In the two years since WP Rollback launched on WordPress.org, the plugin has racked up more than 30,000 active installations with nearly all 5-star reviews. It allows users to roll back any WordPress.org plugin or theme to a previous version with just a few clicks and also supports beta versions of plugins.
It’s easy to see why the plugin is so popular. Navigating buggy updates is a natural part of life when maintaining a self-hosted website and not all users have a separate testing environment for their websites. This tool gives them a basic diagnostic tool and the confidence to apply updates knowing they can easily roll it back in case of a problem. Many reviewers cite the plugin as having been “a lifesaver” when applying WooCommerce or Yoast SEO updates that had unexpected results.
The lone one-star review of WP Rollback was given because the user anticipated multisite compatibility and was unable to get it to work. That issue has been solved in the latest update.
WP Rollback 1.5 is fully compatible with multisite networks, giving super admins the ability to roll back extensions from the network plugin/themes screen or from the the plugins/themes screen of the primary site in the network. Sub-sites do not have the ability to roll back plugins and themes for the entire network. The UI for rolling back themes on the network admin screen is identical to the plugin screens, as multisite doesn’t have the fancy theme preview screen that single site installs have.
Version 1.5 also adds the ability for users to preview the changelog for previous versions of a plugin. This makes it convenient for users to quickly view the changes for each version without leaving the admin.
WordImpress, the folks behind WP Rollback, have considered adding core rollbacks and database savepoints, but both features have serious potential drawbacks that could turn it into a high support-demanding plugin. In its current state, the plugin is virtually support-free.
Matt Cromwell, Head of Support and Community Outreach at WordImpress, said the team thought about monetizing the plugin in the beginning, but is not pursing any plans to do so at this time.
“We think of it as just one of the many ways we are giving back to the WP community,” Cromwell said. “Our preference would be for the core team to consider it as a potential feature plugin for eventual core inclusion.”
Cromwell said WordImpress hasn’t made any intentional steps to see if core folks are interested in WP Rollback becoming a feature plugin, but the team has purposely built it to be as close to core standards as possible. He believes it would be relatively easy to implement in WordPress.
Suggestions for new features, general feedback, and bug reports are welcome on WP Rollback’s GitHub repository. The plugin’s authors recommend backing up your site before using it to rollback plugins and themes or testing rollbacks on a staging site first. WP Rollback is not capable of rolling back changes a plugin update has made to the database, so a backup can come in handy if the database changes are incompatible with previous versions.
Thanks for the write-up Sarah! We would love to chat with anyone on the Core team about considering WP Rollback as a Core feature plugin. We’ve heard from many, MANY happy users that they would love to have this in Core.