Variable Products

Variable Products: a quick guide to WooCommerce Product Variations and Attributes

Variables Products and how to update them

Variable products and attributes are complicated and we’ll start with a disclaimer that you shouldn’t follow everything in here to the letter. You’ll need to adapt things depending on what plugins, product set-up and functionality you have on your own store. Our basic WooCommerce guide covered the different types of products you can have. In this guide we’ll take a more in-depth look at how to amend variable products – adding more variations.

Step 1: check your attributes

First up you need to have all the attributes defined. You’ll find these under the products / attributes menu. Before you go any further, make sure you have all the attributes and terms you need defined. We’ll use these at the next stage. Here’s a sample from Plug Plants by Post. This is the case study we’ll use to walk you through the updates.

Step 2: Add new attributes to your product

In this example we’re taking a product which has some simple variations already set up and adding some more. Here we start with 3 quantity variations with prices set for each.

The next step is to add more variations. We’ll add a new category of ‘plug plant strips’ and set up product variations based on the attributes Plug Plant Type and quantity. Not all types will be available in all quantities. The mature plug plants will be available in 3,9 and 24 – as currently. The strips will be available in quantities of 5,15 and 45, with different pricing.

In this case we only currently have 1 attribute set on the product for variations – quantity. We’ll need to add some more.

We’ll add new attribute of ‘plug plant type’ and choose the variations we want – in this case ‘Mature plug plant’ and ‘plug plant strip’. And then save them.

Next we’ll need to add the new quantities – we currently only have 3,9 and 24. So let’s edit the quantity variation (see highlighted arrow) and add the new ones:

Step 3: Generate the new variations

Let’s move to the Variations tab and see what’s currently there:

We want to set the existing variations to be only available for ‘mature plug plants – just change the dropdowns to do this, and save. The next step is to add the new variations for the plug strips – 5,15 and 45. The easiest way to do this is to add them manually. We can start by altering the ‘any quantity / any type’ and clicking edit to change the price. At any point you can ‘preview’ your changes from the right hand admin panel. We should end up with something like this:

Step 4: Ordering of attributes on the screen

Next make sure your attributes are in the right order. In this case the Plug Plant Type attribute was added below the Quantity. So elts jump back to attributes and drag Type to the top (drag from the 3 bars)

Step 5: Check your product categories

This step is going to depend on how your shop is set up. In this case we have product categories set for ‘Mature Plug Plants’ and ‘Plug Plant Strips’. So we’ll also have to now add this product to the Plug Plant Strips category so that it shows up in the right places on the storefront.

And there we have it! The product is now in a new category, with a new ‘strip’ variation and quantities

For this store we have also installed the YITH WooCommerce Product Add-ons & Extra Options plugin so that variations which are not available are marked when a selection is made. This has already been configured, so there are not changes required.


We hope this has been a useful deep dive into altering product variations. You should be able to use this in any standard WooCommerce store, although your use cases may differ slightly.

Be notified when we post a new guide!

If you are interested in keeping up to date with our help guides, sign up below to receive a notification of new posts. We'll only send you an update once a month. Please check your spam folder if you don't receive the opt-in email!

Scroll to Top