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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.

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    DebbieDebbie shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    52 comments

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

        Last year WA made shift into giving teams more freedom on what improvements they should do. This particular topic is very important to CMS crew and we were planning on introducing big changes there, but at the end of the year a bigger issue came up. We decided that we need to pay even more attention to the wishlist and review problems that are in the top of our list. Unfortunately in result this topic was left out of scope and we feel guilty that we did not communicated it here clearly.

        This year CMS crew was focusing: Voting/Election, Restrictions to file access, ability to upload files images to blogs, forums and forms (registrations and membership) and Classifieds.

        Next quarter we will be planning our next year issues and "Ability to preview changes before publishing" is very high in our list. Right now we are working on collecting information to prove importance of this issue.

        This is the status so far.

      • batguanobatguano commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        On August 23, 2016, Team CMS from Wild Apricot posted "hope to give you progress on this particular issue in the first quarter of the next year."

        Please provide an update on progress and plans.

      • JohnJohn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, we need to be able to build changed templates in a test environment. Changing themes is great except that it gets published with errors in format that take a long time to correct. If the new theme could recognize elements of the old them and incorporate them better, maybe that would work. For now we need to be able to build the new theme out entirely before publishing and replacing the old theme.

      • WebbrightWebbright commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Once a web page is edited and saved, the changes are published online. However, in some cases, it is useful to work on a page, save the changes, and publish later when the changes are ready to be made public.

        In some other systems, this is done by making page editing and publishing two different steps (ie, two step editing and publishing process).

        The workaround we apply now is to make a copy of the page, edit the copy in Admin only view, then either duplicate all changes on the original page, or remove and replace. Not a practical solution.

        In addition, in Chrome I've been encountering issues with pages that are edited and not saved. A dialog appears to continue editing, but most of the time does not work properly.

        Please consider the two step process suggested.

        Thanks.

      • Sue DonlonSue Donlon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This would be a true blessing since those of us just starting out with reshaping our websites have a better chance of success. Basically, a "test" environment for changes is the professional way to achieve system changes in the real world.

      • Larry KillerLarry Killer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I commented on the other thread that is similar to this and has a link to this thread. But I think it would be a valuable asset to have the ability to work on theme changes on a cloned website and then be able to move that work to your live site when you have it the way you want it. I am getting ready to update our site theme and like everyone else, this is a volunteer effort. I have 112 pages (way more than I need and will be parsing it down during this time) that I will have to individually update to the new theme. Just because you change the template does not mean that all of your content will lay out nicely on the pages, so one by one they have to be updated.

      • FlorenceFlorence commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        We are considering updating the layout/theme of our website, it would be useful to have access to a test environment so that we can do all the set up off-line and only publish the new website layout/theme once it's ready to go live.

      • 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!

      • JohnJohn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Must have! Most Apricot Admins are supporting a charity, social club or other avocation. Porting a site in your spare time is hard and best done incrementally with testing. A fully cloned site with migration ability supports the majority of Apricot Admins.

      • agcohioagcohio commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree. i am looking at the clone and thinking that it will have to be done over a weekend and still it is going to look awful if someone goes to the website over the weekend and says what is wrong with this site.

      • Larry KillerLarry Killer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        This is something that I will be going through shortly. I have had our site cloned so that I can experiment with a new theme as our existing theme is no longer supported. It will be great to work on the cloned site to see what changing will do to it. Looking at the theme preview on the cloned site I can see that I will have a lot of work ahead of me. It will take me a good week to make the changes and to do that over a live site, to me, does not seem like a professional way of doing things.

      • 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.

      • Test AccountTest Account commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Make it possible to "migrate" the design from your clone site to your actual site, for easier web redesign.

      • 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

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