Development environments: a sandbox where you can test, try, and iterate safely

Written by Edward Hewitt in Announcement on June 11,2020

Few things are more important for your website development and maintenance than knowing that you can safely iterate and test new features without putting your live website at risk. But, fear no more, with Prismic’s new development environments feature you can easily clone your production environment and work on new iterations and designs in a separate and safe development environment.

Prismic Environments

That means less stress for your developers. Less stress for your designers. And a more enjoyable user experience for content creators who won’t have to use new features or designs before they have been thoroughly tested.

You can create as many development environments as you need and easily update and sync them whenever you want.

Why would I need this?

That’s a good question, but one that is easy to answer.

This feature is especially useful whenever you want to test a new Prismic feature, introduce a new custom type (aka add new Slices), rework the design of a page, or just make general improvements or updates to your website.

Anytime you want to make a change to your website you can ensure that it will work and won’t cause any unexpected changes elsewhere.

We’ve all been in situations where we’ve tried a new feature or tweaked a design only to find that it’s had a knock-on effect on other parts of our website. At best, this might be a small fix that your design team can handle in a few minutes. At worst, it can take your entire website down.

At Prismic, we arm you with a number of features that simplify your production planning and scheduling.

You may already be familiar with our releases feature, which allows Prismic users to schedule exactly when content will go live — including simultaneously publishing large-scale changes to your website.

Development environments will help to make this process even smoother. Allowing you to first test new features updates, before then using releases to schedule exactly when these changes will be reflected on your website.

Interesting. But how does it work?

The new environment is a clone of your production environment. It will copy all of the following aspects of your main repository:

  • Documents
  • Custom Types
  • Assets
  • Users and their respective roles

That means that you get a complete copy of your production repository and any iterations or change that you make will take into account all of the features and settings that you have on your live website.

In order to avoid triggering anything on your production environment, it will not copy over any webhooks that you may have configured.

Is it complicated to setup?

Not at all.

Once the feature is enabled, you will be able to clone your production environment directly from your Prismic toolbar.

Easily add a new environment within Prismic

All you will need to do is head to the left sidebar of your repo and select the ‘environments’ section.

From there, you can select the environment that you wish to clone, type the name of your new environment.

Wait a few seconds…

Maybe a few seconds more…

It will create a new unique URL and API Endpoint for the new environment and you’re up and running.

You can now easily access either environment by clicking on a link to open the environment in a new tab, or by switching between the two by using the toolbar on the left-hand side.

How do I push things from the staging environment to my production environment?

You can resync your environments at any time — ensuring that your staging environment will have all of the latest content from your live website and allowing you to update your production environment once you are happy with any changes that you have made in your safe space.

Easily sync your Prismic production and staging environments

Be careful though, any changes made in dev will be erased.

How do I get this feature?

The million-dollar question.

Well, not quite a million dollars, but it isn’t one of our free features.

Environments are only available on Platinum Plans and the number of environments that you can have is dependent on the exact plan that you are on.

Want to find out more? Take a look at our pricing and plans or reach out to our team for more details.

Edward Hewitt

Content Strategist. If the devs have their way, Edward will one day be replaced by a Prismic feature.