product placement on content pages
Certified ProductCart Developers
Location: United States
Posted: 02-March-2012 at 9:15pm
In implementing the redesign of http://www.tastefulgarden.com, we met an interesting challenge.
This client's store features an extensive "growing tips" section. On each of the pages in that section, we wanted to feature products relevant to that page's topic. However, we did not want to hard-code products into those pages. The risk is that if/when products become unavailable in the future, we would forget that they were hard-coded onto a content page buried somewhere in the site. So we came up with a dynamic method of assigning products to pages.
Note the product placement under the main image on this and other pages in the site.
Our strategy started with creating a product category called "content pages". Subcategories in that section were created for each page to which product assignments were to be established. Then we assigned products to each such category.
We don't want that category to appear generally throughout the system, so we added a flag and altered viewCategories.asp to not display the "content pages" category.
Next we created a script that reads the products from one or more subcategories and displays those products in the desired format. That page gets referenced in the content page as an IFRAME statement, properly formatted to meet the needs of the design and to not display a scrollbar.
This solution allows the client to manage the products that appear in each content page via the same sort of category assignments she uses throughout the site, and avoids product references on those content pages from being orphaned in the future.
We also created a mod to the "manage content pages" admin tool that allows us to select varying left colum navigation includes so that the "growing tips" pages have their own index distinct from "about section of the site's content pages.
Just wanted to share this with others who may seek a similar solution.
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