How to Create WooCommerce Attributes for Products

How to Create WooCommerce Attributes for Products

WooCommerce Explained is the best-selling book on WooCommerce. In this exclusive tutorial, taken from WooCommerce Explained, we’re going to show you how to create attributes for your WooCommerce products.

Attributes are a key feature of most WooCommerce stores, but they are easily misunderstood. They’re also often confused with WooCommerce variations.

So before we begin to show you how attributes work, let me take a couple of paragraphs to define them.

Your Video Guide to WooCommerce Attributes

This video is courtesy of our friends at Nexcess. Experience the power of optimized cloud hosting! Use discount code “OSTraining” to get 50% off your first month of the Nexcess Cloud:

What are WooCommerce Attributes ?

Attributes add extra data to your WooCommerce products.

Attributes are also useful for searching and filtering products. If you give attributes to products, users can filter using them. Often this filtering is done by WooCommerce widgets that allow users to filter products.

Attributes are confused with Variations but they are different. Variations are not for searching or filtering. Variations allow users to choose different options for a product. This means you can sell a T-Shirt in different sizes and colors.

Part of the confusion is that Attributes and Variations often rely on each other to work effectively. For example, variations are based on attributes. Creating attributes is an essential first step before creating variations.

Setting Up WooCommerce Attributes

I’m assuming you understand how to create a product in WooCommerce. If not, you really need WooCommerce Explained 🙂

Imagine you have a t-shirt set up as a product in WooCommerce.

There will be a polo shirt, a t-shirt with a regular circle neck, and a t-shirt with a u-neck. We want our users to pick the style that works for them. We can do this by setting up attributes. Then we can create variations using those attributes.

  • Go to “Products” and then “Attributes” from your left sidebar menu.

woocommerce product attributes menu

  • By default, no WooCommerce attributes are set up in your store.

no WooCommerce attributes set up

  • We are going to create a name for our first attribute. We could call it “neck lines” to be very specific, but let’s just call them “Styles” since our users will have an easier time understanding that.
  • Name the new attribute “Styles”.
  • The slug will automatically be created, and we can leave the rest of these options untouched. They primarily control how you can search for attributes.
  • Click “Add attribute” and your attribute will be added.

Creating WooCommerce Attributes

Configuring the Terms for WooCommerce Attributes

Now that we have created our attribute, we can create some different styles.

  • Click “Configure terms” in the same row as “Styles”.

configure terms for WooCommerce Attributes

Let’s add our three types of styles: Polo, Circle Neck, and U Neck. You’ll have to do them one at a time.

  • Enter the Product Style Name.
  • Give it a short description.
  • Click “Add new style”.

woocommerce create terms

  • You’ll know you’re done when you see the completed list, as in the image below.

woocommerce product styles

  • To see the terms, go to “Products” and then “Attributes”.

woocommerce attributes

This was a lot of work! It took numerous screens to get our styles set up. But what we’ve done will make it much easier to create variable products.

We can choose our options from a drop down instead of having to type everything out manually.

If you enjoyed this introduction to Attributes, check out WooCommerce Explained, the comprehensive introduction to WooCommerce.


  • Steve Burge

    Steve is the founder of OSTraining. Originally from the UK, he now lives in Sarasota in the USA. Steve's work straddles the line between teaching and web development.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

Do you know how to add a child-attribute?


>> Dark Blue
>> Navy Blue

3 years ago

it’d be really nice to see just ONE writeup or video about attributes that does not use clothing colors/size etc as a variation. That part has been covered to death. I have one attribute that is used as variation, works fine. What I want to use another attributes for is to let the user choose one among a large number of, lets call them extras, like freebies you get when you buy. I want to have a popup next to the variation popup. My extra attribute shows up under additional information but no popup. I’ll keep looking for videos or writeups that acrually bother to go beyond the basics. Like what is even the point of attributes if they only work as input to variations…

A dude
A dude
3 years ago
Reply to  Kents

Amen Kents!

3 years ago
Reply to  Kents

Hi Kents,
This post is designed to be an introduction to WooCommerce not an exhaustive study of attributes – so clothing is a really easy way to introduce and understand the concepts.  

What you’re describing (if I’m understanding you) is not possible with attributes in a modal pop-up.  You’ll need to use an additional plugin called Product Add-Ons. – at first glance it seems to be a better way to go.

Tony Hisir
Tony Hisir
2 years ago

Hi Kents,
We have a handmade jewelry website.
Can I add the attributes like bracelets, earrings, rings, etc.?
Thank you for your advice.

2 years ago

How do we bulk import hundreds of Sub-features?

I need to add 300 colors.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x