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How to Downgrade WordPress to an Older Version

WordPress is constantly evolving with new updates being released frequently. However, there may be instances where you need to downgrade WordPress to an older version. This could be due to compatibility issues with plugins or themes, or simply because you prefer an older version. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to downgrade WordPress to an older version.

Backup Your Website

Before making any changes to your WordPress installation, it is important to create a complete backup. This includes your database, themes, plugins, and uploads. Having a backup makes sure you can restore your website to its original state in case something goes wrong during the downgrade process.

Two methods can help you backup your site:

  1. Backup Plugins: Use plugins like UpdraftPlus or All-in-One WP Migration and Backup.
  2. Manual Backup: Create a backup through your hosting control panel.

Check PHP Compatibility

Double-checking the compatibility of your target WordPress version with your server’s PHP version ensures that it works smoothly with your server’s PHP version.

1. Check PHP Version. You can do this via your WordPress dashboard by clicking on “Tools”> “Site Health.”

2. Click the “Info” tab> Scroll down to “Server,” and expand the section to see the PHP version.

PHP Version Via WordPress Dashboard - How to Downgrade WordPress to an Older Version

3. Verify that the PHP version on your site is compatible with the WordPress version you intend to downgrade to. You can do this by checking the PHP and WordPress compatibility chart.

4. If you need to downgrade the PHP, you can do this via the cPanel. Some web hosts allow you to change the PHP version from the hosting dashboard or cPanel. If your host doesn’t allow direct changes, you may need to contact their support team.

Deactivate All Plugins

The next step is to deactivate all your plugins. This is necessary to prevent any conflicts during the downgrade process.

  1. Head to your WordPress dashboard.
  2. Go to the “Plugins” section.
  3. Deactivate all active plugins.

Downgrade WordPress to an Older Version

There are a couple of ways you can downgrade your WordPress to an older version:

Method 1: Using a Plugin

The easiest way to downgrade your WordPress website to an older version is via a plugin.

  1. Download the WP Downgrade plugin.
  2. Go to Settings> WP Downgrade, specify the version to downgrade to, and follow the prompts.

Method 2: Manually Download the Desired Version of WordPress

  1. Visit the WordPress release archive to find the version you want to downgrade to. Download the package and unzip it on your computer.
  2. Use an FTP client like FileZilla to connect to your web server.
  3. Navigate to your WordPress installation directory and upload the older version files, ensuring you overwrite the current files.
  4. Do not delete the “wp-content” folder, as it contains all your themes and uploads.

Method 3: Restoring a Backup

Another method you can use is restoring a backup of your site from when your site was running on your desired version of WordPress. Most hosting providers include a backup service at different intervals depending on the hosting plan. Contact your hosting provider to see how you can restore the backup from their panel dashboard.

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