Categories are essential, as they enable you to group equivalent products. This helps customers find their way through the variety of your catalog, and narrow down their search when looking for a specific type of product. Categories also make it easy for the customers to find and compare them (thanks to PrestaShop's product-comparison feature).
You should create a new category from the moment you have at least two products with equivalent attributes. Products in a category should be comparable, if not interchangeable. Keep this idea in mind when adding new products and creating new categories.
You may choose to not create any category, and have all products grouped into a single global category, "Home". But then customers won't be able to compare products.
You may also decide that you are not interested in the comparison feature, and would rather build your categories freely. In that case, you should disable the comparison feature: go the product preference page, and put 0 for the "Product comparison" option.
When creating a product category, you should focus on one thing: the products in this category must be comparable through their attributes (not their features). This is not only useful for your customers, but it is also a necessity for PrestaShop's product-comparison feature.
Categories are managed in the "Categories" page of the "Catalog" menu.
On the right side of the table, you can indicate the ones you want hidden from the customer (by clicking on the "Yes" icon).
All the categories are actually sub-categories of the "Home" category.
To edit the "Home" category (or any currently selected category), click on the "Edit" button in the button bar.
To create a new category (or a sub-category of an existing category), click on the "Add New" button from any level of categories.
Make sure to translate each field in every language that your shop supports. In order to do that, click on the little flag next to the field, and choose the flag of the language in which you wish to edit the text.
First of all, you must enter a set of general information:
Root Category. You might want to use this new category as the new root category, instead of "Home". If so, check the radio button that applies.
The root category is very useful in multi-shop mode. Imagine you have 3 stores with different or partly different products and categories: you might want to use a different root category for each store.
The root category thus reflects the "home" category of each store so if you do not want to have the same products in the homepage category of each store, you need different root categories.
Then, the form presents you with a few Search Engine Optimization (SEO) fields. This information will help you improve the visibility of your catalog on search engines.
Once you have finished configuring your category, save it, and you are ready to fill it with products.
The "Edit" button in the button bar enables you to edit the parent category of the currently-displayed sub-categories. This means that when you are viewing the main sub-categories, clicking the "Edit" button will enable you to edit the "Home" category.
You can click on any category in the table: this will open that category, and display all of its sub-categories. In effect, this will change the context of the interface: clicking the "Edit" button will edit the current parent category, and clicking the "Add new" button will open the category creation form with the "Parents category" option set to the current parent category.
Besides the "Add new", the "Edit" and the usual "Help" buttons, the button bar also features two buttons:
Import. Opens the "Advanced Parameters > CSV Import" page, with the expect data type set to "Categories". Go to the "Understanding the Advanced Parameters" chapter to learn more about importing CSV files.
You will need your CSV file to follow this format:
ID;Name;Description;Position;Displayed; 3;iPods;Now that you can buy movies from the iTunes Store and sync them to your iPod, the whole world is your theater.;1;1; 4;Accessories;Wonderful accessories for your iPod;2;1; 5;Laptops;The latest Intel processor, a bigger hard drive, plenty of memory, and even more new features all fit inside just one liberating inch. The new Mac laptops have the performance, power, and connectivity of a desktop computer. Without the desk part.;3;1;
The category identifier is the ID, not the category's name.
More import options are available in the "CSV Import" page of the "Advanced parameters" menu.
In order to add a product in a category, you must open the product configuration page and go to its "Association" tab on the left. This is where you can set the categories to which the product belongs.
The "Home" category is a special category, where you can highlight/promote products from any other category by making them appear in the "Featured products" bloc. By default, you can only display 8 products in the homepage.
The "Featured products" block depends on the "Featured products on the homepage" module. If you want more (or less) products on the homepage, configure this module (from the "Modules" page in the "Modules" menu).
Note: you do not have to remove a product from its original category in order to put it on the homepage. A product can have as many categories as needed.