I've watched many guides, and read many articles but yet to find something really solid on the direction I'm after. This is my first Magento build (for a family friend). The theme is mostly set up - done via an independent designer and separate PSD to Magento coding company. Now I 320 products. These 320 are divided in about 10 main categories and about 3 of these categories have a further 5 sub-categories each. I currently have 1 category per excel sheet. Each category has upto 50 attributes however often roughly 40% of the attributes can be missing for a product (either not applicable or information unavailable). I also have up to 5 images per product in a standardised naming convention.
My first and biggest question is, what is the steps and process to effectively set up the attributes, attributes sets and 320 products into Magento? Open to buying extensions if required
Second question; is the sub-categories imported as attributes?
Final question; for the products that have attributes not applicable should I really have a separate attribute set OR is there a method to hide the empty attribute from the product spec table?
Thank you kindly in advance
Actually in Magento catalog building goes through definite workflow. First you have to sit and check what products are are selling and what peculiarities each group of products has got.
For example, imagine you are selling cosmetics. Each and every product detail in Magento is represented in the form of attribute. Of course, you can add all the product peculiarities in item description, but in case you have goods in let's different colors to be selected, it is wise to create Color as separate attribute.
Now, you have a look at products you are going to sell: lipsticks, perfumes and shampoos. Lipsticks are different in colors, so you need to create color attribute. For perfumes it is important to fluid ounce (color is not important). Shampoos you sell differ in purpose of usage - for dry hair, for colored hear, so for them you need another specific attribute that will not be used for other product types.
So, taking into account that I need diverse set of attributes, you can create 3 different attribute sets for these 3 product groups with specific attributes added to necessary attribute set. In Magento there is no way to export/import attribute sets with attributes, you need to create them manually.
After that you can move to products creation. Since for each product you add first things you indicate are - type and attribute set, these details define what input fields you will have in edit product form.
Creating products you can also bulk assign attribute values to products via import. You need to have column in your file named as attribute and attribute values for products indicated. Also attributes can be of different types, so import file format for different attributes may be different.
This seems confusing from the first sight, but creating a few items you will understand the logics. Here is also video for basic understanding of attributes and sets in Magento - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU67q9m1iOE
Second question is a bit vague - do you want to import products into subcategories?
Third question is related to the first one - it is advisable to create specific attribute sets with attributes peculiar to different groups of goods that you have. Also attributes visibility at the front-end depends upon the following factors:
- catalog input type of an attribute,
- whether attribute values are required or not,
- if you have set-up attribute to be shown at front-end or not (these are all attribute settings).