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Switching templates

You can use your site's built-in style settings to adjust its design and structure without starting over. If you want a more drastic change, you have a couple different options:

  • Review the different ways to start over
  • Switch your template (version 7.0 only)

This guide covers how to switch templates on version 7.0.

Tip: There's no need to switch templates in version 7.1, but there are other ways to make large-scale changes to your site's design or structure.

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About template switching

When you switch to a new template, you change your site's design and structure, but most of your content stays intact. You can install, preview, and switch templates at any time, as many times as you'd like. Only one template will be live to visitors at a time.

After installing a new template, you'll preview it on your site to see how it looks with your content. If you decide to make a switch, you can set it as your live template. When previewing a template, keep in mind:

  • Your preview template is only visible to you when you're logged in.
  • Visitors won't see your preview template.
  • Certain changes display on your live site.

You can test any template without losing the design and layout changes saved to your other installed templates. For example, if your template is Bedford, and you test out Brine, when you switch back to Bedford you’ll see that template as you left it, unless you've deleted or moved content.

What to expect

Some changes that you make to a template preview affect your live site and transfer across templates. Other changes are only visible in the preview until you publish the new template.

To prevent any changes from appearing on your live site before you're ready, only make template-specific changes. You can add new pages or duplicate pages to avoid recreating content. You can also view your site in incognito mode to see how your visitors view your site.

Template-specific

Not template-specific

  • Site Styles changes (e.g. fonts and colors)
  • Custom CSS
  • Navigation link order (pages moved into or out of the Not Linked section)
  • Homepage settings
  • Sidebar content
  • Footer content
  • Page headers and footers
  • Background images
  • Template demo content
  • Pages and their content
  • Blocks
  • Blog posts
  • Gallery images
  • Products
  • Events
  • Album tracks
  • Page settings (i.e. thumbnail images and URLs)
  • Logo or site title
  • Page and SEO titles
  • Code you've added to Code Injection
  • Pages deleted in the Pages panel

Special pages

Some page types are only available in certain templates. If you switch to a template that doesn't support your page type:

  • Index Page - The Index converts to a folder.
  • Info Page - The Info Page won't display. If you're using an Info Page as the homepage, change your homepage to any other page type before switching templates. The Info Page will display again if you switch back to a template that supports it.
  • Project Page - The Project Page converts to a Gallery Page.

Switch templates

Before you switch the template for your version 7.0 site, keep in mind:

  • It isn't possible to mix and match features from more than one template.
  • You can repeat this process to install as many different templates as you want, but you can only install one of each template.
  • Previewing a template may cause errors when logging in or connecting your domain. If you experience these issues, cancel the template preview.
  • The template options you see depend on your site's Language setting. For example, if your site language is set to French, you'll see a curated selection of templates with French demo text. To switch to a template outside the curated selection, change your site language to English before switching templates.
  • In Developer Mode, you can't switch templates or receive updates to your site's template.
  • Cover Pages use layouts rather than templates.

Step 1 - Prepare for layout changes 

Before switching templates, we recommend reviewing what to expect. If any of the following features are important for your site, consider picking a template that also supports them. Use the links below to see the templates that support each feature:

Tip: Sidebars, background images, and page headers reset in a new template. You'll need to re-add content in the new template for these areas.

Step 2 - Install a new template

To install a new template:

  1. In the Home Menu, click Design, then click Template.
  2. Click Install New Template.
  3. Browse the templates. When you find one you like, hover over it and click Start With.

The template will now appear in your Template panel, below the live template.

Step 3 - Preview the template

When you’re ready to preview the template, hover over it, then click Preview. While logged in, you'll see these changes:

  • The new template's Main Navigation loads with a set of demo content to give you an example of the new template's structure and style options before viewing it with your custom content. These aren’t visible to your site visitors.
  • Your site's existing pages move to the Not Linked section in the Pages panel. You can move these to Main Navigation as you set up the template.

To cancel the preview and go back to your live template, click Cancel Preview in the bottom bar. Any changes you've made to this template will save.

cancel_template_preview.png

Step 4 - Move your pages

To start editing your site in Preview Mode, in the Home Menu, click Pages. Remove the demo content and move your pages from the Not Linked section to the other navigation areas. Visitors won't see these changes until you publish the template.

  • We don't recommend deleting pages in preview mode, as this affects your live site. Instead, move them to the Not Linked section until you're ready to publish the new template.
  • If you see a "We couldn't find the page you were looking for" message, ensure you set a homepage.

Step 5 - Style the template

Use Site Styles to edit the template’s design, including fonts, colors, backgrounds, and padding. Each template has its own styling options, so some of the options will be different from your previous template. Visitors won't see these changes, or changes to footers or sidebars, until you publish the template.

Step 6 - Publish the template

When you’re ready to set the template as your site’s new look:

  1. On any page of your site, click Set As Live Template in the bottom bar.
  2. Click Confirm in the warning message that appears.

Your new template is now live on your site and visible to visitors.

set_as_live_template.png

Uninstall a template

Note: Before you uninstall a template, ensure it isn't discontinued. If it's discontinued, you won't be able to reinstall it.

You can uninstall a template to remove it from the Templates tab. When you uninstall a template, any template-specific changes you made, such as styles, navigation order, sidebars, and footer content, will be permanently deleted.

  1. In the Home Menu, click Design, then click Template.
  2. If the template is set live on your site, set a different template live. You can’t uninstall a live template.
  3. Hover over the template, and click Uninstall.
  4. Click Confirm in the message that appears.

Reinstall your current template

A more extreme version of resetting Site Styles, you can uninstall and reinstall your template to delete all Site Styles changes. Reinstalling your template may restore the template's demo content.

First, temporarily install a different template. This will be your live template while you reinstall your other template. If your site isn't password-protected, visitors will see the temporary template's demo content while you're completing this process.

After installing the new template:

  1. In the Home Menu, click Design, then click Template.
  2. Hover over the original template and click Uninstall, then click Confirm.
  3. Click Install New Template.
  4. Select the original template again.
  5. Click the Start With button.
  6. In the Template panel, hover over the template and click Preview, then click Set as Live Template.

Managing multiple templates

Use these tips when you've installed multiple templates on your site.

  • To see which templates you've installed, open the Template panel. The template that's currently live on your site will be at the top of the panel with a Live label next to its name.
  • If you're previewing another template, that template has a Previewing label on it in the Template panel. When you’re logged in, you'll also see a bottom bar that shows the previewed template's name.
  • To find a template you've installed, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + F (Command + F on a Mac) to open your browser's search bar. Enter the name of the template you're looking for and the panel will scroll to that template.
  • To move between panels, you can use the ? keyboard shortcut. This can be helpful when experimenting with how different templates look on your site.

Learn more

Previewing and playing around with a template is the best way to learn how it works. We also recommend reviewing these other guides:

Why can't I switch templates in version 7.1?

We designed version 7.1 to eliminate the need to switch templates. All version 7.1 sites are part of the same template family, with the same features and style options. The template you choose when creating a 7.1 site is a starting point. You can always switch to a different look or add different page types without starting over.

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