Opencart have implemented product filters as of 1.5.5. In my opinion, category level product filters are a much needed feature and something Opencart has been lacking for a while. However, in true Opencart style, to date their documentation/announcement is completely lacking, simply citing “Product Filters” as a new feature – even their demo store still uses Opencart 1.5.4, meaning you won’t even be able to see the amazing new Opencart product filters in action!
Using the New Product Filters in Opencart
What follows is quick introduction to using product filters with Opencart 1.5.5.
1: Start with a fresh install of Opencart 184.108.40.206 (the minor update fixed some bugs) and login to the admin area. From the top menu select “Catalog” > “Filters”:
2: Next click the “insert” button on the right to add some filters. Product Filters are added in the same way as product options. Below I’ve added a filter group titled “Resolution” and several filter options in that group E.g. 720p , 1080p, 1080i etc.
3: Now link the products filters you’ve just added to the actual product. On the manage product screen choose the “links” tab and look for the “Filters” section:
4: The “Filter” box is a standard auto complete box. Simply type in part of the filter name. Add as many filters you wish the product to belong to. Save your changes when finished.
5: If this is the first time using product filters, go to Extensions > Modules > Filter [Install]. Then click the “Edit” link. Click the “Add Module” button, the following screen will display:
6: This screen simply links the product filter module with the category template. So if you wanted to display the filters to on the left hand column of a category listing page you’d mirror the settings in the above screenshot. Layout: Category, Position: content left, Status: enabled. Once complete, click “Save”.
7: Now link the filter to the category page. This is exactly the same as the product. When managing an category, choose the “data” tab and use the auto-complete box to choose which filters you wish to appear for that category. This feature provides control over which filters appear in which category. Remember to save any changes.
8: Once complete go to the category page and note the new filter box:
In the screenshot, the filters groups are “resolution” and “Screen Size”. Filter options are “1080p”, 1080i etc.
Opencart Product Filters – A Warning
One thing to note is that because AJAX is not used, the page works via GET parameters from the query string. This is of concern for stores with lots of products and filters. Whilst very usable for customers, the current OpenCart product filtering does create lots of duplicated content. Whilst search engines may not be able to view the filter URLs directly, if your customers start to link to the said pages, you may run into issues. To be safe, I’d recommend setting a canonical tag.