VirtueMart Custom Fields – the Way to Manage Your VirtueMart Attributes
It is definitely a good idea to offer clients the ability to customize the purchase choosing available variations of the products or provide them some specific information on goods sold. In VirtueMart it is possible by means of adding VirtueMart custom fields, however, often they are also referred to as VirtueMart attributes (as in older versions of VirtueMart). No matter how actually this functionality is called, it adds some configurable criteria to the product, making it more customizable from clients’ side. At the same time it is more convenient for store owner who needs to create one product in variations or provide extra details on the products.
Take for example Shirts. They go in different colors and sizes. Thus, you can define them for your VirtueMart products and at the front-end the buyer will be able to pick wanted combination. Also VirtueMart attributes can serve to convey extra information on the goods, for example the shoppers it is aimed at (lets say, men, women or children).
With Store Manager for VirtueMart the procedure of adding specific VirtueMart custom fields to products consists of several steps:
Creating New Type of Custom Field
Before applying some specific attribute(s) to product, you need to create them or see if default VirtueMart custom fields are suitable for you. Go to “Store” tab of Store Manager and choose “Custom fields”. There you will see available custom fields or create new ones.There are custom fields of cart and non-cart type. Usually, non-cart attribute fields are intended to provide extra information. Cart attribute fields, on the contrary, will be noticeable when the purchaser views or adds the product to the cart.
To add new field type press “Add Custom Field” button. Type its title (this is required field). Indicate type of newly-created custom field by selecting from the drop-down. The types offered are: string, integer, time, boolean, date, editor, cart variant, generic cart variant, textarea, plugins,image, parent. If you need to add some information field, select “string”. For example, if you need to indicate that the products are for men. Other types serve for different purposes.
“Cart Variant” for products which come in variations. “Integer” and “Boolean” types enable you to limit the value of the field to particular input types, such as the possibility to append only numbers or yes/no selection. Parent fields make it possible for you to group other fields and add them to products together. 'Plugin' field type allows the use of 3rd-party extensions to create additional VirtueMart attributes.
You can also set 'hidden' option. It might be useful if you need to supply information on the product invisible for your clients, but serving for, let’s say, upload of product feeds to some search engines. You can also make attribute visible from the admin only.
Creating Attribute Options
You can set some predefined values that can be selected for particular products. For that check box “Is a List?” and for values indicate possible for this attribute variations. Imagine that you have products for men, women and children and for each product you need to select one of options, so you just indicate possible values (separated by semicolon) and while product creation select needed.
You can also create more complex VirtueMart custom fields with options to select by the shopper. Lets say, if you need to create selection of size and allow your client to choose from S, M or L, you need to select “Cart Variant” type, tick boxes “Cart Attribute” and “Is a list?” and set in the field details values separated by semicolon like - “small;medium;large”. For each is possible to set some price mark-up when applied to the product. It will be described further.
Adding VirtueMart Custom Fields to Products
Click in the product and in the lower grid select tab “Custom Fields”. There you will see the ones that were already created or add new attribute directly from here. If you added ready-made custom field, you can change/view value or add the price.
Lets say, when you have different sizes and need to set different prices for them, add size custom field and select from drop-down value, lets say - ‘small’ and indicate price for it. The same procedure you have to go through for other size variations. You can do this as for as many times as you have dimension choices available. Do not forget to click ‘Apply' button to preserve changes. Now when the item is seen by the consumers they can choose from the dropdown sizes on offer. Take into account that if you need the price to vary depending on the variant chosen, the mark-up will be added to base price, so so you might discover it practical to set the smallest variant value to 0 price increment. For example, if your base price is $30 and you have 3 sizes S, M and L, you can put for small size ‘0’ mark-up, for medium ‘5’ and for large ‘10’.
Thus, when the person chooses product of small size, the price will be as $30 (the same as base price), medium will be sold for $35 and large-size item can be bought for $40.
More information on how to manage your VirtueMart products read here -http://virtuemart-manager.com/useful-articles/product-management/