WordPress revisions is a very good feature for multi editor sites where many editors access and modify the same post content. But for a single user who normally generate the content offline and copy/paste it online, does not need or like so many versions are created for a single post or page which are really of no use to them. The more frustrating fact is that you do not have any control over these revisions and will not be able to disable or restrict from your dashboard since revisions and autosave are default core functions of WordPress.
Here we discuss some of the issues faced by users due to WordPress revisions. You can refer this for similar kind of issues and work on resolution since WordPress developers do not seem to make this feature optional in near future.
WordPress Revisions Issues
- Revisions will increase the database size.
- Backup problem due to increase in database size.
- Conflicting with Custom Fields generated using plugins.
- Cause slow loading of post editor due to memory overflow.
1. How Much Database Size It Will Take?
Each revision of a post is stored in your database and retrieved when a post is opened in the editor. The more the modification you do, more revisions will be saved thus increasing the size of your database.
Here is the comparison of database size with and without a post/page revision for a site having 500 posts/pages.
|Number of Pages / Posts||500|
|Size of Each Page / Post||50 KB|
|Database Size Without Revisions||500 * 50 = 25000 KB = 25 MB|
|Revisions per Page / Post||5|
|Total Revisions||500 * 5 = 2500|
|Size of Each Revision||50 KB|
|Total Size of Revisions||2500 * 50 = 125000 KB = 125 MB|
|Total Size of Actual Posts||500 * 50 = 25000 KB = 25 MB|
|Total Database Size||125 + 25 = 150 MB|
|% of Increase in Size||(150 – 25) 25 * 100 = 500% (5 times)|
The size and number of posts may vary based on your actual site but the point is a simple 25 MB of database will become 150 MB size due to multiple WordPress revisions. Moreover, in real scenario the number of revisions will be much higher with a range of 10 – 20 per post/page including one autosaved version. This 5 fold increase of database size may cause a problem for hosting space in case if your hosting provider restricts the usage of database size.
2. Backup Problems Due to WordPress Revisions
Even if you do not have any restriction on hosting space the increased size of the database will bother you during backup of your MySQL database.
With the above example, when you try to export a MySQL database content using phpMyAdmin it needs 5x more times than actual time required. This may exceed the time limit of export set by your hosting company and results in timeout with incomplete backup. And if there is a download limit of 50 MB for example, then you will never be able to backup the entire content resulting in high risk of content loss.
Analyzing the backup will show you that some posts are missing and the backup might have terminated in-between “wp_post” table where actual posts as well as all revisions are stored. You will find out that further posts in “wp_post” table and any further tables like “wp_links”, “wp_users”, etc were not backed up.
This will completely offset the purpose of making revisions as a default core feature which is supposed to help users in emergency situation. When there is a tradeoff between backup and revisions anyone will choose to disable or delete revisions without any second thought.
3. Custom Fields Conflict with Revisions
It is also noticed that revisions are conflicting with the custom fields created using some plugins. Certainly custom fields may be more important for you to run the live site rather than keeping thousands of dead revisions.
4. Slow WordPress Editor Loading
Since revisions are fetched when a post or page is opened in WordPress editor, high number of revisions may cause slow loading of WordPress Classic or Gutenberg editor. Sometimes you may reach an extent of not able to access the post due to huge number of revisions causing memory overflow on low memory servers.
The only way here is to delete the revisions from database so that you can access and update the post through WordPress frontend editor.
How to Disable Revisions in WordPress?
When you decided to work on these revisions, there are three ways to handle the problem:
- Disabling revisions feature completely.
- Restrict number of revisions and interval of autosaves.
- Deleting existing revisions stored in a database.
Click here to see detailed explanation of each option.
Though people think revisions cause slow page loading, it is not true. Revisions will not slowdown your site loading since they are not shown in the search engines and only retrieved from your database when a post / page is opened inside the WordPress editor. Even WordPress pages will have revisions since WordPress considers page also as a post.
Thanks for the nice example of how quickly the database can grow when adding revisions. Question: are revisions stored in the wp_posts table or somewhere else?
Yes, WordPress stores all content in wp_posts table. Check this article for more details https://www.webnots.com/wordpress-database-structure/