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WooCoomerce (HPOS) High-Performance Order Storage

WooCommerce 8.2 isn’t compatible with outdated PHP versions any longer and HPOS (formerly Custom Order Tables) comes with an optimized eCommerce database structure.

WooCommerce 8.2 is only supported by PHP 7.4+ and PHP 8

Currently, around 97% of all WooCommerce online stores are operated with a PHP version of at least PHP 7.4, according to Blogiestools. With the new update, which is scheduled to be available on 10.10.2023, all PHP versions below and including PHP 7.3 will no longer be supported. One reason for this is likely to be numerous security updates and performance improvements that make WooCommerce systems faster and more secure.

This means that WooCommerce websites currently running in version 8.1 cannot be updated to the newer version – at least not if the server does not meet the PHP requirements or these are configured correctly for the web space. These online stores will continue to work, but it is strongly recommended to update them to the latest version.

Test first, then go live

In general, updates should be carried out promptly, but we still recommend checking the dependencies of the WordPress version, plugins and theme – especially if they are “freshly” released and there are still one or two teething problems.Another issue is compatibility problems with other plugins – and with the theme used. Here it is recommended to update the store on a staging system, test it and only then carry out the updates on the live system. Or migrate the staging live.

HPOS: High-Performance Order Storage (formerly Custom Order Tables)

WooCommerce 8.2 introduces a major update: HPOS changes the structure of the database (more precisely: tables as well as the database structure), which are responsible for managing orders and transactions. The previously very flexible custom order tables are being replaced, as these are complex to develop and can be correspondingly difficult to maintain. Especially if other plug-ins access and extend them.

In comparison, HPOS (High-Performance Order Storage) is optimized to execute and process these processes particularly efficiently and quickly. This means that larger volumes of data can be processed, whereby hardware accelerators and optimized algorithms are also used.

As these are two different approaches, existing WooCommerce installations are not automatically converted to the new system, but continue to use the previous technology. However, if it is a new installation, HPOS will be used and should provide a performance boost.

Can I upgrade my old WooCommerce store to HPOS?

The database structure used can be set in WooCommerce, but a backup is strongly recommended before the conversion. To be on the safe side, a staging system is recommended. Then the option can be set in the WooCommerce settings:

  1. Under WooCoomerce > Settings > Advanced > Features you will find the setting
  2. Activate compatibility mode (synchronize orders to the posts table)
  3. The necessary background processes for synchronizing the two technologies are then started
  4. Once these have been completed, a new setting appears:
  5. High Performance Order Storage – this can then be activated

However, this is only the case if all plugins are compatible with the new data structure. Otherwise, an error will appear and this can then be resolved with the displayed message.

Alternatively, it is also possible to call via https://example.com/wp-admin/plugins.php?plugin_status=incompatible_with_feature&feature_id=custom_order_tables – whereby example.com must be replaced with the current domain.

Deactivate HPOS

If problems occur, High-Performance Order Storage can also be deactivated again. This setting can also be found under Features and the original storage variant can be selected, as reported on the official woocommerce.com website.