WooCommerce High-Performance Order Storage (HPOS) – What You Need to Know and Why

WooCommerce has historically stored orders data as specially formatted entries in the standard WordPress post system. Although it sounds odd that order data would be stored alongside your blog posts, everything tied to WordPress core on a structural level is considered a post. It’s important to note that the HPOS change is not related to security; rather, it will allow WooCommerce to store order data more efficiently.

WooCommerce began the project in 2022, as a way to separate the data in the site database into more streamlined and performant custom database tables.

What is HPOS?

Basically, HPOS how WooCommerce will now store orders data – in dedicated tables. Orders in their own tables allows your shop to scale more easily, simplifies your orders data storage, and increases relatability. According to WooCommerce, HPOS will greatly improve order speed, order creation speed, and checkout speed.

  • Scalability – dedicated tables (which also means dedicated indexes, less busy tables, less read/write, etc.) means shops of any size can handle larger order volume without additional plugins or intervention. If your store experiences significant growth and an increased number of orders, HPOS is structured to meet this demand without significant loss in performance. Overall, HPOS will enhance your store performance as it reduces the load on your WordPress database. Remember, better performance = better user experience for your customers!
  • Simplicity – HPOS means order data is now independent of the WordPress post system, making it easier to know exactly where the orders data lives. This is incredibly helpful for site owners and developers who wish to modify WooCommerce.
  • Reliability – dedicated tables will make it easier to create and restore backups. It also creates the ability to implement read/write locks.

What does this mean for current WooCommerce websites?

Currently, the HPOS feature is an opt-in experience. As there are certain third party plugins that prevent the HPOS feature from working properly, the update allows for switching between posts/postmeta tables and the new HPOS dedicated tables.

If you wish to fully utilize the HPOS feature, you’ll need to make sure that all your third party plugins are updated to their latest versions and/or phase out any incompatible plugins. If you choose to utilize HPOS, and your site has an incompatible plugin, you’ll see the message below.

If you see this message, first check to see if your plugin has pending updates that will make it compatible with HPOS. If you don’t have any pending updates, you can reach out to the plugin developer to see if there are plans to support HPOS in the near future.

If the plugin developer does not have a plan for HPOS support, we can help you find alternative plugin solutions where appropriate – schedule a call with us to get the conversation started!

HPOS – Our Recommendation

Here at Sprucely Designed, we recommend moving your store to the HPOS system. We are currently reviewing all of our managed WordPress sites on a case by case basis, and enabling HPOS when it’s safe to do so. Once we migrate a store to the new HPOS system, it will remain in compatibility mode for 30 days while we monitor site data and performance.

Not a current Sprucely Designed client and interested in how HPOS could improve your WooCommerce site? Schedule a free consultation call with us today!

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