How to add your first category and product in Magento 2

by: Tim Richardson

on: 5th July, 2017


01952 897 444

If this is your first time using Magento 2, you may be confused as to all the options and what to do, even if you’ve used Magento 1 previosuly, you may not be sure of where everything has moved to.

We’re going to talk you through the basic building blocks to get your Magento 2 store started and be looking over the basics you need to get your product on the website.

But before we start adding products do that we’ll need to somewhere for your products to show on the website, so we first need to set up a category.

Adding a category

You can start setting up categories by clicking on Products section on the right, then the Categories section.

Once you’re here, we can then look at adding categories, you’ll see an option to add either a root category, or subcategory, let’s take a look at what these are.

About Categories

What is a Root Category?

When you add a root category, this will become a new top level category. You will likely use this as your starting point of your website structure that all other categories will sit under, you normally have one to start with that says Default Category.

What is a Subcategory?

A sub category is a category, that sits inside another category, we so you could have for example:


There is no limit to the amount of subcategories you can have, but to make navigating the website easier, try not to go too deep with them, we’d normally advise no more than three subcategories.

Now that we know what these will both do, we’ll add our first category.

The setup of both is exactly the same and you can drag and you can reorder categories at anytime.

So let’s click add Subcategory, once the page has loaded, ensure the top two sliders are checked to yes, these will allow your category to be seen on the front end of the website.

Adding a name and description

Under the two sliders, you can add the name of your category, use an appropriate name, we’ll be naming ours Laptops.

Your top section should now look like this.


Next expand the content tab, here you’ll be able to add a category image, which will you will see when viewing the subcategories (this does depend on how your store is set up).

Click the WYSIWYG button to be able to style your category description, as you would do in word processing applications such as Microsoft Word, with text, images videos etc.


Include meta details

Now expand the search engine optimisation tab.

Here you’ll see a few boxes to enter.

URL key: How your URL will display, if you leave it blank, by default, it will use the category title –
Meta title: When your page shows up in search engine results, this will be the title that people see.
Meta Description: The description of the page in search results.
Meta Keywords: Popular search engines don’t use these and can be ignored.


These are the basics you need to add a category, when your done, click save in the top right.

Well done, you’ve just added your first Magento 2 category 👍

Adding a simple product

Now to add your first product, we’ll go through the basics that you need to have and then a couple of bonus features you may find useful afterwards.

To begin with we’ll do the same as we did to get to the categories section, click the Products section on the right, then Catalog.


Here you’ll find your list of products (or you will when you’ve added them). In the top right you’ll see theAdd Product button, to start adding our first product, click the little arrow on the button and select Simple Product.


The Name, Price and SKU

Now we’re starting to get somewhere, there’s a lot here that may seem a bit daunting, but you don’t need to worry, we can ignore most of this, we’ll just be looking at the essentials you need to do.

First off, ensure the Enable Product is set to Yes, this will make sure when it’s added we’ll be able to see it on the front end of the website.

Next enter your product name, price and SKU, these are all required fields.

The name and price are straight forward, the SKU though has to be unique for each product, you can’t have the same SKU appear twice on your website.


Categories and availability

Next we’ll scroll down to where it says quantity, this is where you add the amount of stock you have, ensure the Stock Status underneath is set to In Stock.

Stock will be deducted each time the product is purchased and will automatically mark itself as Out Of Stock when the stock reaches zero.

Underneath you’ll be able to add your product to a category, go to Categories dropdown, and select all the categories you want the product to display in, (now you see why we added this first 😀).


Make sure the Visibility option is set to Catalog, Search – this will allow the product to be seen both in the catalogue, and be found when using the search bar.


Adding the product description

Now to add the product description, expand the content tab to get to where you’ll be adding the product content.

Here you will see two editors to add content into, one is the product page description, the second is a short description.

The Description: The main product content you will see when you navigate to the product detail page.
The Short Description: The small overview you will see on the category page when browsing through the products.

Depending on how your Magento 2 store is set up, will decide if you need the Short Description.

Add your content into the WYSIWIG editor, this allows you to style your content as you wish, once you’re done click save. Well done, your product now has a description!

Add images and videos

Add Images

Now we’ll expand the images and videos, here you can drag and drop the images you want to use, or click the image logo to browse and add the images.

Once they’re on, you’ll see that one has Base, Small, Swatch, Thumbnail under them.


This is currently the main image, the first one people will see, if you click on the image with them, you can untick these, and then add these to the most relevant images.

Add Video

If you want to add a video to your product, it will need to be hosted on either Vimeo or Youtube.

For Vimeo, you’ll just need the URL of the video, for Youtube, you’ll need to set up the Youtube API key first.

Click the Add Video button, add the video URL and a name for the video, that’s it you’re done, all you need to do now is click save, congratulations, you’ve now added your first product to Magento 2, pat yourself on the back on a job well done.

You now have the basics to build and populate your Magento store 🎉

Extra product features

Use a special price

Let’s take a look at the price again, under where you’ve added your price, click the Advanced Pricing


Here you have some extra options with product price, the main one we’re interested in is the Special Price, where you can add a discounted price.

Depending on your how your Magento stores configured, will depend on how it displays, but to you an idea of discounted price on a product.


Product meta details

Meta Details is the same as it is when adding a Category, the Meta Title and Meta Description (don’t bother with Meta Keywords, they do nothing).

This will be what shows up when your product shows in the search results, to edit these, expand the Search Engine Optimisation tab.

Add related products, upsells and cross sells

Related: These are related products are similar to the product. E.g. a laptop may show other laptops as related products.
Up-Sells: These are similar, more expensive versions of the product. E.g a laptop may show a more expensive version of the laptop with more memory as an upsell product.
Cross-Sells: These are products often bought alongside the product. E.g. a laptop may show a laptop bag as a cross sell.

These can help increase your sales by suggesting other products for your customers to buy, to set these up, expand the Related Products, Up-Sells and Cross-Sells tab.

Clicking on anyone of the buttons will bring you a list of all the products, where you can choose which ones to add. Simply tick the products and when done, Add Selected Products.


Configure custom options

Finally, we’ll look at custom options, you should only use these on products that have variations, under the same product code, where whatever option they buy, it deducts from the same product.

For example, a laptop where you can change the colour of the case, but it’s the same item and comes from the same stock.

To set these up, scroll down and expand the Customizable Options tab and click on Add Option on the right.

There will be a number of different options to choose from, but we’re going to go with the classic dropdown.

Enter the name of the option, for us it would be laptop bag strap colour and select the dropdown option type.

Now you can add the values you want, the additional cost for the options and any custom SKU additions you may need.


And that’s everything for now, we’ll be back with more Magento 2 store setup guides soon!

If there’s a particular topic you’d like us to cover or you’re not sure about, drop us a message.

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