This article is intended only for purchasers of premium themes and custom design packages. If you haven't purchased a premium theme or custom design packages, but you're looking for information about sandboxes, please consult the following resources:

Sandbox Needs

We offer three premium theme options:

  1. Premium Theme

  2. Premium Theme Plus

  3. Premium Theme Pro

With a Premium Theme, we install the theme on your store, but we only activate it for you if you haven't gone live with your store yet. If you've gone live, you must activate the theme on your own at your convenience.

With Premium Theme Plus and Premium Theme Pro, we schedule a time with you to activate the theme on your behalf. We do the same for custom design packages, which include a custom premium theme.

In order to see what your theme looks like on your store, it must be published to a website with a hosting plan. Premium Theme purchasers who want to see the theme in a live state without actually changing the theme on their live store sometimes request a sandbox.

For information, contact your Specialty Services representative. If you don't have one yet, review our offerings. Be aware that sandboxes for purchasers of the Premium Theme and Premium Theme Plus are subject to a standard monthly hosting fee.

Warning: Sandbox Limitations FAQ

It's very important to have a clear understanding of what you're trying to accomplish with a sandbox before you begin using it; otherwise, you may proceed with a mistaken assumption about its capabilities and waste time and effort. Please read the FAQ below for more details.

Can I make all the changes I want to make to my live store on my sandbox and then make my sandbox live, effectively replacing my live store with my sandbox?

No. Doing so would result in significant loss and corruption of data that could not be satisfactorily restored, as well extra costs and SEO damage. This process should never be attempted. 

Can I make all the changes I want to make to my live store on my sandbox and then mirror those changes over to my live store?

While we do offer mirroring of a live store to a sandbox (free if requested as part of your sandbox order, for a fee after your sandbox has already been created), we do not offer mirroring of a sandbox to a live store.

Please be aware that mirrors from a live store to a sandbox do not and cannot include the following data:

  • customer payment information or account passwords

  • custom DNS settings

  • existing email accounts or email backups

  • existing FTP accounts

Some elements of your sandbox can be copied to a live store through various methods, but we don't recommend them. If you make changes to your sandbox for evaluation purposes and want to see them reflected on your live store, we recommend duplicating those changes separately on your live store at your own convenience.

You should only make changes to your database (products, categories, customers, settings, etc.) on your live store. If you make such changes to your sandbox and want to copy them to your live store, you can use the import / export option to export data from the sandbox into a spreadsheet and then import it to your live store. Please be aware that some fields in exportable tables cannot be imported.

Furthermore, please be aware that images, HTML files, CSS files, and JavaScript cannot be exported. You can access them through your FTP account and transfer them manually through an FTP client.

If you make changes to your sandbox that you don't want to duplicate on your live store yourself, we offer two services:

Design Migration: we copy your theme (HTML and CSS files), homepage articles, slideshow, and homepage logo

Data Migration: includes Design Migration, plus copying of website navigation menus, categories, and up to 2000 products

If you're interested in either option, please reach out to our Sales team at 800-646-3517, option 2.

How can I cancel my sandbox?

You can cancel your sandbox just like a live hosting plan. For information, write to

Can I change the domain name of my sandbox?

No. Because sandboxes are never intended to go live, we don't allow changing of the operating domain name. The domain name assigned to a sandbox is merely a placeholder required by our order processing system to provision the sandbox successfully.

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