How To Move a Site to Flex Theme

1. Create a Slickplan Sitemap


Before any data transfer or setup even begins, it would be best to log into to GSU's Slickplan account (https://gsu.slickplan.com/) and plan out your new site.

Take this opportunity to go through your current site and decide what pages and information will stay, what needs to be added, what will change, and what will not be moved over to the new site. Use color-coding to denote which pages will need changes, which will be removed, which will be added, etc.

2. Create Blank Pages in the New Beta Site

Make sure that you have a "beta" site set up on the Production/Live server.

Once the Slickplan sitemap is complete, and all parties involved agree to the final map, begin creating blank pages using the Slickplan layout as your roadmap.  Make sure that you attach all children pages to their parent pages as you go. Do not worry about any data or page layout at this time. This is mainly for getting the base site created and prepped for later items, like setting up the menus. 

3. Turn on all the GSU Flex Theme and Relevant Plugins

On your new beta site’s Dashboard, go under “Appearance,” and then select “Themes.”

On the Themes page, you will see “GSU FLEX” as an option. Activate this theme. 

Go to your site’s Plugins page. Activate the following plugins if they are not activated already:

  • WPBakery Visual Composer
  • Custom Sidebars Pro
  • Smush It Pro
  • Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress (If Easy Social Share Buttons for WordPress was not previously activated on your site, it will ask you to “Start the quick Setup Wizard.” Start it. Then it will ask you to “activate it.” Activate it.)
  • Templatera
  • Ultimate Addons for Visual Composer
  • Slider Revolution

Choose Appearance/Customize. Set your site title under Site Identity. Choose your Primary Navigation Options and Color Scheme Options depending on how you want your pages to appear. Then choose your default layout under Site Layout. Save your choices.

4. Add Your Site's Logo

If the title of your page (next to the GSU logo at the top of your pages) is two lines in height, you need to go to your Plugin page, activate CSS & Javascript Toolbox, and then add a new code block within the plugin with the following CSS added to your entire site:

<style>body.show-site-title.header-image .title-area .site-title a {  line-height: 23px; } </style>

If it’s three lines, use the following CSS in a new code block in CSS & Javascript Toolbox:

<style type="text/css"> body.show-site-title.header-image .title-area .site-title a { line-height: 20px; } body.show-site-title.header-image .title-area .site-title a { position:relative;  top: -20px; } </style>


5. Export, Then Import, and Check Your Site's Data

On your old site, using the import/export plugins, you will need to export your Widgets, and them import them into your new beta site.  You will also need to export and then import all of your added Toolset Types configuration for faculty and staff and posts using Export/Import under Toolset Types on your Dashboard.  

You can export and import your Posts under Tools/Wordpress Import. Your posts will all populate webpages as your default layout, so just remember that before pulling them all in. It may benefit you to only export/import small batches of 3-4 months at a time, in order to ensure that images/posts/etc. are not dropped in the process.

Due to the multiple and large changes between the old themes and the new Flex Theme, not to mention the way that Visual Composer allows pages to be created, it is recommended that you create your pages on the beta site and then copy and paste all your content over a page at a time.  This is not difficult, but depending on your site’s size, it may take some time to transfer your content this way.


6. Create Your Site's Navigation Menu

Next you will want to make sure that your main navigation menu is set up correctly. Go to Appearance > Menus and verify. Then scroll to the bottom of the page and make sure that it is set to be your Primary Navigation Menu. Set it as your Mobile Navigation Menu too if you want it to display on mobile devices.

Then create all of the sub-navigation menus that you will need, attaching them to the main navigation menu where required.


7. Activate and Test All of the Plugins That You Will Require

You must also verify that all the plugins that you will use for your site are activated. An easy and quick way to check this is to open a window with your current live site set to its plugin page, and another window with your beta site's plugin page and keep them next to each other on your screen. A simple comparison of both should show you any plugins that are not active on your beta site that should be. Activate them and change their settings to what they need to be.


8. Create Page Templates.

It is highly recommended that you create templates for your pages prior to importing them from your old site, in order to ensure uniformity throughout your new site. You'll want all "contact" pages, and all FAQ pages throughout your site to display information the same way.

To create templates, log into your site dashboard, go to Visual Composer in the left column, and then select Templates. Start by adding a New Template.

You can give your new template a name. Give it a descriptive name that will let you know what it will be used for, like "Contact Pages Template" if you plan to use this as a template for Contact Pages.

Then you can create the basic layout that this specific kind of page will need (including rows, columns, images, sliders, etc).  Once everything is set up, save your template. Now, once you start creating new pages you will have the option to "Add Template" to start out with. Select the template that you need for the specific page that you are creating.

If you create a page that you want to then save as a template for future, similar pages, click on the three-block icon at the top of your Visual Composer page (simply called "Templates"), and it will give you the option to name and save the current page as a template.



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