Which Snapshots to Use and When
Snapshot Templates tell MODX Cloud which part of a MODX site you wish to extract and store in your Vault for later use. There are currently 4 Snapshot Template types:
Complete Snapshot Template
The Complete template will extract the entire Cloud instance. It is a clone of the origin site. Complete snapshots will replace all files on the destination Cloud.
Injecting a Complete Snapshot into an existing site will overwrite the entire destination Cloud instance. It may be a good idea to back up the destination Cloud prior to injecting the Snapshot.
Uses for Complete Snapshots
One of the best uses of the Complete Snapshot is for upgrades. You can Snapshot your production site and inject it into another Cloud, upgrade and test it to ensure everything works as expected.
Additionally, the Complete Snapshot may be used to save a ready-to-use website starting point—a base site with all your extras installed, basic design and content in place. You can reuse this on new or smaller client projects to save time starting from scratch.
Complete Snapshots can also be an alternative method of backing up a site before making changes to the live site.
Promote Snapshot Template
The Promote Snapshot was designed for working in a simple Staging-to-Production workflow where you work on a clone of your live website (aka Staging or Stage) out of the public eye, preview and get approvals while not risking unintended changes to your public, live website (aka Production).
The Promote Snapshot contains all Resources, Elements and new system settings while leaving users, and existing system settings alone.
Once all the changes are complete on Staging, and you have sign-off or approval from your colleagues, clients or stakeholders, you can take a Promote Snapshot and inject it into the Production site. We described how this can be used in an article for its launch entitled "Your Website Just Got a Promotion."
Uses for Promote Snapshots
Promote Snapshots are quite simple. They move all changed items as of the time of the Snapshot extract. They are perfect for small sites with infrequent changes where you still want a Staging-to-Production workflow.
Levelling Up Staging with Backstage™
We launched Promote Snapshots in 2015. As mentioned, they are perfect for many small or simple websites. However, in 2022, we introduced a transformational new way to work with Staging-to-Production called Backstage™. Backstage, lets you work exclusively within the MODX Manager to make any and all changes to your content and Elements and selectively publish them to your Production site as they're ready. You can add Backstage to your site from the Upgrades tab of your Cloud details page inside the MODX Cloud Dashboard.
Develop Snapshot Template
The Develop Snapshot Template will extract the entire Cloud instance excluding some System/Context Settings, Manager Logs, Sessions, Transport Packages, and other deployment-sensitive data. The Develop Snapshot will append and update the destination Cloud instance, unlike the Complete which overwrites the entire Cloud instance.
Uses for Develop Snapshots
Develop snapshots are ideal for Dev/Staging-to-Production work low of a single site. For instance, if you have a staging site to which you make changes for previewing before putting it into production (your live site), you can take a Develop Snapshot of your staged site. You can then inject that Develop Snapshot into your production Cloud instance and the process will update changes and add any items.
Elements Snapshot Template
The Elements Snapshot Template will extract a snapshot of all Elements, Property Sets, and their related files and data from a MODX Cloud deployment. This includes all files stored in
assets/. The Elements are amended to the target MODX Cloud deployment upon injection.
Uses for Elements Snapshots
Elements snapshots are perfect for when you want to work on the layout functionality of your site but do not plan on altering any content. Suppose your site managers want to continue to manage content on the production website while you or your team work on the design. You can then take a Complete Snapshot of the production site, inject it into a new development Cloud and when done, take an Elements Snapshot to inject back into the original production site.
Users Snapshot Template
The Users Snapshot Template extracts a snapshot of all User data from a MODX Cloud deployment. Includes Users, Profiles, User Settings, User Groups, User Group Roles, and User Group Member data which is amended to the target MODX Cloud deployment upon injection.
Uses for Users Snapshots
Users Snapshots have several uses, including capturing the users from your live site to test on a development environment. Additionally, you could use a Users Snapshot to capture all the users to inject into an entirely new site for a new website.