Staging vs. production (pcf vs. html) in the CMS - what's the difference?

Everything you create, edit, and save in the CMS is done on what is called the Staging Server. This is not visible to the public. The Staging Server allows you to preview content prior to publishing, as well as store web pages in the editing process. Using the book analogy, items on the Staging Server are like drafts of your manuscript saved on your computer.

In Staging you are editing .pcf files when editing a webpage which, when you publish your page, will turn them into .html files on the Production server.

The Production Server is public-facing and everything you publish is saved here. Think of items on the Production Server as published copies of your book, available at bookstores and the library.

When viewing your web pages, you may toggle between staging and production.

The Preview page is a copy on staging.


 While View as Published shows the copy on production.


Also remember when you are selecting images or links, you will need to ensure you are selecting from the Staging environment.

Items that do not appear under production have not been published and are not live on the website.

An explanation of this in a different way...

  1. .pcf is the editable version of your webpage
  2. .html is the live, published version of your webpage.

Since our CMS is a "push CMS", it acts as a printing press. Consider the .pcf file as your "printing plate" where you arrange your letters, images, etc, and prepare to actually apply ink and press it to paper. The process of pressing it to paper is when you hit the green "Publish" button. The "paper" version of your webpage is the .html version that has now been "pushed" to the live server.

Let us know if you have any questions about this.

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