Site Builders/Editors/Contributors with Open Berkeley sites have access to a test environment:
- If your site is not yet live: You will only have access to the test environment (until your site goes live).
- If your site is live: You have access to both test and live environments, and they are considered separate.
If Your Site is Not Yet Live
If you are just getting started with an Open Berkeley site, you will build your site in a "test" (not live) environment first. When ready, the Web Platform Services team will launch your site.
While you are building your new site, no one will be able to find your test site unless test site URLs are shared by anyone on your team (see Tips below for more information).
When you are ready to launch, the live (production) environment will be created separately, and your test environment will continue to be available.
If Your Site is Live
The test site is an entirely separate environment from your live (production) environment. Your test site can be used as a "sandbox" (experimental) space for trying out new features, reviewing content, etc.
If this is your first time creating or editing content, you may want to try things out on the test site before you create/edit content on the actual "live" website. When you are ready, you will have to recreate the content on the live site. Test site content cannot be "moved" from the test site to the live site; if the database on the test site was moved to the live site, all of the live site content would be replaced by the test site content.
Tips for Working in the Test Environment
- Make sure to verify that you are on the test site and not the live site if you are experimenting.
- If you have a live site, the test site should be for experiments only. You should not leave any working content updates on the test site that you would be upset to lose (you should save any text content or images separately).
- If your site owner requests it, we can sync the content on the test site with the content on the live site. This will refresh the test site content, but you will lose any test content (it will be replaced by the live content) so typically you don't want to create a lot of "real" work on the test site in case the site owner requests a refresh without checking with all of the content editors.
- It is also possible that a security or technical update would require the Open Berkeley team to refresh your test site content for testing purposes.
- You may share the test link internally (with your immediate office) if you would like someone to preview your work, but do not share the link with others outside your office.
- Avoid "hard-coding" internal links. Site builders should always use the Linkit button's "find content" function to create internal links; this will also prevent links from breaking if you change the title of a linked page. Our system normalizes any links that point to different environments of the same site, so links don't get broken when a site is launched, or when we clone live content down to the test site. Any links from the test environment to the live environment (or vice versa) of the same site are effectively internal links.
- When finished with your experiments, recreate the content on your live site. When you are comfortable with creating content, you do not need to create on the test site first. All final content should be created directly on the live website.