Changing WordPress Auto-Save and Revisions Settings

by Steve on September 11, 2010

The WordPress  team did a great and wonderful thing when they included auto-save and revisions for posts/pages. If you’re in a collaborative environment, referring to previous revisions can be a useful tool. And auto-save? If you haven’t had a computer crash in the middle of writing a blog post, you’re probably in the minority :)

On the flip side, most of us don’t need to see countless revisions that we may have made. Fix a typo? One more revision. The list can get pretty long.

And really – do we really need an auto save once every minute? I don’t know about you, but I don’t type that fast…

Fortunately, as for most annoyances in WordPress, there is a relatively easy fix for both auto-saves and post/page revisions. You’ll need to edit your wp-config.php file (for those of you who installed WP by hand, that’s the file where you entered your database information).

FTP into your WordPress installation on your server, then download the wp-config.php file to your computer. Immediately, before you do anything else, make a backup copy. Always always always keep a backup copy of files you edit. An error as tiny as a misplaced comma can render your blog unusable.

Changing the AutoSave interval

You’ll need to add the following line to your wp-config.php file:

define('AUTOSAVE_INTERVAL', 180 );  // # of seconds between saves

Change the ’160′ number to whatever autosave interval you want. I usually use 180, or 3 minutes.

Change the post Revisions settings

Unlike AutoSave, you can actually turn post/page revisions off if you really want to. Or, you can specify the number of revisions you want to keep.

To turn revisions off, add this line to wp-config.php:

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', false );

If you want to keep revisions on, but limit the number that WordPress saves, use a number instead of the keyword false:

define('WP_POST_REVISIONS', 6);

There. Pretty simple, eh? Save your wp-config.php file, then upload it back to your server. Your changes will take effect immediately.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cindy December 6, 2011 at 8:32 pm

What if the line: define(‘WP_POST_REVISIONS’, false );
is MISSING from wp-config.php and you want to have the revisions?
Can you help with that?
I did not auto install (some people think that was their issue).



Steve December 6, 2011 at 9:11 pm

You don’t have to do anything – post revisions are enabled by default. You only need to define the constant as ‘false’ if you do NOT want post revisions to be stored.

I take it you’re having a problem with revisions not being stored?


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