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 track changes to pages or posts and store a copy of the page before each revision. This allows you to make mistakes or see the progress of your content. Post revisions are great, but it is impossible for an end user to control the feature.

I noticed that the number of post revisions was increasing with WordPress for WPTavern. After doing a Google search, it was clear that I could disable post revisions by adding the following code to my WordPress-Config.php file:

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 0);

This code did not work for some reason. In my Google search I also found a forum topic on the WordPress.org forums six months ago. It was specifically about post revisions. Others didn’t like it and wanted to disable it. The forum thread discussed the arguments against adding additional checkboxes to the WordPress backend and the benefits of leaving Post Revisions on. The database’s size decreased significantly after I removed post revisions from another blog. Although the revisions are mainly text, they add up to hundreds. It doesn’t matter how compressed the revisions are, it doesn’t matter to me. I don’t want my database filled with this kind of stuff.

While reading the thread, I came across a ticket that had been filed in WordPress Trac to address issues related to the feature. However, the ticket was closed with the resolution of Won’t Fix and the milestone was removed. 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. I find this enough to enable the post revision feature.

Revision Control Plugin In Action

Here’s what I find most concerning. WordPress offers options for almost every feature that an end user might use 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. It is concerning that I have to install a plugin that does not provide the functionality that was originally included with the feature. You could argue that post revisions was added to the plugin in a way that forced them to use that feature. Although adding one line of code in the Config file is easy, it is not something that should 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.

Feedback:

What do you think about the post revisions feature. Do you use it? What do you think about the Administration panel not being able to control the operation of the feature?