How To Filter Products by Category in WooCommerce (Step by Step)

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Looking for a way to add WooCommerce category filters to your eCommerce store? In this post, you'll learn how to do precisely that using the WooCommerce Product Filters plugin from Barn2.
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Building eCommerce stores is now super-easy, thanks to the combined forces of WooCommerce and WordPress. Indeed, even relative newbies can knock out a professional-looking store in almost no time at all. While WooCommerce provides online shoppers with some great features to give them an excellent shopping experience, it does have one key omission – category and other types of filters.

Today, we will correct that gap in the WooCommerce features list by introducing you to the WooCommerce Product Filters plugin. So, let’s jump straight in.

Why Do You Need the WooCommerce Product Filters Plugin?

Like all internet users, online shoppers expect the best possible experience. Being an impatient bunch, they want to quickly find what they are looking for, even when they don’t actually have the vaguest idea of what that is!

For example, they may be searching for children’s pants. While they may not know precisely what type, style, or color they are looking for, they do want to be able to go to the children’s pants section of an online store to browse what’s available.

Sadly, WooCommerce does not have any integral product filters. Accordingly, customers must trawl through tons of irrelevant products before finding what they are looking for. The danger there is they may just leave the store in favor of one that makes their search easier.

Of course, numerous widgets, add-ons, extensions, and plugins have appeared over time, promising to add search functionality to your WooCommerce store. However, one of the best is WooCommerce Product Filters plugin from Barn2.

Screenshot of Barn2's WooCommerce Product Filters plugin website for adding category and other filters

How To Set Up WooCommerce Product Filters To Filter by Category

Just to demonstrate how good the WooCommerce Product Filters plugin is, we’ll show you how to use it to add filters to your store.

Step 1 – Install the plugin

As WooCommerce Product Filters is a premium plugin, you must first purchase it from Barn2’s website. You will receive a license key and details for downloading the plugin’s zip file. It is then a matter of uploading that zip file to the ‘Plugins’ section of your WordPress admin panel and activating it:

Step 1 to adding WooCommerce category filters to your eCommerce store - installing the WooCommerce Product Filters plugin

Step 2 – Run the setup wizard

Once you have activated the plugin, it should automatically start the setup wizard.

Firstly, you will need to enter the license key you received when you purchased the plugin:

Step 2 - entering the WooCommerce Product Filters product key

Step 3 – Choose if you wish to display filters or not

Next, choose if you want the plugin to automatically add the filters to store. As you have not yet set up any of your own filter groups, you will only have the default options of ‘Product Filters’ or ‘None,’ so select ‘Product Filters’:

Step 3 - choosing whether the filters are to be displayed or not on the products pages of the store

Step 4 – Configure the filter’s visibility

After hitting ‘Continue,’ you must set whether filters are to be displayed or hidden when the store page first loads. If you prefer to have customers press a button to display the filters (which helps reduce screen clutter,) choose ‘Click button to reveal filters.’ Otherwise, select ‘Always display filters’ to show them continuously:

Step 4 - configuring the visibility of the filters

Step 5 – Configure the filter’s behavior

Once you have chosen your filter visibility preferences, hit ‘Continue’ and proceed to configure the filter’s behavior and content. Here, you can choose whether the filters apply immediately the customer makes a selection or by pressing a button. Moreover, checking the ‘Display the number of products next to each option’ can be useful, as customers will see if any products are available in each category which saves them from landing on empty pages:

Step 5 - configuring the filter's behavior

Step 6 – Finish the setup process

In the next screen in the setup wizard, you have to opportunity to purchase offers some other products from Barn2. If you don’t wish to buy any of them, simply click ‘Finish setup’:

Step 6 - finalizing the setup process

That’s it – you are all set up with your first WooCommerce category filter! You can now hit ‘Settings page’ to return to your WordPress admin panel:

Confirmation screen that the wizard shows once the setup is completed

Step 7 – Admire your new category filter in your WooCommerce store!

You can now visit your WooCommerce store to try out your new category filter:

Step 7 - screenshot showing the completed WooCommerce category filter in the store

Making Your Own WooCommerce Filter Groups

Of course, the initial filter created by the setup wizard after installing the plugin is generic and may not suit all applications. However, creating and applying new custom filter groups is easy with WooCommerce Product Filters. Here is how you do it:

Step 1 – Add a new filter group

You will notice that the WooCommerce submenu in your WordPress admin panel now has a ‘Filters’ option. Click that, and under the ‘Filters’ tab, choose ‘Add New’:

Step 1 to adding your own WooCommerce category filter groups  - adding a new filter group

Step 2 – Name the new filter group

Give your filter group a name. This should be something that will allow you to easily identify it should you create many more in the future. Once you have done that, press ‘+ Add filter’:

Step 2 - naming the new filter group

Step 3 – Configure the first filter in your filter group

Now, you can configure the first element of your filter group.

Give the filter a memorable name, and then using the dropdown boxes, select what it will filter by, e.g., categories, price, colors, etc. Next, choose the type of filter you require (dropdown, checkboxes, radio buttons, etc.) ­– please note that the options here may vary depending on which ‘filter by’ you selected:

Step 3 - adding and configuring the first filter to the filter group

When you are happy with your selections, press ‘Close filter.’

Should you ever need to adjust any of the filters in a filter group, just hover under the name of the filter to be altered and click ‘Edit filter’ or ‘Delete’:

Editing and deleting filters from a group

Step 4 – Add more filters to your filter group

You can now add more filters to the filter group: simply click ‘+ Add filter’ and repeat Step 3 above.

Step 4 - adding more filters to the filter group

Once you have added all the filters to the filter group, click ‘Save changes.’ If you now choose ‘Filters’ under ‘Products’ in the WordPress admin menu, you will see the list of filter groups including the one you just created:

Screenshot showing the new filter group within the list of filter groups in the WordPress admin panel

Step 5 – Add your filter group to your WooCommerce store

The easiest way to apply filter groups to your WooCommerce store is to run the setup wizard, as that handles everything automatically for you. To start it, click on ‘Setup wizard’ in the top right-hand corner of the Product Filters screen:

Step 5 - starting the setup wizard to add the new filter group to the WooCommerce store

Next, follow Steps 2 to 6 from How to Set Up WooCommerce Product Filters to Filter by Category above, but in Step 2, you will choose your new filter group from the dropdown:

Screenshot showing the dropdown box in the setup wizard for choosing the filter group to add to the store

Once you have finished adding your new filter group using the wizard, you can preview your shop to try it out:

Screenshot of the new filter group in action in the WooCommerce store

WooCommerce Product Filters Pricing

Being a premium plugin, WooCommerce Product Filters comes bundled with tons of features that will make your eCommerce store highly customer friendly. Here are some of those features:

  • Ability to filter products by category, color, size, price, attributes, taxonomies, customer rating, and many more.
  • A library of pre-made filters.
  • The filters are optimized for mobile devices (important as most people now shop from their mobile phones or tablets.)
  • Blisteringly fast filtering even with large product catalogs thanks to AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) and a unique indexing system.
  • Ability to add different filters across your entire store.
  • Each filter has its own URL, which helps with SEO.

Full details of the features included as standard in WooCommerce Product Filters are available on the plugin website.

Price-wise, WooCommerce Product Filters currently costs $79 per year for a single site, $139 for five, and $299 for twenty domains. However, if you prefer a lifetime subscription, those are available for $249, $449, and $899, respectively. Moreover, all purchases come with a 30-day no questions asked money-back guarantee.


WooCommerce is a fantastic way of creating a professional eCommerce store, whether you are a novice or an expert. However, the lack of integral filters for category, size, color, price, etc., is a strange oversight by WooCommerce.

Thankfully, WooCommerce Product Filters steps in to address that by adding powerful filters to your store. The overall result is a superior shopping experience for your customers and increased profits for you.

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