For several reasons, developers consider WooCommerce as one of the best e-commerce platforms for WordPress. It includes stability, reliability, and easy usability. Keeping your WordPress website up-to-date is vital for seamless functionality and reducing the risk of major bugs and site outages. Although it might seem a simple task to update your site’s plugins, it’s best left to the professionals to ensure a successful rollout and avoid creating issues with the site’s database or UI.
Here are the best practices a proficient WordPress web development company like ours follows to ensure your WooComerce website runs smoothly after the update.
Avoid updating your WooCommerce store soon after a new update rolls out. Instead, focus on testing the website on the staging site. This is the most crucial step for updating a WooCommerce site, enabling the creation of a clone of your live site.
The staging site allows your WooCommerce website to run and test new updates without worrying about repercussions on the live platform. You should expect your WordPress development company to implement this before any updates are completed.
Automated Testing Tools
End-to-end testing tools are ideal for evaluating real-time website functionality and glitches. These tools can automatically perform various testing tasks for WooCommerce sites, like; opening the website, shope checkout, adding payment details, contact forms, etc.
An e-commerce website development company can fasten and finish site testing through automated tools like Ghost Inspector, Usertrace, Cucumber, and many more.
So, follow these steps if you’re planning to use the Usetrace tool for testing your WooCommerce store.
- Go to the official Usetrace website to create an account.
- Click on the “Start by creating a new trace” button from the dashboard.
- You can view your trace steps and settings on the left screen while your site testing runs on the right panel.
- Click “Record Steps” on the right panel to record your site interactions. (Note: It will add a checkpoint to the trace steps on the left each time you take action for your site.)
- Now, hit “Save Steps.”
- Further, tap on the “Run Trace” option to confirm and perform the entire trace.
- A success message pops up after the test finishes. To get more information about each step, click on “Details”.
- Select OK to complete the testing process.
Visual Comparison Tools
Tracking even minor updates in widgets and formatting can be time-consuming if you have a large website with several pages. But not when an e-commerce website development company uses visual comparison tools like WP Boom.
This tool allows you to take the site’s pre and post-update screenshots. Since we all can make errors keeping note of everything manually, it’s an ideal tool to record your staging site before updating.
With just one click, you can quickly view all the updates on your site. WP Boom also sends notifications if there are visual changes due to auto-updates. The tool will also send you weekly snapshots and email reports about any visual changes on your WooCommerce platform.
Method to Use WP Boom
- Go to an official WP Boom site and register for a free account.
- After signing up, you’ll see a pop-up asking you to connect to a new site. Fill in the required details in the form.
- Hit the “Create Site” button.
- Now, WP Boom will start capturing a snapshot of your WooCommerce website. The page will refresh after the process finishes.
- Click on your site’s name to view an outline of your snapshots. It will also show the total number of site pages with the processing time.
- To take another snapshot, go to the WP Boom dashboard.
- Again, select the site you want to snap.
- Lastly, click on “Snapshot Selected Sites.”
Running frequent backups of your WooCommerce website is also crucial, even if you need to update a plug-in. You can choose from various backup plug-ins, such as WP Migrate DB Pro, Jetpack, WP-CLI, UpdraftPlus, and BackWPup.
Tips to Update WooCommerce Website
Stop Auto Updates
Automatically updating the WooCommerce store is the wrong approach, and we would not recommend it. You may like to ignore some new modifications for your site, so don’t enable the ‘auto-updates’ option. Installing the update on a test environment may seem slow, but it will save your live store from long-term issues.
Review New Updates
Here’s another vital strategy to upgrade your WooCommerce store seamlessly. Before switching to the new WooCommerce version, review its latest features and updates. It ensures that your current theme and plug-ins support the recent update.
Usually, the WooCommerce team releases one or two upgrades in a year. You can check these release announcements on WordPress support forums, WooCommerce.com, GitHub issues, and change logs. These support platforms provide comprehensive information, prerequisites, and recommendations about upgrades. This way, you can gauge the benefits and drawbacks of the recent version before accepting the updates.
A faulty update can break your online store, giving a poor shopping experience to your customers. As mentioned before, staging and testing tools can save you from this hassle. So if any glitches are detected during testing, a debug message will appear. Your developer will then find a solution to the problems and ensure your website runs optimally as soon as possible.
It’s critically important to review logs for errors after upgrading a theme, plug-ins, and the WooCommerce store. A quick scan is then performed to check access to the admin area and home page. If an unrecoverable condition is detected, the website can then be reverted back to the previous version.
Upgrade Payment Integration Systems
Verifying the compatibility of your payment gateways after the WooCommerce update gets completed is also paramount. If not upgraded, your customers may fail to use a particular payment system.
To view available payment updates can be viewed on the plug-ins page. Alternatively, you can check the My Subscriptions section in your WooCommerce.com account to find compatible extensions with your newly modified WooCommerce site.
Use the Latest WordPress Version
Using an old WordPress version will make your newly upgraded store incompatible. So make sure to keep your WordPress up-to-date with the new WooCommerce version. It improves site performance, speed, security, and functionality. WordPress SEO also helps to grow your website traffic.
You can check the recommended version from the WordPress dashboard. The same steps for updating your WordPress version should be followed, as was recommended for the WooCommerce store. It includes staging site, testing, and site backup.
WooCommerce updates bring new features and bug fixes to your website. However, you must remember that these updates don’t guarantee your site won’t have any issues. With one wrong move, your site could crash and significantly impact your e-commerce shop sales and customer experience with your business. We cannot stress enough how vital it is to have a reliable and responsive website development company take care of this for you. Prevention is always better than cure, which is absolutely critical with your ecommerce websites.
With the assistance of an e-commerce website development company like Enterprise Monkey, upgrading your site will become a simple process. A successfully upgraded WooCommerce store will help provide an uninterrupted business experience to your users and set you up for long-term growth and profitability.