We’ve used several stacks before that allow you to sort categories – Filter 4 from Stacks4Stacks and Hunter from Doobox, for example – but we’ve not seen one as attractive and as sophisticated as Yabdab’s new Filter stack.
Filter lets you create sections of content, organise them into a list or a grid and then filter them based on the categories you’ve assigned to each section, using attractive buttons or courtesy of the search bar at the top (you can also mix and match these so either or both are displayed). This bar also lets you reverse the order of your content in a single click or switch dynamically between list and grid view. When your visitors switch between views, items re-arrange themselves by animating smoothly into their new positions – it’s extremely slick. The result is an extraordinarily powerful and elegant stack, great for product catalogues, property listings, e-commerce storefronts, photographic portfolios, FAQs, glossaries and other kinds of documentation where you’ve got a lot of content that would benefit from being organised into categories and then filtered using the built-in controls.
Filter supports three distinct item styles – Open, into which you can drop any content, FAQ, which is designed for accordion-style lists of questions and answers and Catalog which has dropzones for an image plus other stacks, so you could for example, create a catalogue showing an image some descriptive text and a ‘more information’ or ‘buy now’ PayPal button for each item. Items can be assigned single or multiple categories meaning that it’s possible to construct quite complex searches.
The Grid layout can be set so that each item is an equal height (it takes its cue from the tallest item) or set out masonry-style, making it useful for news or new product pages. You have control over the grid width and gutter, how the text is aligned, the border width, along with the border and background colours. You can set the opening display of items to a specific single filter or set up a combination so that if you’re promoting a sale on ‘green widgets’ this week, you can have Filter load with them already displayed, rather than defaulting to ‘display all’.
Filter’s clever enough to allow you to display one or more of its Control stacks so that you can create a list of categories displayed as buttons (you’ve got full control over their appearance as well) down the side and have a horizontal search box ranged across the top of the page where visitors can type in category keywords to find items. Filter also offers the ability to create a custom ‘sorry, your search didn’t return any results’, rather than just returning a ‘null’ result.
Filter has already had a significant update which added a lightbox with caption, making it even more useful for presenting image portfolios as well as more filtering features. This is an incredibly useful stack, well-priced and highly recommended.
Note: Stacks4Stacks also has a stack called Filter which pre-dates Yabdab’s Filter stack. This has recently been updated to allow drag-and-drop editing (as opposed to having to edit the HTML code) which makes it easier to use. It’s also a very powerful stack.