Taking Time Off for the Holidays

How to (temporarily) disconnect from your shop for some well-deserved time off.

After the final orders are packed and shipped, give yourself a pat on the back for surviving the busy holiday shopping season, and get ready to treat yourself to some time to relax. But before you wind down, you’ll need to get your Big Cartel shop ready for a break as well. Here’s how.

The easiest way

Several Big Cartel themes come equipped with editable welcome text—Foundry, Good Vibes, Hopscotch, Neat, Netizen, Nova, Ranger, Snacks, Sunscreen, or Trace all make it easy to put a message front and center on your Home page. Luna, Neat, Netizen, Parade, Ranger, Roadie, and Sunscreen have a special spot for announcement text, too, which will place a banner across the top of every page.

You can adjust welcome messages and announcement text in the Design area of your admin. Add a note that you won’t be shipping new orders until a certain date, hit Publish, and you’re done. Everything else stays the same: Shoppers can still browse around and place orders, but you can take time away. Just make sure your message is loud and clear—you don’t want any confused shoppers if their order doesn’t ship immediately.

Using the slideshow or welcome image options in our themes is another option to place a quick message on your Home page. All Big Cartel themes except Parade, Setlist, and Sidecar offer a slideshow or welcome image—or both! Make those adjustments in the Design area of your admin.

Using Maintenance mode

For the cold turkeys among us, you can completely turn off your shop using Maintenance Mode. With Maintenance Mode toggled on, no one can view your products or place orders. This is especially great if you want to make a big deal about your relaunch by adding new products or designs after the new year (but no pressure—this is your time to relax!)

To turn this on, switch the toggle next to Maintenance Mode in your admin’s page. Toggle Maintenance Mode off when you’re ready to start accepting orders again.

Advanced tricks

Maintenance Mode is designed with a standard message to let any visitors know you’re working on your shop, but you can customize that message, as well. By updating this message, you can let shoppers know when you’ll be back, what to look forward to in the new year, and even include links to your social media profiles (or a newsletter) so they can get updates directly from you.

A few of our themes let you change the Maintenance Mode message in the Design > Settings area—Good Vibes, Luna, Lunch Break, Neat, Roadie, and Trace. Shops using other themes can still edit their Maintenance Mode message, but it means digging into the Design > Code area (and requires a paid Platinum or Diamond plan). To do that, make your way to Design, then Code, and Maintenance, and edit away. Just be sure to preview your edits and hit Publish when you’re done.

While you’re there, if you’re comfortable with HTML and CSS, you can alternatively make changes throughout your whole shop, like including a custom note or image instead of turning on Maintenance Mode. Perfect if you still want to accept orders, but want to control exactly how your “be right back” message displays. Find more details in our Edit your theme code help page.

Now go on and take a little break. You’ve earned it.

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