This is my first contribution so please go easy on me if I did anything wrong.
Assumptions: english only, all websites exist on the same server, catalog directory
is your top level directory with admin under it (e.g. http://www.yourstore.com/index.php
instead of http://www.yourstore.com/catalog/default.php). I think this will all work
find even if you have a catalog directory but be sure to test just in case.
This contribution allows you to set up multiple 'mini-store' sites in addition to your
main store website, all using one admin. The basic idea is that your main store still
will show all of your categories and products. Each mini-store will only include the
categories you have defined as belonging to that store. Theoretically you can have the
same category exist in multiple stores but I have not tried that yet.
This system is set up by copying your main site excluding the admin directory to each
of your new mini-stores. Our sites are all on the same server so we have also created
a symbolic link to the images directory to avoid having to manually copy the images
across to each site. In the english.php file in each mini-store you set up a variable
to define the current store name. I'm not sure if english.php is the best place to do
this so if you want to put it somewhere else that is always read by each program the
system should work just fine. All other code with the exception of the language files
(and any other programs where you want to do something different than your main site) is
identical and uses the current store name value to determine which categories are
displayed. I'm not sure if this will work for you if your sites are not on the same
server since I have no way to test that scenario.
On the admin side you can see which site the order was placed at since the store name is
saved on the order line as well as in their basket records. The order confirmation emails
also specify which store the order was placed from.
We are using this system to basically have a website each for several of our categories
(e.g. one for body jewelry, one for costumes, etc.). I have not tested it any other way
such as setting up a site with just a few subcategories and it may not work correctly for
that without some modification. Namely I removed display of the top level category in
catalog/includes/functions/general.php at line 528 and 532 - 537. If you have trouble
with that scenario try removing this code.
That said, we have been running this with one main site and four mini-stores on our site
for a couple of months now and I believe I have worked out most of the kinks.
PayPal donations greatly appreciated to email@example.com.