Adding a product
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).
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.
- 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.
- A Grouped product is a collection of related products which can be purchased individually. For example, a PS3 could be a grouped product as there are 80GB, 120GB and 200GB variations of that same parent product.
- An External or Affiliate product is one which you list and describe on your web site, but is sold elsewhere.
- 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
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.
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.
Next is the Product Data tab set. This is where the majority of the product data is input.
Product data is added from this panel
- SKU – stock keep unit, used to track products. Must be unique, and should be named so it does not clash with post ID’s.
- Regular Price – The item’s main price.
- Sale Price – The item’s sale price.
- Weight – Weight of the item.
- Dimensions – Length, width, and height for the item.
In the tax tab you define the products tax status and if you’ve set up additional tax classes, which tax class the product belongs to. You can set up tax classes in WooCommerce > Settings > Tax.
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.
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, then clicking the ‘Up-sell’ or ‘Cross-sell’ button in the search results:
After adding them, they will be listed on the right side of the panel:
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 Nintendo DS product listing page, you may want to display the Nintendo 3DS on that same page as an up-sell.
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.
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 Setting up atttributes 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.
The grouping tab lets you assign your simple product to a grouped product if one exists. You can also set the sort order if you want the product to appear in a specific order when viewing the grouped product.
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.
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.
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
A grouped product is created in much the same way as a simple product. The only difference in fact is choosing “Grouped” from the Product Type dropdown in the General tab. Upon choosing this the price several fields will disappear, this is fine, you’ll be adding these fields to the individual child products. Once you’re happy with the grouped (parent) product, publish it and come back to the Add New Product page.
Now you need to add the child product which sits within the grouped product. The only information you’re required to fill in here is the following:
- Title. E.G. Playstation 3 80 GB
- Product Type (simple)
- Parent post (inside the Group tab). Choose your parent (E.G. Playstation 3) from the selectbox
Adding a virtual product
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
When adding a simple product, you can check the ‘downloadable‘ box in the product type panel. This will add two new fields:
- File path – path or url to your downloadable file.
- Download limit – a limit for the number of times the customer can download the file. Left blank for unlimited downloads.
Adding an external product
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
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.