How to Download Older Versions of Plugins and Themes

Need to download an older version of a plugin or theme? Follow this short, visual guide to learn how.

How to Download a Previous Version of a Plugin

First, search on wordpress.org/plugins/ or Google for the exact name of the plugin. Once on the plugin’s page, right-click the Download button and copy the link address.

Plugin Download Button

You’ll copy a link that looks like this: https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/wp-super-cache.1.6.1.zip

Click on the Development section on the plugin page, and you’ll be able to browse the plugin’s complete changelog. Find any previous version number there and replace the version in the link you copied to download it. For instance, version 1.4.4 of the WP Super Cache plugin can be downloaded with this URL:

https://downloads.wordpress.org/plugin/wp-super-cache.1.4.4.zip

Paste that URL into your browser’s address field, press Enter, and you’ll download the plugin.

That’s all there is to it!

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How to Download a Previous Version of a Theme

The process for themes is very similar.

On the theme’s page on wordpress.org, right-click the “Download” button and copy the link address.

copying link address from "download" button

Unfortunately, WordPress.org doesn’t allow themes to publish a public changelog. We keep changelogs for all of our themes on our site (here’s the Apex changelog for instance), but for other themes, there’s still a method you can use.

Scroll down the theme’s page on wordpress.org and click on the Download Log link.

link to theme download log

On the next page, you’ll see a list of the previous version numbers for your theme.

list of previous theme versions

Let’s say you were on version 1.09 of Apex, and wanted to make sure the previous version was indeed 1.08. Now, you can see that 1.08 is in fact the previous version of Apex. Knowing this, you would then take the URL you copied from the download button that looked like this:

https://downloads.wordpress.org/theme/apex.1.09.zip

And change the version number like this:

https://downloads.wordpress.org/theme/apex.1.08.zip

The last step is to visit that address in your browser, and the theme will automatically download.

WordPress keeps every version of every theme distributed, so you can always use this trick to get an older version of a theme.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.

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