Here’s yet another snippet I use on A Piece of Sicily, my Sicilian marketplace, to make sure vendors can only select one product category for a given product. This is to make sure they make the best possible choice and also to avoid confusion and multiple listing.

Of course, the same can be used on your own WooCommerce install, in case you wish to limit the number of categories that can be assigned to each product (inside the snippet, you can even change “1” to “whatever number” and therefore define your own “max” e.g. max 2 categories).

This time I can’t make you “see” the customization as we’re in the backend, so please take a look at the screenshot below. Enjoy!

Here’s what happens with the snippet below if you’re editing a product which has already a category assigned to it. Once you try to select a second category, an error message triggers and the second category is immediately unchecked.

PHP Snippet: Force Max 1 Product Category Per Product @ Product Add/Edit Admin Page

/**
 * @snippet       Max 1 Product Cat @ Product Edit/Add Page
 * @how-to        Get CustomizeWoo.com FREE
 * @author        Rodolfo Melogli
 * @compatible    WooCommerce 5
 * @donate $9     https://businessbloomer.com/bloomer-armada/
 */

add_action( 'admin_head', 'bbloomer_max_one_product_category', 9999 );

function bbloomer_max_one_product_category() {
	$screen = get_current_screen();
	$screen_id = $screen ? $screen->id : '';
	if ( ( 'add' === $screen->action && 'product' === $_GET['post_type'] ) || in_array( $screen_id, array( 'product', 'edit-product' ) ) ) {
		wc_enqueue_js( "
			$('#product_cat-all input:checkbox').change(function () {
				var max = 1;
				var count = $('#product_cat-all input:checked').length;
				if (count > max) {
					$(this).prop('checked', '');
					alert('Sorry, you can only pick one category. Please untick current category and pick another one in case you wish to switch category.');
				}
			});
		" );
	}
}
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