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Ability to switch from one template (theme) to another


#1

Is it possible to change themes of a site once you have started working on it? I tried all the obvious things but they don't seem to work.


#2

Hi @Arthur

Are you referring to the Templates you can choose to start from when creating a new site?

If so, then unfortunately, once you've created and started working on a site, you can't go back and change the Template. If you take a closer look at the different Templates, they are all actually completely different pages with different default content, styles, etc. So they aren't really the same thing as "themes."

To use a different template, you will actually have to create a new site and start from scratch.

Does that help answer your question?


#3

Yes, great, thanks for letting me know!


#4

Thanks for the answer, but this does not make sense.

I started with a blank template coincidentally, so now I have to create a new site just because I forgot to select a template :/


#5

You can go back to the dashboard and create a new site there and choose a template in the process.


#6

Would it be possible to export the custom page that I have worked hard on and then import it into a new project that has a template?


Staging environments on Webflow
#7

Unfortunately there is no import function in Webflow. You can copy and past your text content into a new project that has a template.


#8

WTF?? I have the same issue. Started with custom template, and now stuck with it. Not possible to change the template??? What and absurd nonsense!

Problem is I already pay for CMS hosting on my custom template version. So in order to do a new version with a template I will need to pay for another CMS hosting.

Your system is broken guys.


#9

Hi. I can feel the disappointment. However this is far from being a "wtf" case, in my opinion.

Swapping templates like you would do with Wordpress is not possible with Webflow because... Webflow is not the same thing as Wordpress. Webflow is a live editor, it allows you to design quicker than you'd do with a classic CMS, and go way further in possibilities. Rich visuals, interactions, all of this without coding. You don't build a template for a site, you build a site. And you never have to touch things like installing a database, creating tables, setting a server, dealing with write rights on folders...

That said, you are not locked inside the site you just made. You can duplicate it and make a new design for it, from scratch (That's true that at this point you can't go and get a new template to apply to it, you have to design it). As long as you're decelopping it, under a webflow.io domain, you don't have to pay anything.

You can also restore the original template from the Backup tab on site settings.

I really feel you, don't doubt that. I don't know how to make you feel that Webflow is bringing so much more than what it takes from the ease you're used to, swapping templates with a classic CMS. And that comes, for the moment, at that cost that a template is not swappable but more like a starter design.


#10

Hey @barnabasnagy,

There is a difference between a theme and a template, a template is what you base your site off and cannot be changed... it doesn't make any sense to change the template because that would mean just starting with a new site as there is no sort of similar content placement.

What you can do is cancel the CMS hosting for your site and buy it for the new site.

Hope this helps,
Arthur


#11

It sounds like webflow might not be for you. If you need the ability to switch themes, there are many other options out there for you. I personally don't think of the templates on webflow as themes, but more as starting points to a fully custom site. I only use them to take the grunt work out of building a site. At it's core, webflow is really a website builder that allows you to control html and CSS in a fully visual way. I like to think of it as the Photoshop of web design. That being said, it's not for everyone.


#12

I don't think it's not for me. I find it very useful for many things. But I thought switching templates is basic feature. I'm used to it a lot.

But look at this. I start a website with a template, I add content and everything. Later on I see a new template that I think would actually work better for my site. What do I do then?


#13

@barnabasnagy

I understand its frustrating but webflow doesn't work like that, webflow creates pixel perfect code which it wouldn't be able to do if you was able to change templates throughout the design process.

Cancelling the CMS and just moving it to a different domain is an easy task to do, you may be able to contact webflow support and ask them to swap the hosting over. they're pretty reasonable :smile:


#14

I tried exactly that but then I would have moved ALL content to the new site manually.


#15

Unfortunately that is the only way, webflow is not like wordpress where you can just change the templates.


#16

@barnabasnagy like @DFink said Webflow is might not be for you but doing it manually should not take more than and hour or two so its not as easy as Wordpress but its not that hard either its not like everyday you need to change the template.

Plus for Webflow to create clean code you cant swap templates like Wordpress as @Matty said

Best :smile:
Ahmad


#17

"What do I do then?"

A. Switch to Weebly. Weebly is almost as good as Webflow, and even easier to use for non-coders. When you apply a new Weebly "Theme", all the content in your current theme will be re-laid out in the new theme. Many very attractive, free or low-cost themes are available, both from Weebly and from third-party developers.


#18

Checked out weebly previously and don't like it.


#19

Depends how much content I have right? Because if I have 80 pages with images, buttons etc that will be rather 2 days.


#20

Switching themes is quite common on consumer platforms (wordpress.com, squarespace, weebly) because the data that's stored for each site is structured exactly the same way. So all they have to do is transfer the data into a new theme and it works. Webflow allows for custom data schemas which makes it hard to just transfer data to a new template. We do have plans for a data exporter/importer that will make it easier to transfer data to a new site so you won't have to manually transfer all the data.