If you’ve ever edited an already-published post or page in WordPress, you may have wondered if there’s a way to save your changes without publishing immediately.

For example, let’s say you’re rewriting your About page, and you want to save your progress—but you’re not ready to overwrite the existing page just yet.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to do just that.

The Problem With Updating Live Content In WordPress

The process of creating and editing posts and pages in WordPress is generally pretty easy.

While you’re working on new content, you can always save it as a draft and come back to finish it later.

You can also update live, published posts at any time.

However, when you update a published post (or page), your changes are immediately pushed to the live site, overwriting the previous version of your content.

By default, there’s no way to save a draft of a published post without un-publishing it. This can be a problem if you’re making significant changes that won’t be finished in a single editing session.

Luckily, there is a highly effective workaround that will allow you to save changes without publishing by installing a simple (free) plugin.

How To Save Changes To A Post Or Page Without Publishing

First, install and activate the free Revisionize plugin.

Next, go to Posts > All Posts or Pages > All Pages in your WordPress dashboard.

Locate the live post or page you’d like to edit, and hover your mouse over it.

You should see a new “Revisionize” option.

Clicking that link will clone your post into a new “revision” draft:

All of the original post’s content and metadata will be copied, including featured images, categories, tags, custom fields, etc.

You can then edit the revision draft just like any other post, saving your progress as needed.

When you’re ready to go live, simply publish the post. This will overwrite the original post or page on your site.

You can also schedule the post for a future date, which will overwrite the original post at the date and time you specify.

By default, the original post will be kept around as a separate “backup revision” draft—but you can disable this in the plugin settings (see below).

Customizing How Revisions Work

I recommend exploring the settings at Settings > Revisionize to ensure the plugin’s functionality suits your workflow.

By default, after publishing, Revisionize will keep a backup of your previously published live post. It will be stored as a draft and marked as a “backup revision.” If you’d rather not clutter your drafts with these backups, you may want to disable this feature.

You can also choose whether you’d like to preserve the original date of the post. If you disable this option, the post date will be modified to match the date of the revision.

Likewise, you can choose to preserve the original author, or reassign the post to the author of the revision (if different).

The plugin author also offers paid addons to further extend the functionality. For most users, the free version is more than enough—but advanced users who frequently update old content may appreciate the Advanced Settings addon, which is just $10.

Final Thoughts

Making significant changes to live, published content in WordPress can be difficult. You need to save your work, but you don’t want to overwrite the existing post just yet. With Revisionize, you can easily save changes without publishing right away. It’s a must-have plugin.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!