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The “environment” of a Bridgetown site can affect the way certain processes work. Typically your site is run in the development environment. When running automated tests it should be run in the test environment, and upon deployment it should be run in the production environment.

When running CLI commands, you can specify the Bridgetown environment by prepending it to your command:

BRIDGETOWN_ENV=production bin/bridgetown build

or by using the -e or --environment flag:

bin/bridgetown build -e production
bin/bridgetown console --environment=test

Alternatively, you can set the environment value using your computer or server settings…most hosting companies allow environment variables to be specified via a control panel of some kind. Or at the command line, look for a .bashrc or .zshrc file in your home folder and add:

export BRIDGETOWN_ENV="production"

Conditional Content

Suppose you set this conditional statement in your code:

{% if bridgetown.environment == "production" %}
   {% render "analytics" %}
{% endif %}

When you build your Bridgetown site, the content inside the if statement won’t be rendered unless you also specify a production environment.

The default value for BRIDGETOWN_ENV is development. Thus if you omit BRIDGETOWN_ENV from the build/serve commands, the default value will be BRIDGETOWN_ENV="development". Any content inside {% if bridgetown.environment == "development" %} tags will automatically appear in the build.

Some elements you might want to hide in development environments include comment forms or analytics. Conversely, you might want to expose an “Edit me in GitHub” button in a development or staging environment but not include it in production environments.

Environment-specific Configurations

In your bridgetown.config.yml config file, as well as the src/_data/site_metadata.yml metadata file, you can add a block of YAML options per environment. For example, given the following metadata:

# src/_data/site_metadata.yml

title: My Website

  title: My (DEV) Website

Your site title would be “My Website” if built with a production environment, and “My (DEV) Website” if built with a development environment. You can specify any number of environment blocks that you wish. For example:

# bridgetown.config.yml

  unpublished: true
  future: true

  unpublished: true

The development environment will build documents that are marked as unpublished as well as having a future date, whereas the staging environment will only build unpublished. And the production environment would exclude both sets.

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