Catalog plugins that enhance your WordPress ecommerce site

Wordpress catalog plugins

Do you want to showcase products or files in a beautiful, functional, and easy-to-navigate catalog layout? Or are you looking to put your site in catalog mode? In this detailed guide, we'll explore the best WordPress catalog plugins for various use cases.

Catalog layouts and catalog mode are not built-in features within WordPress.

Most people searching for WordPress catalog plugins are typically looking for one (or a combination of) the following:

  • A one-page ecommerce product catalog that lets customers easily see all the products in one place.
  • A catalog to showcase various types of information, such as photos, videos, audio files, documents, resources, or anything else.
  • Catalog mode for ecommerce — mostly B2B plugins, wholesale, and hybrid wholesale / retail — websites that allow only approved users to access pricing information or make purchases.

Regardless of whatever type of catalog you want to create on your WordPress website, this guide has your back.

Here, I'll discuss plugins that can help you create all the types of catalog sites discussed above, and help choose the best one for your specific needs. I'll also share the top tips to help you make the most of them.

Want to skip the article and start adding the catalog to your WordPress / WooCommerce site? Here's a quick overview of the plugins we'll explore:

The best part? Each plugin is super easy-to-use, even for WordPress beginners!

To begin, let's dive into what catalogs are and their key uses.

What is a catalog in WordPress?

Broadly speaking, a catalog site is a type of website that serves as a digital showcase for products, services, and resources. It's designed to display information about various items in a structured and organized manner, much like a printed catalog you might find in a physical store.

Showcasing products, services, and resources via a catalog is a great way to establish an online presence for your business.

This allows visitors to browse through listings, view details to get an overview of what you offer, and, depending on the site, (1) reach out to you for additional details (2) complete a purchase offline, or (3) purchase items directly from the catalog.

The best WordPress catalog plugins for every use case

By default, WordPress offers blog-style layouts and static pages. If you download WooCommerce, you'll get the standard 'Shop' layout for pages that list products. There are no built-in catalog layout or catalog mode options, however, you can easily add it to your site using one or a combination of these top-notch WordPress plugins:

Let's explore each WordPress catalog plugin in detail.

WordPress catalog plugin #1: WooCommerce Product Table

WooCommerce Product Table sales page screenshot

WooCommerce Product Table is an easy-to-use plugin that lets you create one-page product catalogs with hundreds or even thousands of products.

Thousands of ecommerce sites love this product catalog plugin because it replaces the standard, boring WooCommerce layout with a more functional design that provides all products and product information at a glance. Also, it allows customers to browse all products and initiate checkout with just a few clicks.

WooCommerce Product Table can be adapted to suit different ecommerce setups, such as:

  • Online stores that sell both physical goods and digital products.
  • Individuals with multiple service offerings, such as a life coach with different tiers of coaching services.
  • Physical retailers who need an online product list.
  • Virtually any other type of store that offers products and services.

A few quick notes

  • You can use WooCommerce Product Table to display products without the 'add-to-cart' button, or enable customers to add products to their shopping carts directly from the product catalog without visiting the single product page.
  • Customers can still visit the individual product page for each item.

Here's a preview of how the product catalog looks on a demo site for a grocery store:

WooCommerce Product Table Variation Prices

And another of a demo WooCommerce site that sells digital content (audio and video).

Product table screenshot WooCommerce audio video store

Here's one more example on a site that sells fans and other electronics:

WordPress catalog plugin with WooCommerce support

WooCommerce Product Table gives you total control over the product catalog and how it's presented on the front end. You can customize everything, including:

  • Choosing which column(s) to include in the catalog — product name, IDs, SKUs, long and short descriptions, attributes, featured product images, product prices, categories, tags, date, custom fields and taxonomies, product weight, dimensions, product variations, quantity selector, and add to cart buttons.
  • Changing or removing the heading of any column in the product catalog.
  • Picking the products to include or exclude in the product catalog depending on the category, tag, date, custom field, custom taxonomy, etc.

The WooCommerce Product Table plugin lets you display the catalog on the front end in two ways. First, you can replace the default WooCommerce Archive pages, i.e., the Shop page, Category page, etc. You can also use shortcodes to add it elsewhere on your site — dedicated pages, on the sidebar widget, footer, and virtually anywhere else.

WooCommerce Product Table's key features

  • It lets you create an unlimited number of product catalogs on your ecommerce website.
  • You can enable search, sort, and filter options to help people find the products they want in seconds and with just a few clicks.
  • If you want to allow people to buy products directly from the catalog, you can use quick add-to-cart buttons to allow shoppers to add products and variations to their carts easily.
  • It has built-in lazyload, so you can list an unlimited number (hundreds or even thousands) of products in one or more tables without affecting the page load times.
  • You can pick specific products and their variations to be shown in each product catalog based on category, tag, custom field, taxonomy term, date, and other details.
  • It lets you customize the product information, such as images, videos, price, attributes, product reviews, custom fields, SKU, and more, to display in the product catalog table.

WordPress catalog plugin #2: Document Library Pro

Document Library Pro sales page screenshot

Next, we have Document Library Pro.

Document Library Pro is the best WordPress catalog plugin for managing and presenting content on your site. It lets you create a searchable, sortable, and filterable catalog of documents, resources, videos, templates, audio files, or files such as research, eBooks, or whitepapers.

You can use it to create a catalog of virtually every type of content — PDFs, Word documents, images, audio, video, Excel, PowerPoint, YouTube videos, and more.

Here's how the catalog's table layout looks on the front end:

demo document library pro

Here's the catalog in the grid layout:

Document grid

And the catalog in the folder layout:

Document library with folders

Document Library Pro lets you display content hosted on your WordPress site's media library as well as Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube, and other external websites.

Here's a brief overview of how the Document Library Pro plugin works: Once installed, it adds a dedicated 'Documents' section to your WordPress admin dashboard. From there, you can either add and display content in the catalog by:

  • Uploading content to your site's back end.
  • Embed links to files hosted on external sites like Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube, Vimeo, etc.
  • Converting content already in your Media Library.
  • Creating a front-end form to accept files.

After you've added the files, Document Library Pro lists them in a beautiful, customizable catalog layout on your site's front end, complete with a search box, filters, and sorting options.

Depending on your preference, you can create dedicated pages for each catalog or display them anywhere else on your site with shortcodes.

Document Library Pro's key features

  • It lets you add as many catalogs to your site as you wish.
  • You can showcase virtually any kind of file in your document catalog — from PDFs, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, images, digital assets, audio, video, to content from external sites like Google Drive, Dropbox, YouTube, etc.
  • There are three beautiful, user-friendly layouts to choose from to display content in the catalogs: table, grid, or hierarchical folders.
  • It comes with robust keyword search, filter, and sort options to make it super easy for people to find the files they want.
  • You can allow people to preview, open, and download files directly from the document catalog page.
  • There are five different ways to add content to your document catalog: upload individual files via the drag and drop option, convert existing files in your media library, upload files in bulk using the CSV import option, embed content from third-party platforms, and accept files from non-admin users via a form on the front end.

WordPress catalog plugin #3: WooCommerce Wholesale Pro

WooCommerce Wholesale Pro sales page screenshot

Lastly, we have WooCommerce Wholesale Pro.

WooCommerce Wholesale Pro allows your site to operate in a catalog-only mode for logged-out users. This way, everyone can see your products, however, they must log in to access prices or place orders.

Catalog-only mode is perfect for sites that want to present their products and services to customers and make sure that only the right people see the prices. Think: B2B stores, wholesalers, hybrid wholesale / retail stores that sell to different customer tiers, stores that sell custom or bespoke products, high-value items, etc.

Here's an example of the page logged out users will see. Note that you can customize the message shown as desired:

WooCommerce hide price until login alternate content

You can show logged in customers the prices like this. Here, they are shown the wholesale and retail prices, with the retail price crossed out:

WooCommerce wholesale plugin screenshot - price display option

Or, like this (this shows only the wholesale price):

WooCommerce wholesale plugin screenshot - price display

Depending on your preference, you can create a wholesale-only store (this hides the prices for everyone who isn't logged in), or run a private wholesale store alongside your existing public shop (this shows retail prices to people logged-out users, and wholesale prices and discounts to people who are logged in).

You can also combine WooCommerce Product Table and WooCommerce Wholesale Pro to create a one-page product catalog with a highly functional wholesale online platform like this:

WooCommerce Product Table filter dropdowns widgets screenshot

This significantly speeds up the ordering experience and helps boost your revenue.

WooCommerce Wholesale Pro's key features

  • It allows you to set your entire store on catalog mode by hiding prices for everyone who isn't logged in. Alternatively, show regular prices to logged-out users, and wholesale prices and discounts to logged in customers.
  • You can create unlimited wholesale roles and add users to them — each with its own unique prices and discounts.
  • It includes visibility settings to control who sees each part of your WooCommerce shop. For instance, you can show and hide product categories, coupons, taxes, payment, and shipping options based on specific user roles or users.
  • There are three flexible pricing options to choose from: set wholesale prices per user role with storewide or category-based discounts, or product-specific prices.
  • It lets you create a custom wholesale registration / signup form with an automatic or manual approval process.

Benefits of using WordPress catalog plugins to organize products and content on your site

Whatever type of WordPress catalog you want to create, website visitors appreciate seeing information displayed in a structured, searchable format. Consider the most useful data to include on the catalog page, and use strategically placed filters to help people to narrow down their selections.

Katie KeithCEO, Barn2 Plugins

A well-organized catalog can enhance user experience (UX) and drive conversions on your WordPress / WooCommerce site. Let's delve into its top benefits:

It showcases products and services in a professional manner

Although the default WooCommerce options work well for some sites, it isn't ideal for every site. Enabling catalog layout or catalog mode displays products, services, and other content in a more professional, functional, and visually appealing way.

It spotlights important product and content details

Showcasing items in a catalog is a great way to present important information — images, features, specifications, etc., — about each product or file at a glance. This helps your site visitors make informed decisions and purchases quickly.

It makes browsing and comparison easier

The catalog format allows visitors to browse through and compare various products and files easily. Plus, sort, search, and filter options make it easy to compare different items and choose the ones that best fit their needs. Overall, this gives them a smoother and more enjoyable experience on your site.

It can significantly boost your revenue

Catalogs are designed to encourage shoppers to explore your offerings. Plus, they make the shopping experience as smooth and efficient as possible. This goes a long way to boost your revenue.

It can help your site rank better on search engines

Search engines appreciate well-organized content. Structuring your catalog well, using clear descriptions, and optimized images can improve your site's search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. This makes it easier for search engines to index your catalog's contents and help drive organic traffic to your site.

Wholesale and B2B business management

B2B and wholesale stores need to find some way to make sure that the right customers can fully access their prices and purchase products, while still publicly showcasing their offerings. Setting the site to catalog mode with hidden prices for logged out users is a fantastic tool for this.

Tips to make the most of your WordPress catalog site

Let's look at the common mistakes to avoid and tips to set up your WordPress catalog site effectively:

  • Product and file discovery: The core idea of listing products and files in catalogs is to showcase them in a beautiful, yet functional way. However, it's equally important to make sure people can find what they're looking for easily. Make sure you use the advanced search, sort, and filter options in WooCommerce Product Table and Document Library Pro plugins to enable people to find files or products with just a few clicks.
  • Product / file information management: Even though you can allow people to view individual document/product pages, you should list all the critical information on the product/document catalog page. This reduces the number of steps in the user journey and provides a better experience overall.
  • Performance trade-offs: Many people opt for the catalog layout because it's great for showcasing a huge number of products and files at a glance. WooCommerce Product Table and Document Library Pro are properly coded and optimized, so they won't slow down your site. In addition, make sure you enable cache and lazyload options if you plan to showcase many products or files in your catalog for fast load times.

Which of these WordPress catalog plugins is right for you?

Although WordPress doesn't have a built-in catalog feature, there are handy plugins that you can add on to your site.

In this post, we've looked at three unique, powerful WordPress catalog plugins for various use cases:

  • WooCommerce Product Table - For listing products in a product catalog on your site — complete with a search box, robust sorting, and filter options.
  • Document Library Pro - For presenting any type of files in a sortable, searchable, filterable catalog with preview and download options on your site.
  • WooCommerce Wholesale Pro - For setting your entire WordPress ecommerce site (or parts of it) in catalog mode.

Get started with these WordPress catalog plugins now!

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