Maintaining a Modified Template
When a new version of BigCommerce is made available, you’ll have the choice of
upgrading your store to the new version. When you login to your control panel, you’ll
receive message asking if you if you want to schedule a time for an upgrade.
Due to the nature of BigCommerce with changes we’re making and customized templates
you may have, you may need to revert your custom template changes or update them
when you schedule an upgrade on your store, to ensure that new features are working
correctly and existing features continue to work as expected.
Before scheduling an upgrade on your live BigCommerce store, we recommend you set
up another store just to ensure that your template customizations still work correctly. You
can set up a test or development store by signing up for the free BigCommerce plan via
For ease of maintenance between different releases of BigCommerce, we recommend that
if possible, the majority of store design/template customizations be performed entirely
with CSS. CSS is a powerful mechanism for applying presentational information to pages
and all template files in BigCommerce has been built from the ground up to allow limitless
customization via CSS modifications.
There are a few recommended ways to modify and maintain a custom template:
• Take note of template files modified and changes made as you make them.
As a custom template is developed, if only a small amount of changes are to be
made it may be worth keeping a separate document that contains a list of files that
have been changed and what was changed in them.
This means on newer releases, the custom template can be redeveloped off the
new version of it and a simple list of instructions be followed to re-apply any
• Use a differences program such as WinMerge or BeyondCompare to merge
changes. (Changes on Mac OS X)
Using a differences program, the contents between the new version and
customized versions of template files can be analyzed and in most cases merged
• Keep modifications as CSS/stylesheet modifications as much as possible.
Add custom CSS rules to the bottom of the existing stylesheets or create a new
color scheme (which does not just contain color information – contains actual CSS
overrides for the template) of an existing template.
On a new release, the custom color scheme or additional CSS rules can simply be
moved across to the new version of the template.