Enabling Page Versioning and Staged Content

Enabling page versioning for a site lets site administrators work in parallel on multiple versions of the site’s pages. Page versioning also maintains a history of all updates to the site from the time page versioning was enabled. Site administrators can revert to a previous version of the site at any time. This flexibility is very important in cases where a mistake is found and it’s important to publish a fix quickly.

You can enable page versioning for public pages or private pages on the Staging Configuration page below the menu for selecting your staging environment (Local or Remote). If you’ve already enabled staging, you can navigate to the Product Menu → PublishingStaging and click the Options (Options) button and select Staging Configuration.

Figure 1: You can decide to use versioning and choose what content should be staged.

Figure 1: You can decide to use versioning and choose what content should be staged.

You can also choose content for the staging environment to manage on the Staging Configuration page.

Choosing content to be staged may sound self-explanatory, but content must have specific attributes in Liferay DXP to use it in a staged environment. Content or an entity should be site-scoped, so they are always part of a site; otherwise, they are not eligible for staging. For example, page-scoped entities are only eligible for staging on published pages. When scoped data is on a page (e.g., Web Content Display widget) and the page is published, the scoped data is published with it.

Liferay DXP by default supports the following content groups for staging:

  • Blogs
  • Bookmarks
  • Calendar
  • Documents and Media
  • Dynamic Data Lists
  • Forms
  • Knowledge Base
  • Message Boards
  • Mobile Device Families
  • Polls
  • Web Content
  • Widget Templates
  • Wiki

Before you activate staging, choose which of these widgets’ data you’d like to copy to staging. You’ll learn about many of the collaboration widgets listed under the Staged Content heading when you read the Collaboration Suite’s section of articles. For now, be aware that you can enable or disable staging for any of these widgets.

Why might you want to enable staging for some widget types but not others? In the case of collaborative widgets, you probably don’t want to enable staging since such widgets are designed for user interaction. If their content were staged, you’d have to publish your site manually whenever somebody posted a message on the message boards to make that message appear on the live site. Generally, you want web content to be staged because end users aren’t creating that kind of content—web content is the stuff you publish to your site. But widgets like the Message Boards or Wiki should not be staged. Notice which widgets are marked for staging by default: if you enable staging and accept the defaults, staging is not enabled for the collaborative widgets.

The listed widgets, or content groups, contain one or more specific entity. For example, selecting the Web Content widget does not mean you’re only selecting web content itself, but also web content folders.

Certain content types can be linked together and can reference each other on different levels. One of the responsibilities of staging is to discover and maintain these references when publishing. Site administrators and content creators have control over the process on different levels: staging can be enabled for a content group and a content group can be selected for publication.

Disabled staged content types can cause unintended problems if you’re referring to them on a staged site. For example, the Asset Publisher portlet and its preferences are always staged. If the content types it’s set to display are not enabled for staging, the Asset Publisher can’t access them on a staged site. Make sure to plan for the content types you’ll need in your staged site.

Turning Staging on and off for individual portlet data could cause data inconsistencies between the staging and live sites. Because of this, it’s not possible to modify the individual portlet configuration once you enable staging. In case you need adjustments later on, you must turn staging off and re-enable it with your new configuration.

Besides managing the widget-specific content, Liferay DXP also has several special content types such as pages or users. For instance, pages are a part of the site and can reference other content types, but in a special way. The page references widgets, which means publishing a page also implies publishing its widgets. The content gives the backbone of the site; however, content alone is useless. To display content to the end user, you’ll need widgets as the building blocks for your site.

Before you begin exploring the Staging UI, it’s important to understand the publishing process for staging to make informed decisions so you use the staging environment efficiently and effectively.

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