Episerver has sophisticated support for advanced management of content creation and publishing involving multiple editors. The draft concept is central, ensuring that work in progress is never externally exposed until it is actively published. The publishing options you see depend on the content status and your access rights. Available actions, content status and notifications are indicated in the status bar at the top.
Publishing involves steps from creating a draft to publishing the final version, as well as managing versions. The steps apply to different types of content such as pages, blocks and media, or products if you have Episerver Commerce installed on your website.
When creating or updating content, there are a number of actions you can perform to create drafts, undo changes, set content ready for review, publish directly or schedule publishing at a later stage etc.
Whenever new content is created or existing content is edited, a draft version is created automatically. This is not publicly available on the website until actively published. Changes to content properties are immediately autosaved by the system. Versioning is not used for drafts, which means that you, and other editors, can work on the same draft over time but you will still only have one version of the draft.
You can manually create a draft from a previously published version or from a version that is scheduled for publishing at a later time. This is done from the Options menu.
While editing, clicking the Undo option in the status bar allows you to undo changes to content that has been previously autosaved.
- Select Undo to discard the changes done since the last autosave. Note that you can only undo changes you have made during the current editing session. As soon as you move to another page, close the browser, log out etc., the history of actions that can be undone is emptied.
- Select Redo if you discarded your changes through Undo and want to take them back again.
- Select Revert to Published to take back the latest published version, if the content has been previously published.
You can preview content appearance using the Preview mode option in the top toolbar. You can also preview content by language, visitor group or display channel if these are used on your website. Refer to Previewing for more information.
You can also compare different content versions by using the Compare version option in the top toolbar. Refer to Comparing versions for more information.
When done editing, click Publish? at the top and then Publish (or Publish Changes, if you are editing previously published content). The content is immediately published and publicly available on the website, provided that no access restrictions applies. Click View on website to view the content as it appears on the website.
If you do not have publishing access rights, or if you want your changes to be approved by someone else before publishing, use the Ready to Publish option to mark the content as ready for approval and publishing. Withdraw and Edit allows you to take back content for further editing after sent for approval.
If you have publishing access rights, you can approve and publish changes for content with the status Ready to publish. You can also decide to reject the changes, in which case the content version status is set to Rejected. This does not mean that the latest changes disappear, only that the content needs to be edited again before it can be ready for publish. Content status and related tasks can be monitored under Tasks in edit view.
If you have publishing access rights, you can schedule the publishing to occur at a later occasion. Select the Schedule for Publish option, and set the date and time when you want the content (new or updated) to be published. This applies to both newly created content, as well as changes to existing content.
Content that is scheduled for publishing, is locked for editing. Select the Remove Scheduling and Edit option if you wish to interrupt the scheduled publishing and continue editing the selected version.
Selecting New Draft from Here will create a new draft, based on the scheduled version, which will still be published at the scheduled time. You can continue working on the new draft, and apply publishing actions for this as desired. An advanced scenario would be to apply multiple publishing occasions for different versions of a campaign page, having them replace each other in a desired order.
Publishing multiple content items
The projects gadget allows you to preview and publish multiple content items at the same time, for instance, a landing page, blocks and products (if you have Commerce installed) that are part of a campaign. See also the new The project feature, which is available.
If you need to backtrack and use an older version of a page or if you are managing multiple language versions, there are a number of tasks that can be performed from the version list. You can perform these actions by using the More options button found at the bottom of the version list.
You need to add the version gadget to the left or right panel to see the version list.
Content can have the following status in the version list:
- Draft means content that is work in progress and has not yet been subject to any publishing actions.
- Published means the most recently published version and the one publicly displayed, only one published version can exist.
- Previously Published means one or more versions that were published before the latest published version.
- Ready to Publish means content awaiting approval and publishing.
- Rejected means a draft that has been rejected by someone as part of an approval flow. The rejected content is editable and can be updated and then set to Ready to Publish again.
- Delayed Publish means content scheduled to be published at a certain time.
- Expired means content where a stop publish date and time has been set and passed.
Click the column headers to sort the version list according to language, status and more.
The number of stored content versions can be defined in the administration view, the default setting is 20.
The primary draft is the draft presented in edit view, when accessing the content. Multiple drafts may exist, by default the latest saved edited version is the primary draft, unless you are working in projects, see Versioning when working in projects.
Use the Set as Primary Draft option in the version list to make another draft the primary one.
A content item that has not been published can have only one draft. It is possible to create multiple drafts from published versions, each draft is editable individually and can be scheduled for publishing at different times. Note that there are no versioning of drafts so there is always only one version of each draft.
The content version selected in the version list is loaded into the editing area, from where you can edit the content or perform other available publishing actions.
Select the Delete Version option to delete a version. Content versions are not supported by trash management. So, when deleting a version in the versions gadget, the version is permanently deleted.
The version with status Published cannot be deleted, to do this another version needs to be published first. Deleting content versions cannot be undone. The possibility to delete versions can be disabled in the administration view.
To republish a previously published version, select the desired version and select Republish from the publishing options. When you republish content, for traceability reasons, a new version with a new timestamp is created, even if no changes were made.
As soon as someone starts editing content, it is marked as currently being edited notifying other editors in order to avoid version conflicts.
Even if content is marked as being edited, it is still possible for another editor to select the Edit Anyway option, and continue working with the draft.
The currently being edited markup setting is automatically cleared after some time. To keep this setting, you have an option to set a permanently being edited markup. This is done in the All Properties editing view by selecting Tools > Permanently Mark as Being Edited. This setting remains until manually disabled (toggle the setting to disable).
Setting expiration of content
Normally web content never expire but you can set pages and blocks to expire at a certain time in the future or immediately. Expired content is not displayed on the website but it remains in Episerver CMS. You can remove the expiration from the content to make it appear on the website again.
Setting an expiration time is done in the All Properties editing view by selecting Tools > Manage Expiration and Archiving. Select Now if you want expiration to apply immediately.
Episerver has a built-in archiving feature where pages with a set stop publish time are automatically moved to a defined archive branch when the time has passed. This is useful if you, for instance, have news pages in a listing where you want to remove old news from the listing, but still keep the pages. Archiving of expired content is done in the Manage Expiration and Archiving dialog box by selecting the page branch where you want to move the expired page.