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In order to manage your WooCommerce store effectively, it's important to have a solid grasp of the names used for all the different types of things. This becomes even more important when using Attribute Stock which adds a few extra names of its own.

Keep in mind that unless otherwise specified, the terminology used here is exact and has specific meanings in WooCommerce and Attribute Stock that are not interchangeable or open to interpretation.


A product listing in WooCommerce. In most cases this will be a simple product (no options) or a variable product (with options).


In WooCommerce a "variation" refers to a variation of a variable product. It may also be referred to as a "product variation".


An attribute will most often refer to a product attribute created under the ProductsAttributes menu. You may also see these referred to as "global attributes" or "existing attributes". Not to be confused with "custom attributes", which behave very differently.

Attribute term

Attributes contain attribute terms. Often these will be referred to as just "terms", or sometimes more loosely as "attributes". Attribute terms are assigned to products by first selecting the attribute and then selecting the terms to add.

As an example, an attribute Size might have terms Small, Medium and Large.

Custom attribute

When adding attributes to products, custom attributes are the default type of attribute that gets added when you click "Add new" under a product's Attributes tab. These attributes and terms are added to a product by entering text. They may alternatively be referred to as "text attributes" or "custom text attributes".

It's important to understand that custom attributes belong only to the product in which they are added and do not use the "global attributes" created under ProductsAttributes. As such, they cannot be used for attribute-based stock items, since these exist outside of the product.

"Any" variation

These are product variations that have not selected a specific attribute term for one or more attributes, defaulting to "any" term. These types of variations have certain implications are handled a bit differently in WooCommerce and Attribute Stock.

Attribute stock

In most cases "attribute stock" will refer to attribute-based stock. That is, stock created and managed with global attributes. This type of stock exists entirely separately from product stock, although attribute stock and product stock are not mutually exclusive.

Not to be confused with "Attribute Stock" the plugin, of course 🙂

Product stock

Product stock refers specifically to stock quantities assigned and managed on products or product variations. This type of stock exists only for its respective product and cannot be used by other products.

Attribute stock item

Sometimes referred to as just "attribute stock" or "stock items", these are the individual stock items that you can find under ProductsAttribute Stock. They contain all of the data for your attribute-based stock, such as stock quantities, SKUs, and attribute match rules.

Stock multiplier

Stock multipliers, or simply "multipliers", are decimal numbers that you can specify on products, variations, attribute terms, or attribute stock items, to deduct different amounts of stock per purchase. This feature is often referred to as "variable stock" or "variable quantities".

Match rule

The rules on an attribute stock item that define which attributes/terms the stock applies to, and in what order. May also be referred to as "attribute match rules" or "stock item match rules".


Components are attribute stock items used by other attribute stock items. Stock of stock, if you will.

Parent/child component

To keep things simple when dealing with stock component relationships, we use the term "child component" to refer to a component of a stock item, or "parent component" to refer to the stock item using a component.