Hey there WordPress e-Commerce community, we’ve completed our in-house storefront migration from Jigoshop to WooCommerce and other than taking a lot longer to complete than initially planned it’s done without a hitch!
We are now proudly running WooCommere on our storefront for the sale and distribution of our free and Premium WordPress e-Commerce Plugins!
A little bit of history
We cut our teeth on WordPress e-Commerce store migrations back in 2013 moving our storefront from WP e-Commerce to Jigoshop, Product, Coupons and Orders came over but we screwed up download permissions which meant customers could see their purchase but couldn’t download Plugins… *head smack*
Fast forward a year and we’re stuck with an e-Commerce platform that we had hard-coded changes into Jigoshop core making updates harder and harder to maintain. In hindsight we should have never, ever, ever made core Plugin changes and instead raised queries with the Jigoshop team so we could maintain custom WordPress Plugins to extend Jigoshop.
From July 2014 plans were drawn up, we were moving to WooCommerce. We announced this in our end of year address but had no idea what was involved.
Migrating to WooCommerce
While the explosion of Plugin development riding the popularity wave of WooTheme’s WooCommerce has produced hundreds, if not thousands, of e-Commerce extensions store migration between platforms is a niche point with few options available, in our case none supported migrating Order download authorisations which is critical to our store needs as a Plugin distributor.
We had two options:
- use the Jigoshop to WooCommerce extension to migrate our Products over to WooCommerce and start over with a fresh WooCommerce instance with no existing Orders, or
- build a custom WordPress Plugin to take all that is Jigoshop and paint it WooCommerce
After all the hard work generating thousands of Orders, developing our Plugin distribution platform to extend Jigoshop to deliver Plugin updates it was clear we weren’t starting over. Had we gone with a fresh WooCommerce instance we would have been killed resource wise re-building existing Orders and download permissions for over 10,000+ existing Orders, our customer base would have been pissed. We needed to migrate everything and make sure it worked.
We teamed up with Gaetan Ouandja in November 2014 and went to work on migrating each detail from Jigoshop to WooCommerce on a per feature basis, starting small with basic Product details that used simple custom Post meta (e.g. Price, Sale Price, Sale Price Dates) before moving onto Custom Term Taxonomies (e.g. Product Types) and when we were confident moving onto the heavy stuff (Jigoshop custom tables, Product Attributes, Order Items, Download authorisations).
The migrator Plugin was built so that it could run in the background while the new WooCommerce storefront continued to operate and could accept new Orders, another important aspect of the Plugin was that it would continue running as a server process even if the browser session timed out. Having the migration process running as a server process was a life saver as we regularly hit browser time outs running some migration processes and had the process ceased midway through a step it would poison that portion of the WordPress database and require us to take the storefront down while we restore the backup database.
Ater testing and testing and testing on staging sites and local development instances of our storefront it finally was time to to do it on the live site. After a full backup and short notice of scheduled maintenance it was go time.
As of midnight the Jigoshop to WooCommerce migrator has successfully migrated:
- 10,000+ Orders
- 105,000+ Order Items
- 10,000+ download permissions assigned to Orders
- 50+ Products with Variations, electronic download files assigned to both Simple and Variable Product Types
- 50+ Coupons with usage
To say this has been hard work is an understatement but it was so worth it!
We will add a friendly wizard UI as well as an advanced view to the migration Plugin with a goal to distribute this Plugin as a free basic offering on the WordPress Plugins repository and as a Premium Plugin in the next quarter.
For our storefront we will continue to tweak our VLShop Theme to optimise it for WooCommerce as it was originally developed for Jigoshop. With the move to WooCommerce we can offer a better experience to customers by enabling PDF invoicing, multiple currency support, affiliate opportunities, the list goes on…