What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is a plugin with regular updates releases, which means it will add new and existing features, along with resolving any bugs or known security vulnerabilities. WooCommerce is actively installed on over 4 million WordPress sites and is used to drive E-commerce on a pretty high number of those sites.
Testing for Plugin and Theme Issues
Site issues can arise by running a WooCommerce site with a high number (20-40) of plugins with pending updates not to mention, running a WooCommerce site with outdated plugins poses a greater chance of a security breach. Your customer expect protection of their data when using your WooCommmerce for sales. This issue can be addressed by testing your plugin and theme updates on a staging site, afterward you can safely update your live site with confidence that your site will not break.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you have is a staging site. Our Managed WooCommerce and Managed WordPress hosting plans make are very easy to create a staging site from the site manager. Softaculous on cPanel has a WordPress clone/staging feature. And WordPress’ Toolkit on Plesk also has a staging tool.
A staging site will be a safe site to test plugin and theme update, without breaking the live site and causing a loss of sales or downtime. First update plugins and active themes on the staging site, afterward you can catch any bugs or errors on parts of the site which might have broken.
Step 1: If you are using WooCommerce Subscriptions on your main live site, make sure that the staging mode is enabled. This should normally happen automatically since the plugin will check if the site URL is different than the live site. Clicking on the WooCommerce > Subscriptions button you’ll be able to see Staging next to the Subscriptions option indicating you are in fact using the staging area.
Step 2: Make sure that site email is disabled by using a plugin on the staging site like Disable email notifications.
WooCommerce > Settings > Notifications
Be sure you’re using an active theme that is regularly updated. Otherwise, WooCommerce updates can break the site by using a theme from an outdated WooCommerce template.
Focus on the following areas of the staging site for testing WooCommerce core plugin and WooCommerce plugin update:
- Does the shop page load correctly?
- Do single product pages load correctly?
- Can you add products to cart?
- Does the Cart page load correctly?
- Does the Checkout page load correctly?
- Does the My Account page load correctly?
After you’ve tested the WooCommerce plugin and other related plugin updates on the staging site and everything is working correctly, select a low traffic volume time frame for updating the live site. After updating address the same areas that you did while updating staging site. Check from the order list page in your WordPress dashboard to validate that you can still see new orders being made correctly, with the payment gateway information being saved in the order notes.