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. You can also use hidden categories to show different categories on different sites while managing them all from one place. 

Creating a hidden product

To create a hidden product: 

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Create a new root category, call it "Special products", for example.
  3. Disable this category.
  4. 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.

That's all, now this product is hidden. You cannot open it by browsing categories in your store, but you can still open a hidden product using its direct link (how to get such a link).

You can also preview a hidden product from your Ecwid admin by clicking the Open in Storefront link on the product details page:

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.

To create a hidden category: 

  1. From your Ecwid admin, go to Catalog → Categories.
  2. Create a new root category, call it "Berries", for example.
  3. Disable this category.
  4. Create a new subcategory within this disabled category by clicking the +Add Subcategory button. Make sure the subcategory is enabled.

Now this child category is hidden. You cannot open it by browsing categories in your store, but you can still open the hidden category using a direct link (how to get such a link).

You can also preview the hidden category from your Ecwid admin 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 or eliminate such products from search results in your store via custom attributes.

If you make a hidden category, then the disabled parent category will still appear in the breadcrumbs. By clicking it, your customer will be redirected to the home store page. If you don't want this behavior, you can hide the breadcrumbs.

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

 Adding different categories to different websites

You can show different Ecwid categories on different sites while managing them all from one place. For example, if you sell laptops, you can show the "Apple" category on the site about Apple, Dell laptops on your site about Dell and so on. To achieve it, you can hide categories on the site where you've added your Ecwid store and show each category on a separate site.

To add different categories to different sites:

  1. Create a disabled root category. So, the only root category in your store will be a disabled one.
  2. Create enabled categories in your disabled category. 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 widget 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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