The preview area in your Big Cartel admin (accessed via your admin Customize design link) does not display your shop in a standard web browser environment. For this reason - from time to time - you may encounter some error messages or theme features and content that do not appear or function exactly as they should in the preview area.
Additionally the preview area will automatically show items in your cart and force other formatting which may or may not aid previewing of your shop.
These issues can occur when using any theme. A common example is encountering a Not Found error when creating a new page when using Big Cartel’s default themes or Aarcade’s themes.
Shortcodes and script generated content
Some shortcodes and script generated content - like the gallery and sideshow shortcodes - may not display correctly in the preview area regardless of your set up. If such content is not working in your preview area, simply view the content outside of your preview area to ensure that it is working correctly.
Tips for working in you preview area
The best approach to working in the preview area is to:
- Make sure that only one user / device is editing in the preview area at any given time.
- Make sure that you are using the latest version of your preferred web browser (i.e. upgrade if necessary).
- When creating a new page, enter the page title first and then wait for the preview area to finish refreshing (see the spinning graphic at the bottom right of the page) before creating content.
- Always wait for the preview area to finish refreshing before clicking Done or Save.
- Save often when working in the preview area.
- As soon as you get an error or notice an issue in the preview area, exit the preview area immediately, log out of your admin, restart your browser and then re-enter your Big Cartel admin area to continue work.
- Always check your shop changes outside of your preview area to review the true appearance and functionality of your shop and note the following:
- Always wait a moment after saving admin changes before viewing your shop. It can take a few seconds for changes to be updated correctly after saving and you will see incomplete pages and coding if you load (refresh) prematurely.
- Always refresh your browser - by clicking the circular arrow button in your browser toolbar - when first viewing your shop after admin changes.
Blocked mixed content
This issue may cause your shop to look severely broken in your preview area. Your Big Cartel preview area is served securely via https, however some assets for your theme and pages may be served normally over http as is expected for the public space of your shop. Some browsers will automatically block these assets assuming that you only wish to load https content.
In the case of your preview area, it is of course safe to load this mixed content. To do so, you simply need to disable the blocking in your browser. This is done by navigating to your Customize design preview area and, while viewing the broken layout in the preview area, click the shield icon in your browser toolbar. This may be located in different areas or appear differently depending upon your web browser (see examples below).
Once you have located the settings you can disable mixed content blocking. In the above screenshot examples we would click “Load unsafe script” for Google Chrome or “Disable Protection on This Page” for Mozilla Firefox. This will be applied to your preview area only, so that your normal use of secure sites remains unchanged.
If you can not locate the settings to disable mixed content blocking for your browser, please Google “disable mixed content blocking BROWSERNAME” to find the correct instructions.
I think it might be a problem with my Aarcade theme?
Our themes can not directly influence the preview interface, however an incorrectly coded or installed theme can create code related errors (typically these errors mention “liquid” or a “tag”), broken shop layouts or faulty shop functionality. If you see such an error or you otherwise believe that it is your Aarcade theme that is causing your issues, please refer to Troubleshooting Aarcade theme issues.
Note that the preview area is part of your Big Cartel admin and is therefore supported by Big Cartel. If your issue appears to be related to the function of your preview area panels or other areas of your Big Cartel admin, please contact Big Cartel.