Here at WP Engine, we have thousands of customers that trust us with their eCommerce sites. Most of those sites use WooCommerce, the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin. (And it’s free!) We got together with our friends at WooCommerce and created our top three tips for getting your eCommerce site ready for the holidays.
1. Update your site. You already know that WP Engine keeps your WordPress Core up to date for you. But what about your themes and plugins? Updating both is important, but it’s super important to keep your eCommerce plugins current. Functionality and security are improved constantly. So missing even one upgrade from WooCommerce, for example, could mean your site isn’t running as efficiently or securely as possible. And missing several updates guarantees you’re missing out on new functionality or efficiency gains.
2. Test your changes in staging. Before you start your updates, make sure you test them in a non-production environment first. Tons of third-party plugins integrate with WooCommerce. WooCommerce ensures that plugins they develop will work with the latest version, but plugins developed by independent developers may not. So it’s important to make these changes in staging first. If your site stops working after upgrading in staging, try disabling any non-WooCommerce-developed plugins. If that fixes your problem, contact the developers for the third-party plugins that aren’t working and ask when they will be compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce. Making major changes in your staging environment first ensures your site’s ready when your customers come pouring in.
3. Clean up your eCommerce implementation. Now that you’re up to date and using the latest and greatest, set yourself up for success. You may have old products, old payment integration, old pricing, or other settings or configurations that just aren’t accurate or useful anymore. These things could slow down your site. Remove any plugins you’re not using—deactivating them isn’t good enough. Get rid of any old products you’re not selling anymore, too. Keeping your site lean and clean, just like it was when you first created it, will give your customers the best possible experience during the holidays.
Dustin Meza is the Senior Manager of Support Operations with WP Engine and Andrew Benbow is a WooCommerce Ninja with WooCommerce and they approve this message