Create categories

The category structure of your catalog is like an upside-down tree, with the root at the top. Each section of the tree can be expanded and collapsed. Any disabled or hidden categories are grayed out. The categories at the first level (below the root) typically appear as options in the main menu. You can create as many additional subcategories as needed, according to the maximum menu depth that is set in the configuration. Categories can be dragged and dropped to other locations in the tree. The category ID number appears in parentheses after the category name at the top of the page.

For a website with multiple stores, you can create a different root category for each store that defines the set of categories that is used for the top navigation.

Category tree {width="700" modal="regular"}

Best practices

Use these best practices when you plan and create categories.

Category structure

The structure of the categories in the main menu can impact customer experience and performance. As a best practice, you should identify one over-arching top-level category, and avoid having other categories with the same name. For example, rather than having multiple categories for “Kids” organized under different departments, such as Clothing/Kids, Shoes/Kids, Accessories/Kids. It can be more efficient to make the top-level parent category Kids, and then create subcategories as needed below. Be consistent with the category structure, and use the same approach for all product types in your catalog.

Business rules and automation

Consider the category structure and available attribute values when using business logic to show similar items on a catalog page, or to set up a personalized promotion, automated process, or search criteria. For example, if you specify “polo” as a parent category, the results might include mixed gender and age-inappropriate products. However, if you match a specific subcategory of polo shirts, the results are more narrow and likely to appeal to a specific customer. The results can be even more specific when combined with other attribute values that target a specific customer. Consider the number of products that must be filtered through and retrieved when referencing a specific category path. The difference in results can be dramatic. Consider the different results returned by the following category paths:

  • [Category: All Products/Shirts/Father's Day/Polos/Sale]
  • [Category Path: Men/Shirts/Polos]
  • [Child Category: Polos]

It is important to clearly define categorical relationships, such as:

  • parent category
  • sub category
  • category path

Also define any associated keywords and attributes, such as:

  • availability
  • sale price
  • brand
  • size
  • color

Step 1: Create a category

  1. On the Admin sidebar, go to Catalog > Categories.

  2. Set Store View to determine where the new category is to be available.

  3. In the category tree, select the parent category of the new category.

    The parent is one level above the new category.

    If you’re starting from the beginning without any data, there might be only two categories in the list: Default Category, which is the root, and an Example category

  4. Click Add Subcategory.

Step 2: Complete the basic information

  1. If you want the category to be immediately available in the store, set Enable Category to Yes.

  2. To include the category in the top navigation, set Include in Menu to Yes.

  3. Enter the Category Name.

    Basic category information {width="500" modal="regular"}

  4. click Save and continue.

Step 3: Complete the category content

  1. Expand Expansion selector the Content section.

    Category content {width="600" modal="regular"}

  2. To display a Category Image at the top of the page, you can either upload your own image or use an image that exists in the Media Storage.

    • To upload your own image, click Upload and choose the image that you want to represent the category.

    • To use images from the Media Storage, click Select from Gallery and select the image you want to represent the category.

    note note
    Inside the Media Gallery, you can also use the Adobe Stock Integration to find an appropriate image by clicking Search Adobe Stock.
  3. For Description, enter the text or other content that you want to appear on the category landing page.

    For more information, see Category Content.

  4. To include a content block on the category landing page, choose the CMS Block that you want to appear.

  5. click Save and continue.

Step 4: Complete the display settings

  1. Expand Expansion selector the Display Setting section.

    Display settings {width="600" modal="regular"}

    For more information about these options, see For more information about these options, see Display settings.

  2. Set Display Mode to one of the following:

    • Products Only
    • Static Block Only
    • Static Block and Products
  3. If you want the category page to include the Filter by Attribute section of layered navigation, set Anchor to Yes.

  4. For the Available Product Listing Sort By options, select one or more of the available values to be available for customers to sort the list.

    By default, all available values are included. Deselect the Use All checkbox to change the selections. For example, the values might include:

    • Position
    • Product Name
    • Price
  5. To set the default sort order for the category, choose the Default Product Listing Sort By value.

  6. To change the default layered navigation price step setting, do the following:

    • Deselect the Use Config Settings checkbox.

    • Enter the value to be used as an incremental price step for layered navigation.

  7. Click Save and continue.

Step 5: Complete the search engine optimization settings

  1. Expand Expansion selector the Search Engine Optimization Settings section.

    Search engine optimization {width="600" modal="regular"}

    For more information about these options, see Search engine optimization.

  2. Complete the following meta data for the category:

    • Meta Title
    • Meta Keywords
    • Meta Description
  3. Click Save and continue.

Step 6: Choose the products in category

  1. Expand Expansion selector the Products in Category section.

    Products in category {width="600" modal="regular"}

    For more information about these options, see Products in category.

  2. If needed, use the filters to find the products.

    To display all records that are not yet included in the category, set the record chooser in the first column to No and click Search.

  3. In the first column, select the checkbox for each product to include in the category.

  4. Click Save and continue.

Step 7: Set the category permissions

Adobe Commerce feature {width="20"} Exclusive feature only in Adobe Commerce (Learn more)
  1. Expand Expansion selector the Category Permissions section.

  2. For a multi-site installation, choose the Website where the category permissions apply.

  3. Choose the Customer Group where the category permissions apply.

    B2B for Adobe Commerce (B2B for Adobe Commerce only) If needed, you can choose a Shared Catalog instead.

  4. Set the following permissions as needed:

    • Browsing Category
    • Display Product Prices
    • Add to Cart
  5. To add another permission rule, click New Permission and repeat the process.

    Category permissions {width="600" modal="regular"}

Step 8: Complete the design settings

  1. Expand Expansion selector the Design section.

  2. Set the design settings as needed:

    • (B2B for Adobe Commerce only) To apply the parent category design settings to this category, set Use Parent Category Settings to Yes.

    • To change the design of the category pages, choose the Theme that you want to apply.

    • To change the column layout of the category pages, choose the Layout that you want to apply.

    • To enter custom code, enter valid XML code in the Layout Update XML box.

    • To use the same design for product pages, set Apply Design to Products to Yes.

    Design settings {width="600" modal="regular"}

  3. Magento Open Source (Magento Open Source only) To schedule the design update for a specific time period, do the following:

    • Expand the Schedule Design Update section.

    • Use the calendar ( Calendar icon ) to choose the Schedule Update from and to dates.

    Scheduled design update {width="600" modal="regular"}

  4. When complete, click Save.