WooCommerce 3.0 “Bionic-Butterfly” is Here
If you currently own and operate your online store using WooCommerce, then this is probably an update that you’ve been waiting for. Roughly 28% of online stores currently use WooCommerce as their ecommerce platform and that number is growing, with 22,189,854 downloads so far. This is due to it’s user friendly interface and robust functionality. So what does WooCommerce 3.0 mean for you? We’ll dig into it.
The Benefits of WooCommerce 3.0
Product Gallery Improved
WooCommerce says that improving the product gallery was talked about a lot since version 2.6. Specifically with displaying images nicely on mobile devices.
Here are the enhancements to the product gallery:
- Magnified images and zooming ability from the lightbox popup.
- The touch gestures, mobile gallery views, swipe through the gallery, swiping up to close the current image and pinch zoom.
- Now even on any mobile device on zooming the image’s true size is viewable.
These improvements really addressed the user experience for mobile users, which as we all know is extremely important. With the rise in mobile device usage and online shopping, making sure product galleries are user friendly is a major factor to increasing product sales.
Increased Speed and Performance
From a development point of view, we are really excited with the changes WooCommerce 3.0 has to offer. The improvements made will allow WooCommerce to be more lite and scalable for large ecommerce stores. Now we won’t get into the technical aspects to these changes, but they have a direct effect on the speed and performance of WooCommerce. A few of the areas in which visitors and administrators will experience faster speeds are:
- Enhancements made around featured products, product visibility and products that are out of stock, which helps product-related queries on the front end for the user.
- The updated removed the “order items” column from the Main Orders admin menu page, which should allow this page to load much faster.
- Lastly, the update defers the sending of emails at checkout. This will be noticed by shoppers regarding how long their order takes to process after checking out.
Improved Log System
Another feature of this newer version of WooCommerce is the improved logger. It is now equipped with ways to easily change the behavior of the logger without replacing it. You can now classify log messages under levels such as debug, emergency, critical, alert or notice. You can filter your view of information in the new administration area in log system.
Other Performance Improvements
There has been several performance enhancements in the WooCommerce 3.0 update that will largely benefit larger stores with several hundred products or more. CRUD classes; which stands for Create, Read, Update, Delete. The new CRUD approach introduces another layer between the database and code which adds structure, validation and control. Now users can modify orders, products, customers, line items, shipping zones, payment tokens and coupons across a unified system. Developers are now able to manage data faster with the new command line interface (CLI).
Upgrading to 3.0 - Is Your WordPress Theme Compatible?
The first step to updating to WooCommerce 3.0 is to ensure that your extensions and theme are compatible. You can easily find this information in your WordPress Dashboard before proceeding with the update. Once compatibility is confirmed, set up backups so your store’s data is both secure and easily restored if necessary.
Create a staging/development area to test the website. Testing a website in staging is the best way to avoid bugs, errors and website downtime. This is a very complex and technical task. We recommend working with a developer if you are not familiar with this process. Once all aspects of the website has been tested and all has went well in staging, then you are ready to update your live site. Investing time into testing updates will save you money and headaches in the long term. Feel free to call (602) 456-2906 if you have any questions about this process.
The Verdict - Should You Upgrade?
The new version brings lots of changes. It is important that you carefully weighed out all you options and considered all possible outcomes before making your final decision. New gallery functionality and performance improvements are the highlights of the WooCommerce “Bionic-Butterfly” 3.0 upgrade. This helps WooCommerce become more scalable for owners of large shops. WooCommerce 3.0 also comes with the following improvements:
- Structured data output in JSON-LD format for clean files
- Changes to product schema markup
- Independent permalink language
- Improved RTL support
- Improved sorting of tax rules
- Improved management of coupons and discounts
- Preservation of payment details
The recent improvements present a faster and easier experience for shoppers who are viewing your product on mobile devices. WooCommerce 3.0 has so much more to offer than what we’ve highlighted, but hopefully you now have some insight on how this upgrade can affect your daily business operations.