Why I hate the WordPress Revisions Feature

Users complain about the Revisions feature in WordPress

Some users have complained to wp developers that they also hate this so-called feature. The developers have strongly and universally responded to the users – Stick it! We like the feature and refuse to listen further.

So what did the complaining users cite as their reason? They don’t like the ever-growing size of the MYSQL db.

That particular complaint about the db may or may not be legitimate.


Let’s suppose (as I have found recently when my site go hosed for unknown reasons) that a user has to rebuild a site. One of the first steps may be to restore the bd from a backup. Let’s suppose also that the user has chosen a backup from before the problems occurred even though that backup does not include the latest posts.

Using that db, suddenly some number of posts are in the sitemap, but not on the server. Search engines now supply broken links to the searcher. Then, out of the blue, Google says “you sitemap contains errors.” O’ Boy! Looking at the site map that Google generated last, you discover things like:
“sitename/directory/?p=21/” or “sitename/directory/this_post.html”. For the newbe, those lines should be named “sitename/directory/?p=21” or “sitename/directory/this-post”.

Reading further in this sitemap, you discover loop of several hundred rescursive links all ending in: this_file.html. Double O Boy!

In my case, there are four authors, and a WP backup for each. These are the post dumps of each author’s work. Each of these dumps contain all the revisions. And if AuthorA modified a post by AuthorB, then those revisions are in AuthorA’s dump as well. Worse, each of those revision has a different post designation (p=1234 or p=this-page)… but here’s the kicker… what AuthorA modified was not a post but a page. Pages are designated by page_id=555 or page_this_page. One author’s dump is 6MB (AuthorA’s 3 short posts, many revisions to AuthorB’s stuff), AuthorB’s 3MB (142 long posts, a few revisions). That’s 9MB of text files to search through to find the posts and pages with malformed links.

I needed to go through each author’s backup dumps and find the bad links, and fix them on the site pages. Of course each time I fixed a post on the site, I created a new revision and increased the size of the next dump. (I tried a plugin to turn this feature off, but it slows things down drastically, so I eliminated it. I pasted a code snipet to do the same thing, but it had the same effect).

There is no way – looking at the metadata – to distinguish which is the real item and which is the revision. There is no way to preform a backup which excludes the revisions. There is no way to delete the revisions. There is no way to turn the revision feature off, not even a secret one… The result of fixing several hundred bad links is a drastically expanding db – going from less than 200K to 6MB!

With 20 plus remaining bad links, what size AuthorA’s db will be when all the links are fixed is not pretty.

WP Revisions Feature Status


PIF Status


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