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How to Display Product Description in WooCommerce Store

Updated on September 4, 2023

7 Min Read
featured - how to display product

WooCommerce comes packaged with archive pages and loops that make the WooCommerce product description display awesome.

Yet here and there, you may need to show more data on your main shop and other archive pages.

So, here’s a tutorial demonstrating how to show a product description in WooCommerce to archive pages and display it below the product title.

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There’s a lot more that can help you up your WooCommerce game when you choose Cloudways. Now that you have sorted your store’s hosting issues, let’s learn how to display product descriptions for your WooCommerce stores.

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Why Are WooCommerce Product Descriptions Important?

Simple answer? They are there to help you turn visitors into customers.

But that’s a very simplified answer. There’s a lot more than goes behind product descriptions, which is why they are so important. Let’s see some points why that’s the case.

1. SEO Requirements: Optimized and well-written product descriptions are crucial if you want your store to rank for your targetted keywords. Without optimized descriptions, your visitors and search engines will be equally confused about what you sell.

2. Getting Targeted Traffic: In line with the SEO requirements, your product descriptions are important to attract the right kind of audience. Unoptimized keywords will bring in garbage traffic to your website, which will basically be of very little help to your business.

3. Creating Product Awareness: Many people will visit your store with an exploratory mindset. Your job is to communicate exactly what you sell to make them more aware of your products. And, hopefully, they’ll make a purchase. Or return back when they need something you sell.

4. Showcasing your USPs: Uniqueness sells. If you can mention your USPs in the product descriptions, you’ll make your products stand out from others. That’ll improve your chances of getting more conversions.

5. Satisfying Customer Intent: Great product descriptions compel people to buy your product. That’s the ultimate goal you want to achieve, which will serve your business the best.

So, there are ample reasons to focus on product descriptions for your WooCommerce stores. Now let’s review the methods you can use to have them
for your stores.

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Method 1: Add Product Descriptions via WordPress CMS

You can add product descriptions from the WordPress backend. Here’s how you do it.

  • Go to WooCommerce and then select products.

products

  • Add a new product or select the one that already exists in your store. Click edit, and you’ll enter the window where you can play around with descriptions.

edit

  • Enter the product name and description.

new product

  • You can scroll down to add further details and short product descriptions.

product data

  • Once done, click update. If it’s a new product, click publish.

publish

And that’s all. Now let’s explore the next method.

Method 2: Create a WooCommerce Product Description Plugin

In your wp-content/plugins directory, create a PHP file with the name cloudways-product-shor-des.php

Open the file in your code editorial manager. At the top of the file, including this:

<?php
/*
 * Plugin Name: Cloudways Display WooCommerce Product Short Description 
 * Description: Add WooCommerce product short description to the loop in product archive pages
 * Version: 1.0
 */

This sets up the plugin and gives WordPress all that it needs to activate it.

Now go to the Plugins area in the WordPress admin area and find the plugin:

wordpress plugin setting

Now Activate the WooCommerce product description plugin.

At first, it won’t have any effect as you haven’t populated it. This is what the shop page looks like right at this point:

woocommerce shop page before

Image from Avada

Below are the 3 functions that you can perform using your plugin:

1. Function to get short descriptions in WooCommerce

The short description for products in WooCommerce utilizes the excerpt that you’d find in normal posts. So to show it, you should simply show the excerpt for the post.

In your plugin file, add the code to get product description WooCommerce:

 function cloudways_short_des_product() {

     the_excerpt();
}

It’s as basic as that! Yet, now you have to hook your function to the right activity so that it’s output in the correct place in your archive pages.

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2. Function Hook for Correct Action to add WooCommerce short description

How about we investigate the file in WooCommerce that output the content of the loop on archive pages? This file is content-product.php, and you’ll see it in the templates folder in the WooCommerce plugin by using the WooCommerce product description hook. The file incorporates various action hooks, all of which are utilized by WooCommerce to output different content.

As we need to show our excerpt below the title of the product, the hook we have to utilize is woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item_title . As you can see from the content-product.php file, it’s now got two functions attached to it, woocommerce_template_loop_rating() and woocommerce_template_loop_price(), which have priorities of 5 and 10 separately. So we need to hook our function with a higher priority number, to ensure it fires after those. I’ll leave some leeway and use 40 as the priority.

Beneath your function, add this:

add_action( 'woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item_title', 'cloudways_short_des_product', 40 );

Now the complete WooCommerce description code becomes:

function cloudways_short_des_product() {
    the_excerpt();
}

add_action( 'woocommerce_after_shop_loop_item_title', 'cloudways_short_des_product', 40 );

Now save your plugin file and refresh the shop page in your browser.

woocommerce product description

Image from Avada

These descriptions are a bit long. To reduce the content length, add the following code in your functions.php located at theme folder.

function get_ecommerce_excerpt(){
$excerpt = get_the_excerpt();
$excerpt = preg_replace(" ([.*?])",'',$excerpt);
$excerpt = strip_shortcodes($excerpt);
$excerpt = strip_tags($excerpt);
$excerpt = substr($excerpt, 0, 100);
$excerpt = substr($excerpt, 0, strripos($excerpt, " "));
$excerpt = trim(preg_replace( '/s+/', ' ', $excerpt));
return $excerpt;
}

$excerpt = substr($excerpt, 0, 100); where 100 is character limit. you can manage content length by increasing and decreasing its value.

Further, replace the following function

the_excerpt();

by

echo get_ecommerce_excerpt();

in your plugin file having name cloudways-product-shor-des.php

Now save your plugin file and refresh the shop page in your browser.

woocommerce store production display

Image from Avada

3. Get WooCommerce product description by product_id

By the following code you can get WooCommerce product description or the product object using product ID

$order = wc_get_order($order_id);
foreach ($order->get_items() as $item) {
    $product_id = $item['product_id'];
    $product_details = $product->get_data();
    $product_full_description = $product_details['description'];
    $product_short_description = $product_details['short_description'];
}
By using  wc_get_product, get_description() and get_short_description()
$order = wc_get_order($order_id);
foreach ($order->get_items() as $item) {
    $product_id = $item['product_id'];
    $product_instance = wc_get_product($product_id);
    $product_full_description = $product_instance->get_description();
    $product_short_description = $product_instance->get_short_description();
}

Wrapping up!

Displaying your product descriptions is crucial for your store.

With the right placement and optimization of your WooCommerce product descriptions, you can get better growth for your stores.

You now know the methods of adding a product description in WooCommerce. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to creating some amazing descriptions for your products.

Q. How do I get product descriptions in WooCommerce?

A. There are 2 ways to get the product descriptions for your WooCommerce stores:

  • By using the WordPress CMS
  • By creating a plugin or by installing a paid plugin

Q. What is the product description function in WooCommerce?

A. Product description function in WooCommerce allows you to display product descriptions on your WooCommerce shops and product pages.

Q. What is a product description?

A. Product description is the explanation written somewhere around the product that explains exactly what the product is.

Q. What is the shortcode for product description in WooCommerce?

A. You can use [product_short_description id=”YOUR_PRODUCT_ID”] as the shortcode for creating product descriptions in WooCommerce.

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Owais Alam

is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform and a seasoned PHP developer. He loves to develop all sorts of websites on WordPress and is in love with WooCommerce in particular. You can email him at [email protected]

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