Content and Media, Pages and Posts

Editors » Post and Page Revisions

WordPress.com autosaves your work and stores revisions for each post or page on your site. Revisions allow you to revert to an earlier version of a page or post.

Table of Contents

Saving and Autosave

The changes you make are automatically saved to your local device every 15 seconds and to WordPress.com about once per minute. You’ll see the notification move from Save Draft to Autosaving to Saved in the Publish Module at the top right of the editor.

The top of the WordPress Editor showing the autosaving message flashing when the page is being autosaved.
  • Autosaves are automatically enabled for all posts and pages. The feature can’t be turned off. 
  • If you have not yet published the page or post, you can save it manually by selecting Save Draft.

Autosave on Published Content

  • If you are editing a post or page that has already been published, autosave continues to work but will not overwrite the published content. 
  • The changes will not be displayed on the site until you click the Update button in the Publish module.
  • You can find the last autosave if there is one and other post revisions in the Post Revisions Module.

A revision is not stored for every autosave, just the last one the system captured.

Editing a Post/Page with an Autosave

If you go offline while editing or you accidentally navigate away from a post/page while working on it, WordPress.com will save your post to your web browser’s local storage, and you’ll see a note when you return to the editor:

A message at the top of the WordPress Editor that reads "There is an autosave of this post that is more recent than the version below." with a link to "View the autosave"

Click the X to return to the draft as-is, or View the autosave to restore the most recent autosave. You can also browse the revisions at any time to restore an earlier version of your content.

View Revisions

When you save a draft manually or select Update, a revision is created. Revisions allow you to view the recent changes and revert to an earlier version if necessary.

WordPress.com will store the last 25 revisions for each post or page on your site if you have a free, Personal, or Premium plan. For sites on the WordPress.com Business and Ecommerce plan, or the legacy Pro plan, the last 100 revisions are stored.

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The Revisions module will not show until there are revisions to view.

To restore an earlier version of a page or post:

  1. In your WordPress.com Dashboard, go to Pages or Posts.
  2. Click on the title of the post or page to edit the one you want to view revisions for.
  3. On the right side, under Page/ Post Settings, look for Revisions.
The Page Settings sidebar with a highlight around the Revisions module.
The Revisions module will not show unless there are revisions to view.

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If you don’t see the Settings sidebar, click the settings icon at the top of your page.

Compare Revisions

To view your Revisions, click on a given revision in the revisions list on the right. Alternatively, you can use your keyboard’s j and k keys for navigation. The changes in each revision will be highlighted in blue (for additions) and red (for deletions):

The Revisions screen displaying a view of a revision.
Click for a larger view.

Clicking the Split button will allow you to view the revisions with deletions on the left and additions on the right.

The Revisions screen displaying a split view comparing two revisions.
Click for a larger view.

When you view a given revision in the Split view, it will show a comparison with the revision immediately previous to it.

Restore Revisions

It may be challenging to read the revision since it displays in code instead of the rendered content. A couple of tricks you can use to find the correct revision:

  • Clicking Load will load the revision in the editor, which allows you to see how the content appears. However, your changes won’t be saved until you click Save Draft or Update.
  • Use the revision date above each revision listed on the right to restore a revision from a specific date.
  • You can see how many characters were added or removed in each revision under the date. The green plus indicates characters added, and the red minus indicates characters removed.

Select the desired revision to restore a previous page version, then click on the Load button at the bottom.

Clicking the Load button loads the selected revision into the editor. You will need to save the draft or Update the page to keep the changes.

Revisions - Load Revision
Load Revision

Who Can See Revisions

All administrators and editors on your site can see all post revisions. In addition, authors can see post revisions for any posts they have authored (which are the only posts they’re able to view on the homepage). Finally, contributors can see post revisions on their drafts.

Restore Part of a Revision

You can copy parts of revisions into your current page or post.

  1. Highlight the part of the revision you want to recover.
  2. Right-click and select copy or cmd+c on mac, ctrl+c on PC.
  3. Cancel to close the Revisions window and right-click, or cmd+v on mac, ctrl+v on PC to paste the part of the revision into your page or post.

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Copying part of a revision can be tricky, since the revision shows the HTML code as well as the text. You may want to try pasting the revision text into an HTML block, or switching a block to HTML before pasting the text.

Recover Lost Content on a Post or Page

If you ever lose content for a post or page you were working on, the best steps are to:

  • First, check the post/page revisions.
  • Check the post or page trash sections to ensure the post/page wasn’t deleted by mistake.
  • Check your other drafts in both posts and pages to ensure you didn’t start writing a post as a page and vice versa.
  • Ensure you don’t have another post or page editor tab open. Having the editor open in multiple browser windows/tabs can cause the autosave to trigger in one tab while you’re working in a different one.
  • Ensure that autosave is working and that the post says Saved in the top right every few seconds after making changes. If not, make sure you click Save Draft manually to ensure the post or page is saving, then try clearing your browser’s cache.
  • If you’re writing a very long post within the editor itself, it’s a great idea to keep a backup by copying and pasting it onto your local computer somewhere, such as in a Word or text document.

WP Admin Revisions

If you use the WP-Admin dashboard view, your revisions will look slightly different. However, the functionality remains the same.

The WP-Admin revisions editor with the text "Compare Revisions of "Article Title" at the top.
WP Admin Revisions

Revisions look a little different if you’re using WP-Admin. You will still see the revisions as they’re described above, but the navigation between revisions is different. At the top of the Revisions Editor is a slider that you can use to load earlier page versions.

Click the Compare any two revisions option to compare two revisions side by side. When you compare two revisions, the selected revision is on the right, and the previous one is on the left.

Click Restore This Revision when you want to revert to a revision. This will restore the selected revision on the right. Save or update your post or page to save the revision.

Click Return to editor to return to the editor without making any revisions.

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