Hidden products and categories

In Ecwid you can create a hidden product or category. This is a product or category which doesn't appear in the usual list, but can be opened/purchased using a special direct link.

You can use hidden categories for discounts and wholesale products - usual customers will not see these products, but the customers with a direct link or access to a password-protected page, will be able to purchase them.

Creating a hidden product

To create a hidden product: 

  1. Create a new root category, call it "Special products", for example.
  2. Disable it.
  3. Move your product to this disabled category. You can do it using the Catalog → Categories → Category Products tab or Categories section in the product details. Make sure that this product is enabled.
  4. That's all, now this product is hidden. You cannot open it by browsing categories in your store, but you can still open it using a direct link (how to get such a link).
  5. You can also preview it from your Ecwid Control Panel by clicking the Open in Storefront link on the product details page, screenshot:

Preview_Product_Ecwid

Creating a hidden category

The same instruction will work for categories too. In this case you need to make your enabled category a child of a disabled category.

  1. Create a new root category, call it "Strawberries", for example.
  2. Disable it.
  3. Create a new subcategory within this disabled category by clicking the +Add Subcategory button. Make sure the subcategory is enabled.
  4. Now this subcategory is hidden. You cannot open it by browsing categories in your store, but you can still open it using a direct link (how to get such a link).
  5. You can also preview it from your Ecwid Control Panel by clicking the Preview category link on the category details page, screenshot:

Ecwid_Hidden_Category_Preview

Note. Such hidden products will still appear in the search results provided by the Ecwid search widgets. You may want to hide the search options in your store.

If you make a hidden category, then the disabled parent category will still appear in the breadcrumbs. If a customer clicks it, he/she will be redirected to the home store page. So if you don't like this behavior, you may want to hide the breadcrumbs.

You can use this option to open a hidden enabled category on a particular page: Default category for product browser

Different categories for different sites

If you have many sites, you may want to show different Ecwid categories on different sites. For example, if you sell laptops, you may want to show the "Apple" category on the site about Apple, Dell laptops on your site about Dell and so on. At the same time you want to manage all sales and products in one place and use one Ecwid account.

How to do this:

  1. Create a disabled root category. So, the only root category in your store will be a disabled one.
  2. Create enabled categories in the disabled one. One enabled category per each site. Let's call them "site categories".
  3. Move your products to the corresponding site categories.
  4. Hide your breadcrumbs. You need to hide them, because the link to the disabled category in the breadcrumbs will point to the root store page, which will not have any enabled categories in your case.
  5. Then use this option to open a particular site category on each site: Default category for product browser

This workaround for creating multiple storefronts with different products has some drawbacks you should keep in mind:

  • The categories menu widgets (horizontal categories and vertical categories) will display no category since the only root category is disabled.
  • The search widget in Ecwid always searches all store products — you cannot restrict it to specific category. So, to prevent appearing one category products in another category's "storefront" you will have to disable Ecwid search box on your site.
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