How to Downgrade A WordPress Plugin?

15 minutes read

Downgrading a WordPress plugin involves reverting to a previous version of the plugin that was installed on your website. Here are the steps to downgrade a WordPress plugin:

  1. Back up your website: Before making any changes to your plugins, it is crucial to perform a backup of your website. This ensures that you have a copy of your current website in case any issues arise during the downgrade process.
  2. Identify the plugin version: Determine which version of the plugin you want to downgrade to. You can usually find the previous versions on the WordPress plugin repository or on the plugin developer's website.
  3. Deactivate the plugin: Go to your WordPress admin dashboard, click on "Plugins" on the left-hand menu, and then locate the plugin you want to downgrade. Click the "Deactivate" button beneath the plugin name to deactivate it.
  4. Delete the current plugin version: After deactivating the plugin, a "Delete" link will appear below the plugin name. Click on it to remove the current version from your website.
  5. Install the previous plugin version: To install the previous version, go to the WordPress plugin repository or find the desired version on the plugin developer's website. Download the plugin's ZIP file to your computer.
  6. Upload and activate the previous version: In your WordPress admin dashboard, go to "Plugins" and click "Add New." Select the "Upload Plugin" option and choose the ZIP file you downloaded in the previous step. Click "Install Now" and wait for the upload to complete. Once done, click "Activate Plugin" to activate the downgraded version.
  7. Verify functionality: After downgrading the plugin, it is essential to test the plugin's functionality thoroughly. Make sure it works as expected and doesn't cause any conflicts or errors with other plugins or themes.


Remember, downgrading a plugin should only be done if you are facing issues or compatibility problems with the latest version. However, it is generally recommended to keep your plugins updated to ensure security and performance improvements.

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Can I downgrade a plugin to any previous version or only specific versions?

It depends on the plugin and the platform you are using. Some plugins may offer the option to downgrade to any previous version, while others may only allow you to downgrade to specific versions that are officially supported.


In general, it is recommended to follow the recommended or supported downgrade paths provided by the plugin developer to ensure compatibility and stability. Attempting to downgrade to unsupported versions may lead to conflicts or issues.


If you are unsure about the downgrade options for a specific plugin, it is recommended to consult the plugin's documentation or contact the developer for guidance.


Can I downgrade a plugin if I no longer have the previous version file?

It is possible to downgrade a plugin even if you no longer have the previous version file, but it can be more challenging. Here are a few methods to try:

  1. Plugin repository: Check if the plugin's repository, such as WordPress.org or the plugin's official website, provides access to older versions. Many repositories keep a history of plugin versions, allowing you to download and install a previous version directly.
  2. Backup files: If you have a recent backup of your website files and database, you can restore the backup to a separate environment and extract the older version of the plugin from there. Once you have the plugin file, you can upload and install it on your current website.
  3. Third-party sources: Search for third-party websites or forums that may have archived versions of the plugin. However, be cautious when downloading from unofficial sources, as they might provide compromised or outdated versions.
  4. Contact the developer: Reach out to the plugin developer directly through their support channels. Explain the situation and request a copy of the older version. Some developers are willing to assist or provide you with the previous version upon request.


Remember that downgrading a plugin may introduce security vulnerabilities or compatibility issues. It is recommended to thoroughly test the older version on a staging or development site before implementing it on a live site.


How can I prevent a plugin from automatically updating to a newer version?

To prevent a plugin from automatically updating to a newer version, you can follow these steps:

  1. Disable automatic updates: Depending on your WordPress version, you may need to install a plugin to disable automatic updates. Install and activate the "Easy Updates Manager" or "Disable Updates Manager" plugin from the WordPress Plugin Repository.
  2. Configure the plugin: Once the plugin is activated, go to the "Settings" or "Updates" section in your WordPress admin dashboard. Look for the plugin you want to prevent from updating automatically.
  3. Disable automatic updates for the plugin: In the plugin's settings, find the option to disable automatic updates specifically for that plugin. Uncheck or disable the automatic update option.
  4. Save changes: After disabling the automatic update option for the plugin, make sure to save the changes.
  5. Regularly check for updates manually: Since you've disabled automatic updates for the plugin, it's essential to periodically check for updates manually. Navigate to the "Plugins" section in your WordPress admin dashboard and look for the specific plugin. If an update is available, you can choose whether or not to update it manually.


By following these steps, you can prevent a specific plugin from automatically updating to a newer version, giving you more control over your website's plugin management.

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What is the impact of downgrading a plugin on my website's performance?

Downgrading a plugin on your website can have various impacts on its performance.

  1. Compatibility issues: Downgrading a plugin may cause compatibility issues with other plugins or themes on your website. This can lead to conflicts and result in reduced performance or even broken functionality.
  2. Security vulnerabilities: Plugins are often upgraded to fix security flaws and vulnerabilities. By downgrading a plugin, you might be exposing your website to potential security risks, as you won't benefit from the latest security patches.
  3. Performance optimization: Plugin upgrades often include performance optimizations, bug fixes, and code improvements. By downgrading, you may miss out on these enhancements, resulting in slower page load times and overall website performance.
  4. Lack of new features: Plugin upgrades often introduce new features and functionalities that can improve the user experience or provide additional functionality. Downgrading means forgoing these new features and potential improvements to your website.
  5. Limited support: Plugin developers primarily focus on maintaining and supporting their latest versions. If you downgrade a plugin, you may receive limited support or encounter difficulties in finding help for issues specific to older versions.


It is generally recommended to ensure that your plugins are kept up to date, however, if you need to downgrade a plugin due to specific reasons, it's crucial to thoroughly test your website and monitor its performance and functionality afterward.


How can I backup my WordPress website before downgrading a plugin?

There are several ways to backup your WordPress website before downgrading a plugin. Here are a few methods:

  1. Use a WordPress backup plugin: Install and activate a reliable backup plugin from the WordPress plugin repository. Some popular backup plugins include UpdraftPlus, BackupBuddy, and Jetpack. These plugins usually offer automated backup options, allowing you to schedule backups at regular intervals. Take a backup of your website before proceeding with any plugin downgrades.
  2. Use a hosting provider backup: Many hosting providers offer automatic backups as part of their service. Check if your hosting provider provides this feature and how often backups are performed. Take advantage of these backups or create a manual backup through your hosting control panel.
  3. Manual backup through cPanel/File Manager: If your hosting provider offers cPanel access or a file manager, you can create a manual backup of your WordPress website by compressing the entire public_html folder and downloading it to your local computer. This method is more technical and requires familiarity with accessing and managing files through cPanel.
  4. Export the WordPress database: If you don't want to back up the entire website, you can export the WordPress database separately. Most hosting providers offer access to phpMyAdmin, where you can export the database as an SQL file. However, keep in mind that exporting only the database will not include your plugin files or any other media assets.


Remember to store your backups in a secure location, preferably outside of your website's hosting environment. This ensures that you can restore your website easily if anything goes wrong during the plugin downgrade process.

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