Publish your prototype online

Publishing your prototype online means you can:

  • share it with colleagues for collaboration
  • test it with users on their own devices

You'll need a hosting service to publish prototypes online.

Hosting services

The GOV.UK Prototype Kit runs on any hosting service that supports Node.js.

Your organisation may already use a hosting service for the Prototype Kit. Check with your IT or digital team about which platform to use.

Some hosting services automatically publish every time you push to GitHub. For example:

Setting a password

When running the Prototype Kit online, you need to set a password. This is to stop anyone finding your prototype accidentally and mistaking it for a real service.

Check your hosting services documentation on how to set 'environment variables' (it may have a slightly different name like 'config vars' or 'variables').

Add an environment variable where the 'name' is NODE_ENV, and the 'value' is 'production'.

Add another environment variable where the 'name' is PASSWORD, and the 'value' is whatever password you would like to use.

If you get an error about username

Older versions of the Prototype Kit require a username - you can migrate your prototype to version 13 or set a username:

Add another environment variable where the 'name' is USERNAME, and the 'value' is whatever username you would like to use.