Finally, Joomla Has Version Control

If we had a dime every time the IT Manager of a company asked us whether Joomla has version control or not, we’d be very, very rich! Like each us would have his own Bugatti Veyron rich. OK, you get the point… But we really do get asked a lot whether this feature exists or not. It is by far the most important feature that large companies want to have in their CMS.

So, what does version control do?

Version control allows the administrator to revert back to a previous version of a content item (typically an article). This means that if something goes wrong with that content item (especially formatting wise), then the administrator will be able to easily revert back to a previous version.

And now Joomla has it?

Yes! Joomla version 3.2 (which was released yesterday [November 6, 2013]) has this feature (Joomla calls it Content Versioning – note that it only applies to Joomla’s own content, and not to other types of content, such as K2 articles). Unfortunately, this feature is not available in Joomla 2.5 (even in its latest version, which is 2.5.15) – our guess is that Joomla 2.5 will never have this feature. So, those who really want version control must upgrade to Joomla 3.2.

So how does version control work in Joomla 3.2?

It’s quite easy. Let’s say you are editing a huge article (that was already saved before) in Joomla 3.2, and then you accidentally removed a <div> layer and then clicked on the Save button on the top. Now, when you check the article, you’ll notice that the whole formatting is wrong. Previously, you had to spend a lot of time just trying to fix it (especially if you don’t have much experience in HTML), or you had to pay someone to fix it for you. Now, all you need to do is to go back to the backend, open the article in edit mode, and then click on the Versions button the top, and then from the Item Version History popup window, you choose which version you want to revert to (you just check the box next to it), and then you click Restore. That’s it, your old article now shows up! Easy, huh?

But what if I don’t want the overhead of version control?

If you feel secure enough with your Joomla skills and believe that this feature is just overhead (technically it is, because every version of a content item is an additional row of that content item’s table in the database) then you can disable it by doing the following:

  • Go to the Article Manager.
  • Click on Options on the top right.

  • Click on the Editing Layout tab.

  • Choose “No” next to Save History.

  • Click on Save on the top left.

Note that if you are upgrading from a previous version of Joomla, this feature will be defaulted to “No” (so if you want version control you will need to enable it by performing the above steps and, in the last step, choose “Yes”). If you’re installing Joomla 3.2 from scratch, then it’ll default to “Yes”.

Will it break some existing extensions?

Unless you are using a really horrible extension that doesn’t even filter published from non-published items, then you won’t have any problem. If, by any chance, you were unfortunate enough to have such a buggy extension, then you can call in some Joomla experts to fix it for you. Alternatively, you can disable version control as described above.

To which type of content does Joomla version control apply to?

Joomla version control applies to the following content:

  • Articles
  • Banners
  • Categories
  • Contacts
  • News Feeds
  • User Notes
  • Weblinks

As stated above, version control currently does not apply to 3rd party extensions, but we expect prominent 3rd party extensions to soon follow suit!

If you have installed/updated to Joomla 3.2 and if you are having problems with one or more of your extensions because of it, then try disabling it. If you still want it anyway, then please contact us. We’ll fix the problem for you in not time and for an extremely reasonable fee!

No comments yet.

Leave a comment