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In Focus
Enhancing Your Category Tree
By Sabra Lutz, Technology Matrix Group - Copyright 2001
Using Images for Your Category Names

Miva has many features built in that allow you to customize the look and feel of your store. One of these is the ability to add your own images to the user interface. The sidebar can be an important part of how your site looks, and by using images to highlight parent categories, you can draw attention to that aspect of your store.

This works particularly well if you want to convey large differences in the contents of a particular category. For example, your store sells sports shoes - the fastest way for people to identify which section contains baseball cleats is to have a small baseball icon next to the title "Baseball Cleats". Using images for parent categories also can break up the monotony of your side bar if you have a great number of parent/child categories.

Another essential reason for using side bar images would be if you would like to have a dark side bar color with a light page background color (click here to learn how to change your store colors). The reason for this is that Merchant is set up to have all hyperlinks (both in the body and the side bar) the same color. Obviously it is very difficult to find a color that will display equally well on both a dark background as well as a light one. If you compromise by using a middle tone it could work, but chances are that either the links on the dark background or the ones on the light background will be less than optimal for easy reading. While it is possible to replace hyperlink color in the body or category tree another alternative is to simply use images in the side bar.

Yet, another reason for using images on the side bar would be if you sell items which have long category titles (e.g. "Handmade French Xylophones"). This category title could cause the width of your side bar to take up a possible one third of your total page width. While in some stores this may not cause a problem, for others it could cut down too much on the area in which to display the large product images and descriptions. One way to avoid this is to put a line break into the category title, another is to use an image where the text has been 'stacked' to use as little space as possible.

In order to replace the default hyperlinks on the side bar with images go to your admin screen and
1. => Expand store
2. Click on "CATEGORIES"
3. Select the category that you want to use and image for and click on the "Edit Image" button for that category.
4. => Expand "IMAGES" from the category menu
5. Click on the upload image icon for the "TREE IMAGE".

exclaim.gif (988 bytes) Make sure not to confuse it with the "TITLE IMAGE" which is directly under it. To find out more about this click here.

6. Click on the "BROWSE" button and locate the image on your hard drive
7. Once you have the correct file path displayed click "UPLOAD" and you're done!

Note: make sure to check your site in a new browser window as soon as you have completed uploading the first image to ensure that you are happy with the results before uploading other category images. If you are dissatisfied you can remove the image by simply removing the file path from the entry box for the "TREE IMAGE".


Quick Tips

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