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After struggling for a day I hope that someone may be able to help me. I have a site that has a list of stockists worldwide. I would like to have a landing page where you can choose your country (grouped by regions) as per:

Oceania

  • Australia
  • New Zealand

United Kingdom

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales

etc.

Currently there are 31 countries but the client needs to be able to add more. Some, but not all, need to also be broken down into states/counties (which the client can add to) but I don't want to be able to see all of these on the landing page as there a lot for some countries. When you select the country you need to be taken to a page specific for that country. Some will have a promotion displayed based on the country. Also on the country page will be a country distributor and either a list of retail stockists (some countries don't have any) or the ability to choose a state or county (as some countries have several states/counties with many retail stockists) which can then be selected to display that state or county's retail stockists.

I have been struggling with this for so many days now that this doesn't seem to make sense anymore - please let me know if you need further clarification.

What I would like to know is how you would set this up in EE which has Structure installed. Assets for each retail stockist? A page for the landing page, a page for the country? Would you use categories for the Region/Country/State? How would you then pull the data into the templates?

So far I have tried using categories for each retail stockist and they are being entered as assets on a country page. I have managed to create a landing page using GWCode Categories which links to the page, but none of the category information is passed to the page. Do I need to use another plugin to get the category information? How would I then display a list of states, if there are any, for that particular country? Am I over thinking this and there is a much simpler way?!

My landing page is stockists/index and has the following code displaying the categories so far (it's a responsive site so I have the countries set up in 3 columns):

                <div class="grids grids-three clearfix">
                <div class="grid grid-1 clearfix">
                    <div class="grid-a">
                        <h2>Oceania</h2>
                            <ul>
                            {exp:gwcode_categories
                                channel="stockists"
                                cat_id="26"
                                depth="2"
                            }
                            <a href="stockist-details/{cat_url_title}">{cat_name}</a>
                            {/exp:gwcode_categories}
                            </ul>               
                    </div>

                    <div class="grid-b">
                        <h2>United Kingdom</h2>
                            {exp:gwcode_categories
                                channel="stockists"
                                cat_id="7"
                                depth="2"
                            }
                            <a href="stockist-details/{cat_url_title}">{cat_name}</a>
                            {/exp:gwcode_categories}
                    </div>
                    <div class="grid-c">
                        <h2>North America</h2>
                            {exp:gwcode_categories
                                channel="stockists"
                                cat_id="8"
                                depth="2"
                            }
                            <a href="stockist-details/{cat_url_title}">{cat_name}</a>
                            {/exp:gwcode_categories}
                    </div>
                </div>

The country page is stockists/stockist-details and contains the following code which only displays the ENTIRE list of countries and states/counties when you click through to it, but if you select one of the countries or states you get a list of stockist below the huge list of categories.

                <!-- STOCKIST DETAILS -->
            <div class="stockist-details">
                <header>
                    {exp:channel:category_heading channel="stockists"}
                    <h1>{category_name}</h1>
                    {/exp:channel:category_heading}
                </header>

                {exp:channel:categories
                    channel="stockists"
                    disable="member_data|pagination|trackbacks"
                }
                <a href="{path='stockists/stockist-details'}">{category_name}</a>
                {/exp:channel:categories}

                <div class="stockist-listing">
                    <ul>
                        {exp:channel:entries
                            channel="stockists"
                            disable="member_data|pagination|trackbacks"
                        }
                        <li>
                            <h3>{title}</h3>
                            <p>{stockist_address}<br />
                                {stockist_city} {postcode_zip}</p>
                            <p><span>Phone:</span> {stockist_phone}</p>
                        </li>
                        {/exp:channel:entries}
                    </ul>
                </div>
                <!-- / .stockist-listing -->

            </div>
            <!-- / #stockist-details -->

I hope that someone is able to make sense of all of this and make some suggestions as to where I'm going wrong, or a better approach. Thanks.

share|improve this question
    
I'm wondering if I should abandon categories all together? Just have a landing page based on the index template, with child pages based on a country template or stockist-details template (depending upon whether they have states/counties or not) which would, in turn, have child pages based on the stockist-details template displaying assets containing the stockists information. Would this work more easily? –  Mosaik Nov 23 '12 at 10:43
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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I would only use categories for details about the retail outlet, like (I'm guessing here) payment types available, stock types available, etc.

I'd create 3 channels, 1) Country, 2) Region and 3) Retailer. Country and Region can use the same field group with just a body field, unless you need additional detail at their levels. I'd have at least a matrix field in the Retailer field group.

Within Structure, I'd set the Country channel to a page, with the Region channel as a child page of Country, and the Retailer channel would be a listing under Region.  Asset would work as well, but pages and assets are on different tabs, so there's a bit of a disconnect.

Use the matrix field on the Retailer entry page for the retailer-specific content, and categories for common details to keep the matrix field manageable.  Or, the retailer entry could be mostly category selections. There are always a few ways to go at things with EE.

This provides an entry interface for your client that's easy to navigate and update.

Haven't used NSM's add-on, but I's say that Low's Seg2Cat would be quite useful in this build.

Might be worthwile to work up a quick prototype with one of the current frameworks to test the logic before you get too far into content entry.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks for your response. This makes sense to me until I assign the Retailer channel as a listing under Region because you can only assign a listing to one page. So, if I have set up, say, Australia as a country page with it's 6 states as Region pages, I can only assign the listing channel to one of the state's pages. Is that correct? How do I get the retailer information to the other state's pages, let alone all the other countries with their state? –  Mosaik Nov 26 '12 at 3:09
    
Not sure if I'm interpreting correctly, but the limitation is 1 listing channel per channel, not page. So every entry under Region will have a Retailer listing available. –  dbigca Nov 26 '12 at 3:19
    
Sorry, yes, I'm mistaken, it is limited to 1 page. Assets under Structure is one way, but I'd go with everything within separate channels, within child pages. Still the easiest for client to manage. –  dbigca Nov 26 '12 at 3:40
    
Have you done anymore with this, or did you find a better solution? I'm running into the same issue but with States > Cities > Category setup. Looking for something that would be a "best practice" scenario. –  Mark Busnelli Jr Sep 3 '13 at 18:08
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It's possible that just using pages in Structure will be easier, but a couple of things to consider if using categories: Low Seg2Cat and NSM Categories.

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Thank you. I've read about so many plugins and confused all their documentation! I'll see if these might help me - I'd read about Low Seg2Cat but not NSM Catgories. –  Mosaik Nov 23 '12 at 11:29
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Are you able to use Playa and Matrix? If so you could approach this like so:

Your regions would either be categories assigned to a countries channel or they could simply be a select field with all the possible regions listed, even if they aren't used right now.

Each of these countries would then have a matrix list for handling the states. This also allows for more metadata about the states as well. Then in the stockists channel add an EE relationship field (or a Playa field if one stockist can be in multiple countries).

Then your templates simply use conditionals to determine what's being displayed to the user.

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I'd say categories would work absolutely fine for this and if you ask me make sense. Along with Seg2cat this is another excellent categories handling add-on - http://devot-ee.com/add-ons/gwcode-categories.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, yes, I'm using GWCode Categories on my landing page (as per code above). I wasn't sure how to get the categories showing on the subsequent pages but I think Seg2cat may be the way to go. I'll these suggestions and post my progress. –  Mosaik Nov 25 '12 at 2:12
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