress will save these two categories as one row in the database instead of two different rows and they would share the same ID.

Since WordPress 4.1 shared terms are no longer created – terms with the same names would be saved as different rows in the database and would have different IDs. However, many WordPress installations that have been created prior to the WordPress 4.1 update still have shared terms and now with the WordPress 4.3 update those terms will be automatically split. With the example above, when the term splitting occurs, the IDs of the “featured” post category and the “featured” portfolio category will be changed in the database.

2. How this can affect the themes

Since the terms splitting will change the IDs of some of the terms, this can affect the theme’s elements that store references to the terms IDs, such as some elements (like sliders or services boxes) can lose their default order or when added to a page, they can load items from other elements from the same type.

The term splitting won’t affect all of these sections/settings, but can affect some of them depending on your current setup. When affected, there won’t be any data loss, however some of the settings will need to be reapplied.

3. What you should do

Story, Porcelain, Mineral and Evermore themes:

We have released updates of the themes that are most likely to be affected by the term splitting – Story, Porcelain, Mineral and Evermore. If you are using one of these themes, all you have to do is make sure that you are using the latest version of the theme prior to installing WordPress 4.3. If you have the latest theme update installed prior to updating to WordPress 4.3, when a term splitting occurs, the theme will change all of the references from the old IDs to the new IDs and will prevent those issues.

If you install the WordPress 4.3 update before installing the theme update, and you notice that some of your sections are not loading the correct set of items or the items have lost their order, you would have to adjust the changes manually. For more information, please refer to the “If some sections are affected by the terms splitting” section below.

Other themes:

The rest of the themes are highly unlikely to be affected by the terms splitting, however we would recommend checking all of your pages after you update to WordPress 4.3 to make sure that everything is in order.

If some sections are affected by the terms splitting:

  • If it is a slider, go to the page settings and reselect the slider name in the slider settings section. After this just save the changes.
  • If it is another element such as services boxes, go to the page that contains the boxes, click on the element in the editor to edit the settings and select the set that you would like to display. After this just save the changes.
  • If some of the theme elements (such as slider items or services boxes items) are not showing in the correct order, just go to the section where you have created them (for example, for the Content slider in the Story theme go to Story -> Content Slider) and reorder the items to change their default order. After this just click on the “Save Order” button.
  • If a gallery page or a blog page doesn’t load the selected set of categories, go to the settings section of the page and re-apply the category settings. After this just save the changes.

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