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This guide covers the basics of Spree’s Taxonomy system. It will cover:

  • basic ideas
  • editing taxonomies in the admin interface



As of the 0.4.0 release, Spree now includes a new and improved method of categorizing / structuring
products which is known as Taxonomies.
Taxonomies provide a simple, yet robust way of categorizing products by enabling store administrators to define
as many separate structures as needed.

When working with Taxomonies there are two keys terms to understand:

  1. Taxonomy – a hierarchical list which is made up of individual Taxons.
  2. Taxon – a single child node which exists at a given point within a Taxonomy. Each Taxon can contain many (or no) sub / child taxons.

Store administrators can define as many Taxonomies as required, and link a product to multiple Taxons from each Taxonomy.

The sample store contains two separate Taxonomies to help highlight their flexibility:
The Category taxonomy is the standard categorical product breakdown.

\_ Clothing
| \_ Shirts
| \_ T-Shirts
\_ Bags
\_ Mugs

Brand taxonomy lists products associated with each brand.

\_ Ruby
\_ Ruby on Rails
\_ Apache

The “Ruby on Rails Baseball Jersey” product is linked to the following two taxons:

Category >> Clothing >> Shirts >> T-Shirts Brands >> Ruby on Rails

So when a customer browses the site, the “Ruby on Rails Baseball Jersey” will be appear in under each of these Taxons.
Note: On the sample store, products “bubble” up a Taxonomy tree so the “Ruby on Rails Baseball Jersey” will also appear under:

Category >> Clothing >> Shirts Category >> Clothing

This method is intended as an example of how to you can use Taxonomies to structure your store. The choice of how to display products using taxonomies is store specific, and the customer experience can be easily changed to suit any filtering / categorizing set up that you might need.

Creating Taxonomies

Log in to the admin screen. On the configuration page, find and click on the taxonomies link.

Now, let’s create a taxonomy called “Computers” that contains several brands.
In the text field type “Computers” and click “create”. After you have created “Computers”, you will see the page indicating “name” of the taxonomy and its “tree”. To the right of the word “tree”, right click with your mouse over into the word “Computers”. This will bring the contextual menu and an option to create a “New Child”. Click into the “New Child” contextual menu. This will bring the text field that will appear at the bottom of the “Computers” word. Type into this new field “Apple” and click “ok”. That’s it! We have created a new taxonomy for Computers of which it has a child to it, as a brand, called “Apple”. You can begin expanding this tree adding more computer brands.

Modifying Taxonomies

Right-clicking on a taxonomy nodes yields options for editing, deleting, and moving existing nodes, as well as for inserting new nodes.

You can also move taxonomy nodes within their hierachies via drag and drop.

Displaying Taxonomies in the Store

Briefly: Spree’s default sidebar allows navigation by taxons, and when viewing products or taxons you will see breadcrumbs near the top of the page which indicate the ‘position’ of the item in the taxon hierarchy.

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