How To Preview An Unpublished Article in Joomla

How to preview an unpublished article in JoomlaBack when I was redesigning my artist website, WordPress was still a pain in the ass to use.  Too much digging into raw code to make things work and such.  So I ended up building it on the Joomla platform.  Since then, things have kind of flipped the other way.  WordPress is very user friendly these days and Joomla less so.  Though it’s still really robust.

But there’s an obvious function left out of Joomla: the ability to preview an article before publishing it.  Seems dumb right?

Two things you can do here.  You can temporarily publish the article, go to your site and view it, then unpublish.  Really… how many people are going to see the article in that split second it was published?

Then just keep that article page open and you’ll be able to refresh it as you work on it.  Even though it’s not published, the URL will stay active.  It just won’t appear in your menus or wherever.

Want to avoid publishing at all until your masterpiece is ready for human consumption?

First set your article’s status to “Archived”.  While it’s essentially published, it won’t show up on a blog or in any of the menus.

Also, keep in mind that archived articles won’t show up in your normal list of articles in your article manager unless you choose “Archived” in the Select Status box at the top of the list of articles.


Two things to change in that URL.  Instead of “your_website_url” put your actual website URL. Duh.  Then you need to put the article number where is has [number] at the end.  And you just need the number, not the brackets.

You can find the article ID number at the end of the URL when you go into edit the article.  Also, if you look at the list of your articles in your article manager, there is a column that includes all the article numbers.

There is also a free extension called Better Preview available in the Joomla extensions library that should make your previewing life easier.  I personally haven’t tried it, so it could totally suck.  But it’s worth looking into.

Of course it would be way hella easier if they’d just stick a button in there that does that for you, right?  Right.

Anyway, there ya go.  That’s how to preview an unpublished article in Joomla.  Go preview like crazy.


How To Preview An Unpublished Article in Joomla — 8 Comments

  1. Note that this requires front-end editing to be enabled in order to preview unpublished pages. Nice for users but introduces vulnerabilities and increases the attack surface.

    • That’s really great to know. Thanks for noting that. I’ll be on the lookout for other ways of previewing. I still can’t believe it hasn’t been implemented as a regular feature.

  2. Hello,

    Thanks for this article, I’m desperately looking for options to preview articles via front end.
    I tried previewing the unpublished article the way you mentioned, but it doesn’t seem to work for me on Joomla 3.2. Would you be able to help? Is there a change in the way articles can be previewed in Joomla 3.2?


      • Thanks! I’ll add that into the article. I appreciate that update. As it happens, I too was trying this technique today and discovered the problem with it. But I hadn’t had time to look for a solution yet. I looked in my own permissions and everything was already allowed, but I’m still having some trouble with it. I’ll dig up an answer though.

        I assume you were editing those permissions in the Global Configuration?

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