Is it good to use older version of a plugin? Well, not recommended. You may find no issues till the time things are working fine on a published site. However, problem comes after updating an older plugin to newer version. There are those bad boys who did not consider the compatibility with others and break the page layout 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 in different scenarios.
Plugins from WordPress Repository Vs Others
WordPress has more than 59 thousands plugins when we updated this article. Good thing is that you can find the version history of each plugin to retrieve the older versions when needed.
Bad thing is that there are huge number of plugins sold by third-party developers on their sites and through marketplaces like Codecanyon. Reverting back older version of these plugins is a tricky task.
Reverting Back WordPress Repository Plugins
If you have problems with freely downloaded plugin from WordPress repository, then you have two options to get the older version.
1. Manually Moving to Older Version
Follow the below steps to manually delete current version and restore old version.
1.1. 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 “Deactivate” link just below the plugin name.
- After that, click the “Delete” link to remove all files of the plugin from your site.
1.2. Downloading Previous Version of WordPress Plugin
Now that you just deleted the plugin causing problem and the next step is to find out the zip file for the previous version of the plugin.
- Go to WordPress.org plugin repository and find out the plugin you wanted to download the older version.
- Check the “Advanced View” link showing on the right sidebar.
- This will enable “Advanced View” tab and show details alike active versions and download statistics.
- Scroll down to bottom of the page and check “Previous Versions” sections under “Advanced Options” heading.
- Click the dropdown and select the previous version number of the plugin that you want to download and click on “Download” button.
- The plugin zip file will be automatically downloaded to your local computer.
1.3. 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 step 1.2 and click on “Install Now” button.
- Activate the plugin once it is installed successfully.
That’s it!!! Check your site, the plugin will be restored to a previous good condition now.
2. Using WP Rollback Plugin
If you do not want to manually rollback, then there is also a plugin for that purpose.
- Navigate to “Plugins > Add New” menu in WordPress admin dashboard and install WP Rollback plugin from the repository.
- Once WP Rollback plugin is activated, there will be a new “Rollback” option enabled for all the plugins. You can see this link by hovering over any plugin name under “Plugins > Installed Plugins” section.
- Click on the “Rollback” option for the plugin you wanted to revert back and choose from one of the older versions. Here you will see all the previous versions of the plugin as maintained under the “Advanced View” section in WordPress plugin repository.
- 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.
You can also use WP Rollback plugin to rollback themes downloaded from WordPress theme repository. As mentioned, ensure to have a complete backup before using this plugin to avoid any unforeseen scenarios.
3. Rollback Third-Party Plugins
Both methods explained above will work only 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 from developer’s site. Some reputed plugins like WP Rocket also offers an option to rollback from the plugin setting page. However, this is not the case with most the plugins that you purchase from marketplaces.
Note: It is sometimes difficult to find the plugin’s incompatibility immediately after updating the plugin thus affects your site’s reputation and user experience till the time you realize the problem. So, it is always recommended to install plugins on your development site and test throughly to safeguard the stability of live site.