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Ability to preview changes to theme, header, CSS before publishing

I wish I could preview results before I publish changes to theme, header, CSS, etc.

58 votes
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    DebbieDebbie shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
    Lucy AlvarezLucy Alvarez shared a merged idea: Previewing site template change  ·   · 
    gLogLo shared a merged idea: preview theme change  ·   · 
    homeperfwahomeperfwa shared a merged idea: Unpublished Version of Pages or Site  ·   · 

    40 comments

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      • Becky ParsonsBecky Parsons commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        There is another comment on this topic. Would be good to combine - could get more traction for this very important need!

      • Becky ParsonsBecky Parsons commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I have read most of the 34 posted comments and my issues are the same! Please provide a "shadow" site of our website so we can migrate to a new theme and get the new menu, links, and page functionality working before "turning it on" in our website.

        We have been on the "basic green" theme since 2009 and have been trying out a new responsive theme in a clone of our website. Our current theme does not have drop-down menu lists, so we have every page set up with multiple cross-links for navigation. Migrating to a new theme with drop-down menus means starting from scratch with how to design our menu and page organization. The clone site will not let us import new photos or logos in order to work up the "look" of the new page template designs. So when we go "live" with the new theme we'll have our website down for at least an entire weekend while we have to do trial and error experimentation from scratch for the design of every page template and for every page.

        Please help to make this process not so daunting!

      • Team CMSAdminTeam CMS (Website CMS and Themes, Wild Apricot) commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, I am sorry, to resolve this issue we had to make changes within our internal systems and that postponed the issue itself.

        We are on the finish line with all internal changes and this particular issue is one of the first we will move forward. We have plenty of analysis data ready and moved forward with designs but we still need our developers to make progress in this field.

        We made couple of small CMS changes to cheer you up in the next couple of months that we were able to squeeze between refactoring and hope to give you progress on this particular issue in the first quarter of the next year.

        Sincerely yours,

        CMS and web site customization team (AKA CMS crew)

      • SonnySonny commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It is over one year since you indicated creating a preview mode was under development and screenshots were displayed of a prospective workflow. It is 6 months since the last commitment that this is part of the plan. Reference was made to the roadmap. But the roadmap provides no information regarding this feature. Could you please update the status of this essential feature. Workarounds are insufficient solutions.

      • Lucy AlvarezLucy Alvarez commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        It would be nice to be able to change the site template and preview it, modify it, save it and publish it when it's ready, instead of changing the template an modifying it while it's live. Thank you!

      • Blanca LarsonBlanca Larson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Would like to build a new tee layout of existing website and when finished replace it with new layout and publish

      • gLogLo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Add option to Preview new theme/changes and migrate the changes to my website. Cloned page is not acceptable

      • NoreenNoreen commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        The preview mode doesn't appear on the roadmap. Do you have any idea as to when it will happen? I need to do a design update on my site using one of the responsive themes and this would make things so much easier.

      • Sue SimsSue Sims commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Are there instructions how to do a "draft" page? I want to play around with ideas and see how they look before publishing it for all to see.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You mean like a separate 'Draft' version of a page, correct?

        Would love to hear from other users on this.

        For now a workaround is to duplicate a page and make it admin-only, then once satisfied with edits, delete old one and make new one visible. Or copy-paste HTML into the old page.

      • OlegOleg commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Good news about testing area - we have finished analysis and design of it!

        The key driver for analysis and design of the issue was current process of theme switching. Main problem with current theme switching workflow is that new theme is published directly on live website. For many sites, especially customized ones, automatic transformation to new theme might not go smoothly – and live site will be broken. This is a major issue, stopping people from trying new themes, including the newest responsive themes.

        So we decided to introduce a preview mode – a special edit mode for site pages, where changes appear only to the administrator in an isolated environment, not affecting the live site. This is helpful not only for theme switching, but for any site page edits as well – be it editing a single page or even making a heavy customized site using theme overrides.

        While you are making changes to the preview site, the live site continues to work. Your visitors and members can register for events, apply for membership, make forum/blog posts – all public workflows remain as is. Administrators can continue work on non-website activities – making events, working with finances, etc.

        Once your have finished making updates to the site, you can publish to your live site all the changes made in preview mode, or discard them all.

        See the current design mockups in the presentation below.

        https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1a-OujDpd6rccRLvtReFEBI7u9Ym522p07jUYzP39Z7c/pub?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000
        The issue is now in the development queue, and you can always check current status in our roadmap http://help.wildapricot.com/display/DOC/Product+roadmap . Feel free to add your comments and suggestions to the forum thread.

      • LorraineLorraine commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        +1 here too! My organization is about to embark on a site redesign adventure and we're hoping to make this transition as smooth as possible.

      • Kerrie-AnneKerrie-Anne commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        +1 for me on this as well - I'm in the process of doing this on a clone site and its quite a daunting task!

      • BeardoBeardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        +1 on the Sandbox/Testarea.

        I used a theme that is not responsive (not optimized for smart devices like phones or pads) and I want to make a complete overhaul for responsive design. So I really need to be able to rebuild the CSS for @media. So for example I need to be able to switch back and forth between the styles while not interrupting the look for the website visitor…

      • BeardoBeardo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        +1 on the Sandbox/Testarea.

        I used a theme that is not responsive (not optimized for smart devices like phones or pads) and I want to make a complete overhaul for responsive design. So I really need to be able to rebuild the CSS for @media. So for example I need to be able to switch back and forth between the styles while not interrupting the look for the website visitor…

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