Enabling revisions in WordPress is a useful way to retrace your steps and travel back in time to an earlier version of your content.

This is a quick walkthrough on how to enable and use the core revision functionality in WordPress.

Depending on your host and how you install WordPress, revisions may already be enabled by default. If not, they can be turned on by adding or changing a line in your site’s wp-config.php file. With revisions enabled, each time a change is made to a post, an additional row is inserted in the WordPress database, wp_post table with a post_type value of “revision.”

Often times, people who are not actively using revisions will end up with data that is not used and not needed. If there is no limit set, the amount of saved revisions can be considerably large. These revisions are essentially just taking up extra space and can lead to your database increasing in size and your site responding slowly.

How To Enable Revisions On Your Site

  1. Open your site’s WordPress configuration file in a text editor. By default, the configuration file is in your site’s root directory: /wp-config.php
  2. Search for: define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, FALSE );
  3. Replace with: define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, TRUE);
  4. If the search does not yield results, add the line above
  5. Save your file

Revision Limits

If you’re conscious of not adding too much additional data to your database, you can set a fixed limit of revisions to save by passing a number to WP_POST_REVISIONS. Setting a limit is a good choice when there is a large number of posts or the database is already large. This can be any number that your are comfortable with.

Here’s what it would look like if I wanted to save up to three revisions: define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 3 );. This is a great way to benefit from the power of revisions and also be aware of how much extra data you’re saving in your wp_posts table.

Revisions Enabled, Now What?

If you haven’t saved any revisions, you won’t notice any changes. You’ll need to update an existing article with changes in order for revisions to show up. Once revisions have been saved, the revisions link will appear in the right sidebar of your post to show that the post has been revised.

To compare revisions of a post, see all revisions, and restore a revision, go to the Browse link in the right sidebar. You can use the slider to quickly move back and forth through the different saved revisions for your post.


If you need to see what changes have been made in your post, revisions is a great tool to utilize. You can save all content changes as revisions, but be careful about saving too many revisions as your site performance may decrease. Happy revising!

Do you use revisions?

Edmund Turbin is a London-based Solutions Engineer at WP Engine, originally from New York. He has been developing websites for more than 10 years. He's worked with proprietary and open source CMS platforms at media, publishing and ad tech companies and is passionate about optimizing workflows. When the laptop is closed, he enjoys producing tech house in the studio, cycling and spending time with his family.

The post What You Need To Know About Enabling Revisions In WordPress appeared first on Torque.

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