From Confluence Evaluation through to Production Installation

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So, you want to try Confluence on an evaluation installation, then move to a production installation when you are ready? This page gives an overview of the steps to follow.


  • This page starts with telling you how to install an evaluation Confluence site. If you have already finished evaluating Confluence, you can safely skip steps 1 to 3.
  • Your production installation will be an installed version of Confluence, not a Confluence Cloud site.
  • You will evaluate Confluence on an installed version too, not a Confluence Cloud site.

If you are using Confluence Cloud to evaluate Confluence, please refer to the following guide when you want to move to an installed version: Migrate from Confluence Cloud to Server.

Step 1. Set up your evaluation Confluence site

If you have already set up an evaluation Confluence site, you can skip this step.

Below is a summary of the installation and setup procedure, focusing on the choice of database.

To install Confluence:

  1. Download the installer from the Confluence download site.
    Note: If you are using a Mac or another unsupported platform for your evaluation, you will need to install from a zip file. Details are in the full installation guide.
  2. Run the installer and choose the express or custom installation. If you are not sure, choose Express Install.
    • The express option will install Confluence with default settings.
    • The custom option allows you to choose the Confluence installation directory, home (data) directory, ports and other options.
  3. When prompted, choose the option to open Confluence in your browser, where you can complete the setup.

To set up Confluence, including the database:

  1. Follow the prompts in the browser-based setup wizard, to get your Confluence license.
  2. Choose the Trial or Production installation type. If you are not sure, choose Trial Installation.
    • The Trial option will install Confluence with default settings, including the embedded database which is automatically set up for you. You'll need to migrate to an external database before running Confluence in a production environment (more info below). 

Step 2. Add users and content to your evaluation site

If you have finished evaluating Confluence, you can skip this step.

Depending on your choices during the Confluence setup, your evaluation site may include sample content. The example pages, blog posts and attachments are in the 'Demonstration space'. This space is present if:

  • You chose the 'Trial Installation' during setup.
  • Or you chose the 'Production Installation', then chose to include the 'Example Site'.

You can update the sample content, and create more of your own. You can also invite people to join you on the site.

When you move to a production site, you can choose to copy the content and users to the new site.

To create content in your evaluation site:

  • Choose SpacesCreate Space to add a space, which is like a library of pages.
  • Choose Create to add pages and blog posts.

To add users: Go to  > User management.

Step 3. Look for interesting Marketplace apps as part of your evaluation

If you have finished evaluating Confluence, you can skip this step.

Apps, also called plugins or add-ons, provide additional features that you can install into your Confluence site. Some of them are provided free of charge. Many of the commercial apps are available free for an evaluation period.

You can browse and download app on the Atlassian Marketplace. You can also find apps via the Confluence user interface, which interacts with the Atlassian Marketplace for you.

To find useful apps via the Confluence user interface:

  1. Go to  > Manage apps.
  2. Choose Find new add-ons.

Step 4. Set up your production Confluence site

When you are ready to move from an evaluation site to a production site, you need to migrate to a production-ready database. This involves installing a new Confluence site with a new database, and instructing Confluence to copy the data from your evaluation site to the new site. You will also need to check some important configuration settings, and define your backup strategy. The instructions below lead you through all the steps required.

Migrating your data to a production database:

  1. Choose a database carefully, with a focus on reliability and backups. See our list of supported databases. If you are unsure which one to choose, we recommend PostgreSQL.
  2. Install a new database and a new Confluence site, by following our guide to migrating to another database. The guide will lead you through the following steps:
    • Setting up your database server.
    • Adding a Confluence database (schema) to your database server.
    • Installing a new, production-ready Confluence site.
    • Copying your Confluence data from your evaluation site to your new production site.

Setting important configuration options on your production site:

Defining your backup strategy:

By default, Confluence will create daily XML backups of your content and user data. This is suitable when you are evaluating Confluence. When you move to a production site, you need more robust backup procedures and technologies. See Production Backup Strategy.

Last modified on Nov 24, 2021

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