I have a Magento (18.104.22.168) store I am working on where I have few categories (just 10), but each category has 1000's of single products. I only want a selection of products (sort of featured but more of a selection) to display on any category page by default, but if the user then uses the layered navigation to filter down the products, then it will include all the products in that category as criteria are applied. My first approach was the single product visibility setting choices of "catalog,search" and "search" but the layered navigation will only include the items which are marked as "catalog" or "catalog,search". I need the layered navigation (including it's product count) to include everything in the category. Does anyone know if it is possible (without a core hack) to get the layered navigation to include items which have a visibility set to "search" within that category? Or an alternative way of achieving this? Any extension suggestions would also be welcome!
Why don't you change your category display mode from products to static block only. You can then create a static block that loads a custom template that displays a defined selection of products from the category the way you want.
Your filtered navigation will still work on all products.
This is fairly easy to achieve if you have some Magento development experience.