Publishing means transferring content from a Magnolia author instance to public instances.

From author to public

Magnolia is distributed as two web applications: an author instance where editors work and a public instance where visitors access the website. Typically you have at least two public instances for load balancing and high availability reasons. Content is published from the author instance to the public instances.


There are three publishing actions:

  • Publish: Publishes the selected node to the public instance.

  • Publish incl. subnodes: Publishes the selected node and its children to the public instance. This action typically runs asynchronously because it can take a while to publish lots of content.

  • Unpublish: Unpublishes (deactivates) the node from the public instance.

Apps typically display the publishing status in the workbench.

Publication status
  • image Published (green, solid): Content was published from the author instance to the public instance. Identical content exists on both instances.

  • image Modified (yellow/amber, solid): Content was modified since publication. The author instance is not in sync with the public.

  • image Unpublished (red, solid): Content exists only on the author instance.

Scheduled publishing

With workflow you can schedule publishing to a future date and include approval steps. The editor who launches the publication workflow can add a comment for the reviewer and set a publication date.


Publishers receive a task in the Tasks app. They can assign the task to themselves and approve or reject it. The system can also show what changed on the page.


Publishing changes only

When you publish a node and its children you often end up publishing content whose status is already Published. Such nodes don’t need to be published but it is often more convenient to just publish the whole tree than node-by-node.

To improve author instance performance, exclude already-published nodes from the action. Publish modified nodes only. This may help performance and scalability in cases where the author instance has a high concurrent load (many editors activating large amounts of content at the same time).

To publish only modified pages, add a modifiedOnly property in the action definition and set it to true:

ADVT publishing

Table 1. Properties


Publishes only nodes that are modified or never published. Excludes nodes that are already published.

optional, default is false

You cannot assume that a page has the same state on author and public instance just because the publishing status is Published (green). It is possible to manipulate pages on the public instance after publishing. For example, you can change content on a public instance by importing, cloning or via the REST API without the author instance knowing. If such non-publishing activity changes content on your public instances, you may want to allow editors to publish a page even if its status is green to override the non-publishing changes. In this case, set the modifiedOnly property to false.