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Anyone using Advanced Category Filters?

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  • Anyone using Advanced Category Filters?

    This feature has been around for a while (always visible in my category templates as a reminder of it's existence) but I don't believe I've seen any sites actually using it.

    To be clear, I'm talking about "Advanced Category Filters" (here Ecommerce Category Filters | 3dcart App Store) NOT "Advanced Ecommerce Search" (here Advanced Ecommerce Search | 3dcart App Store)

    Is anyone is using this feature and willing to share a link to their site so we can see it in action? Also, do you have any feedback or comments about it's usefulness and performance? I did find an old thread from someone who felt it was too limiting (max 4 filters) and unstable, but I'd like to hear if anyone has had success with it.

    thanks, mimib
    The Watch Prince
    Last edited by 3dcart-Henry; 07-10-2018, 03:09 PM.

  • #2
    I'm curious as well - I've been looking at implementing some type of attribute filtering for a long time now. The category filter is definitely affordable, but I'd like to see how other users like it before I buy it.
    Chris
    TC Life Safety
    TC Wireless

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    • #3
      Last time I checked - a long time ago - you were limited to five filters per category, which is silly. I have >100 product attributes, and would like to display 5-15 for some categories.

      Also, it worked by taking advantage of subsubcategories, which is awkward but not terrible.

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      • #4
        Yes, it definitely seems very awkward to set up (and maintain) -- that is why we were hoping that someone might be able to share their experience with it. I'm beginning to think that nobody is using it -- I couldn't find any examples of it in use in either the client galleries or the demo sites.

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        • #5
          We use it on one of our sites here: Microfiber Towels & Cloths - MicrofiberTech.com

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          • #6
            Thanks! That's great to hear. What do you think about them? Are they easy to implement and maintain?

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            • #7
              It is a little tricky to implement, but once you get it it is easy.

              Make sure you clear cache after each change to test it (as always).

              I haven't had any problems with stability or maintenance.

              The only real problem is that you have to choose one of the three implementations available (menu, links, or drop down)..... If you want to use different ones for different categories you have to pay again.

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              • #8
                Well, that's a weird limitation! The description in the app store doesn't mention that you have to choose just one and stick with it ("You can choose have the filters display in 3 different ways on the category pages..." not "...in 1 of 3 different ways...")

                Thank you for your assessment. That was very helpful.

                Anybody else have any input or examples?

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                • #9
                  Just knowing how 3DCart operates, I would be willing to bet that you can change the filter style provided you are comfortable messing with the HTML on your template files. The charge is probably if they have to install it for you.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cbsteven View Post
                    Just knowing how 3DCart operates, I would be willing to bet that you can change the filter style provided you are comfortable messing with the HTML on your template files. The charge is probably if they have to install it for you.
                    I was told that it is 3 different sets of code and you only get one. If you want to mess with another you have to pay again.

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                    • #11
                      Just chatted with Clayton in Sales and verified that you only get one style of filter per $199 install. He said there is some style-sheet info you can play with to change the looks, but otherwise the code is not accessible. (however, I have learned, there often IS a way if you did deep enough)

                      He also gave me a few links to some live sites using it. As they are live sites and I'm not sure how the owners would feel about me sharing their links on this forum, I would just suggest that if you want to see sample sites just contact Sales. (Maybe if enough users ask, they'll get busy and beef up their promotional page on the app store. Seems to me like they're missing a real opportunity by not promoting and explaining the product better.)

                      Thanks again everyone for your input. I'll update if we decide to give it a try.

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                      • #12
                        We've previously used it, and yes it is quite limited. If you use it for what it is intended for, it does work fine.

                        - You have up to only 4 filters (which for us was a deal breaker)
                        - As mentioned in previous posts, you have to choose where you want the filters.

                        When we set it up - it DOES work well. Just wasn't what we needed.

                        We are planning on setting up searchspring within the next 2-3 weeks, which will negate the advanced filters.

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                        • #13
                          Advanced Category Filters

                          We have the "Advanced Category Filters" set up on our site

                          Machine Screws

                          You might notice we have more than 4 filters. 3dcart set us up for 10 filters for an additional programming charge of $500

                          Having this option available was the main reason for signing up with 3dcart. We have 35000+ items in the store and it was crucial to be able to filter the items.

                          Planning is key to this implementation. We built the entire site with CSV uploads. We had our programmer manipulate all of our data so we could add all the items to multiple categories used for filtering at the same time. Once the logic was all figured out it was pretty easy.

                          If you notice we are not using one of the 3 standard looks they offer. Well actually we are but we are using CSS to style it into the scrolling boxes you see. We are using the "Default" links setup. I modified the template to put everything into an Unnumbered list "<UL>" instead of the way they had it. Then applied the CSS to style it into the scroll boxes.

                          We actually use 2 different templates. The one above has horizontal scrolling and is used for categories that have more then 4 or 5 filters. Here is one that doesn't use the horizontal scroll:
                          Cap, Hex

                          When I was signing up they they kept telling me it all had to be set up manually. Which is sort of true....any category that you want the filters to show up in has to be set up manually. This means you have to go edit every category and choose what filters show up. Really not a big deal.

                          But you can use CSV upload to assign all your items to the Filter categories. This saves a huge amount of time over going into every item and manually assigning it to the filter categories.

                          Using the CSV upload on an exiting site could cause problems, because you might end up with new categories. Which would be bad if you already have decent google rankings for those category pages.

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                          • #14
                            I use Search Spring on my site, and quite frankly is sucks horribly for SEO.

                            Thanks for the info, jbanks6424 - good to know that's an option, and it looks slightly better for SEO.

                            I see that drilling down doesn't change the URL... that's not a good thing. It looks like the category filter is stored in a cookie (catFilter) and you don't get a bunch of URL-addressable pages.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by msjgriffiths View Post
                              I use Search Spring on my site, and quite frankly is sucks horribly for SEO.
                              Can you give some examples of why that is? I have been thinking about trying SearchSpring

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