View unpublished websites with Site shield
You can use the Site shield feature to protect a website that is under development from unauthorized access but to allow users without backend permissions to view it while it is being developed. For example, when stakeholders want to evaluate the progress of a website, but they do not have backend permissions.
: To use Site shield, make sure the following prerequisites are valid:
- By default, the Site shield module is deactivated. To use it, navigate to Administration » Modules & Services and install the Protection shield module.
- You must have configured your system to send emails. For more information, see Notification service: Send emails.
Activate and setup the Site shield
To activate the Site shield and allow certain users to view the site behind the shield, perform the following:
- Navigate to Sitefinity CMS backend and use the site selector in the upper-left corner to select the site where you want to activate the Site shield.
- Navigate to Administration » Site Shield.
- Click Activate for this site.
The shield is activated on the site. To deactivate it, click Deactivate for this site.
- Click Invite users.
A dialog box appears where you enter the email addresses of the users whom you want allow to browse the website under development.
- Enter one email per line or separate them by comma, semicolon, or space.
The users will receive email invitations with a link to the website that contains a unique access token.
- You can set an expiration date and time for the access that you have given.
To do this, select Revoke access for users above on… and enter the date when the access link to the website will expire for all users in the list.
- Click Send invitation.
The system sends each user an email with a link to the website that contains a unique access key.
Browse the website
To browse the website, follow the link that you received by email.
The link contains an access token in the form of
yoursite.com?accessToken=***. When you open the link in a browser, a cookie is added to the browser. You can continue to browse the website without the token. If you want to change the browser, you must use the link with the token again.
Manage users that have access to the website
After you have granted access to users, a list of all users that have access appears on the Site shield page.
The list displays the following information:
- The email of the user
- Whether the user is allowed or denied access to the website or whether the invitation was not successfully sent
- The number of devices that the user has used to access the website
Using the Actions menu of each user, you can perform the following:
- If the invitation was not successfully sent to the user, you can resend it.
- You can block a user that has been previously granted access.
- You can unblock a user that has been previously blocked.
- You can remove a user from the list.
This way, you deny access.
Select a notification profile for sending emails
The Sitefinity CMS Site shield module sends email invitations to users with a link to the website that contains a unique access token. This way, users can preview unpublished websites.
By default, if you have configured the Sitefinity CMS email settings, the Site shield module will send notifications using the default notification profile. For more information about configuring Sitefinity CMS email settings, see Configure email settings.
NOTE: If you have created your website with Sitefinity CMS version 11.2 or lower, the Site shield module in these versions used the legacy system SMTP settings. As of Sitefinity CMS version 12.0, all system modules use the Notification service instead. To preserve a working email functionality, after upgrading to a higher Sitefinity CMS version, a dedicated notification profile named SystemConfigSmtpSettingsMigrated is automatically created for you. The profile uses the same values as the legacy system SMTP settings and is configured by default for all modules that used the migrated system SMTP settings.
If you want to explicitly specify a notification profile for the Site shield module, perform the following:
- In the main menu, navigate to Administration » Settings » Advanced.
- In the tree view on the left, click ProtectionShield » Notifications.
- In SenderProfile, type the name of the notification profile you want to be used to send emails for the Site shield module. If you do not enter a name explicitly, the default notification profile is used. For more information about Sitefinity CMS notification profiles, see Configure notification profiles.
- Click Save changes.