Deploy Previews

Deploy Previews allow you and your team to experience changes to any part of your site without having to publish them to production.

Netlify builds Deploy Previews by default for GitHub pull requests and GitLab merge requests. You can control whether or not Deploy Previews are generated for pull/merge requests. For more information, visit the Deploy Preview controls docs.

For successful deploys, your GitHub pull request comments include a link to the Deploy Preview. You can add, remove, or edit these notifications. Visit the deploy notifications doc for more information.

# Deploy Preview URLs

Deploy Previews work by deploying pull/merge requests to a unique URL different from the one your production site uses. This URL has the prefix deploy-preview followed by the identifier number of the pull request or merge request. For example, a Deploy Preview for pull/merge request #42 will deploy to deploy-preview-42--yoursitename.netlify.app. The web content of this URL is updated every time changes are pushed to the associated pull/merge request.

You can share this URL with your team to gather their feedback using collaboration tools in the Netlify Drawer.

Every deploy also has a permalink that starts with the deploy ID number. For example: 1234abcd12acde000111cdef--yoursitename.netlify.app. The contents of this URL never change, even after you redeploy your site.

# Collaborative Deploy Previews

Collaborative Deploy Previews let you add, review, and manage feedback on your team’s sites. You can leave comments, take screenshots and video, and test responsiveness on a mobile device. Deploy collaboration tools are only available on Deploy Previews accessed through their deploy-preview prefixed URLs, and they can’t be used with GitLab or Bitbucket at this time. The Netlify Drawer only appears on valid HTML output with opening and closing <body> tags.

# Netlify Drawer

You can access the Netlify Drawer using the Netlify icon in your Deploy Preview. If you want to reposition the Netlify Drawer on your screen, you can drag and drop the icon.

Netlify Drawer icon

You must be signed into Netlify and be granted access to collaborate on the site.

If you are not a member of the Netlify team, you can select Request to join team to request access. Reviewers have access to certain collaboration features to provide feedback, while team Collaborators and Owners have extended capabilities to manage feedback and troubleshoot reported issues.

To get started, open one of your site’s Deploy Previews and hover over the Netlify icon to access the following options:

  • Open on device: displays a QR code you can scan to open the page on a mobile device.
  • Take screenshot: takes a screenshot which can then be edited, annotated, and added to feedback in the Deploy Preview or third-party integrations.
  • Record screen: records your screen and posts it as a GIF in feedback in the Deploy Preview or third-party integrations.
  • Set as entry path: saves the current page as the initial route visitors will land on when they access your Deploy Preview using links on the Deploys page, deploy details page, or in GitHub. This icon only appears if you are the author of the pull request. You can also set the entry path by tagging @netlify /path/to/page in the body of your pull request. The path must be relative and start with /.
  • Open Netlify Drawer: expands the Netlify Drawer, where you can collaborate with team members, integrate with third-party services, and access additional site information.

Selecting the Netlify icon expands the drawer, providing access to a number of collaboration tools.

In the Activity tab, team members and approved Reviewers can leave comments on the Deploy Preview. These comments are then synced and mirrored on the GitHub pull request. If you are a pending Reviewer, a team Owner must approve your request before you can access other collaborative Deploy Preview options, and any comments you leave will remain hidden until you’re approved.

Select New issue to create a new issue, card, or story, depending on your configured integrations.

The Integrations tab allows you to connect your Netlify user account with a number of productivity tools so that you can submit feedback to them directly from the Deploy Preview.

Netlify Drawer Integrations tab

  • Clubhouse: create new stories in your Clubhouse workspace.
  • GitHub: create new issues in your GitHub repository.
  • Linear: create new issues in your Linear workspace.
  • Trello: create new Trello cards on your personal and team boards.

The Team members tab provides a list of your current Netlify team members, including their current role and site access. This is also where team Owners can invite users to join their team as Reviewers. For more information on team member permissions, check the team roles documentation.

You can find details about the deploy in the Deploy logs tab. Visit our deploy log docs for more information.

On the Settings tab, you can check your site’s current post processing settings. More details about these settings are available in our post processing docs. This tab also gives you the option to set your site’s entry path, which is the initial route visitors will land on when they access your Deploy Preview using links on the Deploys page, deploy details page, or in GitHub. The path must be relative and start with /.