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How to change and preview a new theme without losing content and changing the live site until I'm ready?

Boldmaven 7 months ago updated by arnelc 7 months ago 1

I chose a theme for my live site, but it's not working out for me.  How do I (1) change the theme without losing my content and (2) preview the site in the new theme before making it live without changing the live site until I publish a new theme?

Thanks.

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Hello, Boldmaven 21,

The easiest way to do this is to use the Staging feature of BoldGrid.  There are additional steps you need to do before comparing though.  

  1. First, you will need to load a Staging site, if you have not done it already.  You can do this by going into Inspirations, selecting one, and then installing it.  You will get a choice to select if the staging site will be loaded during the installation of the Inspiration.
  2. When you the staging site installed, go to Pages and view all.  You will see that there is a column labeled Development group.  This lists all of your pages in Active and in Staging.  Look at your pages and copy all of your pages to the Staging site.  If you are using the default names for the pages, then I recommend that you first rename all of the staging pages before copying all of your Active pages over.  You don't have to transfer Posts over in the same as pages.
  3. After you have all of your pages copied to Staging, go back to BoldGrid Admin Dashboard.  Hover over your domain/company name in the top left corner and select Staging site.
  4. Click on Customize
  5. The Background image is set to the default one used by the Inspiration that you selected.  You can change it in Customization by clicking on Background.
  6. The Menu does not transfer over automatically, but it's easy to recreate it by simply clicking on Menus, then Primary menu, or whatever menu you are using if you have created another (for Staging).
  7. Here you will need to re-create or add items that might be missing from your menu.  If you need to remove an item, click the drop-down arrow for the menu item and click on REMOVE.  To ADD a menu item, click on ADD ITEMS.
  8. Generally, posts are set up under Pages, but if you're putting them directly in the menu, then you need to do so here.  To add a sub-menu item, select it under ADD ITEMS and then drag it into position in the menu column to the left.  
  9. When you have finished ordering your items then click on PUBLISH in the top left column of the Customization menu.  

When you finish these steps you are looking at your old site pages using a different Inspiration.  Note that if you re-load an inspiration you will remove all of the entries from your site, so please proceed with caution when loading an Inspiration.  There is an option called CHANGE THEMES.  But this only works if the theme is already loaded.  

In other words, you can go to your staging site and change the theme and it will replace everything in the site with that theme, but the Inspiration would already need to be loaded in the themes section.  (Inspiration is a pre-built website - a theme is a framework without the pages. Loading an inspiration removes the existing pages in an active or staging site).

I hope this is clear - I know it's a little confusing when talking Inspirations and themes. As with anything, I highly recommend using the BoldGrid Backup plugin to make a backup of your site before you proceed with duplicating your pages, etc. 

A staging site is viewable through the internet, but ONLY by administrator users for your site.  So, you can leave your active site running and then make changes or update your site by using the pages copied to your Staging site.  You can then see your site BEFORE it's available for everyone to see. 

When you are ready to deploy your Staging site, you would hover over Customize in the BoldGrid Admin Dashboard and select Deploy Staging.  Since you are now familiar with the different development groups, I recommend selecting the advanced tab during the Staging Deployment and then reviewing each page that you will be replacing on your active site with your staging site.  

I hope this helps you to refresh/rebuild your site!  Please let us know if you have any further questions!

Kindest regards,

Arnel C.