I have 500 products on my site. I don’t have time to add attributes for each product individually when many attributes are the same. For example, I may have 20 tables built of Pine, which could be a value under the Material attribute. Is there a way to bulk select those 20 tables and under the bulk edit menu, to select Pine as the value of the Material attribute.
If this doens’t work would it make sense to abandon attributes and just use tags?
Also, I haven’t got many attributes completed– is that why only a few colors, and materials show up on my filters in the sidebar?
There’s not a way to bulk edit attributes via the default plugin.
I suggest, if you haven’t already, adding global attributes under Products > Attributes for all common attributes like Material. Then when you go to a product you can select the global attribute and assign it.
If you need a faster way to update you can look at the Product CSV Import Suite plugin: https://woocommerce.com/products/product-csv-import-suite/
You would then udpate a CSV file for all products, and import it to add, and update.
I would suggest using attributes over tags.
Yes, once you add more attributes then more options will show in the sidebar to filter by.
Are attributes searchable or do they just come up in the product info area?
Default search doesn’t search attributes. You could possibly use a 3rd party (paid) search plugin like Search WP along with some custom code to add search of attributes.
Here is an example of adding product variation SKUs to search and something similar could possibly be done for attributes.