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  • Custom PROD fields - How to best implement

    I am currently working on a new CSSUI Ready Theme development store and importing data from a legacy Miva site. There are many bells and whistles to Miva 9 that I have ignored for years that I am excited to implement. One of them is the use of Custom Fields and Alternate Pages.

    Our current website utilizes a legacy setup of the Sebenza Custom Product and Category Pages. Obviously I need to get away from that. However, I have some questions on how best to add information to new new store.

    Some questions:
    1. We have a furniture store that specializes in higher-end manufacturers and Designers. Customers want to read about designers, and manufacturing methods, etc. With Sebenza, I created multiple custom product pages that had Vendor/Designer information that I could just assign to a product group. I understand that I have the option with the "new" Miva options to simply create Alternate pages, but I think I would end up creating dozens of them again: one for each specialty vendor. Am I not seeing how to best implement Alternate pages for my desired vendor-based product pages? I think the Alternate pages is not really meant for this? I really wanted to get away from maintaining dozens of separate pages.

    2. Because Alternate pages does not seem like a good solution, I assume that using Custom Fields is the way to go. So I created a custom Vendor Field text area as my first test of custom fields. It shows up fine and populates the desired product pages just fine. The only problem is that I need to enter that information at the individual product page level and that seems tedious. So, I am thinking there is a better way?

    3. Is the best way is to add a new column to the exported flat file from the "older" site? Copy and paste the Vendor information into the corresponding cell for each and every product that falls within that product family and then import the new information to the new site? If this is the best option, how do I make sure it ends up in the vendor custom field? I can't think what I would add to the .csv file to make sure the vendor custom field is populated at the individual product leve. Also, doesn't this abundance of replicated text bloat the file?

    4. Am I missing a way of creating a custom field, that already has the data entered, that I can then apply to a specific product family? This seems like the easiest option but not sure that it exists.

    Although I am not new to Miva, I am very new to Miva 9 features and fairly basic in implementing Miva Code. Please supply details. I can usually understand what is going on, I am just not good at creating from scratch.

    Thank you for any suggestions about how best to implement using custom fields.
    Katie Sorensen
    Design Quest Furniture

    http://www.designquest.biz

  • It looks like Custom Category fields will do what you want. If the vendor & design information is common to all the products in a certain category, you can enter that info once for each category. Then you can display it on the category pages, and also include it on the product pages if you want.

    Another possibility is to create a separate page for each vendor's info. There are a few different ways that one page's content can be inserted into another page.

    HTH --
    Kent Multer
    Magic Metal Productions
    http://TheMagicM.com
    * Web developer/designer
    * E-commerce and Miva
    * Author, The Official Miva Web Scripting Book -- available on-line:
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/IS...icmetalproducA

    Comment


    • Another possibility is to create a separate page for each vendor's info. There are a few different ways that one page's content can be inserted into another page.
      I think this is utilizing Alternate Pages and will just get me maintaining multiple product pages like I did with Sebenza? I am trying to get away from that maintenance. Let me know if I am missing alternative way of doing this?

      Then you can display it on the category pages
      I completely understand how displaying on a Vendor-centric Category page would work. Unfortunately, many of our products go into multiple categories. For example, a general descriptive category i.e. TASK CHAIRS. Or a specific vendor Category i.e. HERMAN MILLER. So they would only see the vendor info if looking at that specific category of Herman Miller.

      And, of course, all of this assumes a "browsing customer". What about the customer who hits the website and immediately searches for "Aeron Chair". They go directly to the product results. So, yes, I want the vendor information at the product level.

      and also include it on the product pages if you want.
      But is this getting me back to the individual entering of data at the product page level? That is what I would like to figure out how to get away from. If possible?

      Thanks for suggestions. Hoping to hear how others manage product data too. Thank you!
      Katie Sorensen
      Design Quest Furniture

      http://www.designquest.biz

      Comment


      • No, I'm not suggesting alternate pages for every brand of product. There are ways that you can create a page template, and then include or insert it into some other page. I think ReadyTheme Content Sections can be used for this, although the coding to select the right section for each product might be a little tricky. I think the "Tool" modules also have the ability to pull one page template into another; and I often build that feature into my custom modules.. Also, if you use a lightbox or other pop-up to display the vendor info, I think you can use Javascript to pull in the vendor page.
        Kent Multer
        Magic Metal Productions
        http://TheMagicM.com
        * Web developer/designer
        * E-commerce and Miva
        * Author, The Official Miva Web Scripting Book -- available on-line:
        http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/IS...icmetalproducA

        Comment


        • Originally posted by d2d2d2 View Post
          1. We have a furniture store that specializes in higher-end manufacturers and Designers. Customers want to read about designers, and manufacturing methods, etc. With Sebenza, I created multiple custom product pages that had Vendor/Designer information that I could just assign to a product group. I understand that I have the option with the "new" Miva options to simply create Alternate pages, but I think I would end up creating dozens of them again: one for each specialty vendor. Am I not seeing how to best implement Alternate pages for my desired vendor-based product pages? I think the Alternate pages is not really meant for this? I really wanted to get away from maintaining dozens of separate pages.
          Yes, Alternate Pages are the best way to replace all the pages you created with the Sebenza module (if that is the direction you decide to go). You assign them at the category or product level, just like the Sebenza templates - just in a different place.

          Originally posted by d2d2d2 View Post
          2. Because Alternate pages does not seem like a good solution, I assume that using Custom Fields is the way to go. So I created a custom Vendor Field text area as my first test of custom fields. It shows up fine and populates the desired product pages just fine. The only problem is that I need to enter that information at the individual product page level and that seems tedious. So, I am thinking there is a better way?
          I'm assuming that the content is going to be a bit different dependent upon the product or category. I would suggest you do two things, create your custom fields for each vendor and then add the vendor content as ReadyTheme Content Sections. You will still need to assign the content to be used via the custom field but this can be done using a flat file import. By using the ReadyTheme Content Sections, if tweaks need to be made to the content, the store owner doesn't have to go digging through code to make the tweak. Plus it's in one location instead of potentially thousands.

          Originally posted by d2d2d2 View Post
          3. Is the best way is to add a new column to the exported flat file from the "older" site? Copy and paste the Vendor information into the corresponding cell for each and every product that falls within that product family and then import the new information to the new site? If this is the best option, how do I make sure it ends up in the vendor custom field? I can't think what I would add to the .csv file to make sure the vendor custom field is populated at the individual product leve. Also, doesn't this abundance of replicated text bloat the file?
          See my previous suggestion. But if you want to go with assigning the vendor information to each product, then you will need to create the column, then copy & paste into each cell as it applies to the product code. To answer your question - yes. That's why I suggested as I did in question 2.

          Originally posted by d2d2d2 View Post
          4. Am I missing a way of creating a custom field, that already has the data entered, that I can then apply to a specific product family? This seems like the easiest option but not sure that it exists.
          If the data is already in a custom field, then you would need to make sure that custom field gets assigned to the product codes you want it to associate with. Again, this is a good place to use the ReadyTheme Content Sections.


          Leslie Kirk (aka Leslie Nord leslienord)
          Miva Merchant Certified Developer
          Miva Merchant Specialist since 1998
          Previously of Webs Your Way

          Email me: [email protected]
          www.lesliekirk.com

          Follow me: Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter | Facebook | FourSquare | Pinterest | Flickr

          Comment


          • Content Sections sound like a perfect solution. Thank you for all the pointers on how best to achieve my desired result.
            Katie Sorensen
            Design Quest Furniture

            http://www.designquest.biz

            Comment


            • So, I am obviously not quite understanding how to implement the suggested use of content sections populating a custom field. Please note: custom field creation is new to me.

              I have no problem adding a custom field to the product page. I have no problem adding the Ready Theme Content section directly to the page. However, the moment I put the generated string created by the Ready Theme Content section WITHIN the custom field box on the product page, i get nothing. No clue what I am doing wrong.

              Here's the basic call for the Vendor Info custom field I already created - it was working before I decided to handle this as a content section so I could update via flat file.

              <mvt:item name="customfields" param="Read_Product_Code( g.Product_Code, 'vendor_description' )" />&mvt:customfields;
              I then created a vendor-specific content section (in this instance, custom content is 'about_skovby'). When I access a specific product page for that vendor, the vendor custom field is there. I assumed I would just paste the content section call within this field but it doesn't display.

              pasted content call:
              <mvt:item name="readytheme" param="contentsection( 'about_skovby' )" />
              Any guidance to fix what I am doing wrong?
              Katie Sorensen
              Design Quest Furniture

              http://www.designquest.biz

              Comment


              • If you have a custom field called 'vendor_description', and you want that to appear on a product page, you just use:

                &mvt:product:customfield_values:customfields:NAME_ OF_CUSTOM_FIELD;

                I think you took two 'different' options offered previously and combined them as one. Content_Sections and Custom_Fields COULD be used similarly but generally, a content_section is meant to contain a LARGE chuck of information OR a chunk of information that require conditionals WITHIN that content. For example, a 'set of terms' where the assignee's name is a variable, or maybe a welcome message where the persons is addressed by their customer account name.
                Bruce Golub
                Phosphor Media - "Your Success is our Business"

                Improve Your Customer Service | Get MORE Customers | Edit CSS/Javascript/HTML Easily | Make Your Site Faster | Get Indexed by Google | Free Modules | Follow Us on Facebook
                phosphormedia.com

                Comment


                • You can't put a piece of Store Morph code in a custom field. Getting the custom-field value to select the proper content section is the part that I described earlier as "tricky." It might take a little trial-and-error to get it working correctly. If you want me to implement this, you can drop me a line to discuss it by email.
                  Kent Multer
                  Magic Metal Productions
                  http://TheMagicM.com
                  * Web developer/designer
                  * E-commerce and Miva
                  * Author, The Official Miva Web Scripting Book -- available on-line:
                  http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/IS...icmetalproducA

                  Comment


                  • I don't think that is going to work because when the custom field value is loaded, Miva is not going to evaluate the ReadyTheme item tag. However, what you're doing seems overly complicated. It may be better to take the content you're saving in the ReadyTheme Content Section and save it directly in the custom product field.
                    Brennan Heyde
                    VP Developer Relations
                    Miva, Inc.
                    [email protected]
                    https://www.miva.com

                    Comment


                    • Thanks Bruce,

                      I think you offered me the legacy way of adding custom fields? It works fine too. However, I don't have a problem displaying basic custom fields.

                      I think the idea of using the content section as a custom field came from my desire to populate certain pages with LARGE chunks of vendor/designer information and wanting to come up with a way to do it without adding that content to every single product page custom field (or bloating individual spreadsheet cells with text for that custom field via a flat file product upload). I also wanted to definitely get away from maintaining this information on multiple unique alternate (vendor-centric) product pages as I did when I used the Sebenza custom product pages.

                      LeslieKirk suggested the following:
                      I'm assuming that the content is going to be a bit different dependent upon the product or category. I would suggest you do two things, create your custom fields for each vendor and then add the vendor content as ReadyTheme Content Sections. You will still need to assign the content to be used via the custom field but this can be done using a flat file import. By using the ReadyTheme Content Sections, if tweaks need to be made to the content, the store owner doesn't have to go digging through code to make the tweak. Plus it's in one location instead of potentially thousands.
                      I sure thought I was trying to go where that quote suggested. I really misread the intent? Or it really isn't possible?
                      Katie Sorensen
                      Design Quest Furniture

                      http://www.designquest.biz

                      Comment


                      • OK, I was writing response to Bruce's replay and now see that it is impossible for me to implement this. My miva coding skills are definitely not up to "tricky code". I guess my only other option is to maintain that info with the alternate pages idea (a la Sebenza product pages, which I didn't want to replicate maintaining) or large data for the custom field at the product level.

                        I do appreciate your input. Just knowing what my options are points me to a solution, whether I like it or not :)

                        Thanks much to all of you.
                        Katie Sorensen
                        Design Quest Furniture

                        http://www.designquest.biz

                        Comment


                        • And, just to offer input to anyone searching for similar solution, I think I will maintain my more complicated, larger vendors, through alternate pages and some of the simple small vendors through custom fields. Hopefully this will, overall, be easier to maintain.
                          Katie Sorensen
                          Design Quest Furniture

                          http://www.designquest.biz

                          Comment

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