HowTo – Understanding and Using WooCommerce Product Variations in your Online WordPress Store

Filed under: Wordpress Tips

WooCommerce is one of the more popular plugins that will allow you to add and sell products through your WordPress Website.

Even if you don’t normally use WordPress the ease of use of this store may have you installing it just to manage your products.

And although WooCommerce is not the be all end all solution for selling products online (meaning you won’t be adding and managing a site as big as Amazon through it) it offers a good assortment of basic features and addons that can be purchased to extend its useability.

In addition to free and pay addons you can also use plugins such as NextGen Gallery to extend your store and insert product images relatively easily.

Understanding Product Variations in your Store

Once you have your base store installed you will want to think about how your products are selected by your customer.

If you are selling Clothing then you will need a variation group that lists all available sizes and another that lists all Colors.

In this case we will be selling Shoes.

Instead of making many groups for different individual items you should make a variation set that includes all the sizes for Men, Women, Boys, Girls, Infants.

In the variation set for Men you may list all number and half sizes for Men from size 6 to 14.

Not every mens shoe will be available in every size but when you finally get to adding individual products you will be able to add the Men’s Size Variation set as a group and then remove any sizes that are not available for that individual shoe.

The same would go for colors however instead of making five color variation groups you just make one large one and then make your final selection from that group as you add individual products.

Adding Variations to your Individual Products in WooCommerce

Once you have created your groups and setup your mailing options and uploaded your images .. hopefully to a NextGen Gallery you can begin adding products to your WooCommerce Store.

Select add a new product and then insert the name of the product as you would for the title of a Post.

Add the product information in the post area.

Under the post editor box you will have the ability to add your Product Variations.

Select the group or groups of variations that you want to add for this product… Sizes Colors and so on.

Uncheck the sizes or colors you don’t want to add.

When you are happy with the variations selected save your product as a draft.

You will now be able to modify the variations for this product.

Modifying Product Variations

Unfortunately you must set the attributes for each product variation that will change things like your UPC / SKU number…. The Price.. or its dependence on selecting another variation first.

For example if you were selling Pizza and the base price is $10 and toppings cost 50 cents you can not set these prices for your whole store…

This means if toppings that are on sandwiches cost the same as toppings on Pizzas you will still need to go in and add the prices for each variation.

This can be somewhat difficult however if you are managing a large store you can purchase the WooCommerce import / export addon and set your prices in a spread sheet.

You will also be able to make other settings for this product that your customer can select on checkout.


If you find that your prices change you can modify them through a find and replace within your database much faster then you can by editing each item individually.

The ability to edit your database for prices and other information will depend on whether they are easily found. In the case of selling Pizzas if Toppings were all to go up the direct editing of the database would be rather easy.

If you are changing prices that are not similar then you will need to edit every variation by hand.