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AARFIE SUPPORT

How do I install my Big Cartel theme?

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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If you’d rather avoid the following installation process, you can have Aarfie install your theme for you by purchasing a Big Cartel Theme Installation in the shop.

Un-zip / Extract

When you use the theme download link provided by Aarfie, your theme package will be downloaded to your preferred location on your computer’s hard drive. This is typically your Desktop or Downloads folder.

Once you have downloaded and located your Big Cartel theme zip file on your computer’s hard drive, un-zip the package. This is usually achieved by double-clicking the zip file. However, for some versions of Windows, double-clicking will browse inside the zip file without un-zipping. In this case, you will need to right-click the zip file and select “Extract to..” (or similar extract command) and extract the zip file contents to your preferred location (e.g. your Desktop).

Your theme file must be properly un-zipped before proceeding with these instructions.

Your theme package should now appear as a folder, not a zip file, on your computer’s hard drive. Open the theme folder to browse the files that make up your new theme. Leave your file browser open and viewing these files, ready to access for installation.

Big Cartel Theme Files

Big Cartel Theme Files

Log in to your Big Cartel shop admin and place your store into maintenance mode via your Store > Settings – Basics admin section as described in the Big Cartel “How does maintenance mode work?” help article.

Review ReadMe File

If your new theme files include a file named readme, double click this file to open it and review the contents for special instructions relating to your theme.

IMPORTANT – PLEASE READ

When you open your theme files during the following installation process, the content of these files should look neat and organised. If you open a theme file and its contents are messy, or YOU GET AN ERROR WHEN YOU COPY AND SAVE IT IN YOUR BIG CARTEL PAGE, please repeat the installation process using our Open Theme File tool instead of your desktop application (i.e. text edit application or otherwise).

Click here to launch the Open Theme File tool in a new window.

If your theme appears broken for any reason other than that described above, please review the entire article I think my Big Cartel theme is broken before contacting Aarfie Support.

Installing Style Sheet

Big Cartel CSS Section

Navigate to your Big Cartel CSS Section

Step 1: Navigate to your Design > Basics admin section, and click the CSS button at the top right of the Basics section.

Click CSS

Step 2: Click anywhere inside the text box displayed at the top of the CSS admin controls and select all of the text inside the box by clicking Select All in your computer’s Edit main menu or using a keyboard shortcut (e.g. command + A for Apple or control + A for Windows). When all of the text is selected, press the delete key to clear all of the contents of the text box. Double check that all content has been cleared from the text box.

Select All CSS Code

Select all of the content in the CSS text box and delete

Cleared Text Box

Clearing content from the CSS text box

Step 3: Returning to your computer’s file browser and your new theme files, locate the file named styles.css. Right click on that file, and using the drop-down menu select the Open With sub-menu and click a simple text editing application, e.g. “TextEdit” for Apple or “Notepad” for Windows.

Open With Apple TextEdit

Open styles.css with a simple text editing application

Step 4: Click anywhere in the content of the opened file styles.css and select all of the file’s text using the same “select all” method as Step 2 above. With all of the text selected, copy the text to your clipboard by clicking Copy in your computer’s Edit main menu or using a keyboard shortcut (e.g. command + C for Apple or control + C for Windows).

Select All Text

Select all of the text from your styles.css file and copy it

Step 5: Returning to your Big Cartel shop CSS admin controls, click inside the text box you previously cleared and paste the new text from the styles.css file by clicking Paste in your computer’s Edit main menu or using a keyboard shortcut (e.g. command + V for Apple or control + V for Windows).

Paste Copied Content

Paste the copied content into your Big Cartel CSS text box

Step 6: With the new content pasted into the CSS text box, scroll to the bottom of the Basics admin page and click the Save button.

Installing Pages

Step 1: Navigate to your Design > Pages admin section. You will note a list of pages with names that match that of your new theme files.

Big Cartel Design Pages

Navigate to your Big Cartel Design > Pages section and click 'Layout'

Step 2: Click the page title “Layout” and, on the following page, select “Custom”. Click inside the text box that is displayed and clear all the content using the same method as Installing Style Sheet, Step 2 above.

Step 3: Returning to your computer’s file browser and your new theme files, locate the file with the name that corresponds to the page you are editing, i.e. layout.html. Open the file and copy its content using the same method as Installing Style Sheet, Step 3 and Step 4 above.

Step 4: Returning to your Big Cartel shop Edit Layout admin controls, click inside the text box you previously cleared and paste the new text from the layout.html using the same method as Installing Style Sheet, Step 5 above.

Step 5: With the new content pasted into the Edit Layout text box, scroll to the bottom of the Edit Layout admin page and click the Save button.

Did you get an error message? If so, please refer back to the IMPORTANT message above.

Step 6: Repeat Installing Pages, Step 1 to Step 5 for each page listed in your Design > Pages admin section. If your theme files do not include a file with a name that corresponds to one of these pages, leave the page set to Default (as opposed to setting “Custom” per Step 2).

IMPORTANT: If the “Show inside theme layout HTML” option is displayed, always ensure that it is:
1. Unchecked for pages “Layout”, “Checkout” and “Maintenance”
2. Checked for all other pages

Big Cartel Show In Layout

Always ensure the 'Show inside theme layout HTML' option is checked

IMPORTANT: Always double check to ensure that you are copying the right file content to the right page – match the theme file title to the page title.

Installing a Big Cartel Theme

Ensure you match your theme file correctly to your Big Cartel page

Custom Pages

If your theme files include additional files with names that do not correspond with the page names listed in your Design > Pages admin section, these files are for optional use with custom pages. For example, if an additional file is named blog.html to use this file:

  1. Click the Add Page button in your Design > Pages admin section.
  2. Name the page as you wish (in this case you might use “Blog” or “Latest News”).
  3. Copy the contents of the theme file blog.html per Installing Pages, Step 3.
  4. Paste the contents into the New Page text box and save per Installing Pages, Step 4 & 5.

Review and Launch

Review your installation by clicking your shop name at the top right of your shop admin. When you are ready to launch your shop, turn maintenance mode off in your Store > Settings – Basics admin section.

Problems

If you are having problems with your installation or something appears broken, please refer to the support article I think my Big Cartel theme is broken.

Last Modified: 5th December, 2012

Other ‘Big Cartel’ Articles...

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