How do Attributes work in Magento?

What’s an attribute in Magento?

imageAn attribute in Magento is defined as any property of a product. This includes product id, product title, sku, images, description… everything!  Although this may seem a bit abstract, it’s also one of the most powerful concepts in Magento and provides an almost limitless ability to control the products. We built it like this so that you can add new product attributes without having to write a single line of code.  You also don’t need to add any columns to your database - it’s all done automatically from the attributes manager.  That’s right - you just add the attribute from the admin, and you can start entering data for products using this new attribute.

So why is this good?

We’ll keep it real simple. Your store sells stereos.  Let’s say that when you create a product in Magento, you have to enter title, price and description, as shown below:
You decide that customers make important buying decisions based on the manufacturer of the stereo.  No problem - you can add the attribute manufacturer to your store.  After doing so, you’ll see something like this on the product creation page.
Note that manufacturer has now been added.

Adding new attributes

A store owner can add as many additional attributes as desired.  These can be grouped into attribute sets, so similar products can be created with the same attributes.  If you sell TV’s, shoes, books, and power tools you could create four attribute sets: one specific to TV’s, one for shoes, one for books, and one for power tools.  When adding new power tool products to your catalog you simply select the “power tool” attribute set, and the appropirate fields are added for this product.  Check out the “creating attributes” tutorial to learn how to do this.