Defining advanced customisation
In the context of Aarcade themes and support, the term advanced customisation refers to customising your theme beyond the settings and features of the Aarcade admin and your installed Aarcade theme.
Advanced customisation includes any changes made to the files in the Customize design > Advanced section of your Big Cartel admin area after theme installation. For example: adding your own custom CSS or editing the Layout theme file code.
Aarcade may provide instructions or recommendations for advanced customisation from time to time, however we do not officially provide support for advanced customisation as detailed in the following section.
Editing your theme CSS file (as detailed in this article) is not the preferred method for changing your theme style.
Instead, wherever possible, use the tools provided at your Aarcade admin area per How do I edit my theme's styles and options?
The Role of Aarcade Support
Before we get to the “how” of advanced customisation, it is important to understand the role of Aarcade’s support services.
- Provide support (via this support site) for customising Aarcade-made themes via the Aarcade admin area and in-built theme features and functions.
Aarcade does not:
- Provide support or services for customisation of non-Aarcade-made themes.
- Provide support for customisation of Aarcade-made themes beyond that allowed by in-built theme features and functions.
- Provide installation and customisation services of any kind.
- Provide support or services for design / development of custom pages, themes, shops or sites.
We would love to be able to answer every question about customising your theme (i.e. HTML, CSS, Big Cartel template code, etc.), but unfortunately these questions quickly add up to a lot of work for us. Our small team is already spread thin just keeping up with our project and support work load. For this reason, it is extremely important that we keep our unscheduled work dedicated to support services only.
Please respect this approach so that we may provide the best, and most affordable, service to our existing customers and also ensure the future wellbeing of Aarcade.
Try to solve with CSS first
Always try to achieve your result with pure CSS first. In a lot of cases, desired customisations can be easily achieved by adding simple CSS to your custom style coding area.
Primary CSS references:
Additional CSS references:
Edit content only when necessary
Whenever possible, use the Insert Content Method to add to, or customise, your theme’s HTML content.
While this should be your last resort, in advanced cases, you may decide it is necessary to edit the core files (e.g. Layout, Home, Products, Product, etc.) in the Big Cartel Customize design admin area using HTML, inline styles and, in some cases, the Big Cartel template code1.
Recommended HTML and template code references:
- You should only need the Big Cartel template code if you are customising your shop user interface or creating dynamic content, e.g. displaying text that includes your latest product names.
Access the Big Cartel Help and Developers
Big Cartel have provided a help site specifically to help you with your Big Cartel account use and customisation. If you have a question about customising your theme coding or creating custom page HTML content, we strongly recommend that you:
- Use Big Cartels help site as your main reference for theme customisation
- If you require theme design, development or customisation services or assistance, employ a developer from the Big Cartel developer list
Google It! - Stack Overflow - Learn From Others
The fastest way to learn is by seeing how others do it. There are millions of internet tutorials that are just a Google search away.
Stack Overflow is one of our favourite places to find professional answers to advanced coding questions. If you have a concise coding question, we recommend that you make searching for the answer on Stack Overflow your first step.
You can also use your web browser to view the source code and linked stylesheets of your favourite web sites, to learn how to create the type of layout your prefer. Remember, this coding should be used for learning only; never copy the work of others.
The tools built into your web browser - see the web browser tutorial - are invaluable for learning and debugging your coding.