Tutorial: Creating Products

It’s hard to run an eCommerce site without products.  If your store is missing this very important component, please read on:

Initial Setup

For the simplest of products, we’ll create a coffee cup.
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  1. In the Magento admin, navigate to “Catalog -> Manager Products”
  2. In the top right, select “Add Product”
  3. Select an attribute set.  Select “default” if you haven’t created any attribute sets.
    (Be sure to read the section about creating attribute sets.)
  4. Select a product type.  For this example, select a “simple” product.
    (For the other types, checkout the Grouped and Configurable product tutorials.)
  5. Press continue.

Data Entry

After setting up the product you’re brought to the product detail view.  All the product’s data is managed from this page.  Let’s go over the tabs:

General

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  • Name: The product name as it will appear in the front-end.
  • Description: The description that appears in the center of the product page.
  • Short Description: The description that appears at the top of the product page.
  • SKU: The products SKU.  Magento uses SKU as a unique identifier for this product, across all stores and websites. SKU is global, meaning if you update the SKU for a product in one store, it will update in all other stores as well.
  • Weight: The products weight - usually used for shipping calculations
  • Set product as new from/to date: The date range in which this product can be promoted as a new product in various locations throughout your site.
  • Status: “Enabled” displays in the front-end, and “Disabled” doesn’t display in the front-end.
  • Tax Class: The product’s tax class.  Magento comes with one tax class by default, but you can add more in Sales > Tax > Product Tax Classes.
  • URL key: The Search Engine Friendly URL Identifier is the name used of the product used in the URL for the product.  In our example, you’d be able to navigate to something like http://www.mymagentostore.com/cups/a-coffee-cup.html and see this product. You cannot use spaces in this field. If it is left blank, one will be automatically generated by Magento.
  • Visibility: Determines if the product will display in the catalog pages and/or search results.
  • Allow Gift Message: Determines whether custoemrs will be able to add gift messages to this particular product during checkout.

Price

Enter the price, cost, and special price information for this product here.  You can also add pricing tiers.  Read about tier pricing here.
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Meta Information

SEO-related meta information is controlled from here:  Page Title, meta keywords and meta description can be entered for this product.  Page title will be the title of the product page.  Meta keywords and description will show in the tag of the products html source.
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Images

Magento requires three images per product - a base image, a small image, and a thumbnail.  For each of these three image types, you can select which image to use to fulfill the requirement. If no image is uploaded, Magento will use the placeholder images that you can establish in System > Configuration. All images will also display under “More Images” on the product info page unless you select to Exclude it.  Clicking one causes it to open in a popup.  If you have multiple additional images, you can navigate through them using the popup.
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Design

You can control the look of each product page individually in from the Design tab in the product page. It is very similar to the individual design options for categories. If your product page has a design separate from the category page to which it is associated, then the product level design will supercede the category level design. Select the design you want from the Custom Design drop-down. Magento comes with several different design options out of the box, but you can add you own. If you leave this drop-down blank, it will automatically use the Current package name design. This can be edited by navigating to System > Configuration and clicking the Design tab. Enter the name of the design you want in the Current package name field, and this design will apply to all products for which you do not specify a different design. With the Active From and Active To fields, you can select a time frame in which the category will automatically switch to a design, and then switch back to the blank option when the time frame ends. This is perfect for the holidays, so that you can create a holiday design for your pages, and then have your site automatically switch back to the normal design whenever you want, without having to remember to do it yourself. The Custom Layout Update is essentially a static block, with a few differences. Rather than HTML, the structure must be in XML format. The Update will display on the product page, below the product information, whereas a static block will only display on a category page. The Update will display on the page only during the dates specified in the Active date range.

Inventory

  • Qty: The qty you have in stock at the moment.
  • Qty Uses Decimals: If “yes”, this allows you to let customers enter decimal quantities for this product, as opposed to integers.  If you were selling a product by the weight, volume, or length you might allow customers to purchase a decimal qty.  For example: 2.35 pounds of concrete, or 3.75 feet of carpeting.
  • Stock Availability: If you select Out of Stock, your custoemrs will not be able to add the item to the cart (unless you enable backorders), but they will be able to view it and add it to the wishlist.


  • For all other fields, you can check the Use Config Settings checkbox in order to use the settings for this field in System > Configration > Inventory. To change any of these settings in order to make the settings unique for this product, uncheck the checkbox, which will unlock the field.

    Websites

    If you’re managing multiple Websites, you can select which websitesthis product belongs to by associating it to Websites from here.  Just check the Websites you want the product to be available from.

    Categories

    Select what categories this product will belong to.
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    Related Products, Up-sells, Cross-sells

    Select which products are related, up-sells or cross-sells of the product being edited.  Read more about product relations here.

    Product Reviews

    You’ll see a list of all reviews that have been added to this product. This tab will only appear after the product has been saved.

    Product Tags

    Shows all tags that this product has been given by users, and the number of times each tag has been used. This tab will only appear after the product has been saved. Read more about product tags here.

    Customers Tagged Product

    A breakdown of individual customers who have tagged this product - the grid shows their first and last name, email, and tag used. This tab will only appear after the product has been saved. Read more about product tags here.

    Saving the Product

    Now you’re ready to save the product and check the fruits of your labor in the front-end.  Click the image below to view the product.

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