How to Add Descriptions to Category Layouts in Shopp

In WordPress there are a number of plugins that you can use to turn your WordPress website into an ecommerce website.  Shopp, is a WordPress ecommerce plugin that allows you to do just that with WordPress.  Today I wanted to give you a tip about how to customize the category layout to show a description on the category or categories of your choice.  In order to do this you will need the Shopp plugin for WordPress (which is not a free plugin) to continue.  So let’s get started with looking at what we will need to customize the category layout to show category descriptions…

Since you’ve installed the Shopp plugin already the next step towards customizing the category layout is downloading the category.php file to your computer from /wp-content/themes/the theme you are currently using/shopp/category.php

Next you will need an editor like Dreamweaver, TextPad or whatever you use to edit code currently and open the category.phpfile.  When you open this file you’ll need to add the following tag in order to display the description…

<?php shopp(‘category’,’description’); ?>

See what it looks like in the code view here…


Finally save and upload the category.php file on your web server so that once you’ve added your description in the description field for the category.


Lastly, click the “Update” button you will be able to see the description when navigating on your website in the front-end.


I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article about using Shopp on your WordPress website and that it helps you to customize your website a little further so that you can use ecommerce technology on your WordPress website.


  1. says

    Hi Luc,

    Do you understand why shopp(‘category’,’description’) under some circumstances does and under other circumstances does not print the description? I can’t put my finger on it, and this call is not documented on

  2. says


    I found out what happened, though I find it still a bit weird.
    On my page, I have a (home made) widget that shows the items that are on sale. It uses this function:
    shopp(‘storefront’, ‘onsale-products’, ‘show=6&order=random&controls=on’)

    Apparently, this function automagically suppresses the output of the description. When I removed the widget, the function returned the description again.

    I fixed this in the following way:
    To ‘category.php’ I added the code:

    This had as an immediate side effect that the description also appeared in the widget.
    That however was fixed by creating a file called ‘category-onsale.php’ that was identical except it was lacking the newly added code.
    The function apparently is programmed to use that template instead. I now have my descriptions where I want them.

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