Page Versioning v2

Hello again, Eray Chou here. We’re hitting the tail end of this year’s conference season, and a question I’ve been asked a few times on the road is whether there are solutions or best practices for rolling back changes to page edits in WSS.

One best practice is to put pages into document libraries and turn on versioning. There are limitations to this solution, which I’ll get into shortly, but it is a quick and easy way to handle changes to page content.

To create a document library in SharePoint Designer:

1.) File > New > SharePoint Content

2.) Click on Document Libraries in the left pane and then select Document Library

3.) Name your Document Library, for example “Pages”, and then click “OK”

Next, turn on Versioning for that document library:

1.) Select the Document Library you just created in the Folder List.
Type Alt+F1 if the folder list is not showing, or click Task Panes > Folder List

2.) Right click on the Document Library and select Properties

3.) Go to the Settings tab

4.) Set the Use Version History option to either “Major and minor (draft) versions” or “Major Versions”. If you opt for the former, set the Make drafts visible to option based on your own preference

Now that your document library with versioning is set up, you can create and save new pages into this document library. Each subsequent save you make will create a new version, and if you make changes that you want to revert, you can roll back to a previous version of the page.

To roll back changes:

1.) Click on the Page you want to roll back in the folder list

2.) Right click on the page and select Version History

3.) Pick the version number to restore, and then click Restore
Note that restoring a version just copies the old content into a new version, so you can always restore your most recent page edits. For example, if I’m currently on Ver 3.1 and decide to restore Ver 2.0, I’ll get a Ver 3.2 with the 2.0 page content.

The Master Pages gallery for your site has this turned on by default. So you can take advantage of rolling back versions on master page edits without additional setup.

As noted earlier, there are a few limitations with this approach:

· This approach does not work for web parts in web part zones. When a web parts is in a Web Part Zone, it gets stored in a different table internally and doesn’t support versioning. This approach does work for web parts that are not in zones.

· We do NOT recommend drag-dropping default.aspx into this document library. The homepage of the site is controlled by a meta-info key, and it takes code to update.

· There is no need to use this approach on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server Publishing sites. Sites using the Publishing template already have a pages library and have this sort of roll-back functionality on by default.