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Shopping Pages' Breadcrumbs When Product In 2 Categories


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9 replies to this topic

#1 rolf

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 05:56 AM

currently every product in my shop is in one specific category. e.g. the lederhosen go in 'clothing', the buttons go in 'spares' and the braces go in 'accessories' etc.

In the past I have added a few products that might benefit from being in 2 or more categories (such as ornate brass buttons that could go into 'spares' and into 'accessories') but I've taken the option of keeping it simple with 1 just category for each item.

Due to new products being added, this situation is about to get to a point where I am missing some opportunities for interesting/useful categories by limiting each product in this way - such as 'German' (which would include German lederhosen and their specific spares and accessories) and Austiran (which would include Austiran lederhosen and their specific spares and accessories)

I have the method for associating more than 1 category per product, but I can't settle on an option for setting the breadcrumbs at the top of the 'detail' page.

Here are my options, as I see them.
  1. Just show the 'default' breadcrumb trail, no matter where they came from (and rely on the user to hit the back button to return to the category they chose)
  2. Show all the possible breadcrumb trails for each product, one above the other
  3. Use cookies (or some other method) to remember the last category viewed and only show that breadcrumb trail
  4. Show all the possible breadcrumb trails for each product, one above the other, but use cookies (or some other method) for moving the last viewed category to the top

I've seen all of these used on professional sites, so I'm not sure which way to go.

I think I like option 3 the best, but that then raises the question of which method to use - I'm programming in PHP so I would prefer the $_SESSION variable, but is that what you would use? Why/why not? GET would be easy but would create pseudo-new-pages messing up my stats.

Thanks in advance, any input is appreciated.

#2 Jill

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:50 AM

I like number 1. And I'm assuming you'll always have only one URL for the eventual page as well (which is more important).

#3 qwerty

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 08:53 AM

I did a little consulting for a company that typically put items into two categories -- sometimes more than two -- and their CMS generated a breadcrumb trail based on the path the user took to reach the item. But in their case, that meant generating separate pages each with its own URL, and that were identical with the exception of the breadcrumb trail and the page title.

Had rel="canonical" existed at the time, that's what I would have recommended for them.

#4 BBCoach

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 02:45 PM

I always code it where a product is not tightly held to any category, but it is associated to a primary category. The product pages are always standalone pages independent of any categories except their primary assignment.

For example, product XYZ's taxonomic identity is large lederhosen. However, it can also be more specifically identified in large red lederhosen. I want the product in both categories without creating duplicate pages having the exact same info, but different urls.

The product page is created unique to the product's inventory number that is 1236. Therefore, the page is www.mysite.com/1236.htm, but it is associated in both categories with each category's breadcrumb like this:

Home->Lederhosen->Large
Home->Lederhosen->Large->Red

The product url doesn't change because the requested page is being pulled based upon 1236 and not a category. This is a huge aid in preventing dupe info ending up in an SEs index. And, every time an SE checks if that page still exists it will call that page and the primary category of Lederhosen->Large will be in the breadcrumb because the backend doesn't know where it's coming from and defaults to the primary category breadcrumb. Make sense? A lot more difficult to implement than describing the method and canned solutions haven't replicated this behavior yet.

Edited by BBCoach, 23 July 2010 - 03:21 PM.


#5 rolf

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 02:52 PM

Thanks for the replies.

QUOTE
I like number 1.


that's good - all I'd have to do is leave the code alone!:lol:

QUOTE
And I'm assuming you'll always have only one URL for the eventual page as well (which is more important).


QUOTE
in their case, that meant generating separate pages each with its own URL,


I'm totally in agreement, 1 URL is the only way to go and I'm sure I can achieve it with any of the options - although some would be easier than others.

#6 rolf

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 02:57 PM

QUOTE
The product page is created unique to the product's inventory number that is 1236. Therefore, the page is www.mysite.com/1236.htm, but it is associated in both categories with each category's breadcrumb like this:

Home->Lederhosen->Large
Home->Lederhosen->Large->Red


Not entirely different than my approach, I can entirely see your logic.

So, does the page display both trails at once or choose the most appropriate one for each occasion?

#7 BBCoach

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 03:19 PM

The breadcrumb is generated based upon where the incoming page request is from. Outside the link structure of the site it is the primary category and any link from within the site generates the appropriate breadcrumb based upon where the page is being requested.

#8 rolf

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 03:19 AM

QUOTE
The breadcrumb is generated based upon where the incoming page request is from.


Interesting; would I be right in assuming that is worked out using referrer info? I hadn't considered doing it that way but I'm definitely going to spend some time thinking that approach through.

#9 BBCoach

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:20 PM

Yes the referrer is a part of it and I use a URL rewrite tool in the logic to ensure what's clickthrus on site and what's not.

Keep in mind sites that I build are all coded from scratch without any CMS or other auto-site generation tools in a .NET platform.

#10 Schevikhoven

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Posted 15 September 2010 - 02:19 PM

One of my sites has a rather upside down approach to product categorizing: products are just products, not members of any caregories, and categories on the other hand choose the type of products they have. This can end up in a situation where one product can exist in many different categories.

When i was thinking of how to set the breadcrumb, or actually how to just leave the menu open like it was before hitting the product page, i simply use a cookie. This way everything seems logical, and the browser doesnt end up in a situation where he was browsing "Apples" and the breadcrumb points to "Oranges".
Since your software seems to have a default breadcrumb / master category, you could show that category to a user who lands directly on a product page.

The addresses of my products are www.foo.com/123.html, so i just set a canonical tag for this address and forget about the breadcrumb as it's only a major difference in the content.




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