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🛠️ How to Test Changes on Your Platform 🛠️

Have you ever wanted to try something out on your platform, but weren’t sure where to begin? We outlined the best ways to empower you and your team to test out changes without exposing them to your users.

Branding

1. HTML (Themes)

If you need to make edits to your HTML (Theme Editor), you can do so by applying those changes to an inactive theme & previewing it. Here’s how: 

  1. Navigate to the Admin Dash > Settings > Platform Settings > Appearance
  2. Under Platform Themes, click + Add Theme 
  3. On the resulting page, give the theme a Name & select Default (for Emphasis) or Legacy (for Legacy) in the Copy From dropdown > Save Changes
  4. The new theme will populate the Platform Themes list
  5. To make edits to this theme’s HTML, click Edit HTML & you’ll be redirected to the Theme Editor
  6. Once you’ve made the appropriate changes > click Preview (top bar) 
  7. Doing so will redirect you to the front-end where you can see everything in action 
  8. There will be an info banner at the top of your browser that reads “You are previewing the ‘x’ theme”. To make additional edits, click Edit Theme or select Stop Previewing to return to the live calendar.

2. CSS

In the same vein, you can also test CSS changes in an inactive theme. You’ll follow the above steps through #4, and then you’ll take this course of action:

  1.  To make edits to the new theme’s CSS, click Edit Settings
  2. In the Colors, Fonts & CSS interface, click Custom CSS > add your CSS to the Custom CSS box > Save Changes
  3. Then you’ll head back to the Appearance page, click Edit HTML for this theme & select Preview to view your CSS changes

Adding Events

3. Feeds

If you need to test feeds, you should add them in your Staging Environment to make sure events import as expected. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to the Admin Dash > Settings > Platform Settings
  2. In the right sidebar click “Access the Platform Sandbox”, which will redirect you to the Staging front-end & auto log you in
  3. Once in Staging, click the user menu dropdown and select “Administration” to get to the Admin Dash
  4. Then navigate to Events > Feeds > + Add Feeds
  5. Give the feed a Name & enter the URL in the Feed URL field
  6. Fill out the rest of page according to your preferences > Save Changes

 

That said, there’s two important things to note: 

  • An import will run shortly after the feed is initially added and you will see the status on the feed list page. 
  • Feeds will only import once in Staging and will not automatically import each night as they do on your Production platform.

If you experience any issues adding feeds we recommend running it through a validator using a service like, https://validator.w3.org/feed/.

4. Bulk-Add

Test a bulk add CSV of events in your Staging Environment by following the above steps through #3, then continuing with:

  1. Navigate to Events > Bulk Add Events
  2. On the resulting page, attach your CSV > Upload
  3. The CSV will be added to the Recent Uploads list below where you can see the status of your events

Event Customization

5. Event Details Page

For events, you can easily test changes — whether you’re experimenting with multiple dates, layouts, photos, or even a sample Register workflow — by making the Visibility Unlisted

All you’ll need to do is navigate to the event’s Edit an Event form > scroll to the Visibility section & select Unlisted in the Visibility drop down > Save Changes. Then you can play around with all of the different fields and features without worrying about users finding the event!

Classification

6. Filters, Tags/Keywords, Places, Groups/Departments, & Custom Fields

When it comes to Classification, you’ll want to test them out in Staging. For example, you can play around with assigning new Filters to events, add events on the Public Submission Form that require a Custom Field, or see how a new Place/Group/Dept. photo might look on their respective landing pages.

You’ll add Classification in Staging the same way that you would in Production — i.e. navigate to the Admin Dash > Classifications > select the appropriate item in the left sidebar > + Add.

Promotion

7. Channels

If you’d like to test out a completely new Channel without it being publicly accessible, you can accomplish this by making it Hidden. Here’s how:

  1. Navigate to the Admin Dash > Content > Channels > + Add Channel
  2. On the Adding a Channel page, fill out the form making sure to select Hidden in the Visibility dropdown
  3. Save Changes

 

On the other hand, if you want to make changes to an existing Channel (ex: testing a new cover photo, adding CSS rules, or rearranging the layout) without overriding the current look & feel, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Admin Dash > Content > Channels  > + Add Channel
  2. On the Adding a Channel page, fill out the form making sure to select the appropriate Channel from the Copy Layout From dropdown
  3. Save Changes

8. Widget Templates

With Widgets, the best way to experiment with design changes is to create a new Template and make it inactive. You can accomplish this by following these steps:

  1. Navigate to the Admin Dash > Content > Widgets > + Add Widget Template
  2. On the Add a Widget Template page, make sure to select the Widget Template you’d like to modify in the Copy From dropdown & uncheck Active
  3. Save Changes
  4. You’ll then be redirected back to the Widgets page and you can make edits directly in the new Template
  5. Note: You should see a gray bar at the top of the page that reads “X Not Active”.
  6. Make sure to click Save Changes when you’re done & then click the red Preview button to view the Widget.

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