Automated WooCommerce Testing with Ghost Inspector

WooCommerce sites are made up of a complex set of integrated parts. There’s WordPress, WooCommerce itself, other third-party plugins, and a theme. Each of these components require frequent updates and has the potential to break critical functionality on your site. This is why it’s critical to have automated tests.

For a WooCommerce site I used to work with, we had a checklist of items we would manually run through after any major update:

  • Verify products on home page look correct and load
  • Test “Add to Cart” button
  • Test removing item from cart
  • Verify all product on /shop page look correct
  • Test complete checkout with Stripe for guest checkout
  • Test complete checkout with PayPal for guest checkout
  • Test complete checkout with Stripe with coupon for guest checkout
  • etc.

Needless to say, this took a lot of time. Thankfully, tests like this can all be automated using Ghost Inspector.

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Subscription Toggle in WooCommerce

In WooCommerce subscription products and standard products can’t be combined. For example, if you’d like to offer customers the option to purchase coffee as a one-time sale or as a convenient monthly subscription, you’ll need to create two separate products on the backend (even though it’s essentially the same product and SKU).

If you’re SEO focused, this might be a concern in terms of duplicate content and splitting page rank. For customers, this also isn’t a great experience. If a customer lands on the one-time product page, they might not know about the subscription option (and vicea versa).

A better example of subscription user experience is Target. If a product offers a subscription option, there’s a radio button toggle with a discount clearly highlighted. Turns out, with a little work, this is also possible to do in WooCommerce. Continue reading

Shopify vs. WooCommerce

A former client contacted me this week because they were thinking about switching platforms for their ecommerce store. The site had originally been built on WooCommerce but they were now considering a switch to Shopify. The main issue is they didn’t want to have to rely on a developer for site updates and wanted a solution they could more easily manage themselves.

To answer their questions, I signed up for a Shopify account and then went through the technical and business requirements one by one. If you’re trying to decide between Shopify and WooCommerce, hopefully some of these notes are useful.

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Unit Tests for WooCommerce Extensions

I am completely new to PHP unit testing, but I decided it was time to learn after discovering a critical bug in a small WooCommerce extension I had built for a client.

The extension I built added a feature that allowed administrators to limit specific coupons to new customers only. I had done some manual testing and made sure that new customers could use the coupon and existing customers could not. But there was a logic bug I missed that prevented existing customers from using any coupons, even ones that did not have the “new customer” restriction.

After finding the bug, I knew there were several use cases I would need to check every time an update was made to the plugin:

  • New customer should be able to apply a coupon
  • New customer should be able to apply a coupon with a “new customer” restriction
  • Existing customer should be able to apply a coupon without a “new customer” restriction
  • Existing customer should *not* be able to apply a coupon with the “new customer” restriction

Obviously, checking this manually each time would be rather tedious- which is why I turned to unit tests.

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