Creating an Item Page

What is an Item? ¶ 

Items are a central repository for all information your site has on a specific tool or product. It automatically links users with all the parts and tools they need to complete a project.

Each item contains the following information:

  • Name of the item
  • Type of item
  • Product code (if you're selling the item)
  • Summary of what the item is and what you use it for
  • Image of the item (optional, but very important)

Here's an example of an item (in this case, a part):

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The difference between parts and tools may seem pretty intuitive, but sometimes it's not. As you add more guides to your site the distinction can become subtle. Here's a few guidelines that help you sort the parts from the tools.

Tools ¶ 

Tools are implements; they interact with both parts and devices. Typically, tools don't get used up over the course of a project. You can use them again and again. Ball-peen hammers, spatulas, and hole punches are all examples of tools.

Parts ¶ 

Parts, on the other hand, do get consumed over the course of a project. They can replace old parts, increase functionality on an existing object, or serve as raw materials for your project. A replacement battery for a computer, origami paper for a paper crane, and a sheet of plywood for a playhouse are all examples of parts.

Creating an Item ¶ 

There are three ways to create an item. The first way is to simply click "Item" on the New Page tool. From there, follow the format outlined in this sample Item.

If you prefer to create an item manually, type your URL, followed by /Item/Item_Name. Then, change Item_Name to the name of your tool. For example, the link for a solder should read http://"yoursite" Go to that wiki and click on "Create this article." From there, edit to your heart's content.

The third, and most common, way to create an item is to add it while you're making a guide.

Naming an Item ¶ 

Naming an item takes some forethought. You'll want to consider the current needs of users and the expected growth of the site. The name you currently use for an item might prove to be too broad or too specific over time.

For example, say you name an item screwdriver. That might be great if your site only offers three different types of screwdrivers—a phillips, a slotted, and a torx. But when your site grows, you might offer a huge variety of screwdrivers for purchase. Suddenly, that item page could include hundreds of different types of screwdrivers.

On the other extreme, an item with the name Anti-static T10 Torx Screwdriver is too specific, and doesn't give you any room to grow. Design your items so that in the future you can add new types.

The trick is to find a middle ground between these two extremes. Item types are the way to accomplish this, separating the item name from its specification. In the above example, you might use 'Anti-static' as one type of your Torx screwdriver. Here's a handy tip: Plan item names that encompass no more than 20 or so types. We'll talk about types in more detail below.

Item Supplier Table ¶ 

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Editing ¶ 

When editing an item, you'll see a table labeled Suppliers. To edit a particular cell, hover over it and click to edit the cell text. When you're done, just hit enter. Then, tab over to edit the next cell.

In edit mode, cells with no value will display with a dash, but the same cells will appear empty when viewing an item normally. The dashes just let you know that there's a cell you can edit. Add another row by clicking the aptly named Add a new row link.

Type ¶ 

Item types are an easy way to differentiate between kinds of similar items (like a 6" and an 8" Phillips screwdriver). You can insert up to two comma-separated tags for every type of item on the Supplier's Table. Here's an example of a type of item:

Through-hole 5Ω Resistor

In the example, the item's name is "Resistor." The item type was tagged as both "Through-hole" & "5Ω."

Here's the real magic of an item: When an author adds a "Resistor" to a guide and specifies the item type as "Through-hole, 5Ω," the system automatically matches back to the "Through-hole, 5Ω" item, which has an e-commerce link to buy the product. The tag engine then automatically adds an e-commerce link on the guide.

If you like, you can ignore types all together. Provide an e-commerce link with no type and it will be the default link used to purchase any resistor.

Part # ¶ 

The part number is the item's SKU or other identification number. This field is used for matching uploaded products on sites with complete e-commerce integration.

Supplier ¶ 

The supplier is the name of the company that you source the item from.

URL ¶ 

We recommend this link to a place where the reader can buy the item, but it could also be a page with product information.

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