The extensive collection of native and third-party plugins is one of the reasons why many brands trust WooCommerce to run their online businesses. It is arguably the most versatile eCommerce platform that lets you access the advanced CMS capabilities of WordPress and practically unlimited eCommerce features.
However, there is a catch. WooCommerce allows you to add several eCommerce capabilities with a straightforward integration, but they may only sometimes work the way you want. For instance, the plugin you integrate may conflict with your existing WooCommerce systems, including other plugins and third-party apps.
The only way to avoid such situations is to include an effective WooCommerce plugin testing and debugging process. Here, we discuss some of the best practices certified WooCommerce experts follow to ensure your plugins work seamlessly to provide a memorable user experience. Besides that, we will also explain the importance of testing and debugging for effective WooCommerce plugin development.
Why is WooCommerce Plugin Testing and Debugging Critical for Your Online Store?
We could go on and on about the numerous advantages of an efficient WooCommerce plugin testing and debugging process for your online business. Whether it’s enhanced security or ensuring seamless compatibility with your existing system, the testing and debugging phase is crucial.
There are four main goals behind every WooCommerce plugin testing and debugging process. Even if your requirement is highly niche-specific, the purpose of the testing and debugging phase can be categorized into one of the following goals.
- Optimize user experience and interface
- Enhance data security and safety
- Optimize the site load speed and performance
- Ensure compatibility with existing systems and integrations
Best Practices From Certified Experts for Effective WooCommerce Plugin Testing and Debugging
Plugin integration is unavoidable when setting up or optimizing your eCommerce store, especially on a platform like WooCommerce. As you need a WooCommerce integration to implement advanced or custom functionalities, integrating native or even third-party solutions into your store is inevitable.
Integrating multiple plugins and software solutions can be challenging. It is best to seek professional help depending on the complexity of your requirement, your existing system, and the software solution you wish to integrate. However, the open-source platform is customizable to anyone with sufficient platform knowledge and expertise.
Here are ten best practices you must follow or ensure your developer follows to ensure a near-zero-error WooCommerce integration.
Create a Powerful Development Environment
Creating a robust development environment involves creating a testing ground where you can test the integration and functionalities freely. The test environment remains disconnected from the live website but should maintain all the existing functionalities. You can get a glimpse of the impact of a WooCommerce plugin integration before activating it on your live website using a test environment.
You can accomplish this in a few ways and create an interactive development environment for testing our native and third-party plugins. You can start by setting up a local development environment to test the plugin of your choice, leveraging tools like MAMP, Docker, and XAMPP. But that’s not all.
You must also consider using version control systems to track the changes made and collaborate with other developers working on the project. Last but not least, you must configure an error report to identify potential gaps in the integrations and rectify them before making the changes on the live environment.
Build a Structured Plan With Comprehensive Documentation
Instead of jumping straight to the development part, consider creating a structured plan for the WooCommerce plugin integration. More importantly, you must keep accurate documentation with flowcharts and wireframes to streamline the process for now and for the future.
The fundamental elements you need to create a structured plan include defining the objective of the plugin integration. It helps you understand how to solve a specific problem and can help you improve the existing solution. Moreover, the extensive documentation will help you track your progress and prepare you for integrating WooCommerce plugins more efficiently.
Strictly Adhere to WordPress Coding Standards
Taking the easy way out and cutting corners to integrate a WooCommerce plugin may be tempting. However, we strongly advise against it as the quick fixes often only last a while. What you want to do is adhere to strict (WordPress) coding standards, as it helps you ensure consistency and strengthen the codebase.
Implement Unit Testing of Codes
Unit testing involves testing small or individual parts of the code and ensuring they work according to your plan or requirement. Consider creating test cases for every feature or functionality implemented using the plugin and setting up automated testing tools like PHPUnit.
Conduct Integration Testing
Besides unit testing your code, you must conduct integration testing to see how the WooCommerce plugin works with your existing system. You can use the development testing environment discussed above to mimic real-world user scenarios. It enables you to assess your WooCommerce plugin integration better and optimize it before going live.
Conduct a Comprehensive Performance Test
The last thing you want is the WooCommerce plugin you choose to become counterproductive and slow down your website. Consider using laid testing to see how your site and the plugin perform under simulated high traffic to measure your site’s performance. Besides that, you can also use code profiling to identify excessive resource consumption on your site and rectify the same.
Standardized Debugging and Troubleshooting
Regular Updates and Maintenance
You must appreciate the significance of regular updates and maintenance in WooCommerce plugin integration. The reason behind this is simple: the WooCommerce platform is constantly evolving. Without regular updates and upkeep, you risk the chance of an error, some minor while some much more severe.
Hence, you must ensure regular updates to ensure your WooCommerce system works seamlessly to meet your changing business needs and trends. The practice is best to keep yourself informed on the latest WooCommerce news while also letting you promptly patch up any potential security hiccup in your online store.