How to Set Up WooCommerce Shipping Options for Your Ecommerce

WooCommerce shipping methods
Author Bartosz Gajewski
Updated:
2018-03-26
Reading time:
4 minutes read

Do you need help with configuring WooCommerce shipping methods? You are in the right place. I’ll teach you everything you need to know in this quick tutorial from basics and built-in shipping methods to table rate shipping, the most flexible way to manage shipping costs.

How to add shipping methods to WooCommerce?

Just go to WooCommerce → Settings → Shipping.

WooCommerce shipping zones

Next step is to click the shipping zone to which you want to add a shipping method. In my example, it is the United Kingdom (UK) shipping zone.

Do you want to know more about shipping zones? Check out our WooCommerce Shipping Zones tutorial →

Right in the shipping zone, there is an Add shipping method button. Use it to add one of the built-in WooCommerce shipping methods.

WooCommerce shipping methods - add shipping method

Built-in WooCommerce shipping methods

What options do you have available by default?

Select shipping method to add

As you see, WooCommerce offers you three types of shipping methods. You can extend the list of options with plugins. I’ll cover this topic later in this article.

What does each one of the available WooCommerce shipping methods offer you?

Flat rate

This is one of the most popular WooCommerce shipping methods used in stores. It means that for everything your customer buys, you offer the same price for the shipping. Hence the name: flat rate.

Have a look at the configuration screen:

WooCommerce shipping methods - Flat rate settings

Method title – the name of the shipping method. This name is shown on the cart page and at the checkout. If you don’t change the default name, it will look like this:

Flat rate in cart totals

Tax status – you can set it to either Taxable or None. The second option makes the shipping cost non-taxable. Learn all about WooCommerce shipping taxes →

Cost – this option gives a few features. Of course, you can just insert some value like 10 in the previous example. (You don’t provide currency symbols in here). But there’s more of what WooCommerce offers you!

The quantity price of Flat Rate shipping method

You can set quantity price. Just insert i.e. 3*[qty] in the Cost option (for every item charge £3.00 for shipping). The result you would see for such formula is:

Flat rate in cart totals (screenshot #2)

The fee price of Flat rate shipping method

There is also another option: a fee price. It means that the shipping cost equals defined percent of the cart subtotal. For this formula [fee percent="20"] you get following result in the cart. You see that the shipping cost equals 20% of the £101.00 subtotal:

Flat rate in cart totals

There is an option to make the shipping cost the same as the cart subtotal (100% fee). Simply use [cost]:

[cost] formula in Flat rate settings

Here’s the result:

Flat rate in cart totals

OK, you know what Flat rate is. Now let’s go to the other two options.

Free shipping

We also wrote an in-depth tutorial about WooCommerce free shipping →

It seems to be the simplest of the WooCommerce shipping methods. But it’s not 🙂 If you want to offer simple free shipping with no other terms, you could simply use Flat rate set to 0. The Free shipping method offers some additional abilities.

free shipping settings

Title is just a method title displaying in the cart. Just like in the Flat rate.

However, we have some new options here. Let’s look closer at the Free shipping requires… option:

free shipping settings (screenshot #2)

Free shipping option will not be shown in the cart if the conditions you choose here are not meet. You can set minimum order amount (for example free shipping for order above £100.00). You can also require a coupon for free shipping.

How to generate such a coupon for marketing purposes? Just go to WooCommerce → Coupons → Add new and mark the Allow free shipping checkbox:

Coupon - Allow free shipping

If you don’t use coupons in your store, you should consider it to increase sales. Learn how to enable it and create coupons in WooCommerce →

Local pickup

This is the simplest one of WooCommerce shipping methods. You just insert the price and that’s all. By default, when using local pickup store base taxes will apply regardless of customer address.

Local pickup settings

Now you know all the WooCommerce shipping methods available by default. It’s time to learn how you can add some more features if the default WooCommerce shipping methods don’t fit your needs.

Additional WooCommerce shipping methods

Flexible Shipping

Table Rate Shipping is a method where you can set a lot of different rules for calculating shipping costs. Every rule can add some cost to the total cost or subtract a cost from it. A rule can use different conditions such as:

  • If all items from an order weight from 1 lbs to 5 lbs, then add $15 to the shipping cost.
  • When items from shipping class ABC are in the cart, then subtract $2 from the shipping cost.
  • If there are more than 3 items in the order, then add $6 to the shipping cost.

And it’s all inside one method! You can create as many advanced shipping methods with table rate shipping as you want. There’s no limit. You can name shipping methods however you want. It could be a name of shipping company such as DPD, DHL.

Where does the name table rate shipping come from? You enter all rules in a simple table. Read this article about table rate shipping if you want to know more.

Table Rate Shipping method is the best solution for you if you sell products in different sizes and weights. With this method, you have to overpay for shipping ever again.

You can download Flexible Shipping for free now! If you need any help with configuration of the table rate shipping, this video will help: Table Rate Shipping – How to use?

Flexible Shipping WooCommerce

The best Table Rate Shipping for WooCommerce. Period. Create shipping rules based on weight, order totals or item count.

Download for free or Go to WordPress.org
100,000+ Active Installations
Last Updated: 2024-05-22
Works with WooCommerce 8.6 - 8.9.x

Shipping plugins

There are other shipping plugins on the market. Some of them are integrations such as DPD UK. These plugins not only let you add a shipping method but they have some additional features. DPD UK creates shipments automatically for selected order status (i.e. completed):

creating shipments in DPD UK plugin

Some other plugins such as Free WooCommerce UPS plugin offers real-time shipping rates so the shipping cost seen in the checkout is the one you have to pay UPS for shipment.

UPS live calculation in WooCommerce - cart page

What plugin is the best for your store? It depends on your needs. You’ll have to do your research if you need something more than what I’ve shown you in this article. WordPress has a big directory of plugins. You will be able to easily add more feature-rich WooCommerce shipping methods. Just start with the plugin search box in your admin panel.

Are you ready to create some shipping methods in your store?

In this article you have learned what are the WooCommerce shipping methods and how to configure them. Also, you’ve learned some additional options if the default WooCommerce shipping methods don’t fit your needs. If you have any questions about this topic, just use the comment section below. Have a good day!

PS. We have created The Ultimate Guide to WooCommerce Shipping – I recommend this guide if you are a beginner.

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Dinuka Surendra Yapa
Dinuka Surendra Yapa
3 years ago

how set multiple shipping option (customer choose shipping methord on checkout)

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Reply to  Dinuka Surendra Yapa
2 years ago

Hi Dinuka, I believe that you should simply add as many shipping methods as you need to fit your case within the right shipping zones you’ve previously configured.

Samuel Stanley
Samuel Stanley
1 year ago

How do I add a shipping fee to a certain shipping class? Example: I sell some products that require a one-time hazardous material shipping fee in addition to the standard shipping fee>

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Admin
Reply to  Samuel Stanley
1 year ago

Hi Samuel, I believe that the Flexible Shipping PRO might be the exact solution you are looking for. Using its Shipping Class condition you can create a shipping cost calculation rule which will be applied only to the products with specific shipping class. What’s more you can also use the Additional Cost feature depending on your use case. I hope I was able to dispel your doubts a little bit.

Steve Allen
Steve Allen
1 year ago

Having trouble getting a new shipping method correctly set up. I’ve created the shipping classes I want and added them to the product. I’ve created rules based on a combination 1) weight, 2) volume and 3) shipping class. Using debug mode, it seems the only content inputs are the value and the weight.

I can’t see how to get Flexible Shipping to grab the volume. I’ve entered the dimensions for the product, and cannot see where to enter the “volume” as a single figure in Woocommerce.

Any suggestions? Do I need an extra plug-in, or can FS Pro do this already?

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Admin
Reply to  Steve Allen
1 year ago

Hi Steve,

The Volume shipping cost calculation condition is one of the Flexible Shipping PRO in-built features. There are no additional plugins required to handle it and the Volume itself doesn’t need to be entered anywhere as a separate figure. It is automatically calculated based on the product dimensions entered in the WooCommerce product’s settings (Product data Shipping tab). Once you enable the FS Debug Mode on the Flexible Shipping method configuration screen, add the product to the cart and hit the Show rules (triggered) button on the blue background at the top of the screen, you should see that the volume calculated based on the entered product dimensions is verified there and taken into consideration before applying the proper FS rule:

fs-debug-mode-volume.png
Steve Allen
Steve Allen
Reply to  Łukasz Spryszak
1 year ago

That’s great. Thanks for your help.

Steve Allen
Steve Allen
Reply to  Łukasz Spryszak
1 year ago

I appreciate your help. I’ve been able to start entering a range of rules to suit my situation, combining weight, volume and shipping class. It’s working OK, but I seem to have hit a limit to the number of rules I can enter.

I was hoping to enter 75 rules for each of 19 shipping regions. Am I expecting the impossible, or can this be done? I’ve successfully entered 72 rules for my first zone, and 64 for my second, making 136 total so far. Is that the limit, or am I missing something?

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Admin
Reply to  Steve Allen
1 year ago

There is no such thing as rules limit and the Flexible Shipping plugin doesn’t limit their number in any way. However, it might be related to your current server configuration and to be more precise, PHP max_input_vars. Have you tried to increase its current value?

Steve Allen
Steve Allen
Reply to  Łukasz Spryszak
1 year ago

No I haven’t. Sound technical – I’ll have to research what’s involved, then give it a try. Thanks

Steve Allen
Steve Allen
Reply to  Łukasz Spryszak
1 year ago

Hey, I think you might be right. That changed the behaviour. I’ll keep going and see how things play out. Thanks again for your help!!

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Admin
Reply to  Steve Allen
1 year ago

It’s great to hear that it did the job and I’m glad I was able to help : )

Steve Allen
Steve Allen
Reply to  Łukasz Spryszak
11 months ago

Hi Lukasz. You might be able to help me again. I’m trying to set my cart up so that it checks each item as it is entered, to see which shipping methods it can use. THEN, if it cannot be shipped using a particular shipping method, that method will switch off for any subsequent items purchased in the current cart. Does that make sense?

Eg Item #1 cannot be shipped in a satchel, but Item #2 can. I want the satchel shipping method to switch off or be unavailable after Item #1

Is there a way to do that?

Steve

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Admin
Reply to  Steve Allen
11 months ago

Hi Steve, our Flexible Shipping PRO plugin should do the job in such case. If you have multiple Flexible Shipping shipping methods enabled in your store and you don’t want one of them (satchel shipping) to be displayed in the cart/checkout when the customer adds a specific product to the cart, you can add the following shipping cost calculation rule at the very top of the rules’ table (image attachment). Using the Special action: Hide here combined with Shipping Class: Satchel shipping condition will result in hiding this particular shipping method once at least 1 product with the mentioned shipping class is in the cart. You can, of course, use the different conditions here as well, e.g., Product, Product Category, etc., according to your needs – it’s up to you. I believe that this guide might turn out to be helpful too in this case.

hiding-fs-method-rule.png
Steve Allen
Steve Allen
Reply to  Łukasz Spryszak
10 months ago

That looks like it will do the trick.Thanks you so much for your help.

Screenshot 2023-06-26 150338.jpg
Netta Ziv
Netta Ziv
1 year ago

Hi! I am looking to add a link in the title or description of one of my shipping methods. How can I do that?

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Admin
Reply to  Netta Ziv
11 months ago

Hi Netta, if it is a shipping method handled by our Flexible Shipping plugin, you can simply place the link HTML tags in the Method Description field the way visible in the attached screenshot. You can also use the HTML tags the similar way, e.g., to place the carrier’s logo below the shipping method’s name. Here you can find some more information on this matter: Flexible Shipping – General Settings.

fs-description-link.png
Last edited 2 months ago by Grzegorz Turbasa
Edward Letendre
Edward Letendre
5 months ago

can I set free shipping on a specific product? without a coupon?

Łukasz Spryszak
Łukasz Spryszak
Admin
Reply to  Edward Letendre
4 months ago

Hi Edward, sure, with our Flexible Shipping PRO plugin you can configure the free shipping to result from 0-cost Product-based shipping cost calculation, without the need of coupon being applied. Here you can find the guide we prepared on how to set it up step by step: https://octolize.com/docs/article/flexible-shipping-pro-free-shipping-for-specific-product-shipping-class/.

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