We are pleased to announce that the release candidate for WooCommerce 3.7 is now available. WooCommerce 3.7 is a minor release with a few new features and fixes.
Shipping a release candidate (RC) means we think we have a stable version ready for release. We would like to welcome you to please help us test this version prior to our planned release date of 12 August 2019.
We have been in a code freeze since WooCommerce 3.7 Beta and will continue to be so during the RC period. Only bug fixes for changes part of WooCommerce 3.7 will be made to ensure the stability of the release.
If you think you found a bug in WooCommerce 3.7 RC1 then please open a GitHub Issue with as many details as possible including that you have tested this on WooCommerce 3.7 RC1.
We appreciate all the feedback and involvement of the community, we believe it’s something essential for the future of WooCommerce Core development, for this reason we are rebranding our chat, which was a bit more technical and developer-oriented, and now embracing the whole community, making everyone welcomed.
WooCommerce 3.7 is the second minor release of 2019, and being a minor release everything included in this release is backward compatible. This minor release is also a bit smaller in changes than previous minor releases as we work towards smaller more frequent releases.
We are excited to include WooCommerce Product Blocks 2.3 in this release. WooCommerce Products Blocks is our eCommerce focused blocks for the Gutenberg editor that has been part of WordPress since 5.0.
The first Product Blocks were included in WooCommerce 3.6 and with the inclusion of Product Blocks 2.3 in WooCommerce 3.7, there are several new features added.
Some new features and improvements include:
A new Focal Point picker on the Featured Product block.
Searching for products in Featured Product & Hand-picked Product blocks is faster.
A new Product Categories List block.
Better block branding for easier discoverability.
A new Featured Category Block; feature a category and show a link to its archive.
A new Products by Tag(s) block.
In order to have access to the new Product Blocks, you will need to have WordPress 5.1+ installed or have the latest version of the Gutenberg Editor plugin installed.
With our continued focus on improving performance in WooCommerce, this release also includes some under the hood changes to ensure WooCommerce is faster than ever.
We have improved the speed of the admin dashboard even more, reduced the number of queries required to populate variations, fixed issues with the persistent cart that slowed things down a bit, and are now excluding action scheduler task from comment queries which speed up a lot of pages where comment data is retrieved (product reviews, post comments, admin pages).
New PHP and WordPress minimum requirements
With this release we are bumping the minimum required PHP version to PHP 5.6. This is needed to work towards having our customer stores run on a supported version of PHP as well as set us up for using newer and more performant functionality.
We are also bumping the minimum required WordPress version to WordPress 4.9 in this release and will likely in the next release move that to WordPress 5.0.
With the new PHP 5.6 minimum requirement in place, we are able to utilize PHP packages. End users are not affected by this change.
Since the majority of new WooCommerce features are being developed as feature plugins, separate from WooCommerce core, under the hood we have made some change on how these features are included and loaded.
We have removed the Product Blocks as well as REST API functionality from WooCommerce core and these are all now developed and released independently yet included with each WooCommerce release via Composer.
This allows us to eliminate feature plugin conflicts easier, utilize namespaces and ensure more efficient loading of the code as it is needed within WooCommerce core.
In addition to the above, we have also included the following enhancements in WooCommerce 3.7.
The ability to change the “Thanks” wording in emails from the email settings.
Moved tax classes from using WordPress options to its own wc_tax_rate_classes table for storage.
Added new Coupon code generator functionality to the coupons page.
The following template files have been updated/changed in this release.
All template files
Reviewed and updated the escaping.
Added new filter woocommerce_before_thankyou
Removed subtotal function call and replaced with new woocommerce_widget_shopping_cart_total action. Added new woocommerce_widget_shopping_cart_after_buttons action.
Added new filter woocommerce_before_cart_collaterals
Correct the plurals form usage.
Deprecated functions and methods
Deprecated the WC_Abstract_Order::get_used_coupons() method and replaced it with a new method WC_Abstract_Order::get_coupon_codes() to make it easier to identify that codes are returned and no coupon objects.
Removed the woocommerce_before_cart_item_quantity_zero action from WC_Cart::restore_cart_item() in favor of the existing woocommerce_cart_item_removed action. This action should already be in use if you are using woocommerce_before_cart_item_quantity_zero.