Magento : Override the Category Layout

To change the design of your template, you can edit the php layout file directly but you will see that It is not easy as you must edit several xml files. the easier way is to use the admin backend.

Magento permits you to change the Design with your custom xml content.

Click on Catalog -> Manage Categories, click on your category and into the Custom Layout Update field enter the following xml:

<reference name="left"> 
 <action method="unsetChild"><name>cart_sidebar</name></action>
 <action method="unsetChild"><name></name></action>
 <action method="unsetChild"><name>right.poll</name></action> 
 <action method="unsetChild"><name>left.reports.product.viewed</name></action>
 <action method="unsetChild"><name>left.newsletter</name></action>
 <action method="unsetChild"><name>paypal.partner.right.logo</name></action>
 <block type="checkout/cart_sidebar" before="right.permanent.callout" name="cart_sidebar" template="checkout/cart/sidebar.phtml" />

Into this example, I have removed the unwanted block and added my block.

Note: I have commented some block into my template layout and you should adapt to your layout.

You can also add you cms block like this:

<block type="cms/block" name="steps"><action method="setBlockId"><block_id>steps</block_id></action>

And create your Static Block with the « steps » identifier with what you want.

To identify the name of the default block, you can check the xml file into the app/design/frontend/default/<template>/layout directory.

For example into the category.xml:

        <reference name="left">
            <block type="catalog/product_compare_sidebar" after="cart_sidebar" name="" template="catalog/product/compare/sidebar.phtml"/>
            <block type="core/template" name="right.permanent.callout" template="callouts/right_col.phtml" after="cart_sidebar">
                <action method="setImgSrc"><src>images/media/sidebar-banner.jpg</src></action>
                <action method="setImgAlt" translate="alt" module="catalog"><alt>Keep your eyes open for our special Back to School items and save A LOT!</alt></action>
                                <action method="setLinkUrl"><url>checkout/cart</url></action>

As you can see, the is defined into this file.

Sometimes Magento add a block in double and you should test on your development system before.


You may be interrested by my Magento Module API  : Myapi_Myconf !

Nicolas Portais
Author Photographer

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    Just saved my life. Been looking all over for a simple plugin or similar to control the sidebar – but this helped me out. Thank you!

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