Upfront themes: builder and editor

Hello,
I am confused about where the changes made to a upfront theme with the Upfront builder are saved.

I understood that one should use the Upfront builder to create the template of the site (with empty/fake content text area for example), then export the template, apply it on the side, and modify the content using the Upfront editor.

Now, let's suppose I have the following situation.
1. I create my customized upfront theme using Upfront builder and I export it.
2. I apply my upfront theme and I edit it by inserting site-specific content (e.g. the site title, ...)
3. I need to make a change to my template, so I go back to Upfront builder and update my theme
4. These changes do NOT seem to appear in the editor?

Am I doing something wrong?
What is the correct way to achieve that?

Thanks

  • Roby

    I add a business use case to better describe my issue above.

    Let's assume I create the template using the Upfront builder and I apply it to my 100 client websites (using wordpress multisite).
    Now, after all the 100 clients customized their templates, I need to make a change that will affect all the 100 websites (e.g. adding a new logo in the homepage).
    If I modify the theme, will the change appear in all the child themes automatically, i.e. do they inherit from my upfront template theme, or do I have to make this change using the Upfront Editor on each and every one of my 100 client websites?

    Thanks

  • Predrag Dubajic

    Hi Roby,

    Upfront Builder plugin is used to create your theme, so when you create one and make changes to it those changes will be saved in theme files directly, the ones located inside your /wp-content/themes/THEMENAME/ folder.

    So when you activate that theme on any site running UF theme it will have same content.

    Upfront Editor changes are on the other hand saved in database of the site you're making changes on.
    These changes are specific to that site and will not be saved inside theme folder.

    Now, let's suppose I have the following situation.
    1. I create my customized upfront theme using Upfront builder and I export it.
    2. I apply my upfront theme and I edit it by inserting site-specific content (e.g. the site title, ...)
    3. I need to make a change to my template, so I go back to Upfront builder and update my theme
    4. These changes do NOT seem to appear in the editor?

    This is correct behaviour, changes in Upfront Editor are, as mentioned before, site specific, while builder is handling the theme files itself, changes made inside editor will not edit your theme.

    Let's assume I create the template using the Upfront builder and I apply it to my 100 client websites (using wordpress multisite).
    Now, after all the 100 clients customized their templates, I need to make a change that will affect all the 100 websites (e.g. adding a new logo in the homepage).
    If I modify the theme, will the change appear in all the child themes automatically, i.e. do they inherit from my upfront template theme, or do I have to make this change using the Upfront Editor on each and every one of my 100 client websites?

    If your subsite made any changes via Editor then if you add new logo inside Builder it will not affect your subsite.
    If no changes were made via Editor then the changes in Builder will show on subsites as well.

    Hope this clears things up :slight_smile:

    Best regards,
    Predrag

  • Roby

    Thanks for your kind answer!

    If your subsite made any changes via Editor then if you add new logo inside Builder it will not affect your subsite.
    If no changes were made via Editor then the changes in Builder will show on subsites as well.

    So, what is the correct approach to be followed in this situation?

    I need a custom template theme to be applied to all my sites, as a start.
    Then I need to customize the theme for each time, but at the same time I need to deal with cross-site updates (e.g. updates to the main theme such as adding a new logo).
    What do you suggest?

    Thanks

  • Adam Czajczyk

    Hello Roby!

    Let me explain it in a bit different way :slight_smile:

    Let's assume that you are using a different theme that is not an Upfront theme but any popular regular (not "builder-like" but just a typical one) theme.

    If you install it on your Multisite WordPress and enable on a number of sub-sites, by default it will look and work pretty much the same everywhere.

    Then, on each site you can customize it using WordPress built-in "Customizer" by going to "Appearance -> Customize". You can e.g. upload header background image, set logo for the site, select color scheme etc. Let's assume that the default color scheme for the theme is "black&white".

    On "sub-site A" you keep the theme as is, with no customization whatsoever. On "sub-site B" you changed the theme (using "Appearance -> Customizer") and changed the color scheme to "red&white".

    That all works fine and then an update is released to the theme that you are using. The only change that was made was the default color scheme which now - by default" - is "orange&purple". So, you update the theme on your install and what happens:

    - on "sub-site A" that you kept "as is" the color scheme changes to default "orange&purple" because you didn't customize it and it just takes the default value

    - on "sub-site B" you customized settings so the scheme stays "red&white" like you set it.

    I hope that makes sense and sounds more clear :slight_smile:

    Now that being said, consider the Upfront editor an advanced visual replacement for default WP Customizer ("Appearance -> Customize").

    Then, as Upfront Builder is a theme builder (make sure not to confuse "template" and "theme") it's just a tool that spares you "manual coding with PHP/JS/CSS". Given example above - if you treat Upfront editor as WP Customizer replacement it should be easier to understand how this works: what you create with Upfront Builder would be the theme or - in case of changes - an update of the theme (just like described above).

    I'm not sure if I explained well but I hope that by example it will become a bit clearer :slight_smile: If you have additional questions, let me know please.

    Best regards,
    Adam

  • Roby

    Hi Adam,
    thanks for the detailed answer.

    Now that being said, consider the Upfront editor an advanced visual replacement for default WP Customizer ("Appearance -> Customize").

    Then, as Upfront Builder is a theme builder (make sure not to confuse "template" and "theme") it's just a tool that spares you "manual coding with PHP/JS/CSS". Given example above - if you treat Upfront editor as WP Customizer replacement it should be easier to understand how this works: what you create with Upfront Builder would be the theme or - in case of changes - an update of the theme (just like described above).

    I'm not sure if I explained well but I hope that by example it will become a bit clearer If you have additional questions, let me know please.

    That's not totally correct.
    Let me explain why with the following example.

    Using default Wordpress templates
    1. I apply to both my subsiteA and subsiteB a Wordpress theme, let's say Twenty Seventeen
    2. I customize via the default WP Customizer ("Appearance -> Customize") each site.
    3. I change via the default WP editor (Themes -> Editor) let's say the footer.php file adding a new element (e.g. <h1>NEW LINE IN FOOTER</h1>)
    4. Refreshing subsiteA and subsiteB, each sites has its own customization (set in point 2 above), PLUS the new updated footer (set in point 3 above)

    Using Upfront Builder and Editor
    1. I apply to both my subsiteA and subsiteB a Upfront theme, let's say Fixer
    2. I customize subsiteA via the upfront customizer (Appearance -> Customize, that is with a URL like this http://mydomain.com/subsiteA/?editmode=true) e.g. by changing a button or anything else
    3. I change via Upfront -> Builder the Fixer upfront theme, applied to both subsiteA and subsiteB, by e.g. adding a new button
    4. Changes are ONLY reflected in subsiteB, where I have not customized anything yet, but not in subsiteA (where I customized as in point 2 above)

    As you can see, the behaviour using Upfront themes is completely different!
    In other words, in Upfront, once you apply a theme and you customize it, you cannot export that theme anymore (since changes are saved in the database and only changes made via the Upfront Builder can be exported afaik).
    Moreover, any customization made to the applied theme (via Upfront Builder) is not reflected in the website (contrary to the default Wordpress behaviour, see above).
    The only way to reflect changes made in the Upfront theme (via Upfront Builder) would be to reset the (sub)site theme, thus losing all the customization I made, then apply the updated Upfront theme, and start over.

    To the best of my knowledge, I guess this is related to the Upfront structure. It seems like in Upfront all changes made via the customizer and saved into the database for that (sub)site, having priority over EVERYTHING.
    Moreover, the possibility of creating child-themes in wordpress cannot be used in Upfront.

    Do you agree?
    Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks

  • Dimitris

    Hello Roby,

    hope you're doing good and don't mind me chiming in here! :slight_smile:

    This is true indeed, consider every single change you make in UF Editor, even an addition in a footer region like
    <h1>NEW LINE IN FOOTER</h1>
    as part of the "customizer" settings as per example of my colleague Adam. This has the result to override the default theme data that come from UF Builder. A new change in theme files has no effect as this region is already altered via database settings which have priority over theme default data.

    I'm afraid that you'll have to edit each subsite via UF Editor if you need to add a new element, or add it in your child theme via Builder and reset UF layouts per subsite.
    Another workaround could have been to embed the new logo via javascript but this may become tricky among lots of subsites which are customized in a distinct way, as a common selector between them may not be possible.

    Warm regards,
    Dimitris

  • Roby

    Hi Dimitris,
    thanks for your answer!

    This is true indeed, consider every single change you make in UF Editor, even an addition in a footer region like

    <h1>NEW LINE IN FOOTER</h1>

    as part of the "customizer" settings as per example of my colleague Adam. This has the result to override the default theme data that come from UF Builder. A new change in theme files has no effect as this region is already altered via database settings which have priority over theme default data.

    I understand that UF works by giving priority to database settings over theme default data.

    However, and this is what I tried to explain in my post above (see "Using Upfront Builder and Editor"), even if you do not change a specific region (e.g. the footer) in UF editor, then you change this region (i.e. the footer) in UF Builder, these changes made in the Builder do NOT appear in the Editor.
    Is that correct or did I misunderstand you?
    This instead happens (correctly?) in wordpress, as I explained in my post above (see "Using default Wordpress templates".

    In other words, does ANY change in the UF editor override the ENTIRE UF Builder template, or are the changes element/region/(other?) specific?

    Thanks a lot.

  • Dimitris

    Hey there Roby,

    hope you're doing good and please excuse my late reply here, it's been quite hectic in our forums lately!

    does ANY change in the UF editor override the ENTIRE UF Builder template, or are the changes element/region/(other?) specific?

    This is true indeed. Any change that you've made in Editor prior to Builder will be used instead and you use use the "reset theme" action via Upfront -> General in admin area in order to get the "default" Builder content back.

    Warm regards,
    Dimitris