ADMIN: Catalog → Manage Products

Last modified by kara on Tue, June 29, 2010 13:33
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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. It is suitable for all kinds of physical (shipped) products.
  • 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

General Tab


  • Name - The product name as it will appear in the front-end
  • Description - The product’s description. It will display in the main section of the product page.
  • Short Description - 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 - 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 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. For more information about this promotion feature, refer to Chapter 5: Promotions, Marketing and Content Pages.
  • Status - Two available - Enabled, Disabled. “Enabled” displays normally in the front-end, and “Disabled” doesn’t display in the front-end.
  • 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#. For more information about URL Keys, refer to the section about URL Rewrites. 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 - 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. 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.
  • Allow Gift Message - If you have enabled Product Level Gift Messages in the Configuration page (for more about this, see Chapter 4: Get Ready for Selling), 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


  • Price - 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. There is more information about RSS Feeds in Chapter 5: Promotions, Marketing, and Content Pages.
  • 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.
  • Tax Class - 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. For more information about taxes, refer to Chapter 4: Get Ready for Selling.
  • Tier Price - Chapter 5 also provides more information about Tier Pricing.

Meta Information Tab

SEO-related Meta Information is controlled from here. Page Title, Meta Keywords and Meta Description can be entered for this product. The Page Title will display in the browser’s title bar when this product is being viewed. Meta Keywords and Description will show in the tag of the product’s HTML source.


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.

Description Tab


Design Tab


Inventory Tab

Inventory settings can be configured individually per product, however there are also several very important global Inventory configuration settings. Additionally, many of the individual product settings can be set to use the default value (the global setting). Therefore, it is beneficial to discuss the product settings and global settings together.


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

Further Reading