Setting up Variable Products in Woocommerce

What is a variable product?

Put simply a variable product is a product with variations. This can be colour, size etc. So instead of creating 3 products for a small, medium and large T-shirt, you can create 1 product with variations of small, medium and large for the customer to easily choose from.

You can take this one step further and also have colour variations with this. So a customer would browse this 1 product and be able to select their required size as well as choose from an array of colours.

Setting up Variable Products in Woocommerce

It’s great for simplifying your shop and having all the options for a specific product in 1 location however it can be a little tricky to set up if you’ve not done it before. Hopefully, this step-by-step guide will help.

Time needed: 5 minutes

How to setup product variations in Woocommerce

  1. Making your product a variable product

    Create a new, or open an existing product. Scroll down the page until you see a section called ‘Product Data’. This area allows you to set pricing among other things. You should have a dropdown box at the top of this section, it’s probably set to Simple Product selected. Select this and choose variable product.
    Changing a Woocommerce product from simple to variable

  2. Adding your attributes (colour, size etc)

    Staying on product data, select the attributes section. Leave the dropdown as ‘Custom Product Attribute’ and click add. A box will appear below. Give your attribute a name, e.g. Colour and add the colour options as described making sure to include a ‘|’ symbol between each colour. Once done make sure both checkboxes are ticket for visibility and use for variations. Click save attribute. NOTE: you can add multiple attributes to include size for example.
    Adding product attributes to website products

  3. Creating the variations

    You’ve set up your attribute so it’s time to create the variations from those attributes. Select the variations section. You can either generate all variations at once or add them individually but normally all at once works well. Select ‘Create Variations For All Attributes’ and click go!
    This will create all possible variations.Generating product variations in your Woocommerce shop

  4. Editing your variations

    Your variations will now show below, click on a variation to expand its box and see more details. Here you can add an image specific to the variation but you can also leave it if the default product image still works. Give your variation a price which can be different to other variations. This is helpful if some of your variations cost more or less.Customising your website product variations

  5. Saving your changes and publishing the product

    Once you’ve updated all the variations make sure to click the save changes button at the bottom of this section and lastly Publish or Update the product to make your changes live. Browse the product on your website to make sure your variations are showing correctly.Selecting your newly created product variations on your website


Product variations are great for showing all possible variations of a product to the customer and simplifying the purchase process which can only be a good thing. They can also save you time as you don’t need to create several products for each variation.