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FAQs: Go live with a Theme Refresh

avatar of Kira Hartley

Kira Hartley

Last updated

This article addresses frequently asked questions about theme refreshes for existing websites. We advise reviewing the FAQs before starting the refresh process. If you're considering a theme refresh for your site, reach out to your Customer Success Consultatant for further details. 

Note: this article does not apply to themes under development for new websites.

Your homepage theme design has been signed off. What happens next?

Once your homepage theme design is signed off approved, your theme will go into development. Your Project Manager will confirm the theme build completion date on your project management board.

After the theme build is finished, your Project Manager will get in touch to schedule application of the new theme.

What content do we need to create or change for our new theme? Can Granicus assist with this?

A small number of content changes usually need to happen at the same time as the theme change. Granicus will provide comprehensive theme handover notes with a list of changes required before and at the time of go live. This list will also specify whether the changes need to be actioned by Granicus or by your team. 

Usually, routine content updates like top tasks and featured content are best managed by you for a clear audit trail. For less frequently updated areas like the site footer, we may make updates on your behalf.

The theme handover notes will include instructions on how to update parts of your homepage theme once the new theme is live.

You can use the OC Announcement content type to notify your community about the website upgrade during the scheduled go-live time. This announcement is helpful while you review the site for content updates and implement final content/theme changes.

Can I preview the theme before it goes live?

You can preview a draft theme before it goes live through the Theme Builder. This task is for users with the role OC Site Designer.

  1. From the main menu, go to More > Themes Management.
  2. Select the theme you need to preview. 
  3. Use the Preview dropdown menu to see how the theme looks on your site. The preview will open in a new browser window, so you can check out how it works on the whole site. We recommend selecting the correct site from the Site picker dropdown menu, before going to Themes Management.

You can preview the theme on desktop, mobile or tablet by resizing your browser. If required, we can also provide a list of OpenCities websites with the same homepage components, like a full-width rotating banner. This way, you can see how these components will appear on various devices.

Why doesn’t the new theme look quite as I expected when I preview it?

The preview shows how the new theme appears with the current content. If the new theme requires different content setup, the homepage may not display accurately, and some elements might not render correctly.

For instance, if your current theme uses a 'Rates' Top Task with a dollar sign icon, but your new theme uses a credit card icon for the same 'Rates' Top Task, the new icon will not display correctly in the preview because the live theme still has the old icon.

We recommend noting any issues during the preview. After the new theme is live, review this list to ensure the new theme displays correctly.

What happens on the day our new homepage theme goes live?

A new theme will go live either by:

The approach we take will depend on the complexity of your theme refresh. While we will build the theme, we may ask you to make content changes or publish and apply the theme.

If significant changes are necessary, we may implement all edits, or ask you to make some changes while we handle others.

Our developers will be on standby at the time of go live to help with urgent fixes or display issues, and to ensure your site is functional on launch. 

Note: Edits made in the HTML of the content area using the WYSIWYG Editor and OpenCities features that override theme settings (like OC Featured Backgrounds) are not automatically replaced by a new theme. You must remove or update them manually if you no longer wish to use them with your new theme.

How do we request additional theme updates after the new theme is live? 

Once live, we recommend checking your site thoroughly and taking note of anything that does not display as expected. Then, send a final list of fixes and necessary adjustments to your Project Manager. Our Developers will action these changes in one update.

Your Project Manager will provide a template to list the issues you have found in your theme. You can include screenshots to clarify the problems. If our team needs further clarification, your Project Manager will assist with that.

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