Attributes are the building blocks of your product catalog, and describe specific characteristics of a product. We will discuss managing attributes in Magento.
Managing Attributes in Magento
The following are a few ways you can use attributes to enhance the shopping experience:
- Input controls for product options
- Provide additional information on product pages
- Search parameters
- In product comparison reports
- As layered navigation “Shop By” parameters
- In catalog and shopping cart price rules
Each attribute contains a value that describes a characteristic of a product, such as “color” or “fabric.” The “color” attribute with the “dropdown” input type might contain many values, although only a few apply to any given product. You can use a single attribute with multiple products. Therefore, your store needs to have only one attribute for color. You can create as many attributes as you need, and assign the most common value as the default, to make it easy for your customers to select the option.
The attributes that make up a product combine into an attribute set, which is used as template to create new products. The attribute set determines which fields are included in a product, and how they are grouped in the Product Information panel. Magento has a default attribute set with a standard selection of product attributes such as Name, Price, Description, and so on. If you want to keep it simple, you can use the default attribute set for your entire catalog.
The properties of an attribute determine how you can use it in your catalog and how it appears throughout your store. In addition to the basic properties, there are additional properties for drop-down and multiple-select input types, their values, and associated labels. The title, or label, identifies the attribute in the Admin and your storefront. If your store is available in multiple languages, you can enter a different translated label for each language. You can create attributes can with the Manage Attributes tool, and also from inside a product record.
Step 1: Assign the Attribute Properties
- On the Admin menu, select Catalog > Attributes > Manage Attributes. Then, click the Add New Attribute button.
- In the Attribute Properties section, complete the following required (*) properties:
- Enter a unique Attribute Code to identify the attribute internally. The code should be all lowercase characters without spaces.
- In the Apply To list, choose each product type that is associated with the attribute.
- Complete the remaining Attribute Properties as needed.
- Set Scope to the indicate where one can use the attribute.
- Set Catalog Input Type for Store Owner to the type of input control used by the store administrator during data entry.
- If you want to prevent duplicate values from being entered in this field, set Unique Value to “Yes.”
- To require that a value must be entered in the field before the record can be saved, set Values Required to “Yes.”
- To run a validity test of data entered into the field, set Input Validation for Store Owner to the type of data the attribute should contain.
- In the Frontend Properties section, complete as many of the settings as needed.
Step 2: Define the Label and Values
- In the Attribute Information panel on the left, select Manage Label / Options. Then, do the following:
- In the Manage Titles section, under Admin, enter a descriptive label to identify the field during data entry.
- The next column determines how the label appears in your storefront. You can leave the box blank to use the Admin label as the default.
- If your store is available in multiple languages, enter a translated label into each box, as needed.
- For drop-down or multiple-select input types, do the following:
- In the Manage Options section, click the Add Option button.
- In the new row, under Admin, type the value you want to use in your store’s Admin.
- Enter the value you want your customers to see. (Leave blank to use the Admin value as the default.)
- If applicable, enter a translated value for each language supported.
- Enter a number to determine the Position of this value in relation to other options in the list.
- Select Is Default to automatically select this value.
- Repeat these steps for each value you want to add to the list.
- When complete, click the Save Attribute button.
The attribute appears in the Manage Attributes list, sorted in alphabetical order by Attribute Code. Use the Page controls to view each page of the list.
Topics in the Attributes section include the following:
If you have any questions about using or upgrading to Magento, or even converting to responsive design for your existing website, do not hesitate to contact us.