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How to add a static block to a specifc category in Magento

Here's a simple tutorial on how to add a static block to any category page in Magento.

  1. Create a static block
  2. Configure the custom layout for the category to show the block
  3. Refresh the block cache
Free shipping static block on the left side of a category page
To create a static block, login to the backend and go to CMS->Static Blocks. Click Add New Block from the top right. Enter whatever content you want the block to display, I'm creating a free shipping block for the left column.

<div class="block block-list block-shipping">
    <div class="block-title"><strong><span>Shipping</span></strong></div>
    <div class="block-content">
        <h4>Free shipping on every order!</h4>
        <p><img width="64" style="float:right;" src="{{skin url=images/box.png}}"> We now offer free USPS Parcel Post shipping on every order! No minimum order is required and no order is too large!</p>

If you need skin resources, such as images, use {{skin url=images/}} as highlighted above. Take note of the identifier we'll need that later. My final block looks like this:
Creating the static block
Next we need to configure the category. Go to Catalog->Manage Categories and select the category for which you want to display the block. Finally click on the custom design tab. In the custom layout design enter then save the category:

<reference name="left">
     <block type="cms/block" name="free_shipping">
        <action method="setBlockId"><block_id>free_shipping</block_id></action>

There's a few things to point out here. First of all the <reference name="left"> means that anything within these tags is applied to the left block. So this will show the block in either 2 column with left bar or 3 column designs depending on your theme templates. For the right block use "right" and main block use "content."

Next make sure the block_id and block name are set to the id of the static block created earlier, in this case free_shipping. My setup is as below.
Adding the static block to the category design

I have two blocks in this, to add more simply add another <block></block> element.

Finally go into System->Cache Management and refresh the  Blocks HTML output cache.  That's it, reload your page and there you go!

This was done on Magento


  1. For some reason this works perfectly and the content looks good in IE and in Chrome in FF for some reason my custom block shows up looking all funny on top of the page and over to the left, Is there a way you can look at what I have?

  2. This works perfectly. Thank you!!

  3. would this be the same if I wanted an additional banner under the nav only my custom layout refernce should be different?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I tried your method in the magento default theme. I want to place a free shipping for category SHIRTS. But I want to place it just under Quick Overview.
    I tried to add the block inside name="" instead of name="content" block,but it seems it does not work.

    any suggestion?


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