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In this lesson, let’s add some attributes to a configurable product in Magento.

Add an Attribute to a Configurable Product

A configurable product, if you need a refresher, is one that provides your customer with a variety of options to choose from – say, for example, a shirt that has several colors, sizes, and cuts. Your customer sees one product in the catalog, but as the shop admin you know that each configuration can be modified separately in the back end.


From time to time, you may need to create a new configurable product or modify an existing one. And one of the most common tasks you’ll have to perform is adding attributes to these configurable products.


To get started, you’ll need to use the navigation menu to browse to Catalog, and then Products.

Filtering for Configurable Products

If you’re adding a new configurable product, click on the Add Product drop-down and select Configurable Product. Or, if you’re editing an existing configurable product, you can use the Filter system to view only configurable products, or you could do a search by SKU to find a specific product.


Once you are in the product editing screen, you will find a button near the top of your screen that says Add Attribute.

That button will open up the Add Attribute window. You have several options here:

  • Choose a pre-existing attribute from the list of attributes
  • Use filters to find specific attributes or specific types of attributes
  • Create a brand new attribute

In this example, we’ll add a brand new attribute. To do this, click on the Create New Attribute button.

Basic Attribute Information

The New Attribute window will appear, and you’ll have several pieces of information to enter.

  • Attribute label – this is visible to you and your customer, so be descriptive
  • Catalog Input Type for Store Owner – this is for data validation, so you can set this field to match the type of data that this attribute should contain, e.g. a date.
  • Required – this is a yes or no switch that will either require the attribute to be used in products or not

Advances Attribute Information

Then there are several advanced attribute features that you can activate.


Magento usually provides a blurb describing what these features can do, so pay attention to any text that appears below each option. You can use the features to set a default value for your attribute – say, for example, you want the color blue to be the default value for your Color attribute. You could set that here. You can also use these features to force this attribute to be unique – in other words, no other product will be allowed to share this attribute. Again, you may not need to use all of these features, but depending on the complexity of your shop they can be very helpful!

Attribute Storefront Properties

But wait! We’re not quite done! There are additional Storefront Properties that you can set up.


Here are some tips on using these features:

  • Use in Search – set this to Yes if you want this attribute to be available for search
  • Comparable on Storefront – set this to Yes if you want this attribute to used in the Product Compare system
  • Use in Layered Navigation – if your catalog input type is Dropdown, Multiple Select, or Price you can tell Magento to use this attribute as a filter in your layered navigation system
  • Use in Search Results Layered Navigation – this is the same general idea as “Use in Layered Navigation”
  • Position – if using layered navigation, you can enter a numerical value to denote this attribute’s position
  • Use for Promo Rule Conditions – if you want to use this attribute in price rules, set this to Yes
  • Allow HTML Tags on Storefront – if you want to use the WISYWIG editor for this field, set to Yes – this would allow you to use HTML tags
  • Visible on Catalog Pages on Storefront – set to Yes if you want this attribute to be visible on catalog pages
  • Used in Product Listing – this depends on your theme, but if you’d like this attribute to appear in product listings you can set this to Yes
  • Used for Sorting in Product Listing – if you’d like to use this attribute as a sort parameter in product listings, set to Yes


Finally! You may not have used all of these features, but when you’re finished setting up your attribute just click the Save Attribute button.


Note that if you’d like to save this attribute to an Attribute Set, there’s a button for that too.

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