Issues with the display of product recommendations are commonly caused by page caching. It is also possible that your hosting configuration is preventing the extension from queuing and/or processing (re)generation tasks reliably.
Diagnosing Issues Caused By Page Caching
If your server is configured to serve cached content/pages, certain recommendation engines deployed in catalog/product pages may:
- fail to display dynamic, personalized, or conditional content; or even
- not be rendered at all.
To get these recommendations to display properly for visitors without an active session, you can use an alternative method for rendering recommendations that will bypass your server’s page cache on these pages:
- Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Recommendations.
- Locate the Deployments rendering > Use AJAX option and enable it.
Note that enabling this option may introduce a noticeable delay between the time that a page has fully loaded and the time that recommendations become visible to visitors without an active session. This delay will depend on the speed of your server, and the quality of your each visitor’s network connection. If this is an issue, the next option is to completely disable the page caching features enabled on your site/server (not recommended).
Diagnosing Issues With Task Queuing
The extension utilizes a queuing mechanism to process (re)generation tasks optimally. This effectively spreads out the amount of “work” that your server will need to do to regenerate recommendations over time. If you are experiencing an issue, or wish to get a deeper understanding of the specific tasks handled by this queue at any moment, you may navigate to WooCommerce > Status > Recommendations Queue. Here you will find:
- a list of all pending (re)generation tasks currently in the queue; and
- a list of failed re-generation jobs.
On a healthy, trouble-free installation, re-generation tasks should never fail to complete. Recurring failures may indicate an issue with your WordPress hosting environment, or a corrupted database.
To conserve server resources and ensure a snappy customer experience, the extension generates product recommendations on demand and in the background. This explains why, after creating and deploying a recommendation engine, you may need to refresh the page a couple times and/or wait for a minute or two to see the results. This is normal and will only happen once after the initial engine deployment.
Note that the first user to view a block of recommendations every 24 hours triggers their (re)generation. If a page with recommendations does not receive any visits for 24 hours, the first user to visit the page will see cached/stale version of those recommendations, but will kickstart the regeneration process, ensuring that the next visitor will see the updated results. This default, 24-hour expiration interval is sufficient in most cases, but can be changed under WooCommerce > Settings > Recommendations.
Yes! In addition to deploying Engines in the standard Locations available under WooCommerce > Recommendations > Locations, you can use the free Product Recommendations – Custom Locations feature plugin to create Custom Locations for deploying Engines. Each Custom Location has its own, unique shortcode that you can place in any page or post of your site.