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Workflow for big Changes on a Website

Hello!

I am planning to do some big changes on a webflow website that I am maintaining. Im quite a novice in using webflow, so this post is just for clarification on the best way to handle this situation now.

As the changes are rather big, I would like to edit the site while the original site still stays online. My customer also has to review the changes before they’re going live.

I thought about copying the whole project and finalizing everything in the copy on a subdomain. (or a webflow.io domain) The problem with this procedure seems, when I’m done, I have to add new billing to the new project and cancel the billing on the old project. This will end in higher CMS costs and doesn’t seem like a clean solution in general. (as the billing is annual)

Another approach would be, creating invisible subpages that I hide behind a password login in the original project. This also has some caveats as I have to duplicate all blocks and reconfigure them in all spots. This solution could end pretty badly, if a “live-version” block gets edited and confidential information gets revealed too early.

Is there some neat solution or some trick for/from webflow that helps me with this issue?

Greetings, Filip

if you only publish the new changes to the staging domain yourwebsite.weblow.io ( the one on the top when you publish your website.) your original website will stay like it is now, and you can develop new pages, content, etc. Just make sure you pay attention when you publish, so you only publish to the staging domain.
If you have to update the original website (with news stories etc. while you are working on the new website, you will have a problem. Because as soon as you do the change, and publish, all your new stuff gets published as well. If you have news stories in a CMS, you can publish that single CMS item, but only when the CMS structure is not changed.

So I’m using this all the time, but tell my customers in advance, that they cannot edit the website while I’m creating the update, as long as you tell them in advance they are always ok with it. Just pay attention when you publish, that you only publish to the staging domain.

Create a backup and/or duplicate.

You can save the backup, and roll back to it later on. Just make sure to give it a descriptive name so you can find it.

You can also do what @ErikVanderlaan suggests, but is rather risky if you need to roll back, or somebody does end up publishing. EDIT: without having an initial backup saved :slight_smile:

Am I understanding something wrong or does the problem with the billing on duplicate projects still persists in your suggested way @magicmark ? Or is it possible to load the duplicate project into the original project?

The video on backups is interesting, but isn’t the procedure similar in that way to @ErikVanderlaan suggestion? If I edit the project after creating a backup, I can’t really publish the project as it would be live then. Therefore, I still have to publish to the .io domain. The difference would be, that if I edit something that automatically publishes the site accidentally, I can go back to the old state. The new progress wouldn’t be saved as well?

Duplicating the project is more of an extra backup :smiley: You should be able to go without it.

I should have been clearer that having the saved backup won’t prevent you from having the site published accidentally, but it will allow you to easily roll back and re-publish if you need to. You can save named backups at specific points too (as well as the save every 20 changes).

Publishing to just the .io domain will work for sure while you’re doing the stuff.
You should still be able to publish blog posts without afffecting the rest of the designer changes if you do it from the CMS item.

Backups are great, but keep in mind all your cms id on records will change when you restore, so if you have any integration with CMS records, this will not work, or you have to fix everything by hand.
But always make a backup before you go do big changes, and give it a good name.