The Woo of WooCommerce 4.0

Woocommerce 4.0 Dashboard

Yes, it is true, WooCommerce 4.0 has finally being released. Many a tech guru and online shop owner are rejoicing at this latest highly anticipated development.

This latest version of WooCommerce has been in the works since early January 2020, but many improvements have been made to WooCommerce since 2018 already.

“WooCommerce core has had 743 commits from 21 contributors, but we should also mention a huge amount of effort from the WC Admin team and the code that now becomes a part of the core with a history of 3500 commits from 45 contributors.”

We should mention here as well that the new version of WooCommerce is not full backwards compatible and may not be suitably used with WooCommerce 3.x. versions and you should therefore do a test run with a staged site before applying it to your live shop. You can read more about that here.

A quick background on WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It is designed for small to large-sized online merchants using WordPress. It was initially launched in 2011.

It was first developed by WordPress theme developer WooThemes.

Now, let’s find out more about WooCommerce 4.0 …

What’s changed?

Besides the fact that WooCommerce 4.0 is the first major release in 2020, there is also an added feature called WooCommerce Admin, and what this means is that there is a more modern JavaScript-driven experience of WooCommerce core.

So what is great about WooCommerce Admin?

The WooCommerce Admin gives shop owners a few sort after features and improvements, such as:

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

As a WooCommerce 4.0 user and therefore WooCommerce Admin user, you can look forward to improvements in reporting, and we know this is important because you need to know how you website and online shop are performing in order to make the necessary improvements.

It allows for filtering, comparisons and overview of how the shop is performing when it comes to sales, revenue and stock movement (what is selling well and what could do with some help to move or just be removed all together).

You will also be able to export your reports in a .csv file smoothly and easily so that it is easily integrated with other programs.

Finally, you can also look forward to the new Activity Panel with improved order management workflow.

It is important to note the following as expressed on the WordPress website:

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.

Action Scheduler and Additional Updates

The underlying technology of WooCommerce 4.0 is Action Scheduler.

It is referred to as the background job runner already used in WooCommerce core. The version of Action Scheduler, 3.1, is a better performing version and offers customizable tables which work with the online shop no matter the volume of orders and posts on the database.

Statistics show that currently more than 10,000 sites are using Action Scheduler – which is a very good sign of things to come.

There are also additional updates we should mention here, and they are the following:

  1. Enhancement to the Order edit screen
  2. Latest fixes of WooCommerce Blocks package
  3. Updates related to Brexit and VAT
  4. Improvements to email handling
  5. 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.

Updating Your System

As mentioned previously, because this is a major release, it is not really compatible with many of the older versions of WooCommerce, and therefore testing it out on a staged site would be in your best interest. You can then get a feel for how it works, if it works, and how it will look and feel for the end user.

Once you are confident it works the way you would want it to, you can then start using it on your live site.


So in conclusion, WooCommerce 4.0 is a welcomed update the older version. Especially for those shop WordPress shop owners who want more from their site, and more for their clients.

There are so many new and great features with this update, you would be remiss not to give it a go.

Remember, updates are your friend (most of the time) and are there to make your life easier, better and provide more effective user friendly benefits to the end user.

Want to know more about WooCommerce 4.0, get in touch with one of our Creative Ground Consultants and we will help you through the transition.

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