Creating Variations

The Variations feature is a lifesaver for certain types of store-owners.

What is a variation? It’s a subtle difference within a single product. One common example is with regard to clothing. Picture this: James wants to create a store to sell T-shirts. Once he starts building his product catalog, he realizes that he needs a way for customers to specify what size shirt they want. He shudders to think that he might need to create a separate product listing for each size of each shirt. Not only would that be extremely time-consuming, it would be confusing for potential customers. Isn’t there an easier way?
Yes! Variations are exactly what James needs. By creating a variation for size, he can create one listing for each shirt and have customers simply choose a size from a drop-down list. As an added benefit, if he needs to charge extra for an irregular size, variations can handle that, too.

There are currently two ways you can create product variations From the main variation menu or from within the product its-self.

Creating a Variation – Variation Menu

To create a variation head to the variation menu under  your main Products menu.

This will open up the variation menu there are a few options here for you to fill out and create your variation:

Variation Set / Parent -required

This is quite possibly the most important thing about creating a variation. You want to create a Size Variation with the variants of small, medium, large. First up is to Create the variation set – in this case Size.

When your creating a Variation Set / Parent (eg: size, colour, style) then you want to leave this value as new variation set / none.

For Creating the variants (small, medium, large) you will of course want to set the Variation Set to be Size.

Name – required

This will be the name that will get displayed on the front end of your site (eg Size, Small)

Slug – optional

The “slug” is the URL-friendly version of the name. It is usually all lowercase and contains only letters, numbers, and hyphens.

Description – optional

The description is not prominent by default; however, some themes may show it.

Variation Price – optional


You can list a default price here for this variation. You can list a regular price (18.99), differential price (+1.99 / -2) or even a percentage-based price (+50% / -25%). These prices here will be compared to the main product price. eg My main product is $20.00 I create a variation that is +10.00 more that product variation will $30.00 be careful using this though, if the variations price difference are not going to be the same for each product (eg blue pants are only $5.00 more) then you will be better to edit the price for the variation when you apply it to the product (See Below).

Creating a Variation – From the Product add / edit screen

Been able to create variations from within the add / edit product screen is a great new feature that was added into 3.8.8.

You must save your product as a draft first before you can create or add new variations to it, so create a new product, give it a name and save it s a draft.

Push the add variation link to add variations inline.

Enter in your parent variation / variation set name (eg size)

Enter in all your variants, coma seperated eg (small,medium,large)

Hit Create variation and your done, your variation will be created and you can now apply this to your product.

Adding inline Variants to a Variation set that already exists

If you have already created a set and you want to add extra variants (eg: adding extra large to your size variant) then you can use the inline editor on the add / edit product page to do just that, instead of creating a new variation set enter in the name of the set you want to add variants to. You can now enter in your variants coma separated, hit save and you will see them be applied to your original variation set.

Customizing your variants for each product

Applying a Custom Price
To edit the price of each variant simply enter in a new price to the price box. If you want to put your product on special then you can enter in a special price to.

Applying a weight
This is very important for things like UPS and USPS to work correctly.
Note: if your having problems with any weight based shipping then ensure all your variants have a weight!

Like the price enter in your product weight to the quick edit box, you can set the unit for the weight in your store settings, don’t forget to hit the save button to update the variation!

Setting downloadable files
This is great for creating a product with different file type variations! you could even have a product eg: a book that comes in a pdf format and a physical product book – of course you will need to upload your pdf book to that variation so here is how:

Create and Apply your variations! once that’s done click the  “variant download files” link you will be taken to the variant product post file upload box. From here you can upload a file, go to the top of the post and save it you will be redirected back to your main product.

Update Variation Values quickly

Did you know that if you apply a weight, price and stock control to the main product before you apply your variations then the values from this product will be populated into the variations when you apply them! Give it a go it will save you lots of time!

Sorting Variations

with the release of 3.8.8 (currently in its beta stages) ordering your variations became super easy. Simply drag and drop your variants from the main variations menu (under products) to order them.

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