Yesterday, July 13th, the first beta of WooCommerce 2.4 has been officially released for testing.
Note: This is a beta release, don’t use it on your live site, but help us testing it!
What’s new in the 2.4?
There are a lot of new features and fixes in the version 2.4, wrapping ~1600 commits by 27 contributors.
On boarding New Users
This is the major feature in the 2.4 (hence the name Helpful Hedgehog).
When installing WooCommerce, you can now go through a onboarding wizard who will help you configure the main options you need to sell, like currency, country of your store, taxes, shipping and payment methods.
By the end of the on boarding process you will be ready to sell. It also includes a helpful interface to create your first product:
- If you click the ‘create your first product’ button, the create product screen will show a series of admin points to guide you through the process.
- All admin screens now have contextual tutorial videos in the help tab.
Check this video for an overview of the on boarding wizard for a UK-based user.
The variations editor in the admin has been improved a lot and it fixes past errors like the slowness and the UI interface. It was hard to manage a lot of variations on a product, so the variations now support pagination, showing a maximum of 10 variations per page.
This limit can be changed quickly though, by using this code in your functions.php file:
Read more about the changes to the variations editor here.
Recently a geolocation library has been added to the core. It’s used to geolocate the customer country when he is on the checkout page. It had some problems with caching plugins like WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. Now it’s cache friendly.
Read more about the changes to the geolocation here.
AJAX Endpoints and the Visual API Authentication Endpoint
New Custom AJAX endpoints have been introduced for events such as adding to cart. This will improve the loading times on the front end.
Also a new Visual API Authentication Endpoint has been added for those services who use the REST API, so now users can log in and grant API access before to be redirected.
Shipping methods now support priority to give more control on what shows before and what is the default method.
The major changes though are in the Flat rate and International shipping methods. They have been refactored to remove unnecessary and confusing options. There are a lot of changes in this, read the complete and detailed overview here.
Can I help somehow?
Definitely! This is the first beta, means that it’s not ready yet for the world to be used.
We need help in testing the new features and fixes.
If you are a plugins/themes developer and your product changes the variations (adding fields, reordering existing fields, hooking in the existing JS) please test it and be sure that it does not create any conflict with the new UI.
It does not only include the admin, but also the front end, so please check that too!
There are some changes in the templates too. Here is a list of all templates which include changes:
Post-Testing Survey and Bug Reporting
If you tested the beta 1 and want to give us a feedback, please take this survey to help us judge the stability and usefulness of the new functionality.
If you find a bug in WooCommerce, please post an issue on GitHub and include [2.4] in the ticket name so we can find them.
Read the official release post on Develop WooCommerce.