A is for Announcement
In 2009 Instinct and the GetShopped Team met Matt Mullenweg at the NZ WordCamp. It was then that Matt took an interest in the WP e-Commerce Plugin and suggested we move away from our current table structure in exchange for WordPress Tables. This was the start of 3.8 from there new developments in WordPress emerged like Custom Post Types, and APIs that could make WP e-Commerce a lot more light weight.
It’s been a huge task, with involvement not restricted by geographic location or time differences. People from all over the world, including Australia, NZ, USA, and the UK have had their say and contributed code to the cause, and today I would like to announce that the 3.8 Public Beta is ready for download.
B is for Beta
Now, before you go ahead and download the Beta, let me remind you that the Beta is for testing purposes only. Please do not install the beta on your live site.. We’ve put in 12 months of development into this baby, and a lot of the code has changed, so if you have Plugins and Themes that rely on the old WP e-Commerce structure you may come across a few obstacles. We want to hear about these problems on our forums.. we have a new Forum thread dedicated to 3.8 Bugs which our developers will investigate and log as bugs to fix before the stable release is launched.
Obviously you will want to backup your files and Database before trying 3.8 as it will modify your Database. You will also NEED to be running WordPress 3.0 or later as Custom Post Types (CPTs) are a new WordPress 3.0 feature.
C is for Change
So, what is this hype all about 3.8 Wp e-Commerce?
We’ve talked to a lot of WordPress developers and core committers and where Plugin UI is heading in the future. One of the more controversial changes is the wp-admin sidebar.. no longer do you have an entire Store Sidebar menu with store settings, and product / category management. Instead the Store Settings have moved under the WordPress Settings, the Sales Logs, and Upgrades are under Dashboard, and Product, Variation and Category management is under the new Sidebar menu called products. You can read about the UI changes in Dans Blog Post ‘3.8 Menu Structure‘
The Product management system in 3.8 is a lot different, it works in a similar but not quite identical way to Posts and Pages, you have a list of Products which you can bulk assign to Categories, or Permanently Remove. You also have Quick Edit (which works for normal products but is disabled for Variations)
Utilizing Custom Taxonomies and Custom Post Types, variations has had a huge overhaul. Currently it supports stock, and price variations, in the future you could have entirely different descriptions and images !
Products are now Custom Post Types of ‘wpsc-product’. This was a key feature of 3.8, and allowed us to successfully remove atleast 7 mySQL tables:
Variations to custom post types and taxonomies removed another 7 Tables:
Categories to Custom Taxonomies removed 3 Tables
We also removed a random table that was be better suited to a global option:
That’s a total of 18 Tables we’ve removed from your Database! (Note: In actual fact those tables will not be removed if you upgrade your site but, if you are creating a brand new site using 3.8 those tables will not be created)
D is for “Don’t Panic!”
So we’re trying to make this a simple upgrade, it should be as easy as:
- Deactivate WP e-Commerce
- Activate Wp e-Commerce 3.8
- Click the Store Update link under the Dashboard Menu
- Play to your hearts content
If you are one of the daring Public Beta Testers, and you need help, or want to report a bug, please report them in our 3.8 Beta Testers Forum Thread.
D is also for Download
Download the 3.8 Public Beta
There is a more current beta available here: