In previous articles of this series about WooCommerce I have discussed different settings and their configurations, including the addition of products. Then we explored the addition of four different kinds of products with featured images and product galleries. In the section of products, there were options for product tags, categories and attributes. This is what I will be discussing today.
Generally categories serve as filters to group together all the related posts in one place. This is also the function of categories in WooCommerce, but this time categories are used to group together all the related products so as to provide convenience to your customers. For example, the category for T-shirts will contain all sorts of T-shirts, the category for caps will contain all sorts of caps, and so on.
In WooCommerce, product categories can be created from Products > Categories.
Adding Product Categories
Once you’ve entered this section you will find almost the same category page as the one in above figure, where you can enter the Name, Slug and Description for the category. You can also choose the Parent, in case the newly created category is the child of any parent category. Similarly, as with any other post category, you can edit, update and delete the product category in the same way.
You can decide the order of the categories (i.e. how they will be displayed on the front-end) with the Drag & Drop feature.
Product categories have two different options than the normal post categories. Towards the end of the page one can find the option for Display type and Thumbnail.
With this option you can decide how a particular category will be displayed. You can find various options in the dropdown menu, like Default, Products, Subcategories, and Both.
- Default This will use your theme’s default display option for the category. Some themes might display products while others might display categories.
- Products Viewers will see a list of all products under the category.
- Subcategories Viewers will see a lot of all subcategories under the category.
- Both Viewers will see both the subcategories and products on the category page.
The name of this option explains its purpose quite well. It allows you to upload an image for the newly created category. This image will appear with the category name on the front-end of your online store. The image might not show up on all themes though. It depends on how your theme has been crafted.
Once you are done with filling the details then click Add New Product Category. The category will appear in the adjacent window, which lists all the product categories on the Add Product page.
So whenever you are creating any product in WooCommerce you may check its relevant category and/or subcategories.
WooCommerce also requires you to specify a default category that will be applicable on all products for which you did not explicitly assign a category. The category is set to Uncategorized by default. However, you can also make any other categories as your default. For example, if most of the products you add on your website are going to be t-shirts, you can make them the default category.
One more thing to keep in mind is that the default category cannot be deleted. This means that you will not be able to get rid of the Uncategorized category unless something else is made the default category.
If you are uploading any content on the internet then you should make sure that visitors are able to search it. Tags provide this opportunity to visitors. If used in the right way these tags can get you ranked on Google, as they are an excellent source of internal link multipliers.
Let’s call the tags in WooCommerce product tags. These product tags will work in a similar fashion to post tags. But product tags are different from the product categories. Product categories are usual for a broad categorization of products like a Tshirt. Product tags on the other hand describe specific aspects of the product like its color, or intended customer, cost etc. The tags for a Tshirt could be casual, boy, blue, and cotton etc.
You can get access to Product Tags by navigating to Products > Tags from the WordPress Admin Navigation.
Adding Product Tags
Once you enter this section you will find options to create new product tags. These options are exactly the same as those of post tags. So to create product tags in WooCommerce, fill out the fields for Name, Slug, and Description. Then click the Add New Product Tag button and your job is done.
WooCommerce users can also add product tags directly at the time of product creation via the Add product page. Beneath the section of product categories, you will normally find the meta box for Product Tags. Here you may enter the relevant tags, each separated with a comma, and then click the Add button.
I’d recommend that you don’t stuff your posts with a lot of tags. There is a general rule of adding up to three tags per product.
To display product tags on the front-end, click the Save Draft or Update button. You will see a similar result to the one shown in the above figure.
Removing Product Tags
In case you want to remove a tag from a particular product, simply go to its editing page in your WordPress dashboard and locate the meta box for Product Tags. Hover your mouse on the cross sign which appears with every tag. The cross mark will appear red. Simply click it and that particular tag disappears. But to delete it from your WordPress install you’ll have to find it through the Products > Tags section. It’s pretty much how we use post tags.
I have mentioned product attributes a number of times in my previous posts. With attributes you are able to define some extra pieces of technical information about your product like color, size, or weight. Attributes also refine the browsing experience for your customers because they can get a better idea about the products. Ideally they are created in the same way as product categories.
To create any new attribute, go to Products > Attributes.
Adding a Product Attribute
Like categories and tags, the first two fields which you will fill in while creating any attribute are for Name and Slug.
The next two options are Enable Archives? as a checkbox and Default sort order in the form of dropdown menus.
You can check this box to tell WooCommerce to create an archive pages where users will be able to find all the products from your store with a particular attribute value. For example, They will be able to find all clothes made of cotton by visiting the link
Default sort order
This option controls the sort order of the terms on the front-end which are a part of the attribute. Users can choose between Custom ordering, Name, Name (numeric) and Term ID.
If you choose Custom ordering then you can easily drag and drop the various terms in an attribute. Selecting Name will order the elements in alphabetical order. Selecting Name (numeric) will order the elements in numeric order. You should consider choosing Name (numeric) for numerical values because using Name to sort values like size such as 9, 5, and 10 will give you 10, 5 and 9 instead of 5, 9 and 10.
Once you are done with filling all these fields, click the Add Attribute button.
Adding Terms in an Attribute
Once a product attribute is created, it will appear in the adjacent tab, which will display all other product attributes. The above figure shows one such representation where three attributes have been created i.e. Color, Material and Size. Here you will see a new column for Terms which was not present during the process when I created an attribute. The column of Terms contains the values for the attribute, e.g. the attribute for Color has terms (values) of Blue, Green and Red. Similarly, the attribute for Size has terms like Large, Medium and Small. However, the Material attribute has no such terms. So the question arises: how can one add these terms?
You can do so by clicking the Configure terms link that corresponds to the term Material.
After you click the link, you will again find a similar layout to add terms for your attribute. So add as many terms as you want for your attributes using the fields of Name, Slug, and Description, and click the Add New Material button.
Drag and drop to decide the order of terms, and your job is done.
This wraps up our exploration of the Products section in WooCommerce.
This post has been updated with contributions from Nitish Kumar. Nitish is a web developer with experience in creating eCommerce websites on various platforms. He spends his free time time working on personal projects that make his everyday life easier or taking long evening walks with friends.