A Website Release represents a collection of one or more Title and/or Media objects, packaged as a self-contained website.
To create a new Website release, navigate to the Release List view and click the button labeled "New Release." Enter a name in the provided text input, select "Website" from the list of available types, and click "Create."
The release edit view is separated into five workflow steps, represented by the links in the vertical navigation.
In the "General" panel, enter basic information about your release, including descriptive text and information about the publishing entity/organization.
Be sure to complete the "Site URL" field with the full URL where you intend to publish the release.
Note that many of the right panel fields will automatically populate based on your General Settings.
The content within a Website Release is organized into two levels of hierarchy, with Titles and Media objects grouped into "Sections," which define the site's navigation structure. To add content to a Website Release:
- Click the "pencil" icon to switch to "edit" mode.
- Add at least one Section to the release by clicking a link labeled "Insert Section."
- Add content to a Section by clicking the "Insert Media / Title" links at the bottom of the section form.
- Each item within the release has a few configurable settings, which impact how the item is displayed once published. The available options vary depending on the type of title or media. Click an item's "gear" icon to change these settings.
- To remove an item from the release, click its "delete" (trash can) icon.
- To organize the release's content, click the "Arrange" icon near the top left corner of the interface. In arrange mode, you can drag and drop release items to change their order, or to move Title/Media items from one Section to another.
By default, the published release's navigation menu is generated automatically based on the structure created in the "Content" panel in the release. However, you may choose to enable custom navigation for finer-grained control over the navigation menu’s contents and behavior. For more information, please refer to Customize Website Navigation.
In the "Menu" panel, configure content to be displayed in the release's menu area. The menu is useful for providing contextual information, such as "about" text, a list of external resources, or any other content that you wish to display as "secondary" to the main content of the release.
For details on configuring menu content, refer to Release Menu.
In the "Publish" panel, configure options related to the publication of your release.
- Publish destination: This determines where the release will be hosted when published. Publish destinations are configured via our integrations with third-party hosting services. Currently we support publishing releases to Netlify and Amazon S3. To learn more about these options, including how to configure integrations, please refer to Publishing Website and Player Releases.
- Template: Click the "Edit" (pencil) icon to adjust display settings for the default release template. Here you can select a theme and custom accent color, and configure options for the release's header and footer area. You can also choose any of the Template Presets that you have created.
- Internal domains: When embedded on the domains you specify, the release’s header and footer will be hidden. You can use this option to exclude your logo and branding from embeds that appear on your own website.
Before you publish:
If you are publishing to an Amazon S3 destination, be sure you have configured your environment according to the process outlined in AWS Configuration for Website Releases.
For Netlify destinations, no special configuration is required prior to publishing.
To publish your release:
- Ensure that all of your edits are saved by clicking the "Save" button in the page's area. This is important, as any unsaved changes are not included in the published release.
- Click the "Preview" button to preview the release as it will appear when published. The preview will open in a new window or tab, and can be a useful way to spot any errors or omissions prior to publishing.
- If the release contains errors that would prevent successful publishing, they will be displayed in red text, and the "Publish" button will be disabled. Resolve these errors before continuing.
- Click "Publish" to package the release and all associated media files, and publish them to your selected destination. A progress indicator will be displayed. The process may take several minutes, depending on the amount of content in the release.
- When the publication process completes successfully, a new entry will appear in the "Publish History" log.
After you publish:
If you are publishing to a Netlify destination, you must complete a final step after the first time your release is published, in order to make your release available on your own custom domain.
After the first publish process completes, you will see a message similar to the following:
The message text includes the information needed to configure your DNS record. Using your DNS provider's control panel, configure a CNAME record pointing your chosen custom domain to the target domain specified in the message, of the form "mediastorm-1234.netlify.app where "1234" is a unique character string associated with the release.
The exact process for creating and modifying DNS records varies based on your DNS service provider. Help documents from some common providers are linked below. If your provider is not listed, contact their technical support channels for assistance. If you are not sure who your DNS provider is, the tips on this page may help.
Keep in mind that changes to DNS records can take 12-24 hours to propagate. If after 24 hours your Netlify integration still displays an error message, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.