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Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - September 02 2007 :  18:48:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm currently developing an ink cartridge web site with vpasp and I'm having some trouble trying to figure out the strategy on entering the products and categories.

I will be selling ink toners, fax film, ink cartridges from different manufacturers like DELL, HP, Canon, etc.

I need the customer to be able to look for products the following ways:

1) Via jump menus - type of ink product (ex. ink cartridges) -> list of manufacturers (ex. HP, DELL) -> family of printers (ex. laserjet, designjet) -> printer name model (ex hp laserjet 1000) -> ink cartridge part number (actual product)

2) Via Direct manufacturer links (ex. click on HP) -> will provide a page with all the following info in groups -> family of printers or toners etc. (ex. laserjet, designjet) -> printer names or toner models etc. (ex hp laserjet 1000) -> ink cartridges part numbers (actual product)

I tried adding toners, etc, and manufacturers as main categories but it does not really work with these methods since ink toners can maybe have 2 suppliers and ink cartridges can have 5 suppliers. A sample site of what I want to accomplish exactly is like carrotink.com

Any stratgey help would be greatly appreciated.


Doug Page
VP-ASP New User

85 Posts

Posted - September 02 2007 :  19:37:20  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
To create what is on the carrotink.com site you would need to have custom work done as it is fairly specific to that industry.

However, you could mimic it by creating 2 categories: By Manufacturer and By Product Type. Then create sub-categories relevent to each of these categories. ie) for By Manufacturer you would include Canon, Dell, etc. Then for each of the manufacturers you would create categories for each of the printers you have products for. Then you add the products to each of these.

Hope that helps.
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Starting Member

2 Posts

Posted - September 02 2007 :  22:15:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks, I will try it, but what would go under Product Type category?

I was thinking of assigning a product to multiple categories. One to the manufacturer and one to the product type. Is this what you're recommending?
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VP-ASP Expert

590 Posts

Posted - September 03 2007 :  10:21:14  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I was thinking of assigning a product to multiple categories. One to the manufacturer and one to the product type. Is this what you're recommending?

Thats how I would do it. Most of our products are in more than one category and it works well for us.

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Doug Page
VP-ASP New User

85 Posts

Posted - September 03 2007 :  12:52:39  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
That is exactly what I was thinking. Under the By Product Type, I was thinking of categories like Inkjet Ink, Laser Toner, etc.

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Senior Member

United Kingdom
1898 Posts

Posted - September 03 2007 :  13:30:35  Show Profile  Visit devshb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
yep; I'd do that too; just use categories and have the branches setup in multiple ways, eg:




in that instance you'd actually end up with the same category description (name) on more than one category record, but different ids depending on the branch, and vpasp will display the relevant branch correctly when you visit the corresponding link. vpasp can cope with that kind of thing fine, because you can simply stamp both branches on a given product.

It does mean a bit of seemingly duplicated data in the categories table, but I reckon it's the best way to go because it'll give maximum flexibility without having to have customisations done, and would also therefore make future upgrades much easier.

If I were a merchant in that situation, I honestly don't think I'd be able to maintain that type/volume of data reliably without this addon:

Category Bundle:

which in turns includes these 2 addons:

1. Admin Category Tree:

2. Prod/Cat/Prodcat check/fix tool:

And if I wanted my search keywords and/or keyword meta tags to work reliably, I'd also most definitely use this too:
KeyWord Administration Tools:

(all that might seem like a shameless plug, but it's geniunely posted to help out; those things could save hours/days/weeks of hassle so it's always worth pointing out that they're already available off-the-shelf to those who it's relevant to)

Simon Barnaby
[email protected]
Web Design, Online Marketing and VPASP addons

Edited by - devshb on September 03 2007 13:37:18
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