Custom Vantage Web™ How to Use Categories

Custom Vantage Web™ How to Use Categories
by Amanda Katon
Categories within your website are one of the key aspects to how your products are organized and displayed to your customers. They are what make navigating through your website easier for the end user. Categories are groupings of products that display in a list style format on the left side of your homepage. This month we will explore the dos and don’ts of setting up and working with categories. Let’s begin!
Steps to Follow
Within the Stamp Shop Web admin area, you will want to start by clicking on the Products tab. Once on this screen you will notice a link on the left hand side that reads Categories, go ahead and click on this link. Inside this section you can edit, re-arrange, and create new categories on your site.
To Move a Category
Moving Categories are easy, and is done in two simple steps! First you will want to select the category you wish to move up or down in the list. You will know your category is selected when it is highlighted in blue (Image 1, #1). Once you have your category selected, then use the up and down arrows to the immediate right of your category list to move the category(s) in the order you wish (Image 1, #2). You can do this with both your main categories as well as sub-categories.
To Create a New Category
Creating new categories is another simple process. To create a new category click within the filter box that displays the text “New Category” (Image 2, #1). This filter box is located at the bottom of the categories column. Delete the text “New Category” and type in the new category name you wish to create. Next click the New button, which is located below the input field (Image 2, #2). Once you click the New button, the category will automatically be added to the bottom of the category list. To move it simply do what we previously discussed.
Creating sub-categories is very similar. What is a sub-category you may ask? Well it is a sub division of the main category on your website. For example, let’s say I have a main category called address stamps, but I have various types of address stamps. I can organize the different types by placing them into sub-categories like monogram address stamps or custom address stamps. In order to create a sub-category you first want to select a main category which the sub-category will appear under. With the main category highlighted, type the name of the sub-category inside the filter box at the bottom of the Sub-Categories column (Image 2, #3). Lastly, click the New button just below the sub-categories column below the input field for the sub-category name, and the sub-category will be added (Image 2, #4). Just like the main categories you can move them and rearrange them in any order you wish.
Edit a Category
To edit a category that already exists on your site begin by clicking on the category name to select (highlight) it and then click the Edit button located at the top of the category list column (Image 3).
The next screen will be the Edit Category options (Image 4). We refer to this as being inside the category. Once inside the category you will be able to change the category name, provide a description or image, alter and assign which products belong to the particular category, change the way the products inside the category are displayed, as well as add meta tags, images, menu tab options, and advanced options.
            Show Products Section:
Out of the box Stamp Shop Web defaults to display categories “that I select”. This is saying that this category will only display products which you select it to display. To use this feature simply click the Select button located immediately to the right of this option (Image 5).
This will bring you to another screen where you can find the products you’d like to add to your site. Simply type in the search field (under the available products) the product SKU number or a keyword that describes the product and click the Find button. Next your search results will populate below the search field. To select the product you wish to add, check the checkbox next to the item(s) SKU number(s) then click the Add button in the middle (Image 6). This will add your selected products to the left hand column called Selected Products. Once you have all the products added that you wish to be in the category scroll to the bottom and click OK.
If you would like to assign products in another way you can choose to allow products that are priced within two different price points to be assigned to the category. Or you may elect to show products by manufacturer, by vendor, by product type (Customizable, 2 Color Customizable, Customizable with Layout, or Generic), or by the last products added to your site. You may also assign products to categories through editing a particular product. When editing a product if you click on the Categories link, you can check the checkbox next to those categories you’d like the product to appear in, then scroll to the bottom and click OK (Image7).
Display as Section:
Next, you can choose how your products in this category will be displayed to your customers. You can select a Grid and then set the number of columns and rows. Another option is to display the products as a Simple List. This will display the name and price of the product only. A Detailed List, an alternative display option, displays the short description as well, but also includes an image of the product. Lastly, there is the Tabular List, which is similar to the detailed list however each item is separated by a horizontal rule and it displays the long description of a product versus the short description (Image 8).
Meta Tags Section:
This section allows you to add specific meta tags to the category. What are meta tags? Meta tags are what help you get recognized on search engines. When editing a category you have the ability to add Meta Titles, Meta Keywords, and a Meta Descriptions (Image 9). The meta title will be displayed within the top of the browser when the category page is displayed. Meta keywords are what help in searches done on your website by customers and meta descriptions are tags that search engines look for when a potential customer is doing a search on the search engines themselves. The meta description should be a sentence or two describing the category.
Images Section:
Images allow you to select an image to be displayed with the category. To Show Title of the category click the checkbox and to Show Description of the category do the same. The Icon Image URL is the path to the image you would like to use for the icon image. The icon image is the image used when this category is chosen for a category grid within your homepage content. The Banner Image URL will be displayed at the top of the page when the category has been clicked on. And the MouseOver Image URL is where you can select an image to be the displayed when the mouse is over the category when it is set within a category grid (Image 9). To select any of these Image URL’s simply click the Select button directly to the right of each section you wish to add. Choose your image from your image manager or upload a new image then click Choose This Image to select it (See December 2012 Issue).
Menu Tab Section:
Under this section you have other choices related to adding additional image options as well as linking the category to other pages or documents on or off your site (Image 10).
The Menu Image is an image that would display next to your category name in the category list on your homepage. This field would have the normal state of the image you wish to appear next to the category name. The Active Menu Image is the mouse over or hover state of the menu image. To select either of these images click the Select button to the right of each field and choose your image accordingly. The Use Custom Link option will be where you'll need to check if you have created a custom page over in the Content tab or have a document you’d like to link to. The Custom Page URL will be where you'll include the id= page # for the custom page or the path to the document on your website. For example it may look like “/custom.aspx?id-8” or “/files/stamprefilinstruc.pdf”. You can also select whether or not you'd like the link to open in a new window by checking the checkbox to the right of that option.
Advanced Section:
The Advance section allows you to choose to show the category in the top menu providing the top menu is set to active in the Settings tab under the Category and Search link, and then by checking the box that says Show Categories Tabs in Header. The other option under the advanced section is the ability to hide this category. This is useful if you are working on creating a new category that you’re not ready for your customers to view (Image 10).
Once you have made all the additions or changes you’d like to the category, be sure to click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page. These options are available on both main categories and sub-categories. You may have as many sub-categories, sub-sub-categories, and so on as you’d like, but just food for thought, you don’t want your customers to work too hard to order products from your site! Let this keep those wheels in your head turning and next month we will go over the WYSIWYG editor within your description sections and HTML rotators!