Understanding article visibility, status and draft

Updated Jun 25, 2018

Articles have several attributes. This article will explain how some of these attributes affect whether your article will be visible in your site or not.

Article visibility

When you first create an article it is marked as unpublished. Unpublished articles can be accessed in the admin area, but are not visible in your public site. An article that is unpublished does not have a public url that can be shared with your customers or employees.

Once you publish an article it will show up in your public site (unless it is part of a unpublished chapter or manual).

An article's published state is the only attribute that determines whether an article will show up in your public table of contents or not.

Article status

Articles can have the following statuses:

  • None
  • Needs Content
  • Needs Review
  • Needs Update
  • Approved

These article status is used only for your internal workflow. The status setting has no effect on whether an article will be visible to your end users or not.

Article draft status

Draft status is used when you want to make updates to an existing, published article, but you don't want those updates to be published yet.

An example will help explain this. Imagine the following scenario:

  • You have a product that you support.
  • You have an article that shows how to do something in that product.
  • You make changes to that product, but you have not released those changes to your customers yet.
  • You want to update the article but not publish the changes until you release the updates to your product.

Given this situation you would check the article in as a draft. The old version of the article would still be visible on your site. But any authors would see your new draft version if they were to try to edit it. When you are ready to publish you just change the draft setting to published and the latest version would become viewable on the site.

You can also use this feature if you want to review any changes that other authors make to articles before they go live on your site.

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