Transitioning from Blueprint to Stencil

Stencil is our new theme platform that incorporates the latest best practices in technology, design standards, conversion, and SEO, and allows you to build a stunning storefront that engages shoppers and encourages checkouts on any device. Merchants and developers can choose from the best responsive ecommerce templates on the market, or build a completely custom site.

Most Blueprint theme components will easily transfer to a new Stencil theme. These components include categories, products/SKUs, product images, promotions rules, and store logo. For themes with advanced customizations, certain Blueprint theme elements may not successfully transfer to your new Stencil theme, including code injected into your header, any storefront app integrations, and checkout customizations (Google Analytics will continue working in your new theme).

We’ve gathered some of the most common questions about moving from a Blueprint theme to one of our new Stencil themes. If you have a question or comment that isn’t addressed here, please contact our support team.

Q: Will I be able to "preview a new theme" with my existing site like I can with Blueprint themes?
A: Yes. In the theme market place, click on a theme you'd like to see and click the "Preview with your store" button. 

Q: Are there any themes with left side navigation (instead of top navigation)?
A: The premium themes Showroom, Exhibit and Runway feature left side navigation, and each has multiple variations. They are available from the Themes Marketplace in your control panel. 

Q: Can I include custom code outside of my site’s footer?
A: With the new Edit Stencil Theme File feature, it is possible to paste code in other parts of the theme files. However, if you only need something in your footer or have code from an app we suggest using the Script Box to inject code.

Q: Can I get full access to the HTML/CSS for a Stencil theme?
A: There are two methods to access HTML/CSS on a Stencil theme. For full access to all files in a theme, the Stencil CLI is available, which provides the ability to access the HTML/CSS for any theme. 
Alternatively, you can use Edit Stencil Theme File to make quick changes to the code without having to download the Stencil CLI. However, it is does not provide access to all theme files, so it is not meant for theme development only small scale changes. 

Q: Can I get help with advanced development?
A: Our partner team can connect you with an advanced developer. They will want to know as many details as possible about your development needs so they can determine the scope and budget of the project. 
Another avenue to get help would be the BigCommerce Community, which connects merchants with experts who can provide advice or services for your particular design needs. 

Q: When will full HTML/CSS access for Stencil themes be available to all merchants?
A: Edit Stencil Theme Files is available now to all merchants to make changes to their store front. It is not ideal for full theme development since it does not allow access to JavaScript files. 

Q: Why do some of my pages have more than one H1 tag?
A: Multiple H1 tags are valid in HTML5 with the use of SECTION tags.

Q: Will my categories automatically transfer when switching?
A: Yes. Changing themes does not affect your product catalog.

Q: My store has a large number of categories, will this affect how my theme looks?
A: Possibly. Most Stencil themes are designed to feature top-level categories at the top of each page. If you are migrating from a theme designed for many categories, or from a theme designed for left side navigation, this could have unexpected results with how your new theme looks. Consider grouping similar categories into a shared top-level category, or using our premium themes with left side navigation. 

Q: Will I have to re-code my products?
A: No. Product photos and descriptions will remain unchanged.

Q: Will my SKUs transfer?
A: Yes.

Q: How do I confirm my products have transferred over correctly?
A: Your store’s theme is simply a “skin” that is applied to the underlying product catalog; no product data is affected when switching themes or theme platforms (Blueprint or Stencil).

Q: Can I go back to Blueprint after opting in to Stencil?
A: You will retain your previously purchased Blueprint themes. It is possible to go back to that theme, but the Blueprint marketplace is unavailable. 

For more information, these public resources are available:

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