Setting Up UK Postcode-Dependant Shipping in Woocommerce

Setting Up UK Postcode-Dependant Shipping in Woocommerce[ 4 min read ]

Woocommerce Version 2.6.1 has introduced Shipping Zones to make it easier to control Shipping costs. The old system is now being deprecated, thank goodness, as it was pretty pants.
Up until now people have had to use plugins to control shipping costs to different zones – especially in the UK where it costs a lot more to send to the Highlands, Islands or the Channel Islands than to mainland UK.

But now, you can set different prices for each dependant on postcode lists.

NB. This method does work with shipping classes but does not have any weight-based conditions so that would need a different plugin. If you’re unsure what shipping option would be best for you – read our Shipping Options guide.

Setting up the Zones

Here is the official guide from Woocommerce, in case my instructions don’t make sense to you- they provide a handy video:

  1. Within WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping, click the Add a Shipping Zone button
  2. Name the Zone – I have used the official UK Zone names to make it clear
  3. Type in the Region, in this case United Kingdom and click the Limit to Specified Postcodes link which opens an additional input box
  4. Add all the postcodes from that Zone, one per line and each should end in *
  5. If you need the postcodes of each of the zones, they can be downloaded below in a format that can be copied and pasted, and they already include the * at the end of each line.
  6. Repeat steps 1-4 for all the Zones you need except for Mainland UK (Zone 1)



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Setting up Mainland UK(Zone 1)

By now you should have a zone set up for everywhere you ship (inland and internationally) – if you haven’t, revisit the section above.
Once you’ve completed all the different zones, it’s time to start on the main UK zone.
Navigate to Woocommerce > Settings > General and set the locations you both sell to and ship to.
Once done, go back to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping and check you have a ‘Rest of the World’ or ‘Locations not covered by your other zones’ zone. This will be now be used as ‘Mainland UK (Zone 1)’ and you can move on to the next section.

At this stage you should have something along these lines (but maybe not as many ‘zones’:

Setting up Shipping Costs & Free Shipping for each of the Zones

Again, here is the official guide:   and
It’s possible to set up different prices for the zones, if there are choices (like standard/next day etc) – if you’re offering free shipping, chose Free Shipping when you get to number 2 of the instructions.

  1. Within WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping, click the wee + sign to the right of the zone you want to add costs to, on the table of Shipping Zones.
  2. Select Flat Rate from the drop down menu and then Add Shipping Method
  3. This takes you back the Shipping Zone table but now, under the Shipping Method(s) column, Flat Rate will be listed. Click that Flat Rate link.
  4. Change the title (if you want) it will be seen on the front-end checkout page.
  5. Change the ‘Taxable’ field if you don’t add tax to your shipping costs
  6. Add the cost of the shipping and save the changes
  7. Repeat 1-6 for all the Shipping Zones and Shipping Methods you want to add


Edit: If you’re shipping is picking up Zone 1 but not picking up Zone 4 then please note to order your zones starting from Zone 4 to Zone 1 to make sure they are picking up the right information. Edit credited to Simon Rostron.

Shipping Method Example Screenshots:


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Further Help

If you’re struggling with setting up postcode zones in Woocommerce, feel free to get in touch using the form below and we’ll be happy to provide an estimate. Please provide as much information as you can so we can help you and provide an accurate estimate.

We’d love to be able to give unlimited free advice on this subject,  but sadly we’re a small business and we just don’t have the resources so please only contact us if you’re happy to pay for our expertise.

(note: we are only available during office hours)

Suzi Smart Bear

I'm Suzi - the owner of The Smart Bear.

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