Adding Features to Your Store

This page outlines some of the many ways you can customize items, your site, and your shipping and tax settings using the Store Editor. Use the links below to jump to a particular topic.

Customizing Items & Options

Shipping and Tax

Customize Pages and Site

Store Editor

To start, please sign in to your account, and click "Store Editor" from the Store Manager.

When you first launch the Store Editor, it launches in basic mode. In this basic made, certain advanced variables and features are hidden.

At the end of the edit buttons you'll see a red triangle. That switches to the Advanced interfaces. In the Advanced interface there are even more buttons, including another red arrow that switches back to the basic interface.

The Advanced interface is for programmers. In Advanced, all protection against damaging your site is turned off. You can easily damage your site beyond repair. For that reason we recommend it only for experienced programmers.

Sale Prices

When you edit an item in the basic interface, you will notice another field labeled Sale Price. Try entering a number there and clicking "Update". You should now see a reference to the regular price and the sale price.

The sale price is the price that is used by the ordering system if someone orders the item.

You can change the text that appears before the regular and sale prices. It is controlled by the variables Regular-price-text and Sale-price-text, on the Variables page.

Quantity Pricing

You can also offer quantity discounts. Suppose, for example, you want to make an item cost $10 for one, three for $25,or ten for $75. To get that pricing, just enter these numbers in the Price field:

10 3 25 10 75

When you see the item page, you should see several prices. When you publish your site, the ordering system will know about the quantity discount, and will automatically adjust the unit price as the consumer changes the quantity ordered.

This works in both the Price and Sale-price fields, though of course the contents of the Price field are irrelevant if there is a Sale-price.

Orderable Items

When you edit an item, you'll see a field under Sale-price, labeled "Orderable". It has two values, "Yes" and "No".

The default is "Yes". If you set "Orderable" to "No", the item's page will look the same, but the "Order" button will be missing.

You might want to set an item's Orderable field to no if, for example, the item was out of stock. This way the item would stay in your site, for reference purposes, but no one could order it.


You can give an item arbitrary attributes like Sizes, Colors, etc, by entering the possible choices into the item's Options field.

For example, try editing an item and entering the following into its Options field:

Size S M L

Color Red "Sea Green"

When you click "Update", you'll see that the item's order button is now accompanied by two menus, so the consumer can choose a size and color when ordering.

An item can have as many options as you want, but each option should have a unique name. The example above shows Size and Color as option names (also called attribute names, or option labels), and each of these names (Size and Color) should be used only one time per item. Each set of options should begin with the name, followed by the choices, separated by spaces.

Choices that contain spaces, like "Sea Green", should be surrounded by double-quotes (like in a search engine).

Each set of options is separated from the next by a blank line.

Quantity discounts apply even when items have different attributes, and so appear on separate lines on the order form.

Monograms and Inscriptions

There are two things you can put in an item's Options field that have special meaning.

If you put just the word Monogram (with a capital M) on a line by itself, the item will be able to have a three-letter monogram.

You can cause the ordering system to charge extra for monograms by changing the value of the variable "Personalization-charge". By default it's zero. If you give a number as the personalization charge, the extra charge will show up in parentheses next to the monogram fields on the item's page. The charge is not applied if no monogram is entered.

You can let consumers supply more than three letters by entering an option that has Inscription (with a capital I) as the second word. For example, if you have a line reading

"Engraved on back" Inscription 12

in the "Options" field of an item, consumers will be able to enter up to 12 characters in a field labelled "Engraved on Back".

The Personalization-charge applies to inscriptions as it does to monograms.

You can have other Options along with personalizations. So it is no problem if an item comes in several styles and can be monogrammed. Quantity pricing also continues to work with personalizations.

Price and Order Style

When you have several options for an item, and possibly a sale price too, there can be so much text before the Order button that you get an unwanted linebreak.

To deal with this problem there is a variable called "Order-style". By default it is "Normal", which will put everything on one line. Setting it to "Multi-Line" will put each of the option menus on its own line.

There is another variable, "Price-style", which controls the way prices are printed. You might change this if you want to emphasize prices more (if you are a discount house) or less (if you are selling luxury goods) in your site. There are three possibilities:

  • Normal (the default): Prices shown in specials, sections, and in bold on item pages.
  • Quiet: Prices only shown on item pages, and not in bold.
  • Loud: Prices shown everywhere as gifs, with the color determined by the variable "Emphasis-color" (red by default).


By default the title at the top of an item's page is its name. But you may not always want to do this. For example, you might have an item called "Bell-Bottom Jeans", but want to have the title of the page be "What Everyone is Wearing this Year".

To do that, just enter the title you want in the Headline field. If you want a long headline, you can put linebreaks in the Headline field, and they will be preserved.

Change the Layout of a Page

By default, your sections will be laid out in two columns, with thumbnail images on the left and text on the right. You can change this using the Layout Tool.

You can bring up the Layout Tool by clicking on the [Layout\ button, which appears on any non-empty section page.

On the Layout Tool you will see four properties you can change.

  • Put Contents lets you decide whether you want the items in this section to appear on their own pages, or directly on the section page.
  • Alignment lets you pick the way you want the individual elements of the page to be aligned.
  • Columns lets you pick a number of columns to contain the elements of the page. Usually with center alignment you want one more column that with left alignment.
These four parameters give you 24 different layouts for your page.

While the Look Tool applies to your site as a whole, the Layout Tool applies only to the page you are on. Experiment to see what layout looks best for each page.

Customize Your Look

Earlier you learned how to choose a look for your site by clicking the [Look\ button. In the Regular interface, you get access to the individual variables that control the look of your site, so you can customize your look further.

Remember, though, that the colors and typefaces in the predefined looks are carefully chosen to go together. Many users will do best just by using one of the predefined looks.

If you want to experiment, you may want to try changing these variables:
  • Background-image, if you supply one, will be used as the background for all your pages. Uploading a background image is just like uploading a product image. Be careful with background images, because they often make your text hard to read.
  • Button-edge-color is the color of the edge down the left side of the page. If you choose None, you'll get transparent pixels between the buttons, which often looks good.
  • Button-font is the typeface used in your buttons. If you want to see what all the available typefaces look like, see the page of font samples.
  • Home-button-text-color is the color used in the title of your site.
  • Home-button-font is the typeface used in the title of your site.
  • Display-text-color is the color of the titles of item and section pages. It should be something that shows up against the Background-color.
  • Display-font is the typeface used in the titles of item and section pages. It should probably match your Button-font.
  • Thumb-height and -width control the sizes of thumbnail images. You'll be tempted to make your thumbnail images bigger. Resist the temptation: thumbnail images are supposed to be tiny, in order to download fast.

Be careful about your look. Most visitors will decide within seconds of arriving at your site whether they would be willing to spend money there. They will decide mostly based on the appearance of your site.

It is more important to look professional than original. The most successful online stores look expensive, but not original.

Overriding Variables

What if you want all the pages in your site to be white, except for one special page, that you want to be green? You can do this in the Regular interface by overriding variables.

For example, if you want the page of some item to be a different color from other pages, edit that item, and click on the button labelled Override Variable. You'll get a list of all the variables you can override, in alphabetical order. Choose Background-color and click "Update". You'll go back to the page where you were editing the item. If you scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page, you'll see that the item has a new field, called "Background-color".

Initially, the item's local Background-color will have the same value as the global variable, but you can change it by clicking [Select\, thereby giving just this item its own background color.

You can do a lot by overriding variables. For example, if there is some item that costs more to monogram than the others, just override the global Personalization-charge for that item, and give it a different value.

If you want to undo an override, so that the item will get the value of the global variable again, edit the item and click "Undo Override". You'll get a list of variables currently overridden for that item. Choose one, click "update", and the item will no longer have its own local version.


In the Regular interface, you can also put additional items at the bottom of an item's page. Such items are called accessories, and like items in groups, they don't have their own page. Everything about them (including their Order button) appears on the page of the item that contains them.

You would use an accessory if, for example, you were selling a shaver and you wanted also to sell spare blades for it. Instead of giving the spare blades a page of their own, you could make them an accessory at the bottom of the shaver's page.

To add an accessory, go to any item page, and click the [New Accessory\ button. It is just like creating a regular item, except that the accessory doesn't get its own page (unless you change the layout of the item's page later).

Multiple Containers

Sometimes you may want to put the same item in multiple sections. To do this, go to the item's page and click "Copy". It will be put on the clipboard, but without being cut from its current position.

Then go to the other section you want to put the item in, and click on the item's link on the clipboard, just as if you had cut the item and were moving it.

An item contained in two sections is still a single item: both links lead to the same page. So if you go to the item and change its name, for example, the name will change in both places the item is referred to.

You can copy sections too, and the same principles apply.

Cut items stay permanently on the clipboard till you delete them, but copies will cleaned from the clipboard next time you sign in.

Sections within Sections

The Simple interface lets you create a site of up to two levels: either items right on the home page, or sections on the home page, and items within them. In fact Yahoo Store is more general than that. You can have sections within sections as deep as you want. In the Regular interface, when you go to a section, you'll still see a [New Section\ button.

We advise users to start using sections within sections when the site has more than 200 or 300 items. You don't want to have more than about 15 sections on the home page, nor more than about 20 items per section, and 15 x 20 = 300. But of course it depends on what you're selling.

Images for Sections

If you have a section within a section, how does it show up? Sections can have images just like items. There is no Image button when you go to a section page, but if you click "Edit", you'll see that Image is one of the properties, and that you can upload one by clicking "Upload".

When a section occurs within another section, a thumbnail version of this image may appear there.

You can also get the section's image to appear at the top of its own page, by going to the variables page and changing the variable Head-elements. By default it is set to Text, meaning only the name of the section will appear at the top of its page. If you change Head-elements to include Image, each section's image will show at the top of its page.

This is useful if, for example, the section contains items from the same manufacturer, and you want to put the manufacturer's logo at the top of the section.


In fact, most objects (including items, sections, and groups) can have two images. One is called the Image, and is used on the object's own page. The other is called the Icon. If an object has an Icon, it will be used when an image is needed for use as a link to that object.

For example, when an item appears in a section, you will usually see a thumbnail version of its Image. But if you have supplied an image to be used as that item's Icon, then the thumbnail will be made from the Icon instead.

You may want to use icons when images that look good regular size do not look so good as thumbnails. For example, you might make the Icon of an item be a detail cut from the regular Image. Since it is smaller to start with, it won't suffer so much from being reduced to a thumbnail.

Your Logo in the Button Bar

You can have your logo inserted into button bar in place of the Home button made by Yahoo Store.

To get your logo into the button bar, upload an image as the value of the variable Home-image. It should be about as wide as your button bar.

Changing the Buttons

You can change the buttons that appear in the button bar down the side of each page. The variable Nav-buttons determines which buttons appear on interior pages, and the Buttons field on the front page does the same there.

If you go to the variables page and click "Change" next to the entry for Nav-buttons (or edit the front page and click "Change" next to the Buttons field), you'll see all the choices.

Most of them are obvious: Up leads up, Search searches your site, Index leads to your index, etc. Here are the non-obvious ones:

The Request button will let users request catalogs, sales calls, or whatever. You can give them multiple choices by putting the choices, one per line, in the Request-options variable. By default, the Request button will read "Request Catalog", but you can change that by changing the variable Request-text.

The Mall button is the one that leads by default to Yahoo Store Listings. You can get rid of it if you choose. Or if there is some other parent site you want it to point to, you can replace the image and URL of the Mall button with your own choices, by uploading an image for the variable Mall-image, and entering the URL of your choice as the Mall-url variable.

The Empty button has nothing in it and leads nowhere. It is used for appearance when you need a spacer in the button bar.

Contents represents multiple buttons, one for each of the top-level contents of your site.

Contents Elements

By default, the font page shows section names and their contents, and section pages show thumbnails and names for their contents. The Layout Tool lets you change how section pages look, but you can get even more control by going down to the variables it manipulates.

The variable Contents-elements controls what should be displayed for anything that is contained by something else - a bullet, a thumbnail image, the name of the contained object, its price, the names of objects *it* contains, etc. You can override contents-elements on any individual page. That is what the Layout Tool does.

You may want to change the value of the Columns variable if you change the Contents-elements.

Contents Format

Contents-format controls how the Contents-elements are displayed. By default, it is set to Ell both globally and on the front page, so the elements will be laid out in an ell-shape, with the image on the left, and text to the right.

But you can also set the Contents-format to Vertical, which will make the elements line up vertically, with centering. Or you can set Contents-format to Pack, which shows only the images, and packs them together to simulate an imagemap.

Tools like Photoshop have utilities for cutting up an image on a grid. If you cut up and image this way and upload each part as the image for the corresponding element of a section, you can use the Pack format to make the images join up into what looks like an imagemap. Make sure to set Columns to match the number of vertical cuts in the image.


If you want to include descriptive text for each link on the home page or in a section, you can do it by using abstracts. If you put some text in an object's Abstract field, and then include Abstract in the Contents-elements either globally or on the page containing the item, the contents of the Abstract field will be shown with each link.

For example, if you wanted the front page to show a description of each section instead of its contents, you would edit the front page, change Contents-elements to include Abstract but not Contents, and then enter some text in the Abstract field of each section listed on the front page.

Inset Images

In a print catalog you will often see a smaller inset image next to the main image of a product. Inset images are used for details, color swatches, or alternative versions of the product.

Yahoo Store has built-in support for inset images. Just edit an item and click on the Upload button of the Inset property.

The size of inset images is controlled by the variables Inset-height and -width. Like product images, insets expand into the original full-size version when clicked.

Automatic Shipping & Tax

You can set up your store so that shipping and tax are added automatically to orders.

You don't have to do this. Many (perhaps most) Web stores only give the customer the merchandise total, plus an explanation of how much will be added for shipping and tax. If you put your shipping and tax charges on your Info page, you're already at this level, because there will be a link to your Info page on the order form whenever a customer places an order.

But if you do want to have shipping and tax calculated in real-time, it is likely that Yahoo Store's ordering system can implement your rules. In Yahoo Store's ordering system, you define your shipping and tax rates as a series of rules. The first part of the rule says under what conditions it applies, and the second part says how to calculate the charge.

Your rules will be shown in a table, one per row. You can add new rules or edit existing ones, but there is a good chance that you won't have to create any rules explicitly, because Yahoo Store's built-in wizards walk you through the most common cases.

Shipping Manager

To set shipping rates, go to the Store Manager page, and click the "Shipping Manager" link. Initially you won't have any shipping rules. You can click "Shipping Methods" to select methods that customers can select as Shipping options at checkout. You can click "Shipping Rates" to set your rates based on shipping method, location, and other variables.

Tax Wizard

To set tax rates for your site, sign in to the Store Manager and click "Tax Rates". There is an Auto Setup Wizard for tax rates, as there is for shipping. It will ask you to highlight the states you want to charge tax for, and will then add a row to your tax table for each. The tax rate for each state should default to the correct value, but you can override it.

Additional Shipping and Tax Rules

If you were able to define all your shipping and tax rules using the Wizard, you don't need to read this section.

If not, you will want to add rules covering the remaining cases. You can do that by clicking on Add New Row. Essentially, you get to run through the Wizard for each new rule. When you create a rule, you can make it apply to particular destinations or particular shipping methods, or both.

If you need to change a rule after creating it, just click its "Edit" button.

Testing Shipping and Tax

After you have set up your tax and shipping rules, you can test them by clicking on Test, in the Shipping & Tax Test section of the Store Manager page. You'll be able to try out hypothetical combinations and see if the tax and shipping are calculated correctly.

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