Save, preview, and publish

In Experience Builder, experiences are created in a private builder environment. When you save changes, the experience is saved in a draft status. These draft experiences are only visible to the author and others with administrative privileges in your organization. Publishing is the process that moves experiences from draft status to published status and enables the sharing of apps to a broader audience.

Use tools on the builder toolbar to experiment, refine, save, and preview the app to test the end-user experience before you publish and share it.


Preview is for the full app, so it always opens to the home page. If you want to preview a specific page, you can temporarily change it to the home page in the Page panel, click Save, and preview that page. (Preview only includes saved changes.)

The toolbar at the top of the builder window includes the following options for testing and finalizing an app:

  • Change the name of the experience item.
  • Lock the layout to avoid unexpectedly changing a widget's size or position.
  • Test interactive widgets in live view.
  • View the app in multiple screen sizes to confirm or refine the layout.
  • Undo or redo your last actions.
  • Save changes, preview the app to test all saved configurations, and publish and share the web experience.
  • Save the app as a new experience, change share settings, view and edit published item details, and copy the link for the published experience.
  • Create an experience and generate a template.

When you publish a web experience or template that you own, if you added subscriber content as a data source or utility service and connected widgets to it, you are prompted to authorize public access using your account. In the Subscriber contents window that opens after clicking Publish, applicable data and utility items and options to specify a request limit and interval for each are listed. Data sources and utility items that are premium content are indicated by the Credits column.


When adding data or utilities to an app, you can determine whether a data source or utility item is subscriber content by the standard ArcGIS Living Atlas icons on the item cards and in the Data and Utility panels.

Once you publish and share an app, Experience Builder allows you to edit and test app updates without affecting the user experience in the live app. With the Draft, Published, and Unpublished changes statuses for web experiences, you can modify a published app, preview it, and test your changes, while users continue to access the live version. When you've made changes to a published experience, after clicking Save, an Unpublished changes badge appears on the builder's toolbar. To move the changes from the latest updates, publish the experience again.

Printing and print preview

In a preview window, or while viewing a published app, you can review a print job before you send it to the printer by setting a link on a Button, Card, Image, or Text widget to Print preview. Print preview mode reorganizes special layouts such as screen groups and removes both animations and auto plays.

Widget versions

Experience Builder automatically updates with each release of ArcGIS Online. Releases typically include new versions of many Experience Builder widgets. In general, widgets in existing apps automatically update to the latest version if you are regularly opening the apps in the builder. However, some widgets may not update to the latest version.

Keep the following in mind regarding widget version updates:

  • When you add a widget in the builder, the version recorded in the app's configuration file is the version at the time of addition.
  • At run time, widgets dynamically update to the latest available version, but the new version is not saved in the app's configuration file.
  • In the builder, a widget internally updates to the latest available version once you open it. You must save the app to update the widget's version in the configuration file.

To ensure that all widgets in an app are updated to the latest version after a release, open all of them in the builder. Opening a widget means switching to the page or view that contains the widget. If the widget is in a Widget Controller, open its panel.