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Search Options

ProductCart allows the store administrator to adjust search performance based on the number of products in their database. For instance, the option Max Search Results can limit search results so pages load faster. Read more about this feature and other new features below.

This feature allows you to include or not include sub-categories when searching in a specific category. On a store with a particularly large number of products and categories, disabling this feature can lead to performance improvements.

There is another setting related to how product categories are handled: “Category List on Advanced Search Page”. It controls the list of categories that are presented as a possible filter on the advanced search page, and therefore affects the speed with which the advanced search page is loaded in the storefront. You can find this setting on the Settings > Store Settings page.

Max Search Results

This is the maximum number of possible search results returned by ProductCart when you run a search. A value of zero will return unlimited results. If you have a large product catalog it is recommended that you limit search results to no more than 250.

This means that ProductCart will “stop” searching after locating the first 250 products that match the customer's search criteria. This feature allows for substantial performance improvements, and it does not affect the customer experience as someone would be able to browse through hundreds of search results.

Take advantage of Custom Search Fields to allow store visitors to easily narrow their searches using intuitive filters. When the AJAX feature is on (Settings > Miscellaneous Settings), customers are instantly updated on how many records their search will return, and the product count changes as they add or remove filters. This allows for much more productive search experience.

We recommend that large stores use the Max Search Results feature to ensure good store search performance. This feature affects all searches performed in the storefront (both from the Advanced Search Page and the search box)

Enable Waiting Dialog Box

Stores with a large database may want customers to view a waiting dialog box while ProductCart performs the search. Turn this feature ON to enable the waiting dialog box. You can change the text displayed in the waiting box within the “includes/languages.asp” file.

Custom Search Field Widget for categories

Here where you can enable or disable the use of the Custom Search Field Widget, which is the feature that allows for ”drill-down navigation” in the storefront.

You can turn on/off this feature in two areas:

  1. When customers run a search (selecting a category as a search filter)
  2. When customers browse by category

If customers run a search that does not include a category filter, or the category that they select (when browsing or searching) does not have Custom Search Fields linked to it, then the Custom Search Field Widget remains idle (no “drill-down” filters are shown).

Additional Tuning Methods

The options listed above will enable large stores to tune their search engines for greater performance. Yet, some stores with unique scenarios may require further tuning.

If you are using ProductCart v3.5 and above, and your store falls into any of the following scenarios, then additional tuning methods may apply to you and may allow you to further improve performance.

  • Complex Category Structure (e.g. dozens of sub-categories)
  • Apparel Add-On in use, and thousands of sub-products in the database
  • Thousands of products with large HTML descriptions (long product description)

Complex Category Structure

If your store has dozens of categories containing dozens of sub-categories and the search results hang, then you may want to disable category search results. Follow these instructions to turn off category search results:

  1. Download the file “pc/showsearchresults.asp” using your favorite FTP software.
  2. Save a back-up copy.
  3. Open the file in a text editor, such as notepad or Adobe Dreamweaver.
  4. Replace the word False on line 19 with True (i.e. pcv_strHideCatSearch = True)
  5. Save the file and upload it back to the server.

Thousands of Sub-Products

If your store uses the Apparel Add-On and contains tens of thousands of sub-products, you may want to disable sub-product search in v3.5:

  1. Download the file “pc/showsearchresults.asp” using your favorite FTP software.
  2. Save a back-up copy.
  3. Open the file in a text editor, such as notepad or Adobe Dreamweaver.
  4. Replace the word False on line 24 with True (I.e. pcv_strHideSubSearch=True)
  5. Save the file and upload it back to the server.
  6. Now download the file “pc/inc_srcPrdQuery”. Save a back-up copy.
  7. Open the file in a text editor, such as notepad or Adobe Dreamweaver.
  8. Replace the word False on line 5 with True (I.e. pcv_strHideSubSearch=True)
  9. Save the file and upload it back to the server.

If you are running v3.11, you can replace the 2 files referenced above with those from the Standard version (non Apparel) to prevent sub-products from being included in the search.

Thousands of Products with large HTML descriptions

If your store contains thousands of products with large amounts of data saved in the long product description field, you may want to prevent that field from being searched and instead use keywords meta tags in your search. What this means is that ProductCart's search engine will search the keywords saved in your keywords meta tag, rather than the product's large HTML description. The benefits of this are that ProductCart does not have to search through thousands of irrelevant words (such as a HTML tags and images). Since most of the relevant search terms are already within the meta keywords you should still have an accurate search.

To implement this change:

  1. Download the file “pc/showsearchresults.asp” using your favorite FTP software.
  2. Save a back-up copy.
  3. Open the file in a text editor, such as notepad or Adobe Dreamweaver.
  4. Replace all occurrences of the word A.details with A.pcProd_MetaKeywords. It is helpful to use a text editor with a good Find and Replace feature, such as Dreamweaver.
  5. Save the file and upload it back to the server.
  6. Now download the file “pc/inc_srcPrdQuery”. Save a back-up copy.
  7. Open the file in a text editor, such as notepad or Adobe Dreamweaver.
  8. Replace all occurrences of the word A.details with A.pcProd_MetaKeywords
  9. Save the file and upload it back to the server.

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