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Let’s get ready for WooCommerce 2.1

Written by Coen on November 25, 2013 Blog, Product news.

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Nearly nine months after we’ve released WooCommerce 2.0, it’s my pleasure to announce that WooCommerce 2.1 ‘Peppy Penguin’ is almost ready. We have released the first beta today and for developers and advanced users, this marks the start of an exciting period where testing the new release is of the utmost importance.

For all of you who are up for it, I recommend that you go read the announcement on our development blog that explains all the technical details:Β WooCommerce 2.1 beta 1 is ready.

This blog post will focus on the less tech savvy users and explain some of the new features. We’ll also have a look at how you can prepare your webshop already, even before this new version becomes available. As always, please do not use these test releases on live websites yet. It’s very likely that there still will be bugs in this version, so please test on test environments only.

What makes WooCommerce 2.1 so great?

WooCommerce 2.0 was the biggest change since the first release of the plugin. We’ve redesigned several key parts of the plugin. The major changes under the hood made WooCommerce ready for the future and enabled us to build awesome new extensions. This wasn’t without any issues though, we’ve been fixing a lot of issues in the past months, which definitely delayed the next big version.

Now it’s time for everything that makes WooCommerce 2.1 so great. Based on WooCommerce 2.0, we were able to further enhance and tweak the existing features.

The full changelog for this release can now already be found in the changelog file.

REST API and more under the hood changes

WooCommerce 2.1 is the first release to come with an independent REST API bundled in the plugin. This enables third parties to extend WooCommerce and build services on top of it. The API offers authenticated access to a webshops orders for example, so they can use the data in another application. Of course we’ve made sure that this is completely safe.

We’ve made the new WooCommerce version quicker and easier to extend again. There are a couple new features in the administration panels, for example to limit coupon usage to per user instead of global and improved the settings around product reviews. All of these settings and changes might seem small at first, but together they create so much new ways to use the plugin and they will make your webshop feel brand new.

Fresh paint in the administration panel

The settings screens have been simplified, especially around prices and taxes. We’ve looked at every individual setting and placed reconsidered their location in the administration panel. This makes the administration panel more intuitive and you’ll have less trouble finding the setting you need.

Not only did we reposition the settings, we’ve also changed how the actual administration panels look. We’ve made all our administration panels completely compatible with how WordPress 3.8 is gonna look. You will also see a big change in the user interface around the Orders. These panels have been revamped and now it’s easier to add new orders or edit already existing orders.

WordPress 3.8 is required

For this, we now require you to run WordPress 3.8, in order to be able to use WooCommerce 2.1. This enables us to completely focus on the new look and feel of the WordPress 3.8 administration panels, without having to worry about backwards compatibility. Nowadays there is no reason why you should not update your WordPress version anymore, so we feel this is a reasonable change.

WordPress 3.8 only recently started their testing phase with the release of beta 1, but we’ll have a longer testing phase ourselves. We will release the final version of WooCommerce 2.1 after WordPress 3.8 has been finalised. We’ll make sure WooCommerce 2.1 is completely compatible with everything in the final build of WordPress 3.8, before we release it.

In the future, we’ll be able to use new techniques implemented in the latest versions of WordPress core, so also for the future it’s a good change to rely on this new release already. For testing, you are required to now test against beta or upcoming release candidates of the WordPress software though, to make sure you can properly test WooCommerce 2.1 already.

Improved reporting

We have introduced a couple new reports, have enhanced the way you can filter the data in the reports and added the ability to export CSV files from them.

Reports are a very important part of any webshop, which is why we’ve given them some extra attention in this new release. The dashboard also has a new widget that will give you a quick overview of everything happening in your webshop.

Responsive out of the box

The majority of WordPress themes released nowadays feature a responsive design. Now is the right time to make WooCommerce CSS responsive right out of the box. So if you’re using WooCommerce stock CSS and a responsive theme (for example WordPress core themes TwentyTen, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen and Fourteen) all WooCommerce components will look pretty on your handheld devices.

Integrations are now separate plugins

To make the core WooCommerce plugin more lean, some integrations have been removed and turned into dedicated plugins which you can install as and when you need them. All of the replacing plugins are free to download and install from WordPress.org:

All these plugins can be activated on existing WooCommerce 2.0 installs already, where they will just wait until WooCommerce 2.1 arrives and take over from there.

So what can I do now?

You can now grab the first beta from our GitHub repository and start testing. Mind you, that this new release is not ready to be used on a live website yet. It’s very early in the testing phase and it’s very likely that there are still some ugly bugs in this version.

Think it is a bug in the WooCommerce plugin? Make it an issue in our GitHub issue tracker. If you need any help with our premium extensions or themes, do drop us a line via our support portal. In case you just want to discuss something WooCommerce related, or have a great idea for our plugin, let us know via the public WooCommerce forums on WordPress.org.

We hope to get you all involved in testing this new release, so we can release the final version as bug-free as possible.

Photo by: Neil G Hamilton on Flickr.

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21 Responses

  1. Bob Dunn
    November 25, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Very cool, and looking forward to it. Just in time for my big, new site launch set for Jan.!

    • Ryan Ray
      November 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

      Bleeding Edge Bob Dunn, sounds like a nice nickname right? πŸ˜›

  2. Johnny
    November 25, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    Great, cannot wait till it’s January! πŸ™‚

  3. Cesar Falcao
    November 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

    Woocommerce is the greatest commmece platform for WordPress, easy to learn and maintain. Any improvement will have a large impact in the WordPress community. Congrats.

    • Maria Scarpello
      November 25, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

      Woo! Thanks for the feedback Cesar! So glad you like it. πŸ˜€

  4. Sebastien
    November 25, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    Will there be documentation on the action and filter hooks that have been changed or added ?

    • Ryan Ray
      November 26, 2013 at 12:01 am #

      Definitely all docs will be updated for the release, if not shortly after the release is out.

    • Gerhard Potgieter
      November 26, 2013 at 7:25 am #

      It is advised though to test your extensions so long to make sure it still works.

  5. allmyhoney
    November 26, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    On the Orders Screen please allow the ability to filter Orders By Product, such an important feature for anyone using the Vendor Plugin. Thanks

  6. bjornsennbrink
    November 26, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Do you aim to release it around Dec. 12 with WP 3.8?

    • Coen Jacobs
      November 27, 2013 at 11:12 am #

      No, we’ll release it in January the soonest since we need the final release of WordPress 3.8 to properly test our release candidate against.

  7. Alejandro Carrillo
    November 28, 2013 at 10:16 pm #

    Hi, lads… in this new beta version of woocommerce, I saw you change some of the labels of the bank account details in in BACS… please, can you tell me for what β€œRUN” stands for?

    Thanks

  8. dalewright
    December 1, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    Thanks Coen

    Quick question, I regularly customise the order-recieved page to try and encourage further actions (feedback, social shares etc) after a sale. I do that by assigning custom page templates to the order recieved page. Would I loose this option with the switch to end points? I also have my GA goals looking for the order recieved page url. Would this mean those would have to be updated also?

    Cheers

    Dale

  9. Tony Nguyen
    December 1, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    WooCommerce 2.1 will be so great for me. I am looking forward to it.

  10. chirag740
    December 9, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

    Awesome. It’s really good that integrations will come as separate plugins. Would be even great if you take inputs from authority like Joost de Valk for Google Analytics plugin. Most of us (end users) won’t mind even spending an extra buck there incase it’s not free. πŸ˜‰

    With Google Analytics Universal, seller will get another robust way to track sales and analyse customer behavior.

    Anyway, great set of features. Totally in love with this release. Will spend January testing WooCommerce 2.1 <3

  11. info@totalplaygrounds.com
    December 10, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

    Nicely done team. I like how you’re keeping the core plugin lean and removing features that we can easily supplement, like Piwik/GA. I’ve been using the latest version on two ecom sites and have zero complaints. Thanks for being so dedicated to the product and good luck in 2014!

  12. hangpham
    December 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Hi Neil G Hamilton, I really love this post. Love the way you write your posts. The information in this article is really unique and useful for me. After reading this article, I think I have some ideas for myself. I do follow your articles recently. Thanks for sharing this post. Hope to read more interesting information from you. Have a nice day.

  13. anxiouslywaiting
    December 24, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Will this update allow for out-of-the-box manipulation of registration fields? I have been trying to add/change fields but I am completely lost.

  14. Vir J
    December 26, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    Hi,

    Rest API is a wonderful addition to the new version.

    Any suggestions if i want to create a REST api for older version of woocommerce?

    This I am planning for an Android version of a website which is using woocommerce as a shopping cart.

    I want to fetch products directly via web service as well as orders will be placed through the service.

    Any suggestions or ideas where can I start in that?

    Hope everyone is having a great Christmas time.

    Regards,
    Vir.

  15. deepak patel
    January 9, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    January is here. Can we expect the 2.1 release in January still or a new announcement will be made?
    Please clarify asap.

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