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Can I customise my Big Cartel product search results?

If you purchased or upgraded your Big Cartel theme after 29th November 2011, please refer to Aarcade Support instead of the following article.

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The translation of search terms to search results is handled completely by the Big Cartel platform and can not be customised.

Your Big Cartel theme files can not affect the search results, they merely define how the search results are displayed publicly. It is the Products page in particular that relates to this search results display.

I Have An Error

If you are seeing a consistent display error in your search results, e.g. only four products show for all search results, product titles are missing, etc. you may have an error in your Products page file. In this case you should re-install your products page file (i.e. copy products.html contents to Products page per installation instructions) and contact Aarfie Support if the error persists.

If there has simply been a change in your search results without a change to your theme file coding, this can only be a result of changes in your Product Titles / Descriptions (see below) or Big Cartel changing the way they handle search terms. The latter is less likely, but if you wish to query this you should contact Big Cartel.

Influencing Search Results

Some important items to note are:

  • Big Cartel’s search function only searches within the Product Title and Product Description
  • Big Cartel’s search function does not search within product option names
  • Big Cartel’s search function does not search image file names or other image metadata

Basically, if you want an item to be displayed for a certain search term you must include that search term within your product title or description. The most controlled way to do this is to add a line of tags at the very end of your product description:

<p>Tags: Blue, Cotton, Long Sleeve, Tight Fitting</p>

Note that tags are separated by a comma and a space. You can then choose to style the tag paragraph to separate it from your description:

<p style="font-style:italic; font-size:11px; color:#999999;">Tags: Blue, Cotton, Long Sleeve, Tight Fitting</p>

which will result in:

Adding Tags to Big Cartel Product Description

or you may choose to hide the tags from public view:

<p style="display:none;">Tags: Blue, Cotton, Long Sleeve, Tight Fitting</p>

which will result in:

Hiding Big Cartel Product Description Tags

Unwanted Search Results

You should also test the search terms you are focusing on to see if unwanted products are being displayed. If you identify an unwanted product, you should review that product’s title and description and remove the search term where applicable.

Last Modified: 5th December, 2012

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Big Cartel support articles generally relate to Aarfie-developed Big Cartel themes purchased from the shop or created for a custom project.