Chelsea Theme Manual

Get your bearings

New to BigCommerce?

If you're setting up a BigCommerce store for the first time, we highly recommend heading over to their site and taking a look at their support resources. From their  community forums to their documentation to their BigCommerce University video series, they have everything you need to start your ecommerce journey on the right foot. 

Here are a few articles that cover the basics of setting up a store:

The BigCommerce dashboard

This is what your dashboard will look like when you first sign up for BigCommerce. You can go just about anywhere and do just about anything from here. It can be a little overwhelming at first, which is why we recommend taking  a quick guided tour to get your bearings.

Our documentation deals primarily with customizing the content and design of your store. If you're looking at the dashboard, we'll be covering the items listed under  Storefront ContentStorefront Design, and a little bit of Marketing in these docs. If you're looking for basic information on how to add products, configure categories, set shipping rates, or anything else that isn't directly related to your theme, please consult BigCommerce's documentation or contact their support centre.

Upload and customize your theme

How to upload your theme

If you've purchased your theme directly from BigCommerce, it will be automatically installed when you log into your BigCommerce dashboard. You'll find all of your themes by navigating to  Storefront Design>My Themes. Your Current Theme will display at the top, and any previously installed themes will appear below it. 

If you want to publish a theme that isn't currently installed, simply select it and click Apply on the next screen. If you have a theme from another source besides BigCommerce, you can click Upload Theme and either drag or upload it from your computer. Once you click Apply on the following screen, it will be installed on your store.

How to select a theme style

Chelsea comes with four unique theme styles that curate the fonts, colors, and general style of your store. Check out our store demos to see the  BoldBrightWarm, and Clean styles in action.

You can change the style of your theme from the Stencil Theme Editor. We'll dig deep into this below, but for now, all you need to know is how to navigate to it: Storefront Design>My Themes>Customize (it's that big blue button next to your current theme).

Once you're in, select Styles from the sidebar menu and you'll be presented with your options:

Select the one that closest matches your vision for your store, click  Save Changes, and you're good to go!

Note that applying and saving a new style will overwrite your current style settings, however you will not lose any content from your store. It's always a good idea to make a backup copy of your theme before you start making customizations. 

The Stencil Theme Editor

Once you've uploaded your theme and selected a style, it's time to make it your own. While all of your products, collections, pages and marketing (including the slideshow) will be configured from the BigCommerce dashboard, most of the changes you make to the look and feel of your store will happen in the Stencil theme editor. You'll access it by navigating to  Storefront Design>My Themes, and then clicking the blue Customize button under Current Theme.

You'll notice that the theme editor sidebar menu is divided into a whole bunch of sections: History, Styles, Typography, Colors, and more. We'll cover all of them — in more or less the order that you might encounter them — below.


Like the History tab on your web browser, the History section on your theme editor keeps a log of all the changes to your store since you first started building it. 

All of the entries are time stamped and include the name and version of the theme you were using. This is handy if you ever want to revert the settings on your store back to a previous version. Just select the version you want to use and click the blue  Apply button in the bottom right corner.


Chelsea comes with four unique theme styles that curate the fonts, colors, and general style of your store:  BoldBrightWarm, and Clean. You can preview how they will look in your store by clicking through the options in the sidebar and watching for the change.

Once you've settled on a look, click  Save Changes in the bottom right corner, and you're good to go!

Note that applying and saving a new style will overwrite your current style settings, however you will not lose any content from your store. It's always a good idea to make a backup copy of your theme before you start making customizations. 


Chelsea comes with a selection of hand-picked fonts for your store. You can select the Primary Font Family and Secondary from the dropdowns under Typography. These fonts will be applied across your store.


Chelsea comes with endless color options for your store. You'll find them under the Colors tab of the theme editor. 

Simply find the feature or area of your site you want to customize and click the swatch beside it. A dropdown color selector will appear, which allows you to adjust and experiment with custom colors. You can also add a hex code as a text input if you wish. This can be helpful for matching colors across your site (you can copy and paste the codes into multiple fields).

Any changes you make here will be automatically displayed in the preview.

Global Theme Settings

Chelsea comes with a number of global theme settings — global in that they affect multiple areas across your entire site... for the most part, anyway :)

Off the top, the  Apple Pay Button Color dropdown lets you control the color of the Apple Pay button, which, if configured, will appear as an option during checkout. You can read more about connecting with Apple Pay here.

Below that, there's an option to Show Quickshop. Quickshop overlays a "Quickview" option over a product tile when a user hovers over it. Clicking on it opens up a popup modal, from where customers can view details or add products to their cart or wishlist.

You can choose whether or not you want to Capitalize Navigation Text by making a. selection from the dropdown menu. 

If you want to Show Sitemap link in footer, ensure that box is checked.

If you want to. Show Theme Credits in footer (that's the bit that says "Chelsea theme by Pixel Union, powered by BigCommerce), ensure that box is checked.

If you want to Show Copyright in footer, check that.

If you want to Show Brands in footer (you'll configure those from the BigCommerce dashboard under Products>Brands), check that. 

And if you want to Ass 'As low as' pricing text to products whose price varies based on options selected, don't leave that box empty! (Note that we only recommend using this setting if the default options are set to the lowest available for each product).

Header Options

The header is the rectangular area that runs across the top of your store containing your logo, navigation, search, currency converter, and cart. It appears on every page and is intended to be used to promote your company's brand and make it easy for customers to root themselves and navigate from any page of your site.

There are a number of settings in the theme editor that allow you to customize this space.

You can...

  • Show "Home" Link in your navigation by clicking the box at the top.
  • Show pages (About, Contact, Blog... whatever you've got set up) by checking the box below.
  • Show categories (as a dropdown from the "Shop" link) by checking the final box.
  • Choose how your Categories Display (in a dropdown, in a meganav, or as links in the main navigation) by making a selection from the dropdown.
  • Choose your Header Layout (logo in-line with navigation or logo above navigation) by making a selection from the dropdown.
  • Specify your Logo Position (left, center, right) using the dropdown.
  • Select your Header Layout (logo above or below nav, menu split or not) from the dropdown.

Product Page Settings

The Product Page Settings are where you should go if you want to customize the way your product pages look!

Show Product Dimensions allows you to do just that. You can input the dimensions for your product (weight, width, height and depth) in your BigCommerce admin under Products (it's at the bottom of the Summary section for each product).

You can also specify the Number of Product Reviews that show on your product pages from the dropdown menu.

Product Collection Settings

The settings here allow you to customize the way your category or collection pages display.

You can:

  • Set the Number of Products per page using the dropdown at the top.
  • Set the Number of Products per row using the second dropdown. 
  • Check Show category description on category page if that's something you want to do (this can be set in the BigCommerce admin under Products>Product Categories and filling in the description area for each of your categories. It will display under the category name on your category pages.)
  • Check Show category image on category page if you want to do that (again, these can be set in the BigCommerce admin under Products>Product Categories and uploading an image to Category Image.)

Brands Page Settings

All BigCommerce stores come with a brands page located at Brand names and images can be added and managed from Products>Brands in your BigCommerce dashboard (which you can learn more about here).

From the Brands page settings, you can elect to Show brand images as well as set the Number of brands per page from a dropdown menu.

Payment Icons

Chelsea lets you customize whether and which payment icons appear in the footer of your store. Just check check or uncheck the box next to the payment method to show or hide that particular icon.

Edit Theme Files

If you have a knowledge of CSS and HTML, editing your theme files can be a great way of taking your store customizations to the next level. We're not going to go there in these docs, but if you're looking for a good primer, you'll find it  here.

Storefront Content

The  Storefront Content tab of your BigCommerce dashboard is where all of your pages, blog posts, and images live. If you're looking to create or edit a page or post, or if you want to manage the images contained in those pages and posts, this is the place to do it. 

BigCommerce has some great resources on these topics (which we've linked to below) but we wanted to supplement them with a bit of quick n' dirty setup info so you can get your store up and running (and selling) ASAP. Scroll down for Storefront Content 101.

Web Pages

The web pages on your BigCommerce store should be used to display content that doesn't change very often. Yes, your product, brand, and category pages are all technically web pages, but they are all generated and managed automatically. It's pages like your "About," "Contact" and maybe a "Size Guide" or "Return Policy" that you'll create and manage here. 

How to add a contact page

Our BigCommerce themes have a built-in  Contact Page that provides customers an easy way to send a message or question to store merchants without leaving the storefront.

To create one, go to   Content>Web Pages and click Create a Web Page at the top of your Pages list.

Under Web Site Link, enable the Allow people to send questions/comments via a contact form option.

Then, under Web Page Details, enter a name for your contact page. The Page URL will auto-fill based on the page name.

You can also insert content (such as text and images) in the Page Content area that will appear above the Contact Form.

Now, if you navigate to that page in your store, you should see something resembling this:

Now your customers can get in touch to tell you how much they love your store!

If you want to create any other type of page, just use the radio buttons under Web Site Link and complete the fields that display below. You should be able to create most kinds of ecommere store pages (About, FAQ, Size Quide, etc.) by using the Contain content created using the WYSIWYG editor below option. You'll find more information here.

How to set up a navigation menu

Your store's navigation menu will be generated automatically from your created pages and categories.

To control which pages are displayed in your menu, go to Storefront Content>Web pages. Here, you can select and deselect pages using the check mark under Visible. You can also drag and drop your pages into the desired order.

The categories that automatically display as links on your main navigation can be controlled in the same way. Just navigate to  Products>Product Categories and under the Visible in Menu? column, you can select or deselect products as well as reorder items. The changes will automatically be reflected in your live store.

You may also find  this video on updating the links of your main navigation helpful.


Blogging can be a great tool for promoting your products and giving your store a personal touch, as well as give a boost to your site's SEO ranking.

By default, a basic blog is included on the BigCommerce platform, which you can access by navigating to  Storefront Content>Blog. Here, you'll see an index of all the posts — drafted and published — on your store's blog.

If you've yet to publish your first post — what an exciting and precious time for you! — then you won't see much here yet. You might want to start by naming your blog. Here's how:

Navigate to the  Blog Settings page by clicking the "..." button at the top of the page (between the "+" button and "Blog Visibility"). This is where you should be:

Give your blog a name in the  Blog Title field (a simple "Blog" will do) and set the URL in the Blog URL field. 

You can also enable or disable Disqus Comments at the bottom of this page.  Social Sharing is now controlled under Store Settings>Share (more on that here). 

Create a blog post

To add a post, navigate to  Content>Blog and click the + icon under the Published tab. Your screen should look like this:

Give your post a title in the Title field, write the content in the Body field, add some images (using the toolbar icon that looks like a photo of mountains or a house or a Tetris piece), and enter the author of the blog in the Author field. You can also add tags for each post in the Tags section. To add a tag, type a tag in the Tags field, and hit Enter or the comma key to separate the tags.

To upload an image that will appear as the post’s thumbnail, choose a file and click  Upload in the Summary thumbnail image section. If you want to tinker with the Publication Date, you can do that in the field below.

You can also customize each post’s URL in the  Post URL field, and add a Meta description to help improve your blog’s SEO. Click Save Draft to save the post without publishing to work on it later, or click Publish to publish the post immediately. Make sure your Blog Visibility is set to On in the main blog settings.

Storefront Design

The Storefront Design section of your BigCommerce dashboard is the place to be for all of your logo, carousel, social media needs. It's also where you go if you want to change or update your theme ( Storefront Design>My Themes>Customize/Upload Theme). In this section, we'll focus on the things you'll want to do to get your store up and running — and looking good.

How to set up a carousel

In web design parlance, the term "carousel" refers to the rotating cycle of images that generally occupies the "above the fold" area of our store. Chelsea's carousel displays up to five images with a heading, subtitle, and call-to-action button that can link to any page within your store or an external site.  

To add images to your Carousel, go to   Storefront Design>Design Options and click the Carousel & Social Media tab.

Click on  Slide 1 (or whatever slide you want really) and either drag and drop a file to the outlined area or click Select from your computer to upload an image.


Once you’ve uploaded an image, you can add a  HeadingSubtitle, and Button Text by typing in the corresponding fields at the top. Click Save when you're done.

You can set the URL for the call-to-action button links by either typing the link directly into the  Link field or clicking Browse to choose a Product, Category, Brand, Page, or Blog from the Store Linker. Click Insert Link and Save.


The carousel supports JPEG, GIF, and PNG file types, but we recommend using JPEG files to ensure a balance between image quality and fast loading-time. We also recommend using images at least 1200px wide. But most importantly, you'll want to ensure your slide images are consistent in dimension.


Along with the carousel’s content, you can customize the duration that each slide appears on the screen before automatically switching to the next slide. Type the number of seconds between slide changes under the Settings heading on the right side of the same Home Page Carousel page. Then click Save.

How to upload a store logo

Your store's logo provides branding for your site and a clickable link to return to the homepage. The logo will appear in the header of your site.

To replace your store title with a logo image, go to  Storefront Design>Design Options and then click the Logo tab.

Select the option to  Upload an image from my computer. Then choose the image file you want to upload under the Logo Upload section. We recommend an image no larger than 350 x 80 px. Once your image is selected, click Upload Logo Image.

How to set up your social links

You can include links to your different social media accounts (e.g. Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram) on your storefront. With Chelsea, these links are displayed as icons in your store's footer. By providing links to your social media accounts, you can encourage shoppers to follow you and share your business and products with their own friends and followers. 

To set up the social links on your store, navigate to  Store Design>Design Options and click the Carousel & Social Media tab. Scroll down to the Social Media section, and input the your various profile links into the corresponding fields beside Available Networks. Make sure to include http:// before the link.

You can also re-order your social media links to display in a particular order by clicking on the dotted grid to the left of the icon and dragging it to rearrange the order. 

The links that are live on your storefront will, predictably, appear in the top  Live on Your Storefront section. With Chelsea, you can display up to six social media links on your store.

How to set a favicon for your store

A favicon (also known as a  website icon, tab icon, or bookmark icon) is a small icon that represents your website and provides a shortcut to it wherever the icon appears. There are a whole bunch of sites that can help you generate a favicon for your store, or you can  create your own.

To upload a custom favicon for your store, first find or create an image  16 x 16px or 32 x 32px in dimension. The image must be saved in ICO, JPG, GIF, or PNG format.

Then go to  Store Design>Design Options, then click More>Favicon. Click Choose File to select the favicon from your computer. Click Upload Favicon.


Marketing is a huge topic, and we don't have the space to get too deep into it here. If you're looking for some basic articles to get your marketing juices flowing, BigCommerce has some  great resources, but for our part, we're going to focus on two things that most merchants want to get up and running before they launch their online store: banners and newsletters.

How to add a banner to your store

Banners allow you to add content to the top or bottom of categories or web pages without the need for code. They're great for advertising sales, displaying coupon codes and shipping information, and creating urgency around limited-time offers. A banner can only be applied to one page at a time. 

To create, edit, or delete existing banners go to  Marketing>Banners

Click the Create a Banner button on the top left side of your screen.

Enter a  Banner Name (which will only be used internally, and will not be visible to your customers). Then enter your Banner Content in the field below.

Select the page you want your banner to display on from the choices adjacent to  Show on Page. Note that you can only add a banner to one page at a time.

Next, select the Date Range for the banner to display. If your summer sale ends August 31st, for example, choose Only display this banner between specific dates, and make sure 31/Aug/2017 is selected as the end date.

Ensure you've checked the Visible box before you save your banner if you're ready to have it live on your site.

And finally, use the  Location dropdown to select whether the banner should appear at the Top of [the] page, or Bottom of [the] page.

Save your work, then go to your store to see how your banner looks. You can customize the fonts and colors used in your banners from the Banners tab of your theme editor (see instructions above).

How to configure your store's email newsletter

Email Marketing is a great way to keep in touch and build relationships with your customers. BigCommerce comes with a built-in newsletter sign-up box and easily integrates with email marketing apps such as   MailChimpConstant Contact, and iContact. All customer data is stored on a CSV file, which can be accessed from Marketing › Email Marketing.

This is where you can select your email marketing service provider and customize the experience of visitors who add their email to your list. In Chelsea, the newsletter signup appears just above the footer of your store. Here:

By default, it also appears on the 'Order Confirmation' page at the end of the checkout process.

To configure your newsletter, start by selecting your provider from the  Email Integration Providers box at the top.

Then, check  Yes, allow customers to subscribe to the store newsletter from the Allow Newsletter Subscriptions? box. If you want to disable email collection at any time, you can uncheck this box and it will remove the field both from the footer of your store and the order confirmation page.

You can learn more about collecting newsletter subscriptions  here.

World-class customer support

We've covered a lot of ground in these docs, but there will no doubt be questions they don't answer. If you've got a burning question—or if you're just   stuck—don't hesitate to get in touch with us. Our friendly and knowledgable support team will dig into the issue and get you back on track ASAP.