WooCommerce 3.0 have been relased today and its version name is “Bionic Butterfly”. The new version comes with significant improvements to the product gallery and developer tools. This version was supposed to be signed as 2.7 and its first major release since the plugin switched to semantic versioning so developers decided to name it as 3.0
Its released after more than three months of extended RC testing period that allowed developers to prepare their themes and plugins for upcoming changes.
The new product gallery has subtle improvements for galleries with multiple images. Clicking on a thumbnail updates the image without forcing it to open in a popup window. Galleries in 3.0 are also more intuitive on mobile with support for touch gestures, including swipe to scroll through the gallery, pinch to zoom, and swipe up to close the current image. These and several bug fixes and improvements deliver a much smoother experience of viewing product images.
This release includes significant performance improvements, thanks to the switch from post meta to taxonomies for features like product visibility, featured products, and out of stock products. WooCommerce contributors have also reduced the number of queries required to display related products and upsells.
New version introduces CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) classes for developers, making it easier to write and retrieve data from the database with less code.
“High order volume is one of the best problems a store can have, but it can really slow down your site’s performance,” WooCommerce lead developer Mike Jolley said. “That’s why our team’s main focus this year is performance and scalability.”
Version 3.0 also introduces a new command line interface (CLI) powered by the REST API. The previous CLI didn’t fully support the same functionality and was powered by its own separate code. The new CLI forks Restful to make REST API endpoints available as WP-CLI commands. It reduces the amount of code that WooCommerce has to maintain and ensures that the commands are always current as the project’s REST API is updated in the future.
The WooCommerce support forums on WordPress.org have been lighting up with requests after 3.0 was released. One particular issue pinned to the top of the forums is an incompatibility with Select2 v3. The latest version of WooCommerce uses Select2 V4 and this may cause an issue with AJAX search inputs in plugins and themes loading an older version of Select2.
Many users who are reporting issues after updating to 3.0 have discovered incompatibilities with themes or plugins. This release received more than 3,000 commits from 115 contributors. With this many changes packed into a major release, WooCommerce developers recommend testing on a staging site and making a backup before updating the plugin. This will give you the opportunity to make sure your theme and plugins are compatible with the update.