How to create product variations in WooCommerce

How to create product variations in WooCommerce

WooCommerce is one of the best eCommerce platforms available worldwide for online sales.

Online shopping usually requires that you offer product variations, such as different colors and sizes for a pair of shoes. Correct sizing is obviously important to ensure proper fit and customer satisfaction.

You can easily learn how to add this feature to your WooCommerce site with a little practice.

Adding variations means you don’t need to add the product multiple times on the site for each different size or color. Customers will quickly give up if they have to search through all these products, which is why WooCommerce product variations are so vital.

This guide created by our team at wpDataTables will teach you to create product variations in WooCommerce.

WooCommerce Variable Products

A WooCommerce variable product is any product that enables you to choose different options, including SKU, size or colors. The options are called attributes. You can add more than one to each item – for example, different colors and sizes.

Not all products offer variations, however, some items have many options, such as the following examples:

  • Furniture or furnishings that have different material options
  • Food that has different ingredients or flavors, for example, cookies in either white chocolate or dark chocolate
  • Clothing in different sizes or colors

There are two features that are variable:


These are product descriptors, such as material, color or size. For example, you want to purchase a ladle and the attributes could be ‘plastic’ and ‘black’.


Variations refer to choices or options available to the customer. For example, a customer may be able to select a t-shirt either in ‘orange’ or ‘white’.

Follow the guide below to create WooCommerce variations for your products.

Define Attributes and Add Variable Products

First add the product to your site, then set up the attributes of each available variation.

How to Add Variable Products

  • Go to WordPress admin
  • Hover on ‘products’ until you can click ‘new product’
  • Write in your title, e.g. ‘white t-shirt’
  • Go to the ‘product type’ menu and select ‘variable product’

How to Add Attributes for Variations

  • Access the attributes section by clicking ‘products’ then ‘attributes’
  • From the dropdown, select ‘add’
  • Write in the attribute, for example, ‘color’

Using Global Attributes

Global attributes apply to multiple products in your eCommerce site and are used to filter page results, such as by color or size of the products. Most web pages offer these global attributes to aid customers’ searches.

How to Add Global Attributes

  • Hit ‘select all’ to add every attribute to your variable product
  • Click the ‘used for variations’ box
  • Save your attributes

How to Add Custom Attributes

  • Go to ‘custom product attribute’
  • Hit ‘add’
  • Type in the name of the attribute, such as color

  • Set the potential values, e.g. Orange, White, Black
  • Tick the checkbox ‘used for variations’
  • Save

Adding Variations

A variation is a single product that the customer wants to purchase. It may be a t-shirt in size large and it could be white, based on the choices they make when selecting a product variation.

Each variation must have a price as well as being in stock. If they’re out of stock, they should not appear.

How to Add Variations

  • Use the dropdown menu to click ‘add variation’
  • Choose the attributes that apply
  • If you need to change anything, you can use the triangle icon
  • Edit anything you need to
  • Save

Sometimes, variations have different prices. For example, queen size sheets are often more expensive than single sheets. You can add different prices and which variations are in stock.

As an example, sheets with two attributes create variations such as the below:

  • Blue Queen
  • Orange Queen
  • Blue Single
  • Orange Single

How to Add All Possible Variations

The following steps enable you to run a bulk process for creating a variation for every possible combination of attributes. .

  • On the variable product, click ‘product data’
  • Select the tab called ‘variations’
  • Under the dropdown ‘add variation’, choose ‘create variations from all attributes’
  • Hit ‘go’

This will create all potential variation combinations for you, up to 50 at one time. If you want more, run it again until completion.

If you have many variations and don’t want to set individual prices, an easier way is:

  • Go to ‘add variation’
  • Choose ‘set regular prices’
  • Set the price and hit ‘ok’

How to Add Photos

If your product comes in different styles or colors, you’ll likely want to add an individual picture. WooCommerce variation swatches and photos are very useful, for example, photos for a sweatshirt that comes with or without a hood.

  • Go to the ‘photo’ icon
  • Upload your picture
  • Save
  • Click ‘update’ or ‘publish’

Look at the user view of your site to ensure it is uploaded correctly. Users should see the photo when selecting their desired style. If the product comes up as unavailable, you likely forgot to enter a price.

Set Defaults

You can set defaults for different variations, which enables users to find the most common option available without changing anything on the product page.

This will mean that one variation is already chosen when the user goes to the product page. An example might be white queen sheets, which can be changed to blue or single.

Defaults can only be set after one or more variations are added.

Properties of Variations

Variations have many different properties, including the following:

  • General
  • Tax status – Whether it’s shipping only, taxable or none
  • Tax class – this is handy if you have options in different tax bands
  • Enabled or disabled
  • Virtual – choose this if it is not a physical shippable product, for example, a PDF book
  • Downloadable – If it can be downloaded
  • Regular Price – this is required
  • Sale Price – this is optional, only enter this to put the product on special
  • Downloadable Files – you can add files that customers might download
  • Download Limit – adds a limit to the number of times a consumer can download a file. For unlimited, leave blank
  • Download Expiry – You may want your download to expire after a certain time period. You can set this as a number of days

Ending thoughts on WooCommerce product variations

Using the WooCommerce product variations plugin makes your pages very flexible, so you can create plain, simple, or extremely detailed pages, as well as basic product pages without options.

Variable products make your site easier to use, with fewer product pages to deal with.

Creating attributes is time-consuming, however, after you have set them up, adding variable products is easy.

Customers can see the attributes on the site, and it makes the pages easier to read.

Spending a little time on learning this skill will make your site much more functional and engaging.

If you enjoyed reading this article on WooCommerce product variations, you should check out this one about how to set WooCommerce related products.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like WooCommerce appointments plugins, WooCommerce redirect after checkout, how to set up WooCommerce test mode, WooCommerce grouped product, WooCommerce variable product, how to export export WooCommerce orders, how to change the WooCommerce number of products per page, WooCommerce hide category from shop page and the best WooCommerce extra product options.

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