The ability to view previous versions of a page and the associated chance to revert pages to those previous versions seems to be one of the lesser known and understood features of CommonSpot. Until very recently, I actually thought that it wasn’t working, because I misunderstood how the process worked. So let’s look at some of what you can do and some of what you cannot.
CommonSpot, by default, stores all previous versions of all pages for 30 days. A new version of the page is made when you change the content of the page and submit the page or the element. Since some changes (e.g. changes to custom elements, changes to custom metadata, adding or removing style sheets) do not require a submission to become active, these do not create new versions. While 30 days is the default, upon request, we can change the settings for a subsite to 90 days. The settings for individual pages can also be changed via “Document Information” under “Tools & Information” on the menu bar (if in author mode).
All the saved versions of the page can be seen by choosing “Version History…” under “Page View”. A new window will appear listing all the saved versions. You can see any previous version by clicking on the hyperlink with the date and time of when the version was saved, or you can check two versions and compare them by then clicking on the “Visual Difference” button at the top.
There are some considerations that affect how complete the previous version are. As noted above, changes to custom elements are not saved, so when you view a previous version, any custom elements will have the same content as the current version. Also, any element that you delete is deleted from previous versions as well. So, for example, if you delete an entire Formatted Text Element, using the previous version option will not let you see the content of that element. Instead, the area where that text was will appear blank.
Elements that have remained on the page and only changed their content can be reverted back to their previous state. When looking at a previous version in author mode, these elements will have a grey arrow pointing to the left that will let you revert the content or compare it to the current version.