Data recovery is not only important on a live website. It is also important during the preparation time of publishing your content online. WordPress, being a popular blogging platform, has lots of built-in features to recover your content during unexpected situation. In our earlier article, we have explained autosave and revision features and how to restore content using these features. However, with Gutenberg the autosave is changed completely that will spoil the purpose. Due to the annoying feature, in this article we will explain how to disable autosave in WordPress Gutenberg editor. Also, learn the differences between autosave and revisions in WordPress.
Why Autosave is Annoying in Gutenberg?
When you use the classic editor, WordPress by default saves the content on the editor around every 60 seconds. You can disable this completely or change the frequency by simply adding a piece of code in your wp-config.php file. For example, the below code will increase the autosave frequency to 5000 seconds which should be a nominal value.
define( 'AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 5000 );
WordPress introduced Gutenberg editor with the version 5.0. However, autosave in Gutenberg works differently. It attempts to save the content every few minutes similar to previous autosave. But the problem arises when the autosave gets stuck and you will not be able to do any work on the editor.
- Publish button will not work when autosaving.
- Image uploads will get stuck.
- Meta boxes will stop working. For example, you may not be able to choose different layout if your theme offers a meta box for that.
- Plugin meta boxes will stop working like adding SEO title / description in Yoast meta box.
- After publishing the content, you will still see the “Updating…” button without any reasons.
- Though you can continue to type the content, you will lose it as there are no options to terminate the autosaving.
Basically, WordPress will freeze the entire editor during autosave. You have no options other than waiting for the autosave to complete. Unfortunately, in most cases it will never complete and you have to go back in the browser or navigate to other menu options that will essentially result in losing your hard work.
Some Reasons for Autosave to Stuck
You can see the issue was explained clearly in this GitHub thread. It is unfortunate that after years, still there is no solution and the issue continue to happen. There are some fundamental reasons for the autosave to get stuck in-between.
- Slow internet connection.
- Resources failed to load.
- Using blocked connection.
Whatsoever is the reason, the bottom line is that you should control the autosave in Gutenberg to work freely.
How to Disable Autosave in WordPress Gutenberg Editor?
The most annoying part is the previous way of disabling autosave will not work with Gutenberg. Fortunately, there is a plugin available for this.
- Login to your WordPress admin panel and navigate to “Plugins > Add New” section.
- Search for “disable Gutenberg” and find the “Disable Gutenberg Autosave” plugin.
- Install and activate the plugin.
The plugin will not add menu or settings section on the admin panel. However, it will add an option in Gutenberg editor. When you are in the editor, click on the “Autosave settings” icon shown nearer to top right corner.
By default, the plugin will disable the autosave in Gutenberg for all posts. If required, you can change the option to choose different interval. The only problem is that you need to setup the interval for each post individually. However, if your intention is to permanently disable autosave in Gutenberg then this plugin will do the trick for you.
Use Perfmatters to Delay Autosave and Disable Post Revisions
If you want to remove all the bloat (especially inside the header section) and unnecessary function like autosave, then Perfmatter is one of the best options we would recommend. This plugin allows to remove comment author link, RSS feed and WooCommerce styles/scripts. Though you can’t completely disable autosave, it is possible to set as 5 minutes (instead of the default 1 minute) and disable post revisions. This helps in most cases to reduce database size as well as keep the limited versions of autosaves.
- There are no free version available and hence you need to go to Perfmatters site and purchase the plugin.
- Install and activate the plugin with your license key.
- Go to “Settings > Perfmatters > General” section.
- Scroll down to the bottom and select “Disable Post Revisions” for “Limit Post Revisions” option.
- Also, select “5 Minutes” for “Autosave Interval” option.
- Click “Save Changes” button showing at the bottom of the page.
This is a good example how a good autosave function can overwhelm the entire experience of content creation. WordPress also has a settings section for writing and we are not sure why can’t such options can be added there for users to customize. Till that time, you have to use this plugin to disable autosave in Gutenberg editor.
This plugin doesn’t work.