Many people publish changes they have made to their website without having first previewed them. This is really bad practice, as it opens the publisher up to making mistakes that could potentially lead to loss of customers, revenue, and reputation. Such mistakes are completely avoidable, so why do people do some people publish without previewing? Simply, many are unaware of how to do it. If you’re in this boat, read this quick guide on how to preview changes to your WordPress website.
Hit the ‘Preview’ button
A WordPress website is super user-friendly and allows the user to make minor content changes, save those changes (Save Draft), then preview the changes (Preview, which is located just above the ‘Publish’ button), before finally hitting the ‘Publish’ button. Plus, did you know that WordPress automatically auto-saves any changes you make? This means that you never have to worry about losing any of your work!
After previewing your changes, if you find something amiss or you just don’t like the way it looks, use the ‘Undo’ button on the toolbar to make the changes manually. To undo major changes, it’s best to either go back several versions, or to revert to a previous version. To do this, click ‘Screen Options’ at the top, ensure ‘Revisions’ is ticked, then scroll down the list and select a previous version. If you are making changes to an existing page or post, preview your changes in the same way.
How to preview settings and widgets
Still with me? Great. Now we’re going to move on and find out how to preview changes to settings and widgets.
The comparatively new ‘Customize’ section was first introduced in WordPress 3.9 and allows users to view and edit widgets on the ‘Customize’ screen (a feature not available on previous WordPress versions) without affecting the live site – an invaluable and handy tool now at the user’s fingertips!
The ‘Customize’ section (found in the ‘Appearance’ section of WordPress admin) is also a great way for users to experiment with a wide range of options, including changing fonts, colours, site title, tagline, and more, without affecting the live site. If you are happy with the changes that you have made, simply click ‘Save & Publish’, or if you’ve changed your mind, click the ‘X’ icon.
Of course, it’s always best to leave any major changes or restructuring to the professionals, so make sure to request a separate staging site from your WordPress web designer so that you will be able to preview changes and test your website before adding to the live site.