What does Backstage do?
Backstage brings a best-of-class implementation of staging-to-production workflow to MODX websites. While there are ways to move an entire site from one server to another one, almost no other solution allows site editors and non-developers to move subsets of content on a Staging site to a Production instance in a way that is usable by virtually anyone. This is the problem that Backstage solves.
The reason staging-to-production is important is that it allows you to work more freely and without breaking your production website. This can prevent downtime, premature information publishing, embarrassing mistakes, and frantic fixes at inopportune times if one of these happens.
Your work shifts from "cowboy coding" in Production to calmly creating content at a Staging instance out of the public eye. When a mistake happens—and if you're in the content game long enough, they will—it's usually OK because it's not happening on the live site. You can calmly figure out the best way forward, fix things, then resume your regular, calm, confident publishing schedule.
When should I use Backstage?
Backstage is best used for marketing websites. While it is excellent for single individuals that are working on website updates and new content, it truly shines when used in a team environment or when there are multiple people involved in creating, approving, and publishing content.
Backstage supports both of the active branches of MODX Revolution: 2.8.x and above and 3.0.x and above. It requires the new Gen2 platforms in MODX Cloud and on a current MODX Cloud plan (not a legacy plan).
What changes about my content publishing workflow with Backstage?
All content changes should happen your new Staging instance. Completed changes then get selectively deployed to Production the production. 100% of the time. If you don't follow this rule: Bad Things Can Happen and Probably Will™
Why? If you make a change in Production, then later make changes and push them from Staging, there is a good chance you could overwrite the changes you manually made in Production.
Getting your changes to show on your Production website is straightforward. From your MODX Manager, review the list of changed items on the Backstage Dashboard interface. Check the content items you want to go live, and press the deploy button. In a few minutes, they will be pushed over to your live site. (see screenshot above)
What does Backstage track?
Backstage tracks web pages, the Elements that make them up, and the files that go along with them, and key metadata around your pages, like the menu index. In short, it keeps track of everything you're likely to update during regular content generation cycles.
What if you want to eliminate a change that shows on Backstage?
You have two options:
- If it's just an experiment, you can forget it (see the screenshot above) using the "Wait for next change" button on the changes grid.
- You can use Backstage with VersionX to roll back to previous content versions.
Can you restrict Backstage to specific roles?
Yes. Backstage supports MODX permissions.
Does Backstage support approval policies?
Not at this time. But open a ticket with us if you're interested in helping to fund the development of this feature. That said, in practice, most organizations—even larger ones—tend to adopt an informal approval process—sending links to colleagues or managers for review, approval and publication.
Can I run Backstage on my own server?
No. It requires the proprietary technology that powers MODX Cloud.