Product Variations - Too Many - Need Suggestions

I have a new product that I engrave on. It has three different platings to choose from - silver, bronze or copper. Once you choose your plating then you can choose your font - 16 options, then you can choose how you want your font laid out - 2 options, then you can choose if you want crystals attached - 28 options, then you can choose your packaging - 4 options. I typically use features whose purpose is “Variations as one product”, however with this many variations I end up with over 10,000 products. First, the software won’t create this many variations - I get a CFS Attack message. Second, I can import them but they will be difficult to manage. For instance if one plating goes out of stock I’ll have to manually mark over 3,000 products out of stock. Also, I don’t know how the software will handle displaying that many variations in admin because it doesn’t separate variations into pages.

I could use options but this will not allow the image to change when the option is selected and the image is a must. I realize I can use image thumbnails with options but that many options will take up too much space on the product page, plus if I remember correctly those thumbnail images don’t enlarge.

I’m looking for suggestions on how to best handle this scenario. I’m on v4.16.2.SP1. Thanks for reading!


My first suggestion would be to use features for some traits and options for others. If you have images, you could just give them captions—what sort of font or crystals are attached. That could help your customers choose the right product.

In your post, you mentioned different product traits:

  • Plating
  • Font
  • Font layout
  • Attached crystals
  • Packaging

Plating seems like the only thing that affects quantity (it’s an inherent trait, and you mentioned that it could go out of stock). So that’s definitely a feature. It probably affects the appearance the most.

Font and font layout are definitely options, because they don’t affect the quantity of plating.

Attached crystals and packaging are tricky. On the one hand, you can run out of them. But on the other hand, making them features would complicate inventory tracking.

P.S. The important question is whether you have images for all possible engravings (combinations of plating, fonts, layouts, crystals).

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Thank you for your suggestion. I am going to use a combination of Variations and Options to end up with under 500 products which is much more manageable.

I think I can work with Forbidden combinations for out of stock items but I do have a question about them that I couldn’t find in the documentation. When creating a Forbidden combination I have these two options:

  • Any variant -
  • No variant can be selected -

I’ve tested both and can’t tell how they operate differently. They both performed the same for me. Can you tell me how to use them correctly?


When - Any variant - is selected, this combination hides completely.
When - No variant can be selected - is selected, all the other options became disabled for selection.