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Upgrade WooCommerce on VIP

Tthe WooCommerce plugin and related extensions should be maintained on the most up to date release version. This is essential for application security, and provides the benefits of bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as having access to new features. 

VIP customers with WooCommerce stores should follow the WooCommerce Development Blog to receive notifications of available version releases in a timely manner.

New release versions of the WooCommerce plugin and WooCommerce extensions should be tested as soon as possible in a VIP Local Development Environment, followed by testing in a non-production VIP Platform environment (e.g. develop, preprod).

Error logging methods

VIP Local Development Environment

On local development environments, WP_DEBUG can be used to log issues while testing extension and core updates. 

VIP Platform non-production environment

As a precaution, a back up of the environment’s database should be run prior to deploying the upgraded plugin. A fresh database backup can be generated in the VIP Dashboard or with VIP-CLI.

Testing and validation criteria


Third-party integrations for WooCommerce on non-production environments should be set to “test-mode”, “non-production” or “sandbox” mode to prevent sending and receiving live order data, or prevent sending test order data to production integration endpoints.

Tools and materials provided by WooCommerce are available for end-to-end testing to assist with the plugin upgrade process.

Below are 2 sets of non-exhaustive lists of features and functionality that should be tested as part of a WooCommerce plugin upgrade. Results of each test should have identical results on non-production and production in order for the test to be considered as “successful”.

Front end functionality testing

Visually confirm that WooCommerce pages load as expected such as:

  • product pages
  • category pages
  • shop page
  • cart
  • checkout

Log into the “My Account” page for a test user.

  • Confirm that user account information for the test user appears as expected
  • Confirm that order history for the test user appears as expected

Test purchase flow functionality such as:

  • adding and removing items in a cart
  • applying a coupon code to a checkout page
  • removing a coupon from a checkout page
  • shipping costs are calculated correctly
  • taxes are calculated correctly and for the correct region
  • completing a purchase
  • checkout flow and experience should be identical to the production site

Backend testing in the WordPress Admin dashboard

In the WordPress Admin dashboard, test order processing by performing each step of the order fulfillment process. Unique or multiple order processes (manual invoicing, telesales, etc.) should also be tested individually.

  • Test backend search by searching for customer data and order data.
  • Test if products can be added/modified, or removed as expected.
  • Refer to stock management data and verify if data is modified as expected for incoming orders, processed returns, and stock deliveries.

Prepare for a plugin upgrade on production

Before upgrading a plugin on a production environment, have a recovery plan in place. Having this plan in place beforehand will allow a team to act more quickly and confidently to resolve any unexpected issues.

  • Deploying a plugin upgrade to production is recommended only after thorough testing on non-production environments has been completed.
  • Determine a time of day to perform the plugin upgrade that will be least disruptive to a site based on average daily site traffic and the availability of internal or third-party development team resources.. 
  • As an extra precaution, a database backup can be generated in the VIP Dashboard or with VIP-CLI just prior to a scheduled plugin upgrade.
  • If there is data loss due to an unexpected issue during the upgrade, the database backup file generated prior to the upgrade can be imported to restore the data. 
  • Once a pull request for a plugin upgrade is merged to the GitHub branch that deploys to production, monitor New Relic for warnings and errors, and run end-to-end tests on production.
  • If a code reversion is necessary, rollbacks to a previous commit can be performed in the VIP Dashboard.

Last updated: February 29, 2024

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  • WordPress