by Rob Snell,

This summer I was on vacation on a cruise in the Carribean when my workaholism flared up. I was able to dash into a cybercafe, check my email, and get a little work done.

I could have done anything I could normally do at home to my 10 Yahoo! Stores or client sites because everything in my Yahoo! Stores is on the Yahoo! servers out in California.

All I need is a browser and an internet connection, and I'm in my store. Cool!

This flexibility can also have a downside. Editing your site online can be slow, especially during peak usage times. If you are stuck in a cheap hotel with your laptop and an AOL connection, you are in Hell.

Database uploads automate the major downside of using a server based application like Yahoo! Store by allowing you the flexibility of making large sweeping change to your site while offline, and then bulk uploading products and graphics like "normal" FTP web sites do.

You can also destroy months and months of work with the click of a button or two. Think of it as shaving with a chainsaw. It can be really efficient, but one slip and you're in big trouble.

Note: I always experiment on a test store before trying new DATABASE UPLOAD tricks, so here goes!

First, I make sure I can EXPORT my data!

I log into the MANAGER at

Then I go to PROMOTE>SEARCH ENGINES and look below the scroll. It’s the 2nd feature.

Click ENABLE "Export of Store Contents - Enable this to let third parties, such as product search engines, download your list of products. They should fetch them periodically from the URL using the Yahoo! Store product export XML format. This doesn't affect Yahoo! Shopping"

Click DONE.

NOTE: Please remember that anyone who knows your Yahoo account name can now download your entire site. Just something to think about.

Take a look at this big ole file. It's HUGE. It's everything in your store: Items, sections, content, etc...


Go get the XML file by going to

Enter your account name (or whatever you want the CSV called and URL

Pick your DELIMITER, (I use COMMAS).

Pick which pages you want - Just Products or ALL. I choose all files because I want to see any files that are EXILED that I might have forgotten about…

I also DON'T STRIP html from description and caption because most often I am exporting my store's contents to REUPLOAD THEM after cleaning up the mess.

Click on PROCESS FILE. Think happy thoughts for both Dan the Sausageman who sponsors this page, as well as Matt who wrote the program. Saves me HOURS. Thanks, Dan. Thanks, Matt.

I create a NEW FOLDER on my desktop for the file and SAVE the MY-ACCOUNT-NAME.CSV file into this folder.

I use Microsoft EXCEL. I got to FILE > OPEN and make sure to select the second dropdown menu of ALL FILES.

When you open the file you see you have the FIELD NAMES:

Id, Code, Description, Url, Thumb, Picture, Weight, Orderable, Taxable, BasePrice, LocalizedBasePrice, PathId, PathUrl, Availability, & Caption.

Id.html is the name of your page. Use this for CODE. (Pictures need to be named the same for bulk uploads. If ID is 1234, pictures need to be 1234.jpg or 1234.gif)

Code is the same unless you changed it. I delete this.

Description is the Yahoo! Store NAME field.

Url is the location of the published page. (See the ID.html at the end?)

Thumb is the url of the thumbnail on the Yahoo! Image Server.

Picture is the url of the thumbnail on the Yahoo! Image Server.

Weight is WEIGHT field.

Orderable is whether or not it has an order button.

Taxable is the uploadable field TAXABLE.

BasePrice & LocalizedBasePrice are PRICE

PathId tells you the section it's in which you can use for PATH

PathUrl is the location of the published section page.

Availability is AVAILABILITY if you want to upload a unique availability.

Caption is the CAPTION field. (Remember Yahoo! Store will only upload short to medium captions. If you have a loooong product description, it'll chop it off.)

First thing to remember is that you lose HEADLINE, ABSTRACT, and SALE-PRICE. I use these a LOT! Sometimes it's a trade-off.

EDIT>ADVANCED>CONTROL> Experimental>Product Summary File

To get SALE-PRICE, you can get the Product Summary File and match the IDs. Sort the EXCEL file by ORDERABLE and then by CODE. Then sort the Product Summary File by CODE and paste side by side in a SPREADSHEET.


To get the options is a bit more tricky. Use EDIT ALL from the INDEX page. View Source which in EXPLORER opens the NOTEPAD. You actually have to PARSE out the HTML, but the ID is matched up in the same TAGS as the OPTIONS info.

Now that you have all of the fields you want to export, start making your changes. Add new products. Move items into new sections. Change prices.

In the EXCEL spreadsheet Rename Id field CODE. Rename Description field NAME, and keep WEIGHT, TAXABLE, PRICE, PATH, AVAILABILITY, CAPTION. I also create columns HEADLINE& ABSTRACT. If you need OPTIONS add them, too.

Insert a new column. COPY and PASTE NAME column into this blank column. Rename field HEADLINE. When you have an empty HEADLINE field, Yahoo! Store just uses the NAME FIELD in place of the headline. When you use HEADLINE, Yahoo! Store also places the NAME of the item in html across the bottom of the page, which can only help you with search engines.

I then save this file as a CSV with a name like 300am.csv so I know when it was current and I place it in my UPLOAD directory.


I now use Data Format:CSV. I believe Yahoo! discontinued Bar-Delimited (a.k.a. PIPES) in NOV 2000 much to my dismay, and that is when I learned about ITEMS WITH NO CODE.

BEFORE YOU UPLOAD YOUR CSV FILE -- Make sure that every CODE field has an entry. Upload an EMPTY code field and you will get a nasty surprise! You get an ITEM without an OBJECT CODE and then you can't PUBLISH. You can't delete it because it has no name. The only way you can get rid of it that I've found out is to OVERWRITE your whole site! Be careful.

WARNING:This is not unlike shaving with a chainsaw. You will make mistakes. You will delete hours of hard work. Play on a test site. You have been warned.


REBUILD deletes all product images and section icons and replaces the data with just the information from your database.

Yahoo! Says: "Warning: Rebuilding your site will delete all existing items and add only the items you have uploaded. Are you sure you want to Rebuild your site? "

ADD simply adds new items and overwrites items with the same IDs.

It's the safest of DATABASE UPLOADS. The worst thing that can happen is that your overwrite good products with the new products.

Example: If you have a picture for item ID 1234 and you ADD a new product with 1234 to the site it will have the OLD photo as the ITEM IMAGE.

REVERT takes you back one generation if you REBUILT or ADDed, but only once. It's kind of like UNDO, but you only get ONE.

Databases uploads can save you hours upon hours of editing your Yahoo! Store. You can also build consistent looking pages that load faster and present more information. Even better, you can tweak your pages to be more search engine friendly to get your more traffic, more sales, and more money!

Be careful!