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WP Downgrade (15 posts)

  1. ceosmatrixgroup
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    From the WP Dashboard, I would like to be able to return to an earlier version of WP like I can return to an earlier version of a Theme. The reasons are obvious. My current development site was rendered not operable by my upgrade to 3.6. Using a well documented procedure from the www, I was able to downgrade to 3.5.2. Site is workable again. I will remain with 3.5.2 until the Theme developer solves the problems (Theme component, plugin...) caused by the upgrade.
    It would be very helpful if the following excellent procedure could be fully executed in the Dashboard:

    http://mrinternettips.com/?p=1395

    If my site were live, it would be very important to get it working again as soon as possible. This would be possible if the downgrade were possible in the Dashboard.
    Speaking as a businessman (who happens to be a physicist - engineer - mathematician entrepreneur), I am making this WP feature request.

  2. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    We do not recommend downgrading to an earlier version of WordPress for security reasons. See this article for a more in-depth explanation as to why running older versions of WordPress are terribly unsafe. So I don't see this ever being added to WordPress as a feature. It would far better (and safer) to temporarily switch to a WP 3.6 compatible theme until your theme's developer has resolved any issues.

  3. ceosmatrixgroup
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    As a businessman, I ask myself what is more important with a WP problem upgrade: an operational website's uptime; or security and functionality - that has not been a problem with the current or earlier version - and a non-functioning website for days, maybe weeks, maybe months until the problems are sorted out?
    It is a myth that you can just quickly switch temporarily to another WP Theme. If your WP website has taken more than a week to develop - is more than pages with sidebars - the site design, layout, navigation, components, plugins, shortcodes, conflicting CSS – HTML - PHP, branding… will not translate.
    Think Boeing, American Airlines, or Expedia. Think eCommerce. Not all sites are simple Blogs. Think National Instruments that is one of the models for our site. Would you ask any of them if they were using WP to switch to a different Theme until the current WP problems are solved? They would not. What they would do is run a development test site with later WP versions until all the problems are all solved before going live. They would continue to run the latest stable version of WP until the next version in the upgrades is totally stable.
    You might want to Google "WordPress downgrade" before you try to propagate your solution.
    We are one of many who are very grateful for a simple and successful Downgrade procedure. In the future, we will do what other companies do. Run a test site until all the problems are solved. And when we go live with the next version of WP, we will quickly Downgrade if we had not discovered all the problems in the test site particularly if the problems render parts of the website inoperable or just unacceptable for any reason including aesthetics or branding.
    A WP website is made up of: WP, Design – Theme, Content. Currently, if there is a problem with Content or simple one page changes, Downgrades to earlier Revisions from the Dashboard are used until the problems can be solved. If there are problems with a recent Theme – Design upgrade, the Theme can be Downgraded from the Dashboard immediately. What remains is to be able to Downgrade WP immediately from the Dashboard if there are serious problems that render parts of a live website non-functioning or even just visually unacceptable. Fortunately, there is a well-defined procedure for the Downgrade as I have referenced. It is just not a part of the WP Dashboard yet.
    My request is to make the procedure a part of the Dashboard so that all website Revisions can be managed from there.

  4. 0t15r3dd1n
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Well, it is pretty clear that ceosmatrixgroup's reasonable request is not going to happen. That is unfortunate.

    I have invested in premium themes for my two membership websites which I can no longer effectively administer or add to following the upgrade to WP 3.6. These sites are my livelihood.

    Changing themes is not an option for all the reasons stated by ceosmatrixgroup. The only practicable solution is to manually downgrade to a previous stable version of WordPress.

    The developers have said this is not a good idea. I ask them this: Which is better from a user's point of view, a version of WordPress that is stable and works, albeit is slightly less secure OR a more secure version of WordPress that does not work in the real World?

    By the way, I have a several more WordPress sites. I am not updating any of them until the issues with WP 3.6 are resolved.

  5. Andrew
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Wouldn't it be safer to install WordPress locally (with the same stuff as your live site) and update that to see if it breaks? Then you could narrow down what is responsible (theme or plugin) and then remove that from your live site when you upgrade.

    It is a myth that you can just quickly switch temporarily to another WP Theme. If your WP website has taken more than a week to develop - is more than pages with sidebars - the site design, layout, navigation, components, plugins, shortcodes, conflicting CSS – HTML - PHP, branding… will not translate.

    I don't think that was ever intended by the suggestion to switch themes, but that you'd have a working site rather than a broken one.

    The only practicable solution is to manually downgrade to a previous stable version of WordPress.

    Why do you believe this is a solution and the only solution?

  6. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    As a businessman, I ask myself what is more important with a WP problem upgrade: an operational website's uptime; or security and functionality

    As a business woman and professional developer of 12 years, I can guarantee that security is the most important priority. Cleaning up a hacked site is going to lead to a lot more downtime (think days or even weeks with a totally unusable site) compared to perhaps a change in the site's look or the loss of 1 function on an otherwise perfect site.

    It is a myth that you can just quickly switch temporarily to another WP Theme.

    I do it all of the time and can have a site running with new widgets etc in a few hours. What IS a myth is that you can safely run an older version of any open software application. You can't - full stop.

    CNN, Time, NBC Sports - these sites run the latest version of WordPress at all times.

    You might want to Google "WordPress downgrade" before you try to propagate your solution.

    May I suggest you try searching these forums for "hack" or "hacked". Also try reading http://blog.sucuri.net/

    I have invested in premium themes for my two membership websites which I can no longer effectively administer or add to following the upgrade to WP 3.6.

    Then you need to take this up with the developers/vendors of those themes. They had months to test their themes out in WordPress 3.6 beta. Why didn't they? It is up to theme & plugin developers to ensure that their product (paid or otherwise) is compatible with the latest version of WordPress. It is not up to WordPress to ensure that it is compatible with their products. That said, a great deal of time & effort goes into trying to ensure backwards compatibility but there is a limit. The onus is really on 3rd party developers to check their products so that their users do not suffer.

    I am not updating any of them until the issues with WP 3.6 are resolved.

    Your issues are with your commercial themes - not WordPress core. In the meantime, you may want to acquaint yourself with the steps you will need to take when your older sites are hacked:
    http://codex.wordpress.org/FAQ_My_site_was_hacked
    http://wordpress.org/support/topic/268083#post-1065779
    http://smackdown.blogsblogsblogs.com/2008/06/24/how-to-completely-clean-your-hacked-wordpress-installation/
    http://ottopress.com/2009/hacked-wordpress-backdoors/

  7. ceosmatrixgroup
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Thank you for your comments and suggestions. I am sure they are all well-meaning. You miss the point.

    You are not an expert at running my business. That is my number one priority. All previous versions of my base theme run on the previous version of WP. None of the recent ones run on the latest WP.

    Sorry, I just don't believe this statement:
    "CNN, Time, NBC Sports - these sites run the latest version of WordPress at all times."

    And I do not believe that they would change themes even if you did it for them. I doubt that one person virtually overnight could maintain the same look and feel of these sites with a different theme. Many people, not just one, are responsible for keeping these websites running.

    How many multi-million$ WP websites have you done? How many do you personally maintain?

    I do not believe that they would run the latest version of WP if the latest versions of their base theme did not work.

    How many man-woman hours do you think are invested in their sites? Maybe more than one person could provide in a lifetime?

    I believe that CNN, Time, NBC sports and many others do what I do. Just give us the tools to conveniently do it! Let us make the right decision for our business! If not, I like them and many others will continue to run an earlier version of WP until the problems are solved. We will return to earlier versions of our website using dashboard tools except for WP.

    If I followed your advice my website would be non-functioning now for 7 days and counting.

  8. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    You are not an expert at running my business.

    No but you are only 1 user amongst approx 18 million WordPress users. And I do have some experience in securing (and rescuing) WordPress sites.

    Sorry, I just don't believe this statement

    http://vip.wordpress.com/clients/

  9. ceosmatrixgroup
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Your logic is faulty and misleading! As are your implied conclusions based on elementary statistics or not!

    Of those 18 million WP users, do you think I am the only one not running WP 3.6? How many are simple - a few man days to develop? How many are complex - a few man years to develop? Is there a bell curve of complexity, and at what point on the curve is a downgrade the best solution to a serious WP functionality problem?

    Do you really think that all the VIP sites are running WP 3.6 or would be if their site didn't work? And would not return to an earlier version of WP that worked?

    How many of those 18 million sites do you maintain, and how many have you secured and rescued?

    How many VIP sites do you maintain, and how many have you secured and rescued? I did not see anywhere what WP version they are all running.

    Is WP 3.5.2 really as bad as you would have us believe - or even earlier versions?

    Have we decided to ignore server security here?

    Do you really think that WP users that return to earlier page revisions, design revisions, theme revisions... that work better, do not return to earlier versions of WP that work better?

    You might want to take a course or two in logic and elementary statistics.

    I will continue to use the WP Downgrade procedure I recommended and referenced, as needed, as will many others.

    I will continue to ask for the procedure to be incorporated into the WP Dashboard.

    I will continue to believe in the ability and intelligence of the operators of a business to make the best business decision with respect to the version of WP they run to keep their critical website operational.

  10. esmi
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Of those 18 million WP users, do you think I am the only one not running WP 3.6?

    No. I am sure that there are others running similar risks by using older versions of WordPress.

    Do you really think that all the VIP sites are running WP 3.6

    Yes - they are.

    WordPress is not a business. It's free, open source, software. As such, it is highly unlikely to ever incorporate any feature that would encourage users to use older, unsafe, versions, If that is not suitable for your needs, there are other CMS applications that I am sure you could use.

  11. Andrew
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    I did not see anywhere what WP version they are all running.

    Sucuri has a tool that checks for malware on websites, but it also identifies whether a website is using an old version of WordPress: http://sitecheck.sucuri.net/scanner/ . You can try out those VIP sites to explore this.

  12. Andrew
    Forum Moderator
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Your logic is faulty and misleading! As are your implied conclusions based on elementary statistics or not!

    You might want to take a course or two in logic and elementary statistics.

    What's with these personal attacks? Esmi is genuinely trying to help you.

  13. bkapt
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    WordPress needs to make restore points that work like 'System Recoveries' that restore your WordPress to the desired version/point in time, especially when it comes to installation updates that do not provide sufficient warning of making significant changes to a pre-existing website. Ostensibly, there is some sort of "restore" function in the new version of WordPress that does not restore previous website versions. It seems all too logical, so I am unclear why this option hasn't been already been made available. Where has the focus on 'user-friendly' gone?...Alas, this might fall on deaf WordPress ears.

    The key is to work on solutions, provide full disclosure of well-tested installation affects that is posted along with updates, and future prevention of such mishaps. All of our energies are better focused towards that end point.

    Business owners should learn several lessons from how WordPress operates as well as its versatility issues. In the end, we are accountable to our businesses and not WordPress. Yes, it is annoying and revenue-impacting when the unexpected happens, but we must learn, deal with it, and make progress!

  14. WordPress needs to make restore points that work like 'System Recoveries' that restore your WordPress to the desired version/point in time

    Or... All WordPress users should realize that they need to take responsibility and ownership of their work then form and implement simple backup strategy? ;)

    I'll let you all in on a public secret. *Leans close and whispers* As long as you have a good file and database backup then you can always roll back your installation to where it was previously. It's fool proof and always works as a roll back.

    http://codex.wordpress.org/WordPress_Backups
    http://codex.wordpress.org/Backing_Up_Your_Database
    http://codex.wordpress.org/Restoring_Your_Database_From_Backup

    As someone who supports WordPress users here (just as you do, thanks for that BTW) I know that not everyone actually takes ownership of their installation. But that problem will never be solved by adding more overhead and automation. What solves it is having better educated users and that's really why everyone is here helping out.

    It's the contributions of users like you and I here that do that educating. And there's a whole effort to make better documentation for all WordPress users.

    http://make.wordpress.org/docs/

    Self-hosting your own WordPress is work. It's not for everyone and there is no shame in using a managed service or paying someone to do the house keeping.

    But if you do anything with your installation that is worth preserving then it behooves you and all users to understand and get those backups working and learn how to restore them.

    Business owners should learn several lessons from how WordPress operates as well as its versatility issues.

    I don't know what you mean by that but I think you mean something along the lines of what I wrote above. Good times. ;)

  15. ceosmatrixgroup
    Member
    Posted 11 months ago #

    Enough! Enough! Enough!
    My kingdom for revision, version, and roll-back control – hereinafter, version control - on the WP dashboard. Can I please change WP Downgrade to WP Roll-Back? Backups, as we do them, are more of a last resort. They are coarse. They do not help us pin-point problems like version control does.
    First, let me say that the WordPress product and community is excellent.
    We want a quick solution to keep our website up and running. Roll-backs to stable versions are our solution of choice for this and other software projects.
    Our problems were not solved by theme, content, CSS, design within the dashboard, plugin, or widget roll-backs, all possible within the dashboard. We went looking for a way to roll-back WP. The latest version of everything else worked on that version of WP.
    Thanks to the WP community. And thanks to Mr. Internet Tips for his clear, concise, simple, and accurate roll-back procedure. See previous postings for details.
    We were not looking for help. We had found it. We wanted to share it with the WP community. We felt that the procedure was worthy of WP dashboard consideration. From our point of view, the only version control lacking on the dashboard is WP roll-back.
    We feel that WP version control belongs on the dashboard. Let us decide when and how to use it, like we do for all other components of version control – on the dashboard.
    If WP roll-back version control never appears on the dashboard, we will continue to use our cPanel and this WP roll-back procedure as part of our strategy to maintain a stable, secure, and operational WP website, and to isolate and solve our website problems.
    Security is, of course, an important consideration. It was not the problem this time. Server security and other website policies are, we are sure, major reasons why.
    Isolating and solving our problems is the issue. Not, possibly, creating more problems.
    In our experience, if you really want to help someone, it is very important to listen to them. Find out what they need. Know your limitations. Determine if you have the skills and experience to help them. If not, point them in the best direction that you can.
    The WP community as a whole has done this for us.
    This problem is solved.
    We hope this solution continues to help others solve their problems.
    Thank you.
    Please: The End

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