Area: Optimizely CMS
Applies to versions: 12 and higher
Other versions:


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A project lets an editor manage the publishing process for multiple related content items. The editor can add a landing page, blocks, pages, and products (if Commerce is installed) to a project and publish them (manually or scheduled) at the same time.

You have the following options when working with projects:

  • The Projects feature (also known as Project Mode) is enabled for the entire site.
  • Each user can, independently of others, use the "old" Project gadget.

Project mode features:

  • The Projects feature is enabled (default) or disabled for the entire site and affects all users. To disable Projects, you need to configure ProjectUIOptions.ProjectModeEnabled to false. When enabled, a project bar displays at the bottom of the user interface. A project overview and a Project Items navigation pane also appear.
  • Editing actions, such as creating and updating items, automatically associate a content item with a currently active project. Exceptions to this rule include moving items in the structure, setting content to expired, changing access rights or language settings. These actions do not associate content items with the active project.
  • You must manually deactivate a project to stop items from being automatically adding items to the project.
  • Project items are only available to users who have access rights to the items.
  • Content associated with a project is locked for editing if another project is active.
  • It is a version of the content that is associated with a specific project, which means that you can associate one draft of a page with project A and while another can associate a draft of the same page with project B.
  • You can continue working with a project after some or all of the items within a project are published.
  • The project overview has a commenting feature, letting editors collaborate by adding comments and replies to comments to project items and to projects. Editors also can tag users in the comments.
  • You can set up email notifications to editors.

Example workflow when working with projects

  1. Create a project (or set a project as active).
  2. Edit content items.
  3. Collaborate with other editors by adding comments to the edited project items and review changes.
  4. Preview the site as if the items in the project are published.
  5. Set all items in project as Ready to Publish.
  6. Publish all items at once (or schedule them for later publishing).


Versioning in Optimizely works slightly different when you enable the Projects feature. See the Optimizely User Guide.

Email notifications

You can email editors  when someone comments on project actions (such as setting a project to Ready to Publish) or replies to their comments. Editors also get an email if someone else tags them in a comment. How often these notifications are sent depends on the system configuration.

Note: You need to configure the SMTP settings for Optimizely CMS to send out email notifications. See Configuring your email server.

Scheduled jobs

Notification Message Truncate

The Notification Message Truncate job truncates (deletes) 3-months old notification messages that could not be sent and are still in the system. The job is enabled by default, and set to run every day.

Notification Dispatcher

The settings in the Notification Dispatcher job determine how often Optimizely CMS sends notifications of new or updated comments or replies posted in projects by a notification provider (for example, an e-mail provider). Notification messages are sent to user who:

  • are tagged in a comment or reply
  • receive replies to their comments
  • receive comments on their project actions (such as setting a project item to Ready to publish),
  • have previously replied to the same comment

No notification is sent if no new comments or replies were posted since the job last executed.

The job is enabled by default, and set to run every half hour.

Optimizely Labs add-on Project Enhancements

See also the Optimizely Project Enhancements Labs add-on, which contains further improvements to the projects feature.

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Last updated: Sep 28, 2021

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