Complete guide to setting up search filters in WooCommerce (2022)

June 21, 2022

Complete Guide to setting up search filters in WooCommerce (2022)

Anyone who's ever done any shopping online knows that nothing beats search filters when it comes to narrowing your search down based on specific criteria. The story isn't any different with *WooCommerce search filters* either.

These filters are among the most effective tools your customers can use when browsing through the product catalog in your WooCommerce store.

In this post, we'll show you how to enable WooCommerce search filters using two awesome plugins and then how to use filters in your store effectively.

Grow your sales by helping customers to find exactly what they need - quickly and easily.

What are search filters?

In most cases, search filters give customers a new way to narrow down their product searches. This can be done based on additional criteria other than the search term itself.

For example, imagine someone entering "shoes" 👟 into the search box and then filtering the results based on size ↕️ or color 🟥🟩. This will likely help them get a better match for what they need.

In practical terms, search filters appear as additional boxes/lists/buttons alongside the standard listings of products. For instance, it can be something like this:

WooCommerce search filter mechanism

Some stores also like to put their search filters in the sidebar, like so:

WooCommerce search filters in the sidebar

What makes search filters effective?

Search filters help store owners solve one user experience problem that's hard to tackle using other tools:

They let your customers find products based on parameters that cannot be matched using standard text-based search.

For example, imagine someone's looking for "black shoes cheaper than $100." If they attempt to type that into the store's search box, they'll find nothing. However, if the store owner provides a good filtering mechanism, then the customer might be able to put "shoes" into the search box and set filters to "black" and "cheaper than $100."

This is especially useful in stores with tens or hundreds of products in the catalog. And even more so if those products are generally similar, but differ in a handful of key parameters, such as color, size, etc.

At the same time, search filters are very easy to use and intuitive. Years of shopping on Amazon have taught us how to use filters efficiently.

Okay, so how to get search filters in WooCommerce? Are there any filters in WooCommerce by default?

No, there are not.

To enable WooCommerce search filters, you'll need to install some plugins.

The best WooCommerce search filter plugins

We want to show you two such plugins:

WooCommerce Product Filter Pro

Grow your sales by helping customers to find exactly what they need - quickly and easily.

This plugin allows you to create any numbers of product filters and then add them to your product listings or product search pages.

You can place the filtering mechanism either in the center part - above the list of products - or in the sidebar as a widget.

What the WooCommerce Product Filter Pro search filters look like

WooCommerce Product Filter Pro demo

When it comes to what types of filters can be created, it's basically anything you can imagine. Just to name a few possibilities, you can create filters based on:

  • product categories,
  • colors (using color swatches for better customer experience),
  • tags,
  • custom taxonomies,
  • price (of course),
  • user ratings,
  • whether the product is in stock or on sale.

Then, the filters themselves can be shown as drop-downs, checkboxes, radio buttons, labels, or even images. You can pick how you want to display each filter based on its nature and how you think the filter works best for the customer.

Plus, you can use WooCommerce Product Filter Pro together with the search box that comes with WooCommerce itself - and place your filters on any page you wish.

💪 Pro move. If you want to add more advanced logic to your WooCommerce search filter, you can do so by installing an additional plugin called SearchWP.

How to set up WooCommerce Product Filter Pro

First, get WooCommerce Product Filter Pro from our official link. Next, upload it to your WordPress admin via PluginsAdd NewUpload Plugin, and click on Activate when the upload finishes.

Go to WooCommerceSettingsFilters and enter your plugin license key. With this done the plugin is fully operational.

All you need to do now is tell the plugin where you want your filters displayed and how you'd like them to behave.

Here are just some of the things you can set:

  • Decide if you want to use storewide filtering or have the plugin only filter through the products displayed on the current page. Disabling storewide filtering is a good idea if you intend to use the plugin on product search pages only.
  • Set if the plugin should do its magic instantly or wait for the user to click a confirmation button.
  • Pick horizontal or vertical layout.
  • Use advanced logic and only show filtering options relevant to the current page.
  • Decide whether to show filters on page load or hide them by default and only reveal once the user requests the filters by clicking a button ("show filters").
  • There's more. Click here to see all the features available in WooCommerce Product Filter Pro.

Creating a filter is pretty easy as well. Just go into WooCommerceSettingsFilters and set details such as your filter name and the data that the filter will use (such as tags or price), pick a filter type (drop-down, checkbox, etc.), and then save changes.

You can also structure filters into groups. This lets you display and manage them more conveniently - you can display one group of filters on one page and another group on a different page.

WooCommerce Product Table

The easiest and most flexible way to list products and create quick order forms.

This plugin offers WooCommerce search filter features as an additional perk on top of its main functionality. So, what's the main functionality?

WooCommerce Product Table takes your product listings and displays them as a flexible order form.

What the WooCommerce Product Table search filters look like

Here's an example:

product table example

This sort of presentation makes it faster for customers to buy multiple products at once without having to go to each product's individual page.

👉 Here's a more in-depth article on why using a table is a good idea, and what types of stores will benefit from a solution like this the most.

Back to the plugin's WooCommerce search filter features:

On top of the product table, you can choose to display a range of filters based on the criteria selected by you. Here's what that can look like:

WooCommerce search filters above the product table

These filters - and the search box as well - work in real time using JavaScript. This means that the list of products will update the second a filter is adjusted.

These filters can also be displayed as a sidebar widget that goes alongside the main table of products.

This WooCommerce search filter mechanism is a great solution in case you have loads of products that you want to display on the same page while also giving your customers an option to look through them quickly and remove the ones that don't meet their needs.

The customer can add these products to cart without leaving the table and having to visit individual product pages. This is a great way to reduce the number of steps that your checkout takes.

💪 Pro move. Include search filters directly within the table columns. That way, customers can click on a piece of product data and have all the other products in the table adjust to match the given attribute of that first product.

How to create a product table with search filters

First, the obvious stuff - installing the plugin. You can get WooCommerce Product Table from the official link here. Next, go to PluginsAdd NewUpload Plugin to add the plugin to your WordPress install. Click on Activate when the upload finishes.

Finally, go to WooCommerceSettingsProductsProduct Tables and enter the license key.

With this done, you can go ahead and set the basic details of how you want your new product table displayed. You can set the overall style of the table, pick where you want it shown, tweak the columns, set how you want to handle product images, and more. Here's the official documentation on all this.

But we didn't come here to talk about the table itself, right? Back to WooCommerce search filters! WooCommerce Product Table comes with two types of filters:

  • Drop-downs - those are sown above the table.
  • Widgets - you can add them to the sidebar.
WooCommerce Product Table Filters

By default, WooCommerce Product Table allows you to add filters to your table in a simplified way just by adding filters="true" to the product table's shortcode. This will create filters automatically based on the columns already in the table.

If you'd like to customize the filters and pick what gets used as a filter and what doesn't, you can do that in the plugin's settings by adjusting the Custom filters field. Here's an example of what this can look like:

WooCommerce product table filter settings

Alternatively, you can do that in the product table's shortcode as well. That shortcode is actually a very powerful pro-level method of not only displaying the table on any page within your WooCommerce store but also tweaking the table on a case-by-case basis. Here's more info on how to use the shortcode to customize your search filters.

Can you use both plugins together for better WooCommerce search filters?

So, do WooCommerce Product Filter Pro and WooCommerce Product Table go well together?

Sure!

Using both plugins in tandem is a great idea if you like the compact and functional presentation of the product table but you'd also like to have more advanced and customizable filters on top of it.

Since WooCommerce Product Filter Pro can be configured to only filter through the products currently displayed on the page, it can integrate seamlessly with whatever WooCommerce Product Table is outputting at the moment.

Where to get the plugin

As we said at the beginning, WooCommerce search filters are an exceptional tool that your customers can use to look through your product catalog and find the products that match their needs quickly.

Although the feature is not available in WooCommerce itself, you can use either (or both) plugins that we presented above:

  • WooCommerce Product Filter Pro gives you access to an advanced filtering feature that's customizable and user-friendly at the same time.
  • WooCommerce Product Table lets you turn your product listings into an order form. Your customers can use it to add products to cart without leaving the page. At the same time, they can filter through the product catalog quickly.
Grow your sales by helping customers to find exactly what they need - quickly and easily.

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