Multi-Store question

With the Professional version now retired and the Ultimate version with Multi-Store option now available as the only replacement, I'm considering combining two different CS-Cart stores into one.

I can't seem to find an answer to this question:

When a product is set up, it is owned by one of the stores. Is SHARING it to the other stores optional. If it is optional, how do you configure the sharing?

I see unique Categories and products in the demo store, but I don't see how it is determined which store includes a product or not.

It's important to me that I be able to share products between the two stores, but I also need the stores to have products that are unique to the individual store and NOT shared to the others. - Is that possible?

And is this a big hassle with DNS on my dedicated server: sharing the database, separate store fronts, separate domains, etc?

Setting up Ultimate with 2 storefronts is very easy to do. From scratch, all you need to do is set up the DNS for both your domains to use the same host as per your dedicated servers DNS. Create a new domain, add the other domain as an addon domain to the first domain - but instead of the regular addon domain document root, you set the path to the same as the first, eg.

/httpdocs/public_html/ as an addon domain to domain1:-

/httpdocs/public_html (this would normally have a document root of /httpdocs/public_html/domain2/)

In Ultimate with 2+ stores, in V3, click the 'All stores' dropdown to change which 'store owner' you want to control. In V4, click the 'Your Store Name' dropdown at the top-left to achieve the same.

The majority of items can be created as 'All stores' user (as well as Domain 1 and Domain 2 user), which enables a Share tab (on things like Edit Category, Edit Page, etc) which will allow you to select which store(s) to share the item with. You can then change from 'All Stores' user to “Domain 2” (or Domain 1) user to make changes to the item (eg. page name or the description to create unique content).

Sharing is completely optional. If you create an item as 'Domain 1' user, the item is only active and viewable by 'All Stores' or 'Domain 1' user. 'Domain 2' user won't see the products, pages, etc, in the admin.

With regards to sharing products, both stores must have at least one active category. You then add a product to 'Domain 1' in 'Category A' as 'Domain 1' (or All Stores) user. As 'All Stores' user, you can then Edit the product (as well as Bulk Edit) and in the category list, you can select whichever category you wish to share the product to in Domain 2 store. IE. When editing a product as 'All Stores' user, the Categories selection has all categories from both Domain 1 and Domain 2, which you can obviously select as many categories to display the product in and on whatever store you require.

Hope that helps somewhat. I found it quite confusing figuring simple things like this out in the beginning but once you get used to it, it's very quick and easy to create multiple storefronts which share common products. Remember it is best practise to edit items (from pages, categories, products, etc) as both users and input unique descriptions from an SEO perspective. Sharing common products also makes creating data feeds an absolute breeze, instead of having to add features for brand, part number, etc, you only ever need to do it once.

Note if you ever try to set up Google Product Listing Ads, you must set up Targets in Adwords and as a custom field in your CS-Cart export, or simply create a product feature with the target value, otherwise your Adwords will be full of rubbish, useless information as you will have no way to determine which store got what traffic or sales from Adwords nor Analytics. I learnt this one the hard way, a fairly simple oversight which takes no more than 5 minutes to create in an Ultimate multi storefront setup.

Thanks for the tips on the Google Product Listing Ads.

This is much as I suspected, but couldn't find examples of this in the two demo store's back end.

The breezy data feeds is exactly why I'm currently interested in the multi-store front.

Thank you for the detailed explanation - it is much appreciated.


Thanks for the information you gave to Magpie Don. It was very useful.

I am on a shared server and will have one additional store. i am still trying to figure out the SSL situation for each Domain. I know there are other posts, but still looking for ideas from people who have solved the issue. Looks like a multiple ssl cert is the only solution for use with cPanel on a shared server hosting plan.


Have a look at this thread - you can either use single SSL certificates per domain using this method, or a UCC SSL (ie. multi-domain SSL). You will most likely be limited by the fact you have a shared server hosting plan, guess it depends how nice your hosting folks are, but I believe the Mutli SSL option is pretty much your only option. Also if you shop around, you'll find the UCC SSL cost isn't too high (less than £129 p/a), the cost of paying a server admin to setup the SSL's on your hosting for multiple domains will probably outweigh the cost of purchasing a UCC SSL certificate anyway.

[color=#282828][font=arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]Dear Friends,[/font][/color]

[color=#282828][font=arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]In our blog you can find articles on CS-Cart custom development. In one of them we answer the top 5 questions from this forum to give you more detailed and specific information about multiple storefronts. Enjoy reading![/font][/color]http://blog.simtechd…torefronts.html[color=#282828][font=arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif] [/font][/color]