WooCommerce v3 – What’s it All About?

If you use WooCommerce to power your ecommerce website you may have noticed a big updated landing recently, along with some pretty big warnings about backing up your database before updating (which you definitely should do!). But what does WooCommerce 3.0 bring to the table, and why should you update to this latest version?

Firstly, and most importantly, you should aim to be running the most up to date version of WordPress and your plugins for security reasons. All software of this nature has the potential for security exploits, and updating your website’s software is the best way to ensure you are protected against any new threats that are discovered – be aware though, that you can occasionally get issues when you update your installation, particularly with a major overhaul like this. As a result, you should always take a full backup of your website’s database (ask your web host to do this for you if you can’t do it yourself) and also the plugin files that you’re updating, in case you need to roll back to the older version temporarily.

Assuming you’ve got your backups and you’ve run the updates without any issues, what can you expect from WooCommerce 3.0? Well, there are number of developer-friendly improvements in the backend, but that’s not very exciting for your users, though they will hopefully benefit from a faster, more responsive website as a result. In terms of user-focused changes, the biggest is the new gallery functionality.

You can see it in action here (please note this update was originally going to be v2.7, hence the “WooCommerce 2.7 Product Gallery” video title):

As you can see in the video, you can now magnify and zoom in on images, which is great for showing off the detail in your product photos. In addition, the mobile image gallery has had some major improvements too, and you can use touch gestures like pinch and swipe to zoom and move between images. To really take advantage of this you need multiple product images, which can be a great way to increase your conversion rate, but even with single-image products you will see improvements.

Other changes are more minor, but include a easier way to sort tax categories, dismissible site-wide notices, multisite user improvements and an overhauled ‘percentage coupon’ interface to help you better manage your discount codes. If you want more detailed information, you can always check out the official WooComerce website.

If you need any help or advice about moving to WooCommerce v3, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.