All About WordPress Revisions

Written by WordPress Expert

November 25, 2023
All About WordPress Revisions

WordPress is a powerful and flexible content management system that automatically saves revisions of your posts and pages as you edit them. While revisions can be helpful for undoing changes or reverting to previous versions, they can also clutter your database and affect your website's performance over time. In this article, you’ll learn a bit about WordPress revisions and some best practices with them.

What are WordPress Revisions?

Revisions are an automatic functionality of the WordPress content management system that automatically creates and stores previous versions of posts and pages when editing them. These changes are a history record that allows you to review changes made over time and to revert to earlier versions if necessary. This feature is a safety net for content management, allowing users to edit errors or update content in the past with ease.

When you create or edit a post or page in WordPress, the CMS automatically saves the current version as a revision. These changes are stored in the WordPress database and can be accessed from the post or page editor. Each revision contains the date and time of change, author whose modification has been affected, as well as any changes in content compared to the previous version.

Key Areas of WordPress Revisions:

  • Autosave
  • Revision History
  • Content Comparison
  • Revision Limit


Whenever you work on a blog or page, WordPress will automatically save revisions in the background. If unexpected events such as power failures or browser crashes occur, this 'autosave' feature will prevent the loss of unsaved changes.

Revision History

You can access the revision history of a post or page by clicking the "Browse" or "Revisions" button in the WordPress editor. This action displays a timeline of all saved revisions, making it easy to compare different versions.

Content Comparison

You can view two revisions side by side at the same time with WordPress. This comparison tool highlights changes that have been made between the selected revisions, showing additions, deletions and corrections.

Revision Limit

For each post or page, WordPress stores an unlimited number of revisions, by default. However, over time, this may lead to a significant increase in the size of the database. You can limit the number of revisions that are saved for each content item by using certain plugins or custom configurations.

Where are WordPress Revisions Located?

WordPress revisions location

To find where the WordPress revisions are, you can click on any post or page. To the right of the Gutenberg content block editor, under the Posts tab of the sidebar, there are a lot of options. One of them is for WordPress revisions. It will tell you how many revisions are available and you can even click on the words and it will lead you to the revisions.

wordpress revision comparison

Once you click, you’ll see the most recent 2 revisions and see what changes were made.

Why Are WordPress Revisions Useful?

WordPress revisions offer several advantages that contribute to an improved content management experience:

  • Content Recovery
  • Collaboration
  • Content Comparison
  • Version Control
  • Draft Management
  • Editorial Workflow
  • Error Correction

Content Recovery

Revisions act as a safety net, allowing you to revert to an earlier version of your content if you make mistakes or need to recover lost information.


For multi-author websites, revisions enable collaboration, as authors can review and edit each other's work without overwriting the original content.

Content Comparison

The ability to compare revisions helps you see exactly what changes were made at each step of the editing process, promoting accountability and transparency.

Version Control

Revisions provide version control for your content, ensuring that you can track changes and have a clear history of your content's evolution.

Draft Management

As you work on drafts of a post or page, revisions ensure that you can explore different ideas and approaches without losing your progress.

Editorial Workflow

Revisions support editorial workflows, enabling content creators and editors to collaborate and approve changes before publishing.

Error Correction

If an error is introduced in your content, you can use revisions to quickly revert to a previous version, preventing incorrect information from being displayed to your audience.

How Many WordPress Revisions Should You Have?

Limiting WordPress revisions offers several advantages:

  • Improved Database Performance
  • Reduced Storage Space
  • Easier Database Management
  • Faster Backups

Improved Database Performance

Reducing the number of revisions helps keep your database running lean, thus resulting in faster queries and overall better performance.

Reduced Storage Space

Less revisions mean less storage space is occupied by unnecessary data in your database. This is super useful especially if you have limited web hosting resources.

Easier Database Management

A smaller number of revisions make it easier to efficiently manage your database and perform backups.

Faster Backups

Smaller databases lead to quicker backup and restoration processes, saving you time and resources.

The number of WordPress revisions you should have depends on your specific needs and workflow. By default, WordPress does not limit the number of revisions it stores for each post or page, which means it will keep saving revisions indefinitely. However, this can lead to a bloated database over time, potentially impacting your website's performance and consuming valuable server resources.

To set a healthy balance between keeping a useful revision history and maintaining an efficient database, consider the following factors when deciding how many WordPress revisions you should keep:

  • Content Management Requirements
  • Website Traffic and Database Size
  • Collaboration and Editorial Workflow
  • Backup and Restore Needs
  • Database Cleanup and Maintenance

Content Management Requirements

Review how often you make major changes to your content and how important it is to maintain a revision history. If you update posts and pages quite frequently, having a few revisions can be helpful for tracking changes and restoring to previous versions.

Website Traffic and Database Size

If your website has high traffic or has limited hosting resources, you might want to limit the number of revisions to reduce database size and optimize site performance.

Collaboration and Editorial Workflow

For websites with multiple authors and editors, keeping a few revisions can facilitate collaboration and ensure that content changes are reviewed and approved before publishing.

Backup and Restore Needs

Consider how often you backup your website and whether you rely on database backups for content recovery. If you have regular backups, you might feel comfortable limiting the number of revisions.

Database Cleanup and Maintenance

Regularly cleaning up your database is a best practice for maintaining a healthy website. Limiting revisions is one aspect of database cleanup that can improve database performance and backup processes.

Best Practices for Limiting WordPress Revisions

If you do decide to limit WordPress revisions, here are some best practices:

  • Use a plugin
  • Limit the number of revisions
  • Disable revisions entirely
  • Perform database cleanup

Use a plugin

If you're not comfortable making manual changes to your website's code, consider using a WordPress plugin that allows you to limit revisions. Some popular plugins, like WP Revisions Control or Optimize Database after Deleting Revisions, offer this functionality. If you want a plugin that does both revision control and optimizing the database, you may like WP-Optimize better.

Limit the number of revisions

You may want to limit the number of revisions to a specific value, such as 3 or 5. This allows you to keep recent changes while preventing the database from accumulating excessive revisions, especially if you have a lot of posts, pages, or even custom post types.

Disable Revisions entirely

If you rarely need revisions or rely on external backups, you can disable revisions altogether by adding a code snippet to your WordPress site's wp-config.php file:

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false);

Perform database cleanup

Regularly optimize and clean up your database using plugins or manual methods. This process can help remove old revisions and unnecessary data, which will free up storage space.



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In Summary

Overall, WordPress revisions enhance the content creation and management process, giving you greater control and flexibility while maintaining a reliable history of your work. You can easily create, edit or manage your content confidently and always have access to previous versions when needed by using this feature. Happy content editing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WordPress free?

All you need to do to use WordPress is to invest in a web hosting plan since the software itself is free.

Are WordPress plugins free?

WordPress has loads of plugins you can install, some of them are free, but some of them you will need to pay for. You can learn how to use WordPress Plugins on our blog.

Can I use WordPress hosting without a WordPress site?

Generally, no. The servers will be optimized to WordPress websites only, and those choosing a managed service will have to build their site using the platform.

Is a WordPress blog free?

Anyone can download, use, customize, and edit the WordPress code as long as they release it under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Even though the software is free, you can end up paying for things like premium support and hosting.

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