WooCommerce 3.6 Beta 1

Greetings everyone – we are quite pleased to announced that WooCommerce 3.6 is now available for beta testing!

To test the beta release of 3.6, you can download it directly from GitHub, 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 3.6?

3.6 is the first minor release of 2019 – and being a minor release – everything included in this release is backwards-compatible. This means if you are updating from any version since 3.0, you should encounter no issues.

On to what’s new!

Product Blocks

For readers of the WooCommerce Development blog, you have likely heard of our WooCommerce Product Blocks feature plugin that has been in development and testing for almost a year now. We are excited to bring all eight new editor blocks to the WooCommerce core experience!

For all sites running WordPress 5.0 or newer, you will have access to build rich landing pages using the following blocks shipping in WooCommerce 3.6:

  • Products by Category
  • Best Selling Products
  • Hand-picked Products
  • Newest Products
  • On Sale Products
  • Top Rated Products
  • Products by Attribute
  • Featured Product

Stay tuned for additional blog posts here that will detail how developers can extend, and control the new Product Blocks.

Performance Improvements

The team has also been hard at work at implementing performance enhancements on the front-end and admin interfaces of WooCommerce. Customers will have a snappier experience on shop and product pages – especially when filtering and sorting products on shop pages.

On the administrative side of the site, numerous improvements have been made to optimize and speed up common management views like the product listing pages. A full list of performance improvements can be seen in the changelog.

Be on the lookout for another post here on the dev blog that will dive into the details of the performance updates.

Additional Updates

In addition to the new Product Blocks and Performance Improvements, you will find the following enhancements in 3.6:

  • The ability to increase/decrease stock options via the bulk edit form.
  • Accessibility improvements on the shop order-by selector.
  • When adding/editing/deleting items manually from orders, the corresponding product stock will be updated to reflect the event, and an order note will also log the action.
  • Added suggestions for official extensions.
  • Store attribute values as post_excerpt for variations to support easier searching for variations.
  • Customer notes containing URLs now automatically converts to clickable links.
  • Allow states in zones to be searched by country name.
  • Added registration success notices to account pages.

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

content-product.phppassing $product to wc_product_class() to avoid re-read of product
content-single-product.phppassing $product to wc_product_class() to avoid re-read of product
single-product-reviews.phpsupport for wc_review_ratings_enabled()
cart/cart-shipping.phpverbiage changes
checkout/form-billing.phpupdate _e usage to esc_html_e
checkout/form-shipping.phpupdate _e usage to esc_html_e
emails/admin-cancelled-order.phpCopy reworded, double escape fix.
emails/customer-note.php Made note clickable.
global/form-login.phpUpdate order of remember me and submit buttons
global/quantity-input.phpw3C validation fixes
loop/orderby.phpadded aria label
loop/rating.phpstar rating bug fix
myaccount/form-edit-address.phpAdded names to nonces, setting country value bug fix
myaccount/form-login.phpAdded actions woocommerce_before_lost_password_form and woocommerce_after_lost_password_form
single-product/product-attributes.phpAdded filter woocommerce_display_product_attributes to give full control of output
single-product/rating.phpwc_review_ratings_enabled() support
single-product/review-rating.phpwc_review_ratings_enabled() support

Deprecated functions and Methods

  • wc_get_min_max_price_meta_query – Removed in favour of lookup tables which remove the need to filter via post meta.
  • Term meta helper functions – Deprecated in favour of WP core term meta functions such as https://developer.wordpress.org/reference/functions/get_term_meta/. These have not been needed since WP 4.4.

  • WC_Country::load_country_states – States are now loaded on the fly as needed.

  • WC_Cache_Helper::delete_version_transients – Transients are now versioned within the value negating the need for cleanup.

  • WC_Background_Updater – We’ve switched updates to the ActionScheduler queue.
  • Simplify Commerce – This gateway has been deprecated for several years and hidden in the UI. The code has now been removed.

Release Schedule

Here is what we are targeting for the rest of the 3.6 release cycle:

BetaMarch 15
RCMarch 28
3.6 ReleaseApril 11

If you’d like to help us test, you can use our new WooCommerce Beta Tester plugin. We posted a nice little write-up on beta testing here which should get you started. Please read that and jump right in!

Thanks to all of our testers and contributors!

7 responses to “WooCommerce 3.6 Beta 1”

  1. “Added suggestions for official extensions.”… just slipping that one in?

    I’m sorry but this really negatively affects fair competition for extension makers that are not listed on the WooCommerce directory.

    Just putting this out there… not sure if anyone else agrees or not but for an open source project to advertise extensions owned by Automattic… that’s a bit of a conflict of interest right?

    1. Putting aside the anti-competitive nature of using ads in the open source product to advertise paid extension in the marketplace, I believe this also negatively affects UX.

      When someone is running a store, they use these screens hundreds of times a day. Seeing ads in their dashboard during their natural workflow is just poor UX, looks horrible and also gets in the way of normal user behavior.

      This is actually against WordPress’s developer guidelines (https://developer.wordpress.org/plugins/wordpress-org/detailed-plugin-guidelines/#11-plugins-should-not-hijack-the-admin-dashboard). The guidelines note these types of admin hijacking advertisements are generally ineffective (I tend to agree).

      Not sure how this could have gotten past the gatekeepers, but if WooCommerce gets special treatment about this, I think the WordPress developer guidelines would need to be adjusted to allow other plugin developers to act similarly.

      I don’t want that to happen because it would end in a free for all and users will be the ones who suffer.

  2. Wonderm00n Avatar

    “Deprecated functions and Methods (…) Term meta helper functions – Deprecated in favour of WP core term meta functions”

    Isn’t this a step back in terms of CRUD? Shouldn’t this keep abstracted in case the categories, tags, etc need to be stored somewhere else?

    Honest question 🙂

    1. If this were to happen it would be done via the data-stores, not these functions. But we don’t actually have any plans to migrate tags/terms into a custom table because there are no issues with WordPress’ implementation, and we get a lot for free by continuing to use WP for this.

      Since we’ve never forced these wrappers on anyone I don’t believe they are in use. Core doesn’t even use them. They have also been deprecated several versions so developers should already have migrated away.

      1. Wonderm00n Avatar

        Thanks for the clarification! 👍

  3. Just updated to version 3.6.2 , category sorting is not working on Product Categories page

    1. @aliamerji sorry you are experiencing an issue with the 3.6.2 update. Could you provide some more details / by chance do you have other extensions/plugins active that might be causing the issue?

      If you could, opening a bug report in our GitHub repository with full details would be fantastic: https://github.com/woocommerce/woocommerce/issues/new?assignees=&labels=&template=Bug_report.md&title=

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