Can I have more than 3 variation types on a product?

When you create variations on a product you'll notice that there is a limit of 3 variation types (like 'Colour' or 'Size') that you can create.

Unfortunately we are not able to increase this limit, so you can only have up to 3 variation types.

The variation system works by allowing you to create combinations of variation types so that a user ends up with a final choice (i.e. a specific combination). For example, a product might be available in 8 colours (blue, green, black and so on), 8 sizes (extra-small, small, medium and so on) and 8 materials (e.g. plastic, wood, metal and so on).

When creating variation combinations for a product, you can make all combinations available and not list any specific differences between combinations. But you have the ability to setup each combination and give them certain characteristics. For example, each combination can have it's own SKU code, stock quantity, price, sale price and image.

When working with combinations, the amount of combinations actually available can soon mount up. In the above example with 8 colours, 8 sizes and 8 materials, the total number of combinations that could be made is 8 x 8 x 8 (512). When a user visits the product page we make all of the information about each combination immediately available to your visitors web browser (e.g. Internet Explorer) so that each time they select a combination we don't have to reload the page to change things like the image or the price.

If we were to allow more than 3 variation types, the number of combinations could increase significantly. For example with 5 variation types each with 8 options the number of combinations is 32,768. Which is a lot of data!

How you can 'work around' this limit

The normal product variations system allows you to set a different image that should be displayed when the variation combination is selected, a different price that should be displayed and a different SKU code and stock quantity.

However, we have an alternative system available to product variations called product choices.

The main features and differences of the product choice system are:

- You can create an unlimited number of product choice sets (like size or colour)
- Product choices are created 'globally' across your account and assigned to products (rather than individually for each product)
- You can set an additional price if a particular choice is selected

What you can't do with product choices:

- Create combinations of product choices to assign SKU codes or stock quantities to combinations
- Upload an image for product choices
- Create a sale price for product choices

So, if you need to set more than 3 variation types for a product you can probably achieve what you want to do using either the product choices system alone or using a combination of product variations and product choices on an individual product.

In the example above, Bycicyl.co.uk is using a combination of both product variations and product choices.

Help guides and more information about the product choices system can be found here.

The product choices system is activated through an 'extension' in your account. Select 'apps & extensions' from the left menu and then 'available extensions'. Find the 'product choices' extension and click to activate it.

There's no additional charge for using the product choices system.