Now that our site is live (yay!), I’m trying to figure out the best way to handle staging in the webflow environment. Here’s my challenge:
- We have our custom domain attached to our production site.
- I need to make changes for the next version and be able to test them on devices, for things like touchscreen behavior, etc.
- As far as I can tell, the only way to do so is to make a change and publish, which of course I don’t want to do because I’m just testing and I know that I’m not ready to go live with them yet.
Currently, my workaround is to duplicate the site and make changes and do testing there, because I can publish it without impacting production. But my only choices from there seem to be:
- Note all changes I’ve made carefully and reproduce them manually in production, and hope that I got them all right when I push “publish.” Not really practical for anything but the tiniest, safest of changes.
- Remove the custom domain setting from our production site and set it, as well as any other site settings that weren’t duplicated, in the duplicate site, effectively replacing the production site with my new one. This is like a crude version of pushing staging to production, but I’m concerned about dns lag with the changes. In the very best case it’s cumbersome and would need to be done in the middle of the night to avoid the possibility of downtime while making the switch, and worst case, we incur the full ≤48 hr dns propagation period each time we do this.
Any thoughts about providing a real staging workflow? It would be more than a minor convenience. The need for it is sort of brought about by the full cloud nature of using webflow as the dev environment, vs. traditional setups where all the files are local and we can set up staging ourselves.
I think that this is definitely going to be a crucial need for the vast majority of our users that host with Webflow.
Could we potentially have a workaround for the time being where whenever you hit publish (in the designer and in the site settings) it only publishes to your subdomain? That way we can treat the subdomain as the “Staging” environment.
Once it’s all kosher on your subdomain, you can optionally publish to your custom domains by navigating to the custom domain tab, and hitting another publish button there.
Thanks for the feedback!
That sounds like a great workaround pending a more sophisticated system… it would certainly solve more than 80% of the problem with hopefully less than 20% of the effort on your part!
I just noticed the staging section on webflow.com Is this feature live yet? I am working on a client’s paid account with a custom domain and I don’t have a choice when I go to publish to choose the subdomain or the custom domain. I’d really love to be able to test on the subdomain first.
Not yet - we’ll be working on it soon though.
Hi @brryant - another thought relevant to staging: Are you looking at password protection options? There’s a lot of cases where we want to share progress on an unfinished site with a client but they don’t want it to be open to anyone who stumbles on it because the information in the site isn’t ready for public release.
That makes sense as part of a staging picture for the hosting option, but actually would be most useful as a general option for any webflow site, since its the xxx.webflow.com version that is being worked on.
Yep. +1 for a password protected staging on a subdomain. This would rock. I agree and have the same needs as @ramatsu. Will this be announced soon? Do you have a timeline? Thank you.
I think I saw this in one of the tutorial videos (one that was describing an unrelated feature). The webflow subdomain was for staging and the custom URL for production. Is this available now?
Just realized where I saw it… on the webflow homepage! The image next to “Go live with just one click.”
…so it’s available once I add a custom domain?
Actually @bcartier it’s not live yet, but we hope to add it soon.
Really need this before I can roll the software out to my design team. Clients would go nuts if they thought people could stumble upon a work in progress with their content on. Glad it is in the pipeline to have this staging/password protected Domain option.
This feature would rock! I want to be able to show our team the staging site before we make the changes live the following week. The preview just isn’t cutting it for company wide collaboration. My current workaround is to duplicate pages and add them as a long URL so its not really accessible to anyone without the link.
The image has been on the home page awhile, any idea on when we can expect it to go live?
I just purchased hosting with you guys with my private domain for testing and evaluate. How is the staging area working out? Are we there yet? Is it coming soon? Jokes aside =D Just wondering, I want to pitch to the company that we host our static sites at Webflow so just curios.
We’re actually working on this feature now and should have it out soon! You’ll be able to publish to either subdomain (staging website) or custom domain (production website). You’ll also be able to password protect different domains (so for example if you need to password protect your staging subdomain site so only ppl in your company can see the site before it’s pushed to the live site). Thanks for your patience on this!
Update: selective password protection may not be part of the release due to lack of time.
Any NEW updates on this feature as of yet?
Has this feature been implemented?
We have password protection but it’s not possible to set it per-domain. If you set it then it will apply to all published domains.