WooCommerce is beloved for its simple and easy-to-use process that gives the world the ability to sell anything, operating as an open source e-commerce plugin for small to large-sized online merchants who utilize WordPress – a popular platform used to create websites and blogs. In early 2016, Dashing Dolphin – the latest update for WooCommerce – came into play, bringing about a whole new array of features for its valued users. So if you already have this clever tool – or you’re looking to create a store for your WordPress website – brace yourself for some new (and possibly awesome) available features!

Introducing WooCommerce CLI

WooCommerce Command Line Interface (CLI) is a set of command-line tools users can use to manage products, coupons, orders, customers and more for their online store. Even the most inexperienced users can benefit, thanks to its easy-to-use integration method WordPress. If you’re familiar with WooCommerce CLI, it is a much faster way to set up and enhance your online store. If you are interested in learning more about CLI, you can do so by checking out this easy how-to here.

Brand New Session Table

WordPress is built  to not have handling session data capabilities,  but WooCommerce found a solution with its wp-session-manager, enabling people to store user data into a WP options table. While this has worked well in the past, the WP-session-manager has reached a performance dead end, and truthfully doesn’t work well when it comes to cleaning up the data and scalability. Enter the new session handler, which uses custom tables instead of the WordPress options table. These new custom tables allow more data to be stored, and with its power it can handle more without slowing down the performance – not to mention, it is easier to clean up!

Other Cool Improvements

Dashing Dolphin is a big core update, and there are a ton of little edits and tweak – a complete list can be found at the bottom of their changelog. Overall, the online checkout flow was improved, thanks to the incorporation of different options – such as having the terms and conditions box before the place order button. The new update also brought on a convenient password creation alert, which notifies the user if the strength of their password is too weak. They also audited all transients and combined the old session’s table with the new. In addition, query speed should be improved because of the decreased reliance on the WordPress options table.

Template Changes

Because it is a core update, Dashing Dolphin has restructured the template files that are needed to add or change performance and functionality.  Here is the list of template files that have been version-bumped in 2.5:

  • Single-product/review.php – Added new action hooks + verified reviewer code
  • Single-product/add-to-cart/variable.php – Correctly escape variation data.
  • Order/order-details.php – woocommerce_purchase_note_order_statuses filter.
  • Order/order-details-item.php – woocommerce_purchase_note_order_statuses filter.
  • Loop/add-to-cart.php – Uses supports_ajax_add_to_cart method.
  • Global/quantity-input.php – Changed min and max attributes.
  • Content-widget-product.php – File was missing version.
  • Content-product.php – Action hooks to handle anchor output.
  • Content-product_cat.php – Action hooks to handle anchor output.
  • Checkout/payment.php – Support for new terms.php template file.
  • Checkout/form-pay.php – Support for new terms.php template file.
  • Cart/mini-cart.php – URL escaping.
  • Cart/cart-shipping.php – Extra filters and some simplification of strings.
  • Additionally all email templates have been updated to use a unified order details template (email-order-details.php).

Needless to say, big – and awesome – changes were made in this Dashing Dolphin upgrade. For a full reading of the release, check out WooCommerce’s development blog. There, you will find a full list of changes in regards to every feature, and links to even more info! If you’re new to website design and need to build a website for your store using WooCommerce and WordPress, check out our blog on how to build a site from start to finish!

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