Skip to main content
Last updated: 14 May 2024

If documents aren't live after being published

If a document isn’t live on GOV.UK after a publisher has published the document it may mean that it’s got stuck somewhere.

Checking the status of a document

To check the status of a document, there is a Rake task available in the Publishing API that will check where the content is currently available.

$ bundle exec rake data_hygiene:document_status_check[content_id,locale]

If documents aren’t in the Publishing API

This likely means that the publishing app itself failed to send the document correctly to the Publishing API. These fix here varies per publishing app, but you can start by trying to republish the document from within the user interface. If that doesn’t work, there are some other things you can try:


Whitehall has a custom user interface for republishing individual pieces of content, including documents. A link to this can be found in the “More” section of the site.


$ bundle exec rake publishing_api:republish_edition[slug]

Travel Advice Publisher

$ bundle exec rake publishing_api:republish_edition[country_slug]

Specialist Publisher

The datastore for Specialist Publisher is the Publishing API directly. Therefore if the content isn’t in the Publishing API, it means the content will also not be in Specialist Publisher and need redrafting.

If documents aren’t in the Content Store

There is a Rake task available in the Publishing API that will represent the content item to the Content Store.

$ bundle exec rake represent_downstream:high_priority:content_id[content_id]

WARNING: this task might publish draft content to the live content store. Use with caution. See this ‘ongoing issues’ card for more details.

Note that if you run this task to fix missing routes, it may not work correctly as the Content Store keeps a cache of what it thinks the routes are.

If routes aren’t in the Router

There is a Rake task available in the Content Store that will register the routes for a Content Item directly.

$ bundle exec rake routes:register[base_path]

If the document isn’t live after all this

If the document appears to be correct in all these places, it may just be necessary to clear the cache for that document. 404 pages will be cached, although with a shorter expiration time, so if a publisher tries to view the page before it’s live, they may end up caching the 404 page.