Restore an older version of a theme or plugin

We usually update themes and plugins installed whenever respective authors release a new version of that program installed in our WordPress software. But at a time I had need to restore an older version of a theme as I was using child theme and the parent theme author made numerous changes in theme files as well as added some new class references which were making child theme incompatible.

As a conclusion we need to revert to a previous version of a plugin/theme when the latest patch or update does not work properly, has conflicts with a theme or other plugin, or has changed so drastically we just want to go back to the version we had before.

So I needed to restore a previous version of the theme and I’m mentioning here the steps I followed for advantage of our blog readers.

Restore an older version of a theme or plugin

We are taking Plugin restoration as example.

  1. Go to https://wordpress.org/plugins/ and search for the one you wish to restore
  2. Verify the plugin by cross checking plugin and author information available at your site with WordPress Plugin Repository.
  3. Under the navigation menu, go to the ‘Developers‘ navigation tab. There you can see other versions listed.
  4. Click on the version you wish to obtain and it will start downloading. Extract it afterward.
  5. Log on to your server with FTP or SSH
  6. Delete/rename the newer plugin directory as well as upload the old plugin directory to ‘wp-content/plugins/‘. 
  7. Activate the plugin under your WordPress Dashboard.

For themes, the steps are same except WordPress theme repository is https://wordpress.org/themes/ and ‘wp-content/themes/‘ is directory at your server.

In this way you can restore an older version of a theme or plugin in your WordPress installation.  Last but not least be aware about it’s limitation. If the database stayed the same on upgrade, that’ll do it. If not, could be a fair bit harder and don’t forget to take backup of your site and database occasionally as well as before attempting such theme/plugin upgradation/restoration. 

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