In addition to viewing snapshots of the past, the dotCMS Time Machine also allows webmasters to get a glimpse of what their website will look like in the future, and even configure content to automatically publish/unpublish itself at specific dates/times in the future. The automatic publishing/unpublishing of content, however, is not default behavior and requires some simple configuration.
To enable future publishing/expiration of content for any content type, "date and time" fields must be added to the content type that will allow contributors to set the publish and expire dates (see below).
Only Date and Time field types may be configured as the "Publish Date Field" and "Expire Date Field" on the content type. When these content type fields are configured, this will activate the automatic publishing and unpublishing of content based on those field values.
After configuring the "Publish Date Field" and "Expire Date Field" on the content type, the default behavior for saving/publishing content is changed. The system will no longer allow the "Save/Publish" action if the contents "Publish Date Field" is set after the current date on the server. Conversely, the Save/Publish action will be denied if the Expire Date field is set before the current date in the system.
Once content has been saved with future publish and expire dates, the Time Machine can be used to preview what pages will look like when future dated content will be published/expired.
After choosing a future calendar date and language, the dotCMS Time Machine snapshot allows users to preview pages as they will appear with future dated content publication and expiration.
For information on how to set up and view snapshots of a dotCMS website in the past, please see the Time Machine Snapshots documentation