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Draft Mode in Squarespace?

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I want to redesign a site on Squarespace that is already live.  This would most likely including changing the theme style and some of the important bits of the site.


Is there a "draft mode" on Squarespace that allows me to completely change my site, save it as a progressive draft without publising it and allow me to change it later?  


It would make working through this re-design so much easier without having to do all these massive changes super quickly and be able to show people the draft (or at least screens) for feedback. 



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I was going to refer you to a previous post about this where I had added some information, but the post is closed to anyone who isn't a Circle Member.

Here's a copy of what I said back then (May 2019):

I use two methods of site upgrade/refresh. One of these is fully supported by Squarespace, and the other (whilst convenient) is not. You’ll want to weigh up the pros and cons of each and decide how you want to proceed.

1. Switch Templates

Squarespace have done their best to explain how to carry out an ‘on-site’ upgrade/refresh in the support articles, but I don’t think it’s easy to understand until you’ve tried it.

In summary…

  • Squarespace support this method.
  • Once you add a second template and preview it, only YOU see this change. Your public audience does not know anything has changed.
  • You can add new CSS and new Site Styles to configure the new template and these changes will not affect the live site.
  • You can add new pages and disable them (or password protect them) so that the public cannot see them.
  • You can move pages around in the navigation (and not linked) without affecting the live site.
  • You can edit homepage settings without affecting the live site.
  • You can change Footer content without affecting the live site.
  • Take care not to edit or delete content.
  • Whenever you want to edit the live version of the site, simply cancel the template preview. Everything returns to the old site.
  • To go back and work on your upgrade, turn preview on again.
  • Your old site subscription plan continues, even if it is a cheaper legacy plan.
  • You will have continued access to commerce order history.

There’s a guide and an FAQ available.

2. Create a new site

If you prefer, you can start again with a new site trial on any template and spend up to six months building it from scratch.

  • You are free to make any changes, including adding and deleting content without fear of affecting your live site.
  • You can migrate content from the old site to the new site (one page/collection at a time) using the excellent third-party Squarespace Tools.
  • To go live, you’ll need a new subscription plan.
  • You will need to migrate your domain(s).
  • You’ll need to reconnect all third-party services like payment providers, social media accounts, Zapier automations, mailing lists and so on (if you use them).
  • When you cancel your old site, you will lose any data that you don’t export.

I hope this helps anyone who wants to carry out a redesign.


About me: I'm Paul, a SQSP user for over 18 yrs and a Circle Leader since 2017. I value honesty, transparency, diversity and good design ♥.
Work: Founder of SF.DIGITAL, providing high quality original extensions to supercharge your Squarespace website. 
Content: Views and opinions are my own. Links in my posts may refer to my own SF.DIGITAL products or may be affiliate links.
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  • 2 months later...

Unfortunately, the Switch Templates approach doesn't work with 7.1 sites, as the whole concept of different templates has been removed.

So, we really do need SS to add a new, supported, method for making preview changes to a site.

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There is a way to "rebuild" a site inside the one you have, means using the same template of course  I build in the unlinked section, a disabled page at a time, when done I swap out with live pages. 

7.1 is  in reality one template inspired by 7.0 Brine Family. 7.1 has various named themes as we used to call them over at Microsoft Live. Any 7.1 theme can be tweaked to look like any other 7.1 theme, there is just no master switch to do it all at once. 

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