Most of the times we upgrade WordPress to newer versions to get new features and fixes. Some times when we do that, something in our website breaks, either a plugin or a theme and we need to downgrade to maintain website’s functionality. This happened to me recently and I decided to write this post to help others that have the same issue. This can be done in several ways, in this post I will describe how to do it in 5 simple steps.
Step 1: Acquire the version of WordPress you want to install
Download the version you want from the WordPress release archive. If you have it already you can skip this step.
Step 2: Deactivate all the plugins
Log in to the WordPress dashboard, go to plugins, select all of them and in Bulk Actions select Deactivate and then press Apply. After deactivating all the plugins log out.
Step 3: Backup the wp-content folder
Move, copy or rename the wp-content folder. Leave everything else because you might have files you uploaded in the WordPress directory such as favicon, logos or other files. The rest of the WordPress files will be overwritten.
Step 4: Restore older version
Upload to the WordPress folder the files from step 1. You can skip wp-content or leave it and replace it afterwards. It depends on which method is easier for you. I use to upload the whole .zip file and extract it on the server, it is much faster and easier. After restoring the files, replace or move back the wp-content from step 3.
Step 5: Update WordPress Database
Log in to the WordPress dashboard. You will see the Database Update Required screen. Click on Update WordPress Database and after it finishes press Continue.
That’s it, you have downgraded WordPress. You can now activate your plugins. Let me know if you found this post helpful by posting a comment.