Redesign On a Test Domain without Impacting My Current Site

Highlighted
New Member
1 0 1

Hi all,

I am looking to completely redesign my store with a new colour theme etc. I don't want to make the changes to the live website and would like to be able to play with a test environment and get it right, then push the button so to speak.

We are also going to be going with a new domain as it is a full rebrand, so the website address will be changing. Is there an outlined process for this? I probably will stay with the same theme, so I am just wondering how I can best go about this in the most efficient and cost effective way.

Thanks all

Jon

Highlighted
Shopify Staff
Shopify Staff
37 0 10

Hi Jon,

I'm Kris, a guru here at Shopify. 

The beauty of using our themes is that you can install up to 20 themes on your store at one time, with only 1 being published. This means you are completely able to perform changes to unpublished themes in the background, before broadcasting any changes to your live site. If you were looking to alter a version of the theme you're currently using, you can visit Online store > Themes and press the "..." above it to create a duplicate. I would also recommend renaming it as well, to prevent any confusion. 

With your duplicate now saved as a separate theme file in your admin, you have the option to Customize it and edit the HTML/CSS, just like normal, but because it's not in a "Published" state all of these changes are saving in the background. You also can preview unpublished themes at anytime to check out how they look. When you're ready to make the switch, click the "Publish Theme" button, which will change places with your active theme but also leave the old version in tact. :)

You can read more about managing your themes here and if you're up for it, we even have some customization guides you can consider! 

As for switching your custom domain, if you buy a new one from us at Shopify the set up to point it your store with us will be performed automatically. As this point, you would simply need to save it as your primary domain and it will become the active URL for your site. 

Have fun with the rebrand!

Kris 

Highlighted
Tourist
8 0 1

How about third party apps from the app store, would they work in this test environment?

Highlighted
New Member
1 0 0

I want to test a product custom template and when I am previewing the new theme I cannot change the template product, how can I do that?

0 Likes
Highlighted
Shopify Partner
2 0 2

I found this, It might be of help.

 

Accessing Unpublished Templates

 

 

Highlighted
New Member
1 0 0

This sounds good, but if I change or add menu items to the navigation, it changes them on the LIVE site as well.  How do I create a whole new site that has a different Navigation?

0 Likes
Highlighted
Tourist
9 1 0

Frite, as far as the navigation, you can create a new template with the categories that you want.  Then on your test site (which can just be a duplicate of your current site), you can add that template to the nav option and it will have a different nav than your live site. Currently I am trying to find a work around with 3rd party apps as I will be testing new products that I don't want to create any bugs for on the live site. If I figure out anything I will be sure to post it here.

The only thing I can think of for now is that even when you install a shopify app it will embed some code into the theme.liquid file. If you can find where that include statement is then you should be able to deactivate the app on the live theme and apply that include on the new theme for testing.

0 Likes
Highlighted
New Member
1 0 0

How about third party apps from the app store, would they work in this test environment without affecting the live site ?

0 Likes
Highlighted
Tourist
9 1 0

Generally no. Most 3rd party apps require a live sever to function. Some can have the code commented out on the live them and still be able to run on the test theme. It just depends on the app and the environment that is needed to run it. 

0 Likes
Highlighted
Tourist
4 0 1

Duh! so simple. Thank you for the link @TheAntidote !

0 Likes