WordPress Logo -- blue in color, 100x100 in sizeGenerally you wanted to be on the very latest version of a WordPress plugin.

However, there are times you do need to be one or more versions behind.

What are some of the reasons behind making such a decision?

Recently a plugin was throwing errors for me after updating to the latest version. The author of the plugin is extremely responsive, and shared the particular bug will receive number one priority for getting fixed. Yet, due to a scheduled extended weekend, the ETA on the fix was going to be several days.

So the choices were live with the bug or downgrade.

Another reason for wanting to downgrade is if the plugin author or team decide to take the plugin in a new direction that is no longer compatible with how you are using WordPress.

wp-clean fix did this in their 2.4.x version when they branched off from doing a great job at keeping your database tables clean to doing that plus theme bundling. If you are like me, you enjoy the cleaning features, but not the bloat of themes and bundling other plugins into it.

So, how do you downgrade a WordPress plugin?

  1. Backup your WordPress database plus content. You can use whatever means you are most comfortable using; I do recommend BackWPup.
  2. Locate the version you want by going to the plugin page for the plugin you want to downgrade, change to the developer tab, look for the Older Versions section, and then download the .zip file to your machine of the version you want to use.
  3. FTP or SFTP to your WordPress site, and change to the wp-content/plugins folder.
  4. Rename the plugin folder of the plugin you want to downgrade to a different name (you are going to delete this folder later; this is just a safety measure).
  5. Now through your WordPress administration area, go to Plugins, Install New, Upload. Your web page address should contain plugin-install.php?tab=upload
  6. Click browse and change to the folder where you downloaded the older version (step #2 above), and select the file. Then click Install Now.
  7. Follow the plugin installation prompts, and active the plugin.
  8. Test, test, test.
  9. If you are happy everything is working, do step #3, find the folder you renamed, and then delete the renamed folder.

You are now on the downgraded version of the plugin.

Caveats? If the upgrades from the version you are on contain security fixes, you don’t have those fixes.

Please contact us if you have any questions.