Creating configurable products in WooCommerce (2023)

Do you want to set up configurable products on your online store? In this article, we’ll show you how to do this with a plugin.

As the largest eCommerce platform in the world, WooCommerce caters to all kinds of businesses that would benefit from offering configurable products, from pizzerias to bike shops. However, the default methods for setting up configurable products in WooCommerce are quite limited.

In this article, we’ll look at why using a product configurator plugin is better than sticking to the default WooCommerce functionality. We’ll also introduce you to WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate and show you how to use it to set up highly configurable products in your online store.

What are configurable products in WooCommerce?

A configurable product in WooCommerce is any product that can be customized by customers on the front end of your site. WooCommerce provides two ways to do this by default, which is by creating variable products or composite products.

Variable products

A variable product lets customers customize or personalize their product before adding it to their shopping cart.

WooCommerce variable product

For instance, if you sell the same t-shirts in multiple colours, you can create a variable product for each colour. This approach is handy for inventory management. When a customer buys the product, only one SKU is used in the backend.

Composite products

Composite products in WooCommerce are essentially a bundle or kits made with various products together.

Composite product WooCommerce

For instance, you can put together a hamper of multiple products by displaying them on the same product page. In this method, an SKU is assigned to each item the customer orders.

In both instances, creating composite or variable products, you can manage your catalog visibility to ensure that these “extras” are only visible on the product pages. A plugin doesn’t necessarily replace variable products or composite products, but simply adds more functionality for customers to configure products.

We’ll also explain how the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro plugin does this soon.

Why would you want a more powerful way to configure products?

For many types of businesses or online stores, the default WooCommerce features are not enough. For instance, let’s say you sell pizzas and want customers to personalize their orders through your website by selecting pizza toppings. While this can technically be done by setting up a composite product, you don’t want to set up toppings like mushrooms or olives as products because it would be redundant.

Similarly, if you use variable products for this use case, you’ll only be able to create a pre-set list of configurations to choose from, such as mushroom pizza, jalapeno pizza, mushroom and jalapeno pizza, and so on. The customization options will be much more limited for your customers.

Another great example of this is print-on-demand products such as configurable t-shirts. While you can let shoppers select their desired color by creating a variable product, there’s no way to let them add custom text or upload their own images.

Therefore, if your business depends on selling any form of configurable products, having a dedicated product configurator plugin will help you offer more options to customers and improve the overall shopping experience on your online store.

What is WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate?

The WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate plugin is a product customizer that’s perfect for setting up configurable products on your WooCommerce site.

WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate

Personalise products with extra fields and custom options

Find Out More

The robust plugin is designed to let you add extra fields and custom options to ordinary WooCommerce products. This way, you can allow customers to easily personalize their orders before checking out from your online store.

While the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate plugin comes with a basic plan, which is quite powerful, the pro plan has a few features that might be essential depending on the types of products you sell on your online store. Here are some of the core tools the plugin gives you to create configurable products:

16 different field types to choose from

The WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro plugin lets you create a wide range of add-on fields, including text fields, select fields, checkbox fields, image upload fields, dropdowns, product and product categories fields, and radio buttons. You can create a completely different set of add-on fields for each product you sell in your store.

For example, let’s say you want to sell custom business cards on your WooCommerce site. Using WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro, you can let customers select their order quantity using a select field, choose a specific color using a color picker field, and even upload their custom logo or artwork using an upload field.

Custom business cards

What if you sell food products on your WooCommerce site and want to create a customizable food hamper? Our example below showcases how WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate makes it possible to create a “7-day meal plan” product. Customers can add multiple meals to their cart using the Product fields, choose their desired delivery day using a Dropdown field, and enter order notes directly from the product page using a Text area field.

WooCommerce configurable product meal plan

Intuitive setup process

The WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro plugin is easy to set up on your WooCommerce site. We’ll provide a full step-by-step guide on how to use the plugin to set up extra product options on your online store later in this article so it’s easier for you to do it on your own WooCommerce site.

Global set up options

The great thing about WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro is that it also lets you set up extra product options globally. This is great for quickly setting up product options for multiple products that have the same customization options. For example, setting up size and color options for all products in the Hoodies category.

Conditional logic

Conditional logic is another useful feature to have, as it helps you offer a more streamlined shopping experience on your WooCommerce site. This is because instead of bombarding customers with options they might not need, you can use conditional logic to reveal more fields depending on what the customer selects.

For instance, you can showcase the topping for an acai bowl only when customers select the size of the bowl. This way, you can make sure the new fields correspond to the customer’s choice. If customers choose the small bowl, they will be limited to 4 toppings, but if they choose a medium bowl, they can add up to 6 different toppings.

Adjust pricing for fields

WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro also lets you adjust pricing for all extra options or fields you add to your WooCommerce product. This way, you can either charge a small fee or offer discounts to customers depending on the product option they choose.

This is a great feature to have as a store owner, so you can easily set prices for extra options customers choose from. It’s also beneficial for your customers as they can clearly see the cost of configuring an item to their exact specs so they can make changes accordingly.

In addition to this, if you set negative prices for extra fields, it can be a great way to offer discounts on certain product configuration options and encourage more customers to add them to their orders.

If you’re interested in seeing how the plugin works and lets you create fully customizable products, there are a few special products created using the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro plugin on our demo site:

  • Build-a-bike. The “build-your-own” product is a great example of how versatile the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro plugin really is. It lets customers fully create their own personalized bike according to the specs they need by using responsive and interactive fields on the product page.
Build a bike product example
  • Create your own pizza. Similar to the “Build-a-bike” product, the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro plugin also lets you set up customizable food products such as a pizza or pasta bowl.
Pizza builder configurable products WooCommerce

How to create configurable products with WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate

Here, we’ll show you how to create configurable products on your WooCommerce site with the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate plugin.

Step #1: Install and activate the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro plugin

To get started, install the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro plugin on your WooCommerce site. To do this, navigate to Plugins → Add New from the WordPress admin panel and upload the plugin’s ZIP file to your WooCommerce site.

Click on the Install Now button and then Activate the plugin to continue.

With the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro plugin installed and activated, it’s time to verify the license key and unlock the plugin.

Navigate to WooCommerce → Settings → Product Add-Ons and click on the Licence link from the top.

Enter the license key given to you at the time of purchase and click on the Activate this license button to continue.

Step #2: Configure plugin settings

Next, it’s time to start configuring the plugin’s settings according to your online store. To access the plugin’s settings, navigate to WooCommerce → Settings → Product Add-Ons.

General settings

The General link will showcase some of the plugin’s basic settings. For example, you can select the Hide zero prices checkbox to ensure extra products with no prices don’t display a “0” figure. You can also check the Enable editing select box to let your shoppers make changes to their personalization options after they’ve added the product to their shopping cart.

Upload settings

Click on the Uploads link from the top to access the upload field settings, which is used for letting customers upload their images from the product page to be printed on their custom order or for print-on-demand orders. We recommend selecting the Users must be logged in to upload checkbox to ensure you don’t receive spam submissions.

If your online store has child products, it might be best to redirect users who try to access the hidden products. To do this, click on the Products link from the top to access the product and child product options.

Products setting

You can select the Redirect hidden products checkbox to prevent your customers from purchasing a child product independently from your online store.

Once you’re done setting up the plugin based on your preferences, click on the Save changes button to continue.

Step #3: Add fields to products

Adding extra fields to WooCommerce products is fairly simple with the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro plugin. All you need to do is navigate to the product’s edit page and scroll down to the Product Add-Ons tab under the Product data meta box.

Click on the Add Group button to start creating fields for your product. Field groups can be used to bundle together similar, extra product options to streamline the shopping experience on your product page. Once you set field group details, click on the Add Field button to start adding fields to your product.

Customisable product field

Let’s say you want to offer a quick way for customers to select their shirt size. The Field Label lets you showcase a custom label for the extra option. Choose Select or Select Box using the Field Type dropdown menu to create a select list. Now, to add the sizes, click on the Add Option button and specify the size in the Option field. You can also charge a small fee for larger sizes using the Price field.

In addition to this, you can make it easier for your customers to understand what the fields are there for by using the Field Description or showcasing an image using the Field Image section.

Similarly, you can add as many extra fields to your products as you want without having to worry about performance-related issues. However, adding multiple fields may cause clutter on your product pages and can make it confusing for shoppers who don’t want to use the extra product options when purchasing the product. For this, conditional logic comes in handy.

Conditional logic

Simply select the extra product option you want to hide until the customer indicates they want to see it. For instance, only showcase the upload media field when customers select the Upload Logo checkbox. Click on the Add Condition button and set it to showcase the field only when the relevant checkbox field is checked. Once you’re done make sure to click on the Update button to continue.

Step #4: Preview

Shoppers on your online store can select extra product options using responsive select boxes and dropdown fields.

Customisable t-shirt preview

Customers who want to personalize their orders can click on the checkboxes to reveal more fields, such as the Upload field and Text field.

Upload logo option

Create configurable products in your WooCommerce store

While the default WooCommerce features allow you to set up variable and composite products, it doesn’t quite cut it. If you’re a WooCommerce business that wants to sell configurable products on your online store, then you absolutely need a third-party plugin to extend WooCommerce’s functionality.

This is why we recommended using the WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate plugin, as it’s the best solution for eCommerce store owners. The plugin is designed to work for most types of configurable products by letting you add up to 16 different, versatile field types to your WooCommerce products.

WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate

Personalise products with extra fields and custom options

Find Out More

Ready to start creating configurable products in your WooCommerce store? Get WooCommerce Product Add-Ons Ultimate Pro today!

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