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wp revisionsWordPress 3.6 is now in the beta phase and a release is expected shortly.

One of the major new improvements in WordPress 3.6 is an overhaul of the Revisions feature.

WordPress 3.6 makes it much easier to browse, compare and restore revisions. 3.6 brings some very useful improvements for anyone who publishes a large number of posts or works with a large number of writers.

If you want to manage or schedule your revisions, check out the Revisionary plugin.

To test the new revisions, start by creating a new post in WordPress.

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Click Publish.

Write some more text and click Update.

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You'll now see the Revisions area appear at the bottom of your screen:

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WordPress will also save your changes every 2 minutes. These automatic saves will be marked [Autosave] as below:

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To start seeing the new revisions layout, click on the date of one of the revisions.

You'll see two copies of the post side-by-side. The red is the older version and the green is the new version.

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If the changes are spread throughout the text, they'll be marked in heavier colors:

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There's now a scroll bar across the top of the screen. These allows you to quickly browse through all of your revisions:

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By default, all of the revisions are compared the current version.

However, if you want to compare two older versions instead, click the box marked "Compare two revisions". You'll now get two slider arrows:

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When you have a valid revision that can be restored, a blue "Restore this Revision" button will appear. Click that button to roll back your post to that revision.

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One thing I wanted to test was how the new WordPress would handle multiple revisions. Here's the UI with around 50 revisions.

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Things Missing?

Although the new revisions interface is really nice, two useful features are lacking.

It would be nice to limit the number of revisions stored, for the health of your database and the user interface. If you often end up with 100s of revisions on an article, I suspect you'll want to use a plugin such as Remove Revisions to limit the number.

Also, it would be to leave notes next to revisions, explaining your changes. I wasn't able to find a plugin to provide this feature.

How do Revisions Work in WordPress 3.5?

As a reminder, here's how revisions work with the current version of WordPress.

The comparison area is at the bottom of the screen. To navigate through the revisions, you have to click, compare, click, compare, click ...

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Update: fast-forward a while, and WordPress now allows the Customize to use revisions and schedule design changes.

About the author

Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.