Dear WooCommerce: Regarding Version 2.1

Dear WooCommerce-

The support was great- thank you so much. But the 2.1.x release has been a nightmare for me.

I have many client sites that use WooCommerce, and usually in conjunction with associated plugins. I love WooCommerce and recommend it to all my clients. With the release of WooCommerce 2.1, most of my WooCommerce stores broke, and my clients are angry. I have scrambled to continue updating and fixing problems to this day. With one of my stores, there was a plugin conflict that I should have noticed, and I thank you for your help with that one. But I implore you…

PLEASE listen to the complaints you get about this release. I know you can blame it on the plugin and theme author, but that is not helpful. All the authors I have talked to have been very stressed by the release, and are trying to comply. They are upset because core changes  like those to the file prefixes mean that then their plugins are not backward compatible, and people complain loudly to them, especially when they are afraid to upgrade to the latest version of WooCommerce.

Perhaps you did let plugin and theme authors in on the release changes before launching your update. And maybe this is not your fault,  but something definitely went wrong here.

Was it just the flaws inherent in the open source business model? Are there ways we can avoid them? That is the real question.

The thing that concerns me the most is the affect all of this has on WordPress itself. When things break like this, and clients have to pay me even more to fix them, the numbers don’t add up in favor of WordPress anymore. I have clients who are now ready to switch to Shopify or BigCommerce. That just makes me sad…

Still, I don’t believe the model is flawed. The community can fix this.  WordPress has become what it is because of stringent attention to detail  in code and procedure. The kind of support that WooCommerce has offered in the last week tells me that you are striving for the same high standards. Please do, we are all counting on you.

Your friend,



I got the most helpful  and positive response from WooCommerce- who, I repeat, has been very supportive throughout.

They told me that “we don’t take these types of changes lightly. A tremendous amount of thought goes into risk/benefit before we ever begin coding.”  I understand from this that they had to bite the bullet and make some core changes, even though they knew the difficulties implied, for the sake of the future of the product.

They also said that they “began communicating these changes in November via blog posts, twitter, email, etc.” to third party developers, but “we’re not going to hang the burden on third parties. There is always room for improvement and we’ll continue to learn from each release as well as feedback like yours.”

Well, you couldn’t ask for a better response. If there are improvements that can be made to the release process, I think they will happen. My faith is restored, the difficulties will subside, and I think WooCommerce will weather the storm.  That’s good for WordPress and good for me. Yay for open source!