Hidden products and categories

In addition to products and categories that are visible to all customers in your Ecwid store, you can create hidden products and categories. They won’t appear in the product catalog, but customers with a direct link will be able to see them.

Hidden products and categories are a great option if you have items that you want to be accessed only by specific customers. For example, you can use them for exclusive discounts or for B2B sales. Once you share a link, customers can follow it to view products and make a purchase.

Restrict access to your hidden store pages with the EasyLockdown app.

Creating hidden products

You can turn any product in your Ecwid store into a hidden product by assigning it to a disabled category.

The disabled category must be the only category that your hidden product is assigned to. Otherwise, this product will remain accessible to the general public.

Make sure your hidden product is enabled. Otherwise, even the customers with a direct link won’t see it.

To create a hidden product:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Click + Add Root Category to create a new category (e.g., "Special products").
  3. Disable this category:

    hidden_products_and_categories__2_.png

  4. Go to the Category Products tab and click:
    Assign Products to Category if you want to hide a product that already exists in your store
    or
    Create New Product to create a new hidden product
  5. For existing products: remove the product from all the other categories that it is assigned to, including Store front page. You can do it on the product’s page in Catalog → Products.

That's it! The product that you’ve assigned to the disabled category is now hidden. Customers won’t see it while browsing the store, but they can still open a hidden product via direct link.

You can use Ecwid’s Bulk Product Editor to assign products to a disabled category in bulk.

Note that hidden products will continue appearing in the search results in your store. To avoid this, you can hide the search options in your store or eliminate such products from search results with the help of custom attributes or CSS codes.

Getting links to hidden products

After you create a hidden product in your store, you can copy a direct link to its page in your storefront. For example, to send such a link to a customer.

To get a link to a hidden product:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Products.
  2. Find your hidden product and open it.
  3. Click Open in storefront to see the page of this product in your store:

    hidden_products_and_categories__1_.png

    Clicking this link won’t open the hidden product page to the public, it’s just a way for you to quickly access the product page in the storefront.
  4. Copy the URL from the address bar of your browser.

Creating hidden categories

You can turn any category in your Ecwid store into a hidden category by making it a child to a disabled category. One disabled category can be a parent to several hidden categories.

To create a hidden category:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Click + Add Root Category to create a new category (e.g., “Special products”).
  3. Disable this category:

    hidden_products_and_categories__2_.png

  4. ◄ Click +Add Subcategory to create a new hidden category
    or
    ◄ Drag and drop the existing category that you want to make hidden into your root disabled category (this way, it you’ll turn it into a subcategory):

    hidden_products_and_categories__1_.gif

  5. Make sure the subcategory is enabled.

That’s it! Now you have a hidden category in your store. Customers won’t see it while browsing the store, but they can still open this category via direct link.

Note that products that are assigned to the hidden subcategory will continue appearing in the search results in your store. You can hide the search options in your store or eliminate such products from search results with the help of custom attributes or CSS codes. These products will also continue being visible in the other categories in your store (if they are assigned to them). You can always remove products from all the other categories to prevent this behavior.

After you create a hidden category, the disabled parent category will be seen in breadcrumbs. If your customers click it, they will be redirected to the store front page. To avoid this, you can hide the breadcrumbs (in DesignStorefront navigation & colors Breadcrumbs Do not show).

Learn how to use hidden categories while adding a specific category to a webpage →

Getting links to hidden categories

If you are using hidden categories in your store, you may want to get links to their pages in your storefront. For example, to check how they look or to send a link to a customer.

To get a link to a hidden category, you’ll need to make it visible for a while:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Click on the disabled parent category that your hidden category belongs to.
  3. Enable the parent category.
  4. Go to your Ecwid storefront. You can always access your storefront by clicking the View [your store name] link in the top right corner of the admin:

    hidden_products_and_categories__4_.png

  5. In your Ecwid storefront, navigate to the product category that you want to get a link to.
  6. Copy the URL from the address bar of your browser.
  7. Go back to Catalog → Categories and disable the parent category again.

Alternatively, you can form a link for a hidden category by using the URL of your store page and an internal ID of that category.

To form a hidden category URL:

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. In the category tree on the left, click on the name of your hidden category to open its editing page.
  3. Copy the ID of the category that you’ll see in your browser address bar:

    hidden_products_and_categories__3_.png

  4. Add the category ID to your store URL in this format: www.example.com/-cID.

In our example, the URL of your hidden category will look like this:
https://www.example.com/-c122718012.

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