How to rollback a WordPress update

So, you just updated WordPress to the coolest, latest version; but you can’t access your website, the site is not working properly, or maybe there are errors showing throughout the website.

For the most part, these are issues are caused by a theme or plugin that has not been updated to work with the latest WordPress version or the WordPress version doesn’t support the PHP version running on your server. Another issue could be — and this is my favorite — that your webmaster hacked WordPress, the theme or a plugin.

The ideal solution

The ideal way to fix all these issues is to get the latest version of the plugin or theme; get your hosting company to upgrade the PHP version; ask your webmaster to stop hacking files and to learn the WordPress API.

All the fixes mentioned above take time to implement; so, what do you do to get your website running immediately?  You rollback.

Files Backup

If your web hosting company provides a backup or you have a backup of your files, use them to restore your website. The backup will also restore any hacks made by your webmaster. Ask your company if they can restore the files for you or check your hosting administration area, it usually has restoration tools.


WordPress version archive.

If you don’t have a back up and you know that WordPress files were not hack. You can rollback by downloading WordPress from the release archive. Make sure you download the version running before the update.

  • Back up your current website, files and database.
  • Download WordPress.
  • Unzip the files.
  • Login into your server using an FTP client.
  • Upload the all files except for wp-content to your site.
  • Make sure you don’t overwrite your wp-config.php file.
  • Login into WordPress admin area, you will get a prompt to update your database.
  • Update your database.
That is it, you have successfully downgraded WordPress and your website should be working fine. If you have any question or need any help downgrading your website, please feel free to post a comment.