September 22, 2017 at 7:53 pm #211771
If I am only using themes based on the Genesis framework, what issues might I run into if I switch back and forth between child themes?
Scenario: I've engaged a client and am choosing a theme. We choose theme A and do some configuration. Looks pretty good, but decide to try theme B. We switch to B and configure that. Nah, we like the original better, so we switch back. Is theme A damaged by the changes we made while looking at theme B? So, is theme A exactly as it was or do I need to fix up the configuration again?
Motivation: I've found that non-technical clients don't grasp exactly what a theme does. So, I want to do some A/B testing before committing to using a specific theme for a project.
Background: WordPress makes it seem easy to switch themes, but I'm at Wordcamp RI and have asked about this. Most seem to feel that I would need to fix things up upon switching back to theme A. A few articles I read seem to support this view, advocating for doing backups and other precautions prior to switching back and forth. That said, I wonder if the issue is different vendors handling the storage of theme configuration information differently. So, I wondered if child themes using the Genesis framework would be more robust.
AllanSeptember 23, 2017 at 5:35 am #211782
You won't break anything. This is what child themes are for. You may have to adjust widgets when you change themes, that's about it, unless you are creating custom code that you are adding to one theme and not the other.
September 24, 2017 at 8:01 am #211826
Thanks for the confirmation! I was surprised by the response I got at WordCamp RI when I asked the question. This is further confirmation that the Genesis framework adds a lot of value.September 24, 2017 at 9:48 am #211828
The only thing that happens when switching themes of any kind in WordPress is your widgets get moved.
The advice you see about taking backups is because people freak out over every little change. It's a just in case worse scenario.
And it depends on what you mean by "fix things". No code is touched when a theme changes, but to me dragging widgets around is no big deal. Other people feel it's a disaster of epic proportions. (They also don't see the "Inactive Widgets" box on the Widgets screen.)
I've literally switched themes hundreds of times on a single site and never broken a thing. To me, broken is php code errors, not moved widgets. This is how WordPress is designed to work. The theme is just a design skin.
If you need technical support for your theme please file a ticket.
The forums are community based. Staff only monitors the forum for issues relating to the forum itself and to redirect users to where they need to go.September 25, 2017 at 11:12 am #211843
The reaction you describe, "disaster of epic proportions," summarizes the reaction I initially got at the wordcamp talk. I was suspicious though, because I knew no code would be touched and that the scope would be configuration changes. What was interesting was that the call for caution was repeated at the "happiness bar" when I was talking to people who said that they were developers. I remained perplexed after that second conversation, so that's when I decided to post to this forum.
Rest assured that I'll be experimenting a lot over the next couple of weeks. I'm working on a couple of websites plus my local sandbox. Your answers have put wind in my sails and I'm off on my next adventure! I'm quite confident now that I won't be heading into stormy seas.
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