When you need to edit your Aarcade theme’s styles after installation - e.g. changing colours, fonts, or background styles - the best way to do this is via your saved theme file at your Aarcade admin area for the following reasons:
- You can apply your changes more efficiently using the Aarcade admin controls
- You can preview your changes at your own pace without effecting your live shop at Big Cartel
- You greatly reduce the chance of breaking your layout, by avoiding editing your theme file coding at Big Cartel
- Your changes are saved at Aarcade so when you return to update or edit, your styles will match your currently installed theme
Edit your theme file
Navigate to the Install section of your Aarcade admin and click the install link for the theme you currently have installed. Alternatively, if you wish to change your theme, you can select the theme you wish to switch to at the Themes section of your Aarcade admin.
Make sure you have the correct Big Cartel account selected in the Shop Name drop down and proceed with editing your colours and fonts as needed. Remember to Save Changes and Preview Theme along the way. These changes are not affecting your online shop at this stage.
Remember that any changes you make at your Aarcade admin area will not be applied to your shop at Big Cartel until you re-install your theme.
If you edit settings other than your colours, fonts and background - e.g. Product Grid Options, Social Network Options, etc. - then you will need to re-install all of your theme files to apply the changes rather than just the CSS file.
These items are detailed later in this article (section Install your theme file).
Custom style coding (CSS)
Note that your theme settings include a Custom CSS section where you can create your own custom style coding — see How do I create custom style code? — as well as edit theme-specific custom styles which, if your theme has them, will be displayed in the Custom CSS edit area.
If you added or edited the CSS in the custom style coding area of your CSS file at Big Cartel (after installation) and you want to maintain it, you can copy all of the code from your custom style coding area (i.e. everything below the CUSTOM STYLES section marker, including theme-specific code) and paste it into the Custom CSS edit area, replacing all content in the edit area. In this way your custom CSS can be saved and reinstalled with your Aarcade theme.
After editing your Custom CSS theme setting, Save Changes and Preview Theme to check that the changes are reflected in your theme preview.
Refreshing your shop data
Your Aarcade admin does not update your shop data (i.e. the product and page info used for your previews) unless you prompt it to do so. If your previews are displaying old shop data and you would like to preview with updated data, navigate to the Licenses section of your Aarcade admin, click the edit link next to the relevant shop account and click the Refresh Data button on the license page.
Will I lose data when I install my changes?
Reinstalling your theme to apply setting changes may seem daunting at first. However, the process is a streamlined version of your first theme installation. Once you complete this process once, you will find it to be an easy and reliable method with all of the benefits described at the beginning of this article.
As stressed previously in this article, any changes you make at your Aarcade admin will not have any effect at your live Big Cartel shop until you reinstall your theme (per the instructions in the following section).
Installing a theme replaces your core theme files located in the Customize design > Advanced area of your Big Cartel admin. Aarcade themes are designed to separate your custom content - e.g. custom home page, custom menus, etc. - from these core theme files. This means your custom content will not be lost during theme reinstallation.
The only file that is commonly edited in the Customize design > Advanced Big Cartel admin area is the CSS file. The previous section of this article Custom style coding (CSS) details how to make sure that CSS customisations are reinstalled with your other theme changes.
For more information on how installation affects your existing shop data, please see Will installing my new Big Cartel theme affect my products, pages or custom domain?
If you have edited other files in the Customize design > Advanced area of your Big Cartel admin - e.g. Layout, Home, Products, Cart, etc. - then this is customisation beyond the methods supported by Aarcade. These customisations will be overwritten when applying the following installation instructions.
Install your theme file(s)
It is best practice to back up your Big Cartel shop theme and data before making significant changes in the Customize design area. Do this now by applying the instructions at How do I back up my Big Cartel theme?
When you are ready to apply your changes to your installed theme, click the Install Theme button at your Aarcade admin theme settings page. On the installation instructions page, skip to the copy and paste CSS section, by clicking the first of the darker page indicator icons.
Skipping the preparation steps in this way ensures that uploaded header images and other relevant customisations remain in place after your reinstall.
In the code box on the CSS page, note the theme information - i.e. name, version and release - at the top of the code..
Follow all of the instructions on the CSS page but, before you clear the content at your Big Cartel admin area, check the theme information at the top of the CSS code you are replacing to see if it is different to the information you noted above..
Proceed with following all of the installation instructions for the CSS page, i.e. clearing the existing code and pasting in the new code.
IMPORTANT: Here is where we decide whether we need to reinstall the rest of the theme pages to apply all of our setting changes. Do any of the following items apply to you?
If any of the following apply, click the Next Step button and proceed with all remaining instructions for a full installation.
- You noted a difference between the theme information you copied and that you replaced.
- You are installing a different Aarcade theme.
- You changed your social network options.
- You changed any settings other than your colours, fonts, background and custom CSS during your theme editing, i.e. if you changed product grid, page options, etc..
- You changed your license settings.
- You are reinstalling your theme to correct a corrupt file or general theme issue.
Otherwise, you can click the Save link to apply your new style settings.
I lost some of my important customisations
You may have lost some customisations during your theme reinstall if you did not correctly transfer your CSS customisations to your Aarcade theme settings, or you customised other core theme files - e.g. Layout, Home, Products, Cart, etc.
You can reapply these customisations by accessing the theme backup zip file you downloaded prior to installation and then applying one of the following:
- Open the relevant files in a HTML editor application and copy and paste your previous customisations into your core theme files at Big Cartel as needed. If it is only CSS customisations that were lost, copying from the custom style code area in your back up CSS file to the custom style code area at Big Cartel should be all that is needed. In this case, double check to ensure that you are not duplicating any styles.
- Restore your theme completely as detailed in our support article How do I uninstall a theme or restore a backed up theme?