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    Template Branches


    Hey Everyone,
    I figured I'd take some time and write about what is and what isn't branch-specific with Miva's Template Branches. Miva's documentation on this is limited. Practically every developer and store owner I work with doesn't realize the power behind template branches. Half the time they don't realize that the majority of editable code is branch-specific. I think part of the confusion is due to the fact that many settings are inherited when adding a new branch (as they should be). They see that the settings are the same across branches and assume that they're global – which is not always the case!

    So what is branch-specific?

    USER INTERFACE
    (In order of what a typical store owner accesses most frequently IME)

    Global = A change made within the branch affects all branches.
    Branch-specific = A change made within the branch is specific to the branch being worked on.
    1. User Interface > Theme Components
      1. Settings
        1. Look & Feel (logo, etc.): Branch-specific
        2. Social Icons: Branch-specific
        3. Trust Symbol: Branch-specific
      2. Images
        1. Images are branch-specific. The enabling & disabling (active status) of images is also branch-specific.
        1. Name: Branch-specific
        2. Image: Branch-specific
        3. Alt Text: Branch-specific
        4. Link: Branch-specific
        5. CSS ID: Branch-specific
        6. CSS Class: Branch-specific
        7. Code: Global. Be careful changing codes if the tag is referenced in templates.
      3. Banners
        1. Message: Branch-specific
        2. description: Branch-specific
        3. CSS ID: Branch-specific
        4. CSS Class: Branch-specific
        5. Code: Global. Be careful changing codes if the tag is referenced in templates.
      4. Content Sections
        1. Name: Branch-specific
        2. Description: Branch-specific
        3. Content: Branch-specific
        4. Code: Global. Be careful changing codes if the tag is referenced in templates.
      5. Product Listings
        1. Name: Branch-specific
        2. Description: Branch-specific
        3. Template: Branch-specific
        4. Settings: Branch-specific--e.g. product links, custom fields, product images (and size), default sort method, number of products, and products to display are branch-specific.
        5. Code: Global. Be careful changing codes if the tag is referenced in templates.
      6. Navigation Sets
        I see a lot of confusion here. Navigation sets are branch-specific.
        1. The name, description, layout, and template are branch-specific.
        2. Navigation items ARE branch-specific. Yes, you can have completely new and different navigation sets from branch to branch. The possibilities are endless (if only they could be copied/imported somehow).
        3.Code: Global. Be careful changing codes if the tag is referenced in templates.
    2. User Interface > CSS/Javascript Resources
      Resources are branch-specific. You need to make sure that the resources are referencing the correct assets.
    3. User Interface > Global Settings
      1. Settings: Branch Specific. Everything contained within settings is branch-specific (yes, even the Mailchimp layout).
      2. Search Settings: Branch-specific
      3. SEO: Branch-specific
      4. THE FOLLOWING ARE GLOBAL
        - Image Types: Global (if one is created, it’s created across all branches)
        - Error Messages: Global
        - Searchable Fields: Global
    4. User Interface > Templates
      1. Pages
        1. Names: Global -- you need to be very careful if you intend on using page names for SEO purposes.
        2. Templates are branch-specific across the board. This includes product list layouts, category layouts, content items, etc.
        3. Items: Global. If an item is assigned to a page in one branch, it’ll be assigned in all others.
        4. SEO: Global. SEO settings for pages are global.
        5. URIs: Global
    UTILITIES/ORDER FULFILLMENT
    1. Template Based Emails: Templates are branch-specific, settings are global.
    2. Template Based Batch Reports: Templates are branch-specific
    3. Google Analytics Tracking Code: Branch-specific

    CATALOG (primarily global)
    (In order of what a typical store owner accesses most frequently IME)
    1. Products: Product settings are global. If the intent is to make major catalog changes, it’s best to do so in a dedicated developer store, or prepare changes in a spreadsheet for upload upon completion of a project.
    2. Categories - Everything is global , other than:
      1. Title Image: Branch-specific
      2. Tree Image: Branch-specific
      3. Header: Branch-specific
      4. Footer: Branch-specific

    MARKETING
    Feed templates are branch-specific. However, Miva will always process the primary branch’s template for a feed. Everything else under marketing is global.

    --------------------------

    I work within many different branches on a daily basis and have redesigned multiple sites from the ground up just using template branches. It’s possible! A dedicated development store is not always needed. Hopefully some of the insights above benefit those who read it.

    *If in doubt, make a change in a dev branch and check. It's very easy to bounce back and forth between branches.*

    For Miva: The implementation of template branches was the biggest improvement as a dev to the platform I’ve seen. It's been amazing! However, I have a huge complaint... In the admin there is no indication of the branch you're in outside of “User Interface.” Developers NEED something like this visible at all times:

    Developers should easily be able to switch between branches at anytime while in the admin. This would save a lot of time, energy, and confusion.

    In the unlikely event that you read this far/unrelated news:
    I got married last month :)
    Here’s a link to our highlight video if you’d like to watch: https://youtu.be/i70oMNvOG7k

    -Ryan

    #2
    Congratulations!
    Mark Hood
    Vermont Gear

    Comment


      #3
      Impressive.
      Thank you, Bill Davis

      Comment


        #4
        Awesome Ryan!

        Scott
        What help do you need today!
        Interactive Design Solutions http://www.southbound.com
        MivaMerchant Business Partner | Certified MivaMerchant Web Developer
        My T-shirt Collection is mostly MivaCon T-shirts!!
        Competitive Rates, Popular Modules, and Integrations:
        Product Copy | AutoBaskets | Waitlist Integration| Wholesale Integration

        Comment


          #5
          Congrats!
          Thanks,

          Rick Wilson
          CEO
          Miva, Inc.
          [email protected]
          https://www.miva.com

          Comment


            #6
            Woohoo! Congratulations Ryan! And thanks for Template Branches outline too! It affirmed what I had figured out about some odd behaviors I have had when using the Template Branches. Question - have you ever had anyone complain about a branch "link" you may have shared to allow for review getting "stuck"? I've had to remind a number people how to end the preview but some have had to clear their cache to get back to the live view.
            Leslie Kirk
            Miva Certified Developer
            Miva Merchant Specialist since 1997
            Previously of Webs Your Way
            (aka Leslie Nord leslienord)

            Email me: [email protected]
            www.lesliekirk.com

            Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | FourSquare | Pinterest | Flickr

            Comment


              #7
              Excellent work and I will fifth, sixth, seventh, etc upvote the idea that MESSAGING which branch you are in needs to be VERY VERY VERY noticable. Both in Admin AND on the front side.

              I would also like to plead the case of these changes to front side messaging as well:
              Make location of 'branch bubble' positionalble.
              Make it minimizeable.
              Make the size setting controllable.

              (Btw, Scot R reminded me that we can change the branch bubbles ourselves by simply adding our own CSS...but would still like to have this Out of the box.)
              Bruce Golub
              Phosphor Media - "Your Success is our Business"

              Improve Your Customer Service | Get MORE Customers | Edit CSS/Javascript/HTML Easily | Make Your Site Faster | Get Indexed by Google | Free Modules | Follow Us on Facebook
              phosphormedia.com

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks everyone!

                Originally posted by lesliekirk View Post
                Have you ever had anyone complain about a branch "link" you may have shared to allow for review getting "stuck"? I've had to remind a number people how to end the preview but some have had to clear their cache to get back to the live view.
                I've had a couple people tell me they're stuck in the dev branch (on the frontend)... or don't realize that they're in a dev branch. I think it's usually because they accidentally click "Suppress Development Overlay", rather than "End Development Preview". If they don't have UI privileges, I tell them to preview the site again by clicking the "eye" icon within the admin, and then remind them to click "End Development Preview" from the overlay. Otherwise, I tell them to make sure they're in the correct branch within the User Interface panel. There's now a popup if a user clicks "Suppress Development Overlay" -- hopefully that helps moving forward.
                .
                Personally, I've never had an issue.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Congrats! It looks like a beautiful bride and a lovely wedding. I wish you a lifetime of happiness!
                  http://www.alphabetsigns.com/

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Bruce - PhosphorMedia View Post
                    Excellent work and I will fifth, sixth, seventh, etc upvote the idea that MESSAGING which branch you are in needs to be VERY VERY VERY noticable. Both in Admin AND on the front side.

                    I would also like to plead the case of these changes to front side messaging as well:
                    Make location of 'branch bubble' positionalble.


                    (Btw, Scot R reminded me that we can change the branch bubbles ourselves by simply adding our own CSS...but would still like to have this Out of the box.)
                    I think it might already be positionable. Click the blue square in the corner to display the other positions available.

                    nX31jI.png

                    Leslie Kirk
                    Miva Certified Developer
                    Miva Merchant Specialist since 1997
                    Previously of Webs Your Way
                    (aka Leslie Nord leslienord)

                    Email me: [email protected]
                    www.lesliekirk.com

                    Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | FourSquare | Pinterest | Flickr

                    Comment


                      #11
                      thanks, never noticed that. should be on the front side of the site doe...(IMO)
                      Bruce Golub
                      Phosphor Media - "Your Success is our Business"

                      Improve Your Customer Service | Get MORE Customers | Edit CSS/Javascript/HTML Easily | Make Your Site Faster | Get Indexed by Google | Free Modules | Follow Us on Facebook
                      phosphormedia.com

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks for this comprehensive outline, and congrats on the marriage! It looked like a beautiful wedding.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Thank you! This post should be a sticky or just add it to the docs.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            We're going to add a version of this to the docs
                            Thanks,

                            Rick Wilson
                            CEO
                            Miva, Inc.
                            [email protected]
                            https://www.miva.com

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Rick Wilson View Post
                              We're going to add a version of this to the docs
                              Something that Ryan didn't touch upon is the data exports. I mention this as a reminder for those who are still needing to use a dev site to build out a makeover in those instances that call for one.

                              If it's "Branch specific" it gets exported in the framework but if it's "Global" it is (can be) exported. But this can get dicey if you don't remember that these items are part of the framework

                              1. Categories - Everything is global , other than:
                                1. Title Image: Branch-specific
                                2. Tree Image: Branch-specific
                                3. Header: Branch-specific
                                4. Footer: Branch-specific
                              If you have done a lot of makeover work in these areas, do not include them in a Category export from a dev site (to import into the site being made over)
                              Leslie Kirk
                              Miva Certified Developer
                              Miva Merchant Specialist since 1997
                              Previously of Webs Your Way
                              (aka Leslie Nord leslienord)

                              Email me: [email protected]
                              www.lesliekirk.com

                              Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | FourSquare | Pinterest | Flickr

                              Comment

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