Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Advanced Search
  • 1
brusselsprouts

Help a newbie: cleanest way to redesign client site / create staging site without breaking stuff or wasting time?

Question

I'm a freelance designer/developer who's still learning some of the ropes. I'm fairly experienced with Wordpress (but still have lots to learn there too!) but am currently working with a client to redesign their Squarespace site.

I've learned that unlike with Wordpress or Drupal, there's no support to create a staging site in Squarespace to make major changes without changing (and potentially breaking) the live site. From browsing this forum, I know I'm not the only one who finds that frustrating.

Anyway: my client has an existing Squarespace site, and they want a thoroughly redesigned site, also in Squarespace. They'll need a new template, of course, but also some new content (I'm working with them to create some new landing pages), and a completely reorganized navigation structure.

Given that, and given Squarespace's limitations for developers, my question is: does it make more sense / is it more of a best practice to:

(a) develop the new template design using a different trial site and/or the local development server (which I've played with a little bit), duplicating or creating new individual pages, and then, when it's time to go live, putting a cover page up and doing everything else on the live site while it's down? (like what's described here: https://answers.squarespace.com/questions/67379/how-can-i-redesign-a-clients-site-without-going-live.html) I'm concerned this would put my client's live site down for a while, so I can test everything * with their content * and get their feedback. And it just... feels scary, and kind of insane, compared to how I'd do it in WP, you know?

OR, (b) clone all their content, e.g. using the imperfect-but-doable export to WP > export back from WP to SS workaround, developing the redesign on the clone site, and then, when it's time to go live, switching the client's domain to point to the live site? This mostly seems like the safer option, and this is where I'm leaning, but I'm worried I'll end up spending a lot of time spot-checking content, re-uploading blog posts' thumbnail images manually, etc. (And, reader, they have a lot of blog posts.) And it feels like there should be a better way???

OR is there a more sane © that I haven't learned about yet?

tl;dr do I need to use clunky import/export workarounds to create a clone site in order to develop a redesign for a client without breaking their live site, or is there a better way? I tried to convince them to move to WP, but it didn't work, so now I'm here. Any guidance appreciated!

Edited by brusselsprouts

Share this post


Link to post

10 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 1

Hi there! I know it's been a while and I was wondering what you ended up doing? I'm in a similar situation and thought I could recreate the client's site in a new trial site and then switch over their domain but I think they'd have to pay for hosting again or create the site and then take time to manually transfer it from the temp site to their current site which would require their site to be offline (as you mentioned) while I make the changes. What worked for you?

Share this post


Link to post
  • 1
On 8/1/2019 at 4:13 PM, brusselsprouts said:

I'm a freelance designer/developer who's still learning some of the ropes. I'm fairly experienced with Wordpress (but still have lots to learn there too!) but am currently working with a client to redesign their Squarespace site.

I've learned that unlike with Wordpress or Drupal, there's no support to create a staging site in Squarespace to make major changes without changing (and potentially breaking) the live site. From browsing this forum, I know I'm not the only one who finds that frustrating.

Anyway: my client has an existing Squarespace site, and they want a thoroughly redesigned site, also in Squarespace. They'll need a new template, of course, but also some new content (I'm working with them to create some new landing pages), and a completely reorganized navigation structure.

Given that, and given Squarespace's limitations for developers, my question is: does it make more sense / is it more of a best practice to:

(a) develop the new template design using a different trial site and/or the local development server (which I've played with a little bit), duplicating or creating new individual pages, and then, when it's time to go live, putting a cover page up and doing everything else on the live site while it's down? (like what's described here: https://answers.squarespace.com/questions/67379/how-can-i-redesign-a-clients-site-without-going-live.html) I'm concerned this would put my client's live site down for a while, so I can test everything * with their content * and get their feedback. And it just... feels scary, and kind of insane, compared to how I'd do it in WP, you know?

OR, (b) clone all their content, e.g. using the imperfect-but-doable export to WP > export back from WP to SS workaround, developing the redesign on the clone site, and then, when it's time to go live, switching the client's domain to point to the live site? This mostly seems like the safer option, and this is where I'm leaning, but I'm worried I'll end up spending a lot of time spot-checking content, re-uploading blog posts' thumbnail images manually, etc. (And, reader, they have a lot of blog posts.) And it feels like there should be a better way???

OR is there a more sane © that I haven't learned about yet?

tl;dr do I need to use clunky import/export workarounds to create a clone site in order to develop a redesign for a client without breaking their live site, or is there a better way? I tried to convince them to move to WP, but it didn't work, so now I'm here. Any guidance appreciated!

I have the same problem.  Anyone solve this?  What about duplicating the site and making the new changes there, then transfering the custom domain to the new site.  Are there ramifications that may cause problems?

Share this post


Link to post
  • 1

No one has thoughts at all? I was hoping for some feedback, too!

I was hoping if someone had ideas on if there was issues with starting a new trial site under my name so we're not limited by the standard free trial period while I build out their entire site. Basically copying everything manually from their site to build into a new theme and optimizing as I build. Then with the hopes of connecting their domain to the trial site I created.

Or, work within my client's backend, upload new theme to build it all out in one night so things transfer over without urls and domain change and then build the site as it goes live. Not ideal, but at least URLs and things have a smaller chance of breaking.

Maybe Squarespace has a new way of doing things? I feel like getting a hold of them right now is impossible, so hoping someone knows. 

Squarespace! Give us a staging site option!

Share this post


Link to post
  • 1

I'm new to squarespace and developing a new squarespace site for a client with a template they picked from the template library. Nothing fancy. My client has a live squarespace site and found that I could not create any new pages using the new template that wasn't messy or restricted, so we set up a new trial account for development. Now that the trial has run out she is paying for two accounts. This seems silly to me.

I read we can develop locally but setting up a local environment is overkill in my case. My client doesn't have the budget for me to setup and troubleshoot issues with a local environment, and issues that may arise from differences between local and live environments. Is there a reason why they won't give us a proper staging option?

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Posted (edited)

Two week trial. That's what I had when I first built my first site here. Other folks give you a free site with the purchase of a domain, and after the first year they charge twice what it should cost to host a site, as I learned from experience. I prefer the way Squarespace does it, and their templates. I am going on five years here now with six sites, and now as a circle member I have and can provide up to a six month trial for a new site build as well as other perks. I am a very pleased Squarespace customer. 

my random views derrick Lee parker

https://circle.squarespace.com/what-is-circle#block-30b28eb8127406d0f3d7

Edited by derricksrandomviews

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
On 5/16/2020 at 5:54 PM, spacebar said:

I'm new to squarespace and developing a new squarespace site for a client with a template they picked from the template library. Nothing fancy. My client has a live squarespace site and found that I could not create any new pages using the new template that wasn't messy or restricted, so we set up a new trial account for development. Now that the trial has run out she is paying for two accounts. This seems silly to me.

I read we can develop locally but setting up a local environment is overkill in my case. My client doesn't have the budget for me to setup and troubleshoot issues with a local environment, and issues that may arise from differences between local and live environments. Is there a reason why they won't give us a proper staging option?

I also am tackling this same issue and was hoping for an answer and I think the above option also seems to be the only way for my client as well, but to make someone pay for 2 websites when only one is live and the other is the new site that needs to be fully tested before launch is ridiculous. I am newer to Squarespace and have been building websites for clients for over 6 years in WordPress but my god does SS restrict the hell out of you! 

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
6 hours ago, toto224 said:

I also am tackling this same issue and was hoping for an answer and I think the above option also seems to be the only way for my client as well, but to make someone pay for 2 websites when only one is live and the other is the new site that needs to be fully tested before launch is ridiculous. I am newer to Squarespace and have been building websites for clients for over 6 years in WordPress but my god does SS restrict the hell out of you! 

You can duplicate the site.

The new site has 2 week trial, but you can contact SS Customer Care to extend to 4 week

or sign up Circle program to get 6 month trial.


You can send your question to my email to get faster answer.

How to Setup Password & Share URL  Armadillo - Free portfolio template

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

I found the answer elsewhere for this project, and it was dang simple (like I mentioned, was a Squarespace newbie at the time!). To help folks wondering about this now: I chose a new template for the client (Brine, I forget what they were originally using) and used the template preview feature to create my new design without impacting the live site. This is described in some detail here: https://support.squarespace.com/hc/en-us/articles/205815598-Switching-templates

In 7.0, the ability to work in a "template preview" more or less occupied the function of a staging site, in that you're able to create different designs and even rearrange content, have the client see your changes (if they're logged into their own site, that is), and then push the changes live once you're ready. I still prefer WP, but this worked well enough! 🙂 However, this was a 7.0 solution, and I'm finding myself up against the same question in 7.1, now that they've eliminated templates, I'm not sure how to work on a redesign for a new client without creating a lot of duplicate work for myself. (imho 7.1 is the most developer/designer unfriendly platform update I could have imagined!! if I'm missing its virtues, someone sell me quick lol).  

Anyway, I posted a 7.1 version of this question (because time is a circle?) w/ relevant title and tags here, if folks have answers! 

 

Edited by brusselsprouts

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment


×
×
  • Create New...