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I need help with a TEMPLATE CHANGE

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Site URL: https://mythicmedicine.love

Hi! I'm looking for tips and help for CHANGING A TEMPLATE. I'm designing my highest profile ever website for my ultimate dream client and we will be changing her template, and I want to make sure that I do it in the best possible way to minimize any snafus. She has a thriving online shop, and extensive blog and podcast archive (set up as a blog). I want to make sure that when I am building behind the scenes and getting ready to switch templates that I don't lose anything or make extra work for myself. Her current template is Montauk, and we will be switching to Mojave or Moksha.
I would love any tips and tricks, but some specific questions I have are: I was planning to build new pages within the old template, but leave them in the "not linked" section, then once I install the new template I'll drag them into the "linked" section. Does this make sense & is this the best way to do this? There are several pages where I will be creating long scrolling pages using index pages, will this automatically carry over to the new template, or will I need to reconfigure them there? Or would it make more sense to install the new template and create the new pages there? I also think I need to wait to do any brand style/font/color changes until we make the new template live and visible? My #1 concern is that I don't want to disrupt the current site as I am building out the new version of the site with the new template.
Thank you so much for your help & insights! I'm so excited for this project! I'm also a Personal Branding Photographer & we are taking new photos for her site next week. Here's the current site (I have not begun the redesign yet)
Tenaya Amelia
Sebastopol, CA
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