New Post Locking Feature in WordPress Improves Multi-Author Sites

New Post Locking Feature in WordPress Improves Multi-Author Sites

With the release of WordPress 3.6 not long ago, there was the addition of a new feature called “Post Locking,” which automatically locks a post that’s currently being worked on.

But that description doesn’t really cover all the flexibility you get with Post Locking. You can actually easily “break into” a locked post too – which is also important.

But breaking into a locked post is not like breaking into a post that was being worked on pre WordPress 3.6. In fact, it ends up being a completely different experience.


WordPress Pre Version 3.6

It might first help to go over how posts were handled before 3.6.

If someone (let’s say a user named “Scott”) was working on a post, and you (the “admin”) wanted to edit that post, you had no idea that someone else was working on it until you actually entered the editing screen. When you did, you got a message like the following:


At that point, there would be two different people inside the same live editing screen. The other person would also get a message:


Messages aside, both people had the ability to change the content. The admin could add a sentence and publish the post, and three seconds later the other user (Scott) could hit publish his screen and erase what the admin had written.

New: A Warning Up Front

With the new Post Locking feature, the first thing that’s different is that you get a warning before you ever even enter the post editing screen itself. From the post list page, you see a little lock icon next to the post title and warning underneath.


Breaking Into the Post

If you decide to open up the post anyway, then you get a much more prominent warning about what will happen if you continue. This is especially good for less experienced users or users who don’t confront such a situation on a regular basis and may forget.


As mentioned, however, you actually can go ahead and take over if you need to. And when you do, the other person will be kicked out. While that may sound rude, it’s also a very good thing. This prevents two different people being able to change the post at the same time.

When someone else takes over, the original author will get a message like the following:


The only option the original author has at that point is to click the “All Posts” button, which will take him/her out to the list of posts in the admin area.

Of course at that point they’ll also see that their post is now locked by the person who took over.


Nice for Busy Multi-Author Sites

If you’re a lone author on your site, then this may not seem like such a big deal. But if you’ve ever worked on a busy site with multiple authors, then you can probably appreciate what an improvement this feature is.

Photo credit: Craig Sunter