Written by Peter Bui Follow on
Published: 30 May 2013

Have you ever accidently deleted the content in an article and clicked save? Well when version control comes into play with Joomla, you can revert back to an older saved version of your article before that accidental deletion of your content.

Furthermore, in a corporate environment, changes and modifications to the website can be tracked and traced. This means that you can find out who made the edits to an article and if additional training is required for that user to prevent incorrect usage of the website in the future.

The new version feature in Joomla enables the user to view multiple versions of an articles that have been saved within the Joomla CMS. A user can then do a comparison of the different versions, get a real preview of older versions and track who made the changes. It also allows you to go back and restore prior versions of an article, category and even potentially other extensions that may take advantage of this new feature. Very exciting!

Creating an Article

First you will need to create a new article. Click on add new article.

Add new article

Give your new article a name, use something distinctive and memorable. For this, I will use Test.


In the editor box, insert any text you would like. For the test, I am inserting test repeated.testingcopy


In the right side panel of options, give your article a version note name. I chose VERSION1

.Joomla content version type


Hit the Save button. (Not Save & Close)



You will notice that the version note that we inserted before saving, has disappeared. Change any of the copy in the editor, doesn’t matter how small. Although it is helpful when testing this feature that you change something that will be significant.


Insert a new name for the Version Note. VERSION2 should be sufficient.


Press save again. Once again the version note will disappear.


In the top menu, select Versions.



This will produce a pop-up box. It should only show the two versions you have saved. VERSION1 and VERSION2.




Deselect the checkbox next to VERSION1 on the Item Version History page.


Hit Preview Version above the author column.



This will open a pop-up box showing a preview of VERSION2.



Close out of the preview view (on a Mac) by pressing the red exit window button in the top left corner, or you can press command-W. (Exit top right corner on a PC).


If you wish, you can preview VERSION1 by closing the window, reselecting it and then deselecting VERSION2.



Select the two versions by selecting the checkbox next to both dates.


Hit Compare versions in the top right corner of the popup.


This will bring up the Compare View popup box. Arrow 1 is showing the VERSION1 edition in the first column. Arrow 2 shows the VERSION2 edition in the centre column. You will notice the difference is the removal of copy and the styling has changed. Column three, indicated by arrow 3 is the difference between the two editions.  


If you hit Show HTML Code in the top menu, it will bring up the code in the changes column.


html changes

 Close out of the compare view (on a Mac) by pressing the red exit window button in the top left corner, or you can press command-W. (Exit top right corner on a PC).




To restore to the original version. Select the checkbox for VERSION1.


Hit Restore Version, located in the top menu.


The popup box should close automatically, showing the Article Manager: Edit Article window beneath. In the window you should see Message: Prior version successfully restored. Saved on ….(date) VERSION1.


You have now successfully restored a prior version of an article in Joomla.


At the time of writing this article, content version control for Joomla is still in beta testing. If you have any input, comments, or would like to test and contribute to it, you can do so via:


Please contribute, discuss and thank Mark Dexter for his work on this. 

Content version control is a fantastic addition to the Joomla CMS and the community from what we’ve seen would really benefit from the addition.


Peter Bui

Peter Bui

An all round web specialist with years of experience in web design, development and open source solutions at PB Web Development

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