Previewing Blocs/VoltCMS Sites in Development

I’m developing a site using Blocs which incorporates Volt CMS, and is scheduled for a September launch. I’ve shown the site, in person, to the client, and they’ve sign-off on the design. We now need to finalise the content. I want my client to be able to view the site online, so that they can see the alterations and provide feedback as new content is added.

I have a folder on my web hosting where I used to put exported Adobe Muse and Dreamweaver projects for clients to review. I’ve already tried FTPing the folder from my LocalHost, but the CMS content doesn’t appear.

My questions are these: (1) is this even possible, and (2) what changes do I have to make to the Blocs project and/or Volt CMS files in order for the site to appear correctly, with all the content in place?

Any advice, tips or tricks would be enormously helpful. Thank-you.

How is this FTP folder different from your other servers where you are able to upload content to?

I don’t understand what you are asking me @Jannis.

The simple answer, is that the website that displays fine on my Mac doesn’t display correctly when I upload it to a specific folder, on a specific web server. See attachment.

Volt needs to be at the root level and cannot be in a sub folder. Is that your issue? You also need the full url inside Blocs with the site settings under web address.

To work with Volt for clients I ended up buying a couple dedicated domains for development projects and like that it all works fine. At the end you just copy the FTP contents to the client’s domain and update the url inside Blocs for previews.


Thanks for the confirmation @Flashman. I thought this may be the case. I tried changing the URL in Blocs. But of course the site was sitting in my Client subfolder, not at the root level.

I believe you can also use a subdomain if you wish, as long as the files are stored at the root. In theory you could have one main domain, then create a subdomain for each Volt client website.

Given the limited number of client sites I can build at any time and the relatively low annual cost of a UK domain I just have three domains and rotate them for different clients.

This is easier for clients to remember and saves on having to set up new FTP details for each new client, though you could theoretically set up a bunch of sub domains in one go, then just call them site one & site two etc and use them as needed.

Another step I take is to add some htaccess that blocks search engines from indexing the dev sites.

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Exactly that’s how to proceed.

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For swiftness I ended up recording a QuickTime video of the site and putting it up on YouTube. But thanks for the further explanation @Flashman. I have a couple of domains that aren’t really used for very much right now. So I could strip those down and use them for client projects in the future.

When the site is done I find it helps clients a lot if I produce a short video tutorial explaining how to make edits using their actual website, which covers text, images and custom classes.

In theory you could produce a single video tutorial as an example to cover all websites using Volt, but it might lack context for less experienced users. If they come back later I can just point them to the video, which I sent over via Wetransfer.

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I provide all my clients with a simple A4 style guide, that covers the basics of editing their sites, and what styles to use etc. Plus since the end of lockdown I’ve done a couple of one-to-one sessions with clients on how to use Volts. The feedback has always been “Wow! This is SO easy!” That’s when Volt CMS sites behave themselves and work though.


Is there anything simple about UI Style Guide Template - Freebie Supply for a prospect or client? :upside_down_face:

I always prefer to create my own documentation rather than use online stuff. Mine is very ‘top-level’, but it’s enough to get clients going, or to be a reminder on how to use Volts after we’ve done a one-to-one.


Nice, that is a lot easier, than the online ones.