How to Save a Draft of an Already Published Post

You need to update a post.

No problem.

But, it’s a big update and will take you more than an hour to finish. Here’s why that sucks:

  1. If you save, your half-baked update will be published for the whole world to see
  2. If you don’t save, you could accidentally close the browser tab and lose all of your work

So what do you do when you need to save a draft of a published page?

You install a brand new plugin that adds a “revision” feature to WordPress.

Here’s how…

How to save drafts of live pages

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Saved by a plugin, yet again!

To add the revision functionality to your site, install & activate the free Revisionize plugin.

Screenshot of the Revisionize plugin

You can download it from the link above, or simply search for it from the Plugins menu in your WP dashboard.

Revisionize in the Plugins search results
Search for “revisionize” and it will be the top result

Once the plugin is activated, visit your Posts menu. When you hover your cursor over a post, you’ll see a new “Revisionize” option.

Revisionize Post Option
This option is available for Pages too

Click the “Revisionize” link and it will create a private draft of the published post.

The revision works just like a normal post draft. You can make edits and save your changes without anyone seeing the updates. When you’re ready to make your update live, click the Publish button like you would with a regular draft.

Publish Button
No one will see your edits until you click, “Publish”

Once the revision is published, it will override the original post and your changes will go live.

Now you know how to create and edit private drafts of published pages.

There are a few more things you may want to know before using the Revisionize plugin

A few more details

When you publish a revision, the original post takes on the new content, but it keeps the same URL, so you don’t have to worry about the permalink changing.

Additionally, the post will keep its original date. This means that if you schedule a revision, it will be published at the scheduled date, but the post will keep its original publish date. If you want to schedule a revision and have the post use the new scheduled date, uncheck the “Preserve Date” box in the Revisionize settings menu.

Screenshot of Revisionize's Preserve Date setting
Uncheck “Preserve Date” to use the revision’s publication date

By the way, if you want to change the format of the date on your posts, you can read this tutorial next:

How to Change the Date Format in WordPress

And lastly, Revisionize will automatically create a private draft of your existing post whenever you publish a revision. This is basically a way of backing up your posts to prevent you from accidentally losing content.

If you feel you don’t need this safety measure, uncheck the “Keep Backup” setting in the Revisionize settings.

Revisionize's Keep Backup setting
Uncheck “Keep Backup” if you don’t want a backup of every revised post

With these updates, you’re ready to improve your editorial workflow with the Revisionize plugin.

Saving published pages as drafts

WordPress is a powerful CMS, but there are times when it lacks tools for a professional editorial workflow. This is one of those times.

Luckily, there are more than 55,000 plugins (!) and one of them addresses this issue perfectly.

When it comes to creating post revisions, the ability to schedule them makes Revisionize an especially handy tool.

Speaking of which, if you’ve never scheduled a post, you’re really missing out. You’re going to feel like a total wizard when you’ve got your next two weeks of content finished and scheduled to auto-publish on your blog:

Learn how to schedule WordPress posts

If you’re looking for more ways to customize your site, you’ll enjoy this collection of a few dozen ways to customize WordPress.

If you enjoyed this post about saving drafts of published pages, make sure to share it with someone else you think you would enjoy it.

Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley
Ben Sibley is a WordPress theme designer & developer, and founder of Compete Themes.

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