WooCommerce 3.0 + Google Search Update

WooCommerce 3.0 code named Bionic butterfly has launched recently and we are excited to share it with our WooCommerce clients!

Its actually pretty big news considering more than 32% of Australian online stores are built with it. This is considered major update from v2.6 with important mentions and changes.

What’s new in this update

Product image gallery

  • Shoppers can now both magnify images from the page, and zoom into them from a lightbox popup
  • If you have more than one image, the gallery behaviour is more intuitive; for example, clicking a thumbnail updates the image you’re already viewing instead of opening a lightbox popup window
  • Dramatic improvements for mobile gallery views, including touch gestures: swipe to scroll through the gallery, pinch to zoom, and swipe up to close the current image
  • Zooming into a product image on mobile now displays the image’s true size — previously it would scale to match the (very small) browser window, not an ideal experience!

 

Performance improvements (for the larger store)

WooCommerce has updated its underlying code to fetch and write data from database. CRUD classes structure make it easier to work with database and queries specially with large operation.

It has standardised the way plugins and themes read/write data in WooCommerce.  It optimises the data storage and reduces the computing requirements.  Additionally,  resource hungry meta queries has been removed and replaced with the taxonomy queries which are 94% faster than its alternative. Also, displaying up-sell and related products used to have it own query which makes page loading slow due to its query performance timings.  Version 3.0 replaced these queries for better looping structure.

CRUD stands for Create, Read, Update, Delete — the four basic operations you can do to a resource. With the CRUD classes added to WooCommerce 3.0, you can modify orders, products, customers, line items, shipping zones, payment tokens, and coupons with less code across a unified system.

The benefits of this addition:

  • We define the data for each resource and control its flow and validation
  • You’ll only need to know the names of the data you’re working with, instead of the types or internal details
  • The data can be moved elsewhere (like custom tables) without affecting existing code
  • Less code means fewer changes, plus more tests

Other major changes

There are other major changes like the following:

  • Automatic sorting of tax rates, which makes it easier to add and manage new tax zones
  • The sitewide notice is now dismissable by customers
  • WordPress networks/multisite user handling has been updated so that WooCommerce will add existing users to the current store if the user already has an account in the same network (this resulted in an error in 2.6)
  • We’ve merged cart percent and product percent coupon types into one method, reducing confusion and errors caused by cart-based validation
  • And finally, improved logging for developers
  • Template changes for developers.

Here’s how to update

before beginningWe generally recommend to take a back up before the update. 90% of the time WooCommerce update from WordPress admin goes without any problems, although sometimes, especially when its a major release there are more probability that something might break or stop working.  WooCommerce itself always has previous version compatibility but the plugin working along side WooCommerce doesn’t always has updated version of code.  Please refer to this update guide before you decide to upgrade it yourself.

Are you ready to upgrade or need help? Contact us!

Google is going Mobile first – Here’s what it means for your WordPress Site

If you currently have a WordPress site and are starting to feel some heat over Google’s mobile-first index and how search engine rankings will be affected as a result, you’re not alone! We are helping our clients scramble to transform antiquated websites into more mobile-responsive versions.

According to Google: “Our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site.”

How to Prepare for Your WordPress Website for Mobile-First

Let’s start with the good news first: if you have a responsive website or a dynamic serving site where content is the same across mobile or desktop, you likely won’t have to change much of anything. That said, there’s still at least one step you should take to help your websites in the era of Google’s mobile-first index. If you are a site admin or owner that has only verified a desktop site on Search Console, make sure that you also add and verify the mobile version of your website.

If you only have a desktop website and don’t plan on making a mobile-responsive version of that website, Google will still index your site using a mobile agent. On that note, if you only have a desktop site, Google will still index it, but instead look at it through the eyes of a mobile user. If site configuration is different across mobile or desktop, consider changes to the site, as detailed below.

If you’d like to discuss how this impacts your site, contact us for a consultation. 

 

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