ADMIN: Catalog → Manage Products

Last modified by kara on Mon, July 5, 2010 09:07
Source|Old Revisions  


The Catalog → Manage Products option allows you to create, edit and manage the products in your Magento store(s). Magento offers a variety of product types that enable significant flexibility when defining products. Below is a list of the available product types and their typical usage.

“Simple” Product Types:

  • Simple Product : This is the most basic product type and the building block for the complex product types. It is suitable for all kinds of physical (shipped) products. Each simple product is associated with a unique SKU and inventory is assigned at the level of the simple product.
  • Virtual Product : This is a product that does not require shipping or inventory. It is generally used for warranties or services.
  • Downloadable Product : This is a digitally downloadable product that sells one or more files of a product and provides samples of those files. These downloadable files can reside on your server or be provided as URLs to any other server.

“Complex” Product Types:

  • Grouped Product : This product is really a collection of other products that enables you to display several similar products on a single page. Often used for ensembles.
  • Configurable Product : This product enables your customers to select the variant that they want by choosing options. For example, you can sell T-shirts in two colors and three sizes. You would create six simple products as individual products (each with its own SKUs) and then add these six to a configurable product where customers can choose the size and color, and then add it to their cart. Very similar functionality is possible by using Custom Options for Simple products. The difference between a configurable product and a product including custom options is that inventory is not checked or updated for individual options during the purchase of the custom options.
  • Bundled Product : This product is comprised of components that are presented in different ways and are made from existing products. A good example of a bundle is a complete computer. For this computer, you can configure how much RAM or what kind of monitor is included with this computer in your store.

For more explanation of specific product types, please see Click here


Before creating products, the attributes and attribute sets associated with those products should be created using Catalog → Attributes.

For best results the website, store and storeview (System > Manage Stores) and the catalog categories (Catalog → Manage Categories) for the store should be set up.

Admin Panel Fields Reference

Each field on a tab in the edit product screen corresponds to an attribute. New attributes can be added using the Catalog → Attributes → Manage Attributes option. Attributes can also be moved between tabs using the Catalog → Attributes → Manage Attribute Sets option to organize them as you want them for your store. Because of this, your Magento Admin Panel may have some of these fields on different tabs than shown here.

General Tab

Field Descriptions

  • Name (required field)- The product name as it will appear in the front-end
  • Description (required field)- The product’s description. It will display in the main section of the product page.
  • Short Description (required field)- Short description is specific to this design package. This description will display at the top of the product page, and in category listings in List view.
  • SKU (required field)- 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 (required field)- The product’s weight - usually used for shipping calculations
  • Set Product as New from/to Date - In these fields, enter the date range in which the product will be promoted as a new product.
  • Status - Required. Makes a product active or inactive in the store.
    • Enabled : Product is displayed normally on the frontend
    • Disabled : Product is not displayed on the frontend and is not returned by searches.
  • URL key - The Search Engine Friendly URL Identifier adds a relative URL path which can be entered in place of the standard Target Path. It is Search Engine Friendly because it can use the name of the product instead of the ID#. If you leave this field blank, it will automatically generate with the name of the product upon creation of the product. If you enter a value here manually, you cannot use spaces in this field.
  • Visibility - Required. Determines where a product is visible in the store. You can decide whether your product will display in the page(s) of its associated category(ies), display when your customer searches for the product, both, or neither.
    • Not Visible Individually : It may be useful to “hide” certain products from your customers if they are associated to a Configurable or Grouped Product, so that the product is only visible through the Configurable or Grouped Product’s page, and not visible separately.
    • Catalog : Product will be accessible only when browsing the categories. It will not be returned by search.
    • Search : Product will be accessible only when searching. It will not be visible in the category structure.
    • Catalog, Search : Product will be accessible both by browsing categories and by searching.
  • Allow Gift Message - If you have enabled Product Level Gift Messages in the Configuration page, you can allow your customer to enter a gift message for a specific product during checkout by selecting Yes. If you select Use config, it will use the value in the Allow Product Level Gift Messages drop-down in the system configuration. This differs from Order Level Gift Messages because your customers can add a different message for each product that has this feature enable. This is useful if they create one order, but ship to multiple addresses.

Prices Tab

Field Descriptions

  • Price (required field)- The price of your item as it will display in the front-end. If you have a special or discount, this will be the original price.
  • Special Price - You can enter a Special Price for this product. In the front-end, this will appear underneath the original price (referred to as the Regular Price), which will be crossed out. The Special Price will display in red, and be referred to the Special Price. If you wish, you can allow customers to be alerted of new specials via RSS feeds.
  • Special Price From/To Date - You can enter a date range within which the Special price will be active. This price will apply automatically when the From Date arrives and deactivate automatically when the To Date arrives. If you leave this range blank, the Special Price will apply until you remove it.
  • Cost - Amount you pay your supplier. This field is for internal purposes and does not require a value. This feature has not been implemented yet. However, in the future it will be used to calculate profits.
  • Tier Price -
  • Tax Class (required field)- This is the Product Tax Class to which this product will be associated. This determines which Tax Rule will be used for this product, and consequently the Tax Rate that will be charged to your customers.
  • Is product available for purchase with Google Checkout -
    • Yes :
    • No :

Meta Information Tab

SEO-related Meta Information is controlled from here.

Field Descriptions

  • Page Title - Will be set in the meta tags in the head of the product’s HTML source code. Will display in the browser’s title bar when this product is being viewed.
  • Meta Keywords - Will be set in the meta tags in the head of the product’s HTML source code.
  • Meta Description - Max 256 characters. Will be set in the meta tags in the head of the product’s HTML source code.

Images Tab

By default, Magento requires you to designate three image types: Thumbnail, Small, and Base. These images each correspond to different locations on the front-end where they will display.

When first creating a product, you will not have any custom images uploaded. Therefore, all three image types will be set to No image. This means that they will use your global Product Image Placeholders. To configure these, navigate to System > Configuration, click the Catalog tab in the left column, and upload a placeholder image for each image type. To add custom images to a product, click Browse Files and locate the desired image. Do this multiple times until you have selected all your desired images, then click Upload Files. The images will list vertically in the image page. By default, all images uploaded here will display under MORE VIEWS on the front-end. This is located under the main product image, and clicking any of the images displayed here will open a pop-up window with the ability to browse through all the images associated to the product. For each image in the admin, you can add a Label, which will display above the image in the pop-up window. You can add a Sort Order, which will determine the order in which the images are displayed in the MORE VIEWS section and the order in which they are browsed in the pop-up window. You can designate which of these images is associated to which of the three image types by selecting the radio button in the appropriate column (only one image can be the Thumbnail image, only one can be the Small image, and only one can be the Base image). The images will automatically resize to fit the dimensions of each image type. The Base image, however, works a little bit differently. This is the main image that displays prominently on the product page. It will resize to fit the image window, however, if it is larger than the window, your customers will be able to zoom in on the image, and then double-click the image so that it displays the entire image outside of the original image window at the designated zoom level. If you want an image to only associate to one of the three image types, and not display in the MORE VIEWS section, you can check the Exclude checkbox. To remove an image, check the Remove checkbox before saving the changes.

In addition to these features, Magento allows you to add your own custom watermarks to the images in your site, to hamper visitors from making unwanted copies. If you would like to add watermarks, navigate to System > Configuration, and click the Design tab in the left column. For each image type, you can upload a separate image file that will be used as the watermark, define the size of the watermark, and define the position in which it will be displayed relative to your product images.

Recurring Profile

Beta feature in CEv1.4 to support subscription-type products.

Design Tab

You can control the look of each product page individually in from the Design tab in the product page. If your product page has a design to which it is associated, then the product leve design will supersede the category level design and the global design.

Field Descriptions

  • Custom Design - Theme files for your custom design must already have been created in the file system. Select the theme you want from the Custom Design drop-down. Magento comes with several design options out of the box. If you leave this drop-down blank, it will automatically use the design package that was set globally using System > Configuration in the Design tab.
  • Active From/To - 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 global option when the time frame ends. If no from/to dates are specified the design updates specified here are assumed to be active.
  • Custom Layout Update - XML block to alter page layout. The Update will display on the product page, below the product information. The Update will display on the page only during the dates specified in the Active date range.
  • Page Layout - Allows you to select one of the other page templates/structural layout files defined in Magento. Options available by default in Magento are: Empty, 1 column, 2 columns with left bar, 2 columns with right bar, 3 columns.
  • Display Product Options in -
    • Product Info Column :
    • Block after Info Column :

Inventory Tab

Allows you to control the quantity and availability of product, as well as the backorder capabilities and the maximum and minimum quantities the consumer is allowed to purchase. Default inventory configuration is usually done at the global or website level (via System > Configuration > Inventory). These inventory settings can be overridden individually here at the product level.

Note: These settings only exist for Simple Products. Configurable and Grouped Products are essentially just collections of Simple Products and virtual and downloadable products do not have inventory limitations.

Field Descriptions

  • Manage Stock - Decrements inventory as orders are placed if value is set to “yes”.
  • Qty - Required field. Number of units of inventory for this SKU
  • Qty for Item’s Status to become Out of Stock - This value will determine at which quantity the availability of the item will switch from In Stock to Out of Stock. If you set this value to 20, you will always guarantee that you have at least 20 items in stock.
  • Minimum Qty Allowed in Shopping Cart - This value requires the customer to purchase a minimum amount of each product in an order.
  • Maximum Qty Allowed in Shopping Cart - This value limits the amount of each product the customer is allowed to purchase in a single order.
  • Qty Uses Decimals -
  • Backorders -
    • No Backorders : the customer will not be allowed to purchase more quantity than is available.
    • Allow Qty Below 0 : the customer will be allowed to purchase more quantity than is available, but they will not be notified that some of the quantity has been put on backorder.
    • Allow Qty Below 0 and Notify Customer : the customer will be allowed to purchase more quantity than is available, and they will be notified when they are adding the item to the cart that the unavailable quantity has been put on backorder.
  • Notify for Quantity Below - When a stock of any product goes below this level, Magento will automatically notify you via RSS Feed. This ability works in conjunction with the Decrease Stock When Order is Placed drop-down below, because Magento cannot notify you of a low stock unless you also enable it to keep track of stock reduction. In this field, enter the quantity level at which Magento will send a notification. In order to set up the RSS feed, navigate to Catalog > Manage Products, and click the Notify Low Stock RSS link at the top of the page. You will be prompted to enter your User Name and Password. These are the same that you use to access the Magento admin panel. You will be redirected to the RSS page, where you can select which reader you would like to use for receiving this feed.
  • Enable Qty Increments -
  • Stock Availability -
    • In Stock : Makes the product saleable.
    • Out of stock : Leaves product unsaleable even if the inventory level is greater than 0.

Websites Tab

If you’re managing multiple Websites, you can select the Websites to which this product is associated by checking the checkbox next to the Websites from which you want the product to be available. Each Website will display here with all of the associated Stores and Store Views, so that you know exactly which Website you are viewing.

Categories Tab

This tab will display the global category tree, with a checkbox next to each category name. Selecting a checkbox will associate this product to that category, and you can select as few or as many associated categories as you wish. For the categories to display on the homepage you must make sure to add the product to a category below the root catalog. If you have not created a new category below the root catalog then do so now.

Related Products Tab

Related products are products that a customer may want to buy *as well as* the product they are viewing. They will appear by default on the products page, with a tickbox to add them to the cart. This tab contains a product list, from which you can search for and select products in your store which you wish to be related to the product being edited.

Up-sells Tab

Up sells are products that a customer may want *instead of* the current product, ie a gold plated version etc. By default it will show a link to the upgraded products page on the current products page. This tab contains a product list, from which you can search for and select products in your store which you wish to be up-sells of the product being edited.

Cross-sells Tab

Cross sells are similar to related products in that a customer may buy them *as well as* the current product, but they appear only on the customers cart. There is a button allowing them to add this cross-sell product to their cart as well. This tab contains a product list, from which you can search for and select products in your store which you wish to be cross-sells of the product being edited.

Product Alerts Tab

If you have either or both product alerts enabled, this tab will appear, showing a list of all subscribers to both Price Alerts and Stock Alerts for this product. For each subscriber, both alert lists show the name, email, the date they subscribed to this alert, the time that the most recent notification was sent to them, and the number of times a notification was sent to them. For the Price Alert, there is also one additional column. For each subscriber, it shows the price that the product had at the time that they subscribed. This includes Special Prices.

Product Reviews Tab

Lists all reviews that have been added to this product.

Product Tags Tab

Lists all tags that this product has been given by users, and the number of times each tag has been used.

Customers Tagged Product Tab

A breakdown of individual customers who have tagged this product - the grid shows their first and last name, email, and tag used.

Custom Options Tab

This section is used to provide options for store customers to choose from or to fill out prior to adding the product to the shopping cart. Custom options allow you to add optional extra features to a product and vary the product cost as a result, or to gather extra information from the customer such as product length, a name to engrave on it or even an image to print. They are similar to attributes but filled in by the customer rather than the admin.

  • Title: The title of the option
  • Input Type: The type of field to display
  • Is Required: If yes then the customer will have to complete this field prior to adding to the cart
  • Sort Order: The order within the custom options group to display an item

Once you have added a new option, additional fields will be made available to add in the price impacts of this option.

  • Price: The price change from selecting this option.
  • Price Type: A fixed price type will add or subtract that amount from the total, a percentage price will add or subtract a percentage of the product _base_ price to the total (other options will not be included in this calculation).
  • SKU: This code will be appended to the product SKU with a dash.
  • Max Characters: For text fields only, the limit to the number of charactes the customer can enter
  • Allowed File Extension: For File fields only, A comma separated list of valid file types for upload
  • Maximum Image Size: For File fields only

Further Reading