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.

Adding tags and categories is an essential part of setting up your online store. Tags and categories can help you organize your shop better, and they have an overall positive impact on your sales.

Add or edit 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. Log into your WordPress website and navigate to Products » Categories.
  2. Enter a Name.
  3. Optionally, enter a Slug.
    • This is the URL-friendly version of the name.
  4. Optionally, choose a Parent if this is a subcategory.
  5. Optionally, enter a Description.
    • The description is not prominent by default; However, entering it might help to increase usability and improve SEO in your shop.
  6. Choose a Display type ― This will determine what is shown on the category’s landing page.
    • Standard — Uses your theme’s default behavior.
    • Subcategories — Will display only the subcategories.
    • Products — Only displays products.
    • Both — Will display subcategories and products below that.
  7. Optionally, upload an image or thumbnail.
  8. 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 and usually in lower case letters.
  • Count — The number of products which are members of the category.

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:

Quickly editing product categories
  • Category name — To reiterate, the category name must be unique.
  • 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 categories

Categories can also be reorderedorsorted by dragging and dropping. The category thumbnails will then be organized in the same order that they appear in the back-end.

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 categories

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

Custom slug for category archives

Each category has its own archive, viewable at:

The product-category section of the above URL structure can be adjusted by following the steps below:

Adjusting slug for product category archives
  1. Log into your WordPress website and navigate to Settings » Permalinks.
  2. Scroll down until you locate the Product category base text-field.
  3. From here you can configure the URL structure by modifying the default value.
  4. Click Save Settings to flush existing rewrite rules or permalinks.

The product-category base should not conflict with the other taxonomy permalink bases as WordPress requires something unique and distinctive to be entered for each base.

Last updated: 3 years ago

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