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How do I manage my categories and sub-categories in Big Cartel?

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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Aarfie developed Big Cartel themes all include our Advanced Category System that allows you to create both sub-categories and hidden categories for your store. Open the Uptown theme preview in a new window for an example of sub-categories in action, i.e. Clothing – Tee Shirts, Clothing – Tank Tops, etc.

Your product categories can be managed via the edit page of any product in your Big Cartel shop. To access a product edit page, go to the Products section of your Big Cartel admin area and click the title of any product in your products list.

In the Basics section of the following Edit Product page, you will see a sub-section titled Category. To begin managing your shop categories, click the Edit categories link at the bottom of this sub-section.

Use the following rules and guidelines to manage your categories and subcategories (for Aarfie developed themes only):

  • Any category that does not contain a product will not be displayed anywhere in any shop navigation. It is perfectly valid to add a category and leave it empty, ready for later use.
  • New categories and sub-categories are created by clicking the Add Category button.
  • The order of categories displayed in menus and sub-menus can be changed by clicking and holding the move icon (a + shape with arrow heads) next to a category, then dragging and dropping the category in a new order.
  • Any category name entered in standard format, e.g. “T-Shirts” and “Bags”, will be automatically added to the top level shop navigation. In the following instructions, these are referred to as Parent Categories.
  • Any category name entered with the prefix “x ” (note the space after the x) will be excluded from menus and sub-menus, e.g. “x Specials”, “x New Release”, etc.. This can be used to group products for a specific purpose separate from public browsing, e.g. an advertising landing page. You can link publicly to these categories using the format http://your_shop_address/category/x-specials, http://your_shop_address/category/x-new-release, etc.
  • Sub-categories are entered in the format “Parent Category Name - Sub Category Name”. Note that the category and sub-category name are separated with a ” - ” (note the space either side of the hyphen).
  • A product added to any sub-category, should always be added to the parent category as well, e.g. you have a long-sleeve t-shirt and you have added it to the sub-category “T-Shirts - Long Sleeve”, then you must ensure that you also add it to the parent category “T-Shirts” (see image below).
  • To add a new sub-category, simply click the Add Category button and then type a new sub-category name in the format described above, e.g. “Bags - Totes”. Note, as always, the sub-category will not be displayed in the shop menu until a product is added to it.
  • To re-name a category, click the Edit link next to the category name. To delete a category, click the cross-inside-a-circle icon next to the category name.
  • Always click the Done Editing button after editing your categories.
  • Tick categories and sub-categories to assign the current product (i.e. the product corresponding to the Edit Product page you are on) to them. Always click the Save button at the very bottom of the Edit Product page after making any changes.
Categories and Sub-categories in Big Cartel

Parent Categories and Sub-Categories in Big Cartel's Edit Product admin area

Last Modified: 30th December, 2010

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.