How to Retrieve Older Versions of Your Posts in WordPress

If you are like me, you always have a few posts in Draft status in your Posts Editor. You start on a topic, write the whole post or a part of it, and then switch to something else. Sometimes when you revisit an older post to edit it or complete it, you end up making lots of changes. This is because we have different things going on most days, and what seems great today might look so-so tomorrow. But here’s the catch! If you don’t publish the post, and go back to it on yet another day, it’s possible that you won’t like your second attempt either. Or you will think the first one was much better. So should you rely on memory to remember which version had what content, and choose based on that? Of course not!

WordPress gives us a very valuable solution to this problem – Versioning. Whatever profession you work in, you know it is always prudent to have a baseline of any document. You always maintain a base version of your project plan or business plan. And you just create different versions as you make changes.

WordPress adds a version every time you save a post or page. This may or may not be evident depending on your Screen Options. Depending on what you have chosen to see on your screen, the ‘Revisions’ section is clearly visible and you can choose to revert to any older version.

I have a video below illustrating how to do this. If you prefer to see the written word, I am also adding step by step instructions below to revert to an older version of your post.

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How to Compare Revisions and Restore older versions

1. Login to your WordPress installation as usual.

2. On the Dashboard, click on Posts in the left sidebar.

3. Choose any post in draft status that you want to edit.

4) Check to make sure that your Screen Options allow you to see the revisions.

Wordpress screen options revisions

5. For this,click on in the top right corner of the screen.Under ‘Show on Screen’, check the box called .

6. Make sure that you see a box called ‘Revisions’ below your Post.

wordpress revisions shown
7. Click on the older version you want to retrieve.

8. Now you can compare two versions to see what’s different between them. If you click Compare, you see two columns side by side and the change is highlighted in green.

wordpress compared revisions

9. Click on Restore to go back to an older version.

wordpress compare and restore

10. Proceed with your post as usual.

And that’s it! I am sure you’ll agree it’s pretty easy once you know what to do. I didn’t realize this feature was available until I explored the Screen Options. Since many business owners and bloggers go back at least once to edit and proof read their content, I thought this might come in handy.

Was this helpful to you? And are there any particular features that you want to know about. Maybe WordPress has them, maybe it doesn’t. But you can always ask and request a post about it. I am sure even I can pick up a few pointers from readers’ experiences.

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