Big Cartel Theme Support

Transitioning from an older Aarcade theme version

Transitioning from an older Aarcade theme version

If you are transitioning from an older Aarcade theme, this article highlights the main items to check to ensure your custom menus and content are working correctly.

Custom Options

The old custom option system is completely removed. This does not require you to make any changes with your new Aarcade theme, but it is highlighted here to stress that editing your core theme files is no longer necessary and should be avoided under all circumstances.

Page prefixes

Prefixes are no longer used to set submenus or the location of page links. If you have any of the following prefixed to your page name, you should remove them. You only need to edit the page name. You do not need to delete or recreate the pages.

Retired page name prefixes:

  • c — replaced with page menu dividers and drag and drop ordering
  • f — replaced with page menu dividers and drag and drop ordering
  • x subpage — replaced with Parent Name - Page Name format, e.g. About Us - Press
  • ## — replaced with x-sp-link prefix

Also note:

  • x — this prefix is still supported, however the preferred method for hiding pages is via the page menu dividers and drag and drop ordering

For complete information on the new navigation menu system, refer to How do I edit my navigation menus in my Big Cartel admin?

Special menu links like contact, home, all products, external sites (e.g. a home site or Tumblr blog), etc. are no longer added automatically or via custom option settings. These links are added with the x-sp prefix method detailed in the above-linked support article, i.e. How do I edit my navigation menus in my Big Cartel admin?


The format for adding links, captions, etc. to slideshow and gallery shortcodes has changed. Additionally options have been removed and added. Review all shortcode used in your content, compare it with the relevant instructions in the Shortcodes articles and correct where necessary.

Insert Content

The insert content format has been changed slightly and one or two options have been removed. In most cases replacing the spaces in an old Insert Content page title..

x ic before home

..with hyphens..


..should make it functional, however you should review the Insert Content Method articles to get familiar with the new format and options.

Also note that you can now change the name of insert content pages to different locations without having to delete and add them from scratch.

x - Extended Categories

In version 2 themes, the extended category control prefixes were x, xa, xb, xc, xd and xe. In version 3 themes, the extended category control prefixes have changed to x, x-a, x-b, x-c, x-d and x-e. You will need to change the name of any x prefix categories accordingly.

For complete details, refer to Extended category controls.

ac - Auto Categories

ac prefixed auto categories have been removed in favour of the [[products]] shortcode. As with any shortcode, [[products]] can be used on any page or inserted into category and product pages with the Insert Content method. Refer to Shortcodes - Product grids.

Notes at PayPal Checkout

Given Big Cartel are pushing towards removing the standard PayPal checkout option, we have permanently removed the advanced notes at PayPal checkout system from the new Aarcade theme version. You can safely install the checkout.html theme file from a version 2 Aarcade theme if you wish to continue using advanced notes at PayPal checkout. In this case:

  1. The file can be copied from version 2 checkout.html and replaces the entire content of the Checkout theme file in the Customize design > Advanced area of your Big Cartel.
  2. The version 2 support site resources can be used to edit the settings as needed, i.e. version 2 custom option notes and version 2 notes at PayPal checkout.


For version 2 themes, the Extras section provided free templates that allowed you to recreate the pages shown in our previews, e.g. About Us, FAQ, Terms and Conditions, Blog, Lookbook, etc.

For version 3 themes, this system has been replaced with the This Preview page that you will find linked in the menus of each of our previews (you can launch our theme previews from our home page or from Aarcade Admin > Themes).

On a This Preview page you can find details of the images used for the preview as well as copy the exact code used for the custom pages and other content. For more information refer to our support article How do I add pages as seen in Aarcade previews, like FAQ, About Us, etc.?

AarcadeTransitioning from an older Aarcade theme version