Versioning your Blog content
Have you ever made an edit to some Post, saved the results then sometime later wished you had an undo option? Or worse have you setup a site for a client and they ‘accidentally’ wack one of the Pages? Then they call you to ‘fix it’. Well I have some good news for you…
Introducing a new plugin, Revisions
The Revisions plugin is based on a very old plugin, Bliki (Blog + Wiki), written by the fine folks at Automattic. There are a few other good versioning plugins out there. But in my opinion they all offer too many admin bells and whistles like Version Diff-ing, Funky rollback schemes, Complicated admin interfaces, etc.
Sticking with my ‘Simple’ philosophy, I’ve opted to cut the functionality to the necessities. The Revisions plugin provides the user with three specific types of integrated functionality.
- The ability to create a backup of the edited Post/Page. This is built-in once the plugin is activated.
- The ability to view a Revision just as you would preview a Post in the Theme.
- The ability to reset or rollback a version into the admin editor
Below is a screen capture of the Revision section that is added to the Admin editor screens. This is a screen of 2.5 but looks just the same under pre-2.5 versions of WordPress.
From the screen image you can see there are 3 Revisions to this one Post. Each Revision notes the version number, the time of the Revision and by what author. Below each Revision items is a link ‘View Revision’. This will display a themed version of Revision. There is also a second link that will load the Revision content into the Post/Page editor. Once reloaded the author can Save or make changes to the content. This reload and save will generate a new Revision. In other words the original Revision will remain intact.
Download the Revisions plugin. Unzip it. Upload the ‘Revisions’ folder to the plugins folder of your WordPress site. Once uploaded go to Manage -> Plugins and activate the plugin. That is it. Now when you make a change to any Post or Page the version is saved. A suggestion is to perform a Save on an existing Post or Page first before starting to make changes. I’ve tested this plugin on WordPress 2.5 down to 2.0.3.
As I mentioned this plugin is basic on purpose. One feature I might be adding in the near future is the ability to delete individual Revisions. Sometime while you are in the Edit & Save cycle you can build up a few unnecessary Revisions. Another possible option will be to define a threshold for comparing the new version to the next previous Revision. If the amount change is below the threshold the Revision is not saved. This would prevent some very minor Revisions.