But these updates aren’t always beneficial. There have been many cases where users update their website and face many issues. Therefore, they are forced to downgrade WordPress to the previous version. In this article, we will explain how to downgrade WordPress to a previous version.
WordPress like any other CMS platforms is constantly being updated to get rid of bugs and add new features. WordPress developers tend to look after every aspect of this CMS when updating it, from security to user-experience.
Backup your website before downgrading
Before we talk about downgrading your WordPress website, it is highly recommended that you fully backup your current WordPress website.
Although, these ways are safe and risk-free, nevertheless, it is recommended that you backup your website in case anything goes wrong. Especially, when you are dealing with your WordPress’ core.
There are a few ways to backup your WordPress website, you can use plugins, manually backup your website or use your cPanel.
BackUp WordPress is one of the most popular plugins the WordPress community uses to backup WordPress website(s). There are many plugins in the official WordPress plugin store, which you can use to backup the website.
Downgrade WordPress via WP Downgrade plugin
As mentioned above, you can manually downgrade your WordPress website. However, using a plugin always works better. Using a plugin will reduce the chance of data loss and errors.
A plugin can downgrade your website in minutes but manually downgrading your website may take a lot of time. Because you will have to transfer your file one by one via FTP.
We recommend using WP Downgrade plugin to downgrade your WordPress website. To download and install this plugin, simply head over to the official WordPress website.
WP Downgrade takes the same route as upgrading your WordPress website to a newer version. But instead, it downgrades it. This plugin is very user-friendly and easy to use.
You just need to type in your desired WordPress version or give a direct link to the plugin to download the previous version. Then the plugin will do the rest of the work on its own.
You can find all the previous versions of WordPress on their official WordPress website or by clicking this link.
Manually downgrading your WordPress website
As mentioned above, other than using a plugin you can manually downgrade your WordPress website. However, it takes a lot of time.
Follow the steps below to manually downgrade WordPress.
The first step – download a previous version
First thing you need to do after getting a backup of your website is to download a previous WordPress version. At the bottom of your WordPress website, you can see which version is currently installed on your website. To download previous versions you need to click this link.
Keep in mind, don’t downgrade to very old versions. Downgrading too much may cause security risks for your website. In newer versions, WordPress has optimized its security level.
Second step – Disabling plugins
The second step is to disable all of your installed plugins. To do so, head over to your WordPress dashboard > Plugins and disable them all.
If you don’t have access to your WordPress dashboard, you can use FTP to rename your plugins folder to disable them.
The third step – Replace your core files
In the next step, you need to use an FTP account to gain access to your host/server. Then head over to your WordPress root and delete wp-includes and wp-admin. Make sure you don’t delete any other files and you are following this guide otherwise you will break your WordPress website.
Now it’s time to downgrade. Unzip the older version you have downloaded. Copy and paste all of the files to your server except wp-content. Do not replace wp-content at all.
The last step – log in and update your database
If you have followed the steps above you can log in to your dashboard without any problems. Once you try to log in you see a message saying you need to update your database. After updating your database everything will work perfectly fine.
Just make sure your WordPress won’t update to a newer version automatically. To disable auto update simply copy and paste the code below to your wp-config.php file:
define( ‘AUTOMATIC_UPDATER_DISABLED’, true );
Downgrade WordPress plugin and theme using WP Rollback plugin
To use older versions of a plugin and theme, you can WP Rollback. This plugin is very user-friendly and easy to use as well.
Keep in mind, this plugin only supports official themes and plugins released from the official WordPress website. To use this plugin make sure you have a disabled auto-update for your theme and plugins.
To do so, simply copy and paste the two code below to your function.php file:
add_filter( ‘auto_update_plugin’, ‘__return_false’ );
add_filter( ‘auto_update_theme’, ‘__return_false’ );
To downgrade a theme or a plugin, head over to plugins and themes page. Select the desired plugin and theme and click on Rollback next to Live Preview, Activate and Edit. By clicking on Rollback you will be redirected to another page where you have to select the version you wish to downgrade to.
Once again, this plugin only supports official themes and plugins. If you don’t see the “Rollback” link in your theme or plugin, then it means it’s not official.