Managing Product Categories

Product categories are the primary way to group products with similar features​ which also can be extended by creating subcategories if desired.

As an example, if you are in a fashion or clothing business, you might have T-Shirts, hoodies, and pants as your shop’s top-level categories.

Add or Edit Product Categories

Categories can be managed by navigating to the Products » Categories screen and similar to categories on your posts, you can add, delete, and edit product categories as well.

Managing WooCommerce product categories
  1. Login to the your WordPress Dashboard.

  2. Click the Products tab.

  3. Click the Categories sub-tab.

  4. Enter a Name.

  5. Optionally, enter a Slug. This is the URL-friendly version of the name.

  6. Optionally, choose a Parent if this is a subcategory.

  7. Optionally, enter a Description. The description is not prominent by default, however, within a Shop by Category block you may want to display it. Entering this might also help to increase usability and improve SEO within your shop.

  8. Choose a Display type. This will determine what is shown on the category’s landing page.

    1. Standard — Uses your theme’s default behavior.

    2. Subcategories — Will display only the subcategories.

    3. Products — Only displays products.

    4. Both — Will display subcategories and products below that.

  9. Optionally, upload an image or thumbnail.

  10. Click Add new category button to save your new category.

Table of Categories

This table lists all of your product categories by row. Categories are displayed hierarchically and alphabetically, and subcategories are displayed beneath their parents and are prefaced by long dashes. These dashed are only there to show the hierarchy and are not part of a category’s name.

The table of product categories contains the following columns:

  • [ ] — A checkbox that when clicked (checked), selects that particular category to be deleted with a bulk action.

  • Name — The name of the category.

  • Description – Categories may have an optional description.

  • Slug — The slug of a category. Usually in lower case letters.

  • Count — The number of products which are members of the category.

Search Through Categories

Above the table, to the right, is a search box where you can enter a word, or series of words, and click the Search categories button to search and display all the Categories meeting your search words.

Quick Edit

The following fields can be modified via the Quick Edit section:

  1. Category name — To reiterate, the category name must be unique.

  2. Category slug — Again, the category slug also must be unique.

Screen Options

The Screen Options allow you to choose which columns are displayed, or not displayed, in the underlying Table. Clicking on the screen options tab will show a list of columns with a check-box next to each column.

Also, the number of categories to display in the Table of Categories can be set and modified from here.

Sorting Product Categories

Categories can also be reordered or sorted by dragging and dropping.

Sorting product categories by dragging and dropping

This order is used by default on the front end whenever the categories are listed. This includes both widgets and the category or subcategory views on product pages.

Fallback Default Category

Every single product must be assigned to a category, and a default category will be automatically assigned if the product is not assigned to any other category.

Switching the default category using the row actions underneath the category name

By default, this category will be named Uncategorized and can not be removed from the category list. However, you can rename the fallback category or switch the default category using the row actions underneath the category name.

Assigning Product Categories

While adding a new product via Products » Add Product, you can select one or multiple product categories from the list.

The taxonomy for product category is product_cat.