Woocommerce 3.6: What’s New & the Faces Behind It

Woocommerce 3.6: What’s New & the Faces Behind It

As I write these lines, WooCommerce has a 28% share in the ecommerce platform niche. This is a significant number and goes on to show the strengths of the platform.
Given the fact that WooCommerce stores are built on top of WordPress, the world’s most popular CMS, WooCommerce’s popularity is no surprise. Another important reason for the popularity is the consistent release of updates that add value to the experience of the users.
One of the biggest reasons for the success of WooCommerce is the releases that add to the stability and performance of the ecommerce platform. Every year Automatic releases a WooCommerce version with some new features and updates.
Here’s a brief timeline of the last few versions:
  • WooCommerce 3.3 was released on January 30, 2018
  • WooCommerce 3.4 was released on May 23, 2018
  • WooCommerce 3.5 was released on October 23, 2018
  • Finally, WooCommerce 3.6 is about to be released on April 17, 2019.
Within a span of just fifteen months, Automattic has released four versions that continue to minimize issues and enhance the features and performance of the platform.
Here’s what WooCommerce 3.6 and its features are all about.

What’s New in WooCommerce 3.6?

WooCommerce 3.6 is a minor release of 2019, with emphasis on fixing the bug list. As a result, this release has been tagged as a maintenance release with the intent of streamlining the platform features. This release has followed the standard release cycle with the following intermediate versions:
  • WooCommerce 3.6 Beta 1
  • WooCommerce 3.6 RC 1
  • WooCommerce 3.6 RC 2

WooCommerce 3.6 BETA 1

WooCommerce 3.6 BETA 1 came out with several minor changes including:
  • Product Blocks
  • Performance Improvements
  • Additional Updates
  • Template File Changes

Product Blocks

Team WooCommerce has been working on WooCommerce Product Blocksfeature plugin for almost a year now, and they decided that the product is sufficiently mature to be released in WooCommerce 3.6.
This plugin introduces the following eight editor blocks to the WooCommerce core experience!
  • Products by Category
  • Best Selling Products
  • Hand-picked Products
  • Newest Products
  • On-Sale Products
  • Top-Rated Products
  • Products by Attribute
  • Featured Product
Check out the following screenshot for a list of these blocks:
Product Block

Performance Improvement

WooCommerce 3.6 comes with visible performance enhancements on the frontend and admin backend. Additionally, your visitors can now easily sort and filter products on the Shop page. A full list of performance improvements can be seen in the changelog.

Additional Updates

WooCommerce 3.6 comes with a whole host of updates to the core and extended features such as:
  • Allow states in zones to be searched by country name.
  • Account pages now come with registration success notices.
  • Use bulk edit form to increase/decrease stock options.
  • Accessibility improvements on the shop order-by selector.

Template File Changes

wc_product_class() uses two arguments – class name and product ID. When using this function, pass the class name as the first argument and the product ID as the second argument. Here is a sample snippet:
<?php wc_product_class(‘cloudways’,221); ?>
In the above snippet, cloudways is the name of the class (first argument), whereas 221 is the product ID (second argument).

WooCommerce 3.6 RC1

On March 28, 2019, the WooCommerce team announced the availability of WooCommerce 3.6 RC. To test WooCommerce 3.6 RC1, you can either use the WooCommerce Beta Tester plugin or download the RC1 zip file.

WooCommerce 3.6 RC2

The community tried version 3.6 RC1 and reported a healthy list of issues (expected, because it’s a release candidate and not the final release version). Team WooCommerce fixed reported issues and then released RC2.  An unexpected outcome of this intermediate release is the delay in the release of the final version.

Extension Suggestions in WooCommerce 3.6

On April 3, 2019, word got out that WooCommerce 3.6 will come with Marketplace Suggestions. This received a huge backlash from the community. To illustrate the point, WPTavern has covered the story WooCommerce 3.6 to Add Marketplace Suggestions, Despite Overwhelmingly Negative Feedback from Developer Community.
In RC2, WooCommerce team said:
“Beyond the fixes listed above, we also made some changes to the Marketplace Suggestions feature. It is often only when the release candidate actually comes out that we get certain kinds of feedback. Thanks to the many developers, end users, and the plugin review team for all their help.”

WooCommerce 3.6 Final Release

WooCommerce 3.6 was released on April 17, 2019. With the final version, another new feature Usage Tracking was introduced. It allows users to share the data with WooCommerce or not.
If you want to disable Usage Tracking, simply go to WooCommerce → Settings → Accounts and Privacy and deselect the check on Enable Usage Tracking.
usage tracking
Note: This feature is not available in WooCommerce 3.6.1

People Who Made This Release Possible

The following are just some of the people that made WooCommerce 3.6 possible:
There’s so much to like about WooCommerce 3.6. What’s your favorite? Feel free to share in the comments below.