The extension’s configuration page can be accessed in the admin panel by visiting System->Configuration, and then clicking ‘Visual Merchandiser’ from the left column (this is positioned in the ‘CATALOG’ section) as shown below:

 

The configuration options are as follows:

List Attribute Codes

This value controls which product attributes are shown for each product in the merchandiser window.

Enter a comma delimited list of attribute codes into this field. You can find the attribute codes from Catalog>Attributes->Manage Attributes.

By default, the ‘color’, ‘name’, and ‘price’ attribute are included, but most attributes can be added. This feature enables you to display useful product information that then enables you to make better merchandising decisions.

Column Count

This value controls how many columns of products per row are displayed in the Merchandiser window’s product grid by default when it is opened.

The default is '4'. However, if the category pages on your site's front-end has a different number of products per row, then you might want to change this so that VM's drag-and-drop window better reflects the front-end.

Show extra images

When this is set to ‘Yes’, any additional images uploaded for a product are also displayed in the Merchandiser window
as thumbnails.

Hovering the mouse over each thumbnail causes the main image to update, so that you can see it more clearly.

This feature is useful in ensuring that your best merchandised products (in terms of content richness) are available.

Show creation date

When this is set to ‘Yes’, the product’s creation date is displayed in the grid. This is useful for merchandising newest products to the top of the category, for example.

 

Max extra images thumbnail

With ‘Show extra images’ set to ‘Yes’, the ‘Max extra images thumbnails’ controls how many extra images are displayed for each product. The default value is ‘4’.

 

Ajax page load threshold

The VM drag-and-drop window handles categories that contain many products. As you scroll towards the bottom of the window, new products are automatically loaded and displayed - this is what we call 'Ajax page load'.

Only the products that you need are loaded as you scroll down, and this help performance when dealing with large categories.

The 'Ajax page load threshold' setting is a numeric value (defaulting to '10'). If a category contains products than the value defined, then Ajax page load will be used for the category.

For example, if you change this setting to '50' and a category contained 75 products, then Ajax page load would be used. Additional products will be loaded as you scroll down the page in the VM drag-and-drop window. However, in this example, if a category contained 45 products, then the entire category's products would load into the window.

Please note, if you leave the field empty then Ajax page load is disabled, and so the entire category loads each time. However, on a large category this will slow down VM and may even cause categories not to load at all. You are therefore advised to use this setting.

 

Hide not-visible products

When this is set to ‘Yes’ any product which has its ‘Visibility’ field set to ‘Search’ or ‘Not Visible Individually’ will be hidden in the drag-and-drop window. In this scenario, the products remain assigned to the category, but clicking ‘Save positions’ assigns them a sort position at the end of the category.

There are valid reasons for not-visible products to be assigned to category (for promotional rules, for example). Therefore, this feature is useful because the products that will not be shown at the front-end of the site do not then actually get in the way of your drag-and-drop actions.

 

Hide disabled products

When this is set to ‘Yes’ any product which has its ‘Status’ field set to ‘Disabled’ will be hidden in the drag-and-drop window. In this scenario, the products remain assigned to the category, but clicking ‘Save positions’ assigns them a sort position at the end of the category.

 

Treat out of stock as <=0 quantity as not-visible

When this is set to 'Yes' and when 'Hide not-visible products' is set to 'Yes', then this will treat products with zero (or less) quantity as not-visible. This helps scenarios where configurable/grouped products are 'In Stock', but not available due to their associated simples being out of stock.

 

Hide category position input fields

Without VM, the only way of changing a product's position in a category was using the 'Position' column when editing a category, for example:

If you want to prevent admin users from using this column, then setting the 'Hide category position input fields' to 'Yes', will cause the text input fields to be hidden, for example:

Rebuild on product save

VM allows 'smart category rules' to be defined for individual categories which control the automatic population of those categories with products that match user defined criteria.

These rules are mostly product attribute based. Therefore, when 'Rebuild on product save' is set to 'Yes' (which is the recommended setting), then updates to products will cause affected categories to be recalculated so that products become assigned/removed from categories based upon their updated values.

The actual rebuild process occurs by a scheduled cron task (see below).


Rebuild on category save

Like the previous option, it is recommended to have 'Rebuild on category save' set to 'Yes'. This controls whether categories are re-built as a result of making changes to categories in the admin panel.

 

Rebuild on Cron

This is the 'master switch' for automatic rebuilding of categories which have 'smart category rules' configured for them. If this is set to 'Yes', then any categories queued for re-building will be processed as per the schedule in the 'Cron schedule' field (see below).


Disable Reindex On Category Save

If this is set to 'Yes', then saving a category does not trigger a re-index of that category. This means that only manual or scheduled re-indexing will update the category.

This setting is useful to enable if you have categories with large numbers of products in them as it can improve performance.

 

Cron schedule

This is schedule by which the automatic category rebuilding occurs. The default value is '0 */2 * * *', which represents running every two hours, at midnight, 02:00, 04:00, 06:00, 08:00, etc.

Some examples of Cron scheduling can be found here.

There is also a button which enables you to process the queue of category rebuilds immediately outside of the scheduled process.

 

New product handling

When a category has 'smart category rules' configured for it, then products are dynamically added and removed from it based upon the criteria set up. In the scenario where a rule detects a new product to be included, then the 'New product handling' setting controls whether that new product is added to the top of the category, or the bottom.

 

This page relates to version 2.2.12.