WooCommerce is a powerful open source online store software that works in conjunction with WordPress. It can be used for a great many e-commerce applications from selling products – to selling tickets – or even accommodation. For any WooCommerce store owners – it’s time to update your software because Version 3 is here and with it, a number of changes that will mean your online store will run faster and look even better than before!
If you are a Purple Dog customer with a Club Purple maintenance agreement, of course we will be handling the updates for you in the next days. If you’re not yet with Purple Dog and you’re in need of assistance, drop us a note via our contact form.
So what does WooCommerce version 3 look like? For all intents and purposes, unless you are a developer, the popular online shopping software update will probably (hopefully?) go un-noticed by you and your customers! After-all, most store owners are a bit like car drivers – they “just want it to work” and are not too concerned about how the engine actually functions.
In this regard, for the most part, if you are a store owner you shouldn’t need to be overly concerned. Once you’re updated to the latest version, most things will be the same. However, if you’re a bit geeky like me and “like to get your hands dirty”, the code updates are quite interesting, adding and enhancing additional functionality that promises a leaner, cleaner core code base.
One thing to point out – in some recent upgrades, we did notice a couple of glitches: an issue with order email notifications – and also the removal of “order items” column in the admin orders section (to speed up loading times). Both of these issues can be address separately, if required and extra options have since been released to address these in a further follow-up update (3.01).
The product gallery has been enhanced and now comes with the ability to zoom, view as gallery and more mobile features;
- Shoppers can now both magnify images from the page, and zoom into them from a lightbox popup
- If you have more than one image, the gallery behaviour is more intuitive; for example, clicking a thumbnail updates the image you’re already viewing instead of opening a lightbox popup window
- Dramatic improvements for mobile gallery views, including touch gestures: swipe to scroll through the gallery, pinch to zoom, and swipe up to close the current image
- Zooming into a product image on mobile now displays the image’s true size — previously it would scale to match the (very small) browser window, not an ideal experience!
Under The Hood
WooCommerce has been tweaked to make it leaner and more efficient with several significant performance enhancements in version 3 including reducing the number of database queries and the introduction of CRUD classes for optimized data storage and performance. All of this essentially means faster store loading times – particularly for larger stores with lots of products or many different variations.
It’s important to ensure you have made a backup of your database and files prior to updating. It’s also a good idea to perform thorough checks after you’ve updated to ensure everything is working as expected. Some store owners have experienced some issues that require further investigation.
If you’d like any help with getting this software updated – or with any other WordPress / Woocommerce updates – just get in touch with us for more info.