How to Undo Changes in WordPress

WordPress websites have become really popular for small businesses, novice web designers, and anyone who requires an online presence. They are easy to set up and use, and will actually provide you with plenty of functionality. There are also numerous templates you can use which will let you tweak the website to your liking. However, it’s also important to learn how to undo changes in WordPress. This can be useful if you have made changes to your site and have changed your mind. Or perhaps, you have changed some settings and now the site isn’t working properly, so you want to revert back to the previous version.

Before you make any changes

There are a few steps that we recommend you take before you change anything on your website. Sometimes the changes you make can have undesired results, and it’s best to be prepared. However, you might be in a situation where you have already messed something up and now you just want to know how to undo changes in WordPress. Although you are understandably anxious to fix your site, you can still take a moment and make some preparations.

It’s good to have a backup of your website. Ideally, you have already created a backup of a working version of your site. If everything else goes wrong, and you are unable to undo the changes, you can always restore your site to a previous version. Even if you don’t have a backup, you might still want to consider saving the current state of your website.

Consider several backup solutions

If there are multiple people accessing the website’s files, then you can consider cloud storage for your backups. If you are in a pinch, you can use Google Drive, since it can store 15GB of data. Most WordPress websites rarely go over 2GB, so you should be able to comfortably fit your site on Google’s provided storage. If your website exceeds these limitations, it’s most likely due to large media files. Videos can be especially hard to store, and we would suggest hosting them in other places. For instance, you can have a company profile on YouTube and upload the videos there. Instead of having the full video on your WordPress site, you can just embed the video from YouTube. You can never be too safe, so we recommend that you make an offline version as well.

Another issue that may prevent you making changes on your site could be caching issues. Assuming that you have a functional backup copy, you may want to clear your WordPress cache before continuing. The caching will then store the updated version of your site. This can be helpful to let you know that you are looking at the current version.

Memory cards are good for offline storage.
Offline storage is a good fallback option if you need to undo mistakes.

Here’s how to undo changes in WordPress for the most common situations:

  1. The undo button

This represents a good option for when you are doing simple text or image editing. The Undo and Redo buttons perform very basic functions, but they can be literal lifesavers. They are located at the top left corner and will let you take back any action you just performed when editing the content of your site.

  1. Revisions

We are often surprised by how many people don’t know about this simple function in WordPress. While you are working in WordPress, your progress is automatically saved. The Revisions button will let you go back to a previously saved state. Revisions will be located on the right side of your screen. Although WordPress will occasionally auto-save your work, it’s still a good idea to save your drafts manually. This is important because sometimes the revisions tab will be empty, meaning that there is no previous version you can return to. You should also save your work before making any major changes so that you have a fallback option in case something goes wrong. Relying only on the auto-save can be tricky, since only one automatic save can exist at any time. This means that you can only go back so far by using this feature.

WordPress plugins menu.
Third party plugins can be used for backup.
  1. WordPress backup plugins

You can always opt to use a third party plugin to backup your wordpress site. You can even recover deleted pages with plugins and many of them have additional functions. Having a backup available within WordPress can save you a lot of headache. Unfortunately, just like with other forms of backup, you will lose any changes you have made since the backup was created.

  1. Check the Trash and Drafts folders

You may feel silly admitting this, but sometimes your work isn’t in the folder you thought it was. If you have accidentally deleted your post or page, it will remain in the Trash for 30 days. Don’t put off restoring your pages for too long, since after that period is over, WordPress will delete the page permanently. If you have made changes to existing pages and forgot to publish – your work could be sitting in the Drafts folder.

Keyboard undo button for WordPress.
Sometimes you need to roll back the changes you have made.

What if this doesn’t help?

Perhaps you are facing a WordPress problem that isn’t covered by the solutions we provided. You can contact the WordPress website experts from WPFullCare, and we will be glad to offer additional assistance. We can help take care of the maintenance, security and even provide you with off-site backups of your website.

Sometimes, just retracing your steps can help you solve the issues you were facing. Do you know exactly what you did to cause the current changes to your site? You can experiment with a backup copy, and go through the same steps in order to see what happens. Occasionally, it will be easier just to do something again from scratch rather than trying to undo a mistake.

The bottom line

It’s always a good idea to remain calm and exhaust all available options before you start to panic. Although there are many ways to get your work back, knowing how to undo changes in WordPress shouldn’t make you lazy. Think twice before changing anything on your site, and make sure to always have numerous backups of important files. With a little preparation and planning, you will never be caught off guard, no matter what happens to your site.

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