Transitioning to Site Builder
Modified on: Tue, 9 Jul, 2019 at 2:28 PM
This article is for users who have no, or minimal, code customizations to their Thinkific site theme. Installing Site Builder themes is a fresh start and previous theme customizations will not be carried forward. However, you can fully build your theme in Site Builder before you publish. Going forward, some new features may only be available to Site Builder Theme users. Unsure if Site Builder is right for you? Contact us here and we'll be happy to help you decide.
Site Builder from Thinkific lets you quickly build a beautiful, customized website including homepage, product pages, and additional pages containing any content you’d like. As a course creator, you can create on-brand sites (including custom pages) with ease, and without coding. Read more on Site Builder here, or learn about the Anatomy of a Site Builder Theme Page here.
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Check out this video for ideas on how to transfer your content to Site Builder:
Considerations when transitioning
All content, including your courses, course player, lessons, video player settings, site settings (language, custom signup fields), and automated student notifications will not be affected.
- Some navigation items have moved into Site Builder. This includes Branding, Pages, and Custom Links (Header Links).
Installing Site Builder
This is how we'd recommend transferring your existing Thinkific site over to a new Site Builder theme.
Login to your Thinkific site
Right-click on Preview Site and open the live view of your Thinkific website in a new browser window or tab.
Return to the tab with your admin dashboard on it
Select Explore Themes
Keep in mind that Site Builder Themes are permanent decisions as content isn’t transferred between them. That means if you pick a theme and build a course website in it, and then switch to a different theme later, you’ll need to rebuild the website in that theme.
Also keep in mind that Theme styles and page content options vary.
Select View Details on a Theme
Under Select a style, select a style preset that is closest to your existing website or a new style you’d like for your re-launch
Select Install [Theme Name]
Wait for Theme to install.
- Under My inactive themes, hover over a Site Builder Theme card to reveal the Build my site and Publish Theme buttons
Right-click on Build my site and open Site Builder in a new browser window or tab.
Site Builder opens to your Thinkific website’s home page first. This is not any of your course’s landing pages.
This is the page people see when visiting the ‘naked’ URL for your Thinkific website (e.g. course-site.thinkific.com)
You can edit any page on your website, including bundle landing pages and custom pages
Default pages are editable, but only the bottom before the footer
Transferring Your Styles (Colors, Fonts, Branding)
We'd recommend getting started by setting up Theme Settings which will impact the look of every page on your website, rather than starting with your content.
Select Theme Settings
Select Styles - you can change your style preset to get a good foundation to work from
Depending on your original Theme, color codes (or hex codes) and fonts can be copied over from your original website’s Branding page, or from your landing page editor in the Course Builder.
Copy color codes over from your Branding page or Page Builder in the Course Builder on your original website in the Colors section where appropriate.
Open the Typography section and match your font-families and weights to your original course website.
Select Favicon to change the icon that displays in the browser tab
Transferring your Header and Footer Content
With Site Builder, you can customize more than links in your header and footer, like adding Social Links (e.g. Facebook, Instagram). You'll want to edit a page in Site Builder to access the content of the Header or Footer.
Select Home Page from the Site Builder Pages menu
Select Header in the section menu while editing the Home Page
Expand the Logo block
Select Upload Image to add a rectangular or square image. Try not to use an image with a large pixel height.
Resize the image and/or link the image to a page on your course site. The default link is to your Home Page.
Expand the Style & Alignment block to add or remove default links, align your navigation links, and change how the header behaves as you scroll down the page.
Expand the default All Courses Link block to edit or remove it.
If you want to add links to other pages on your course site or to external websites, select the Add link button.
When finished editing the Header section, save your changes and select the back arrow to select Footer next.
Add or remove link blocks from the Footer in the same way as you did while editing the Header section. Try adding a ‘Support’ link with a custom URL of mailto:[your email address here]
If you want to add social media links, expand the Social Links block. Enter a social media network’s name into the Social icon fields, and then link to your social media account, page or group in the Link fields.
You can edit how your copyright notice is presented or remove it in the Copyright section.
Transferring your Page Content
Your home page, bundle sales pages, course sales pages, and additional pages can now be customized like any other page on your website.
Start by selecting Home Page from the Pages menu.
If you don’t have two or more courses published on your Thinkific website, you’ll need to create this from scratch.
Beyond the Banner and the All Products smart section, you can remove the extra sections included by default on your Home Page if you don't want to include them by clicking on them and selecting the Delete Section button.
Your original home page will have a banner and your products listed there unless you did any customizations.
You can keep the extra sections or add more, reorder and edit them if you wish. Every page on your course site can have extra content added to it using the Site Builder.
Click on the Banner section to edit it. Expand the first Settings area called Headings. Copy and paste your heading contents from your original home page.
Expand the Hero image settings area to edit it. Upload a banner image by selecting Upload new.
Note the recommended sizes for banner images in this settings area. These might be different from your original theme’s recommendations.
Expand the Size & alignment settings area and change the alignment to center.
Optionally, you can add a button to this section. On other Site Builder themes, you’ll see other options in this section as well so make sure to explore the other themes before landing on one.
Save your changes and back up to see your page sections again.
Select All products to continue transferring content.
This section is a Smart Section which means it will automatically update when you make changes elsewhere on your course website. For example, this section will add course cards here automatically when I publish more courses.
Expand the Headings settings area and remove the default text in the heading if you wish.
Alternatively, you can add content here if you want instead.
Expand the Button settings area and uncheck Show link to All Courses page if you wish.
Expand the Style & alignment settings area and select the Center option under Card alignment.
Save your changes.
Now, using this same method of transferring content between your live website and our unpublished Site Builder theme, you can recreate your course sales pages, bundle sales pages, and additional pages.
Default pages, like your sign up form, checkout page, and student dashboard, can be edited as well, but for now, extra content on these pages can only be added below the default content.
Important Note: There are two areas that will have to edited after the Site Builder Theme is published. These are as follows:
- Instructor Bio
- Course Description
These sections do not carry over, but are simple to update once your publish your theme. Our recommendation is to copy this text to an external text document and past this in once the theme has been published.
When I install a Site Builder theme, will this replace my current, live theme immediately?
Nope! When you install a Site Builder theme, the theme will be available to you in your theme library so you can design your site pages before publishing it for your audience to see.
I just accidentally published my Site Builder theme and now all my landing pages are blank! Help!
No worries! You can revert back to your pre-Site Builder theme by scrolling down to your inactive themes, then selecting Publish on your previously published theme. Publishing a Site Builder theme does not wipe out your pre-existing content, that content simply stays within the your pre-existing theme.
I see a lot of pages available to design. Which pages do I need to set up before I publish my site?
At a minimum, you'll want to set up your home page and any published course landing pages. Default pages contain all the necessary components that they need to function, so are not necessary to make changes to unless you'd like to.
I used to be able to edit my code on my Pre-V2 or V2 theme and I can’t now that I’ve moved to Site Builder. Why is that?
On our previous themes, customizations to the theme code were required for basic changes such as changing button text, heading colors, or customizing links to direct users to specific parts of the app. In Site Builder, we’ve made those customizations easily editable within the builder, so you no longer need access to code for basic changes. We’ve made the code edit available for users on Business plans and above for advanced users that are looking to customize their sites even further and who have access to a developer or designer to handle those changes. Our team is unable to support troubleshooting code edits or code changes for your Site Builder site.
Why is there a blank page when I try to test my course pages on incognito?
Until your course is published, it's not possible to test your course pages in an Incognito Browser.
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