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Big Commerce Template Customization ----------------------------------- *** IMPORTANT *** To learn everything you need to know to customize your store, please read the template customization guide here: http://www.bigcommerce.com/pdf/Big_Commerce_Template_Guide_1.0.pdf At Big Commerce, we believe you should have the ability to fully customize the appearance of your store. For this reason, we're allowing FTP access to a special directory that allows you to apply any template customizations you may require. You'll notice that these directories are rather empty. This is because your store is currently inheriting all of the templates from our master and default templates. Your customized template too, need only contain the files that you wish to customize for your store. To get started, we've made it easy for you to grab a ZIP archive of all of the template files that are currently in use on your store. This includes copies of the master template files too. You can download this ZIP file by logging in to the control panel, clicking "Store Designs" in the top menu and then clicking "Download Template Files". Any files you upload via FTP are accessible at: http://yourstore.address/template/ Designs are organized in to different folders: --- * The root folder contains all of the "layout" files. These files simply define the structure of core pages such as the home, cart and product pages. They contain references to panel files (described below) that should be shown on the pages. * The Emails/ folder contains all of the email messages that are sent out from your store. * The Panels/ folder contains all of the panel files that make up your store. You can think of a panel as being an individual block on the page (such as the featured products list, the product reviews list or the category list). * The Snippets/ folder contains all of the snippets that are used by panels in your store. Snippets are short template files that are included in regions of content that are repeated (for example, there's a snippet for the layout of a single product in the featured products list, and another snippet that defines how a single category in the category list looks) * The Styles/ folder contains all of the CSS stylesheets that are applied throughout your store. Additionally you'll notice a file called "custom.css" in this directory. If you simply need to make a few small CSS tweaks/modifications to our existing CSS, you can make the changes in this file and it'll automatically be included in your store. * If an images/ folder exists in your custom template directory, Big Commerce will then load all of the images for your store design from this directory instead of our default template images. Important care must be taken that ALL images are uploaded to this folder as this action causes ALL images to be loaded from this directory. Customizing Template Files --- If you wish to customize a particular template file on your store, it's a simple process. 1. Find the file that you'd like to begin customizing or make changes to in the template ZIP file you downloaded above. 2. Open the file in your text or HTML editor of choice and make the modifications you'd like to make. Save the changes once complete. 3. Upload that particular file to the corresponding directory via FTP. For example, if you're customizing a file in the root directory called "product.html", you'd upload it to your root directory via FTP. If you were editing "ProductDetails.html" in the "Panels" directory, you'd upload it to the "Panels" directory on the FTP server. 4. Your store will begin using this file instead of our default file for the appropriate page/section. Maintaining Modified Templates --- From time to time, when you choose to upgrade your store to a new Big Commerce version, you may need to re-apply your template customizations for portions of your store to continue to work correctly or have access to new features. Available shortly, we'll have a template differences tool that allows you to view the changes you've made to your template and also revert the file to our default.