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Morticia

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I feel pretty silly asking this, but after generic posted about revamping a website I figured it was a good idea.


  • once I find a template I like can I build the website on my computer and then upload it?
  • If not, how do I keep the new template separate from the one that’s live?
  • How do I actually replace the template I have now? IE—how do I upload a new template to my host?
  • Anyone have a decent way to make a new logo/header? (I have zero skills at this!)

Thanks!
 

Arks

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You're using Wordpress?
By "template" do you mean theme?
I miss Empty Nest!
 

Generic

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I actually had my provider help by copying the website and making a new version called dev.website.xxx. I uploaded the theme there and screwed up everything and started building. I say screwed up everything, but really the problem is.... the shortcodes were made for the previous website. I'm slowly rebuilding the website under the new technology.
 

GoodScout

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There's a plug-in for WordPress called "WPStaging." That allows you to set up a new website inside your website that's not live and that no one but you can access. After you have it all built and tested you click a button and it makes it your live site. The free version isn't very powerful and I had to pay for the pro version, but you should see if you can get by with the free one first.
 

JimBoone

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I feel pretty silly asking this, but after generic posted about revamping a website I figured it was a good idea.

1] once I find a template I like can I build the website on my computer and then upload it?
2] If not, how do I keep the new template separate from the one that’s live?
3] How do I actually replace the template I have now? IE—how do I upload a new template to my host?
4] Anyone have a decent way to make a new logo/header? (I have zero skills at this!)

Thanks!
I agree with Arks, I miss Empty Nest, do still see her posts on Facebook occasionally. I don't have that level of skill, but will offer my thoughts as "maybe" good guesses.

1] How to Install WordPress on Windows Using WAMP (Updated) (wpbeginner.com) see if that like works, think that was the program I used initially to "play" with my ideas on my own computer. It was slow and a bit of a pain, but worked. I think I mostly used it to learn the process and form my ideas. Empty Nest actually put my ideas into a form that worked and pushed me into the correct direction.

2] I think Arks asked the question if you meant Template (predefined layout for your Theme) or adding a new Theme. I "think" I can upload a new or additional template from the main page of my THEME, although not sure about the separation, but would think you would make a selection when creating a new page (don't take my word for that). When I "test" new page ideas, that page is "live", but not linked, one would have to stumble across it in a search as it is not part of the site menu. My thought was that of the many predefined templates, they all could be reduced to about 3 different menu layouts. You may not need a different template to get a different look.

3] To upload a Theme I think you would have to FTP. To use a different Template from your current Theme, I think I could do that from within WordPress.

4] make a new logo, back before I had a website I took a photo of our sign to my print shop and they created a logo from the photo, later I used that file on the website. Still later I used a file from the sign shop that made our current sign.
 

Morticia

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You're using Wordpress?
By "template" do you mean theme?
I miss Empty Nest!
Yes, Wordpress. Yes, new theme. (Apparently the Twenty Twenty One theme is already ada compliant for the rules in place at the moment.) Yes, I miss her, too!

The new theme is block-based and I’m not thrilled with that model. Another website I manage got shoved into that during a WP update and it’s been hell on wheels since then trying to figure out the simplest text change.
 

Morticia

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I actually had my provider help by copying the website and making a new version called dev.website.xxx. I uploaded the theme there and screwed up everything and started building. I say screwed up everything, but really the problem is.... the shortcodes were made for the previous website. I'm slowly rebuilding the website under the new technology.
Thanks! I’ll give them a call. From what I understand, shortcodes are out (at least in the theme I’m using presently) as well as some other options I use extensively. Envato was the company where I found the theme I’ve been using. They’ve changed the parameters for what the theme creators can allow, so lots of pieces of my website are no longer supported.
 

Morticia

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There's a plug-in for WordPress called "WPStaging." That allows you to set up a new website inside your website that's not live and that no one but you can access. After you have it all built and tested you click a button and it makes it your live site. The free version isn't very powerful and I had to pay for the pro version, but you should see if you can get by with the free one first.
Sounds interesting! I’ll look at this, too. Part of my problem is that I use a recipe plug in that is also no longer supported. Along with creating a new site, I also have to get a new plug in for that piece and redirect all the recipes to the new plug in. (Same company, but they don’t have a way to update the old recipe location to the new.)
 

Generic

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Thanks! I’ll give them a call. From what I understand, shortcodes are out (at least in the theme I’m using presently) as well as some other options I use extensively. Envato was the company where I found the theme I’ve been using. They’ve changed the parameters for what the theme creators can allow, so lots of pieces of my website are no longer supported.
That's where I got my theme. I was on Karma. Well, they decided to move to Elementor, but there is no upgrade path, you have to do it yourself... Well, if I have to recreate everything, then maybe it's time to look at others... And so we went with another theme. I can still go back to Karma, but to move to the new Karma, I have to redo everything anyway.

So, I'm just hacking away at it. I'm starting to like the new system, but it's like throwing away the old knowledge. But I have to say... the WP plug in they use for a gallery.. GARBAGE.
 

liz1001

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@Morticia you might also look to see if your hosting company gives you a staging site option. Many of them now offer that as part of the hosting package. You can then duplicate the current site onto Staging then add your new theme and plugins and build the site out. Once built you can then 'push' it to the live server and overwrite the old site.

Also, I think by Block Based you are referring to the Gutenberg layout in WordPress. If so you can add a plugin called Classic Editor and it will look familiar.

When you build the new site on staging, make sure you block the search engines so you don't get the site indexed.

Warm regards
Liz
 

Arks

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The new theme is block-based and I’m not thrilled with that model. Another website I manage got shoved into that during a WP update and it’s been hell on wheels since then trying to figure out the simplest text change.
I HATE the block editor. I installed a free WP plugin that restores the traditional editor.
 

VegMapper

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Here are a few possible answers to the questions from Morticia.

1. There are essentially four ways to go about the process of changing a website (assuming you are using WordPress). 1) One is to change the theme and then build the website while it is live. However, this is not an optimal way to do it and people can watch the process of building the website while you do it. 2) You can put the site into maintenance mode using a plugin and then work on the site behind the “curtain”. The maintenance plugin will put up a screen saying “Site in maintenance or new site coming soon” while you are working. Once you have completed the changes, you can take off the maintenance mode and the new site will be showing. I often use this method if the changes will take a day or less. 3) You can use the WP Staging plugin that GoodScout mentions. This making changes using the current site as the “curtain.” If you use this just make sure that you have plenty of storage space on your hosting account since you essentially have two sites on your account. 4) You can use a localhost environment. These come in number a of flavors depending on the system you are using. One is WAMP, which JimBoone mentions that is used for Windows users. Another is MAMP, used for Mac users. LAMP is for users of Linux and XAMPP is a hybrid that can be used by either Windows or Mac. The newest localhost system around is called localWP and can be found at localwp.com. This system, which only uses WordPress, sets up a virtual sandbox that is similar to a localhost. I have found this system to be the easiest to use and it is free if you are just building websites or testing plugins. Once I have a website the way I want it, I just write down the specifications and then put them on the new site. This a laborious way to do it but it gives another check to the site to find errors.

2. Answered above.

3. To replace the theme (template), you go to appearance and add theme on WordPress.org. You install the theme and then activate it in whichever environment you choose from the above.

4. There are a number of ways to make logos and sites that you can go to make them.

- You can use a website maker to produce the logo such as Logomakr.com or Canva.com. These take you through the process step by step and you can end up with a fairly decent logo, however, others may be using a somewhat similar logo.

- You can make the logo using a camera or hand-drawn logo and then use an image editor such as GIMP or Adobe. For instance, the logos on my websites-- www.mcmullenhouse.com (hand-drawn logo of a teapot with the name of the Bed & Breakfast on the inside) or www.silphiumdesign.com (took an image of a Silphium flower and then used “smart-scissors” in GIMP to cut out the flower). The OnlinePNG tool was then used to make a transparent background.

*Extra Note: In doing a logo you may want to save it as a .png. This is because in newer themes you may encounter transparent headers. This requires that the background of your logo be transparent. You can do this using a tool such as OnlinePNG Tools. It always helps to have a background of a color that is not in your logo, in order to select the color out of the background.
 

dumitru

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I would advise most users on this forum against setting up a localhost environment. The main reason is that this would be huge overkill.
It may slow down your computer on a daily basis, just so that you can use it for a few days during the re-design process. Why bother?

Instead, the easiest and most practical way would be to set up a sub-domain on your main website and do everything there.
The added advantage is that the website will be accessible to other people too, so you can easily invite someone else to work on it with you. That won't happen if you do it on localhost.

So simply go into cPanel, create a sub-domain, install WordPress on it and start working. Just don't forget to block it from search engines and maybe even protect it with a password. If passwords are not your thing, at least make the sub-domain non-obvious. For example staging52.domain.com is better than staging.domain.com. temp2021.domain.com is better than temp.domain.com.
 

Hillbilly

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Empty Nest got me using Divi. It’s by Elegant themes. Once you figure it out it’s awesome to use. I have now built 4 different website by using it. I really enjoy the process. Try looking into it.
 

GoodScout

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I was so tempted to use Divi that I actually bought a license. Started trying to build a new site in a sandbox, but it got so complicated (for me) and I didn't have enough time to donate to learn it properly that I had to give in.
 

Arks

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Empty Nest got me using Divi. It’s by Elegant themes.
Your new website looks great, but so did your old one! I've got to build a new website one of these days. Really dreading it, but my theme is no long being updated, so some things on the website are starting to "not play well" with the current WordPress version.

I should have done it over all these holiday days I've had off, but my reclining chair is very comfortable, and I'm hooked on a game on my phone called "Township". I think I spend more hours on that game, reaping crops and building my town, than I spend on my business! Hoping I wise up soon...
 
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