As you read this article, WooCommerce powers more than a quarter of all online stores. Given the fact that WooCommerce started out as a plugin way back in 2011, this number represents a major achievement for WooCommerce.
One of the reasons for the success of WooCommerce is the regular releases that add to the stability and performance of the ecommerce platform. On January 30, 2018, Automattic released WooCommerce 3.3 and on May 23, 2018, released WooCommerce 3.4. And finally, WooCommerce 3.5 has been released on October 23, 2018.
In this developing article, I will follow the release cycle of WooCommerce 3.5 and discuss the various beta and Release Candidates as they come out. I will begin with a look at the announced features of the WooCommerce 3.5.
WooCommerce 3.5 Beta 1
Automattic released WooCommerce 3.5 Beta 1 on September 12, 2018, with several minor changes and a couple of exciting new features.
WooCommerce 3.5 Features
So far, the official word is this: The list of the features of WooCommerce 3.5 include:
- REST API v3
- Improved copy for transactional emails
- Custom product tables support
- Deprecated functions and methods
REST API v3
WooCommerce 3.5 comes with REST API v3 that offers new endpoints and added improvements to the existing endpoints. Developers could benefit from the host of improvements such as:
- The products endpoint now support editable date fields. The endpoint is also updated to work with the “on backorder” stock status.
- The new reviews endpoint for performing list, get, update, and create, product reviews.
- The orders endpoint now supports automatic total calculations when applying/removing coupons.
- A new set of reports endpoints that simplify the process of getting the totals for orders, customers, products, coupons, and reviews.
- The products endpoints now support orderby options for listing products by price, popularity, or rating.
Improved Copy for Transactional Emails
The default transactional emails now sport improved and more friendly copy – a much needed upgrade to the customer-facing feature of online stores. The new copy is intended to be more readable and conveys essential information in a better (and people-friendly) manner. Check out the following email that informs the recipient about the order status:
In addition to the general improvements to the email text, the following email templates have also been revised:
Custom Product Tables Support
Perhaps the most exciting of the WooCommerce 3.5 features is the support for custom product tables that promise to speed up stores by up to 30%. The new WooCommerce version will incorporate hooks and filters for Custom Product Tables Feature plugin. Note that this plugin is currently in beta stage so you need to observe all the precautions for testing out this feature.
That’s Not All ….
While the above mentioned are the major features, they are by no means the only WooCommerce 3.5 features that are bound to delight the users. Here is some more of the good stuff:
- Users can now export products by category in the CSV exporter
- The payment method settings page now offers better accessibility options
- Store administrators could now set a low stock threshold for products.
- The Action Scheduler background processing library (used by WooCommerce
- Subscriptions plugin) is now included in WooCommerce 3.5
- Error logging for transactional emails now available
Deprecated Functions and Methods
As I write this, WooCommerce 3.5 doesn’t depreciate any functions, methods or classes. If you wish to try out WooCommerce 3.5 Beta, you can download it directly from GitHub and install it in your staging environment.
WooCommerce 3.5 RC1
On September 28, 2018, WooCommerce 3.5 Release Candidate 1 (RC 1) was released. While this is more or less a finished product, the purpose of release the RC 1 is to invite developers to test the new WooCommerce version to ensure that all features work as intended. To try out WooCommerce 3.5 RC 1, either use WooCommerce Beta Tester plugin or download it from GitHub.
Expert Opinions on WooCommerce 3.5
As always, I decided to bring in the experts’ opinion about the features of the new WooCommerce version. I contacted my regular connections, and as you can see below, the response was overwhelmingly positive.
“On my list to do, as far as what is wanted in the future, I leave that in the hands of the devs and what they hear from their user :)”
“I haven’t been able to test it quite yet. I want more services included in WooCommerce Services”
“Haven’t tried it out. It‘s a release candidate, so it might make more sense to wait for the final release unless you‘re a theme or plugin developer 🤔”
“Too close to Christmas selling peak for me to do a major update this year. I’ll let you know in February when I next update the major plugin and theme changes :)”
WooCommerce 3.5 Final Release
WooCommerce 3.5 has been released. It has been in development since May 2018, and this version is the result of the efforts of about 90+ contributors. Download WooCommerce 3.5 here to try it out on your server.
Final release components
People Who Made This Release Possible
The following are just some of the names that made WooCommerce 3.5 possible:
Finally WooCommerce 3.5 Available on Cloudways
Finally, the new version of WooCommerce 3.5 is now available on the Cloudways platform. So just sign up on Cloudways WooCommerce host and test out the new version of WooCommerce.
Saud is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spread knowledge, and educate the people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can email him at [email protected]