How to Undo Changes in WordPress Websites?

Jun 5, 2020

How to Undo Changes in WordPress Websites?

Jun 5, 2020

Did you make changes to your post or pages and want to revert back to the previous version? Follow our guide to learn how to undo changes in WordPress easily with post revisions.

WordPress comes with an in-built feature called Revisions that allows you to undo changes that you made on a post or a page.

In this article, we’ll show you the exact steps you need to follow to undo changes in WordPress posts or pages.

What are WordPress Revisions?

We all make mistakes when drafting an article on a WordPress website.

At BlogVault, quite often, we find ourselves making improvements to an article only to realize we prefer the original. Sometimes we wish we didn’t delete a paragraph or an image, or sometimes we wish we didn’t rephrase that sentence. Luckily, WordPress offers a powerful feature called revisions which allows us to go back in time and undo the changes.

To fully grasp the capability of a feature like revisions, let’s understand how the feature works –

→ After you write an article on the WordPress editor and click on Save Draft, WordPress saves your article.

If you click on Publish, WordPress saves and publishes the article.

 

wordpress save draft

 

→ With the passage of time, you may find that the article needs updated content. So you come back and make modifications to the article.

After that, you click on Update.

If you didn’t publish the article, then you will be selecting the option Save Draft.

Either way, WordPress will save the new or current version. Moreover, it also has the older version stored for you to access whenever you need it.

 

wordpress revisions

 

The more modifications you make, the more revision history you’ll have.

→ WordPress also ensures that you don’t lose content if you forget to click on Save Draft or Update.

Besides that, things can go wrong like your browser may crash or your computer hangs while you are working on the post editor.

To save you from such disasters, WordPress autosaves your content.

 

wordpress revisions details

 

In fact, WordPress autosaves your content every 60 seconds while you are editing.

WordPress will store only one autosave. Therefore, new autosaves replace the old ones. Unlike revisions, older versions of autosaves are not stored.

To reiterate the difference between revisions and autosaves –

    • Revisions – When you Save Draft, Publish or Update in the editor, WordPress saves the content. Every version is saved and stored for your reference.
    • Autosave –  Even if you don’t click on Save Draft, Publish, or Update after making modifications to the editor, WordPress saves the content. Only one autosave version is saved and stored.

When Do You Need To Use Revisions?

We have been publishing posts regularly for the past few years. We can’t count the number of times we’ve found revisions in WordPress saving us from a wreck.

There are 3 types of situations you may encounter when you’ll find that you need to resort to revisions.

Scenario 1: When you need to restore something you had modified or deleted (paragraphs, sentences, images, links).

Scenario 2: When you need to have a bird’s eye view of how the post or page has evolved over time.

Scenario 3: When you need to find out who has made a specific modification on a post or a page. WordPress records the username, date, and time of modification.

If modification made your traffic or signups rise or fall, you can compare revisions and know exactly what worked and what didn’t.

 

wordpress revisions details

 

How to Use Revisions to Undo Changes on a WordPress Post or Page?

Most of our readers are very likely using WordPress’s latest editor called the Gutenberg or the Block Editor. Some of you, we know, are still using the old and much loved Classic Editor.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to restore revisions on both the editors.

i. Undo Changes Using Revisions in the Gutenberg
ii. Undo Changes Using Revisions in the Classic Editor

 

i. Undo Changes Using Revisions in the Gutenberg

For reverting changes on Gutenberg, you need to take the following steps:

1. Log into your WordPress dashboard and open an article where modifications have been made. If you have moved your website to the Gutenberg editor, then the article will open on Gutenberg.

2. On the right hand, you’ll find an option called Revisions.

 

gutenberg revisions

 

3. Next, in the Revisions page, you find the –

    • Old versions on the left
    • New versions on the right

 

how to undo changes in wordpress

 

4. To check each version of the content, you need to scroll the slider at the top of the page.

 

wordpress restore revisions

 

5. To show you all the modifications made on your post or page, WordPress highlights the text.

In the image below, on the left, you find the text that was deleted and on the right is the text that was added.

 

wordpress revision difference

 

6. If you want to restore the old version, all you need to do is click on Restore this Revision.

 

wordpress restore revision

 

 

ii. Undo Changes Using Revisions in the Classic Editor

For reverting changes on Gutenberg, you need to take the following steps:

1. Log into your WordPress dashboard and open an article where modifications have been made.

2. On the right hand, you’ll find an option called Revisions.

 

wordpress revisions classic details

 

IMPORTANT: If you can’t find the Revisions option, this means that the option is not enabled. To enable the option, head to the top of the page and select Screen Options > Revisions.

 

wordpress screen options

 

3. Next, in the Revisions page, you find the –

    • Old versions on the left
    • New versions of on the right

 

wordpress old new revisions

 

4. To check each version of the content, you need to scroll the slider at the top of the page.

 

wordpress restore revisions

 

5. To show you all the modifications made on your post or page, WordPress highlights the text.

In the image below, on the left, you find the text that was deleted and on the right is the text that was added.

 

wordpress revision difference

 

6. If you want to restore the old version, all you need to do is click on Restore This Revision.

 

wordpress restore revision

 

Can Revisions Revive Deleted Posts or Pages?

WordPress offers you the ability to move a post or a page to Trash. And it enables you to revive your posts from Trash. But if you don’t restore the piece within 30 days, WordPress will permanently delete it.

 

wordpress trash restore

 

In that case, your only hope is a backup. If you have a backup copy of your WordPress sites then you can restore the backup to avail the post or page.

Website backups are your safety net for a number of issues that you can face. Generally, website owners don’t think of taking backups unless they experience a mishap like accidentally deleting content or breaking the website while making modifications to the theme. But the truth is a backup of your WordPress site should be an essential part of its maintenance. We strongly recommend taking a complete WordPress backup today!

How to Manage Revisions?

Storing different versions of all articles on your site can prove to be taxing on your site database. It can affect the speed of your WordPress website.

Hence, you can limit the number of revisions to the database stores.

You can also delete old revisions of posts and pages.

1. Limit Revision Numbers

There are two ways of limiting post revision numbers. You can do it using a plugin like WP Revisions Control or you can do it manually.

We recommend limiting revisions using a plugin because it is easier than doing it manually. But if you do want to use the manual method, we’ll show you the steps you need to take.

Please note that we do not recommend the manual method because it involves making modifications to a core WordPress file — wp-config.php. A single mistake while editing this file could cause your website to crash.

But if you still want to go ahead and try it out, we strongly suggest taking a complete website backup. If something does go wrong, you can quickly restore your site back to normal.

1. Log into your WordPress hosting account and go to cPanel > File Manager.

2. Next, you’ll find a list of folders on the left-hand side of the File Manager. Select public_html.

3. Inside the public_html in the wp-config file.

 

wp config location

 

4. Once you have found the file, right-click on it and select Edit.

5. Then at the end of the wp-config file, insert the following code –

define( ‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, 5 );

If you prefer creating more than 5 revisions, then you need to replace 5 with a different number.

 

wp config file edit

 

6. Remember to Save the file before closing the window.

2. Delete Old Revisions

WordPress does not offer an option to delete old revisions, hence you need to use a plugin. We recommend using Optimize Database and Simple Revisions Delete.

You can choose either plugin as they are both good. They have over 10,000 installs and are rated well in the repository by other users. Most importantly, they receive updates regularly which is a good sign that you can trust the plugin. Updates mean the developers are maintaining and improving the plugin.

What Next?

Back in 2018, our website’s home page went down and we didn’t know why. For an online business like ours, having the homepage down means losing visitors, potential customers, and revenue.

We knew finding the problem would take time. So we quickly restored a backup to get our site up and running immediately. We later found the source of the problem. A colleague accidentally moved our home page to draft mode while working on the site.

The backups came to our rescue and saved us from extended downtime.

The bottom line is website backups are extremely important. Do not wait for something to go wrong to decide that you need a backup.

Backup Your Site With BlogVault Today!

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