We all love fast development. Clients want to have the team who will be able to finalize their online store as soon as possible. They define the design, add a few test products, set up transaction emails and are anxious to see their online store online. In some cases, one week before the launch, client starts to input the products. If he is unfamiliar with Magento, there is a high chance he will focus on “Add Product” button first. Woah… We missed one step before this: Attributes and Attribute sets.
As defined on Magento site, an attribute set is a collection of attributes. Let’s imagine we are selling a shirt. In addition to the default Magento attributes, you want to show your customers some extra information in the front-end:
- Shirt Size
- Manufacturer (Brand)
- Material (ex. Cotton, wool, …)
Attribute set is nothing more than product type in your online store. Shirts will have different attributes than watches or sunglasses. So, before you stat inserting the products directly under “Default” attribute set where you will put them all in the same group, try to think about what attribute sets will you have. Assign relevant attributes to the relevant attribute sets and only than start adding products.
Do not do this too fast because you might end doing something that is not logical. One of the common example is the “Size” attribute. When a merchant sells Shoes and Shirts, he usually uses the same attribute “Size” there. However, it would be much better to separate those and have “Shoe Size” and “Shirt Size” attribute since those have different values. They both can be labeled the same, but we must be sure they will be separate entities in the database.
To summarize the point: Do not start adding products before you created the attribute sets you will use. If you are interested how to create attribute sets, check Magento’s knowledge base.