Columnar Layout for Category Listing pages

Presenting categories in a Grid

Note: This page refers to category listings. There’s a separate page for product listings.

Zen Cart includes a configuration setting called Categories To List Per Row. This setting allows you to display multiple columns of categories per row on the Category Listing page.

Consider the default value of 3. It looks good on a desktop: shows three categories per row.

Wide window - 3 columns

But on a mobile device, that many won’t fit, so it drops to one per row.

Phone window - 1 column

Fluid Mode in Bootstrap

In the Bootstrap template, setting Categories To List Per Row to 0 allows the template to determine how many categories will fit on the screen dynamically. A smaller window will have fewer categories , and a larger window will have more. Setting Categories to List Per Row to 0 is called fluid mode in the Bootstrap template.

Here’s a Bootstrap category listing page in fluid mode in a wide window (around 1500px):

Wide window - fluid

And here’s what the same page looks like when the window is narrowed to 1024px (iPad width):

Tablet window - 3 columns

And finally, here’s what the same page looks like when the window is narrowed to 500 px (mobile phone):

Phone window - 1 column

The default number of categories per row shown on a mobile device is 1, but I increased it to 2 using the first developer tip below.

Note: Your template must also support values 0 for this setting. Both the Responsive Classic and Bootstrap templates do.

Developer Tips:

  • the number of columns shown at each window size may be adjusted customizing the $grid_category_classes_matrix data structure. Instructions for doing so are provided in includes/modules/bootstrap/category_row.php.
  • If you are switching back and forth between templates, and want to use rows mode in one and fluid mode in another, consider using the template_init feature.
  • Bootstrap template users may find the Bootstrap wiki article on this topic helpful.

Still have questions? Use the Search box in the upper right, or try the full list of FAQs. If you can't find it there, head over to the Zen Cart support forum and ask there in the appropriate subforum. In your post, please include your Zen Cart and PHP versions, and a link to your site.

Is there an error or omission on this page? Please post to General Questions on the support forum. Or, if you'd like to open a pull request, just review the guidelines and get started. You can even PR right here.
Last modified March 1, 2024 by Scott Wilson (97d9566).