It’s time to breathe some of your personality into your store and make it your own. We’ve provided you with some built-in themes that are ready to go, and don’t require you to be a code genius to put your own personal stamp on it.
All Big Cartel accounts come with a variety of free built-in themes that control the look and feel of your shop. If elegant and simple is your style, check out Trace, Lunch Break, or Foundry. If you’re on the quirky and adventurous side, Snakebite could be the perfect fit.
Click any theme to preview how it’ll look in your shop. Feel free to switch around and test the waters as much as you’d like. Once you hit Save, the theme will be applied to your live shop.
We’re always building and adding new themes. Follow along on our Themes page »
Looking for a good theme for mobile devices? We’ve got you covered. All of our newer themes are responsive and optimized to scale down perfectly to work on mobile devices. The only themes that aren’t mobile-ready are our two original themes, Sexy and Blocks, that were made long before the mobile web was a thing. :)
Here is where you can really make your store unique, and set it apart from other stores. To access this area of the admin click your store name in the upper right corner and select Customize design from the menu. (Note: this area is only available in the desktop version of the admin.)
To upload your header image or background image, click the + icon at the top.
Change your color scheme by clicking a swatch and choosing a color, or entering a hex code (like
#000000 for black) if you’ve got a precise shade in mind. Use the font menus to set the perfect typeface.
Click around! Each built-in theme has its own set of available customizations, and the best way to get familiar with the design area is to play around with it.
If you’re experimenting and don’t like how things look, just exit the design area without hitting Save, and that color combo you ended up hating will never grace your homepage.
Any changes you make behind the scenes won’t show up in your live shop until you hit Save, so feel free to experiment.
Looking for more design advice? Check out our Store Customization guide »
Slideshows are the perfect way to make a bold first impression in your shop. Show off those awesome lookbook photos of your latest products, call out the details on sales or discount codes, the sky’s the limit! The best part is that getting a fancy slideshow displayed in your shop won’t take any fancy coding.
Most of our built-in themes support a slideshow feature in the Customize Design area. Click the + icon in the slideshow editor to upload your files. Once the thumbnails load, that’s it! You’ll see your slideshow playing in the Home page automatically. Hit Save, and you’re all set.
Slideshow tip! Make note of the recommended image dimensions listed for your theme in the slideshow editor. When in doubt, bigger images are better.
Want to share more information with customers about your shop or provide answers to frequently asked questions? You can easily add special info to custom pages in your shop in the Customize Design > Pages area.
Just hit the + icon to add a new page. Give it a name and add in your content–you can use the editor buttons to drop in links and images, or get really fancy by editing in HTML.
Click Done and Save, and a link to your page will appear in your store’s navigation. Easy like Sunday morning.
Customize Design > Advanced is where your theme’s default HTML and CSS are located. All plans can access the built-in CSS to make changes, but modifying the HTML will require a paid plan.
If there are other changes you want to make to your design that aren’t included in our built-in editor, you’ll need to dig in to your code, check out a third-party theme, or hire a designer.
Read up on designing and developing Big Cartel themes:
How do I change my store theme?
If your store needs a fresh new look, before hiring a designer to revamp the site you should consider testing out some of the other built-in themes we’ve made available to you.
Just go to Customize Design in the desktop admin and click on the first icon on the far left to access Themes. After you select a new theme you can play around with the customization to see if it’s right for you before you commit to it.
Once you click Save though, all of your customizations from the old theme will be gone. If you’ve done some tinkering in the code, make sure you download your theme before you choose a new one–otherwise you won’t be able to retrieve that old code.
Where can I find more themes?
If none of the built-in themes strike your fancy, but you don’t have any coding experience, you may want to check out pre-made themes from third party theme builders:
Each theme provider will give you their own set of instructions for applying their design to your shop. It’ll involve copying + pasting the code they give you into the Customize Design > Advanced area, so make sure your account is on a paid plan first.
Are Big Cartel themes optimized for mobile browsers?
It’s no secret that mobile shopping is on the rise, so we’re making sure your customers can easily buy your products from their phones and tablets.
Most of our built-in themes–Lunch Break, Trace, Foundry, Neat, Good Vibes, Picklejuice, Snakebite, Nova, Luna, and Sidecar–include swanky, mobile-optimized versions. That means your store will automatically adapt to the size of your customer’s screen, so they can view products and place orders anytime, anywhere.
You won’t need to do anything to set it up, either–the code’s baked in already!
How do I create my own custom theme?
You may have already sketched up the perfect look for your store that doesn’t match any of the themes we provide. That’s cool! We give you complete freedom to edit our built-in themes, or you can whip up a theme from scratch. If you go that route, you’ll need a good handle on HTML, CSS, and our theme API »
Where can I find a designer to build my custom theme?
Allergic to code, but still really want to make the custom theme of your dreams into a reality? You may want to hire a pro–we’ve got a list of developers and designers who are well versed in Big Cartel themes. Take a peek at their portfolios and maybe drop one a line:
How do I back up my theme code?
As you save changes to your code you’ll want to make sure to download your theme, and you can do that by clicking “Download current theme” at the bottom of your side navigation.
We don’t archive any theme code so if you accidentally delete some or all of your theme code we don’t have a way of retrieving that. If you delete your theme code (we’ll cross our fingers that this never happens) you may be able to retrieve some of it from Google.
Google crawls and indexes our stores regularly, so sometimes they’ll have a cached version of your old theme if you’ve accidentally delete it. Just pull up your store in a Google search, then click the small arrow to the right of your URL, then click “Cached”. If Google still has your old theme cached you can click “Show Page Source” to see your theme’s code.
Can I embed my store into my website?
There are a few ways you can integrate your shop into your existing site. The easiest way would be to customize your Big Cartel shop to match your current site, and then add a link to your shop within your website’s navigation.
You can even set your shop up on your own custom domain, like shop.example.com. Learn how in our Domains article »
Importing your product feed into an RSS feed widget can also be a handy option for displaying the latest goods on your site. Access your product feed by adding /products.rss to the end of your Big Cartel URL. For example: http://shop.bigcartel.com/products.rss
Website-building platforms like Virb also have built-in integrations with Big Cartel - just plug in your Big Cartel store URL and you’re good to go.
If you’re more code-savvy, we also have an API for displaying product data on another site. Keep in mind that the cart processes must take place on our our end, so when adding to cart/checking out, customers would need to access the Big Cartel-hosted pages.
Can I translate my store in another language?
You’re more than welcome to customize your shop using the language of your choice! However, keep in mind there’s not a built-in way to switch between languages in one storefront or localize it automatically. For now you can dig in to your theme’s HTML to replace the default links and text with your preferred translations, or include more than one language side-by-side.
While it’s not exactly perfect, adding a Google Translate widget to your Layout HTML can be a solid workaround if you’re reaching out to customers from around the globe.
The only exception to this for now is at checkout. There isn’t a way to edit the text fields on the final checkout page where customers enter their details.
How do I set how many products appear on each page?
In the Customize Design section of your admin, scroll down until you see the Products Per Page drop down menu in the basic editor. The number you choose will determine how many products appear on each page. Hit Save when you’re ready to roll.
Some themes also let you choose how many products appear on the Home page using the Featured Products drop down menu.
How do I add social media sharing buttons to my products?
Almost all of our built-in themes include optional Like, Tweet and Pin It buttons for your products. Once you’re in the Customize Design area just click to enable sharing buttons and you’re all set! Your product details and images will automatically be included in posts, too, so all the right stuff gets shared on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.
Why is the Facebook or Twitter link in my store’s navigation broken?
When connecting your social media profiles to your shop, some themes ask you to enter your full social media profile link in the Customize Design area, while others ask for just the social media username.
For themes that ask for the full URL: make sure to include the entire address, plus the prefix, like this:
For themes that ask for your username: make sure you’re only entering the page username and not the full URL.
For example, when you’re entering your Facebook page username don’t enter
facebook.com/example. Instead, just enter
Basically, all the stuff after
facebook.com/ will be what you enter as your username.
How do I add a slideshow to my shop?
Just set your store’s theme to Luna, Snakebite, Nova, Picklejuice or Neat in the Customize Design > Themes section, and your design editor will now include a tool to upload slideshow images.
Click + to add any image you’d like to show off, and they’ll load in automatically on your Home page in slideshow format. Too easy!
It’s best to use the same sized images so it all looks smooth and consistent.
My custom page looks weird! Why can’t I edit it?
The editor in Customize Design > pages will stick to HTML-only mode if the editor picks up on a tag it is not sure how to handle. That problem shouldn’t occur with most edits you make, but on occasion a bit of HTML added in will force it into HTML-only mode.
If there’s code showing up in your custom page that you didn’t intend, you may want to make sure the text you paste into the visual editor is plain-text first. Sometimes pasting in from a Word document or another word processor might contain some pesky hidden formatting that renders in HTML.
Your best bet is to type your content directly into the page, or make sure what you’re pasting in is in plain text. There are also some handy plain text converters you can use to strip away unwanted code/formatting.
Why are buttons and text missing from my site?
Make sure when you set your color choices for your shop that you’re careful to not choose font or button colors that match background colors. If your button colors are black and your background color is black, your checkout button will be invisible. Since we love you so much, we put together a customization guide that has some tips on picking the right color scheme that you may find helpful.
Can I edit my store’s meta keywords and description for SEO purposes?
Each Big Cartel theme dynamically generates the appropriate metadata about your shop for search engines to index. This includes the store description (set in Settings in the admin) and search keywords based on the content included in the page (product names, descriptions, custom page text, and so on).
So instead of needing to edit keywords by hand, your theme will automatically pick up on the detailed info from your shop and include it in the
<head> section of your Layout page following Google’s recommendations. Your store will also be optimized for sharing on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!