Joomla 3.2 Versions ToolJoomla has come out with a new tool for their content management system called "Versions" which simply put, is a way to roll back previous changes to your content articles, categories or components. All most everything on the Joomla website can be rolled back to a previous saved version. As time moves on, more and more components will adopt this type of functionality for compatibility reasons as well as more extensibility within the Joomla CMS itself. This is an awesome feature and will drastically reduce development time for non-savvy Joomla users.

How to use Joomla's Content Versioning Feature?

There are a couple of things we need to do first before we start using this new feature. If you are installing a fresh version of Joomla 3.2 you do not have to do anything to start using the Joomla Version feature. However, if you have recently upgraded to Joomla 3.2 this functionality has to be turned on.

Existing Sites - Upgraded to Joomla 3.2

To turn this feature on if you have upgraded to Joomla 3.2 you must first go to your article manager and click the options button which is found in the top right corner of the screen.

Once you have clicked on the options button in the article manager you will want to click the second tab called "Editing Layout". The 3rd option down is the "Save History" field. When upgrading to Joomla 3.2 from a prior version this will always be off. Click yes to enable Joomla Versioning. The field below is the Maximum versions you want saved. The default is 10. However, you can change this to 15-20 or more depending on how many previous versions you would like to keep.

Note: The more versions you save, the bigger your database. The bigger the database the slower it loads.

Once you have enabled the Joomla Versions tool any FUTURE changes that you make to articles, categories or components will be saved. It is important to note at this point, once you turn this feature on, there are no saved versions of anything. Only after this tool is turned on, and only after you open something up, make changes and click save will it start recording your changes. Let's take a look now at how to access the versions feature for an article.

Go to your article manager and click on any article and open it up. It the article menu bar seen below a new button appears called "Versions".

For new Joomla installs and existing Joomla 3.2 and higher updates

When you click this button, a pop-up window will appear (more than likely blank at this point) to show you your revision history. For the sake of this article, I have made some changes to an article multiple times to show how this versions feature works.

The starred version was the original before I made any changes. The one below it and the one above it were created when I opened up the original, made changes and then saved. You might be asking yourself, if the starred version is the original, then why is it not at the bottom with the two changes above it? It took me a minute to figure that out as well. When I made my first change the starred version was at the bottom and the first change was above it. Then, I reverted the first change back to the original which made that saved version the second change. Then I made a third change which is showing at the top. The changes are based on the time of the change.

Now there are several features to this pop-up window to take note of.

Front End Joomla Versioning

The Joomla Versioning Tool also works on the front end of Joomla when editing an article the same way it works in the backend.

This tool is just that, a tool. It is not meant to replace a Joomla backup routine. We highly recommend daily backups of your entire website and database. For those that can not back up their entire website daily, at least backup your website once a week. An awesome tool for this is the Akeeba Backup component. This makes backing up your website a breeze.

To see how all of this works, you can also watch this youtube video below that walks you thru the process step by step.