While WooCommerce does include some basic built-in filter functionality for prices and other details, a dedicated WooCommerce product filter plugin will let you add more useful product filters and create a better interface (such as setting up a WooCommerce Ajax product filter).
PWF is a freemium WooCommerce product filter plugin that lets you create filters for any product details, from price to rating, taxonomies, attributes, and more. It also includes other helpful features such as Ajax filter results and clean, SEO-friendly filter URLs with dynamic SEO metadata (which can help you rank for relevant long-tail queries).
Additionally, while the plugin does focus primarily on WooCommerce product filters, you can also use it to create filters for other post types.
In our hands-on PWF review, we’ll share more about the features in this WooCommerce product filter plugin and also give you a detailed look at what it’s like to configure and use on your store.
PWF Review: What Does the Plugin Do?
In general, the high-level benefit of PWF is that it lets you create frontend filters that your visitors can use to more easily discover relevant WooCommerce products (or other types of content).
Here’s an example of the types of filters that you can create with PWF:
To remove friction, the plugin lets you use Ajax to apply filters without reloading the page (you can also disable the Ajax filters if you don’t like this approach).
Beyond applying the filters with Ajax, you can also use Ajax pagination if desired. In total, you get three options to handle pagination:
- Ajax load more
- Infinite scroll
- Standard pagination (clickable page numbers)
Beyond the “normal” vertical filter layout, PWF also lets you use a horizontal layout that appears above the product list.
Let’s go through some other feature specifics to help you understand the plugin…
Product Data That You Can Filter
To create the most helpful filters possible, PWF lets you filter by some or all of the following product data:
- Product attribute
- Product category
- Product tag
- Any taxonomy (including custom taxonomies)
- Stock status
- Custom field (meta) – this includes product add-on fields, as well as just generally any custom field
- On sale status
- Featured status
- Product visibility
- Product shipping type
- Product type (e.g. simple vs variable)
Frontend Filter Field Types
To filter all of that product data, PWF comes with a number of different field types to choose from:
- Checkbox list
- Radio list
- Dropdown list
- Color list
- Box list
- Text list
- Price slider
- Range slider
- Stock Status
You can also add a general “Search” field that lets users search by keyword.
SEO-Friendly Filter URLs
A lot of product filter plugins work by adding query parameters to the URL. This is fine for users, but it means that you won’t be able to rank your filter pages in Google and other search engines.
For some niches, though, these programmatically created filter listing pages can be a really good way to rank for longtail keywords.
For example, while it’s not an eCommerce store, Nomad List uses this SEO-friendly filter URL approach to rank for lots of longtail queries based around finding cities to live in. Here’s an example of an SEO-friendly URL that was programmatically constructed from filters:
With PWF, you can implement the same sort of strategy.
Beyond just using clean URLs, the plugin also gives you an SEO tool that lets you set up templates for the SEO title, meta description, filter page title H1, breadcrumbs, and short description (great for adding some unique content to each filter page).
There’s also a feature to include your filter pages in your XML sitemap.
Works for More Than Just WooCommerce Products (Filter Any Post Type)
While the plugin focuses on helping you set up WooCommerce product filter functionality (and that’s also the main focus of our PWF review), it’s worth pointing out that PWF works for more than just WooCommerce products.
You can also use it to create filters for any post types, including blog posts or custom post types that you’ve created on your site.
Built-In Filter Analytics
To help you understand how people are using your filters, PWF includes a built-in analytics tool that lets you see data such as which filters people are using, how often people use filters, and more.
Other Notable Features
Beyond what I’ve described above, here are a few other notable features that PWF offers:
- Conditional logic – hide certain filters based on conditional logic.
- Style options – you get a good number of options to control the style and layout of your filters.
- Sort options – choose the default sort order and options for your filtered products.
- Custom CSS – customize the CSS classes and IDs to more easily use your own custom CSS.
- Page builder support – the plugin integrates with most popular page builder plugins including Elementor, Divi, Beaver Builder, Oxygen, and others.
How to Add WooCommerce Product Filters With PWF
Now that you know more about the plugin’s functionality, let’s dig into what it’s like to actually use PWF to set up product filters on your store.
Note – I’m using the premium plugin on my site. While the basic features and interfaces are the same, some of the features that you see below require the premium version. More on pricing later.
Once you install and activate the plugin, you’ll get a new Filters tab in your WordPress dashboard to access all of the plugin’s functionality.
In addition to the interface to add a group of filters, you also get three other areas:
- Settings – control general settings for the plugin.
- SEO Rules – lets you improve the SEO of your filter pages.
- Analytics – lets you view analytics on filter usage.
Let’s go through adding a new filter group
1. Create a New Filter And Edit Settings
To add your first group of filters, you can go to Filters → Add New.
In this interface, you’ll see two columns:
- Items – this is where you’ll add the filter options.
- Filter setting – this is where you’ll configure general settings for your filter, such as which type of content to filter, whether to use Ajax, how to handle pagination, and so on.
To get started, you’ll want to go through the Filter setting options.
The General tab (pictured above) is important because it lets you control Ajax, pagination, pretty URLs, and so on.
The Database Query tab is also very important as it lets you choose which content to filter.
The default is to filter WooCommerce products.
However, as I mentioned above, you can also add filters for any post type on your site, including custom post types. This tab is where you can control that behavior using the Post Type drop-down.
You can also use the Query Type drop-down to set different types of queries, such as adding these filters on a product category page instead of the main shop archive.
Finally, the Pages drop-down lets you select specific pages on your site to use this filter, such as the main shop page or specific archive pages.
The other tabs also include some useful settings, mainly to do with the appearance of your filters. But the General and Database Query tabs hold most of the meat when it comes to your filter group’s behavior.
2. Add Filter Items
Once you’ve set up the general filter settings, you can start adding filter options. To do this, you’ll click the Add item button under the Items list.
This will show a list of filter fields and presets that you can add. There’s also a column layout option, which lets you create multi-column filter layouts:
Choosing a field type will then expand options to let you customize that field. Most importantly, you can choose the source for the options for this filter.
For example, let’s say you want to add a checkbox list to select from product categories. You would set the source of options equal to Taxonomy and then select Product categories as the specific taxonomy. You could also go even more specific if desired.
Another useful option is Display rules. These let you hide a filter based on other conditions (AKA conditional logic). You can hide a filter when some or all of the following conditions are true:
- Other taxonomy
Finally, the URL key is also important for setting up pretty URLs, as this lets you control the URL structure of your SEO-friendly URLs.
Each filter item also has a Visual Settings tab that includes some display options, including letting you add a custom CSS class to just that filter.
The actual options will depend on what type of filter field you’re adding.
Here’s another example for a Color List filter. You could choose the “Color” attribute and then link actual color swatches to each attribute:
Some of the preset filters are very simple. For example, the Rating filter only has a few options:
There’s also a Search filter that lets you search in all product data or just the product title:
I can’t show you every single field type. But in general, you get a good amount of customization options for everything.
3. Add Your Filter to the Frontend
Once you’ve set up your filter group, the final step is to control where to add those filters on the frontend of your store.
The plugin gives you two options:
- Shortcode – you can add the shortcode anywhere on your site, including in a Shortcode block in the block editor. You can also use the do_shortcode function to include it directly in your theme’s template files.
- Widget – you can add the widget to any widgetized area (this works with both block widgets and the Classic Widgets plugin).
To find the shortcode, go to the main Filters area in your dashboard:
To use the widgets, open the widget interface and use the PWF widgets as needed:
In addition to a widget to display the filters, you also get widgets for active filters and the SEO short description.
After adding the widget, here are my filters on my example store:
4. Set Up SEO Functionality
If you’re using SEO-friendly URLs, you’ll definitely want to take advantage of PWF’s functionality to set up dynamic templates for important SEO details.
These let you auto-generate important content based on the filters that a user has selected. For example, if a user selects filters for “T-Shirt product category”, “Blue color attribute”, and “Cotton material attribute”, you could auto-generate a title like “Blue Cotton T-Shirts: Buy Them Today”.
To set this up, go to Filters → SEO Rules to start adding your SEO rules.
Based on your chosen SEO URL, each SEO rule lets you dynamically make modifications to the following details:
- Meta title
- Meta description
- Page title H1
- Short description
If you click the three dots icon, you can expand a list of available variables, which let you dynamically insert information based on a user’s chosen filter.
For example, “Best %color% %category%” would become “Best Blue T-Shirts” if a user selects the “Blue” color filter and the “T-Shirts” category.
You can create general rules for entire categories or you can dig in and create rules for specific attribute and category combinations (or other details).
While it might take you some time to set up the rules, this is a really powerful feature for SEO and can set you up to automatically rank for a lot of longtail queries.
PWF comes in both a free version at WordPress.org, as well as a premium version at Envato’s CodeCanyon marketplace.
The free version includes most of the core features, including Ajax filters.
However, you’ll need to upgrade to the premium version if you want access to the following enhancements (this is just a partial list – there are more premium features):
- Clean, SEO-friendly product URLs. For example, the premium version creates URLs like
yoursite/product-category-mobile/color-black/, while the free version creates URLs with query parameters like so
- SEO tool. Dynamically adjust SEO information based on the chosen filters.
- More layout options. Use horizontal or vertical layouts.
- More filter options. While the free version supports the core product details, the premium version adds even more options.
- More filter field types. The premium version adds new filter field types such as box list, range slider, date, and more.
- Search box. Beyond the new filter field types, the premium version also lets people search by keyword.
- Analytics. The premium version adds built-in analytics so that you can see how people are using your filters and which filters generate the most interest.
Thankfully, the premium version is quite affordable at just $39 for use on a single site with lifetime updates and six months of support (the standard Envato license).
That lifetime updates benefit is especially important when it comes to long-term value because it means you won’t need to continue renewing your license.
Final Thoughts on PWF
Overall, PWF gives you a pretty flexible way to set up filters for WooCommerce products, as well as other post types on your site.
In terms of the filters themselves, you get plenty of options for data to filter and frontend input fields to use.
My favorite feature, though, is the SEO-friendly URLs and the SEO tool to dynamically generate the content needed to rank those URLs for longtail queries.
If you want to test out the plugin, you can play around with the free version at WordPress.org. However, I think that the best features are in the premium version, so I recommend upgrading if possible. Because you get lifetime updates, the $39 price is quite affordable over the long term.
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Keep reading the article at WP Mayor. The article was originally written by Colin Newcomer on 2022-11-10 07:00:00.
The article was hand-picked and curated for you by the Editorial Team of WP Archives.