Yesterday was a big day in WordPress land. WordPress 3.8 was released and is downloaded well over 500.000 times already. You might have updated already and noticed a big visual change in the administration panels. This new version of WordPress introduces a completely new look and feel. Not only does it look different, it also makes the administration panels fully responsive and much more usable on your phone or tablet.
We’ve been working hard to get WooCommerce 2.1 fully compatible with this new look and feel, but that’s not ready yet. We’re aiming to release this new version in late January, so with a little over a month ago we’ve made some options available to make your WooCommerce store ready to be used with WordPress 3.8 already.
Make sure your frontend works fine
For most stores, the frontend will be fine; there’s nothing you need to do there. If you are using one of our themes, the frontend of your store will continue to work just fine. Your customer won’t even notice that you’ve updated the WordPress version.
If you are going to use the new Twenty Fourteen theme, which is now the new default theme in WordPress 3.8, we have a snippet available for you to do this: Add Twenty Fourteen compatibility to WooCommerce. You just add this snippet to your child themes functions.php file and you are good to go. This will introduce a new wrapper for the Twenty Fourteen theme that WooCommerce can use until you update to WooCommerce 2.1.
WooCommerce 2.1 will contain this wrapper by default, so if you are going to wait until that’s released, there is nothing you need to do.
Some minor visual issues in the backend
As I said before, WordPress 3.8 introduces a new look and feel for the administration panel. This involves new or updated colours and UI elements. Most of these elements are being used by WooCommerce as well, so it blends in with your whole administration panel experience. Unfortunately, this also means that we need to tweak our administration panels as soon as new versions of WordPress introduce big changes like this.
While you are using the current stable version of WooCommerce in a WordPress 3.8 installation, you might come across some visual issues in the administration panels. This involves checkboxes that are not properly aligned, or some parts might not look completely in line with the new design. We are aware of these issues and have decided to fix everything in the upcoming WooCommerce 2.1 release.
Important: These issues are purely visual. All features continue to work as they have been before. We have tested this extensively and are confident WooCommerce 2.0.20 works fine on WordPress 3.8. In the unforeseen case there are bugs or broken features found, we will patch the current stable release and will publish a fixed version as soon as possible.
Doing it right with WooCommerce 2.1
The main reason to not fully patch WooCommerce 2.0 is that we don’t want to spend too much time on something that is going to be discontinued within a month after we release it. We’ve put a lot of work into making sure WooCommerce 2.1 looks top notch in the new administration panel design and we’re proud of what the future will bring.
WooCommerce 2.1 is now in the second beta phase and we could use some help with testing it. We’ve already got some great feedback and fixed contributions already, but there is always room for more. Make sure that when you report issues on GitHub to mention that the issue is in the beta release and that you test it against the latest available beta.
Now is the time to start testing your plugins and themes that use or support WooCommerce with this new version too. You’ll want to make sure that your product works with both WordPress 3.8 and the upcoming WooCommerce 2.1 release.
Please don’t wait until the final version has been released, the current development version is pretty stable already. It still can’t be used on production websites, but it’s good enough to test your own products compatibility with.
We’re excited for WooCommerce 2.1!
We are very excited for WooCommerce 2.1. With the new administration panel look and feel introduced in WordPress 3.8 and all the changes we’ve made to blend in with all this, it’s going to be one of our most exciting releases so far.