WooCommerce 6.9 Released, High-Performance Order Storage Targeted for 7.1

WooCommerce 6.9 was released today and was quickly followed up with 6.9.1 after a bug caused some stores to produce a warning or a fatal error, depending on the site’s PHP version.

This release brings the new Cart and Checkout blocks into core as beta features. These blocks have been available in the WooCommerce Blocks plugin since version 2.6 was released in May 2020. They enable store owners to better customize the purchase flow experience with the power of blocks.

After two years of testing, the Cart and Checkout blocks are compatible with more than a dozen payment gateways and shipping options, as well as 19 popular extensions.

WooCommerce 6.9 improves filtering products by updating the URL (without reloading the page) when visitors use filters with the All Products blocks. Dropdown attribute filters now allow for users to select multiple terms when the query type is set to AND.

As the core team warned last month, WooCommerce will no longer register Customizer options when a block theme is active as of version 6.9.

These are just a few highlights from the 6.9 release, which includes 90 fixes, additions, updates, enhancements, tweaks, and more, from 39 contributors. Check out the 6.9 changelog for all the details.

The WooCommerce development team also published a progress report on the High-Performance Order Storage (HPOS) project, more commonly known as custom order tables. This long-awaited improvement promises significant performance gains for stores. It is a major change that will impact extension developers in different ways. In May, WooCommerce core developers called for early testing on custom order table migrations.

“We’ve decided to rename Custom Order Tables to High-Performance Order Storage to make it more clear and more understandable what this change is about and what it should bring everyone,” WooCommerce core team lead Peter Fabian said. “We want our users to understand the why of our work more easily. We also understand that the original name has been around for a long time and some people might still prefer it over the new one, and that is, of course, fine.”

WooCommerce has been testing HPOS extensively and has started upgrading Woo-owned extensions. The team plans to present a feature complete version in WooCommerce 7.1, which is expected in November.

“This timeline depends on the number of defects we discover during the testing phase,” Fabian said. “Also note that this means the core implementation is production ready, not necessarily that every extension or plugin a site may use is compatible yet.”

When HPOS makes its debut in WooCommerce core, it will be strictly opt-in as the rest of the extension ecosystem works to make their plugins compatible. As greater numbers of WooCommerce products adopt HPOS, core will be able to turn it on by default. Fabian said his team expects that HPOS could become the default experience for stores by August 2023.

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