In a blog entry published December 20th, WooThemes announced it has released WooCommerce 2.0 Beta 1 to the public for its first round of testing.
WooLabs developer Coen Jacobs said Thursday, “Today I am excited to announce the availability of WooCommerce 2.0 beta 1. As you might have seen in our earlier post where we explained what was going to happen the next few months, WooCommerce 2.0 will be the next big release of our plugin.
Because WooCommerce 2.0 will introduce so many changes and new features, it is important to properly test all of this before releasing it. That’s why we are going through the full testing stages before releasing the final version. First stop is this beta release. This beta release should not be used on production websites as the software is still in development.”
Beta Version Not For Amateurs
Coen Jacobs was quick to point out that the initial Beta testing version of WooCommerce 2.0 should not be used unless you are an experienced developer. As with all Beta 1 versions, this preliminary release is expected to be filled with bugs and issues that will ultimately have to be resolved before the actual “commercial” launch of the product takes place some time in early 2013.
WooThemes customers are encouraged to use WooCommerce 2.0 Beta 1 on a test site, and report problems by using the GitHub Issue process.
New Features In WooCommerce 2.0
“or WooCommerce 2.0 we have rewritten major parts of our code to give it a performance boost and remove all legacy code to make it future proof,” writes Jacobs. “This is also the reason why WooCommerce 2.0 will not be compatible with versions before WordPress 3.5. Larger stores will notice the speed increase in reports and when browsing through orders.
We have learned a lot from implementing WooCommerce in our own site, which we applied while developing WooCommerce 2.0. Next to those improvements, we have added a ton of new features to make it easier and more fun to manage your online stores.”
Some of the new options that will be available once WooCommerce 2.0 is officially up and going include the ability to hold stock for unpaid orders. You can assign a time limit for this and once it is reached, your stock will be released and the order will be cancelled if it has not been paid for.
There are new options for transaction emails with a template editor that makes it much easier to change your email text, plus WooCommerce 2.0 users will now have the ability to resend order emails. New shortcodes for On Sale, Top Rated and Best Selling are part of the update, which will give webmasters a simple method for highlighting preferred items.
A security team at Sucuri is working with WooThemes to revise code to ensure the product is secure once it has been released commercially.
Depending on the number of issues that are discovered with this first Beta version, it is possible that additional Betas will be made available. WooThemes is currently aiming for January 2013 when it comes to the finished product launch.
WooThemes customer samuelmaes commented Thursday, “I can vouch for the awesomeness behind WC 2.0. I have been using this since it was developed as 1.7.0 :) the amount of work already gone and going into this is unbelievable :) the guys are always on top of the bug fixes so put them through and they will fix :) Kudos for your work.”
Jacobs emphasized how vital it will be for testers to report issues. “Don’t be afraid to report something that might not be a bug, we will not hurt you! It is better to report something that you think is a bug, so we can investigate or explain how it should work. If you are in doubt, let us know. We can’t fix bugs that we are not aware of.”
Download WooCommerce 2.0 BETA 1
*For Testing Purposes Only – Not For Production Use