How to downgrade your WordPress.org installation

wordpress_normalIf you are one of the unfortunate souls whose blogs ended with broken features after updating to version 3.5, or became completely unusable, this is for you.

I recently upgraded from WordPress 3.4 to 3.5, but while it didn’t seem to affect this blog, my little shop and its shopping blog were crippled. That blog is a newer installation and it only has like 10 plugins installed, yet one of the first features to break was the WYSIWYG editor. The WYSIWYG editor was stuck in HTML mode and it wouldn’t go to visual mode, so the kitchen sink wouldn’t even show up, and I couldn’t post any pictures at all, the media button wouldn’t work.

The first thing to do in that case is to disable all plugins, which I did. I was able to use the visual mode, but it wouldn’t go back to HTML again. I also tried alternative solutions that didn’t work either.

After looking around for answers about fixing this, I decided not to waste any more time and downgrade to the working version I had before. It seems a lot of people were looking for the same thing, and for the very same reason, so here are the basic “bare” instructions. Note that this only works for WordPress.org installations, if you have a WordPress.com blog with similar issues you must take that with their support center.

If you backed up your database before upgrading, then you may minimize potential problems after downgrading. If you didn’t, well, I hope you don’t encounter major problems.

The first thing you need to do is:

  1. Go to the WordPress.org release archive, scroll down, and download the version you were using before.
  2. Go to Plugins and disable ALL your plugins, all of them, don’t leave even the type that let’s your user know your site is under maintenance, all of them have to be disabled.
  3. Log out of WordPress.

The next part has to be done via either FTP or your hosting cPanel.

  1. Login to your hosting cPanel or FTP client, and go to your site’s root directory and locate the core WordPress files.
  2. Delete wp-admin and wp-includes folders ONLY, don’t touchwp-content, don’t even look at it.
  3. Extract the file you downloaded from WordPress.org, and copy all the WordPress files and folders, except wp-content.
  4. Log into your WordPress dashboard. You will see this message.
  5. Click on “Update WordPress Database”.
  6. Click on “continue” to login to your wordpress dashboard.

And that’s it, you have downgraded your WordPress installation. You can find the entire guide with pictures on etuts.

My shopping blog is back and working just like before. The only annoyance right now is that yellow bar at the top of the admin panel asking for the upgrade, but it will have to be some other time, I need the plugins I’m using or the little shop won’t work. However, this blog didn’t seem to be affected, or maybe I haven’t had to use any of the potentially broken features yet.

RIPT Apparel

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