Content Columns


Content columns are template sections of your e-commerce views that contain a standard set of content. For instance, you’ll see that you can set a standard header and footer for products and categories. You set the HTML and text for these sections in the Content Columns section of the Catalog area. You could use a content column to add extra images or content to your store. A content column is made up of one or many content blocks.  These columns are added to your store to show additional categories or products.


The following prerequisites will be necessary to accomplish the goals of this article:

  • Have access to your Hotcakes store administration
  • Be aware of the content blocks you can add and use in content columns

Getting Started

Content columns are quite useful to add and manage content snippets that will be used more than once across your catalog.  

Content Columns

When you're ready to work with content columns, you'll find them in the catalog menu.

At first, there will already be two content columns available to you.  These are labeled as a default header and footer.  

Column Description
Content Column This will be the name of the content column, as it will appear here and in other editing views, such as when you edit products or categories.
Content Blocks This column will list the types of content blocks that the column contains.  This may or may not help you to identify the purpose of any specific content column.
System You'll be able to see if a content column is marked as a system column.  These columns may not be deleted.
[no name] This is an editing column, where you can either edit an existing content column, or delete it.

Add a New Content Column

Adding a new content column is simple.  You would begin by giving it a name and then clicking the Add Content Column button on the left panel.

When you first begin editing a new content column, you won't see any content blocks added.  In the example below, we've created a new content column named "Promotion Value Proposition."  To add a content block, simply select the kind of block you need and then click the Add Content Block Button.

Content Block Description
Category Rotator When you choose this content block, you're given the opportunity to choose one or more categories that will be rotated in front of customers when this content column is used.
Featured Products This content block will display any products you have marked as "featured" when it's attached to a content column.
HTML If you need a free-form way of adding content to a column, this content block will allow you to do that.  You can use the editor to generate HTML, or you can have your designer provide you with some HTML and paste it in.
Image Rotator You've undoubtedly seen image rotators of all kinds.  This content block allows you to have an image rotator filled with images of your choosing.
Product Rotator If you would like to rotate products in front of your customers, this content block will make that possible.  You'll be able to select the products you wish to rotate.  
RSS Feed Viewer Sometimes you might want to import content into your content block dynamically, such as a blog.  You can do that with anything that has an RSS feed URL.

Once you have at least one or two content blocks added to your content column, you'll have new options available to you.  

Column Description
[no name] If the icon doesn't already give it away, you should know that you can drag and drop your content blocks to sort them in any way you desire.
Content Block You'll see the content block that's assigned to this column, along with relevant details, depending on the type of content block you're looking at.  Some will have a preview, others a count of some kind, and more.
[no name] This column will have editing options available to you.  If the content block supports it, you'll see an edit icon, which will take you to a new page to edit the content block.  The next icon will allow you to delete a content column, if you need to.

Cloning Content Columns

You'll see a few options in the left panel.  These allow you to create a new content column, based upon another one.  If you're using content columns extensively, this could easily save you tons of time.

The Copy From field will contain all of the existing content columns.  Select the one you'd like to create a copy of.  Once you do, you can enter a new name for the content column in the Clone As text box, then click the Clone button.  You'll end up with a direct copy of the selected content column.

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