WooCommerce: Show Empty Product Categories

By default, empty WooCommerce product categories (i.e. categories which have no published products) will not display on your Shop page.

This makes a lot of sense and avoids that customers land on empty pages… BUT sometimes you might have different needs and require that users still see these categories when the shop display is set to “Show Categories”.

Thankfully there is a quick one-line fix that you can copy / paste in your functions.php to show empty categories… enjoy!

Display empty categories @ WooCommerce Shop page

PHP snippet: Show Empty WooCommerce Product Categories

/**
 * @snippet       Show Empty Categories @ Shop Page
 * @how-to        Watch tutorial @ https://businessbloomer.com/?p=19055
 * @author        Rodolfo Melogli
 * @compatible    WooCommerce 3.5.6
 * @donate $9     https://businessbloomer.com/bloomer-armada/
 */

add_filter( 'woocommerce_product_subcategories_hide_empty', '__return_false' );

PHP snippet (Storefront Theme): Show Empty WooCommerce Product Categories @ Homepage

/**
 * @snippet       Show Empty Categories @ Homepage
 * @how-to        Watch tutorial @ https://businessbloomer.com/?p=19055
 * @author        Rodolfo Melogli
 * @compatible    WooCommerce 3.5.6
 * @donate $9     https://businessbloomer.com/bloomer-armada/
 */

add_filter( 'storefront_product_categories_shortcode_args', 'bblomer_storefront_homepage_show_empty_cats' );

function bblomer_storefront_homepage_show_empty_cats( $args ) {
  $args['hide_empty'] = 0;
  return $args;
}

Where to add this snippet?

You can place PHP snippets at the bottom of your child theme functions.php file (before "?>" if you have it). CSS, on the other hand, goes in your child theme style.css file. Make sure you know what you are doing when editing such files - if you need more guidance, please take a look at my free video tutorial "Where to Place WooCommerce Customization?"

Does this snippet (still) work?

Please let me know in the comments if everything worked as expected. I would be happy to revise the snippet if you report otherwise (please provide screenshots). I have tested this code with Storefront theme, the WooCommerce version listed above and a WordPress-friendly hosting on PHP 7+.

If you think this code saved you time & money, please join other Business Bloomer supporters and avail of 365 days of WooCommerce benefits. Thank you in advance :)

Need Help with WooCommerce Customization?

Check out these free video tutorials!

  • how-to-edit-woocommerce-with-php-snippets
  • woocommerce-hooks-add_action-list-visual
  • woocommerce-customize-single-product-page-PHP

Rodolfo Melogli

Author, WooCommerce expert and WordCamp speaker, Rodolfo has worked as a WooCommerce freelancer since 2011. His goal is to help entrepreneurs and developers overcome their WooCommerce nightmares. Rodolfo loves travelling, chasing tennis & soccer balls and, of course, wood fired oven pizza.

Questions? Feedback? Support? Leave your Comment Now!
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If you are writing code, please wrap it between: [php]code_here[/php]. Failure to complying with this (as well as going off topic) will result in comment deletion. You should expect a reply in about a week - this is a popular blog but I need to get paid work done first. Please consider joining #BloomerArmada to ask me 1-to-1 WooCommerce questions. Thank you :)

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