Adding and managing products

If you’ve not gone over the product settings in WooCommerce, watch this video before adding your first product.

Adding a product ↑ Back to Top

Now for the fun stuff, adding your products! But before diving into your first product you should familiarise yourself with how product categories, tags and attributes work.


As you would expect, categories and tags work in very much the same way as any other post type categories and tags. They can be applied before, or during the creation of a product.

Attributes on the other hand are a little different – they can be added per-product, or you can set global attributes up for the entire store to use (for example in layered navigation).

See: Managing Product Categories, Tags and Attributes

Product Types

With attributes and categories set up and stock management configured, we can begin to actually add products. When adding your product the first thing to ascertain is which type of product it will be.

  1. The Simple product type covers the vast majority of any products you may sell. Simple products are shipped and have no options. For example, a can of drink.
  2. A Grouped product is a collection of related products which can be purchased individually and can only consist of simple products. For example, a simple product for a PS3 could be a grouped product as there are 80GB, 120GB and 200GB variations of that same parent product.
  3. An External or Affiliate product is one which you list and describe on your web site, but is sold elsewhere.
  4. A Variable product is a product which has several different variations, each of which may have a different SKU, price, stock options etc. For example a tshirt available in several different colours and/or sizes.

Adding a simple product ↑ Back to Top

Adding a simple product is a straight forward process and not too dissimilar from authoring a standard WordPress post. In the Products menu click Add Product; you will be presented with a familiar interface, and should immediately see where to type the product title and full description.

WooCommerce Add Product - Familiar Interface

A familiar interface for adding product information


Under the main dialog box is the Product Type panel. Here you define the product type (as outlined above) and whether it is a downloadable (digital), or virtual (service) product.

Virtual products don’t require shipping – an order containing virtual products won’t calculate a shipping cost

Product data

Next is the Product Data tab set. This is where the majority of the product data is input.

WooCommerce Simple Product - General Tab

Product data is added from this panel


General tab

  • SKU – stock keep unit, used to track products. Must be unique, and should be named so it does not clash with post ID’s.
  • Price:
    • Regular Price – The item’s main price.
    • Sale Price – The item’s sale price.

Inventory tab

The inventory tab allows you to manage stock for the product individually and define whether to allow back orders. If stock management is disabled from the settings page, only the ‘stock status’ option will be visible.

WooCommerce Simple Product - Inventory Tab

Checking the Sold Individually box limits the product to 1 per order.

Shipping tab

  • Weight – Weight of the item.
  • Dimensions – Length, width, and height for the item.
  • Shipping Class - Shipping classes are used by certain shipping methods to group similar products.

Linked Products tab

Using up-sells and cross-sells you can cross promote your products with one another. They can be added by searching for a particular product and selecting the product from the drop down list:

WooCommerce Simple Product - Linked Products Tab

After adding them, they will be listed in the input field:

WooCommerce Simple Product - Linked Product Added

Up-sells are displayed on the product details page. These are products which you may wish to encourage users to upgrade to based on the product they are currently viewing. For example if the user is viewing the coffee product listing page, you may want to display the tea kettles on that same page as an up-sell.

WooCommerce Product Up-Sells

Cross-sells are products which are displayed at the cart and related to the users cart contents. As an example if the user adds a Nintendo DS to their cart, when the arrive at the cart page you may want to suggest that they also purchase spare Styluses.

Grouping – Set this option to make this product part of a grouped product.

Attributes tab

On the attributes tab you can assign attributes to a product. You will see a select box containing any global attribute sets you may have created (E.G. platform). See Managing Product Categories, Tags and Attributes for help on setting these up.

Once you have selected an attribute from the select box, click add and you will be able to apply the terms attached to that attribute (E.G. Nintendo DS) to the product. You can choose to hide the attribute on the frontend by simply leaving the ‘Visible’ checkbox unticked.

Custom attributes can be applied here too by choosing ‘Custom product attribute’ from the select box. These are added at the product level and won’t be available in the layered navigation.

Advanced tab

  • Purchase note – Enter an optional note to send the customer after purchase.
  • Menu order – Custom ordering position for this item.
  • Enable Reviews – Enable/Disable customers reviews for this item


Finally you can add an excerpt which should be a short description of the product. Typically this will appear next to the product imagery on the listing page whilst the long description will appear within the Product Description tab.


On the right hand side of the Add New Product panel you will see your product categories in which you can place your product, just like a standard WordPress post. You can also assign the product tags in the same manner.

WooCommerce Product Categories and Tags

Product images ↑ Back to Top

You can add both a main image and a gallery of images – see Adding product image and galleries

Setting catalog visibility and feature status

In the publish panel you can set catalog visibility for your product.

WooCommerce Product Visibility Options

Visibility can be set to:

  • Catalog and search – visible everywhere
  • Catalog – visible in catalog loops, but not search
  • Search – visible in search results, but not in the catalog (categories/shop page)
  • Hidden – only visible on the single product page – not in any product loops

Adding a grouped product ↑ Back to Top

A grouped product is created in much the same way as a simple product. The only difference is that you will select “Grouped” from the Product Type dropdown in the General product tab details as shown below.

WooCommerce Grouped Product - Inventory Tab

To create your parent product select ‘Grouped’ from the Product Type Dropdown.


Upon setting the parent product as ‘Grouped’ product type, the price and several other fields will disappear, this is fine, you’ll be adding this information to the individual child products. Once you’re finished with the parent product, publish it and come back to the Add New Product page.

To Create a Child Product inside a group

To create a child product, go to: Products > Add New to add a new product. The only information you’re required to fill in here is the following:

  • Title
  • Product Type = Simple

You can also add your price and other product details as needed. Next, go to the Linked Products section to select your parent product from the Grouping dropdown as shown below.

WooCommerce Linking a Grouped Product

If you wish to control the order in which products are shown within a group, edit the “Menu order” option under the “Advanced” section in product data.

Adding a virtual product ↑ Back to Top

When adding a simple product, you can check the ‘virtual‘ box in the product type panel. This will remove un-necessary fields (such as dimensions).

Adding a downloadable product ↑ Back to Top

When adding a simple product, you can check the ‘downloadable‘ box in the product type panel. This will add two new fields:

  1. File path – path or url to your downloadable file.
  2. Download limit – a limit for the number of times the customer can download the file. Left blank for unlimited downloads.
For maximum flexibility, downloadable products also incur a shipping cost (if for example you were offering both a packaged version, and a downloadable version of a product this would be ideal). You can also check the ‘virtual’ box if the downloadable product is not shippable.
Please note: if the Completed Order Email doesn’t contain downloadable links, please review the following guide.

Adding an external product ↑ Back to Top

Choose ‘External/Affiliate’ from the product type drop down. This will remove unnecessary tabs such as tax and inventory and insert a new product URL field. This is the destination at which users can purchase the product. Rather than add to cart buttons, they will see a read more button directing them to this URL.

Adding a variable product ↑ Back to Top

Variable products are arguably the most complex of product types. They let you define variations of a single product where each variation may have a different SKU, price or stock level.

See Product Variations for a guide on adding and setting up variations.

To mark a product as featured go to: Products > Products and select the Star in the featured column. You can alternatively select the Quick Edit option to select the Featured option.

Setting A Featured Product

Setting A Featured Product

Backorders Out of Stock ↑ Back to Top

If you are managing stock on an order and allow backorders in the WooCommerce settings most all payment gateway options will charge immediately. You can use the Advanced Notifications extension to help notify someone other than the shop admin of backorders.

If you wanted to wait to charge your customers for an item when the item is back in stock you can use the Waitlist extension which will email all users that the item is back in stock with a link to return to the site to purchase it.

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