WooCommerce 2.6 released with shipping zones in core; also, Follow Up Emails acquired

WooCommerce 2.6 is out, and named “Zipping Zebra”, with a slew of new features. Mike Jolley notes in the announcement that this release has been in, “development for ~5 months, and has had over 1700 commits from 25 contributors.”

  • The most visible feature is the new “My Account” page, which is a drastic improvement, with a new tabbed interface for the previously unwieldy page.
  • Also, including shipping zones in core WooCommerce is a welcome addition, with functionality that was previously only in one of the platform’s most popular extensions.
  • The WooCommerce REST API is now fully built on the WordPress REST API infrastructure, and therefore WooCommerce itself now requires WordPress 4.4 to operate. There are new API docs for developers looking to work with the API.
  • The cart page is now AJAX driven, which is a welcome change from the new page loads that things like quantity updates and coupon application used to cause.

Beka Rice has an awesome comparison of 2.6 to previous versions of WooCommerce, including loads of helpful screenshots. Definitely read her post to see everything that changed. There were many UI changes, from the welcome screens through to account management, so if you build WooCommerce sites or manage one, you’ll want to know everything that’s new.

In other WooCommerce news, Automattic has acquired the Follow Up Emails extension from 75nineteen Media. Follow Up Emails is a popular extension that does pretty much what it says: offers stores owners the ability to configure a number of custom email routines that follow up with customers after the purchase.

It’s the plugin I use to notify members of expiring subscriptions, for example. But it can be used much more powerfully, including automation based on a variety of inputs, various scheduling mechanisms, reporting, tracking, and more. Honestly, it pulls a lot of functionality into WordPress that I would personally feel more comfortable keeping in an external email provider.

It’s not my favorite plugin, but it was the quick solution for my use case. I’m sure many stores use it successfully, and technically, it works well. But it’s not a small codebase or plugin. This adds to Automattic’s suite of add-ons that they must develop and maintain, and further shrinks their third party network of developers.

75nineteen Media reached out to potential buyers, and Modern Tribe — makers of The Events Calendar — also expressed interest in purchasing the plugin, and proposed a purchase that Automattic eventually outbid. I estimate Automattic’s purchase was more than $100,000.

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