Hello everyone! We are excited to announce that WooCommerce 4.0 is now available for beta testing!

As we’ve announced last week, 4.0 will be a release that brings some breaking changes, but there’s only a small number of those. We don’t expect the update to cause a lot of problems, as the only truly breaking change is including Action Scheduler 3.0 which already runs on more than 10,000 sites with WooCommerce Subscriptions.

Even though the changes are not large, we’re going to test the pre-release versions as much as possible on a broad spectrum of configurations and hosting platforms. To help us out and test the beta release of 4.0, you can download it directly from WordPress.org, or install our WooCommerce Beta Tester Plugin which allows you to easily test out this beta and all future beta and release candidates.

What is new in 4.0?

4.0 is the first major release of 2020 and we’re excited to include the new version of WooCommerce Admin in this release. WooCommerce Admin is the first step towards a more modern JavaScript-driven experience of WooCommerce core.

Read further for more details!

WooCommerce Admin

For readers of the WooCommerce Development blog, you have probably seen the initial announcement and later regular releases of the feature plugin. With the plugin being actively used on more than 1 million stores, we now believe the WooCommerce Admin is ready to be included in the WooCommerce core to bring a set of improvements to all store owners:

  1. New dashboard
  2. New and improved reports
  3. Improved notification experience
  4. New store management tools

WooCommerce admin provides much better reporting capabilities than previous generations of reports and allows for filtering, comparisons and overview how the store is doing in terms of sales, revenue, which products are the most popular/highest-grossing, adds capabilities for improved customer management and analytics.

We’ve also made it very easy to export the data from the reports as csv to enable smooth interoperation with other systems.

Together with the WooCommerce admin, we’re bringing a new Activity panel with improved order management workflow and consistency between the desktop and mobile experience to all the customers.

Due to the JavaScript requirements, this experience will be available to all stores running WordPress 5.3+. Store running older versions of WordPress will have WooCommerce Admin automatically disabled.

Stay tuned for additional blog posts here that will detail how developers can extend the new WooCommerce Admin experience.

Action Scheduler 3.0

One of the underlying technologies that enabled WooCommerce Admin is Action Scheduler—the background job runner already used in WooCommerce core. The 3.0 version that we’re including in WooCommerce 4.0 is a new, more performant version of Action Scheduler which utilizes custom tables to provide a great experience even on stores with large volumes of orders and posts in the database.

Ensuring a stable Action Scheduler in WooCommerce is crucial, and we’re happy to see that more than 10,000 sites are already using it together with the WooCommerce Subscriptions 3 plugin.

If you previously experienced any problems with Action Scheduler, the migration guide for WC Subscriptions 3 might be a useful resource.

Additional Updates

In addition to the new WooCommerce admin, you will find the following enhancements in 4.0:

  • Enhancement to the Order edit screen
  • Latest fixes of WooCommerce Blocks package
  • Updates related to Brexit and VAT
  • Improvements to email handling
  • Optimizations for saving variations and Cash on delivery payment gateway

Beyond these enhancements, the release also contains some tweaks, new hooks, and fixes – all of which you can find out about in the readme.

Template File Changes

The following template files have been updated in this release

FileChanges
cart/shipping-calculator.phpWording of Country updated to Country / Region in shipping calculator
global/quantity-input.phpAdded placeholder attribute for the quantity input
emails/customer-reset-password.phpAdded missing tag for the end of paragraph
emails/email-styles.phpUpdated img CSS
emails/email-header.phpSet table width to 100%
single-product/add-to-cart/grouped.phpAdded placeholder attribute for the quantity input

Deprecated Functions and Methods

  • countries_using_vat

Release Schedule

Here is what we are targeting for the rest of the 4.0 release cycle:

4.0-BetaFebruary 10
4.0-RCFebruary 25
4.0 ReleaseMarch 10

Testing

If you’d like to help us test, you can use our WooCommerce Beta Tester plugin. We posted a nice little write-up on beta testing here which should get you started. We also published a set of testing instructions on our Wiki page in GitHub to help anyone interested in testing this new release.

If you discover any bugs during your testing, please let us know in GitHub.

Thanks to all of our testers and contributors!