Troubleshoot Composer

Tip: Is the page published?

This happens to all of us. If you aren’t seeing the same thing in Composer and on the live page, double-check the Finalsite icon in the bottom-right corner of Composer. If it isn’t green, there are changes on the page you still haven’t published.

Tip: Check the page settings

A lot of issues have their root in the page’s settings. If a page isn’t appearing on a menu, check the General settings to make sure it isn’t hidden from navigation. Can’t find the page with search? Confirm via the “SEO” tab that it isn’t hidden from search. If a site user can’t access a page, look for the settings under “Access Control” to see if their constituent group has been permitted to view it. If a site admin can’t see the Compose button on a page, or can’t see the page at all, check “Permissions” to see what level of rights their admin group has been given.

Tip: Check the element settings

When a problem is related to a specific element of a page, the solution almost always lies in the element’s settings. Click on the gear icon in the top-right corner of the element (on hover) and read through the options. Are the right calendars, categories, teams, constituents, or other data selected? Are the proper date ranges assigned? Refer to the article about the element in our Knowledge Base for a complete list of the settings and their functions. Finally, expand the “Design” section of the element settings and check for something in the “Custom Class” field. If that box has any text in it, and the element isn’t appearing like you expect it to, you’ll most likely need to submit a Design ticket to Support.

Tip: Check the module

Is your element pulling in data from one of your Finalsite modules, such as Calendar Manager, Athletics Manager, or Posts? Maybe the problem lies not in Composer, but in the information that’s being pulled in. Are your events published? Are team events occurring in the current or upcoming season? Is the post no longer being featured? Was the data entered correctly? Such issues can easily appear to be Composer problems at first glance.

Tip: Check the banner

Is the element that’s causing a problem located in a banner? Composer makes it easy to find out. Just toggle the “Compose” slider and anything that’s in a banner will be presented in gray, with the name of the banner at the top. What you’re seeing at this point is the published version of the banner. Does something in the banner not look the way you expect it to? Refer to the very first tip in this article. Click on the banner to enter the edit mode and see if there are any unpublished changes.

Tip: Clone the page

If you’ve gotten this far, you’re probably worried that you’re going to do more harm than good with your troubleshooting. Protect your page by cloning it! Follow the instructions on Cloning a page to make a copy of your page that you can play with (and even publish) without impacting what users are seeing on your live site. Make sure no one will find your new test page by hiding it from navigation elements and search, as explained in [NEW ARTICLE LINK].

Tip: Copy an element or orphan a shared element

If you know the issue is limited to just one element, you might not want to clone the entire page. You can make a copy of the element (as explained in Understanding elements) to test. Or, if there’s a working version of the element somewhere else, you can copy it and paste it in. If you’re working with a shared element and you don’t want to risk messing up every instance of that element on the site, you can “orphan” the element to make sure any changes are localized. Simply click “Orphan and Edit” after you first click on the “Shared” icon to edit the settings.

Tip: Turn off the theme

Your site’s theme is what houses all the CSS, Javascript, and other code that makes your site your own. You can find out more about themes in Applying themes in Composer. One of the first troubleshooting steps a Finalsite Support analyst will take if there’s a problem on a Composer page is to turn the theme off and check whether the problem persists. You can do the same! To turn off the theme, go to the Page Layout and Appearance screen and change the theme in the dropdown to “None.” Search for the part of the page that was giving you trouble. If the problem has gone away, you now know that the trouble is with the site theme. If not, the answer lies elsewhere within Composer. When you submit a ticket to Support, you can tell them you’ve performed this test and what the result was.

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