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Staging versus Production

Two terms you'll hear frequently are "staging server" and "production server." OU Campus is a decoupled system, which means editable pages and live web pages are two separate locations.

A flow chart. The first step is blue users at computers, labeled "CMS Users." This leads to a computer labeled "OU Campus (staging server)." Then the text "Publish" leads to a gray computer labeled "College Website (Production Server)" which finally leads to gray computer users labeled "Web Visitors."

Everything you do in OU Campus is on the staging server, and none of the changes you make (with a few exceptions) appear on the production server, the live website, until you publish them. This gives you the freedom to make as many changes as you want in OU Campus pages without immediately affecting the live website. This is useful for:

  • Creating web pages in advance of announcements or updates and scheduling to publish them on a specific date.
  • Writing a draft of content on a page and sending it to another user to look over before publishing.
  • Making changes to a page, deciding you don't like them, and either not publishing or reverting the page to a previous version.

Options for how your OU Campus account communicates with the production server are available in site settings, including access to the production server. It is very important that any users who publish pages have access, otherwise they encounter errors when attempting to publish content.

Viewing and Accessing ProductionLink to this section

Nearly all of what you see when working in OU Campus is hosted on the staging server. This includes all pages and files, assets, snippets, and other kinds of content, as well as users and other administration options.

To view files on the production server go to Content > Pages and click the "Server" dropdown.

A dropdown menu contains items "Staging" and "Production." When viewing files in production, clicking on the name of the file opens that page or file on your live website.

Does it look like there are more files on the production server than on staging? When a page is published, it creates a web page and other files, such as a PDF version of the page or XML data. If you're seeing files with the same name but different extensions (e.g., academics.html and academics.pdf) then your pages probably have multiple products. This is determined by your page template.

When inserting a link, image, or other media, the file chooser shows you files on the staging server by default. You can switch to content hosted on the production server using the "Server" dropdown.

Server Selection Dropdown from File ChooserYou can also switch to an auxiliary site, as one of the most common uses of auxiliary sites is storing images and media for use on other websites.

File ManagementLink to this section

If you are not using binary management for your images, PDFs, and other binary files, then they only exist on the production server.

Users levels 8 and above can view, rename, move, and delete files on the production server. Don't rename or move files on the production server unless the files don't appear on the staging server. This causes discrepancies between the two servers that require manual review to fix.

Deleting content from the production server is permanent and cannot be undone.