We’ve given the content owners of our big, complicated, custom WordPress intranet a great way to safely stage their pages on a private site, then move changes over to the live site without having to copy the entire database.
But when they need to launch a new section of the site, things get very complicated – and deploying a lot of new content to the live site on launch day is a stressful and time-consuming process. Content owners quickly get in over their heads when they try to manage a launch, so developers spend precious hours planning and executing content launches.
Dark launch to the rescue! Borrowing ideas from software companies that use feature flagging of new software to test the waters, roll out gradually, or roll back quickly – we’re gradually moving new content areas over to the live site well before launch day, as the new content is developed.
The cool thing is, no one knows the new content is there until we decide to make it available – not even the search engine – unless we tell them exactly how to find it.
Content dark launch is saving our sanity and giving hours back to our developers, and I’ll explain just how it all works.