Visual Site Update
First, I am not a web designer, I am asking this question for a web designer who will be working with us in a few months to do a major visual update to the look of our site, which is currently on Wild Ap.
While our web designer is updating/redoing our current site will we need to have a parallel site so that our current site is still usable for our members?
Has anyone redone their website from WA to WA? If so, any advice?
Thank you in advance for your time and knowledge!
And, ideally, leave a comment in this Wishlist thread - http://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8826097-ability-to-preview-changes-to-theme-header-css-b - so we can prioritize this change higher in our roadmap and finally create proper tool for such redesigns in future.
Thank you for the information and time!
Another way is to copy (duplicate) existing pages and templates and work with them. Even though it creates a messy structure while work is in progress, your designer will have no problems publishing pages and he will work with real data (events, members, posts, etc.)
What I would've done:
1) Duplicated current templates and worked with them until they are ready
2) Duplicated pages I needed to transfer to those templates and worked with them page by page
3) Walked through every "old" page and removed it from the menu
4) Walked through every "new" page and moved them to the right place in menu
This way you will have downtime on your site only while completing items 3) and 4) and even for most complex sites it should not take longer than 30 minutes
You can ask our support team to clone your site for you to use as a sandbox, but your designer will have to make all these changes manually on your original site once again, when you approve the design on your secondary site.
Phil Anderson commented
WA can clone your site and your developers can use this to make all the changes. Then when finished your developers can copy the coding back onto your "live" website. That is what we have done in the past. This was purely for design/aesthetic changes though.