WooCommerce is celebrating 10th years of Woo this week. Over the past several years WooCommerce has grown to become a dominant player among e-commerce solutions on the web. E-commerce Usage Distribution stats from BuiltWith currently rank WooCommerce as the most commonly used platform for stores in the top 1 million sites.
Performance and scalability were the main focuses for the WooCommerce development team last year and these issues continue to be top priority. Version 3.0, released in April 2017, included significant performance improvements when WooCommerce switched from post meta to taxonomies for features like product visibility, featured products, and out of stock products. It also introduced CRUD (Create, Read, Update, Delete) classes for developers, making it easier to write and retrieve data from the database with less code.
Building on the CRUD work done last year, WooCommerce has just announced the beta of its new Custom Products Tables plugin. It replaces the WooCommerce product Data Store with new, dedicated product tables for significant reductions in page load time across shop, checkout, and admin pages.
“The results, so far, have been great – with improvements of up to 30% on page load times!” WooCommerce engineer Gerhard Potgieter said. “Checkout, arguably the most important part of the store experience, has seen the biggest performance gains.”
The WooCommerce development team tested the plugin’s impact on performance using two identical stores running the Storefront theme and no additional plugins. They created a data set of 500 products using the WooCommerce Smooth Generator, and both stores had 70,000 orders in the database and meta data in the range of 1.4 million rows.
The Custom Product Tables plugin is not ready for use in production but developers can download version 1 and test it against WooCommerce 3.5 dev (switch to the master branch).
Getting the plugin rolled into WooCommerce core is an exciting update on the horizon, as faster page loads generally improve conversion for store owners. WooCommerce engineers anticipate releasing the plugin on WordPress.org as the next step. They plan to include the new product tables in a major version update early next year.