I would like to create a category for Best Sellers, for this I create a root category which will contain certain products.

On my homepage, I have a block that will simply display these associated products.

The Problem

When I try to load my category model the normal way, I get an empty category model.

$category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load(100);

So I tried the collection knowing this should work seeing as there wouldn't be any default filters:

$category = Mage::getResourceModel('catalog/category_collection')

Which works, with the exception it isn't what i'm looking for.

I found an article on StackOverflow describing one problem is that the category flat tables may not be indexed, so I ran the indexer as per:

$ php shell/indexer reindexall

Still, not having any luck with it. I checked the Admin configurations to double check flat tables were being used:

System > Configuration > Catalog > Frontend -> Use Flat Catalog Category

Where by Use Flat Catalog Category and Use Flat Catalog Product are both set to yes.

Inside my CMS Page I have implemented some layout XML following:

<block type="vendor/bestseller" name="home.best_seller" template="catalog/bestseller.phtml">
    <action method="setCategory"><category_id>193</category_id></action>


class Vendor_BestSeller_Block_Bestseller extends Mage_Core_Block_Template
    protected $category;

    public function setCategory($category)
        if ( ! ($category instanceof Mage_Catalog_Model_Category)) {
            //$category = Mage::getResourceModel('catalog/category_collection')
            //    ->addIdFilter($category)
            //    ->getFirstItem();

            echo '<pre>';
            Zend_Debug::dump( $category );

            $category = Mage::getModel('catalog/category')->load($category);

            Zend_Debug::dump((string) $category->getCollection()->setSelect());

        if ( ! $category->getId()) {
            Mage::throwException('Unable to load category.');

        return $this->category = $category;

    public function getCategory()
        return $this->category;

1 Answer 1


I found the solution to be simple but really frustrating.

When using flat tables each store has it's own flat category structure.

This means categories not associated to a store will never be accessible from the Model, only the resource collection (which uses the EAV structure).

Either use the resource collection:


Or associate the category to a store (or child of a root level category) and use the model:


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