I have a content delivery server and a content management server. On the content management server I want visitors to be able to see non-published items when they are not logged into Sitecore.

If I change the connection string for Web to Master I can see the non-published items obviously, but then I cannot publish as it tries to publish from Master to Master.

2 Answers 2


You'll need to run your CM instance in Live Mode.

Running a site in Live Mode means that it reads items directly from the Master database. At the same time, your web connection string is preserved and you are still able to publish from Master to Web.

To enable the Live Mode, go to App_Config/Include and rename the file LiveMode.config.example to LiveMode.config.

Additionally, if you have other site definitions apart from website, you'll need to update them as well by modifying the LiveMode.config. For example, if you have a custom site definition named "mySite", your LiveMode.config might look like this:

<configuration xmlns:patch="http://www.sitecore.net/xmlconfig/">
      <site name="website">
        <patch:attribute name="database">master</patch:attribute>
        <patch:attribute name="filterItems">true</patch:attribute>
      <site name="mySite">
        <patch:attribute name="database">master</patch:attribute>
        <patch:attribute name="filterItems">true</patch:attribute>

There are a number of ways to go about this - it depends a little bit on how ambitious you want to be with this.

One way is to configure a new site on your CM server (a Sitecore site definition), make it respond to a different host name (so preview.cm.internal or whatever). Sitecore includes Livemode.Config.example to show how this can be set up.

Another way to go about it, is to set up a Preview Publishing Target.

Essentially this will allow you to set up publishing of your site to a dedicated publishing target, even when not everything in workflows is in "final" state.

Adding a new Publishing Target

Add your new target under /sitecore/system/publishing targets, make sure to mark it as a "preview publishing target".

enter image description here

Optionally, also configure any workflows you use, to allow publishing to this target even when not "final".

enter image description here


  • Thanks for the through explanation. I went with the more simple route as our current setup (not a typical Sitecore installation) is setup to view Master items on our "preview" server without our users having to publish.
    – Kevin
    Feb 2, 2017 at 15:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.