Products are the basis of any online store. Let us review basic attribute settings in Magento, their main characteristics as well as some advice regarding attributes creation.
How to configure a product
Before you start a global product configuration it is necessary to know what attributes they can have:
1. ID is an identification number applied by Magento system to a product;
2. Name is a product name specified by an administrator depending on the online store settings;
3. Type is a product type;
4. Set name is an attribute name which is set by an administrator in the process of a product creation;
5. Stock number (SKU) is a number that allows an administrator and customer determine the type of product, it is used for better convenience in trade marketing;
6. Price is a range of possible prices for the product;
7. Quantity is a quantity of product items available or in stock (depending on the store type and requirements);
8. Visibility attribute is responsible for displaying a product on the store front;
9. Status indicates whether a product is active or disabled (e.g. depending on the stock status).
In Magento, you can create several product types. These are simple, configurable, grouped and digital products. Each of these types has its own characteristics and features. For example, a simple product is a product that does not have any other characteristics except those specified by the administrator during the product creation. E.g. you have a red T-shirt in your store - it only has one size and color. A customer will not be able to choose another size and color for this product, so it is simple. A configurable product is more complicated, you can choose different characteristics for it. In order to extend the possibilities of products configuration of this type you can use special Magento extensions.
A grouped product also has certain advantages compared to the previous two types. Your customer will be able to buy a group of products or one products of a group (depending on the general store settings).
How to add product category and attributes
First, you will need to create a category to which your product will be assigned. Go to the admin panel, then to Catalog – Manage Categories. You will see a page for categories configuration. By default, one category exists which is called “Default’.
There is a very important moment here: all categories that will be displayed in the navigation menu must be the subcategories of ‘Default’. Of course, you can create your own categories beside ‘Default’ but they will not be displayed in the store navigation. In order to create it click the corresponding button and choose ‘New Category’. You will see a new page on which you will need to specify the main settings necessary for the category indexing by search engines and customers’ convenience. All settings are clear except “Is Active” – if you choose ‘Yes’ the category will be visible for users, if you set it to ‘No’ it will be hidden.
Remember that the menu is formed according to the settings of ‘Include in Navigation Menu’. In other words, if you create several stores in Magento, then the menu will still be formed basing on the main store category and ‘Include in Navigation Menu’ settings.
After you have set the categories you need to develop the set of attributes. This task is not so easy and requires some fastidiousness. You will be able to create different attributes for different categories, so the configuration of a large store will be a hard work.
Go to the admin panel to Catalog – Attributes and Manage Attributes. You will see a page of the attributes configuration. Remember that some of them can be made invisible for customers so that they only serve for easier online store management.
In order to add new attributes go to Add New Attribute section and open New Product Attribute page. It is intuitively clear but we will explain some fields. There are two attributes sections – Attribute Properties and Frontend Properties. The former indicates which attributes will be visible to the site admin and the latter includes the attributes available to customers on the front end.
1. Attribute Code is an attribute name which can consist of letters, numbers and lower dashes only. You can specify the area of this attribute as StoreView, Website or Global;
2 After identification settings you can choose color;
3. In the field “Catalog Input Type for Store Owner” you can choose the type of data that the attribute will use. If you choose Multiple Select here you will need to enter the list of values for this area;
4. Unique Value is a unique attribute which indicates that no other products in this store can have the same attribute;
5. “Input Validation for Store Owner” is a controlling attribute that checks whether or not all data are entered properly;
6. Apply To field indicates which product(s) can have this attribute(s);
7. Use in quick search option, if set to Yes, will help your customers find desired products on the site using the search field.
Once all necessary attributes are filled save the changes by pressing “Save Attribute”.
We hope that our recommendations regarding Magento product attributes configuration will be useful. If you need any additional consultation please email Magento development GoMage team directly. Please also visit our Magento blog.