With 5.0 or “Bebo” changing the way things happen on WordPress, you can expect plugins to plunge deeper into block-based coding. WooCommerce, the most popular e-commerce plugin on the platform, is no exception! Woo 3.7 is adding more blocks-centric features in its second version of the year.
Woo has pledged to release updates more often, looking to improve things step by step. As a new policy, they’ve decided on refreshing the platform more, with smaller updates, instead of only releasing a few significant changes per year. The idea is that the plugin will be less buggy this way, as perfecting minor details often can ensure functionality and stability.
These are some of the coolest new things about Woo 3.7:
- New product blocks
- New WordPress and PHP minimum requirements
- Improved performance
Previous versions of Woo didn’t work seamlessly with Gutenberg, but the editor has fixed that. With the Gutenberg Navigation Mode built-in since the 6.3 release, users can navigate between blocks by pressing Tab or the arrow keys on their keyboards. To exit this mode, all it takes is pressing on the Esc key.
Before moving forward with Woo 3.7, always remember to practice safe updating by backing up all data before making any decisions. It’s also essential to test updates in advance through a staging site, to avoid any issues that may arise.
Keep in mind that, in case users have further questions or have issues with the new version, WooCommerce recommends:
- Discussing with fellow Woo users on the public WordPress.org forums for WC
- Visiting the Woo Support page
- Reporting technical problems on the Woo GitHub issue tracker
What’s New on Woo 3.7?
Let’s discuss this step by step!
As WordPress has moved to block-based coding since Bebo came out, WooCommerce continues to catch up. Woo 3.7 includes a new array of product blocks to manage stores, including:
- Product Tags. It allows users to feature several products under a specific tag or set of tags.
- Categories List. Through this block, users can see product categories through a drop-down menu or list.
- Featured Category. With this block, users can choose categories prominently featured on their sites. That way, categories are displayed more obviously, linking customers back to the category’s archive page.
- Better block branding, so they’re easier to discover.
- Faster searching within the Featured Products and Hand-Picked Products blocks.
As Woo 3.7 moves forward better integration with Bebo, it has raised its minimum requirements. To run the newest version of the plugin, you now need:
- WordPress 4.9. Keep in mind that, with the new Woo policy of constant updates, they’ll probably r.aised the minimum to WordPress 5.0 in no time.
- PHP 5.6. This move stems from the need to take advantage of the increasing number of features and functionality to offer the best possible experience. Plus, it dramatically improves security.
The guys at WooCommerce are working towards building a much smoother experience for users. Some of the most significant improvements of Woo 3.7 aren’t visible, but they’ll make lives more comfortable. The most notable effort was on speeding up those pages that retrieve content, such as product reviews and post comments. The idea behind this is that the entire store will run much faster now.
You can now add new “Additional Content” on email settings, instead of the traditional and hardcoded “Thanks” sections, allowing users to change the wording easily.
There’s something to be said about the WooCommerce feature plugin, as it continues to grow.
- The plugin has over 300,000 active installations and counting.
- Its recent updates include an improved Stock Activity panel and better navigation bar design, more data on the Customer Report page.
It’s an excellent option for WooCommerce store owners who want to delve into these new functionalities. Woo 3.7 shouldn’t cause compatibility issues, but the WooCommerce team recommends upgrading through the WP CLI command wp wc update. This strategy is mostly for store owners who have vast amounts of data.
Woo 3.7 keeps growing to continue being the perfect partner to WordPress. At Bright Vessel, we carefully study each new update to offer our clients the best service available on the platform. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you build the perfect WooCommerce solution for your business!