I am new to Shopify and need to make changes to a live site. Is this a good workflow for making small changes to a live site?
Duplicate the theme;
Edit the code and save changes;
Test the changes through the preview option;
Publish the theme.
Is there anything important I need to look out for if I follow this method?
If someone is making changes to the site while I am working e.g. adding new products or a customer is adding an account etc. Does the duplicate theme pick up the changes?
Thanks for any suggestions
Aria here, one of the Social Care gurus at Shopify. ?
That's exactly right! Duplicate your current live theme, give it a very clear name to avoid confusion for you and other staff members, make changes to the duplicated copy, test them in preview and publish when you're confident you made the right changes. None of this will affect the current, published theme.
Your duplicate theme will pick up any changes made to the store. If someone adds a new product, you'll be able to access it from the duplicate theme.
Let me know if you have more questions about this.
Social Care Guru
Aria, thanks for the reply.
What about making changes to navigation or pages etc, like adding a new menu item? For me this seems to appear in the live version. Is it only changes to the theme code that don't show?
I added a new menu item and then realised it was appearing in the live site, I deleted it and it no longer shows when I am logged into Shopify and viewing the site, but when I log out and view the site the deleted menu item is still showing.
Any ideas why the menu item is still there and how to make it disappear?
Aria here. I apologize for the delay.
Yes, you're correct. If you make changes to the unpublished theme, using the theme editor, it won't affect the live store. If you make changes to anything else such as Navigation, it will show up on the live store. You can keep products hidden until you're ready to display them. You can also keep pages hidden.
Does that help?
Social Care Guru
Any changes you make to the Navigation will be public immediately after you save them.
As a workaround, you can keep the products and collections private until they are ready to go live and plan out how you will edit your Navigation to connect to those products and collections. When you're creating a new product, you can manage the visibility to keep it temporarily private:
You can do the same thing with collections.
If you have a lot of new products, you can use a CSV file to upload them and also to change the visibility.
Will this work for you?
I tried doing this, I created a duplicate theme, did changes on that and published it. Now, the duplicate theme become the primary and the original once becomes the secondary. They exchanged the places in the interface. So, is it true?
If I need to do any changes now, on which sheet should I do?
Yes, this is expected behaviour. When you publish a backup copy, it will then become the main copy and the previously published theme will be in the background.
It will really depend on what sort of changes you're making. If you want to try your hand at coding, make a copy of your current published theme, make changes to the copy and publish when you're happy with it. If you're installing an app, duplicate the theme first, install the app on the current theme and quickly publish your duplicate if it goes wrong.
Does that make sense?