I have a site where there is an uneven depth of categories for a product channel. Previously I've cobbled together a band-aid solution but I'm reaching out to see if there is a better way.

I have a simple category:

 -- AChild01
 -- AChild02

The URL would be:

/products/RootA/ -- Show Child categories
/products/RootA/AChild01 -- Show entries
/products/RootB -- Show entries
/products/ -- Show RootA, RootB & RootC

Basically I need to know if segment_2 has child categories and if so then display Child category links. If segment_2 doesnt have child categories then display entries assigned to it.

Not keen on using a 'category' keyword in the URL, familiar with Switchee and GWcode categories and am using stash (if that helps) and all takes place inside a single template as categories will change over time (names not depths).

How have others dealt with a clean URL structures and uneven category depths ?

1 Answer 1


So with some trickery here's how I managed to get it working, you'll need: Stash, GWcode Categories & Switchee

URLS conform to either of these: mysite.com/products/category/list-entires mysite.com/products/category/sub-category/list-entries

{!-- Create list of top level categories WITHOUT children --}
{exp:stash:set name="flag_categories_1" save="yes" replace="no" parse_tags="yes"}{exp:gwcode_categories channel="flags" style="linear" show_empty="yes" depth="1" last_only="yes" backspace="1"}{cat_url_title}|{/exp:gwcode_categories}{/exp:stash:set}
{!-- Create list of top level categories WITH CHILDREN --}
{exp:stash:set name="flag_categories_2" save="yes" replace="no" parse_tags="yes"}{exp:gwcode_categories channel="flags" style="linear" show_empty="yes" depth="2" backspace="1"}{cat_url_title}|{/exp:gwcode_categories}{/exp:stash:set}
{!-- Crete list of Sub categories --}
{exp:stash:set name="has_child" save="yes" replace="no" parse_tags="yes" parse_condtionals="yes" trim="yes"}{exp:gwcode_categories channel="flags" depth="2" style="linear" backspace="1" show_empty="yes"}{parent_url_title}|{/exp:gwcode_categories}{/exp:stash:set}

All that above does is record stashes for Categories with No children, Categories with Children and a list of child categories.

Then we test segments, starting with the outermost (segment_3).

{exp:switchee variable="{segment_3}" parse="inward"}
{!-- Seg 3 is a child category - Show list of entries--}
        {case value="{stash:flag_categories_2}"}
{!--Seg3 not valid, Seg2 - not valid. Show root categories--}
    {case default="yes"}
        {switchee variable="{segment_2}" parse="inward"}
        {case value=""}
{!-- Seg2 Category Has children, show child categories--}
        {case value="{stash:has_child}"}
{!-- Seg2 - valid category with NO children, show list of entries --}
        {case value="{stash:flag_categories_2}" default="yes"}

Hopefully this may help others trying to figure out something similar. Or chime in with your preferred method.

  • Thanks for posting this. This really helped me with something that had me stumped. Brilliant.
    – JKM
    Jan 14, 2014 at 3:46
  • Do you mind me asking what you did for the single product view? I have a similar situation. I have cats and sub cats. I'm using switchee to display different views, all cats, single cats, sub cats and then the single products and having a heck of a time. Sep 18, 2016 at 15:29
  • All depends on what your situation is. This answer is more to do with uneven category listings. An entries categories are simpler to configure. Open a new question referencing this post and I'll have a lool Sep 19, 2016 at 0:55

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