Update Adds Sidebar Widgets and Category Listings

CataBlog 1.4 was released this evening, offering new features that better integrate your catalogs with your blog. Particularly exciting are the sidebar widgets. One allows you to display your catalog item's and the other lets you link to your catalog categories. The CataBlog Widget is very similar to using a Shortcode and comes with simple drop down menu options for most of the Shortcode attributes. The CataBlog Categories Widget renders a list of links or drop down menu with all your catalog categories in a similar fashion to the regular Categories Widget. These two widgets give even the most novice WordPress user the ability to show off their catalog in new and interesting ways.

The other notable new feature in this version of CataBlog is a new Shortcode for rendering a list or drop down menu of all your catalog categories. The [catablog_categories] Shortcode has two attributes that may be set to 'yes' or 'no', dropdown and showcount. Here are some examples implementations of the Shortcode.

[catablog_categories dropdown="yes"]
[catablog_categories dropdown="no" showcount="yes"]
[catablog_categories dropdown="yes" showcount="yes"]

Well let me know how the widgets workout and hope to see some good feedback once again in the comments below. Cheers! 🙂

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23 Responses to Update Adds Sidebar Widgets and Category Listings

  1. aljay says:

    wow sounds cool. if i install this version will all my catablog records will lost? i really want to install this. thanks

    • Zach says:

      There are no differences in the way CataBlog stores it’s data from version 1.3 to 1.4. That means I don’t expect any data lose.

      That being said, it’s always a good idea to backup your catalog by exporting a CSV file for your database data and copying the catablog directory in your WordPress uploads directory.

  2. Justin says:

    I updated my site that I have been playing with. I have tried your short code options you have listed. Ran into one problem with it. The Short code that designs the drop down shows all the categories but when you select the category it does nothing. When you have it design the list without the drop down the list does have the links you can click on and it does work. I’m using Firefox latest while testing this. Is there a submit button I need to add to make the drop down work correctly?


    • Zach says:


      You are correct, for now you need to put the drop down menu into a form you make. You may also look at the JavaScript code used in the widget drop down menu for inspiration. Just make a CataBlog Categories widget with drop down menu enabled and browse the source code.

      Maybe I should use the JavaScript code in the Shortcode like I do in the widget…I’ll think about that.

  3. Dave says:

    Hey, the plugin works great and is perfect for those who need a catalog for their wp site.

  4. Jay says:

    Love this widget. So convenient to list categories and number of items within each. Only one snag, when you click on the category you dont go to that category page but a search result listing style page 🙁 How do you make it display the actual category page instead?

    • Zach says:

      SO you have two options:

      1. create and modify a taxonomy-catablog-terms.php file in your theme to make the catablog-terms page rendered as you see fit.

      2. create individual pages for each category, place the appropriate Shortcode in each page and then use the menu widget to make a list of links to each page.

      You can read more in the Theme Integration section of Displaying Your Catalog in Posts

      • Jay says:

        Hey Zach, thanks a lot – I took your advice and just made a standard page listing widget (miss the post counts tho). How do I get the lightbox to have a border and rounded corners for that slick web 2.0 feel?

  5. Amy says:

    Is there a way to omit some of the categories from the drop down list?

    • Zach says:

      Unfortunately not. You could copy the HTML and JavaScript the drop down list generates and manually modify it, just an idea…not really a good one.

  6. Maki says:

    Hi Zach,
    wordpress prompts me to update to 1.4.3 but I see no announce here and the latest stable release is said to be 1.4.2. What’s up?

    • Zach says:

      Maki, it was a really good idea of you to check that the new version of CataBlog is legitimate. It is, I released it but have not updated the blog. There will also be another small bug fix release today or tomorrow, so you may want to wait.

  7. irith herman says:

    how can i have right or left colomn with menu of the catalog.
    is it possible to override my template file with your template?

    • Zach says:

      Sorry Irith, I cannot make out what you are asking? Yes it is very easy to override any template file, just go to the CataBlog Templates Admin Panel in your sites Admin area.

  8. Anthony says:

    Hi Zach,

    I use catablog mostly as an image gallery and I really like it! The new sidebar widget though seems to have a limitation. The limitation is the limit… so to speak.

    What I mean is, the “limit” field limits the number of photos in the gallery, period. What I was expecting, was that the limit field would limit just what displayed in the sidebar, then when you clicked through to view the gallery images, you would see all the images in the gallery, as per the setting in the ‘category’ field.

    Am I missing something? Or is this a bug? Or a ‘feature’ that was intentional? If so, it’d be great to have some means of limiting the number of thumbnails visible in the sidebar widget, without limiting the number of images that you could view in the gallery. How would I do that? (without hacking things up in CSS, which isn’t ideal, but what I’m resorting to right now).

    Thanks again for this plugin. It’s awesome!

    • Zach says:

      Interesting bug, can you switch your theme to twenty-ten and disable other plugins to see if the problem persists. My guess is that it is either your theme, or a bug in CataBlog.

  9. Shawn says:

    I can’t change thumbnail sizes in options. The save button becomes disabled as soon as I make any changes to the default 100 number. Nothing appears to be wrong with any of the other options. I did a multiple image upload originally and everything else works normally. WordPress 3.4.1 using Weaver II Pro
    Server Statistics
    CataBlog Version: 1.6.3
    MySQL Version: 5.1.53-log
    PHP Version: 5.2.17
    GD Version: bundled (2.0.34 compatible)
    PHP Memory Usage: 28.5 MB
    PHP Memory Limit: 256 MB
    Max Uploaded File Size: 7M
    Max Post size: 8M
    Thumbnail Disc Usage: 0.07 MB
    Full Size Disc Usage: 0 MB
    Original Upload Disc Usage: 0.27 MB
    Total Disc Usage: 0.34 MB

    • Zach says:

      This is probably a Javascript error, can you open up a Javascript console using Firebug or Chrome Developer Tools? If so, would you please send me any error or bugs that are reported when you change the thumbnail size. I have had others report similar incidents and still cannot reproduce this bug myself, so its really hard to diagnose.

  10. Shawn says:

    I have no idea how I ended up posting a reply in this particular spot. I thought I would post my solution to the thumbnail problem here in case anyone happens by. There was a conflict with the Maintenance Mode plugin which has not been updated in a long time. There was no problem with Catablog. I had to disable all plugins and enable one at a time to find the culprit. There were no javascript errors that I found. Maintenance mode could be changing some permissions or writing to htaccess… I am not sure. I did not dig deeper. My site was not live at the time, so it was a good opportunity to troubleshoot.

  11. Casey says:

    I haven’t made the switch over to wordpress just yet, and was hoping there might be something similar to Catablog for blogger. Anyone know of a good widget that could work to help categorize posts with thumbnails?

  12. Guillermo says:

    Hello Zach.
    This is a great plugin!! Been playing with a bit and found it very useful.

    Got a question for you regarding the sidebar short code:
    Page is divided in two columns, Catablog categories side bar on the left and a an image slider on the right one.
    For some reason, the categories sidebar wont share the same “height” than the slider. As I increase the quantity of categories, the slider is pushed down row by row.
    Also, a dropdown list of the categories (even the not used ones) appears to the right of the slider.

    Could you explain me how may I fix this?
    Thank you.

  13. Jack says:

    My dropdown filter for categories has stopped working. It just renders the first line of code as a text string on the page, rather than providing a dropdown list of categories to filter.
    Not sure how long this has been, but I think relatively recent. (I also just installed the latest catablog update, which may or may not have precipitated the change.) Thanks in advance.
    Here is the code, problem is the first line:

    [catablog_categories dropdown="yes"]




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