The Next Feature: Customizable Fields

Well, it is 2013, and time to actually start thinking about adding an enhancement to CataBlog. The obvious new feature that most people want is to customize the fields for the catalog. Customizable fields will allow someone to make an author field, a shipping cost field, media field, print type, f-stop, and on and on.

Well, what do you think? Is this the best way for me to enhance CataBlog? Let me know in the comments below and have a nice day :)

About Zach

Computer programmer and designer, the sole employee, proprietor and engineer for illProductions.com. Decided to write "CataBlog" based on some customer's needs for musician catalogs, what you get now is the evolution from that original plugin.
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39 Responses to The Next Feature: Customizable Fields

  1. DAR says:

    Thank you very much, is a great plugin ­čśÇ

  2. howie d says:

    Sounds like a good idea, I have been tinkering quite a bit with the css. Is there a way to get rid of the title requirement? I have just had some issues with size and style not matching site, and now the main issue is that the title seems offset from the image because I think there is white space above the image or something. Or is there a way to adjust the title category to show further down or something?
    The page I am working on is http://consignmentstars.com/consignment/

    • Zach says:

      Hey Howie,

      I looked at your page, have you tried turning off “Keep Aspect Ratio” in the CataBlog thumbnail options? You could also set the thumbnail height and width to be exactly half the size of your uploaded image? That should fix your alignment issues, good luck.

  3. Hi Zack!

    Let me answer your question first. Yes that would be a great feature. We use both Cart66 and Catablog. Catablog to present the products and Cart66 to manage the eCommerce. Cart66 has that option in it, I am sure others that use your product alone would appreciate it. They also have a “+” and “-” option. For example if XXL shirts cost $2.00 more if you add +2.00 to the line after the variation it will add $2.00 to the price on checkout.

    Support question

    Sorry to ask it here, but I searched can not find the answer or a place to ask it. I have recommended Catablog to a friend. I even offered to set his site up for him to get him started. He has helped me in the past, so I guess this is “paying backwards.”

    I am modeling his site after ours, when I go to set up Catablog in the systems tab I can set everything without a problem. Except thumbnail width. The “Save Changes” button grays out as soon as I change the thumbnail width to another number (we are changing from 100 to 180.

    Debug, turned off all other plugins, went to the standard wp theme no help. Further data, also when I do try to change thumbnail size to 180 (or any other size) the button gray’s out. It stays grayed out even when I change it back to 100. Then when looking at all the other tabs in the options menu the “Save Changes” button is grayed out on all the pages.

    If I set all pages except the thumbnail size first I can save those changes. Now I am at the point where I need to change the thumbnail size. I can not do it.

    Further data. The template site I am using, a production site working very well thank you. Is running 1.6.3 catablog and 3.4.1 WP. The new site that has the problem is running 1.6.3 catablog and since it is a new site 3.5 WP.

    Could this be a issue with Catablog and 3.5?

    I have a number of test sites I can use if you need further information. I am wondering if I update a existing site to 3.5 that has thumbnails set to 150 (I would not do it on the production site) if the upgrade works fine. One reason this may not have shown up yet for others.

    Let me know what I can do to help, thank you for yours.

    • Zach says:

      Steve,

      Good to hear from you again. Let me say I like your ideas, I’m not sure if the customizable fields will include widgets like Cart66 in the beginning, but great ideas nonetheless. Thanks.

      As far as your support question goes, I am running WordPress 3.5 right now with CataBlog, and I am able to change the thumbnail size. So I feel like it is something else. Perhaps this will help: Use the remove command in the CataBlog options to delete all your CataBlog data. Be careful it will erase your entire library too. Then reload the library a few times before trying to set your options.

      Good luck and let us know if you figure it out. :)

      • I will give that a try, though it was a new website.

        I have told the Cart66 guys several times to connect with you and pay you for your upload/download feature. They have no way to do that.

        We are working on a new site with over 1000 products, the ability to use a spreadsheet option like you have would be a dream.

        • Zach says:

          Ha, really, they never got in touch with me. Funny enough CSV parsing is rather trivial and PHP has lots of built in functions to help with it. Oh well :(

        • Manuel says:

          Hello Steve, sorry for the delay. I can confirm with Zach. I have installed CataBlog in a few websites running WordPress 3.5.1 and without any problems :)

          Kind regards

  4. Deby says:

    Yes, I’d love to be able to add a shipping cost please.
    Just about to start work on setting up a store today, and noticed this was one thing I was missing.
    I hope its going to be easy to set up !
    Thanks for the great plugin – makes adding a gallery of clickable images so nice and easy.
    Deby
    so-sew-easy.com

  5. Deby says:

    Adding on to the above.
    Now that I am working on the shop in more detail, it would be great to have TWO shipping costs associated with each item for sale. The only item shipping cost, and the subsequent item cost for when adding the item to the cart on top of other items already there. At the moment the best I can do is to add the same shipping cost for each item, making shipping costs far too high when several items are added to the cart.

    And it there could be a link to an autodownload for purchased media – so that I could sell PDF’s and have a link provided on check out to download. Is that even possible or am I going too far off base here. I can see the potential for Catablog to go to the stars and beyond!
    Thanks

    • Zach says:

      Deby,

      Thanks for your interest in CataBlog and your ideas. Currently the customized fields feature will only let you add/remove fields. It will not include any front-end widgets or autodownload links, but these fields will make it easier for you to store and access that extra data if you need; such as a second shipping rate or a second url for downloads. It will ultimatly be up to you how you use and implement that data on your front-end.

    • Manuel says:

      Hello Deby if you are still interested I have a tutorial in regards to the shopping cart question.

      http://mbrsolution.com/tutorial/catablog-shopping-cart-tutorial-part-5.php

      This might put you on the right track. If you need more help or have more questions please let me know and I will do my best to assist you.

      Kind regards

  6. Custom fields would be a great addition to the plugin. Hopefully it will not take long until we can update the current version and enjoy such a nice feature. :)

  7. Hi there! Just getting everything set up with catablog to archive portions of my entire blog and loving it so far! I’m so glad you have such a comprehensive support page. That said, while these customizations you’re talking about sound great, my absolute biggest (and most basic) request would be to add the ability to categorize new catablog items right when we add them. I can title the item, add a description, add a link, etc., but I have to go back to the library and edit each one individually in order to add the category!

    Also, it would be fantastic to be able to add our photo from our existing media library. For example, I have posts over 2 years old that have the photos stored in WordPress, but they’re no longer on my computer. So I have to download the photo from my blog in order to upload it again to catablog. So if there was some way to just add already existing photos to new items, that would be fantastic as well!

    **Maybe these two functions already exist and I’m just not seeing them?

    Either way, LOVE this plugin so far! Thank you so much!!

    • Zach says:

      Hi Katie,

      So, while there is no way to set the category as you upload catalog item, you can use the “bulk actions” in the upper left corner of the library view to change multiple catalog items at once. I know this may not be exactly what you are looking for, but it might save you some time.

      As far as the download and then re-uploading of your older image, for now you will just have to keep doing it this way. You might be able to connect using FTP or something like that and download all the original uploads from your site. It will definitely be quicker than using the WordPress interface to download images one at a time.

      Good luck and thanks for the compliments about the plugin :)

  8. at6pm says:

    Custom fields would be GREAT.

  9. Doc says:

    Hi there,

    great plugin indeed :)

    In the future release, would it be possible to add a third image, and sort of a slider to present images on the single page ?

    Thanks for your work

  10. Jovian says:

    Hello.
    I’ve installed CataBlog on my website just to try it and maybe to use in future.
    Then I’ve uninstalled it, but one thing is still present – CataBlog custom fields are shown in posts custum fields area.
    How can I remove them?

  11. Michele says:

    Hi I just installed the plug in catablog, and is perfect for my use I would like to ask you two doamande:
    1 is possible to give read-only permissions to the subscribers of the catalog or other group?
    2, you can create a report to print or convert to PDF and then print it?
    thanks

  12. Master K says:

    I use Catablog to manage a website for a local Rug retailer. No E-commerce just displaying their inventory. It is perfect for that job. Many rugs go in multiple categories and Galleries.

    The function you employ to bulk edit categories is great but bulk adding to multiple Galleries is a slow one-at-a-time affair. It would be great if you could make the bulk adding to Galleries work like the bulk categories.

    Thanks!

  13. Peter says:

    I’ve been playing with this plugin all week. I think it’s awesome plugin…but yes one of two customizable fields would be nice. I’ve overcome this limitation for now by using the Order field as my product code, and then using the Product Code field as a custom field.
    Thank You for all your hard work.

  14. Giz says:

    Fields sound like a great idea.. Some ideas

    – Add being able to select pre-defined field data (eg, in the field data selection, instead of typing 4GB for RAM, it’s a selectable option)
    – Add being able to sort by said selectable field data (eg, pre-defined field data is clickable and will sort out a list of items with that feature)
    – Add widget with drop down field sort selection and make the pre-defined fields editable as to where they are on the menu list (eg by alphabetical as opposed to date added)

    – Also, with Catablog category widget would be great to see this function as well… As I add new categories, the fields/categories are all mixed up because they’re going by date added as opposed to alphabetical or being able to sort the order manually

    – Add ability to have showcased thumbnail lead to the post/page of the item instead of the image of the item.

    – Add ability to use built-in WP photo uploader. I use a plugin that goes through WP photo uploader that auto-adds a watermark.

    As it is, I’ll just be using WP’s standard menu and category functionality. Your plugin shows promise, but needs the features above for it to be of use to me.

    Don’t get me wrong, thanks for all your hard work, I’m sure for many, this plugin works out great for them… But without the above mentioned functionality, it just won’t work out for what I need…

  15. Matt says:

    Don’t have much to say.. But just like facebook.. these articles should have a like, because that’s a great/key feature!

  16. Steve says:

    It would be awesome if another field were created that was then used as the “alt” text in the thumbnails. This is a minor change that would have significant positive SEO implications for everyone who uses the product.

  17. Terry says:

    Zach, I would definitely be able to use customizable fields, especially if there would be a way to %TOKEN% them into templates, which I assume would be the most natural use. Using them from PHP would also work, though.

  18. Yes, please! I’m looking for a tool such as yours, but to “catalog” things other than products… things like organizations and volunteer opportunities around town… CataBlog looks like the best option so far; I’ve just installed it and am giving it a go…

  19. Christine says:

    Yes Please – I would love to have the ability to add more fields to CataBlog.
    Unlike others I am not creating an e-commerce store just, at this time, a database of my fabric stash at home. Selection drop down with dependencies are always awsome for me, Number, checkbox, radio – well all field types really. But selection (with dependency) is my most important.

    Look forward to getting the updates as you progress.

    Cheers

  20. Lourin says:

    Great plug-in. I’m working on a site with a shopping cart but need to also create a page with different puppies that will be for sale. I’ve set up catablog to show the puppies but I’d like to be able to have more than one pic of each puppy but only when you click to the lightbox. Is this possible? Thanks so much.

  21. Kernel says:

    Catablog is crucial for my site, as it’s used in almost every main page. I would have two requests, one being a second option for thumbnails, for example wide image formats, while keeping the normal thumbnail option for higher than wider images, and the ability to call from within the short code. Also, the ability to reorder catablog id’s from within admin would be appreciated. If you have everything you need in the proper order when adding everything is fine, but if you want to display galleries specific to a category it makes it more difficult to display in order without spending alot of time fixing the order, if everything is not perfect with the initial adding to the library.

    Thanks, patiently waiting for more features!

  22. simona says:

    please, when do you add this function to your plugin? it’s really useful

  23. This would be amazing. Right now I’m able to make do with a bulleted list in the description, but custom fields would be SO much better. It’s already a really great plug-in, though. So far it seems like exactly what I’ve been looking for.

  24. Peter Massar says:

    I would like a possibility to put several downloadable url in the description. For example i’m using catablog to display articles with a short description. When you click the article you will get a long product desciption. I want to add several PDF links into this long desciption for customers to download the Pdf’s.
    When you edit the catablog description u don’t see a button for media input, so now i have to get all the specific permalinks.

  25. Sandra Kelly says:

    Hi I would be great to have a template with an add to wish list so customers can tick on item and save to a wish list so at end of searching they can check items against each other and decide before they buy. Also a template already with multicolumn layout especially for us non computer savvy people

  26. Ann says:

    Another vote for customizable fields. Yes, PLEASE! This is a great plugin – thanks for all your hard work in making it available.

  27. Victor says:

    Hi!!
    Yes of course im waitting for that that will make this plugin more amazing than it is now. I want to make a catalog for books and below the book covers i want to show some information like Author, ref number, Date of publish, ISBN number…..It would be amazing. The only inconvinient is that i need to do it as soon as possible AHhahahah!! It would be amazing if you give to me any clue about how to do it. I tried to modify the php but i didnt find where to save the data or where is the database or how you do that. My php knoweledge is limited. Sorry for my english it is very bad.

    Greetings from spain!!

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