Although having latest WordPress is good idea, but sometime you may wish to back to earlier version of WordPress installation after upgrading your WordPress. This can happen when your plugins do not work with new version of WordPress and your site is depend to that plugins.
Good news is downgrading Latest Version of WordPress to a older version of WordPress is very easy task and that same as upgrading a WordPress to newer version but in reverse way.
Here I going to share my experience with you, how you can install older WordPress on newest version of WordPress. let say installing WordPress 3.0.0 on WordPress Version 3.2.1 without losing current WordPress setting and data. Save your time and avoid headache and enjoy reading this most wanted WordPress tip!
- First make full back up of your site. Including your WordPress folders and database. You are reading this becase you missed to backup your WordPress before upgrade. Its good practice to backup your WordPress before upgrade or downgrade. You need to have access to your site control panel. Using a ftp program such as Filezilla you can make a copy of all files to your computer. By using a ftp program such as PhpMyAdmin you can backup your WordPress database. Also most control panel have a function that let you to backup everything just by one click.
- Deactivate all active plugins. Login to WordPress admin area and go to plugins section. Select active plugins and deactivate them. Pretty easy. First time I was afraid to lose my plugins and WordPress settings if I downgrade My WordPress . I write down all settings of my plugins. It took almost 2 hours. Good news is you can skip this part! don’t worry you have a full backup. right? ( I hope so!). then you have a option to restore your site to previews state and make a snapshot of setting of bad plugins if needed. Its safe to deactivate your plugin before downgrade. but it can be just fine if you do not do.
- Delete wp-admin and wp-includes folder. ( make sure no plugin use this folders to save something).
( update: I know its little scary to delete these folders. but you can always get these folders back from your backup or you can get a copy of it be extracting latest WordPress zip file. Also I found another easy and faster way. Some Ftp software such as filezilla allow you to drag and drop folder to another location. Simply create a folder with name _oldWP and select wp-admin and wp-includes and drag it to _oldWP folder. This is much faster than deleting these folders and same time it allow you to have them at _oldWP folder)
- get the old version of wordpress that you need from wordpress.org release-archive
at the writing time of this post, most people like to downgrade from wordpress Version 3.2.1 to wordpress Version 3.1.0! that is because most famous plugin such as light box! are not ready to get power of latest WordPress yet.
- unzip your desired version of WordPress and overwrite all files to your website by using ftp program. ( this will copy wp-admin and wp-includes to your ftp as well)
- Go to your site admin area. This time you won’t see WordPress admin login page. Instead you will notice a message that say wordpress need to upgrade current wordpress to new one!!. do not worry. It just shy to say it is actually downgrading but it know how to its job to downgrade your WordPress = )
- login to admin area again (and activate all plugins you need).
WordPress even tell you what plugin were active before downgrade, So you can activate all of them in one step.
Everything will be fine and you can enjoy old WordPress installation on new on WordPress like you never did a upgrade.I tried to write as much as details I could. Please share this post, If you found it useful.
If for any reason you are still afraid to do this scary task. let me know to do it for you. You will need to let me know what is your WordPress admin login details and your ftp login details. Please note this service is not free and it will cost you 50$ that you can pay after successful downgrade using PayPal. I will back up your site first and I take a movie of downgrading process that will show you how I downgrade your site. So next time you can do it your self.