Kenny Foster

Web Development

How to Add Woocommerce Custom Checkout Fields (A Guide)

The checkout process is arguably the most important step in the customer journey. Around 69% of shopping carts get abandoned, where customers decide to purchase products, but then change their minds towards the end. With this being said, it is critical that you ensure the checkout process is optimised and is creating the best possible experience for your users. That’s why we’re sharing our guide on how to add WooCommerce custom checkout fields.

A few examples of customising your checkout field are:

  • By removing unnecessary fields
  • Include a variety of payment options
  • Include security and trust seals

By default, WooCommerce will provide the key fields needed in order for your customers to successfully make a purchase on your website; providing sufficient information so that the product(s) get delivered to them.

Each business is unique, so to ensure your customers are able to provide as much information as possible and that you are providing the best possible user experience for them, it is important to ensure additional fields are added at checkout.

Alternatively to adding custom fields, there may be the need to remove some. Whilst WooCommerce does add the most common fields by default, there could still be some fields that aren’t relevant.

There are 2 ways to add custom fields to the checkout on your WooCommerce store, via a plugin or through custom code. Each method has its benefits and fallbacks, which we will cover below.

Using custom code

Screenshot of a checkout process

You can use custom code and plugins to optimise your checkout fields, for instance by including a variety of payment options.

Benefits

Adding custom fields via the code instead of a plugin will be beneficial for the following reasons: 

  1. You have greater control over what custom fields you’d like to add and how they should be displayed, essentially there aren’t any limitations. 
  2. Using a plugin will most likely cost money whereas modifying the code will not, as WooCommerce is open source (free). 
  3. Additional plugins can contribute to slow page load times, which can impact your website on Google rankings.

Fallbacks

This method would be used only if you are comfortable writing code in PHP. This coding language is predominantly used in WordPress and WooCommerce, but if you make an error in php it can cause the website to break. Only use this method if you are very comfortable with using this coding language.

Using a plugin

Benefits

Using a plugin has its own benefits too: 

  1. It has been tried and tested on WooCommerce websites and is regularly updated with the latest versions of WooCommerce. 
  2. If there are any errors, you often get plugin support from the plugin developers, especially if it’s a premium/paid-for plugin. 
  3. With a plugin, there is often no development/coding required. This means that anyone who has admin access to the WordPress website is able to upload and activate a plugin.

Fallbacks

Fallbacks to using a plugin can often result in conflicts with other, more critical plugins on the website. Additional plugins, where a plugin isn’t always necessary, can create a greater load time on the server and cost more money (if it is a premium plugin).

Conclusion

Ultimately, whichever method you use to add custom checkout fields, will largely benefit the checkout process for the user and help them with that journey to making a purchase on your e-commerce site.