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/commentable: Adding a New Category in Zen Cart Admin
Dinarius = digital interest
22 July 2014

Adding a New Category in Zen Cart Admin

I’m surrounded by things that I think other people would like a chance to own – the word eCommerce isn’t thrown around nearly as much as it used to be, but it’s still a viable option with the on-going support of free cart services like Zen Cart that allow users to create unattractive online shopping spaces and receive payment through secure means.

Setting up a Zen Cart store for the newly determined comes with some wrinkles. One such: Adding a “New Category” for the Products under the Catalog Tab. I’m no dummy and neither are you but every search I did failed to explain WHY Zen Cart behaves the way it does – if you add a new product, your option to add a new category disappears!

In parallel, if you add a new category, the option to add a new product disappears. Why, is the question people, including myself, ask.

Adding Category to Zen Cart installations.

It’s easy actually. In your Catalog, your store’s inventory, you can have either shelves OR goods (let’s say books for example). So at each level farther from “Top” which is “Categories/Products” in the image, you have either books (products), or a shelf (categories) on which to hold books; you don’t have both at the same level. If you begin by adding Products, you cannot create New Categories without complicated database work and commands and you, essentially, have a store/catalog without any shelves – so how can you categorize anything in the catalog?

Best advice is to NOT begin by adding New Products, but by mentally categorizing them for the sake of navigational breadcrumbs for site visitors and creating New Categories. MOVING a product to another Category is a breeze – adding Categories where there are Products is a nightmare. So feel free to mess up the Categories; they can be moved, renamed and are more flexible and useful just as bookshelves are. Your New Products are more numerous and represent the finer details that lend nothing to organization although it’s more fun to add new ones.

So where your Catalog is your store, create first the bookshelves for organization and THEN drill down and put the “books” on different shelves as needed, don’t just lay them all over the floor and hope people buy them!

Favorite's the ARTICLE, not the SITE.