Woocommerce 4.0 presentation with purple background

WooCommerce 4.0 is now available, but is not fully backwards compatible

WooCommerce 4.0 is a “major” release. This means that this version is not fully backwards compatible with sites running various versions of WooCommerce 3.x. Therefore, we recommend testing the upgrade on a staging site copy before upgrading your live store and creating a backup of your code and database. Please see this guide on the WooCommerce website for more details.

What’s new in 4.0?

4.0 is the first major release of 2020 and the WooCommerce team have decided to include the new version of WooCommerce Admin in this release. WooCommerce Admin is the first step towards a more modern JavaScript-driven experience of WooCommerce core.

WooCommerce Admin

With the plugin being actively used on more than 1 million stores, the WooCommerce team now believe the WooCommerce Admin is ready to be included in the WooCommerce core to bring a set of improvements to all store owners:

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

WooCommerce admin provides much better reporting capabilities than previous generations of reports and allows for filtering, comparisons and overview how the store is doing in terms of sales, revenue, which products are the most popular/highest-grossing, adds capabilities for improved customer management and analytics.

Action Scheduler 3.1

One of the underlying technologies that enabled WooCommerce Admin is Action Scheduler—the background job runner already used in WooCommerce core. The 3.1 version that is being included in WooCommerce 4.0 is a new, more performant version of Action Scheduler which utilises custom tables to provide a great experience even on stores with large volumes of orders and posts in the database.

Ensuring a stable Action Scheduler in WooCommerce is crucial, and the WooCommerce team happily announced that more than 10,000 sites are already using it together with the WooCommerce Subscriptions 3 plugin.

Upgrading to 4.0

WooCommerce 4.0 is a new major version which means it’s not fully backward compatible with previous WooCommerce versions. However, the breaking change we’re introducing is only on the database level of Action Scheduler and thus the upgrade should work well for most customers. We recommend testing and backing up prior to upgrading and following our upgrade guide.

If you want to learn more about the Action Scheduler upgrade process, the WooCommerce team recommends having a look at the upgrade guide for WC Subscriptions plugin (which also includes the new version of the same library).