Product Availability Graphs

Product Availability Graphs are charts that help your customers visualize what you offer throughout the seasons of a year. These graphs can be both educational and practical; customers will understand what crops are available in your climate during different times of the year and they will then know what to expect in their CSA box or at the farmers market each week.

Here is an example vegetable product graph on a Small Farm Central Website:

Product_Graph_640sharp2.PNG   Figure 1. A Product Availability graph on a Small Farm Central Website

This article teaches you how to create and use the Product Availability Graphs feature in the Control Panel.

1.To start, log in to your Control Panel and navigate to: Create Content > Products > Product Graphs

2.Click on the "Create New Graph" link in the yellow header. This will take you to the "Create New Product Graph" screen.

  1. Enter in the details of your graph:
  2. Graph Title - the text that goes at the top of the page and the link text that shows up in the menu for this graph (this is required).
  3. Graph Description - the descriptive text that shows up at the top of the graph page. Put anything you like in this area that describes the graph (this is optional).
  4. Choose a Menu - what top-level menu on the public site should this graph show up under? This can be changed later in the Menu Manager (Administrate > Menu Manager).
  5. Add a link in your RSS Feed - If you are unfamiliar with this option, just leave it checked or read about RSS here Then, click on the Save Changes button when you are finished.

  6. Next you will see a pop-up box that explains how "product sliders" work: First, use the text entry to select or insert products you grow or sell. Then, drag the slider on each product to show your customers the seasonality of each product. We have created an initial 'Lettuce' slider as an example. If that does not make sense for your farm, just click the red "X" beside the slider to remove it.

  7. Now, start adding your products to the graph. You can use common farm products from our list, or create your own. If you choose to create your own, you will see a warning message -- just click "ok" and continue creating your graph.

  8. Once you have selected or created a new product, use the bars at the end of each product range to move the time to what makes sense for the crop. Use the month output on the left of the product (i.e. Late May - Early September) or use the calendar image behind the slider to select the correct product range.

  9. When you have finished editing your product graph, make sure you click the Save Changes button in the bottom right hand corner of the graph. You will be taken back to the product graph administrator screen. Click on the title of your graph in blue to see how the graph looks to your public visitors. Make edits to your graph at any time by clicking the "Edit Products" button beside the product title.

Tips!

  • To create a product with multiple ranges throughout the year, just make separate sliders in the "Edit Products" page; one slider for each time period of the year the product is available. For example, you may have radishes in the Spring and later in the Fall, skipping the summer months. Create a "Spring Radishes" slider bar and a "Fall Radishes" slider bar, to show the two separate times that they are available.

  • Organize your product graphs how you like...you can create one master graph or create multiple graphs for each type of crop you grow (i.e. a graph for just fruits, one for vegetables, and another for dairy products).

  • You may give further information to your customers about each product by a defining a 'product note' that shows up when the user hovers their mouse over that particular product availability bar on your public website. Just use the note button beside each slider to add notes about each product.

  • If you want to see a page that shows all graphs at once, instead of individually one graph per page, you may link to http://www.yourfarm.com/productgraphs (replace yourfarm.com with your own address). Also, you will find a disabled link for "Product Graphs" in the Menu Manager (Administrate > Menu Manager). If you enable this link in the Menu Manager, your customers will be able to find this "All Graphs" page.

An added feature to the Product Availability Graphs are the automatic updates of current product lists. Each week, we will automatically refresh your 'Current Products' list based on the values that you put into your Product Availability Graphs. This allows you to create your graphs at the beginning of the season and let Small Farm Central do the work of keeping your current products list updated as you are busy growing food throughout the summer. You can always adjust your graphs as changes occur and the year progresses to keep everything current and accurate.

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