Revision is the act of rewriting something.
In WordPress, whenever you edit or rewrite a blog post or page and click “Save Draft”, a new revision will be created. It is like versioning the content at a particular time. The advantage is that you can see all the revisions and its corresponding change then compare, restore it back.
For example, you start writing a blog post today and saved as a draft – this creates a new revision of the blog post. Then tomorrow you are adding an image to it and saving the draft – this again creates a new revision. Anytime, you can restore your blog post between these 2 revisions.
In simple terms, every draft will be saved in your database and you can compare/restore it anytime.
This is a great feature. However, when you are writing a lot on your WordPress blog – you can end up having so many revisions created for each blog post/page.
For example, recently I found one of my blog post – it has more than 50 revisions created.
Let’s say if you have 100 blog posts and if each creates 50 revisions then there will be 5000 revisions created in your database. Of course, this bloats your database and directly affects the performance of your blog – over a period of time, it may also affect your blog loading time.
Hence it is a good practice to have a limit on the number of revisions created per blog post or page.
Method #1: Directly setting the revision limit in WordPress configuration file
In this manual method, you can directly edit the wp-config.php file.
All you have to add the following line:
That means the maximum number of revisions per post/page is set as 2.
At any point in time, only 2 revisions will be stored and not more than 2.
Follow the below steps to manually limit the number of revisions:
- Login to your web hosting account
- Open file manager from your Cpanel
- Open the file wp-config.php, it will be present in the root directory of your blog
- You can simply add the line as marked in the below screenshot:
Method #2: Using a WordPress plugin to set revision limit
The first method is permanent and straightforward. It has no dependencies.
However, if you are not comfortable to edit wp-config file then you can go by the plugin way.
All you have to install the WP Revisions Limit plugin.
Once installed, this plugin adds revision limiting option directly in the WordPress dashboard.
Just go to Settings > Revisions Limit, set the number of revisions you want and click Save Changes.
The only thing to note, for performing this simple operation you are adding another WordPress plugin to your blog.
Otherwise, this is a super simple method to reduce the number of revisions.
Method #3: Periodically/Automatically cleaning the revisions created
If you are not comfortable to have limited number of revisions.
Or if you are really interested to keep a log of your post/page changes and don’t want to limit the number of revisions then you can go for this solution (clean up revisions).
You don’t need to control the number of revisions it instead you can periodically remove the revisions created.
This can also be automated using a WordPress plugin like WP-Optimize.
Once installed, you can see the below option to manually remove the revisions created.
Or, you can also schedule the WP-Optimize plugin to automatically remove the revisions from your database.
Go to WP-Optimize > Settings and enable the below option – make sure the option “remove auto revisions” is checked.
It has the option to schedule for Weekly, Daily, Monthy etc.
The advantage is that you don’t need to restrict the number of revisions instead it will be automatically cleaned based on the setup schedule.
Revision management in WordPress is a great feature.
For bloggers, who are more frequently updating/drafting their content – it is important to restrict the number of revisions in order to avoid bloating up the database which may cause performance issues over a period of time.
You can keep the number of revisions as 2 or 5 based on your need.
Now do the following:
- First, install WP-Optimize (Method #3) and clean up all revisions from the database.
- Then go for either Method #1 or Method #2 – this way, your blog will be first cleaned and also, set up with limited revisions for the future.
Hope you are able to limit the number of revisions – please let us know if you face any issues.