How to display products by category in WooCommerce (in 4 steps)

When it comes to e-commerce, clear navigation is key. Customers like to be able to find what they're looking for and make purchases quickly. Therefore, keeping your products well-organized can make a big difference to your customer's experience and satisfaction. One effective way to improve navigation and organization in your e-commerce store is to display products by category.

Fortunately for WooCommerce users, WordPress includes taxonomies for categorizing posts, products, and other content. By grouping your products into product categories, you'll make it easier for customers to find their desired items. Plus, if you display products by category using tables on your shop page, customers can more efficiently browse. As well as search through your product catalog.

Displaying WooCommerce product variations in a table layout using WooCommerce Product Table

In this article, we'll talk about product categories and how they can improve your online store. We'll also guide you on how to get product category in WooCommerce and show you how to create a WooCommerce product category list with our Product Table plugin. You can list products by category or subcategory on your homepage, shop page, or anywhere across your WooCommerce store. You can also create category pages and completely customize how WooCommerce show products by category on your front end.

Let's get started!

An introduction to WooCommerce product categories

Categories in WordPress group together similar content, like posts, pages, and products. This makes it easier for visitors to navigate your site by searching a particular category for specific information. As well as additional details related to what they've already viewed.

Better navigation can significantly increase sales for online stores. Studies show that customers are more likely to leave a store without buying if they can't find what they want. That's why organizing products into clear categories is crucial for building a successful e-commerce site.

WooCommerce get products by category on your site through category tables is a great way to make it easier for customers to find what they want. You can see an example of this on the Wavelength Electronics store shop page where each category's products are listed in separate tables.

A product table on Wavelength Electronics.

Also, by adding search, sort, and filter features to your tables, customers can easily find what they want without scrolling through long category pages or your entire site.

Boost your e-commerce site with WooCommerce Product Table

Organizing products into categories and displaying them in tables can be an effective way to make it easy for customers to find what they want on your e-commerce site. If you're using WordPress with WooCommerce, you can use the "WooCommerce get products by category" function to retrieve all the products in a specific category and display them in a table.

WooCommerce Product Table is an excellent solution for adding category tables to your WordPress site. Our customers have had great luck using it to show categories on the shop page and enable search capabilities for their buyers:

Great plugin - great people behind the scenes
I needed something to display certain posts and make them searchable and filterable. This plugin was just what I was looking for. It works really well. The search narrows the results as you type. The table looks like it's "embedded" in the theme as it doesn't come with too much styling. I didn't have to change a single line of code to make it fit into the website. I did have two minor technical issues and had to contact the support. Katie answered very quick and the conversation was very friendly. One issue couldn't be solved right away, so the developer Andy looked into it as well and found a way to fix it. Also, I want to point out that the documentation is remarkable. Everything is explained, understandable and well written. I can highly recommend this plugin!

Check out the WooCommerce Product Table demo!

How to display products by category in WooCommerce (in 4 steps)

Displaying your products is fast and easy with WooCommerce Product Table. By default, it generates tables that include all of your store's products. However, with a little modification, it can use WooCommerce product category list in separate tables.

Below you’ll find tutorials that will show you the steps to create categories for your products and also display products by category clearly on your site. We'll assume that you already have WooCommerce installed and activated, and have made some products as well.

Step 1: Group your products into relevant product categories

Before you can set up category tables, you have to create your product categories by using WooCommerce's built-in categories system. To learn how to get product category in WooCommerce, check out our tutorials. It's important to remember that the goal is to make it easy for customers to find items. Therefore, you'll want to group products in ways that will make sense to customers and improve the look of your shop page display.

You can also create broader, 'parent product categories' that encompass several subcategories. For example, the parent category "dishes" might include the subcategories for "mugs", "plates", and "bowls". Parent product categories can be useful for customers who haven't decided on specific items yet.

Creating WooCommerce categories

To set up your WooCommerce product categories, head over to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Products > Categories. You'll see an empty category list on the right side of the screen and fields for entering new category information on the left:

Adding a new WooCommerce category.

Start filling in the fields on the left by choosing a category name (such as "clothing", "toys", "electronics", etc.) and a slug. The slug is simply the end of the URL that's associated with the category. So, if you wanted your category to have the URL, you would enter "clothing" as the slug:

Creating a category called "clothing".

Then, select a parent for the new category from the drop-down menu. You can add a description and category image too.

Additionally, you'll want to use the second drop-down menu to choose the Display type. The Default option will display products by category according to your WordPress theme's settings:

The Display Type option.

Or, set the display type to Products, Subcategories, or Both to show the related content on your category pages. You can still add the default category pages even if you'll create category tables later.

When you're finished, click on the Add new category button. Repeat this process for as many categories and subcategories as you need. Then, edit each of your products and assign them to relevant categories and/or subcategories.

Step 2: Install and activate the WooCommerce Product Table plugin

With your categories ready, you can now use WooCommerce Product Table to list products by category in your store. To begin, you'll need to install and activate the plugin. Head over to our website, purchase WooCommerce Product Table, and download its .zip file.

Get WooCommerce Product Table

Be sure to make a note of your license key, which we'll email to you after your purchase is complete. Then, return to your WordPress site and navigate to Plugins → Add New → Upload Plugin. Select the .zip file you downloaded earlier and upload it to your site. When the installation is finished, click on the blue Activate button:

Activating WooCommerce Product Table.

In your Plugins list, navigate to WooCommerce Product Table's settings:

Navigating to the WooCommerce Product Table settings.

The first field will be for your license key. Enter it, and then save changes. Your plugin is now fully installed, activated, and ready for use.

Step 3: Customize your product table settings

Before you add tables to your website's pages, you'll want to customize them to fit your store's needs. On the plugin's Settings page, you can configure a variety of options to modify your tables, including:

  • Styling your tables to match your theme or custom preferences
  • Specifying what content your tables should include, such as product descriptions, images, Add to Cart buttons, dropdown lists, and more
  • Enabling performance-boosting features such as lazy loading and caching
  • Adding quantity and variation selectors to your tables
  • Determining pagination options for large tables

To improve navigation by adding search, sort, and also filter functionality to your tables, scroll down to the Sorting section:

The WooCommerce Product Table sorting options.

Here, you can use the first drop-down menu to choose what data the table should use to sort the products it lists. The second drop-down menu determines if the products will appear in ascending or descending order.

Next, scroll down to Table Controls and enable the Product Filters setting. This will enable customers to use a filter drop-down menu to see specific items in your tables:

The WooCommerce Product Table controls options.

You can also enable the search box and decide where it should be located. Don't forget to save your changes to this page when you're done configuring the settings.

Pro tip

You can enhance your WooCommerce product category pages by combining WooCommerce Product Table with the WooCommerce Product Filters plugin. This adds even more flexible filters to your store, with a range of additional styles and options.

WooCommerce Product Table with Filters
WooCommerce Product Table with the advanced filtering provided by WooCommerce Product Filters

Step 4: Add your WooCommerce product category tables to your store

Now, you're ready to add your category tables to the relevant product pages. You have several options for how to do this. You can add individual category tables to your existing category pages. For example, either in addition to or instead of the default WooCommerce display products by category. Alternatively, you can create a single page that lists all of your category tables, or add new, separate pages for each one.

Once you've decided which pages to use, you'll need to use a shortcode to display each table. Normally, the shortcode used to display WooCommerce products in a table created with WooCommerce Product Table is simply:


However, this will display a table of all your products, not specific categories. Fortunately, you can easily modify this shortcode. To only display products from a certain category, you'll want to use the following format:

[product_table category="example"]

You'll simply replace "example" with the category name (or subcategory name) you want to display. Then, save or publish the page. You can repeat this process to create as many different category-based product tables as you need.

Step 5: Add custom categories to different pages across your store

You can customize which categories and also subcategories you want to display on different pages. For example, you might want to display products by category on your shop page. Let’s say your 'apparel' category consists of 4 subcategories - “Tees”, “Shoes”, “Sunglasses” and “Hoodies”. You can customize your shop page display to show categories of products in many ways. For example: 

  1. You can create 4 product tables, each product listings a subcategory. Simply add the following shortcode on your product shop page

    [product_table category="tees"]
    [product_table category="shoes"]
    [product_table category="sunglasses"]
    [product_table category="hoodies"]
  2. You can even showcase your entire product catalog by displaying multiple product categories in one table - using commas or the plus sign (+). Commas indicate "products in this category OR that category" while the plus sign means "products in this category AND that category". 

    1. For example, to show products from the “Tees” OR “Hoodies” category on your shop page, you can use
      [product_table category="tees,hoodies"]
    2. Similarly, WooCommerce show products by category from the “Tees” AND “Shoes” category on your shop page, you can use
      [product_table category="tees+shoes"]

Customize your product categories with ease using WooCommerce Product Table. Use shortcodes to display products by category on any page. As well as add a categories filter dropdown above the table for easy navigation.

Tips for improving the visibility of categories on the website

Here are some tips to improve the visibility of categories on a WooCommerce website:

  • Use clear and concise category names: Make sure your category names are easy to understand. Also, describe the products they contain accurately.
  • Organize your categories into a logical hierarchy: Arrange your categories in a logical order. As well as group them based on their similarities. This will help customers find what they are looking for quickly.
  • Use images: Use images to make your categories more attractive and also visually appealing. Use high-quality images that represent the products in the category.
  • Display products by category on the homepage: Display your most popular or important categories on the homepage to make it easier for customers to find them.
  • Use breadcrumbs: Use breadcrumbs to show customers the path they took to get to a particular category. This makes it easier for them to navigate back to the previous page or category.
  • Use tags: Tags can be helpful for customers to find related products across categories.
  • Provide a search bar: Include a search function on your website to allow customers to search for specific products or categories. You can easily do this with WooCommerce Product Table, which adds a search box above the table.
  • Use filters: Use filters to help customers narrow down their search results by price, color, size, and other attributes. Again, WooCommerce Product Table will do this for you. Alternatively, you can add more visual category filters (e.g. clickable images) by using the WooCommerce Product Filters plugin like this:
    WooCommerce Product Filters Table Integration
  • Use calls to action: Use calls to action to encourage customers to browse your categories and products. For example, use buttons like "Shop Now" or "Explore Categories" to lead customers to the relevant pages. Add calls to action to pages leading to your WooCommerce category pages.

Best practices for naming product categories in WooCommerce

When it comes to naming product categories in WooCommerce, there are several best practices to keep in mind:

  • Use clear and concise names: Make sure the category name is descriptive and easily understandable for your customers. Also, avoid using generic terms that could apply to multiple categories.
  • Keep it simple: Avoid using long or complicated names that could confuse your customers. Stick to short, simple, and easy-to-remember names.
  • Use subcategories: If you have a large number of products, consider using subcategories to break them down into smaller, more specific groups.
  • Use keywords: Use relevant keywords in your category names to help with search engine optimization (SEO). This will make it easier for customers to find your products when searching online.
  • Be consistent: Use a consistent naming convention for your categories across your website. This will make it easier for customers to navigate your site. As well as find what they are looking for.
  • Be specific: Use specific and detailed names that accurately describe the products in the category. This will make it easier for customers to understand what is included in the category.
  • Use language that resonates with your target audience: Use language that is relevant and resonates with your target audience. This will make it easier for them to connect with your products and understand their benefits.

Display products by category today

Knowing how to get product category in WooCommerce is essential to creating clear navigation for your e-commerce store. Product categories are a tried-and-true method for improving site navigation. As well as organizing your offerings into clear categories. Also, displaying them in customized tables can make navigating your store even simpler for customers. With your conversion rate on the line, it's crucial to prioritize clear navigation for your online store.

To create category tables with WooCommerce Product Table, you'll just need to:

  1. Group your products into relevant categories.
  2. Install and activate the WooCommerce Product Table plugin.
  3. Customize your product table settings.
  4. Add your WooCommerce product category tables to your store.
  5. ​​Add custom product categories to different pages across your store.

Do you have any questions about the WooCommerce product category list? Let us know in the comments section below!


  1. can i select the products through the check box and then send it for the product inquiry

  2. Very detailed post, however, I think it is missing an important info, How to display inside the table few categories in a way that it will display first all products of category A then all of category B, etc.


    • Hi, Ahrale. Thanks for your comment and my apologies for the late reply. You can use the category option to specify multiple categories to display in the table – either separated by commas or by a plus sign (+). Using commas means “products in this category OR that category”. Using a plus means “products in this category AND that category”. You can’t mix and match commas and pluses – you have to use one or the other.

      Then to arrange/organize the display of products according to category (display first all products of category A then all of category B, etc., as you described), you must include the categories column in the product table (See Available columns). With this column present in the table, you can simply click on its sort arrows on its heading to sort the table contents according to category in either ascending or descending order (which would follow an alphanumeric order).

Please share your thoughts...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *