Plugin Of The Week – 12/02/2013 – Revision Control

Controlling WordPress Revision Bloat

If you have been running  a WordPress blog for any more then a few days you likely have encountered “the dreaded revisions bloat” that is quite unfortunate.

What is meant by revision bloat?

Each time you make any edits to posts or pages the core WordPress will make a copy of the post or page you are editing. This is done so that you may go back to an earlier version of the post in the event that you need to.

The problem becomes is some authors like to make lots of edits. Sure we should all proofread everything 3 times before publishing, but even during normal draft editing we sometimes can make hundreds of edits depending on the length or complexity of the post. We sometimes like to write some and then come back to the post at a later date. I do it with almost every post.

This often leads to a considerable number of “saved revisions” that do nothing more then take up space in the database and on the file system. This plugin helps to eliminate that mess.

Revision Control

Plugin Version: 2.3

WordPress Compatability: 3.2+

Last Updated: 9-11-2013

Authors: Dion Hulse

Average 5-Star Rating: 4.5

 

What Revision Control Does (According to the Author)

 

Revision Control is a plugin for WordPress which gives the user more control over the Revision functionality.

 

The plugin allows the user to set a site-global setting (Settings -> Revisions) for pages/posts to enable/disable/limit the number of revisions which are saved for the page/post. The user may change this setting on a per-page/post basis from the Revisions Meta box.

 

The plugin also allows the deletion of specific revisions via the Revisions post metabox.

Why We Like Revision Control

 

Simplicity. As you may have guessed from previous posts we love simple plugins the best and this plugin ranks right up there with being one of the simplest there is from a user standpoint.

 

Just three settings, That’s it.

 

Default Revision Status

Note: This field is special. It controls what appears in the Revision Options <select> fields.
The basic syntax of this is simple, fields are seperated by comma’s.
A field may either be a number, OR a range.
For example: 1,5 displays 1 Revision, and 5 Revisions. 1..5 on the other hand, will display 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. Revisions.
If in doubt, Leave this field alone.

But What It Really Does

 

Most authors I know of find it easier to rewrite entire articles then to bother with “reverting” back to previous revisions especially on short posts.

 

Don’t get me wrong, as a programmer I appreciate good revision control. A programming error could affect software dramatically. A misplaced decimal point could mean the difference between billing a client $1000 or $10. That’s a good cause for revision control.

 

As a writer, I do not need a separate copy because I misspelled a word and then corrected it at a later date. Spelling and grammar mistakes to me are negligible to the context of a written article.

 

So how many revisions do you really need? Well for me it’s 2. For you it might be 5 or 10.

 

But this plugin lets you decide. It gives you the control to decide how many copies of that post you edited a hundred time to linger around. Heck, this is why it’s often easier to rewrite the post. Why bother searching through a 100 revisions? I wouldn’t do it.

 

But 2 or even 5 I might just in case. But I like to make major changes and then save the file. This then gives a new revision. The likelihood of me going back to earlier versions is pretty rare so I would rather have a considerably smaller database and backup file size as a benefit of less revisions.

 

That’s right. One major blog slowness problem is that bloated database. Anytime a database and file system grows in size it becomes slower. Maybe it is only marginal, but as your blog grows in size so does that bloat. When left to unlimited revisions for all posts the bloating effect can become several time larger then the corresponding database without those revisions..

 

Why keep around a hundred or more copies of a post simply because you might make a slight change? It does not seem worth the extra space and load times. This plugin give you back the control you want over your blog, can make your blog faster and more responsive and save you time managing excess revision bloat.

 

Grab the plugin from the WordPress.Org Repository here:

http://wordpress.org/plugins/revision-control/