Did you just update to WordPress 3.3 only to find that post revisions have returned even though you previously engineered some way to turn them off?
Don’t worry, I can help – but, first, some background and chatter.
Way back in 2008 WordPress added Revisions to its core features, and the feature persists today in the newly released version 3.3.
Revisions captures every published iteration of a post you are working on, so that if you republish with some minor changes you still have the prior version available to roll back to, if necessary.
This feature can be helpful if you make a lot of major changes to your work, or if you are on a multi-author blog and need to occasionally reverse someone’s edits.
It can also be detrimental, or plain old annoying.
The revisions feature nearly destroyed Crushing Krisis. Because, you see, my managing editor is an OCD Godzilla that lives inside my abdomen and due to his influence I have been known to spend my spare time making literally hundreds of tiny edits to spelling and spacing across the million-plus words of this site. Each edit I published spawned a new post number in a new post ID. My database ballooned by thousands of lines, I was using more RAM on my server, and legacy posts and pages linked by their post IDs were suddenly appearing at new permalinks!
There have been plugins to turn Revisions off, but when a new version of WP debuts sometimes those plugins don’t work right away. That’s why I am sharing the manual way to turn off Revisions.
This involves editing core WP files. You do so at your own risk. I am not a WP developer, and I cannot provide support to you if you hobble or destroy your blog. Unlike a plugin, this will not still work after a reinstall or upgrade of WP, so when you move to WP 3.3.1 you need to do it again.
- In your root directory you have a file called “wp-config.php.” Save a copy of it elsewhere in case you mess things up terribly.
- Open wp-config.php and scroll down. At some point you should see a comment that reads “/* Stop editing */” – we will insert our new code just above that.
- Insert this code:
/* Disable Revisions Feature */If you would rather just limit the revisions that get saved, change as follows:
define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false );
/* Limit Revisions Feature (by number of revisions) */
- While you are here, you could also choose to add a line to define how frequently you would like WP to make single autosaves of your posts, which frequently saves my ass in the case of a browser crash. That code is:
/* Set Auto-Save Timing (in seconds) */
define( 'AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 300 );
- Voila! Though WP will still inform you of your revision number in your posts table, it is no longer saving revisions.
Keep in mind, you do still have a number of revisions in your MySQL database, sitting around doing nothing like some vestigial appendix-like organ in your body that may or may not cause a later explosion.
(If you are me, that number of revisions is 250 in the one hour since you installed WP3.3. Yes, I literally make that many edits to CK in an hour. OCD Godzilla is a terrifying beast.)
To do away with them you simply need to delete all of the rows in your post table identified as revisions. Any time you directly edit your MySQL is potentially bad mojo, so I am not going to specifically advocate doing that. However, if you have backed up your DB and know what you are doing, visit WP Recipes for the simple one-line SQL query that will wipe out your revisions.
I hope this helped you! Personally, I get completely frantic when WP updates and one of my old plugins stops working to provide (or, in this case, block) a feature I rely on.