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How to Undo Changes in WordPress

Undo Changes in WordPress

Have you ever spent hours meticulously crafting the perfect blog post or webpage on WordPress, only to accidentally delete a crucial section or make a mistake you can’t reverse? 

Imagine the frustration of losing all that hard work in an instant. WordPress has a superhero feature up its sleeve just for this occasion: the Undo function, powered by revisions and autosaves.

Let’s break it down. Revisions are the safety net for producing excellent content. Every time you hit the Save Draft or Update button, WordPress creates a snapshot of your work, storing it securely in the database. But what about those moments when you forget to hit the save button? That’s where autosaves swoop in to save the day. 

WordPress automatically saves your progress as you type, ensuring that even if your browser crashes or your internet connection drops, you won’t lose more than a few seconds of work. 

In this article, we will explore how the undo function is utilized in WordPress development, fueled by revisions and autosaves, safeguards users’ work from accidental deletions and errors.

Using Revisions to Undo Changes in WordPress

We begin by exploring how revisions in WordPress let you go back in time with your content. Undoing changes and easily bringing back earlier versions of your work is very much possible. 

Step 1: Open Revisions Interface

To check previous versions of your WordPress post, simply locate the Revisions link in the editor’s sidebar. In the Gutenberg editor, you will find it here:

How to Undo Changes in WordPress

And in the Classic editor, it is located here:

How to Undo Changes in WordPress

But no matter which editor you’re using, the revisions interface will look the same.

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Step 2: Choose Revision to Restore

Let’s take a closer look at the revisions interface:

How to Undo Changes in WordPress

At the top, there’s a slider you can move to switch between different revisions.

Below that, WordPress shows you a comparison between the revision you’ve chosen and the one just before it. Deleted parts are highlighted in red, and new additions are highlighted in green.

How to Undo Changes in WordPress

 If you prefer, you can also tick the Compare any two revisions box to compare any two revisions side by side using the sliders.

How to Undo Changes in WordPress

Also Read: WordPress Changes Not Showing? Fix Easily!

Step 3: Restore Revisions

In WordPress, you have two options for undoing changes and bringing back an earlier version:

  1. Full Restore: You can click on the Restore This Revision button to bring back the entire selected revision. Depending on whether it’s a revision or an autosave, the button might also say Restore This Autosave.
  2. Partial Restore: Alternatively, you can manually restore only a part of the content by copying and pasting.

Remember, when you use the Restore This Revision button, it’s a complete swap-out. Whatever content is in the selected revision will completely replace the current content.

How to Undo Changes in WordPress

If you’re not up for hitting the button, there is another low-effort straightforward way: the old-fashioned copy and paste. This method comes in handy when, let’s say, you accidentally delete a paragraph but want to keep all the other stuff you’ve written.

When we say ‘low-effort’, we mean you will need to manually copy the content you want to bring back. After that, it’s just a matter of pasting it back into the editor. It is a simple process, but gets the job done without any fuss.

How to Undo Changes in WordPress

And voilà! There goes the magic trick to reverse changes in WordPress!

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Can You Undo an Undo?

How to Undo Changes in WordPress

Sure thing! 

In WordPress editor, if you decide you want to go back to a previous version of your content but then change your mind, you can easily undo that decision. Just revisit the revisions interface, and there’s an option to revert back to where you were before. It is like giving yourself a second chance to keep things the way they were originally.

Follow these steps –

Step 1: Navigate to the revisions interface in your WordPress editor.

Step 2: Identify the revision you want to undo and click on it.

Step 3: Look for the option to revert to the previous revision and click on it. If necessary, confirm your action.

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Tips to Manage WordPress Revisions

Managing revisions in WordPress is essential for maintaining the integrity and consistency of your content. Want some practical strategies to help you navigate through the revision process effectively? 

Remember these tips –

Delete Revisions

How to Undo Changes in WordPress

Removing revisions from a WordPress website can be achieved either through a plugin or via phpMyAdmin.

Utilize a plugin like PublishPress Revisions to manually delete old post revisions. PublishPress Revisions offers a comprehensive solution for managing content updates, providing users with a secure environment to make changes. Upon completion, users can request approval from administrators before publishing. Admins have the ability to approve, reject, or schedule updates for future publication.

With this plugin, users can update posts using the standard WordPress editor, with changes stored in a Revision Queue until approved. This plugin seamlessly integrates with the familiar WordPress interface, including Gutenberg and the Classic Editor, ensuring a smooth editing experience.

Also Learn: 15+ Tips to Fix “There Has Been a Critical Error on Your WordPress Website” Issue

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Limit Post Revisions

Limiting the number of revisions can save you from having to delete them frequently or clean up the database. Just like removing revisions, you can do this manually or with a plugin.

To limit revisions manually, you’ll need to edit the wp-config.php file. You can access this file through cPanel, an FTP client like FileZilla, or your hosting provider’s control panel.

Once you find the wp-config.php file, right-click on it and choose Edit. The process may vary slightly depending on your hosting provider, but the steps are generally the same.

Disable Revisions

If you don’t want any post revisions on your WordPress site, you can disable them completely. Here’s how:

  1. Find your wp-config.php file.
  2. Open it with a text editor.
  3. Add this line at the bottom: 

define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false);

This will turn off post revisions, but autosave will still work and store one revision.

Or, you can use the Disable Post Revision plugin for an easier way. Install the plugin, go to SettingsWriting, choose the post types where you want to disable revisions, and save.

If you change your mind later, you can enable revisions again by updating the value from false to true in the wp-config.php file.

Optimize Revisions in the WordPress Database

How to Undo Changes in WordPress

To streamline revisions in the WordPress database, consider using plugins like WP-Optimize after Deleting Revisions. Such a tools can automate the removal of post revisions and execute various database optimizations, such as clearing out unapproved comments.

If you’re using WP-Optimize, here’s how to set up optimization scheduling:

  1. Navigate to WP-Optimize on your dashboard and select Database, then Settings.
  2. Scroll down to find the Scheduled clean-up settings section.
  3. Check the box to Enable scheduled clean-up optimization.
  4. Choose your preferred optimization options.
  5. Select the schedule type – daily, weekly, or monthly.
  6. Don’t forget to click Save Settings to apply your changes.

Read More: Ultimate Guide to WordPress Error Logs: How to Enable, Find, and Fix It

Why You Should Limit Revisions in WordPress

While revisions are handy for undoing changes, having unlimited revisions can cause your database to bloat. This means your site could slow down, affecting user experience.

By setting a cap on revisions, like three to four revisions per piece of content, you can prevent database overload. This ensures your site stays fast and efficient. This allows you to still have a safety net in case you need to restore previous versions of your content, while simultaneously preventing your database from becoming overwhelmed with unnecessary data.

With this limit in place, WordPress will automatically delete older revisions once the set limit is reached, ensuring that your database remains lean and efficient.

Additionally, you can also take control of autosaves to further optimize your site’s performance. WordPress automatically creates an autosave of your content at regular intervals to prevent data loss in case of a browser crash or other interruption. But these autosaves can also contribute to database bloat if left unchecked.

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In Classic Editor

Here, WordPress generates a new autosave every 60 seconds. If you’d like to adjust this interval, you can modify your wp-config.php file to set a custom autosave interval.

In Gutenberg Block Editor

In this novel editor, autosaves occur more frequently, approximately every 10 seconds by default. If you prefer a different autosave interval, you can utilize plugins like Disable Gutenberg Autosave to modify the autosave settings directly from the block editor interface.

By implementing these measures to limit revisions and control autosaves, you can optimize your WordPress site’s performance, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience for your visitors.

Conclusion

Mastering the undo capabilities in WordPress empowers you to confidently make changes and experiment with your content, knowing that you can easily revert mistakes or recover previous versions. By leveraging revisions and autosaves strategically, you can strike the right balance between safeguarding your work and maintaining an optimized website. 

Implement best practices such as periodically purging old revisions, setting revision limits, or temporarily disabling the feature to prevent database bloat. Customize autosave intervals to align with your workflow and performance needs. With these tools at your disposal, you can focus on creating compelling content without the fear of irreversible errors, fostering a more productive and stress-free editing experience in WordPress.

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