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Managing categories

There are different types of categories in plentymarkets. On the one hand, categories are what other systems may refer to as product groups or item categories. On the other hand, categories are also content pages for your CMS. The different types of categories have many settings in common. For example, all types of categories are managed within a folder structure. This can be achieved by creating main categories and up to 5 levels of subcategories. All types of categories also typically include texts such as a description, short description, meta description and graphic elements. This is why all types of categories are managed together in plentymarkets.

The categories in plentymarkets can be categorised by their type. The types Item, Content and Container are available. By managing all types of categories together, each type has access to a few additional settings that would otherwise only be applicable to one of them. In some cases, these settings are also useful for the other types. For example, you can use a template variable to insert a short description for the type Content. You can use tags for the type Item.

Table 1. Category types
Type Explanation Folder colour in back end

Item

Categorisation of items in the online store, e.g. Men » Tops » T-shirts

Blue

Content

Content pages for the CMS are, e.g. information pages such as terms and conditions, payment information and shipping information.

Yellow

Container

Similar to free text field, the content of a category of the type Container can be displayed on a different page, e.g. on a different category. In addition, the order steps of the individual order process are categories of this type.

Red

Blog

Currently not in use

Yellow

1. Preparation

1.1. Setting the category levels

First decide how many category levels should be displayed in the online store. Carry out these settings for each client. For example, if you select 4 levels, no categories can be created on the 5th level. This setting applies to the complete category tree, i.e. to all category types.

Setting the category levels:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Categories » Settings.

  2. Select the maximum number of levels in the category navigation.

  3. Save the setting.

1.2. Planning the structure of item categories

Set up a logical category structure before you begin creating categories. Before you start creating item categories, consider the products of your portfolio and divide these products into possible groups of categories and subcategories. Table 2 shows two simplified examples of different item structures.

Table 2. Examples of different item category structures
Example structure 1 Example structure 2
  • Women

    • Footwear

    • Accessories

    • …​

  • Men

    • Footwear

    • Accessories

    • …​

  • Kids

    • Footwear

    • Accessories

    • …​

  • Footwear

    • Women

    • Men

    • Kids

  • Accessories

    • Women

    • Men

    • Kids

  • …​

    • Women

    • Men

    • Kids

2. Creating a category

Create new categories either as main categories or as subcategories. Main categories are those categories at the top level. Subcategories are those categories on all the other, lower levels of the category tree. Find out how to create main categories and subcategories in the separate descriptions below.

Default category "Content"

Each system contains a category named Content by default. You cannot create additional categories called Content. You cannot change the name or the URL name of the category Content. You can change settings of this category that do not relate to the name, e.g. the position.

2.1. Creating a main category

Proceed as described below to create a main category.

Creating a main category:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Click on New category to the left.
    → The Create new category window opens.

  3. Enter a name for the category.

  4. Select Main category as the category level.

  5. Click on Create.
    → The category is created and displayed in the directory tree on the left.
    Tip: New categories are assigned the category type Item by default. If necessary, change the category type.

2.2. Creating a subcategory

You only can create subcategories for existing main categories. Proceed as described below to create a second level subcategory. If you want to create a subcategory on the 3rd or 4th level, click on the subcategories until you have reached the category that should include the new subcategory. There are two ways of creating subcategories:

Creating a subcategory using the "New category" button:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Click on New category to the left.
    → The Create new category window opens.

  3. Enter a name for the category.

  4. Select Subcategory as the category level.
    → The category levels can now be selected.

  5. Select which category this new subcategory should be listed under.

  6. Click on Create.
    → The category is created and displayed as a subcategory in the directory tree on the left.
    Tip: New categories are assigned the category type Item by default. If necessary, change the category type.

Creating a new subcategory with the context menu:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Open the category to which you want to add a subcategory.

  3. Use your mouse to right-click on the category.
    → The context menu opens.

  4. Click on Create subcategory.
    → The Create new subcategory window opens.

  5. Enter a name for the subcategory.

  6. Click on Create.
    → The category is created and displayed as a subcategory in the directory tree on the left.
    Tip: New categories are assigned the category type Item by default. If necessary, change the category type.

3. Editing a category

New categories are shown in the navigation tree on the left. Open a category by either clicking on it or by right-clicking on it to open the context menu. The context menu gives you quick access to certain functions, e.g. to edit, move, copy or delete a category. You can also create a new item or a subcategory.

The editing window of a category provides the following elements:

  • Toolbar

  • Tab Settings

  • Tab Description 1

  • Tab Description 2

  • Tab Documents

  • Tab Note

3.1. Carrying out the category settings

The Settings tab is automatically opened when a category is opened.

Carrying out the category settings:

  1. Open the category in the directory tree on the left.

  2. Carry out the settings. Note Table 3.
    Tip: The available settings vary depending on the category type.

  3. Save the settings.

Table 3. Category settings
Setting Explanation

Toolbar

Category path/ breadcrumb navigation

Shows the path of the category. Click on one of the parent categories to open it.

Save

Save changes you made to the category.

ID

The Category ID is assigned automatically and cannot be changed.

Preview

Opens a preview of the category.

Inline edit preview

Opens a preview that can also be edited.

Image gallery

Opens the image gallery in a new tab.

Template variables and template functions

Opens an overview of all template variables and template functions that can be inserted into the description.
Example functions:
{% Link(CategoryID) %} = Links to a different category page
{% Link_ShippingCosts() %} = Links to shipping cost information

Multilingualism

Opens a bilingual editor to edit the category. Select the languages you want to display from the drop-down lists.
Tip: You can also show languages in the bilingual editor for which no content has been saved yet. You do not necessarily have to open the default language.

Apply category settings

Select the settings that you want to copy from this category to another category with the same category ID of a different client and/or language.

Link

The template function for inserting this category. This function always includes the category ID so that it can be uniquely identified.

Timestamp

Displays the time when changes were last made and the person who made these changes.

Tab: Settings

Type

Select Item, Content or Container.

Name

Enter a name for the category.
Note: You can re-use category names as long as they are used in different categories or on different levels. Within one category, however, the names may only be used once per level.
SEO tip: Enter different meta titles and meta descriptions for categories of the same name.

Tags

Select tags to assign topics to the category.

URL name

If necessary, change the name to be used for the URL. When a category is created, the category name is prefilled as the URL name automatically. You can re-use URL names as long as they are used in different categories or on different levels. Within one category, however, the URL names may only be used once per level.
SEO tip: Because no client (store) is selected when the category is created, the automatically created URL is not indexed by search engines. However, in terms of SEO it is best not to change the URL name after the category has been activated for a client.

Important:

  • URL names cannot contain special characters. As such, only enter ASCII code.

  • Do not enter the following characters at the beginning of a URL name:
    a-, b-, c-, f-, fa-, p-, t-
    These prefixes are deleted automatically. For instance, "a-class" is changed to "class" automatically. For example, for a category named "a-class", you should enter the URL name "aclass".

URL

The URL of the category. The URL is generated automatically based on the complete path of the category, i.e. domain plus category levels plus URL name.

Canonical

If necessary, enter the URL of a category with the same content to prevent duplicate content.

Short description

Enter a short description of the category. Template variables are used to insert the short description into the store’s design.

Position

Enter a number to specify which order the categories and subcategories should be displayed in on the same level. Go to Settings » Client » Standard » Item layouts » Basic settings to specify the pages' sorting order. Pages are sorted in ascending position order by default.
Tip: Count by tens when creating position numbers. This will allow you to easily add new categories in between.

Client (store)

Select one, several or all clients to make the category available for these clients.
If a client is activated for a subcategory but it was not yet activated for the category above it, the parent category automatically is activated as well. If other clients are already activated for parent categories, the new client is activated as well. The selection of other clients remains unchanged.
Apply visibility to subcategory
This option is only shown if subcategories exist.
Place a check mark to apply the category’s client visibility to all of its subcategories. This function is only activated until the next time you save the category. This means that you have to place the check mark again every time you want to apply a category’s visibility to its subcategories.
If a visibility is removed (i.e. a check mark is removed from any of the clients and the category is saved), this is applied to the subcategories even if the function is not activated.
If a visibility is added, then this visibility automatically is set for any parent categories as well.

Meta title

Enter the meta title. The meta title is displayed both in the tab title of the browser and in search engine results. If you leave this field blank, the category name is used as the title.
SEO tip: Pay attention to the length of the title. Longer titles are cut off in the tabs. Currently recommended: max. 50 characters

Meta description

Enter a meta description (max. 350 characters). The meta description is analysed by search engines. As such, it is especially important for the homepage.
SEO tip: The meta description should contain the most important content in one sentence.

Meta keywords

Enter key words that potential clients are likely to enter into search engines and that relate to the content of the category.

Sitemap

Choose between Display and Do not display.
Display = Category is included in the sitemap.
Do not display = Category is not included in the sitemap.

Robots

Choose between all, index, nofollow, noindex and nofollow, noindex. Values of the meta element Robots are analysed by search engine crawlers. These values tell the crawler how to deal with the page and any links on that page.
all = Include the website of the category in the search engine index and follow links on the page.
index = Include in the search engine index.
nofollow = Do not follow links on the page.
noindex = Do not include in the search engine index.
nofollow, noindex = Do not follow links and do not include webpage in the search index.

Template page

Select a template. The template that is selected here provides the framework for the category. This option is not available for categories of the type Container.

Template list

Select a template. The template determines what the category overview looks like for the current category. Option is available for categories of the type Item only.

Template product

Select a template. The template determines the appearance of the single item design for this category. Option is available for categories of the type Item only.

Full text search

Select if the category is to be added to the search index of the online store’s category search.
Note: The template plugin Ceres and FINDOLOGIC ignore this setting.
Yes = If in the System » Client » Open client » Online store » Forwarding the option Redirect for categories is set to Carry out content search, the category data is searched when customers try to open an invalid category URL.
The category data is also added to the search index of the online store’s category search. When customers enter a search term in the online store, the category name, description 1, description 2 and the meta title of the category are searched to find this search term.
Note: To search categories, some code changes to the Calisto template CategoryViewContentSearchResultsList are required.
No = The category is not added to the search index of the category search.

In link list

Choose between Display and Do not display.
Display = Category is displayed in the store’s navigation.
Do not display = Category is not displayed in the store’s navigation.

Visible

Choose between Public and After login.
Public = Category is visible to all visitors of the online store.
After login = Category and all of its subcategories are only visible to visitors of the online store that have logged in. Visitors that are not logged in will be redirected to the login page.

Elmar category

Select an Elmar category.

Translate template variables and template functions

Choose between Yes, No and Template variables and template functions for links only.
Yes = All template variables and template functions are translated.
Template variables and template functions for links only = Only template variables and template functions for links are translated.
No = No template variables and template functions are translated.

3.2. Saving a description

Enter and format text in the tabs Description 1 and 2. Use template variables and template functions to insert this description into your store’s web design or other areas. Description 1 and 2 allow you to write two texts per category and display them in different areas within a website. For example, you could display Description 1 above and Description 2 below an overview of items.

In the drop-down list above the entry field to the right, you can select which editor you want to use for editing the template. You can use the Editor, the HTML editor Text field or the Syntax editor. Categories of the type Container can only be edited with the HTML editor Text field and the Syntax editor.

3.3. Uploading documents

Use the Documents tab to upload documents for this category.

You can upload the data formats JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, PDF, DOC, ODC, OTH, XLS, XML, HTML, HTM, CSS, JavaScript, ZIP, JSON and GZIP.

Uploading documents

Click on the Upload file button or simply add documents with the drag and drop function.

You can define two category images for categories of the type Item. You can upload other documents and images as well. This allows you to regularly change the category image without having to delete the old image. Proceed as described below to define category images.

Defining category images for a category of the type item:

  1. Open the category.

  2. Click on the Documents tab.

  3. Point your cursor over the desired image.

  4. Select the image with a check mark.

  5. Click on Image 1.

  6. Save the settings.
    → The image is outlined in red and designated with the number 1.

Proceed the same way for image 2. Click on the Image 2 button in step 5. Deselect a category image by placing a check mark for the image and clicking on the Image 1 or Image 2 button a second time.

You can click on the buttons that are greyed out in the toolbar once you have selected one or more images with a check mark. By selecting images with check marks, you can see a preview, download or delete several images at the same time.

Displaying category images in the online store

Only category image 1 is displayed in the online store by default. An if-query was inserted to the ItemViewCategoriesList template with the template variable $CurrentCategoryImageUrl. You have to insert a second if-query to the template in order for category image 2 to be displayed.

3.4. Saving a note

Save helpful information about a category in the Note tab. For example, you can specify which sources your information comes from or let colleagues know that changes should not be made to specific paragraphs. The information saved in this tab is only visible in plentymarkets and is not displayed in the online store. Notes cannot be deleted.

Saving a note:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Open the category.

  3. Enter the note in the editor.

  4. Save the note.
    → The note is saved and shown in a yellow speech bubble.
    → Notes cannot be deleted.

4. Creating multilingual category pages

If you want to make your online store available in several different languages, you also need to create categories in these languages. This chapter explains how to create multilingual categories of the type Content, the type Item and the type Container. Of course, this is assuming that you have already created categories in the online store’s default language. For further information about the requirements of a multilingual online store, refer to the Multilingualism page of the manual.

There are two ways to create multilingual categories. You can choose between a multilingual or a monolingual editor. Use the monolingual editor to edit one language version after another. Use the multilingual editor to edit two languages at a time. Both procedures are described below.

4.1. Creating multilingual categories in the monolingual editor

Proceed as described below to create a language version of an existing category.

Visibility of categories in the Item » Categories menu

In order for a category to be displayed within the directory tree in the Item » Categories menu, you must have already created this category in the system’s default language. In other words, you must have at least entered a page name in the default language.

Creating language versions of a category (monolingual):

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Open the category that you want to create a language version for.

  3. Select the desired language from the Language drop-down list, e.g. English.

  4. Enter a name for the category.

  5. Select the desired settings under Template page, Template list, Template product and Full text search. Pay attention to the settings that were saved for the category in the default language.

  6. Save the settings.
    → The entry is saved.
    → The page’s path is created and shown in the URL field.

  7. Insert content in the selected language.

  8. Save the settings.

4.2. Creating a multilingual category in the multilingual view

Proceed as described below to create a language version of a category in the multilingual editor.

Creating language versions of a category (multilingual):

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Click on the desired category in the directory tree.
    → The category opens.

  3. Click on the Multilingualism icon.
    → The multilingual view of the category opens in a new tab.
    Tip: The default language of the online store is shown on the left side by default.

  4. Select the desired language on the right.

  5. Enter the Name, URL name and Meta title.

  6. Enter the foreign-language text and content into the Description 1 text field.

  7. Save the settings.
    → The category is saved in the selected language.

Tip: Opening two completely new languages in the bilingual editor

You also can open new languages in the bilingual editor, i.e. languages for which no content has been saved yet. You do not necessarily have to open the default language.

5. Activating a category

You need to activate categories to make them visible in a client’s online store. You can activate individual categories or several categories at once.

Categories are only visible in the online store if the following requirements are met:

  1. The category must be activated for the client.

  2. At least one variation must be linked to the category for the client.

  3. Open the variation and click on the Categories tab. Make sure that the category was set to Available for the desired clients.

  4. The variation also has to be available, i.e. the stock has to be positive and the Store visibility option must have been set to Visible within the Available tab.

5.1. Activating a category

Proceed as described below to activate a category.

Activating a category:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Open the category.
    → The Settings tab of the category opens.

  3. In the Client (store) area, select the clients in which the category is to be active.

  4. Save the setting.
    → The category is made visible for the selected clients (stores).

5.2. Activating several categories

You can activate and/or deactivate several or all categories of a client (store) centrally in the System » Client » Select client » Categories » Activate menu.

Activating several categories of a client (store):

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Categories » Activate.

  2. Check the category that you want to activate.
    Tip: Click on Select all to place check marks next to all of the categories. Click on Deselect all to remove the check marks from all of the selected categories.

  3. Save the settings.

  4. Check whether categories and items are displayed correctly in the online store.
    Tip: It might take some time until an activated category is visible in the online store. If problems occur, check the settings and reload the page of your store.

6. Managing categories

6.1. Filtering categories

Categories can be filtered by client, language and type. The filters are located above the directory tree. The font indicates if a category is available in the selected combination. Categories that are displayed in normal font are available in the selected combination. Categories displayed in italic font are not available in the selected filter combination of client, language and type.

6.2. Searching for a category

The search function helps you find categories quickly. Enter the name of the category into the text field. Search results appear while you enter the name.

6.3. Copy category

The Copy category function allows you to create the same subcategory in several different parent categories. For example, this is useful if you want to have categories for women’s, men’s and children’s clothing, and all three categories should include trousers as a subcategory. Copy the category with all of its settings and then make changes to the name and the description as needed.

Copying a category:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Point your cursor over a category.

  3. Click on the triangle to the right of a category.
    → A context menu opens.

  4. Click on Copy category.
    → The menu view Copy category is displayed.

  5. Select Main category to copy the category to the main category level. Select Subcategory to copy the category to a subcategory level.

  6. Select which category the copy should be sorted under.

  7. Click on Copy.
    → The category is displayed under the selected category in the directory tree.

  8. If necessary, change the category’s position to sort it correctly.

6.4. Move category

Categories are displayed in the selected structure under Item » Categories. The category structure and category names form the basis for the navigation menu displayed in the online store. On the one hand, the structure is determined by the main and subcategories and by the relationship of the categories one another. These are the so-called levels. On the other hand, the structure is determined by the position numbers. Use the category positions to specify the order within a category level. Use the Move category function to move a category to a different level after it was created.

Moving a category to the main category level:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Point your cursor over a category.

  3. Click on the triangle to the right of a category.
    → A context menu opens.

  4. Click on Move category.
    → The Move category window opens.

  5. Select Main category.

  6. Click on Move.
    → The category is displayed in the top level of the directory tree.

  7. If necessary, change the category’s position to sort it correctly.

Moving a category to a subcategory level:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Point your cursor over a category.

  3. Click on the triangle to the right of a category.
    → A context menu opens.

  4. Click on Move category.
    → The Move category window opens.

  5. Select Subcategory.

  6. Select which category it should be sorted under.

  7. Click on Move.
    → The category is displayed under the selected category in the directory tree.

  8. If necessary, change the category’s position to sort it correctly.

6.5. Deleting a category

You either can delete a category completely or only delete the combination of client (store) and language that is shown. Both procedures are described below.

6.5.1. Deleting a category completely

Categories can be deleted by either opening the context menu or via the toolbar of the category. In both cases, the category is deleted from the system completely. In other words, all client and language versions of this category are deleted.

Deleting a category via the context menu:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. Point your cursor over a category.

  3. Click on the triangle to the right of a category.
    → The context menu opens.

  4. Click on Delete category.
    → A window opens and you need to confirm your decision.

  5. Click on Delete.
    → The category is deleted.

Deleting a category via the toolbar:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. In the filter settings, select the client and the language.
    → The categories with this filter combination are displayed.

  3. Open the category.

  4. In the category’s toolbar, click on Delete.
    → The Delete window is displayed.

  5. Click on Delete category to delete the category completely.
    → The complete category is deleted.

6.5.2. Deleting a specific language and client (store) combination

Instead of deleting a category completely, you can also opt to delete the description and settings of a category’s specific language and client combination. To do so, proceed as described below.

Deleting a specific language and client (store) combination:

  1. Go to Item » Categories.

  2. In the filter settings, select the client and the language.
    → The categories with this filter combination are displayed.

  3. Open the category.

  4. In the category’s toolbar, click on Delete.
    → The Delete window is displayed.

  5. Click on Delete language for client to delete the combination of language and client currently shown.
    → The combination of this language and client is deleted.

7. Inserting a category into the online store’s design

7.1. Inserting a category of the type Content

There are several different ways to insert categories of the type Content into the online store. The following examples illustrate two different possibilities.

7.1.1. Inserting an individual category

You first learn how to insert an individual category.

Inserting individual categories into the design:

  1. Go to CMS » Web design » Layout.

  2. Select which template you want to insert the category into.

  3. Click on the PageDesignContentMainFrame tab.

  4. Insert the template function {Link() %} at the desired position of the layout.

  5. Replace ID with the ID of the category.

  6. Save the settings.

7.1.2. Showing a category in a different category

Template functions can be used to display the content of a category in another category. Simply insert the template function {% CategoryContentBody(ID) %} at the desired position in the category and replace ID with the ID of the category that is to be displayed. For instance, you can insert the terms and conditions into another category.

7.1.3. Inserting all categories of the type Content

Inserting all categories of the type content into the design:

  1. Go to CMS » Web design » Layout.

  2. Select the template into which you want to insert the categories.

  3. Click on the PageDesignContentMainFrame tab.

  4. Insert the template function {Container_NavigationCategories() %} at the desired position of the layout.

  5. Insert the template function of the navigation that you have selected for categories of the type Content.

  6. Save the settings.

Specify the category type for the navigation

Go to CMS » Web design » Layout » Navigation to access the various designs for the category navigation. Open the design that you use for categories of the type content and click on the Settings tab. Make sure that the type Content was also selected here.
If you use a plentymarkets default design, NavigationCategories4 is intended for categories of the type Content. You can change these settings at any time.

7.2. Inserting a category of the type Container into the online store’s design

Categories of the type Container are inserted into the online store using template functions.

7.2.1. Displaying the category

Template functions can be used to display the content of a category of the type Container, e.g. in another category. Simply insert the template function {% CategoryContentBody(ID) %} at the desired position in the category and replace ID with the ID of the category of the type Container that is to be displayed.

Categories of the type Container are linked to order steps of the individual order process. This is done in the Order process tab within the Design settings.

8. Saving category discounts

Go to System » Client » Select client » Categories » Discounts to save volume discounts for individual item categories. You can save up to three volume discounts per category. The discounts are applied automatically when customers place at least the specified number of products of this category. The specified discounts are calculated for a variation’s default category only.

Saving category discounts:

  1. Go to System » Client » Select client » Categories » Discounts.

  2. Carry out the settings. Note Table 4.

  3. Save the settings.
    → The discount is applied automatically when a customer orders the required number of variations in the online store.
    Note: These discounts are only applied for the default category of a variation.

Table 4. Saving category discounts
Setting Explanation

Discount 1 (%);
Discount 2 (%);
Discount 3 (%)

Enter the discount in percent that is to be applied when the required number of variations is reached.

minimum quantity

Enter the number of variations customers need to order from this category for the discount to take effect.

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