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Why does my theme change on mobile devices and how do I stop if from doing so?

Filed in Layout and styles


We recommend that you read ALL of this article before deciding to deactivate your responsive layout.

How do I deactivate my responsive (mobile-friendly) layout?

You can deactivate your responsive layout via your theme’s custom options. It is therefore important that you first read the support article How do I use the Custom Options for my Big Cartel theme?

Once you have read and understood this article you will be able to confidently navigate to your Layout page custom options – Customize design > Advanced (advanced) – Layout – and in the custom option section..


..locate the custom option..

{% assign enable_responsive_layout = 'yes' %}

..and then set the option according to the relevant notes.

Why does my layout change with window size?

Your Aarcade theme will automatically resize and adjust its layout and user interface in response to the viewer’s web browser window size. This behaviour has been extensively developed and tested for improved usability on small screen devices, e.g. iPads, iPhones, etc. It is part of the new web standard, and is becoming expected, that a web site will automatically reduce itself down to an app-like interface and, accordingly, this is a highly valued feature amongst Aarcade theme users.

For more information on Aarcade theme responsive layouts, please see our FAQ article Do Aarcade's Big Cartel themes work on mobile devices?

I don’t like the appearance of my shop on a mobile device

As the browser device size reduces, your Aarcade theme will simplify your shop’s layout and menus to maximise the ease and efficiency with which your customer can browse and interact with your shop. The design of your shop will become muted by necessity and, as mentioned in the previous section, will become more app-like in appearance.

The appearance of your shop should not suffer and, if you have reason to dislike the look of your shop on a mobile device, you may be able to correct this problem by addressing the following:

  1. Remove unnecessary whitespace from your header image

    Having unnecessary whitespace in your header image can cause it to scale down too far on mobile devices. For example, if my header image is..

    Remove whitespace from Big Cartel header image

    ..on an iPhone in portrait it will scale down to..

    Incorrectly cropped Big Cartel header image

    But, if I correctly remove the whitespace from my header image and upload it as..

    Correctly cropped Big Cartel header image will look the same on all devices.

    For more details on uploading a header image, refer to section 2.a. Upload a Header Image of How do I use the basic "Customize" options for my Big Cartel theme?

  2. Adjust your header font size

    If you are not using a header image and your site title size looks off on mobile devices, try adjusting the title font size – refer to How do I edit my Big Cartel theme fonts?

  3. Adjust your image size

    If the image sizing on your home and products pages does not suit your mobile layout, try setting a different image size – refer to How do I change my Product image size and number of columns?

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