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Preparing WooCommerce for the arrival of Gutenberg

November 15, 2017 - 16 Comments

Dedicated WordPress users have probably heard about Gutenberg, the revolutionary new editor currently in development as a feature plugin and scheduled for inclusion in WordPress version 5.0. It transforms the way we edit content of our WordPress websites by providing a richer “block”-based experience.

Put simply, a block is any single element of content – an image, a paragraph or a YouTube video – and blocks can be quickly configured and built into immersive page layouts and designs. This is a comprehensive maturation of the visual editor as we know it and creates a truer WYSIWYG experience.

Gutenberg will transform the way we edit the content of our WordPress websites by providing a richer “block”-based experience.

One thing that isn’t yet 100% clear is how complex plugins like WooCommerce will work with Gutenberg.

Our design team has explored and experimented with adding product Blocks (recent products, featured products, etc.) to posts and pages. But as you’re well aware, publishing products should be a very different experience to authoring a blog post.

How adding a product block in Gutenberg might look
How adding a product block in Gutenberg might look.

As a release candidate approaches, Gutenberg will enable us to mimic that rich blog authoring experience for products. How might that look?

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Three things we hope you take away from WooConf 2017

October 30, 2017 - 9 Comments

A little over a week ago, I traveled to Seattle along with designers and developers, freelancers and agencies from across the wide world of Woo, for WooCommerce’s annual gathering at WooConf.

For me, it was the culmination of 10 months of work that started early in January, when I came on board to plan the content. From 15 Skype calls to chat about what different people wanted from a conference to two days of talks, demos, and workshops, I hope that together we delivered on what I heard our community ask for.

Read on for three things we hope those who joined us onsite or via the live stream took away from WooConf 2017.

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From Day One to Successful Homeschool Bookstore on WooCommerce

October 26, 2017 - 7 Comments

Charlotte Mason revolutionized education 100 years ago and is still having an impact today, especially in homeschooling. A British educator from the late 1800s, she left an impressive legacy in the form of extensively documented materials for home education.

I think Charlotte Mason would have loved simplycharlottemason.com, the passion project of two homeschooling families and an online hub for homeschooling books, lesson plans, discussion forums, and more.

In a nutshell, the openness and flexibility of WooCommerce enabled two homeschooling families to build a thriving online bookstore and subscription business that impacts both their local community and thousands of families worldwide. Their vision is far greater than selling books and the bottom line.

I spoke with Doug, one of the site’s founders and the person who built and maintains the site. Read on for the full story, including the list of extensions and plugins that power their store.

Simplycharlottemason.com hompage

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What’s new in WooCommerce 3.2: Improved coupons and extension management

October 11, 2017 - 36 Comments

Since our last minor release back in June, we’ve been working on a multitude of improvements to improve the WooCommerce admin experience:

  • Apply discounts to orders using coupons, without the chore of doing manual calculations.
  • See which versions of extensions are tested with new WooCommerce updates, before updating.
  • Improved management features for WooCommerce.com extensions.
  • A simpler, unified shortcode for listing multiple products on pages.

To ensure this update is indeed stable, we’ve been doing plenty of testing on our side; releasing beta versions, testing our own library of extensions and themes, working with customers to do managed updates, and running 3.2 on WooCommerce.com. 👏

WooCommerce 3.2 is also a minor release, meaning it should be fully backwards compatible with 3.1 and 3.0. However, it’s still considered best practice, and recommended, to backup before updating.

We recommend viewing our documentation on how to update, making a backup, updating extensions, and finally updating WooCommerce via WP Admin.

Here are some more details on what’s new in 3.2!

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Get up and running faster: Product importer, shipping service, extension management

June 28, 2017 - 20 Comments

TL;DR: An update is available for WooCommerce! To make the process as smooth as possible, view our documentation on how to update , make a backup, update your extensions, and finally update WooCommerce via your WordPress Dashboard.

Looking for technical details? Read “ WooCommerce 3.1 has landed” at the Develop WooCommerce blog.

Since our 3.0 release in April, we’ve been working on a slew of improvements to make it faster and simpler to get up and running with WooCommerce:

  • Save time with the new, built-in import/export feature to add and update product information
  • Manage WooCommerce.com subscriptions directly in WooCommerce
  • Ship products more easily in the US and Canada by setting up WooCommerce Shipping

Existing stores also have new features to enhance their online storefronts — inline ‘Terms and Conditions’ in checkout, embedded videos and more in short descriptions — and improve their workflow — assigning an order to a customer for payment, updating stock status for all variations at once. And we added search helpers for developers.

That’s a lot!l Let’s dig into details.

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Four Ways to Make Managing WooCommerce Updates Easier

May 18, 2017 - 6 Comments

Updating WooCommerce, its extensions, and WordPress itself needn’t be a nerve-wracking experience. If you prepare well and follow best practice, you can avoid all “my product pages look weird” and “this plugin isn’t working right” experiences.

Today we’re going to show you four ways to better manage updates to your WooCommerce store to save you time, keep your store running smoothly, and give you confidence for the next time you see the phrase “an update is available” in your WordPress dashboard.

Let’s get started.

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Announcing WooConf 2017: get all the details and reserve your spot

May 2, 2017 - 19 Comments

The last two WooCommerce Conferences were a treat, bringing the WooCommerce community to San Francisco and then Austin for multiple days of talks, workshops, and invaluable impromptu chats between sponsors, developers, and our support team.

We’re excited to announce that we’re bringing WooConf back for a third round in October 2017, this time in Seattle, Washington. And with this iteration we’re narrowing our focus to provide the best experience we can for developers, from agency owners to freelancers.

Keep reading to get more details on this year’s WooConf, plus find out how you can save $200 by buying your ticket now.

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WooCommerce 3.0 brings an improved product gallery, treats for developers and more

April 4, 2017 - 222 Comments

TL;DR: A major update is available for WooCommerce! When you’re ready, Update via your WordPress Dashboard. To make the process as smooth as possible, view our documentation on how to updatemake a backup, update your extensions, and finally update WooCommerce.

Looking for technical details? Read the 3.0 release post on the Develop WooCommerce blog here.

It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since our last major WooCommerce release, but sometimes good things are worth waiting for. 😉

WooCommerce 3.0 has arrived – read on to learn what’s new.

Today we’re proud to unveil the WooCommerce 3.0 release, which includes:

  • An updated product gallery with new zoom, gallery view and mobile features
  • Multiple speed and performance improvements
  • The addition of CRUD classes
  • A new CLI powered by the REST API

These are some important additions, and there’s even more to explore in the Bionic Butterfly, so let’s get right down to business!

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WooCommerce.com now requires a WordPress.com account

January 31, 2017 - Leave a comment

Some of you might have spotted a change to WooCommerce.com made last week, on Thursday to be precise. WooCommerce.com now requires a WordPress.com account to manage your purchases, tickets and subscriptions.

tl;dr: We believe this change brings many benefits, and are dedicated to improving the account management experience for developers. If you need help merging a WooCommerce.com account reach out for help!

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Insights and tips from our email marketing experiments

January 27, 2017 - 16 Comments

Email marketing has long been — and remains — a popular method for acquiring customers and boosting sales. And it’s no small wonder, with 91% of consumers in the United States checking their email every single day.

Finding the right strategies to use in your emails is a tricky thing. You need to think about what messages your customers will respond to, what calls to action they’ll click, and what will even make them open an email in the first place. You also need to review and improve upon your strategies so you keep making money.

Here at WooCommerce, email is a big part of what we do — it’s how we communicate with our customers, not to mention the community. Over the last few years, we’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with and learning from email. Now we’re ready to pass those learnings along to you.

Today we’re going to share some of the best things we’ve learned about email subject lines, graphics, and length so you can use our experiments to grow your own store and improve your customer communication.

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How to build your WooCommerce store to last

January 13, 2017 - 22 Comments

Once you’ve made the decision to build a store with WooCommerce, you don’t want anything to slow you down.

If your store isn’t built with longevity in mind, however, you could run into trouble as time goes on. You might see product pages load slowly, extensions stop functioning, or even encounter serious issues like data loss or security breaches.

These are all issues that will ultimately lead to one thing: a decline in — or complete loss of  — paying customers.

To keep your WooCommerce store profitable, you need to build it with long-term stability, safety, and performance in mind. Let’s take a look at how you can build a WooCommerce store that will last for months, years, and beyond.

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Woo Year In Review 2016

December 27, 2016 - 26 Comments

Hello, Howdy, G’Day, etc,

I’m Todd Wilkens, the new Head of WooCommerce. It’s been an amazing year here at Woo and I want to take a moment to share some thoughts and facts about our team and this great community that you are a crucial part of. In fact, before anything else, let me say thank you:

To every user, customer, and Open Source community contributor out there: WooCommerce exists for and because of you. It’s because of you that the most-used eCommerce platform for WordPress and, therefore, the most widely used eCommerce platform in the world exists. Thank you!

The end of the year is near, and it’s a time for reflecting. Read on for thoughts on the year gone by, what worked and what didn’t, and what we’re excited about for 2017.

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What you can learn from Woo’s holiday sales

December 9, 2016 - 13 Comments

We run a couple of major holiday sales on WooCommerce.com each year, including Hallowoon, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. The challenge as each one comes around is: how do we keep running them bigger, better, and fresher?

This year we tried a few new things that increased conversions. We learned a lot from these experiences, and decided to write about them as we thought you might be able to learn from them as well.

Read on for some key questions to ask before running a sale, tips on creating a positive sale experience, and what there is to be learnt from Woo’s holiday sales.

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7 WooCommerce extensions for more loyal customers

September 9, 2016 - 6 Comments

After you build your store and open it up to customers, your focus will shift to from generating sales to generating loyalty — and with good reason. As we explained previously, if you can get a customer to come back for a second purchase, the chances of them sticking with your store will dramatically increase.

There are a ton of ways you can make shoppers loyal to one brand over another. Pricing is one angle you can take. An amazing customer support policy is another. But loyalty doesn’t have to rely on cheap prices or friendly emails.

Occasional treats, payment flexibility, and friendly, open communication can turn your newest customers into lifetime ones. And with a few specific WooCommerce extensions, you can add these loyalty-boosters to your store in a flash — no custom code or development needed.

Let’s take a look at seven extensions that you can start using today to boost the loyalty of your shoppers.

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The building block philosophy of Storefront

September 6, 2016 - 5 Comments

Today we released Storefront Powerpack, an extension that allows you to change the appearance of Storefront theme for WooCommerce — without touching a single line of code. Powerpack allows anyone to customize their store without dabbling in HTML or CSS, and the results of those customizations can be seen instantly.

Powerpack in action. Edit any element in Storefront and see the results instantly.
Powerpack in action. Edit any element in Storefront and see the results in a flash.

As we prepared to release this extension, we realized we’d never written very much about the thinking behind Storefront’s development, and why we’ve chosen to break functionality out into extensions instead of packaging it into the theme itself. “Why not just make Powerpack part of Storefront?” we thought you might ask.

Today, we’re setting aside a couple minutes to explain our “building block” philosophy behind Storefront, and how it’s influenced the development of extensions like Powerpack.

Care to learn more? Read on.

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10 WooCommerce stores selling awesome and unusual things

September 2, 2016 - 11 Comments

When we say you can sell anything with WooCommerce, we really do mean anything. Physical products, digital goods, monthly subscriptions, content available only to paying members, event ticketsbookings for hotels or even your time — it’s all possible.

We occasionally stumble across stores that have taken this sell-anything-anywhere philosophy to a new level. Sometimes they’re using one of our extensions in a clever or unexpected way. Sometimes what they’re selling is unusual, smart, or just makes us shout “wow!” at our screens.

To give you a little inspiration (or perhaps an idea for a holiday gift?), we’ve gathered up ten WooCommerce-powered stores selling awesome and unusual things. And believe me — it was hard to choose only ten!

Have a look at how these ten stores are taking WooCommerce to the next level, delighting their customers, and offering something you can’t find anywhere else.

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