This is a guest post by Maarten Belmans of Studio Wombat – if you like the article, make sure to thank him in the comments!

If you use WooCommerce for your online business, you may have needed the ability to add extra options.

That functionality allows buyers to personalize their products exactly the way they want – whether they want to add their favorite pizza topping or buy a laptop with extra RAM.

When you provide those options, you optimize the customer experience on your website. But in order to provide those customization options, you’ll need a product add-on plugin.

That type of plugin makes it easy for you to create additional form fields, which in turn allows your visitors to customize the products they want to purchase.

Product Options Vs Product Variations

WooCommerce has a built-in feature to display options on product pages, which are called “variations.”  A classic: if you define a variation “color” on a product, WooCommerce will display a dropdown list with the different color options. This comes in handy when you sell the same T-shirt in various colors.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean WooCommerce offers everything you need to provide your customers with numerous options. Variations will only get you so far and are not always sufficient. Here are a couple of limitations variations have:

  • Variations are pre-defined and, therefore, usually limited to a few options.
  • You need to know your options in advance. But what if you are selling wedding rings, and you want to offer an option where users can decide what text they want you to engrave the ring with? You can’t list all the possibilities.
  • Variations are only displayed as dropdown lists, and you’ll need an extra plugin if you want to display them as swatches (or anything else).

The general rule is to only set up variations if your product also has a separate SKU (Stock Keeping Unit). For example, in a warehouse, a green shirt will have a different SKU than the same shirt in blue.

In all other cases, or if you sell more complex products, it is a good idea to look into a plugin that can add extra options to product pages.

Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce

That is where Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce comes in. This plugin makes it easy for you to add extra options for any given product. There is a wide range of field types you can choose from and combine to create the most suitable result for your web store and products. The plugin comes with several useful features.

1. Many Different Field Types

You can add any kind of option to your products, including various text boxes, dropdowns, checkboxes, radio buttons, number fields, image swatches, and color swatches.

2. Adjust Your Product Price

Each option can add an extra cost to your product, if that’s what you want. You can choose to use an additional flat fee, a quantity-based fee, or a percentage-based fee to your product.

3. Add Fields Globally or Per Product

You can add options to individual products (via the “edit product” screen) or globally (via WooCommerce > Product Fields). When adding fields globally, you can specify conditional rules to filter the right products.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea: Which Plugin to Choose

Advanced Product Fields is not the only product option plugin out there. There are plenty of plugins that make it possible for your customers to customize your products. So why would you choose Advanced Product Fields?

We wanted to guarantee that we would offer extra value to this plugin segment, so we decided to put a couple of plugins to the test. Based on our findings, we have created an extensive comparison of 6 popular plugins – including our own. 

And we have to admit, even we were surprised to see that the most popular plugins often make your website significantly slower, which is detrimental to the user experience. We were also pleased to see that our own plugin barely slows down your website, unlike some competitors. You can find the detailed comparison here. If you are mostly interested in the numbers and proof of our findings, this Google sheet will tell you everything you want to know.

Free Vs Premium

The free version of Advanced Product Fields comes with plenty of features, such as:

  • 9 different form elements to choose from
  • Conditional logic (show/hide fields based on other fields)
  • Dynamic product price: change the price depending on field value(s)
  • Visibility options: decide on which product(s) to show your fields

For those that need more, the premium version includes all the features of the free version, plus:

  • Quantity-based fields: repeat fields if your visitors change product quantity.
  • More field types such as image and color swatches.
  • More pricing options: quantity-based pricing and percentage-based pricing.
  • Actions & filters so you can extend the plugin with additional features.

Take Your Product Pages to the Next Level

When you add a product option plugin, you automatically make it much easier for your customers to customize the products they’re interested in. In other words, this type of plugin improves the customer experience – and isn’t that what we all want? But don’t forget that a lot of those plugins unnecessarily slow down your website. If you want to give your clients more options, Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce is your best option.

Maarten Belmans

Freelance web & WordPress developer. Making WordPress and WooCommerce products at Studio Wombat

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