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How to publish on GOV.UK

Government Digital Service
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Introduction and access to Whitehall publisher

Understand how Whitehall publisher works and how you access it.

Production and Integration environments

We have 2 separate publishing environments - Production and Integration - and you need a login for each.


Content on Integration is overwritten each night, so don’t store any documents there that you want to keep.

You can’t sync documents marked ‘access limited’ between the Production and Integration environments.

Request an account

You must attend training to get a Whitehall publisher account.

After finishing both ‘Writing for GOV.UK’ and ‘Using Whitehall publisher’, you’ll be able to publish most content formats including guidance, consultations and news stories.

If you only want to publish press releases, news stories, government responses and speeches, you can take the ‘Writing for GOV.UK as a press officer’ course.

If you only want to publish official statistics, you can take ‘Publishing statistics on GOV.UK’.

Once you’ve completed your training, we’ll create your account. You’ll get an email from our publishing system to let you know the account’s been created.

If you haven’t received an account within 3 days, ask your GOV.UK lead to request one using the ‘create or change user’ option on the GOV.UK Support form.

Types of account

If you have a ‘writer’ account you can create Whitehall content but you can’t publish it. When you get your account, you’ll have ‘writer’ permissions.

If you have ‘departmental editor’ permissions, you can create and publish Whitehall content and can review content submitted by others.

If you have ‘managing editor’ permissions, you can also:

Most organisations are limited to only 1 or 2 managing editors.

You can check your publishing permissions by looking at the ‘all users’ list in Whitehall publisher.

Accessing Whitehall publisher

You can access Whitehall from the GOV.UK Signon page. Select ‘Whitehall’ - this is the part of publisher where government content is created and edited.

You may also want to bookmark the Production and Integration sites.

On the ‘Sign in’ page enter your email address and your passphrase.

If you’re prompted to, enter the GOV.UK username and password. This is not your personal username and passphrase but the one you’re given when you first get an account.

If it’s your first time in Whitehall publisher, you’ll be asked to confirm we can use your email account.

Once you’re logged in you will land on the publisher ‘Dashboard’. If you are not able to login, contact GOV.UK.

Forgot your passphrase

  1. If you’re prompted to, enter the GOV.UK username and password.

  2. At ‘Sign in’ follow the ‘Forgot your passphrase?’ link.

  3. Enter the email address you registered with GOV.UK and click the button ‘Send me passphrase reset instructions’. You should receive the instructions by email. If you don’t see them in your inbox, check your spam filter.

Suspending accounts

Unused accounts are automatically suspended after 45 days of inactivity.

The Government Digital Service (GDS) send a reminder to your email address 14 days, 7 days, 3 days and one day before suspension. The reminders give you an opportunity to sign in, which will reactivate your account and stop the suspension.

If your account has been suspended, your managing editor can contact GDS to get your account unsuspended.

Finding your way around publisher

On your publisher ‘Dashboard’ you’ll see:

  • tabs to guide you to different types of content
  • a selection of useful links to writing and publisher support resources
  • your draft documents
  • your organisation’s force-published documents

Use the tabs to access content about your own department. From the tabs you can:

  • create a new document
  • find a document using the various filters to narrow your search
  • organise or create document collections
  • select ‘Featured documents’ for your organisation page
  • manage ‘Corporate information’ on your organisation page

The ‘More’ tab reveals additional menu items to create or edit your organisation’s content. Sometimes you’ll need to ask GDS to carry out or approve this content. You’ll see a message in red if this is the case.

You can’t create or edit content that isn’t the responsibility of your organisation.

Filter documents

There are thousands of documents on GOV.UK. The filters on the left hand side of the Documents page in the backend help you to narrow the list to find only the document you want. You can use one filter or several at once.

You can filter by:

  • the document’s title or the slug of the public-facing URL (like ‘making-roads-safer’)
  • author
  • organisation
  • world location
  • document type
  • state (draft, submitted, scheduled, published, force published etc)
  • date

To clear a filter, click the ‘reset all fields’ link at the bottom of the list of filters.

Export your filtered results to a CSV file

If you’re an editor, you can export the results of a filtered backend search to a CSV file.

Once you’ve chosen the fields for your search, select the ‘Export as CSV’ link at the bottom of the list of documents on the right hand side. You’ll then be taken to a screen asking you to confirm the export.

The CSV file will be emailed to you within a few minutes. Larger files may take longer to generate. The file is sent as an email so generating reports doesn’t overload the publishing system.

The CSV file contains a list of content in the following fields:

  • public and admin URLs
  • title
  • lead organisation
  • supporting organisation
  • first published date
  • first published on GOV.UK date
  • which editor published the document
  • when the document was last updated
  • content type and sub-type
  • state (draft, submitted, scheduled, published, force published etc)
  • attachments
  • policies
  • specialist sectors
  • collections

This tool can help you audit your content. For example, you could use it to find out which content has not been updated recently.