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My usual development process is to build the site locally, then upload on a staging subdomain for client reviews, going back and fourth between the two environments for updates, before deploying it on its live environment.

From what I understand you can use the one licence key on multiple environments but you can only then login to the Admin area from one of them? Which would cause me issue when I have the staging site up but I'm working between that and the dev version?

Alternatively I can use Craft for 'Free' using a appropriate .dev or staging URL (eg. http://staging-subdomain.mysite.com) and then make sure the paid for license is in place on the live version. Is that correct?

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From what I understand you can use the one licence key on multiple environments but you can only then login to the Admin area from one of them?

Sort of – you'll be able to login everywhere, but if the license isn't valid the CP will be blocked behind a "upgrade-wall", prompting you to purchase a valid license or downgrading to Personal (the free edition). The frontend will continue to function as normal, though.

Alternatively I can use Craft for 'Free' using a appropriate .dev or staging URL (eg. http://staging-subdomain.mysite.com) and then make sure the paid for license is in place on the live version. Is that correct?

Yes. From the docs:

You’re allowed to run a single Craft license on multiple domains (e.g. example.com and example.fr), so long as they’re all a part of the same website. In order to enforce that, Craft does have one technical limitation: you may only access Craft’s control panel from one public domain per Craft license. (There is no such restriction on non-public domains, though.)

One of the ways Craft determines if the domain is non-public, is if the site has a dev-sounding sub domain (e.g. dev, local, stage, or staging). This means that a Client or Pro license registered to www.mysite.com should also work for a staging site at http://stage.mysite.com.

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  • I don't believe that's correct. I asked P&T about this and they told me this: The staging server whitelist is just a way for licenses (Personal, Client or Pro) to not get prematurely tied to a "public" staging domain before they're ready for the production domain. It doesn't let you freely swap between the different editions of Craft like craft.dev or ontherocks.dev does. – Bryan Redeagle Jun 11 '15 at 19:31
  • On closer inspection it'd appear you're right, @BryanRedeagle. Weird, I could've sworn I done this in the past... I think someone needs to explain further though, because I don't fully understand. Say you have a staging server at stage.mysite.com. You do need to purchase a license for that, but once you go live @ www.mysite.com the license will be valid on both sites? – Mats Mikkel Rummelhoff Jun 12 '15 at 6:41
  • I tested some more and re-read the docs – think I figured it out, see updated answer. – Mats Mikkel Rummelhoff Jun 12 '15 at 7:31
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Alternative for your local site is to create something like mysite.craft.dev and that will allow you in Pro mode permanently.

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