As our Designs & Templates overview discusses, a ProPhoto design consists of a group of templates. Whenever you create new templates in the customizer, and make changes to them, all of the templates are being saved to the design currently being customized. However, ProPhoto is very flexible in that it allows you to create new designs and switch between previously created designs at any time. This allows you to change the entire look and layout of your site very easily.
To get started, head to the “ProPhoto > Manage Designs” area in your WordPress admin.
The manage designs area has quite a few options for managing the customizing design and the live design and adding new designs.
Manage existing designs
The top section of Manage designs is where you deal with designs that already exist. At the top on a black background is the live design. If a design other then the live design is being customized then that will show up with a green background. Other previously created (but not live or being customized) designs are visible, as well, each in their own box.
- Edit info – Change the title and/or description of the design. You may rename any design and provide a description any time to tell them apart.
- Export a design – If you have a ProPhoto design that you wish to use on another ProPhoto site, or if you want to download a backup, simply click the Export button. A zip file containing the design templates and settings will be created and downloaded to your computer.
- Copy a design – Click the copy button to make a copy of any design, which will appear in the Manage designs area. This is handy if you’d like to save a snapshot of a design but keep customizing another version.
- Setup – This button opens up the design on-boarding wizard to assist with the initial setup of your design. The wizard automatically appears every time the “customize” button is clicked. The setup button is another way to get to the wizard.
- Customize – Click this button on the design you want to be customizing. The live design and the customizing design can be different. If they are different you will see it clearly indicated like shown below. Read the rest of this tutorial for more information on this.
- Go live – Click the go live button to make any design be the live design that visitors see.
Add new designs
The first two options for adding new designs is to create a blank design from scratch or to import a design you have purchased or exported from another ProPhoto site.
Create blank design
Want to begin a brand new design for your site using a totally empty design? Simply click the Create Blank Design button, give the design a name/description and click save. Then chose to either customize the design or go live with it.
Import a design
If you are uploading an add-on design from our store you purchased or have a previously exported ProPhoto design that you want to use in your ProPhoto site, simply drag and drop that ProPhoto design zip file to the Drop files here to upload box. Once imported, paid designs will automatically appear in the list of available design patterns. The dollar sign next to the title indicates it’s a paid design.
Create new design from pattern
Click create new design to create a new design based on a free or paid pattern. The first time you create a new design based on a pattern, the design assets will load. In the popup which follows, enter a design name and description and and click Copy to continue.
The new design copy will show up in Manage designs under the live design, ready to be customized or made live at any time. Any other type of imported design will automatically appear in this same area.
No matter what design is active, your site’s content like posts, pages, comments, etc. will be retained.
Customize a design privately
The design that you are working on does not have to be live to your visitors. You can spend your time working on your design in private without worrying that your work will be seen by visitors.
Customize in private while showing another design
What if your site is already live with a ProPhoto 6 design but you want to work on a new design in private? You can! You can be customizing a different design then the live design, such that your visitors see one design and you see another. Simply click customize for an available design and that design will show up as the customizing design under the live design. All your changes to ProPhoto will apply to this design.If you ever need to switch back to customizing the live design click it’s customize button.
When you are ready to go live with the design you are working on click the go live button. This will cause the customizing design to become the live design. When you’re working on a design that is not the live design, we’ve added a little visual cue to help remind you that you’re seeing a different design from what your site visitors are seeing — we turned the toggle button of the ProPhoto Bar the same green as the customizing design uses in the Manage designs screen:When the ProPhoto bar is maximized, you’ll also see a display of your current design (green if you’re previewing a non-live design).
You can even conveniently switch which design you’re customizing, right from the front end.The same design switching option is present in the main customizer admin screen.
Using the coming soon design
If you are starting your ProPhoto/WordPress site from scratch and don’t want the world to see your in-process site, then you’ll use the Coming Soon / Maintenance Mode design. This is a customizable placeholder design can include your own graphics, links, fonts and texts.
Customizing the theme and design in private
If you are switching to ProPhoto 6 from a different theme, you will “test drive” ProPhoto 6. This test drive mode is present as an option when you first install ProPhoto. When test driving, only logged in administrators see ProPhoto 6 applied to the site. Everyone else sees the old theme. In the Manage designs area when you are test driving you see the the live theme and the design being developed. When you are ready go go live with your ProPhoto 6 design click the “go live” button in Manage designs or go straight to “P6 Test Drive” in the WordPress menu. From there click the go live button to make the ProPhoto 6 theme and your new design live to visitors.
Get design help
Each included design has a corresponding ProPhoto tutorial and demo site accessible from design patterns area. Definitely check out the tutorial for step by step instructions and use the demo site as a reference.
Every design purchased from our store should come with a pdf instructions file inside the package zip file you received. This should contain valuable tips for the designer about customizing their design, as well as contact information. Definitely feel free to contact the designer directly with questions that pertain to their design. They expect to answer questions about their product.
Of course you can contact ProPhoto techs as well, but the designer is uniquely suited to answer questions particular to their design.