Has your site broken after an elaborate WordPress update? We know how frustrating it can be, but sadly, this is a very common situation for WordPress users. As a website owner, your priority is to restore your website to its normal working condition so that your visitors do not face any inconvenience while browsing your website.
So, if you are wondering how to restore your broken website, here are two options to consider:
- Rollback the WordPress update: This means to rollback (or revert) to the previous version of your WordPress installation. WordPress rollbacks can either be done manually using an FTP client or with the use of automated WordPress rollback plugins installed on your website. Manual rollbacks require technical expertise as you need to browse through and analyse your website backend files. Alternatively, you can get technical help from a WordPress expert.
- Restore your backup data: If you have used a WordPress backup tool to take regular backups of your website, you can restore your website from the latest backup version captured. You can either turn to your web hosting service or a third-party backup plugin like BlogVault.
However, even after executing these measures, it’s still possible for your website to show errors or not load on any browser. In such a scenario, you could either approach a technical expert to resolve this issue or look for online solutions on WordPress forums like WordPress.org.
But, if you are looking for an option to restore your website hassle-free, you can seek the help of automated tools. We’ve got the right details on it for you! Let’s get started on how you can execute a successful WordPress rollback using two automated plugins that simplifies the entire process.
How To Safely Rollback A WordPress Website
As mentioned in the introduction section, a WordPress rollback means rolling back the applied update and reverting the website to its previous state. But is it recommended every time you end up with a broken website after an update? No, not all the time! Let’s look at this simple scenario. If you are running an E-commerce shopping website, your customers may continue to make new purchases even while you are updating your website. In this case, if you perform a rollback after the update, you will surely end up losing this purchase-related data.
A better alternative to avoid this situation would be to opt for a real-time backup that retains the new changes on your website even after restoring it to the previous backup version. This is where WordPress backup plugin tools can be quite handy.
Coming back to the rollback functionality, let’s now talk about the two following WordPress plugins that can safely complete the job:
- WP Downgrade
- WP Rollback
But before you start applying these plugins onto your compromised website directly, it’s always a wise choice to try these plugins on a WordPress staging environment instead of your live website. This staging environment allows you to apply the rollback on the replica website and check if it fixes your broken website before merging the changes with your live website. Sounds awesome, right?
Want to rollback your Core WordPress version to an older one? The WP Downgrade plugin is just the right tool for this. Easy to download from the WordPress.org website, WP Downgrade has currently over 50,000 installations and is supported on WordPress version 3.0.1 (or higher).
If you want to know how to execute the rollback, here are the steps:
- Download and install the WP Downgrade plugin from the WordPress repository.
- Log in to your WordPress website and view the list of installed plugins to see if it includes WP Downgrade.
- Click the plugin settings to open the following “WP Download Options” page.
As displayed, the plugin is currently in “Inactive” state.
- To activate the WP Downgrade plugin, enter the WordPress version (that you want to downgrade to) in the “WordPress Target Version” box, before saving the changes.
That’s it! This is all you need to do to use this plugin and rollback your Core WordPress to the specified version. Once you activate the plugin, your website goes into “Maintenance mode” until the entire rollback process is complete. If needed, you can check the WordPress version after the rollback from the “Updates” section of your WordPress dashboard.
Want to deactivate the plugin after the rollback quickly? Here’s a tip: Keep the “WordPress Target Version” box empty and save the changes. You can now see the latest WordPress version in the “WP Downgrade Options” page.
Apart from rolling back the Core WordPress version, you should be able to rollback the installed WordPress plugins and themes to their previous version. The WP Rollback plugin does just that! What’s more? You don’t need to download any plugin/theme files too. With over 100,000 installations, WP Rollback plugin is compatible with WordPress version 4.8 (or higher).
What’s best about this rollback plugin? Once it is activated, it enables you to rollback all your installed plugins and themes from the same page. You can individually select the plugin/theme version to which you want to rollback.
Want to execute the WordPress plugin/theme rollback? Here are the steps :
- Download and install the WP Rollback plugin from the WordPress repository.
- Log in to your WordPress website and view the list of installed plugins to see if it includes WP Rollback.
- Activate the WP Rollback plugin.
- Browse through all your installed plugins again. You should now see the “Rollback” option under each of the listed plugins
- Click “Rollback” to roll back each of the listed plugins to a previous version.
To perform a rollback on an installed WordPress theme, navigate to the “Theme Details” page (from Appearance > Themes). For each installed theme, you will see the “Rollback” button at the bottom right corner. Click “Rollback” and select any one of the displayed previous versions of the theme. This will rollback your installed theme to the specified version.
That’s it! In a matter of a few steps, you can rollback all your installed plugins/themes to their previous version using the convenient WP Rollback plugin.
Updating Your WordPress Website Safely (Post Rollback)
Now that you have managed to rollback your WordPress website components (Core and Plugins/Themes), you can expect your website to function as it was before the update. While this solves the problem at hand, you would still need to update your WordPress website safely without breaking your site again.
Here are a few tips that you should always consider before updating your WordPress website:
- We recommend that you don’t apply the updates directly on the live website. Create a staging (or clone) website where you can test if your website is functioning properly after applying the updates. If yes, then you can safely merge the changes with your live website. If not, create another staging website and try again. Either way, your live website is not impacted.
- Just change the order in which you update your website components. For example, if updating the core followed by plugin/theme update is causing an incompatibility problem, reverse the order by updating the plugins/themes first followed by the core.
- After the update process, check your WordPress audit log file that reports the errors. You can analyse the errors to check what is causing the problem.
- If all the above fails, you can try posting your concern on the online WordPress.org forum to check if other WordPress users are facing the same issues with the WordPress version and seek online help.
As a WordPress user, applying regular updates to your website is a necessary task but it has its share of risks like website errors or even a broken website. Automatic website rollback functionality provided by WordPress plugins like WP Downgrade and WP Rollback is the best mode of restoring a broken website after a failed update. Thanks to these tools, you can perform the entire rollback without any technical help or knowledge