DNN Guide Content Staging and Content Workflows

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Importance of Adding a Content Staging Workflow to your Website

Get Started With DNN Content Staging

DNN Content Staging or DNN Content Workflows is simply a unique content management tool used by web designers to create or upgrade stand-alone web pages separately before going live on the main website.

Content Staging, also referred to as Content Development Workflow, is most commonly used in website staging and redesign projects. After modification of the stand-alone page, all necessary information concerning the page will be made available on the new design before it is published.

The great advantage of Content Staging is that it lets you update more than one page individually and publish them separately to your live website at the same time.

  • Updating or Upgrading Existing Pages
    There are usually anomalies that come with trying to edit pre-existing web pages while your website is live. These anomalies might include redundancy resulting from unsaved information and a general confusion which might result from your inability to keep track of changes made on individual pages. With DNN Content Staging, you can conveniently edit or build new web pages in a different Content Development Workflow.
  • Bulk Page Resign and Updates
    Since Content Staging lets you edit stand-alone pages individually, the leverage of editing any amount of pages you want at any time is possible. You are thus saving a lot of time and stress, especially when doing routine optimization updates or a complete website staging from scratch.
  • SEO and Search Ranking Issues
    Content Staging also prevents search engine ranking issues, especially in instances where you may decide to disable a page temporarily to replace the URL with a new page.

    It is usually the case with Content Development Workflows that disabling a page temporarily to replace with a new one can result in technical issues. These issues are mainly associated with SEO and search crawlers not being able to access the page.
Should You Always Use Content Staging?

How to Get Started with Content Staging

Should you always use content staging? The answer is NO. Content Staging does not work in every single situation. Below are instances where you should not use Content Staging: Content Staging is ideal for web pages and does not work for emails or blog pages. It is also most suitable for big websites where you may need to make specific urgent changes without going offline. So for small web projects, it may be unnecessary to use them since you will just be incurring some extra processes which otherwise wouldn’t be needed. If you just started designing a new website and haven’t already assigned a primary URL to this site, there would not be any need for website staging.

Before starting with DNN Content Staging, you need to have a few key things at the back of your mind:

  • You must have a well-outlined redesign strategy for your website.
  • You must understand website staging and how to use Content Development Workflows.
  • You should understand the various page design templates.
  • You should learn how to edit or redesign page contents.
  • You should understand things like rebranding and editing page fonts and logos.
  • Note that DNN Content Staging as of this moment does not support multi-language content.
  • You cannot make changes to blogs using DNN Content Staging.
  • Always make a page or template clone before you stage any page on your website.
  • Note that all attributes and analytics associated with the main page will also be carried along to the cloned page when it is published live.
Clarity DNN Experts Are Here To Help

Step-by-Step on How to Use DNN Content Staging

The first step on using DNN Content Staging is to first subscribe to either of DNN’s Enterprise or Professional plan. After you have done this, follow the steps below to use DNN Content Staging:

  • Head over to the Marketing page then access the website menu.
  • Locate the “More tools” option, and click Content Staging.
  • You will have an option to pick which domain you intend to stage.
  • Under each domain, there will be a list of all the pages published for that particular domain.
  • Click on the domain page you want to update and choose stage.
  • You have two options at your disposal. You can decide to modify the existing page, or you can choose a new template and start working on a new page.
  • After you have staged a page of your choice, you can make any kind of changes to the content of that page as you wish.
  • When you are done making changes to your staged page, click the Publish to staging option.
  • Note that the “publish to staging” option will not publish the page on the live site. So you will not see anything at first on your website.
  • You can use this time to make any further changes you want to the page.
  • Now that you are done with publishing go back to the publish tab to make sure that everything is working fine.
  • Watch out for any error signs and attend to all of them before moving on.

Two typical examples of error messages you may encounter when you publish a staged page are: URL Discrepancy and URL Conflicts

URL Discrepancy implies that a staged page does not share the same URL as the initial version of the page. Failure to fix this problem will result in the staged page being published under a new URL while the initial version will become archived.

URL conflict, on the other hand, implies that a staged page has the same URL as the original page. If you fail to fix this issue, the original page will be replaced by the staged page.

These are just the two main errors that can arise whenever you publish a staged page. However, when there are no error messages, or you have successfully addressed all error messages if any appears well and good, you can then publish it to the live website.

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