How do I circumvent Shopify’s 1,000 tag limitation while looping?

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Tourist
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Hello:

 

I want to mention that I am not a developer.  If you have suggestions, please kindly speak in laymen’s terms so that I understand your suggestions/solutions. 

 

Shopify has limits on the number of tags that are returned on any page - it will only return the first 1000 unique tags. If I exceed this number, then the tags get truncated down to the first 1000. The filter menu uses these tags to generate the filters and if I have many tags that are not being used to filter then these unused tags will take up the available spots and the actual items, I want to be filtered on will not be seen. 

 

I will have tens of thousands of unique SKUs/Products in my shop.  Even if I had one tag per product, I would hit the 1000 tag limit when I have 1000 unique SKUs.  Shopify allows up to 250 unique individual tags.  That is not the problem.  The problem is that filters use these tags to generate the filters and liquid will only return the first 1000 tags.  Right now, my filters do not work.  I currently only have 5-10 tags on each product and approx. 1100 products.

 

I have been told that there are ways to circumvent the problem and I’ve been told that it is not possible to circumvent the problem.  I’m not sure what to believe.

 

One filtering app company told me the following:

We do not have the limitations of 1,000 tags while looping, since we have our own API to do filtering and searching.

 

A Shopify Partner mentioned this on the forums:

The way in which we got around this in the end was having a 'Menu Override' for particulary large collections. We do this per filter type e.g. Colour and genertate the menu handle based upon a prefix, collection handle and the filter type e.g. "filter-all-colour"

 

Does anyone know what that means or how to do this?

 

Shopify customer service has not been helpful either.  After chatting with them for hours, I kept getting the run around.  They eventually told me to reach out to developers. 

 

Again, Shopify allows up to 250 tags per product and that is not the issue.  I will only have 5-10 tags per product primarily to be used for filters.  The issue is that Shopify only returns the first 1000 unique tags and then stops so the filtering does not work.  This would be fine for a small shop with small inventory but it is not fine for my shop as I will have thousands of products eventually.

 

Please let me know if anyone has encountered this problem.  I would assume they have as this restriction would cause a great many shops to experience this problem.  Please let me know how you circumvented the problem or what solution you might have to the problem.  Again, I am not a developer so please speak in laymen’s terms so that I understand the solution.

 

Many thanks in advance.

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Shopify Partner
1777 211 370

You'll have to rely on a third party service/app to cover for this scenario. Search/filtering apps are using Shopify APIs and can index/search your product catalog in a much more flexible way. There is no way to achieve that through liquid and templating.

Sergiu Svinarciuc | CTO @ visely.io
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Tourist
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@Visely-Team wrote:

You'll have to rely on a third party service/app to cover for this scenario. Search/filtering apps are using Shopify APIs and can index/search your product catalog in a much more flexible way. There is no way to achieve that through liquid and templating.


Hi Sergiu,

 

Thank you so much for answering my question.  I did have another question for you. 

 

My shop will have a massive inventory eventually.  Some of these 3rd party apps have restrictions on the total product count.  For example, one allows a maximum of 50K products and they have said it is the maximum that Shopify allows. Because of this product limit and to not have a bigger headache down the road, are there any other options.

 

A developer online said that he would be able to build a Shopify app where unlimited number of tags will be allowed.  He said that the filter will work on the backend app code and will filter results in real time. 

 

He said that I would have access to the backend of the app through Shopify backend and the filter data will be coming through the app as well. The app will be seamlessly integrated. You will see the products in the app and can add as many tags as you want against them. The front-end filter data will also come through this app and it will let the user filter the products in the left panel and user will be able to view the filtered products in the listings page. So, as you can see that there will be no need of the original Shopify tagging system, it will be replaced by the one he will build and hence will not have any tagging limitation.

 

Is this a viable option in your expert opinion? 

Are there any drawbacks from going in this direction? 

Wouldn’t the developer have to maintain and update the app constantly?

 

Again, because I am not a developer, I am trying to gather as much information as I can and make an informed decision vs. trial and error which will end up not only being a complete waste of time but also waste of money.  Any additional advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

 

Many thanks in advance.

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Shopify Partner
1777 211 370

The solution proposed by the developer is definitely something that can be implemented, and it will actually be an app in the Shopify nomenclature, just a private, non-public app. Most probably the developer will have to maintain the app and its backend as Shopify doesn't offer hosting for such solutions, so yeah, that would be a custom implementation. It will come with all classic drawbacks as time/effort to get it right, QA, maintenance, which boils down to the "buy it" or "build it" dilemma.

 

With regards to the limit of 50k products, not sure where it comes from, as there are no limits, you can see that on the pricing page - https://www.shopify.com/pricing so most probably it is a limit that is convenient to app developers.

 

 

Sergiu Svinarciuc | CTO @ visely.io
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Tourist
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Thank you very much for your reply Sergui.  I really appreciate it.  It is frustrating that the app developer has a limit of 50K products.  What they told me is that Shopify is imposing that limit on them.  But based on the link you shared, you are right in that there are no limits.  

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Hi, 

 

You're providing search functionality on your site that filters based on tags and you can only pull in 1000 tags and therefore your search is limited, correct? Sorry, I just want to make sure I understand exactly what the issue is.

 

What Liquid objects are you using to pull these tags in?

 

 

 
ScreenStaring
Software Development & Consulting
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With regards to the limit of 50k products, not sure where it comes from...

I think they may be referring to API limits: https://shopify.dev/concepts/about-apis/rate-limits#resource-based-rate-limits

 
 
ScreenStaring
Software Development & Consulting
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Shopify Partner
2294 116 353

@Sophie_R 

 

How do I circumvent Shopify’s 1,000 tag limitation while looping?

  • A) If you have an expansive inventory line and this has a matching impact on business value you need to pull back and do a full discovery with an expert for the business information architecture , which can be costly upfront.
  • B) lower the amount of products needing to be looped over by lowering the product count using things like vendor,product-type,etc
  • C) Combine your tags, unique or non unique values, with a convention then parse it in liquid, keep in mind the effect this will have on url structure when using tag links to filter
  • example: sku123_colorred-sizelarge-attributevalue 
  • D) move where you store data, i.e. use metafields if you don't need to build tag filterurls ,or the menu-handle trick you saw mentioned[1]
  • E) do the looping on the frontend with javascript instead on shopify server with liquid
  • F) repurpose search templates to fake "filtering"

 

I have been told that there are ways to circumvent the problem

To be clear getting around a limitation is not that same as solving the problem, WHY do you need to do this and it's solving that goal can often mean not having to "circumvent"

 

[1.]

filter type e.g. Colour and genertate the menu handle based upon a prefix, collection handle and the filter type e.g. "filter-all-colour"

 

Is this a viable option in your expert opinion? 

Are there any drawbacks from going in this direction? 

Wouldn’t the developer have to maintain and update the app constantly?

Getting a custom solution is always a viable option if the business value is there, the drawback is once you do this you are now in the software development business whether you think you are or not and this means meetings,clarifications, maintenance, retainers, bugs, bug reports, etc etc often all having to fit in some narrow budget unless you use another payment model with the custom app's developers.

 

 

As he 50k limit being mentioned by app devs is probably the api call limit which is per day , however that can still cause issues for them when you have excessive inventory needs; in which case you should considering getting a shopify Plus plan.

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Tourist
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Hi ScreenStaring,

 

Thank you for responding to this.  I really appreciate it.  Yes, my filters work based on tags.  On my left side of my site, where my filters are, I have filters titled Filter by color, Filter by Price, etc (I have several).  Right now for example, because I have a lot of unique tags (over the 1000 tag limit when looping), the filter stops working and the filter will not pull up all of the colors even though I have tagged products with these colors.  I've been told that because Shopify has that limit, the filter will stop at 1000 tags which sort of makes my filter useless.  

 

I hope that clarifies things a bit.  Many thanks again.

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Tourist
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Hi there PaulNewton,

 

Thank you very much for your well thought out response to my question.  Your time and efforts are greatly appreciated.

 

Based on your suggestions, it seems like I am way in over my head.  It seems like it is very important to find the right developer for this project which has been very challenging to say the least.  I have gotten so much conflicting advice which is very frustrating to a business owner because that is not where my expertise lies.  So as a result, I really don't know what direction to take.

 

You've offered some great suggestions and some I'm not sure I understand because I am not a developer.  

 

The developers who have suggested a custom solution (custom app) have kind of downplayed the upkeep of a custom option.  Some of the things you mention are the very things I am worried about:

"...the drawback is once you do this you are now in the software development business whether you think you are or not and this means meetings, clarifications, maintenance, retainers, bugs, bug reports, etc etc often all having to fit in some narrow budget unless you use another payment model with the custom app's developers."

 

Here is a response from one developer when I was concerned about the maintenance of the custom app or whether it would fix the problem:

The custom app will 100% work if coded properly. it will not give any issues in the future until you do some customization on the Shopify template which will conflict with the app, which can be an issue in 3rd party app during customizations on template.  We are not going to create custom app for filter functionality we will create custom app to resolve the issue for 1000 tags limit which you facing currently in your filter functionality. We don't change the functionality in your filter we are going to break the 1000 tags limit with custom app. If we develop custom app then we will charge you one time but if you use 3rd party app then you need to pay every month. If issue will get resolved with the custom app then why would you need a 3rd party app?

 

As you can see, they are really downplaying the upkeep of such an app.  They have said it will not have to be maintained which makes me raise an eyebrow.  

 

Other developers have told me it is not possible to build a custom solution.  So, as a result, I am left wondering which direction to go.

 

Many thanks again.

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