WordPress Needs To Revise Post Revisions

When WordPress 2.6 was released on July 15, 2008 one of the new features to hit the core was something called Post Revisions. Post revisions keep track of changes made to a post or page and stores a copy of that page or post before the revision so in case you make a huge mistake or want to see the progression of your content, the post revisions will be right there for you to choose. While having post revisions is all fine and dandy, providing no way for the end user to actually control this feature is not.

With the recently installed version of WordPress for WPTavern, I noticed that post revisions were starting to rack up. Upon doing a Google search, I discovered that I could easily disable post revisions from occurring if I added the following code to my WP-Config.php file:

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 0);

For some reason, this code didn’t work. Also as part of my Google search, I came across a forum thread on the WordPress.org forums from six months ago specifically about the topic of post revisions as others didn’t like the feature as well and wanted to turn it off. In the forum thread, there was an argument against adding more checkboxes and features into the backend of WordPress and how there was no negative impact with simply leaving Post Revisions turned on. Well, I can attest to the fact that when I deleted the post revisions that were made on another blog of mine from the database, the size of the database shrank considerably. While the revisions may be made up of only text, hundreds of them eventually add up. No need to convince me of compression and how well the revisions are written, I simply don’t want my database filling up with that kind of stuff.

So while reading the thread, I read about a ticket that was filed in the WordPress Trac system to address some of the issues pertaining to the feature but the ticket was closed with a resolution of Won’t Fix while the milestone was deleted. The ticket also contained a response from DD32 with a link to a post-revision plugin he had created. Instead of using his plugin, I came across another one called Revision Control which has enabled me to not only keep post revisions turned on, but I can also limit the maximum number of revisions a post/page should have. This is good enough for me to keep the post revision feature turned on.

Revision Control Plugin In Action

Here is the part that I find concerning. WordPress has options for just about every feature an end user would interact with on a daily basis. Post revisions has no configuration options. Why not just add a revision section within the WRITING settings which contained options to limit the maximum amount of revisions, enable or disable post revisions, choose between post revisions for posts and pages, and that’s it. For me to install a plugin to provide the type of functionality that should have originally came bundled with that feature is concerning to say the least. One could argue that the way in which post revisions has been added could be equated to having that feature rammed down their throats. Granted, adding one line of code to the Config file of WordPress is not hard, it is not something that should have to be done.

I would open a Trac ticket to request that the features provided by the plugin I mentioned above be added to the core for the Post Revision feature, seeing the previous Trac ticket filed as WON’T FIX is a bit of a downer but thanks to the community around the project and its open source nature along with its popularity, when there is a problem, plugin developers do a great job solving them.


So what do you think of the post revisions feature? Do you use it? How do you feel about not having any way to control how the feature works from the Administration panel?

Who is Jeff Chandler

Jeff Chandler is a WordPress guy in the buckeye state. Contributing writer for WPTavern. Have been writing about WordPress since 2007. Host of the WordPress Weekly Podcast.

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