21 thoughts on “Adding Variable-cost Products in WooCommerce

  • April 18, 2012 at 10:46 am


    Thanks for this article, its very useful. I have gone through these steps to add different sizes to my products but it still isn’t showing up as a drop down menu on the product page.

    Are there any reaosns why this is not working?

    Many thanks Jo

    • April 18, 2012 at 10:57 am

      The keys I have found for it to show up as a dropdown are:
      1) make sure the product is listed as a variable product
      2) make sure you check those two items under the attribute tab (visible on the product page and used for variations
      3) making sure you add the actual variations into the attribute tab.
      4) Publish/Update after setting the attributes but before you set the variations

      Let me know how it goes, and thanks for commenting!

  • May 4, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    This is great info. but why does the add to cart button with the product price disappear when I add variation. I notice that the price can be add from the variation tab, but on the actual product page there is no add to cart option. Also how do I add product categories to the category menu drop down box on the home page.

    • May 7, 2012 at 5:55 am

      Thanks for the comment!

      The price and add-to-cart option disappear because, until the customer CHOOSES a variation the software has no idea which price to display and until a price is set there’s nothing to add to the cart.

  • May 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm


    Excellent article. I just had a question. How can I make it so that I can have everything added on together? For example 2 attributes equal one BIG price. The attributes in the drop down will just show a breakdown of the big bundle price.


  • May 7, 2012 at 12:00 am


    In addition to my previous comment, I just wanted to add, how can this method be used to add an “add-on” feature. For example, selling a home phone with an add-on of call display. Then it would bring a total price with the new add-on for example:
    Home phone: $20
    Add-on of call display: $5
    Total: $25

    Thank you. Any help is greatly appreciated

    • May 7, 2012 at 6:03 am

      I did a little testing and, as far as I can see, this is where other systems like WP-Ecommerce are easier to manage BUT have less granularity.

      When you add a second variation, it’s then on you to create product options for each permutation (home phone with no call display, home phone with call display, etc). You then hard-code the price for each permutation. It’s a complete pain to set up, but once done you know for certain what the price for each inventory option is going to be.

  • May 12, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks for your tips, but I still have problems adding attributes. I separate them with a Pipe, but it looks like woocommerce thinks, it is a normal text and it appears in the “Additional information” tab.

    Your wrote: “Make sure the type is “Select”, not “text””. What does this mean?
    Thanks for your help.

    • May 14, 2012 at 8:48 am

      It sounds like you are adding (ie: creating) your attributes on the product page. While you can do it, it’s not the optimal way.

      You start off creating the attribute by itself: On the left-hand toolbar, point your mouse to “Products”. From the fly-out menu, choose “Attributes”. This gives you a page where you can create attributes (it looks alot like WordPress “categories”). Follow the instructions (the “select” versus “text” comment should make sense once you see that screen).

      Only after you create your attribute should you go and create (or edit) your actual item.

      Hope that helps.
      – Leon

      • May 14, 2012 at 11:17 am

        Hi Leon!
        Thanks a lot for your answer. You are right. I wanted to create them on the product page, because I thought this works as well, but it didn´t.
        I have one more question according the variations. If you have two attributes like Color and Size of a T-Shirt for example. Is it possible that if a customer selects the “blue T-Shirt”, that the available sizes are Medium and Large and if he selects the “black T-Shirt” the available sizes change to S, M, L and XL.
        Thanks for your help, much appreciated!

        • May 14, 2012 at 3:45 pm

          After you create your attributes and come back to the actual product page, you decide which combinations of attributes have prices:
          Blue and large = 10.00
          Blue and medium = 7.00
          Blue and small = 5.00
          Green and large = 12.00
          Green and small = 3.00

          By omitting various combinations, WooCommerce “knows” not to list the other options. IE: When someone picks “green” in the color dropdown, they will only see large and small in the size dropdown. Conversely, if they start by picking Medium in the size, they will only see Blue in the color.

  • June 3, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Hi there, Thanks for the great post.
    I am having trouble with the look of the actual variable product drop down menu as it appears on my actual site. On many tutorials I have seen it should be a nice clean look, but for some reason it appears differently with the variation word (in my case “Size”) appears lower than the actual drop down menu. Is there somewhere to adjust the style of dropdown menu that appears to customers?
    Thnaks Josh

    • June 5, 2012 at 10:36 pm

      Depending on the theme you are using, this can be quite a challenge.

      While it warrents it’s own series of posts, the style files for WooCommerce are NOT kept in the main directory nor can they (as in the case of WP-Ecommerce) be copied into the main directory and modified there.

      You have to become fairly intimate with the files under /wp-content/plugins/woocommerce/assets/css (mostly the woocommerce.css file, but there are others). But in some cases things are not done in styles, but rather with functions or in templates.

      For the moment, the best I can say is “Good Luck!”

  • June 13, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    First of all, thank you for this post. It was extremely helpful.

    I’m creating a site using WooCommerce but I’m having trouble reconciling product inventory. The site is for a Tshirt company and we need to manage inventory for every shirt and in every size.

    I’ve created the variables do display the appropriate T-Shirt, Color, Size and Number of Stock thanks to your post. However, when I click on WooCommerce –> Reports –> Stock, the report tells me that I’m out of every Tshirt. Conversely, when I click on Products, the product page shows me the total number of tshirts I have in stock, but not how many of each color or size. Any help is appreciated.

  • June 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm


    Going back to your answer about hard coding prices into each variation as a way of adding a desired “total” price… I have a scenario where I am trying to sell videos and each addtional copy you buy has a different “total” price. For instance, you buy one copy at $40 and each subsequent copy is purchased for $20. I can get the total price correct by hard coding each variation (i.e. 1 additional copy is $60, 2 is $80), but there is no quantity limit for physical product variations…so I cant stop someone from selecting a quantity greater than 1. This will throw prices off and is very confusing. Any help would be much appreciated!

  • June 24, 2012 at 10:01 pm


    Really need help in changing the select box (choosing product variation) to radio button for variable product.

    Any help will be very appreciated

  • July 9, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I’m afraid you’ll never be hired by a big organisation – your step by step process was far too clear and easy to follow and it worked like a dream!

    Thanks a mill – I’d been searching for hours until I came across your site…


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