Bringing Back Old WordPress
Going Back to WordPress 3.8 is Easy
Do you hate the latest version of WordPress? Sick of the horrible visual mode editor, lost your favourite advanced editor? Detest the new image manager?
A know a lot of people who are, who cannot live with the new things WP4 has brought along. People who are so desperate to have functional content editing tools they were thinking of switching platforms. Some of these people are my clients! In fact most of my clients have been complaining since WordPress 3.9 arrived, wanting their easy to use tools back.
The Last Site Reverted Today
The last of my customers who was on the edge of switching to another CMS authorised his site revert last week. It’s now running on 3.8.5, and he’s a happy chappy.
If you also want to revert, read this section of this article about security!
How to Go Back from WordPress 4 to 3.8
Before you start reverting your installation, you must first do some essential things.
- Backup your database and save to you desktop or somewhere safe
- Backup all your files including the old WordPress files
- Download a copy of WordPress 3.8.5 from the WordPress Release Archive
Once you’ve done these things you are ready to start work.
Switching WordPress Version Files
Login to your hosting account and head over to the file manager.
Once there, download a copy of wp-settings.php and wp-config.php as well as .htaccess and robot.txt (if you have one) and save these files somewhere convenient. The next thing to do is go to your FTP client application and create a folder to work from.
Open up the zipped WordPress 3.8.5 package and extract the contents to the work folder created above – you’ll see all the WordPress files there. Delete the plugins folder!
Go back to your hosting file manager and do the following.
All WordPress files in the root directory (or whichever folder WordPress was installed in). In most instances those will be the only files in the root directory not in their own folders. (you can leave .htaccess and robots.txt in place however). Compare the files there with the files provided in the WordPress package you downloaded earlier. Delete these files.
Delete the following folders
Do not delete the wp-content folder!
Go to your FTP client and upload all the WordPress files to your site.
Once complete you can login to your site the way you always do. Once logged in you’ll get a message telling you WordPress has been upgraded and you need to upgrade the database. Run the database update and log back into your site.
I’ve Had No Problems Upgrading to WP 3.8.5 from WP 4
I’ve now completed more than 10 WordPress reversions, a process I choose to call an upgrade” without any problems.
I call this process an”upgrade” simply because in my opinion WP 3.4 is a downgrade from earlier versions of WordPress. It has less functionality than older versions. It’s also not nice to use!
You’re going to be told going back to an older version of WordPress is dangerous, risking the possibility hackers will crack your site.
Yes, there is that risk, so it’s vital take additional security measures to mitigate against this if you run older versions of WordPress.