WooCommerce 2.6 Introduces Shipping Zones and a New Design for Account Pages

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After five months in development and 1700 commits from 25 contributors, WooCommerce 2.6 “Zipping Zebra” is now available.

This release introduces a new feature called Shipping Zones, which allows store owners to have more flexibility in pricing shipping based on location. It is now possible to create zones that group continents, countries, states, and zip codes. Each zone can be assigned its own available shipping method(s).

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The most visible update in WooCommerce 2.6 is the new design for account pages. Previously, the account page packed a ton of information in a somewhat disorganized fashion. The new design organizes account sections into tabs.

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WooCommerce has updated its REST API to use the WP REST API scaffolding so that it will be ready for when the API lands in core. The new WooCommerce REST API follows the same standards as the WP REST API project and can be extended in similar ways to add new endpoints and authentication methods. The current iteration supports a limited set of endpoints (orders, customers, products, coupons, taxes, reports, and webhooks) but more are coming in WooCommerce 2.7.

Overall, the experience of managing a WooCommerce-powered store is much more streamlined with many of the admin screens getting refreshed to be more simplified, from general settings to shipping options. WooCommerce users will want to get the latest as soon as possible, as this release includes major improvements for store owners, customers, and developers.

According to WordPress.org, the plugin is currently active on more than a million websites. It can be updated with one click, but users will want to review the upgrade instructions and create a backup before proceeding. Certain extensions and themes will need to be updated alongside this release and additional steps are required for those using Simplify Commerce and/or WooThemes’ table rate shipping or flat rate box shipping.

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