Advice Wordpress

Visual Composer Not Appearing Correctly in WordPress

This article is written for those familiar with Visual Composer running on Self Hosted instances of WordPress. For more information about this KILLER plugin that greatly enhances the development process, please visit:

Today I ran into a new problem on two of my websites. The back-end editing tool called Visual Composer was not working. When I clicked on a Page to edit, the Visual Composer icon would spin, but none of the Elements that make up the page would appear. On the front end (what visitors see) the site looked fine, but for the developer wanting to make edits, there was no way to get into Visual Composer. Classic Mode worked fine, for what its worth if you feel like sifting through a bunch of shortcodes, which defeats the purpose, no? Backend Editor and Frontend Editors were both broken.

Two sites running Visual Composer on two different themes, both exhibiting the same issue points to something bigger than just a broken theme. I figured the recent WordPress upgrade to 4.5 “Coleman” was the culprit.

What to do?

I reached out to commercegurus, the developers one of my themes. Within just a few minutes they had responded with the fix. So obvious once you read it, but up to this point I’ve never had to update this sort of plugin before.

It’s good to note there are two types of plugins used by WordPress, updates for which are accessed in two different locations.

Here is the fix:

  1. Log into your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Navigate to Appearance > Install Plugins
  3. If your Visual Composer plugin is out of date (and it most likely is, that’s why you’re reading this), click the update button. For me I went from V 4.8.1 to 4.11.2.
  4. Once the update is complete, return to the Page you are trying to edit, and note with glee that your Visual Composer is back up and running and ready to go.

visual composer plugin update

What other strange problems have you run into with WordPress and Visual Composer? We’d love to hear from you.

  • tara

    okay so Im having the exact same issue with my visual composer and currently its running 4.8.1 version, but I do not have an “update” option within the plug in… how do I fix this?

    • scotteallen

      Hi Tara,
      I ran into a similar problem just after posting this article. It seems some themes support an “automatic” update like the one I’ve mentioned above. However, some don’t. In that case, you have to contact the developer. In my case when I reached out to Theemon because VC stopped working on their theme Transport Logistics, they sent me a link so that I could download the updated VC Plugin. I had to then FTP that up to the server, replacing the old one. They said this was a one off.

      Hope this helps. All the best.

  • Stephie Vanneste

    Hi I updated my WP theme last night to the latest version and now my Visual Composer is not working. I have updated all my plugins including Visual Composer and it is still not working. Any ideas on how to fix this?

    • scotteallen

      Hi Stephie,

      Your best shot is to contact the developers who created your WordPress theme. They should be able to send you a replacement version of Visual Composer. Love to hear if this works for you! 🙂

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