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OpenCart Attributes VS Options & Values

Working with OpenCart lots of user get confused between the terms like these: attributes, attribute groups, products options and values, variants, variations, combinations, configurables etc.


So which of them are entities available in OpenCart and their purpose and what are used only as synonyms having similar meaning over the web?


Well, the complexity arises not from semantics, but from the lack of standardization of how these are handled by various eCommerce platforms and accounting systems.


In OpenCart there are 2 basic concepts: attributes (gathered in attribute groups) and options (with values).


To get the better basic understanding, let’s review each of the notions and compare them.


OpenCart Attributes

Attributes in OpenCart are some specifications about the product that are worth attention and displayed separately from description (like important extra-description). They are static and cannot be chosen or changed by clients. It is possible only to view them and they also can be used as the criteria when comparing products.


Attributes of similar types are typically grouped together in attribute groups. For example, attributes of width, width, height, depth attributes into ‘Dimensions’ attribute group.


At the front-end attribute group and attributes look this way:



OpenCart Options&Values

OpenCart gives you the ability to sell different versions of the same product with the help of options&values. They are interactive and the user selects the needed variant among the offered or inserts some value.


Options are created globally, that is, you do not need to configure the same options for multiple products. Just associate one or more of those options/values with individual products after they are created.


Opencart options are very handy feature if your product comes in different combinations, for example, colors and/or sizes. You can set up different versions of the same product at one page, instead of overloading your database with basically the same products, but slightly differing in some parameter.


Let's review a couple of real cases to understand this better. Imagine that you sell phone that comes in 4 colors. You want to create color drop-down with availble colors: white, grey, gold and black for customer to select the one he/she likes. You also want to charge a few extras for the most popular colors.


You can accomplish this creating the Select option type in OpenCart. After you've set up the different colors on the admin side, the user is presented with a choice of different colors on the product details page. This way, ‘color’ is drop-down name and it is OpenCart option and white, grey, gold and black are option values. And yes, the user will be charged based on the color selection!



Attributes VS Options

We have complied small comparison table including the main differences:

Criteria Attributes Options
Selectable by client No Yes
Used for product comparison Yes No
The basis for extra-charge No Yes

Wrapping Up

Both attributes and options are very useful for providing the clients more info on the product and influencing positively on his/her decision to buy. Keep in mind that one and the same notion depending on situation can be either attribute or option.


For example, if product has one color - it can be presented as product attribute. If you have multiple colors for the same item, it is better to create color as option and variations as option values.


Want to manage attributes and options with values on more advanced level? Try Store Manager for OpenCart.Download FREE!



More info on how to create and manage attributes and options&values:

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for upcoming Store Manager for OpenCart releases and more posts.


Don’t forget to ask us in the comment box below if you have any question.