Categories enable you to show products in the storefront and define the default attributes associated with a product that is assigned to the category. You can also nest categories. For example, within the Televisions category, you can have the sub-categories Plasma, HD and Projection. Categories define the storefront navigation structure. So keep your customers' needs in mind when designing categories.

Displaying Categories

Categories appear as navigation elements in your storefront. In SiteGenesis, the categories appear in the navigation bar. You might not want all categories to appear in your storefront. If your storefront is based on SiteGenesis, the Online setting must be checked for the category appear in the storefront. If your storefront isn't based on SiteGenesis, you can use a similar mechanism to control whether the category appears in the storefront.

The full navigation structure (all category levels) appears in the left side bar in the storefront window (as you navigate). Top-level categories show across the browser in the top navigation bar. If you want the navigation pane to show the sub-categories (on the left side of the SiteGenesis application page), select any top-level category from the top navigation bar, for example, Womens.

All sub-categories are contained in the same catalog; in SiteGenesis, for example, the storefront-catalog-en catalog.

Scheduling Categories

You can schedule the online and offline status of categories. This enables you to create, configure, and schedule special categories on a staging instance and then replicate the catalog to production without the category becoming immediately accessible to customers in the storefront. You might want to do this for a seasonal or holiday sale category, for example. You can specify:

The online flag works as follows:

A category with the online flag set to... Is always...
false offline
true and without a date range online
true and the current date is within the category's date range currently online
true and the current date isn't within the category's date range currently offline

Site-specific impact: the start and end dates of a category are not site-specific. If a category is currently online, it is online for all the sites that uses its catalog. sub-categories don't inherit dates from ancestor categories.

Search impact: products assigned to offline categories (categories with online flag = true and with the current site time not within the date range) are not returned in search results. The online/offline status of categories regarding search results requires that the Product Index be rebuilt.

Note: Catalog import/export includes category start and end date information.

Related Links

Catalogs, Categories, and Products

Creating a Category

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