The Best WooCommerce Product Addon Plugins: a Detailed Comparison

When you sell with WooCommerce, odds are you sometimes need to add extra options, so customers can personalize their products – from the possibility to customize a pizza to a laptop configurator. If you want to provide those options, you’ll find that a product addon plugin is essential. That kind of plugin allows you to easily add additional form fields so your visitors can customize products to their liking.

These plugins heavily depend on a lot of WooCommerce functionality. They display the fields on product pages, adjust final product pricing, and influence the WooCommerce cart & checkout.

Needless to say, a lot can go wrong if you don’t choose the plugin carefully. Moreover, the wrong plugin can slow down your site unnecessarily.

TL;DR

Jump straight to the verdict or look at our complete testing results (Google Sheet).

What We’re Comparing

To help you decide, we have looked at 6 free plugins and listed an extensive comparison below. Here are the plugins we compared:

We’ve compared the aforementioned plugins based on these important criteria:

  • How fast is the plugin’s code?
  • How many database queries are performed?
  • How many extra files are loaded on the frontend?
  • How do the plugins compare in terms of features?

For complete transparency, here are some technical bits. All tests were performed with WordPress 5.2.2, PHP 5.6, and 2 active plugins: WooCommerce and Query Monitor.

Now let’s dive in!

Plugin Performance

To test how well each plugin performs, we measured the page rendering time. That’s the time it takes for a server to render the page before sending it back to the browser.

An example: on an install with only WooCommerce active, a product page takes 1 second to render. Once we activate a product add-on plugin, page rendering time increases to 1.2 seconds. Hence, we know that the total time for the add-on plugin to run its code is 200 milliseconds (= 1.2 seconds – 1 second).

We performed this test 30 times for each plugin and got the following averages:

PluginPage rendering time (in seconds)Average plugin execution timeConclusion
No plugins (only WooCommerce)0.8731
Advanced Product Fields0.88400.0109Website slows down with 0.011 seconds or 1.23%
Extra Product Options0.89790.0248Website slows down with 0.025 seconds or 2.76%
Custom Product Addons0.91110.038Website slows down with 0.038 seconds or 4.17%
Flexible Product Fields0.93400.0609Website slows down with 0.061 seconds or 6.52%
PPOM for WooCommerce0.96060.0875Website slows down with 0.088 seconds or 9.11%
YITH WooCommerce Product Add-ons0.96550.0924Website slows down with 0.092 seconds or 9.57%
Full results and proof

Winner?

The winner here is clearly Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce, as it only needs 0.011 seconds to display fields on a product page. It’s fair to say this plugin barely slows down your pages.

The plugin by Yith, on the other hand, slows your page down with almost 0.01 seconds. That’s more than you think; it means that if your website has 10 plugins that are equally slow, your page load time will increase with 1 second!

Database Queries

It’s no secret that database queries can slow down your website. As a rule of thumb, plugins should try to perform as little database queries as possible. That means they should optimize their code to perform them only when they are absolutely necessary.

Thanks to the awesome Query Monitor plugin, we can easily see how many queries a plugin performs. Here are our findings:

PluginQueries
Advanced Product Fields2
Extra Product Options1
Custom Product Addons8
Flexible Product Fields14
PPOM for WooCommerce46
YITH WooCommerce Product Add-ons13
Full results & proof

As you can see in this table, the same two plugins perform remarkably better than the other candidates.

While researching this, we actually stumbled upon a bug in Extra Product Options for WooCommerce. In certain cases, you’re able to add a product to the cart without filling out any options, even if they are required. This flaw is also the reason why they perform fewer queries than Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce.

Winner?

While the number of queries can indicate a potential issue with a plugin, it’s not always the quantity that matters. Five fast queries can still outperform 1 bad query. So take this with a grain of salt.

Strictly speaking, Extra Product Options for WooCommerce is the winner in this category. However, considering the bug we found (as outlined above), we feel Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce is still better suited. One thing is for sure: these two plugins are clearly outperforming the others in terms of database queries.

Extra Files Loaded

The number of extra files a plugin loads on your website is a very important metric. The more files you load, the larger your site becomes (in terms of kilobytes). This, in turn, means your pages will load slower before they’re visible in the browser.

Google and other search engines will penalize you for slow performance, and their algorithm favors fast sites in the top search results. So it’s important to keep your plugin footprint as small as possible.

We consider everything below 15KB the best size. Everything between 15KB and 30KB is okay as long as you’re actually using whatever is being loaded. Many plugins tend to load a lot of files you don’t actually use. Everything above 50KB can be considered too much for a single plugin (depending on the plugin’s use case of course).

PluginJS file(s)CSS file(s)Total size
Advanced Product Fields5.8kb (1 file)1.5kb (1 file)7.3KB
Extra Product Options1.5kb (1 file)2kb (1 file)3.5KB
Custom Product Addons0kb5.2kb (1 file)5.2KB
Flexible Product Fields3.2kb (1 file)0.63kb (1 file)3.82KB
PPOM for WooCommerce49.9kb (4 files)200kb (4 files)249.9KB
YITH WooCommerce Product Add-ons357kb (6 files)45.6kb (4 files)402.6KB
Full results & proof

Winner?

The winner in this category is Extra Product Options. It’s closely followed by Advanced Product Fields, Custom Product Addons, and Flexible Product Fields. Their footprint is also really small.

Yith and PPOM are performing quite badly in this category and are loading more than 100KB. Considering you’re probably using multiple plugins to make your website fully functional, your overall page size can stack up quickly.

Plugin Features

All the plugins we’re comparing also offer a premium version which greatly enhances their feature set, but in this article we’re focusing on their free features. Below is a summary of each plugin:

Feature Advanced Product FieldsExtra Product OptionsCustom Product AddonsFlexible Product FieldsPPOM for WooCommerceYITH WooCommerce
Has more than 8 field types to choose fromYesYesYesNoYesNo
Can adjust price of the productYes (limited)NoNoNoYesYes
Conditional logic: show/hide fields based on other field valuesYesNoNoNoYesNo
Can adjust product weightNoNoNoNoNoNo
Set fields globally and per product YesNoYesNoYesYes
Total4 “yes”1 “yes”2 “yes”0 “yes”4 “yes”2″yes”

Winner?

Winners in this category are Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce and PPOM for WooCommerce.They offer the most features for free.

Full Results & proof

We created a Google Sheet detailing the results with screenshots and additional information. You can view it here.

Final Verdict

The good

Advanced Product Fields for WooCommerce is the most feature-rich and the fastest plugin out of the 5 test subjects. We consider it the winner of this comparison. The only downside is that it’s still a very young plugin so it doesn’t have many reviews yet. That means you’ll have to take our word (and research) for it. Or simply download it and give it a go yourself!

Extra Product Options (Product Addons) for WooCommerce is a very good alternative if you don’t need too many features. It’s lightweight and fast. Just keep in mind the potential bug we talked about earlier in this article.

The Bad

We’re surprised that the most popular plugins are the worst performers. PPOM for WooCommerce has 10,000+ downloads in the WordPress repository, and yet it lacks in quality and only slows down your site. Furthermore, their backend looks confusing and not like the WordPress standard design. This is not something you want to clutter your (or your clients’!) backend with.

We would definitely recommend staying away from PPOM and Yith’s plugin because they are slower and load a lot of files on the frontend.

We hope this comparison helps you find the plugin that suits you best!