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WooCommerce 2.3: Releasing the Handsome Hippo

Written by Patrick on February 11, 2015 Blog, News, Product News.

I’m excited to announce the release of WooCommerce 2.3 Handsome Hippo. We named this release Handsome Hippo because we wanted to dedicate it to making WooCommerce easier to use. That means moving admin settings around, making the cart page more intuitive, updating the default email styles, and a whole lot more.

We decided to share a little of the behind the scenes of this release as well as some tips on how to transition your site for major point release. Enjoy!

Why now?

It’s been five months since the last major WooCommerce release which seems like a long time, right?

In the eCommerce world there’s a window from early November until early January when sales spike for the holidays (and there are discounts galore) and we try to avoid any major updates just in case there’s a bug that prevents people shopping when the going is extra good. We’re not just being lazy, promise!

The good news is that this extra time meant we could add more features to this release, including my favorite…

Usage Tracking FTW

You’re probably going to think this is lame but it really is my favorite feature. We’ve added some logic that allows you to opt-in to our tracker.

This probably sounds super boring but what is means is that we will know exactly how many people use a specific setting. And if after a few months we see that no one uses it then we can remove it. The tracker will give us hard data to backup any design decisions we make in the future.

The tracker doesn’t capture any sensitive data and it is 100% completely opt-in.

What’s up with the weird animal names?

We like to codename our major releases; it’s a fun tradition to follow. WooCommerce 2.1 was Peppy Penguin and 2.2 was Prowling Pangolin. Our names have three requirements:

  1. Each name is made up of two words: an animal native to Africa and an adjective
  2. The adjective should describe the release
  3. The two words combined must make use of some awesome alliteration

Knowing that we were going to work on making WooCommerce prettier and easier to use, James Koster (who also happens to be the guy that created the hippo illustration) came up with the name Handsome Hippo.


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

WooCommerce is incredibly customizable and you can do all sorts of cool things by overriding WooCommerce templates. Unfortunately greatest strengths tend to be closely associated with (potential) greatest weaknesses.

Some theme developers have released themes including the overridden templates and then never bother to update them as WooCommerce progresses. This can create some really big problems.

I reached out to more than a dozen of the major theme companies to make sure that they’re aware of the changes we’re making. so if you’re using a theme that has a lot of custom WooCommerce pages, you should have gotten an update in the last month or two.

Yes? If not, please pay even more attention than you would have otherwise to the next point.

The Woo Guide to Staging Environments & Testing Updates

Hand in hand with updates like this, you’ve heard us mention before that it is best practice to create a staging or test environment to first put these updates on and make sure things still function smoothly. Follow some general best practices in our Testing Updates Using A Staging Environment documentation before updating anything on a live site.

We hope all goes smoothly as you update to WooCommerce 2.3 and are doing a bit of a soft release – no mailer to our WooCommerce masses just yet but do spread the word – to give our ninjas some time to work through any bumps in the road over the next two weeks before we shout it from the rooftops.

Let us know how you go, all and any feedback is appreciated.


37 Responses

  1. Takenoshin
    February 11, 2015 at 5:55 pm #

    Congrats on version 2.3!

  2. Elliot Taylor
    February 11, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

    Great release and love the flat design additions.

    Onwards and upwards WooCommerce!

  3. Kick Technology
    February 11, 2015 at 7:24 pm #

    Looking very good and some nice new additions for woocommerce.

  4. Web Cordoba
    February 11, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

    Mucha Gracias.

  5. Bob Dunn
    February 11, 2015 at 9:18 pm #

    Love the changes and was great getting an overview of some of this at our Seattle WooCommerce Meetup last month.

    Already updated running the Canvas theme… went smooth as silk!

  6. Amy
    February 11, 2015 at 10:28 pm #

    Ironically, I had just finished successfully testing my new webstore when moments later WP notified me of this update. I updated and now Paypal is not picking up the flatrate shipping charges I have set up in WC. It was picking up and charging shipping perfectly correctly in the moments before the update. Anyone else have this problem or know how to solve? Looked through support and google but not finding a solution. Thanks.

    • Mike
      February 12, 2015 at 3:26 pm #

      We resolved this on .org/v2.3.2 🙂

  7. Lyman
    February 12, 2015 at 12:55 am #

    Looks like the latest WooCommerce update changed the styling of the search box in the SuperStore Theme. I’ve tested it on two separate sites in a testing environment.

    Can someone look into this please?


    • James
      February 12, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

      Be sure to update your theme as well as WooCommerce, this should have been resolved in the latest release.

      • Morris
        February 14, 2015 at 3:56 am #

        I am having the same problem. I have updated both Woocommerce and my Superstore theme. I would appreciate your help.

        Thank you,

  8. Anthony Hortin
    February 12, 2015 at 1:36 am #

    Great stuff guys! Well done 🙂

  9. Nirav -
    February 12, 2015 at 6:26 am #

    Congratulations to Woo, and everyone who contributed to this release. And to you Patrick!

  10. Waqas Ahmad
    February 12, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    Love this release! Good Luck Woo Team 🙂

  11. siga
    February 12, 2015 at 2:12 pm #

    after upgrade the website not work anymore, give only blank pages

  12. indust_scripts
    February 12, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    We have an urgent issue. Since the update, 5000 coupons generated before the update now apply their discount as a cash discount only. When they’re meant to be a PERCENTAGE discount. ie. a 20% off coupon

    If someone from Woo doesn’t solve this ASAP, we’re going to be in a whole world of pain as we are anticipating a max influx of customers brandishing coupons later today.


    • Mike
      February 13, 2015 at 12:27 am #

      There were no changes to coupons I know of – get in touch with support please.

  13. Cristian Weiser
    February 12, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

    Where is the woocommerce settings now?

  14. Cristian Weiser
    February 12, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

    After updating my Woocommerce -> Settings menu disappeared. Im using the directlink wp-admin/admin.php?page=wc-settings

  15. Pam Blankenzee
    February 12, 2015 at 11:59 pm #

    I had problems with the update. Fatal error in the shopping cart – would not process credit cards. Fatal error: Call to undefined method WC_Order::get_order_total() in /home/content/p3nexnas06_data01/56/2189856/html/wp-content/themes/forthecause/includes/theme-functions.php on line 1033
    Plus orders -duplicated. We are a flower shop and it is 2 days before Valentines- We need help ASAP.

    • Mike
      February 13, 2015 at 12:25 am #

      The error is coming from ‘forthecause’ theme if you read the error. All WooThemes should have been updated, so check for an update.

  16. Jesse
    February 13, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    Whoa – what happened? I just updated to the latest woocommerce and my simplify commerce integration broke! It took away the form field for entering credit card payments, and when I clicked “Place Order” it gave an error and said I needed to generate “host” public and private keys!

    So I went and did that and it fixed it, but at the expense of completely convoluting the customer experience! Before the customer could simply enter their credit card info right onto the checkout screen… Now they have to click “Place Order” (which is TOTALLY unintuitive since they haven’t entered payment info yet), then it takes them to yet another screen, where they click “Pay Now”, and then they get a popup where they can FINALLY enter their credit card info.

    And this is supposed to be BETTER?

    How do I put things back to the way they were please?

    • Jesse
      February 13, 2015 at 8:42 am #

      It looks like on upgrade my simplify commerce settings were automatically changed to “hosted” instead of “standard”. Changed them back and everything went back to normal. Not cool though, not cool.

  17. Gian
    February 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

    Works great so far, but has anyone had compatibility issues with SOFORT Payments plugin? Just upgraded to Woo 2.3.4 and got this:

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function get_woocommerce_currency() in /home/wp_m4tymj/ on line 205

    • Andres
      February 25, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

      Did you find a solution to this issue? I haven’t updated yet but would be very interested in knowing how it went.

  18. Nick
    February 18, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    Great! Make sure you backup your environment and settings before the update. Also look at custom plugins to ensure they remain stable as well.

  19. Peter
    February 27, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    Great with the name of Animals! – It’s better than just a number and a bit like Google’s P-Animal 🙂
    If they fight each other – The Hippo will win! My money is on the hippo!!
    Make sure to stay with “strong” animals

    Cool thing to track the settings in use… But how will you then develop for future.. the things we need and want is not there… YET (Just teasing)

    Have a nice day


  20. milque
    February 27, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

    That’s great news. Now, if only you guys could also spend some time again on the “premium” customer requests. The ticket stats you shared in the newsletter are not necessarily something to be proud of though? (first reply in 3 days? Satisfaction likely interpreted as ticket closed without rating?). We’ve found it painful to get support when it was needed in the past couple of months – perhaps related to the new release timings, perhaps not, but we’re hoping you can find a better way to manage both more successfully. This wasn’t an issue in the earlier days, but it’s becoming one now. Thanks.

  21. Vincent
    February 28, 2015 at 12:49 am #

    I’ve just updated to 2.3.5 and get this error.
    Fatal error: Call to undefined method WC_Order::get_order_total() in C:\domains\\wwwroot\wp-content\plugins\woocommerce-buckaroo-gateway\gateway-buckaroo-ideal.php on line 37
    I use buckaroo as payment provider. Can someone tell me what I can do to solve this?

  22. KTC
    March 2, 2015 at 1:59 pm #

    I’ve been going in circles trying to find where in the universe is a list of what changed in 2.3 so I can fix our now broken custom templates. Your documentation is seriously lacking on that count, apparently assuming everyone uses a pre-fabricated, third-party woocommerce theme. False.

  23. Steven
    March 4, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

    I am using the woocommerce 2.3.5 plugin with the Quasar theme and when I am logged out of the WP Admin I find I cannot add items to the store.

    Additionally, even when I am logged in and have added an item to the cart, removing that item from the cart creates an error with the header.

    Please help. Thanks.

  24. Peggi
    March 6, 2015 at 11:43 pm #

    I updated just before launching a new site… that uses The Events Calendar Pro and WooTickets. WooTickets didn’t like the update. So… I reverted back to my older version of WooCommerce because I *had* to launch the site and begin to sell tickets. I couldn’t wait for WooTickets to fix what needed fixing. However, (maybe I’m the only one who feels this way)… I like the old “look and feel” better than the new, flat look to the update. How can I get the old look back? I’ve been designing a shop for a client since June of 2014. We’re almost ready to launch. (It took a while to get all of the product descriptions together.) So… we’re finally almost ready to launch and now, when I update to the new version of WooCommerce, my client will lose the look and feel of WooCommerce that she has been liking very much since June of 2014. Is there any kind of plugin that will allow me to keep the old look and feel? I hope so because I can’t imagine having to recreate allllll that CSS. Please tell me that there is an easier way to give my client the old WooCommerce look that she and her husband like so much.

  25. Caroline
    March 17, 2015 at 8:06 pm #

    Hello Woo,

    I tried to address this question to your support team but got a very vague answer. Please, does the old version (2.2.10) of WooCommerce have the same security issue that 2.3.6 recently addressed?

    I have a client who is not ready to upgrade to 2.3 yet and so we would like to know.

    Thank you!

  26. onur
    March 20, 2015 at 3:28 am #


    After the update my customers started to get this warning below;

    Fatal error: Call to undefined method WooCommerce::add_error() in /home/erensen1982/public_html/wp-content/plugins/woocommerce-beanstream-payment-gateway/woocommerce-gateway-beanstream.php on line 273

    I already contacted beanstream and they say everything is working perfect on their end and they asked me to contact with you guys.

    Is this going to be fixed anytime soon???


    • onur
      March 20, 2015 at 3:34 am #

      just to let you know, I deactivated almost every single plugin (I only have couple except woocommerce plugins) and tried to pay again and again but it’s still the same. Everything is up to date on my wp web site.