Track site changes using Simple History in WordPress

Site owners may need a way to track changes on their site either for audit logs or version history.

The Simple History plugin tracks user activity and changes to content. It provides a small snapshot of changes from the dashboard but also allows for a more detailed log from the plugin page.

Getting Started

To get started, download and install Simple History on your WordPress site.

Begin by navigating to Plugins on the dashboard and click Add New. From here, there are two options for installation.

Option 1: Search for Simple History. Click Install Now and Activate.

Simple History plugin page

Option 2: Go to the plugin page, download the zip file, and upload it into the designated section under Upload Plugin.

*Check if the plugin was successfully installed and activated under Installed Plugins.

How to View Simple History

A small widget of the plugin will be available directly on the dashboard.

Simple History dashboard

To fully access the plugin, navigate to Dashboard > Simple History.

From this page, you can filter activity, see a snapshot of the most recent activity at the bottom, see stats on the number of events per day for the last 28 days, and a link to the settings page and support forum.

Filtering

Two common filters “Dates” and “Containing words” will appear. To access more filters, click Show search options.

This will allow filtering log levels (debug, info, notice, etc.), message types(comments, WordPress Core, Export, Media, etc), and users.

Settings

Settings can be found from the plugin page or by navigating to Settings > Simple History.

The plugin settings will be separated into three tabs: Settings, Export, and Debug.

How to control items per page

Under the Settings tab, you will find the number of items per page for both the log page and the dashboard. (The range is between 5 to 100 items).

How to clear logs

Clicking the Clear log now button will immediately remove items. Note: database items are automatically removed after 60 days.

How to debug tables

Under the Debug tab, there will be three sections:
Database size – contains the size and rows for simple history and simple history contents.
Loggers – contains logger information including slug, description, messages, and capability.
Plugins – lists the plugins installed on the site, their active status, and the plugin file path.

Note: If your site has a lot of content changes or logged in users, it will increase the size of the database.

Summary

The simple history plugin does as its name states; it maintains a simple history of the activity on your WordPress site.

It will log changes made to content (posts, pages, attachments, comments), installed plugins, and users. Alongside these, it will allow for a privacy data export, user data erasure, as well as integration for third-party plugins.

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