Inventory Manager

A WordPress Shopping Cart without the Cart

Manage and Display Items in your Blog

Similar to a shopping cart, but without the shopping cart functionality – this plugin allows you to add, edit, and manage items in an “inventory”. Drop in a single keyword [inventory] in your page or post, and voila! The inventory is displayed.

Check out the Inventory Demo page (constantly under construction)

Major Release!
Version 2.1 is released! It brings a whole new set of features called Types.

To understand types, think of shopping at Amazon, Newegg, or When you do, you will notice there’s a variety of different types of products. Usually, these products have different attributes (or specifications) depending on the type of product.

For example, at a refrigerator has different attributes than a gallon of paint.

With version 2.1 of inventory, you can set up different types, and each type can have different attributes. And, if you don’t want to use that feature, it’s virtually transparent until you want it!

Enough people have asked that I’ve finally broken down and created a donate button. Thank you for those of you who consider donating!

Feature List

  • Simple to administer through an “Inventory” sub-menu in the dashboard
  • Add, Edit, and Remove items through the dashboard
  • Items may have images – (unlimited images per item)
  • Easy implementation on any WordPress page
  • “Reserve” function allows your visitors to express interest items
  • Upload inventory items directly from a CSV or tab-delimited file
  • Thumbnails/Large images can be used to display the small image in the item, then click to view large. This is done automatically – Learn about thumbnails.
  • A sidebar widget allows you to list inventory categories (with counts)
  • Provide custom labels the fields
  • Use Tag Parameters to control display
  • New! Item Types allow you to define different attributes for different types of items
  • New! Better control of the display and sorting of fields in the listing and detail views
  • New! Image upload utilizes built-in WordPress media upload for easier use
  • New! Control the sort order of the images with drag-and-drop (when editing an item)
  • New! If an item has more than one image, the images (in detail view) are displayed automatically in a mini-gallery, with an improved lightbox for the main image
  • New! SEO friendly urls

The Manage Inventory screen, displaying the list of items:

A Post or Page displaying the items:

The “Reserve Item” Form:

The Inventory Submenu (on the left) and the Add Item form:


The plugin is designed to be simple to use. Following are some instructions that make using it simpler and de-mystify some of the settings:


View the installation instructions (at the top of the right side-bar on this page).

Once the plugin is installed, you can cause the inventory list to be displayed on ANY page or post. To do this, add the [inventory] shortcode in your Page or Post where you would like the inventory list to display. Everywhere you put the tag, the list will display.

There is now support for parameters in the [inventory] shortcode, controlling which category displays, sort order, and more. Learn more about Tag Parameters.

General Instructions

This plug-in is intended to display Inventory Items that you enter on your site, on as many pages as you like. Through the dashboard, you may add, edit, and delete inventory items on your WordPress site. Inventory items can be assigned to Categories (which you can define). Inventory Items may have multiple (unlimited) pictures.

One of the features of this plugin is the Reserve Item feature. If you turn this on, then your visitors can “Reserve” an item. When the user clicks on Reserve This Item, they are then prompted to complete a form requesting their contact information. The form information is e-mailed to you, so you can then contact them and/or decide whether to mark the item as Reserved. (You mark an item reserved by Editing the Inventory Item, and checking the Reserved checkbox).

Inventory Options

Under the Inventory menu (on the left-side navigation in your WordPress Dashboard), click on the Inventory Options.

In the Inventory Options page, you can define which fields are displayed when your inventory items are listed, as well as in the Reserve Item page (if you allow reserving). For example, setting the Display Inventory Category Name option to No will cause the list of items to NOT include the category name. Setting the Display Inventory Reserved option to No will effectively disable the reserve function, because the link to reserve an item will not be available to your visitors.

If you are going to allow Items to be Reserved, then you should enter your e-mail address in the E-mail address to send to.. This is the e-mail address that a reservation will be sent when your customer reserves an item.

Inventory Categories

You are able to add/edit/remove categories that are available for items to be assigned to. Each inventory item may be assigned to only one Category. Currently, there are no functions or features associated with categories, although future functionality may include sorting/filtering by Category.

Categories may be assigned a color, however that color is not currently implemented in the display of the inventory list.

Adding/Editing Inventory Items

By clicking on the Manage Inventory link in the dashboard, the Manage Inventory pane is displayed. In this pane, the upper portion is a form for entering new items. The lower portion displays the existing inventory items.

To add a new inventory item, simply complete the form. Some notes to help clarify some of the form fields:

  1. Item Number is simply for your reference. This field can be anything you like.
  2. Add Image is a standard Browse field that allows you to upload the image you would like to be displayed.
  3. MULTIPLE IMAGES are achieved by adding an item (along with the first image), saving that item, then editing the item and using the Add Image field again, and saving again. Repeat this for all the images you would like assigned to an item.
  4. Item Category shows you a list of the EXISTING categories. If the category you want to use is not in the list, you must first go to the Manage Categories page and add the category, then add/edit the item to assign the category.
    Display Order allows you to control the order in which the items are listed. Lower numbers are shown at the TOP of the list, higher numbers at the BOTTOM.
  5. Item Size is purely for display purposes. You can leave this blank, or enter a size if it would be useful to your customers.
  6. Item Reserved. This checkbox controls whether the item shows a Reserved tag, or displays the Reserve This Item link in your inventory list. When the checkbox is NOT checked (AND your Options are set to Display Inventory Reserved), then the Reserve This Item link will be available. When the checkbox IS checked (AND your Options are set to Display Inventory Reserved), then the Reserved informational tag is displayed.

About Reserving Items

This is a fairly simple feature of the plugin, and makes some assumptions. The best way to think of it is this: Imagine it was designed for a site displaying/selling unique, one-of-a-kind items. The inventory plugin assumes there is only ONE of that item – when it is marked reserved, the list indicates the item is reserved, basically saying “this item is no longer available.”

If your shop sells items that you stock in quantity, then it is recommended that you turn OFF the reserve function. To do this, go to the Inventory Options pane, and set the Display Inventory Reserved setting to No..
- OR – you can just know that you will never edit a given item and mark it as reserved (which will leave the item perpetually available, regardless of how many people Reserve it.)

When an item is reserved, an e-mail is sent to the address set in the Inventory Options pane. Also, if you set the options to do so, an e-mail will be sent to the Owner of the item (you enter the Owner E-Mail address in the Add/Edit Inventory Item pane.

Note: The reserve feature is also Manual. That is, when someone completes the Reserve Item form, the plugin does NOT automatically mark the item reserved. This is so that you can verify it should be made unavailable before it is made unavailable (examples might include verifying the customer is legitimate, or you have multiple copies of the same item, etc.)

Thumbnail and View Large Images
In version 2.0, the way images are handled was greatly improved:

Now, the built-in WordPress Media Upload is used. By doing that, we have several advantages:

  1. The interface is smooth and simple.
  2. You can access images that are already uploaded in your Media Library
  3. WordPress built-in thumbnail functionality is used

Here’s an overview of the images:
Each inventory item can have as many images as you like.
If you have more than one inventory image for an item, you can reorder the images by dragging and dropping them to the order you would like. The first image is the one that shows up in the inventory listing display. All images will be displayed in the inventory detail display.
When the inventory detail display is viewed, it is in a mini-gallery format. There is a “main” image that is displayed, with thumbnails of the images below the main image. Clicking on a thumbnail loads that image into the “main” image. Clicking on the “main” image loads that image into a lightbox.

The one key to remember when uploading images is this:
Select the image size you want to display in the lightbox.

Tag Parameters

As of version 1.3, you can control the display with Tag parameters. Note that parameters should be separated by semi-colons


[inventory] will cause the page to list all items, sorted by the Order field.

[inventory category=”2″] will cause the page to list ONLY those items in category with id #2

[inventory category=”logging”] will list ONLY those items in the Logging category

[ code=”inventory items_per_page=”3″] will over-ride the Configuration items per page, and only list 3 items per page

[inventory sort=”number”] will over-ride the Configuration sorting, and sort items by their number (most fields work – see complete sort field listing below)

[inventory display=”spreadsheet”] will over-ride the Configuration display, display the listing in a spreadsheet

[ inventory category=”general” items_per_page=”5″ sort=”date desc” display=”normal”] will list ONLY items from General category, 5 items per page, sorted by date added descending, displaying as individual divs (instead of spreadsheet style).

Parameters and valid settings:

Either the NAME or the ID NUMBER of the category to display

An integer representing the number of items per page (must be more than 1)

Accepts spreadsheet (to display as a spreadsheet/in a table) or normal (to display each item in it’s own div)

The name of the field you want to sort on. Valid values include:

  • number
  • name
  • description
  • order
  • size
  • price
  • id
  • quantity
  • manufacturer
  • FOB
  • make
  • model
  • year
  • serial
  • date
  • category
Note: If you’ve assigned a custom label to a field, you may also use that custom label as a valid sort. For example, if you’ve re-named the “FOB” field to, say, “location”, you may use “location” for the sort field like so: [inventory sort=”location”]

If you like the plugin…

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