How to Revert Plugin to Older Version in WordPress?

Is it good to use older version of a plugin? Well, not recommended till the time things are working fine on a published site. But it’s not always the case that everything should work fine after updating an existing plugin on a live site. There are those bad boys who did not consider the compatibility with others and break the readability of your site. It could be missing of small icons or images to a complete mess of elements on a page. In such a scenario on a live site the first thing you would like to do is to downgrade the version of the plugin to reinstate the site to previous good condition. Here we explain how to revert plugin to older version in WordPress.

Manually Reverting Back to Older Plugin Version

Step1 – Delete Your Existing Plugin

The first step is to delete the plugin causing issue on your site.

  • Navigate to “Plugins > Installed Plugins” menu in your WordPress admin dashboard.
  • Locate the plugin and click on the “delete” button just below the plugin name.
  • Confirm deleting all files of the plugin.

Now that you just deleted the plugin causing problem and the next step is to find out the plugin zip file for the previous version of the plugin.

Step2 – Downloading Previous Version of WordPress Plugin

  • Go to WordPress.org plugin repository and find out the plugin you wanted to download the older version.
  • Check the “Changelog” and note down the previous version which was working fine on your site.
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Check Previous Plugin Version in WordPress
Check Previous Plugin Version in WordPress
  • Go to “Developers” tab and look for “Other Versions” section.
Downloading Older Version of a Plugin in WordPress
Downloading Older Version of a Plugin in WordPress
  • Click on the version you noted down from the change log and the plugin zip file will automatically download to your local computer.

There will be subversions of the plugin mentioned in the bracket with the identification as “svn”. SVN indicates subversion and contains all file of the plugin for the tracking purpose of plugin author. Click on the version number of the plugin to start downloading.

Step3- Uploading Plugin ZIP File

Follow the below steps to upload plugin zip file back to the server. You can also use FTP to do this.

  • Navigate to “Plugins > Add New” menu in your WordPress admin dashboard.
  • Click on the “Upload Plugin” button.
  • Choose the plugin ZIP file downloaded in step2 and click on “Install Now” button.
  • Activate the plugin once it is installed successfully.

That’s it!!! Check your site, it must have been restored to a previous good condition now.

The method explained above holds good for the plugins installed from WordPress repository. In case if you have downloaded the plugin from developer’s site then get the previous version of the plugin zip file in step2 from developer’s site.

It is always recommended to install plugins on your development site to safeguard the stability of live site. It is sometimes difficult to find the plugin incompatibility immediately after updating the plugin thus affects your site’s reputation and user experience till the time you realize the problem.

Using WP Rollback Plugin

Navigate to “Plugins > Add New” menu in WordPress admin dashboard and install WP Rollback plugin from the repository.

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WP Rollback WordPress Plugin
WP Rollback WordPress Plugin

Once WP Rollback plugin is activated, there will be a new “Rollback” option enabled for all the plugins under “Plugins > Installed Plugins“.

Rollback Option Enabled
Rollback Option Enabled

Click on the “Rollback” option for the plugin you wanted to revert back and choose the available versions. Here you will see all the previous versions of the plugin as maintained under the “Changelog” section in WordPress plugin repository.

Rolling Back to Selected Version
Rolling Back to Selected Version

Click on the “Rollback” button to see the final warning to backup your WordPress site. Assuming you have a complete back, continue with the “Rollback” option to revert the plugin to selected older version.

WP Rollback - Final Confirmation
WP Rollback – Final Confirmation

1. WP Rollback plugin will only work for the plugins downloaded from WordPress repository.

2. It can also be used to rollback themes downloaded from WordPress theme repository.

3. Ensure to have a complete backup before using this plugin to avoid any unforeseen scenarios.

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