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How to Create Categories in the Magento Admin (part 2)

In part two of this article, I will continue with the last option of the Display Mode dropdow: Display Static Block and products.

Display Static Block and products

So you have several category pages where you want the same content, but feature different products?  Easy – use this display mode:

  1. Create a static block for the content you want to use between categories.
  2. Now go back to manage categories, and find your category
  3. Select display mode “Static block and products”
  4. Select the static block you created in step 1. The static block will appear above the list of products.

That’s it!  Repeat for any other categories where you want to show this content.

Is Active: Yes or No

You then select whether the category is active on the site. Selecting no will hide the category on the site.

Is Anchor: Yes or No

Finally, you select whether the category page is an anchor. Anchors are used for the Layered Navigation in Magento.

If you set the category to be an Anchor, the layered navigation will display the sub-categories of this category in the layered navigation. The layered navigation then takes all the products underneath, including ones in the sub-categories, and displays all the filterable attributes of those products. If you do not set the category as an Anchor it will not display the filterable attributes in the layered navigation.

Here is a look at the layered navigation for the Apparel category which is set to be an anchor.

layered_nav

Adding products to the category

 Now you can select products to populate the category from the Category Products tab and you have created a new category for your online store.  In the Category Products tab (accessible from the top of the category page), search for the products you want to associate and then click the checkboxes of these products.  After the products are checked you’ll be able to control their Position in the category listing. Example in the screen shot below:

category_adminproducts

Adding customer design to the category page

You can customize the design of each category individually in the Custom Design tab. This controls the look of the category page, including the objects on the page and the structure of the page. Select the design you want from the Custom Design drop-down.

Magento comes with several different design options out of the box, but you can add your own. If you leave this drop-down blank, it will automatically use the Current package name design. This can be edited by navigating to System > Configuration and clicking the Design tab. Enter the name of the design you want in the Current package name field, and this design will apply to all categories for which you do not specify a different design. Select your preference from the Apply To drop-down. This category only means that the design will only apply to this one category page. This category and its products means that the design will apply on this category page, and on the pages of all products associated to this category.

If a product is associated to multiple categories, each with a different design, the design displayed on that product page will be determined by the design of the category page from which the user navigates to that product. This category and its child categories means that the design will apply on this category page, and on the pages of all sub-categories, sub-sub-categories, and so on. All mean thats the design will apply to this category, its child categories, and its products. With the Active From and Active To fields, you can select a time frame in which the category will automatically switch to a design, and then switch back to the blank option when the time frame ends. This is perfect for the holidays, so that you can create a holiday design for you pages, and then have your site automatically switch back to the normal design whenever you want, without having to remember to do it yourself.

The Page Layout drop-down determines the structural aspects of the page. No layout updates uses the default settings that come with the Magento installation. Empty displays the category page without any objects, except for the content (products or static blocks only), category name, and view options (number to display per page, view as grid or list, and sort be options). 1 column displays the contents, category name and view options, as well as the header, footer, search field, and navigation bar. Column on the left adds the left column to the 1 column display, which by default includes the currency selection and layered navigation. Column on the right adds the right column to the 1 column display, which by default includes the shopping cart view, wishlist, compared products list, polls, and newsletter sign-up. 3 columns displays both the left and the right column. The Custom Layout Update is essentially a static block, with a few differences. Rather than HTML, the structure must be in XML format. The Update will display at the bottom of the page, below the products, whereas a static block will display above the products (if the static block is set to display with products). The Update will display on the page only during the dates specified in the Active date range.

Front-end

Finally navigate to the front-end and view the products.  Below is a screenshot with product images removed:

category_withproducts
The products will adhere to the Position entered in the admin panel.

 

                                             Source: magentocommerce.com

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