In the second half of 2023, WooCommerce will introduce an update that will speed up your WooCommerce store. Among other improvements, High-Performance Order Storage (HPOS) will enable a better, faster checkout experience for your customers and faster order processing for you.
In August 2023, all new WooCommerce stores will launch with HPOS. Existing stores will have the option to turn HPOS on and off until it becomes mandatory for everyone.
This post explains what High-Performance Order Storage is, why we’ve built it for WooCommerce, and how you can enable it for your store.
Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know:
- HPOS means your customers’ experience and your store management experience will be faster and better.
- It’s available to test — and turn on/off — now, but some extensions aren’t compatible yet. You can find out which of your extensions are compatible by following these steps.
- Third-party developers are responsible for updating their extensions. Woo will continue to communicate with them until the extension is compatible.
What is High-Performance Order Storage?
High-Performance Order Storage, or HPOS, is a major database improvement that WooCommerce has been working on since January 2022. It has been rigorously tested by our developers and the external developer community.
HPOS will unlock major upgrades for your online store, including up to 5x improvement in order creation speed and up to 1.5x faster checkout. On the operational side, performance will also be greatly improved — finding an order will now be up to 40x faster.
Why is Woo adding HPOS?
High-Performance Order Storage is the most requested feature from our developer community. This is not only a change that will help your store grow and our technology improve, it’s something that will benefit all developers that work with Woo, from extension creators to the developers who help manage stores on an ongoing basis.
How is order storage changing with this upgrade?
With the current technology, your store’s orders were stored using the same database technology that stores WordPress posts. High-Performance Order Storage will move order information into a new database storage system that is commerce-first and will scale better with your store.
Your website will process orders faster and you’ll be able to access order information more quickly on the backend.
This new feature will upgrade your online shop with the most modern database technology that scales easily with your business — no matter how big it grows.
When will HPOS be available?
We’re targeting a general availability date of August 2023, but we realize that some of the developers we work with may need more time to make their extensions compatible. This means that the August release date may be delayed to allow some of our developers more time to make their updates
However, HPOS is available to use as an experimental feature now, which means you can test it out as soon as you’d like.
The work to upgrade an extension to work with HPOS is a relatively quick change, so we hope to have as many compatible extensions as possible ready for the release date.
How will this impact your WooCommerce store?
When HPOS is released, it will become the default experience for new stores.
However, we want to make sure that our existing stores are functioning perfectly and at this time, HPOS will not be the default experience for existing stores. Your store will continue working come August, but we encourage you to try it out and enjoy the benefits of a faster checkout — or ask the developer you work with to enable it for your store.
This experience will eventually become the default for all stores in the future, but we are giving ourselves and our extension developers plenty of time to make that transition as smooth as possible.
We’ll reach out to all existing stores before enabling HPOS for everyone.
Who can enable High-Performance Order Storage now?
If you have an existing store using WooCommerce 7.1 or later, you are welcome to try HPOS at any time. It’s currently an opt-in experience available under your advanced settings.
There is documentation on the WooCommerce website and also in GitHub guides for developers. At the moment, it is still an experimental feature until it’s released, so work will be required to sync your store to the new table structure.
We recommend reading through the complete documentation before deciding to enable HPOS for your store.
Please note that some extensions will not be compatible with the new database architecture yet. We’re working with our third-party developers to make sure the extensions they make and support will be compatible with HPOS.
In the meantime, if you choose to try HPOS, you can see which extensions will be compatible with HPOS in your extension screen once the feature has been enabled. If your extensions are not compatible, HPOS will not break your store.
Since many of our marketplace extensions are built by third-party developers, we are relying on them to update their extension code for compatibility. If you try HPOS and find your favorite extension is incompatible, we encourage merchants to reach out to that developer and ask them to update soon. WooCommerce has provided instructions and resources to all developers to help them update their products.
If you try HPOS and have any feedback for us, please reach out to our support team and they can make sure your feedback is sent to the right team.
How does this impact stores created after HPOS is released?
First, congratulations on taking a major step in your business journey! If you are creating a new store after High-Performance Order Storage is generally available, this will be the default database structure for your store. There is nothing you will need to do to enable HPOS. However, some extensions will remain incompatible. Despite our best efforts to encourage extension developers to make the updates, some will not have done so in time for general release.
Any extensions that remain incompatible with HPOS after its release will be removed from the Woo Marketplace, so new stores will no longer be able to download and install them. We want to make sure that your store runs as smoothly as possible and minimize the risk of having incompatible extensions.
All new stores will receive the full benefits of a faster checkout experience and better operational performance with HPOS.
Frequently asked questions
The Woo engineering team is working hard to ensure that all HPOS changes are impactful in positive ways, and so that merchants and developers alike have what they need to make an informed decision about when to enable High-Performance Order Storage.
Below is a list of common questions and their answers. For more technical insight, take a look at our developer blog FAQ. If you have further questions, please leave a note in the comments section or reach out to our support team, and we will respond as quickly as we can.
1. How does High-Performance Order Storage work?
High-Performance Order Storage (HPOS) works by adding database storage tables, specific to orders, to the existing WordPress database. This means your orders are going to be now stored in a new table structure designed specifically to work for WooCommerce. For more technical information, our documentation on HPOS is a great resource.
2. I have an existing store but don’t want to try HPOS.
No problem! While we do encourage everyone to switch to HPOS to enjoy the full benefits of a faster checkout experience for your customers, we understand that not everyone will want to try it right away. You will be able to switch anytime, even after the feature reaches general availability.
3. My favorite extension is incompatible with HPOS, what should I do?
We have been actively communicating about the upcoming HPOS change with our developer community. We have several blog posts, guides for how to update extensions in GitHub, and full documentation. Despite our best efforts to encourage extension developers to make the switch, some developers may not accommodate HPOS.
If one of your extensions is incompatible, we strongly recommend that you reach out to the developer’s support team and ask them to make the update. Any extensions that do not update by the time the feature is released will be removed from our marketplace. You will continue to be able to use the extension without HPOS if you already have it installed.
4. I tried to enable HPOS, but I’m stuck!
If you work with a developer who helps manage your online store, we recommend that you ask them to help migrate your store over to HPOS. If you are not working with a developer and you try HPOS before it’s released, there is additional work needed to sync your store. Be sure to follow our documentation closely.
If you are still running into issues, you can disable HPOS, or you can reach out to our support team for assistance. Additionally, our knowledgeable WooExperts are available if you need more in-depth help with your online store.
5. Can small businesses use HPOS or is it only meant for larger businesses?
Businesses of all sizes will benefit from High-Performance Order Storage.
6. I have a high-volume store on WooCommerce. How does this impact my store?
Existing stores will not be migrated over to HPOS at this time. You are still welcome to try it, especially if you work with a developer who maintains your store.
Eventually, all Woo stores will migrate to HPOS. When we’re ready to migrate existing stores over, we will reach out again to notify our existing stores not currently on HPOS.
7. Will this work with extension [X]?
Prior to HPOS general availability, the best way to check if a specific extension’s compatibility is to enable HPOS under advanced settings and then check your plugins tab in /wp-admin. Any extensions not compatible with HPOS will show a message on this screen.
8. Are there any specific hosting requirements or limitations for using HPOS in WooCommerce?
There are no hosting restrictions. Any host that is able to run WordPress should have no trouble running HPOS, and it should even increase performance in a number of ways after it is enabled.