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How to Manage WooCommerce Product Sorting Options in 2021

You want to maximize your conversion rate, right?

There are various ways of optimizing conversion in an ecommerce site. You may have tried some of these already. But have you ever thought about optimizing the product sorting options for an improved conversion rate?

How the products are displayed can play a large role in the overall conversion in your WooCommerce site. By default, WooCommerce shows the products chronologically. That means the last added product is displayed as the first product.

In order to ensure the best conversion rate and an improved user experience, you need to provide additional product sorting options. There are several ways to do that.

In today’s post, I am going to discuss three ways to change the default product sorting option in WooCommerce. They are –

  1. Use the default WooCommerce option,
  2. Add/Rename product sorting option and
  3. Use a plugin.

Let’s start with the first method.

Using the Default Product Sorting Options

WooCommerce comes with a few product sorting options. You can find them by following these steps:

  1. Go to Appearance > Customize. Using the Default Product Sorting Options 1
  2. Navigate to WooCommerce > Product Catalog. Using the Default Product Sorting Options 2
  3. Look for an option titled ‘Default Product Sorting’. In the drop-down menu, you can see different default product sorting options. Using the Default Product Sorting Options 3

The available options are pretty much self-explanatory. The first one is custom ordering, which I will discuss in a moment.

Then, there are options to display the products according to sales popularity, average rating, most recent, ascending price and descending price.

Now, the first option enables you to use a custom order for products. But where do you create the custom ordering?

To create the custom ordering, go to Products > All Products and click on the ‘Sort Products’ tab. The resulting page will display a list of your products. To change the product order, just hover over the product, drag it to your desired location and drop it.

To create the custom ordering, go to Products - All Products and click on the Sort Products tab 2That’s it. Your products will now be displayed according to this positioning.

There is another way of defining a custom sorting order for your products. That method allows you to choose which item should be displayed first, second and so forth. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Products > All Products.
  2. Hover over a product and click ‘Edit’. Hover over a product and click ‘Edit’.
  3. In the editing screen, scroll down to find the ‘Product Data’ section. Click the ‘Advanced’ tab and you will find an option titled ‘Menu Order’. You can set the position of this product in this field. In the editing screen, scroll down to find the ‘Product Data’ section.

These sound like simple options for sorting products. However, there is a problem. The default product sorting options are very limited.

Limitations in the Default Product Sorting Options in WooCommerce:

  • The default sorting options have a very restrictive list of values. You can only sort products by popularity, average rating, latest, price: low to high, and price: high to low.
  • There is no option for selecting the sort order. So, if you have hundreds of products, you will have to drag and drop all the items and create your desired order, which is almost impossible to do.
  • The default sorting options don’t enhance the layout of the items. They don’t present the products in a way that enables easy comparisons.

For those limitations, you have to choose any of the other two options.

Adding or Renaming Product Sorting Options

If you are not satisfied with the default product sorting options, you can create your own sorting option. To do that, you have to do a little fiddling with code. Let me explain how.

How to Rename the Default Sorting Option

First of all, I am assuming that you have created a custom product sorting by using the default sorting options. Now you want to change the name of the default sorting option. While you can name it anything you like, I am going to name it ‘Recommended Sorting’.

Before you edit any theme file, you should create a child theme. This makes sure that you are not breaking any core functionality of your website. Once you have done that, open the functions.php file of your child theme. Go to the end of the file and paste the following code.

// Changing "Default Sorting" to "Recommended sorting" on shop and product settings pages
function sip_update_sorting_name( $catalog_orderby ) {
$catalog_orderby = str_replace("Default sorting", "Recommended sorting", $catalog_orderby);
return $catalog_orderby;
add_filter( 'woocommerce_catalog_orderby', 'sip_update_sorting_name' );
add_filter( 'woocommerce_default_catalog_orderby_options', 'sip_update_sorting_name' );

Now, save the file and reload your website. You will find the updated names at the shop and the WooCommerce settings page.

How to Manage WooCommerce Product Sorting Options

How to Manage WooCommerce Product Sorting OptionsAt this point, you know how to change the default product sorting name. But what if you want to create an option which allows your customers to sort the products alphabetically?

How to Sort Products Alphabetically

To add alphabetical sorting in your WooCommerce store, open the functions.php file of the child theme. Paste the following code at the end of the file –

//Adding Alphabetical sorting option to shop and product settings pages
function sip_alphabetical_shop_ordering( $sort_args ) {
$orderby_value = isset( $_GET['orderby'] ) ? woocommerce_clean( $_GET['orderby'] ) : apply_filters( 'woocommerce_default_catalog_orderby', get_option( 'woocommerce_default_catalog_orderby' ) );
if ( 'alphabetical' == $orderby_value ) {
$sort_args['orderby'] = 'title';
$sort_args['order'] = 'asc';
$sort_args['meta_key'] = '';
return $sort_args;
add_filter( 'woocommerce_get_catalog_ordering_args', 'sip_alphabetical_shop_ordering' );

This code block sets the groundwork for the new sorting order. Next, you have to add the sorting order. To do that, paste the following code at the end of your child theme’s functions.php file –

function sip_custom_wc_catalog_orderby( $sortby ) {
$sortby['alphabetical'] = 'Sort by Name: Alphabetical';
return $sortby;
add_filter( 'woocommerce_default_catalog_orderby_options', 'sip_custom_wc_catalog_orderby' );
add_filter( 'woocommerce_catalog_orderby', 'sip_custom_wc_catalog_orderby' );

Save the file and voila! You have just created a new product sorting option. Reload the shop and settings pages to see the change in action.

How to Manage WooCommerce Product Sorting Options

How to Manage WooCommerce Product Sorting OptionsAnd that’s how you rename an existing sorting option or add a new one. But what if you don’t have the time to do all this? Or maybe you are not interested in fiddling with code.

In that case, you have to use a product sorting plugin. Let’s see which plugins are available for that purpose.

Using a Product Sorting Plugin

There are both premium and free product sorting plugins for WooCommerce. I will discuss both types below.

Premium Plugins

1. WOOF – WooCommerce Products Filter

1. WOOF - WooCommerce Products Filter (2021)WOOF is powerful premium WooCommerce plugin to provide lots of powerful product filtering options for your customers. They can filter the products by using the available product attributes. The filtering options could be displayed by using various options like radio, checkbox, dropdown, multi-dropdown, range slider etc. It is also possible to search for products by using color, images etc.

The handy plugin also brings some additional features like custom widget, product shortcodes, AJAX-powered product search etc. As the plugin supports custom CSS, you can easily personalize the filtering options to match your existing design.

You can get the plugin for $30. There is also a free version of the plugin with limited features.

2. Sorting WooCommerce Pro

Sorting WooCommerce ProAs the name suggests, Sorting WooCommerce Pro provides premium product sorting options for your WooCommerce website. It is possible to enable or disable the sorting dropdown. What’s more, you can override all the default sorting options with the ones provided by this plugin. The visitors can sort by the category, default properties or any custom attribute of the products.

Store admins can choose a default sorting choice for the categories. And if you want to create a new attribute just for sorting purpose, the plugin has got you covered too. You can easily apply the attribute to all the products with a single click. The plugin comes with detailed documentation about utilizing the available features.

You can purchase the plugin for $17.

3. WooCommerce Product Filter

WooCommerce Product FilterIf you want to extend the default product filtering options of WooCommerce, this premium plugin could be an excellent choice for you. Having unlimited filter support, the plugin enables the visitors to search for the products by using any available attribute. As the plugin supports AJAX, your visitors will get updated search results as they set the filters.

There are several layouts available for displaying the filtering results. You can choose to display the results in full screen, masonry, select boxes, single or multiple row styles. The filters could be presented in several styles.

Since the plugin comes with a product filter widget, you can easily provide the filtering options in your sidebar. As an added bonus, the plugin provides detailed reports about the filtering activities of your customers. You can use this data to optimize your store for better conversion.

The plugin is priced at $35.

Free Plugins

4. WooCommerce Product Sort and Display

WooCommerce Product Sort and DisplayAs the title clearly illustrates, this plugin helps you provide additional product sorting and displaying options to your customers. You can choose to display the products by category and set category positioning by dragging and dropping.

It is possible to set the number of products to be displayed from each category and hide empty categories. As the plugin has endless scrolling feature, you don’t have to worry your bigger categories too. If you have featured or discounted products, customers can search for them as well.

There is also a premium version of the plugin. It offers additional features like showing sub-categories, setting different number of products for parent and sub-categories, endless scrolling for tag pages, applying all settings with one-click etc.

5. WooCommerce Extra Product Sorting Options

WooCommerce Extra Product Sorting OptionsThis is another widely used WooCommerce plugin for providing additional product sorting options to your customers. The plugin allows you to rename the default sorting option provided by WooCommerce. It also comes with some additional sorting option.

First of all, you can display the products in alphabetical and reverse alphabetical orders. Another sorting option allows the customers to view the products with highest stock first. There is another sorting option which sorts products by their status. Therefore, your customers can easily find out which products are on sale right now.

6. WooCommerce More Sorting

WooCommerce More SortingWooCommerce More Sorting is a simple but effective plugin for adding a few more sorting options in your WooCommerce site. When sorting by title, customer can choose to view products from A to Z or from Z to A. And when searching by the SKU, they can view low to high and vice versa. Lastly, there are two more options to sort the products by their quantity.

Final Words

Since product sorting option plays a very important role in conversion, you should have the necessary product filtering options in your WooCommerce sites. Now that you have read this article, you know the best ways to manage WooCommerce product filtering options.

So, how are you managing the product filtering options in your WooCommerce site? Let me know by leaving a comment below.