[intro] When you have completed this guide, you will have created a Test Shop on your EKM online shop which will allow you experiment with different Themes and design aspects without interrupting the activities of your live shop. [/intro]

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The Test Shop is effectively a copy of your live shop, with the duplicate being created at the point of the Test Shop being created. Therefore the Test Shop when you first log into it, will look exactly like your Live Shop in terms of design and content. You can then experiment with different Themes, create Carousels and Design Images and see how your content would translate with a different Design.

How often should I update my Theme?

When you first launch your EKM online shop, you should look at using a third party platform such as Hotjar to monitor how customers interact with your navigation, content and overall design. After twelve months, you should have gathered enough data and feedback to be able to define what works well and what doesn’t in terms of your current design.

At that point, you need to note these aspects down and head over to the Test Shop to see if there’s a Theme that will better suit your content and customers. Using what you’ve learned from your customers so far, create a new design and apply this. Then going forward, look at updating your Theme every 18 months - 2 years, in order to ensure that you’re using the most modern Theme and offering the best online shopping experiences for customers.

Creating your Test Shop

1. From the Dashboard, click the Settings tab:

2. On the Settings page, click Test Shop on the bottom left-hand side:

3. You’ll then see the Test Shop page. Click the green Create button:

4. When the Test Shop has been created (which may take a couple of minutes if you have a particularly large live shop), you’ll see this page. Click the green Login button:

5. The page will then refresh, and you’ll notice a red bar across the top of the page and a Test Shop signifier in the top right-hand corner. When you see the red line, you are in the Test Shop:

Using your Test Shop

Within your Test Shop, you can apply different Themes to see how your Products, Categories and branding translate onto a different design. You can use Image Builder and Carousels too and create Design Images to test and prepare for a new look to your EKM online shop. Using an offline Payment Gateway, you can also customise the Checkout Flow to ensure your new design is carried across the entire Test Shop.

[tips] When you are looking at new Themes to apply to your Test Shop, look for Themes that have a menu that you like the style of and select this over any other aspects, as we don’t recommend menus are tweaked as they are native to their Theme. The Tweaks Team can always make adjustments to the Theme for you when it has been applied to your live shop if need be. [/tips]

[remember] Do not make any changes to individual Products and Categories on the Test Shop, as these cannot be transferred onto your live shop. [/remember]

What the Test Shop can’t do

Because the Test Shop is there for you to experiment with different ways of presenting your brand, there are some limitations:

  1. You can’t buy or transfer domain names;
  2. You can’t use the newsletter sign-up form;
  3. The EKM Pinpoint, EKM Live Chat, Wordpress Blog, Postcode Ferret and Email Marketing features are turned off;
  4. The Google Tools elements are removed;
  5. The Customer, Cart Records and Email Back In Stock notifications are deleted;
  6. You can only use offline Payment Gateways to make test orders;
  7. The Orders tab has been removed.

[remember] You can’t share links to the Test Shop as these will not work. The Test Shop is only accessible to the Account Holder. [/remember]

Viewing the Test Shop

1. To view the Test Shop as if it was a live shop, click on the Features tab:

2. Then on the Features page, click the Password Protect feature:

3. Click the three asterisks to reveal the password, before copying it. Then you need to click on the Settings tab:

4. Click Domain Name:

5. Right-click the domain name here to open it in a new browser tab:

6. Paste your password into the field provided and then click the Login button to view your Test Shop as if it was a live shop:

Logging out of the Test Shop

1. To log out of your Test Shop and return to the live shop, click the red Test Shop button on the top right-hand side to reveal a drop-down. Click ‘Return to Live Shop’. The page will then refresh:

2. When the page has loaded, you’ll see that the red line across the top of the page has gone, indicating that you’re back in your live shop:

Resetting your Test Shop

1. When a Test Shop is a copy of your design, Products and Categories, created at the moment the Test Shop itself is. If your Test Shop is an older version of your current live shop, to update it click the Reset button:

2. This will destroy the existing Test Shop and create a new one that is a copy of your current live shop.

Transferring your Design to your Live Shop

If you have found a different Theme, created new images and a whole new design on your Test Shop, which you want to put on your live shop, we recommend selecting the quietest time on your EKM online shop to make these changes.

Before you begin, you will need to download any Design Images which are part of your new design from your Test Shop and upload these into the File Manager of your live shop.

You’ll then need to note down the name of the Theme you have used in your Test Shop, and if you have amended the colours on the Theme, it’s a good idea to take a screenshot of the Homepage, a Category page and a Product page and use these for reference.

1. When you are ready to apply the new Theme, apply the Password Protect feature to your live shop to hide everything behind a password wall. Then click the Design tab and click the Edit button for Theme, before selecting Change Theme from the drop-down menu:

2. The page listing all of the available Themes will then display. Select your new Theme from the list and apply it to your live shop.

3. When the Theme has been applied you need to change the Design Images, using the ones from the Test Shop that you uploaded to your live shop File Manager previously. Using the screenshots from your Test Shop, you can then amend any colours if need be. When you have recreated your Test Shop design on your live shop, you simply need to remove Password Protect to make your new design live.

[remember] The Tweaks Team will only make changes to your live shop, and not the Test Shop. Therefore, if there are any aspects of the new Theme you would like to change, please apply it to your live shop first before contacting the Tweaks Team. [/remember]

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[contact] If you need our help with your EKM online shop, contact your Account Manager or Customer Support, who will be able to point you in the right direction. We're open from 8am-6pm weekdays and 9am-5.30pm on the weekends. If you'd like to suggest a feature or an upgrade on any of the EKM platforms, please let us know on the EKM Suggestions board. If you have a non-account specific question ask the EKM Team, join us in EKM Community.  [/contact]