If you’re currently running an ecommerce store on WooCommerce, you’re going to have to update to WooCommerce 3.5.1. The new WooCommerce update has been under development since May and is about to make WooCommerce management and user experience a lot easier with a number of helpful new features. Though it’s being considered a “minor update” the new WooCommerce update has many great features including:
- A review endpoint to list, update, create & get product reviews.
- Date fields that can now be edited on the products endpoint. The endpoint has also been updated to work with the “on backorder” stock status that was introduced in WooCommerce 3.3
- A new series of new reports endpoints to get products, total counts of orders, customers, reviews and coupons.
- Automatic total calculations when applying and or removing coupons in the orders endpoint.
- New data endpoints to fetch Continents, Countries and Currencies.
- Refund line items through the API
- Query products and variations by “stock_status”.
- Ability to batch update settings.
- Query sort products by price, popularity and rating.
WooCommerce 3.5.1 also includes an updated WooCommerce transaction email with friendlier and less robotic verbiage thanking your customer for their purchase. This is only the first phase of a larger e-mail effort that is a focus of scheduled WooCommerce updates. The next update is expected in 2019. A simple change in verbiage could be very impactful to customer loyalty since WooCommerce customers have received message with the same verbiage for the last 5 years
WooCommerce 3.5.1 will also feature a low-stock threshold for individual products, the ability to export products by category in the CSV exporter, and more accessibility on the payment method settings page. These new capabilities can make a store owner’s user experience much smoother help give admins make customizations that were previously unavailable in the WooCommerce dashboard.
Though this update is great for store owners, it’s also great for developers and here’s why:
- The WooCommerce core now includes the Action Scheduler Library used by the WooCommerce subscriptions plug in and other WooCommerce plugins. In WooCommerce 3.5.1 webhooks are included in this and also offer a more scalable background processing solution.
- Support for the Custom Product Tables feature Plug In.
- Support for the wc-admin feature plug in.
- New filters to increase the customization of WooCommerce.
Updating to WooCommerce 3.5.1 on your Site
WooCommerce 3.5.1 has been classified as a “minor update” by the WooCommerce development team so the update shouldn’t cause issues on most sites that are already running WooCommerce 3.0 or higher. There are, however, a few steps that should be taken during any WooCommerce update to ensure no functionality or sensitive data is lost.
- You must update to WordPress 5.0 before updating to WooCommerce 3.5.1
- Run a site backup. Ensure you have a working version of your ecommerce site saved by running a backup that can be reverted to at any point before starting the update. There are a number of different ways to create a backup of a WordPress site that range from plugins to hosting company services. Some include the option to schedule backups so you can have a site backed up at regular intervals.
- Test store customizations. Put together a list of any custom functionality that has been added to your store in the past because changes do have the potential to get overwritten during update. Once update is made it will be much easier to test custom functionality in store with edits listed out in one place.
- Test payment gateway functionality. Being able to accept payments from your store is essential to doing business online so making sure that all payment gateways that are enabled are working correctly is essential. Most WooCommerce payment methods include an option to set the gateway to test mode so WooCommerce checkout process can be completed with a test card number. You can also create test products with low price amounts to confirm payment gateways are accepting real payments correctly.
Once you’ve tested out user functionality to make sure all store elements are working as they should you’ll be ready to manage your ecommerce store with the latest from WooCommerce. Let us know if you have any questions about WooCommerce updates or using the software to create an online store for your business.