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Hey, Thats a Handsome Hippo

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Today we’re proud to announce that the latest and greatest version of WooCommerce has been released; v2.3, codename Handsome Hippo.

2.3 has been in active development for around 5 months and has seen around 1800 commits from 22 contributors.

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What’s New?

As the codename Handsome Hippo (hopefully) suggests, a lot of attention in this release has been paid to WooCommerce’ appearance / UI, on both the front and back end.

  • On the frontend we’ve added several little usability enhancements such as:
  • A more simplistic ‘flat’ design (for themes without a specific WooCommerce integration) and updated email design
  • The ability to remove products from the cart via the cart widget
  • Classes / markup for responsive tables (see the orders table on ‘my account’)
  • Moved the ‘Proceed to checkout’ button to a more appropriate location
  • An ‘undo’ option when removing products from the cart

We’ve also removed a couple of features:

  • The +/- quantity increment buttons – `input type=”number”` is well supported making this feature redundant.
  • The style settings (button colors etc).
  • The ability to create non pre-tax coupons, read full post here

Both of these features can be replaced using their plugin counterparts:

The WooCommerce colors plugin will automatically detect any previous settings when you activate it so the transition will be smooth should you still need that functionality.

It’s inevitable that some sites/themes will be affected by these changes. If you build WooCommerce themes you are hopefully already up to date with these developments. If you’re a store owner running a third party theme, be sure to read the section on how to upgrade WooCommerce further in this post to make sure you’re prepared. You may even consider reaching out to your theme author directly.

If you’re a developer working with WooCommerce, here are a few other key changes in 2.3:

  1. Template debug mode will now remove all template overrides for template loading functions. This is handy if you’re building (or using) a theme which overrides core templates and run into issues. There’s now an easy way to simply turn those templates off to help locate the source of a problem.
  2. We’ve switched from LESS to Sass as a CSS pre-processor of choice, and included bourbon giving us access to a whole load more useful mixins. If your theme or extension imports any of our .less files, now would be a good time to make the switch to sass.
  3. The order summary and payment section of the checkout have been decoupled making it possible for you to move each component independently via theme/plugin modification. Please note that if your theme currently overrides any of these templates, you will need to update them. See https://github.com/woothemes/woocommerce/tree/master/templates/checkout for the latest.
  4. We’ve migrated away from chosen in favour of Select2 for our form enhancement needs. Select2 is the more actively developed script and has been adopted by WordPress core which helps make WooCommerce that little bit more efficient. Chosen is still registered as a script within WooCommerce but if you use that functionality we recommend adopting Select2 asap as chosen will be removed altogether in a future release.
  5. We’ve included a new Geolocation class and changed the way taxes are displayed to customers on the frontend. Customers will now see taxes based on their address, and you have the option to enable their location to be geolocated when they visit your store.
  6. If you’ve played with the Webhooks API in 2.2 you’ll know that previously they could only be created via API calls. 2.3 includes a Webhooks UI which will allow users to create them via the settings page. For instructions on using Webhooks see: http://docs.woothemes.com/document/webhooks/

How to Upgrade

As always, we recommend making backups, and using a staging environment to test major updates with your themes and plugins prior to pulling the trigger. See our post here for best practices:

http://docs.woothemes.com/document/testing-updates-using-a-staging-environment/

We don’t anticipate major issues with extensions, but themes that override template files (such as those on the cart and checkout pages) should be checked or updated to ensure they are not affected by the UI changes.

How to Report Issues and Contribute to Future Updates

Issues and contributions should be made via Github:

https://github.com/woothemes/woocommerce/issues/new

See our contribution guide here:

https://github.com/woothemes/woocommerce/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md

If you are reporting a 2.3 issue, please include steps to replicate the issue and mark your issue [2.3] so they stand out.

How to Contribute the Localizations

If you spot any missing translations, please join us on Transifex:

https://www.transifex.com/projects/p/woocommerce/

It’s free to join and easy to translate strings. Translation updates made through Transifex will be made to all other users

Another huge thankyou to our translators!

The Road to 2.4…

We’re going to be discussing the roadmap for 2.4 in a few weeks, but rumour has it we’ll be looking at the onboarding process specifically to improve usability. Stay tuned!

Edit: We’ve released 2.3.1 to fix some conflicts a few users were finding after using the geolocation features. This prevents some errors if the geolocation DB cannot be downloaded too.

By Mike Jolley

I help build things at Automattic.

15 replies on “Hey, Thats a Handsome Hippo”

Thanks for the great release!

> “We’re going to be discussing the roadmap for 2.4 in a few weeks, but rumour has it we’ll be looking at the onboarding process specifically to improve usability. Stay tuned!”

This is nice but I think you should really focus on better stabilty and long term support of releases.

That is, a better test coverage and hence less regression bugs with each release. Even minor 2.1.x, 2.2.x, 2.3.x releases very often break things.

That is, better support for security fixes for the last two recent mayor releases (currently 2.2 and 2.3). Professional shops do not want to deploy new releases every few months, having a release every year or two is enough for most. Especially since each (even minor) upgrade means, due to often regression bugs, a full test cycle if all the functionality and customization done to the shop are still working.

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I completely concur with Jens. This past year of changes has been pretty brutal on active stores. I have had to grit my teeth with each release and not only test on my end but hope my client doesn’t start screaming about missing shipping addresses in the notifications. It would be nice if you guys would focus on some long term stability and give developers and the clients who have to pay for all this deployment testing a break.

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This release has been pretty quiet in terms of issues in support – we do however see the usual 3rd party theme/plugin breakage, but this is largely due to lack of testing. This time round Patrick reached out to marketplaces (themeforest for instance did a post on it), and we’ve been actively blogging here to keep devs in the loop!

The main issues I’ve been seeing breaking stores are old extensions using functions deprecated in 2.1 – devs have had 12 months to fix those issues.

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I like the aggressive Woo release cycles. I never had an upgrade problem, and just upgraded 3 sites to WC 2.3.3 without a hitch.

For those concerned about the upgrades cycles, just follow 3 simple rules:
(1) wait 2-3 days after big releases till you upgrade to allow for the bugs to get worked out (I went from 2.2.11 to 2.3.2; I skipped 2.3.0, 2.3.1).
(2) use quality plugins.
(3) use a staging site to test before deployment.

Great job, WC team!

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I am not saying that I am against quick release cycles, by no way. I am saying that I do not like the idea of being forced to upgrade and test a shop every half a year, or whenever a security release is done (including all regression bugs).

Same reason as for using Ubuntu LTS (long term support), there I only have the hassle of upgrading every few years. This applies for bigger shop websites that have release plans on their on, and usually there is no reason to uplift a running shop system except every 2 years. Whoever, want to upgrade (and test) with every minor and mayor release every few weeks can still do so – it is the point of being forced that makes it impractical.

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I have to agree here. Perhaps a LTS version of woocommerce every year (with security releases) would be ideal. I have a lot of customisations and upgrading Woocommerce every time because of security concerns also means a lot of unnecessary work on my end.

I think I may have to skip this release entirely. Its completely breaking some of my front end stuff.

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Please remember that we’re not all developers. I’m a small business owner and its all on me if it goes wrong. I don’t even have a test environment to try it out on first! One of the reasons i chose woocommerce was that it presented as great for small business but i too grit my teeth with every update.

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Hi there, one of my client websites no longer displays the +/- quantity increment buttons when we use the latest version of chrome. http://www.nzbinding.com/

The arrows do display for firefox. However we would like to have the exact styling which displayed in the previous woocommerce version or can you fix the bug so the arrows display for chrome.

How do we fix this as my client is not happy at all? Kent.

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