j[A new, major update of the popular table rate shipping method has finally arrived and it was worth the wait! As always, it is important to note that this is a major update. While many hours of testing happen before the release, minor missed glitches are inevitable. That is why it is always important to backup your website before upgrading to ensure you have a safe point to return to if necessary.
Table Rate 4 was the most developer friendly release yet, which also opened many pathways for the shipping method itself. I’m excited to share with you the biggest additions to version 4.1, so let’s just dive right in!
Shipping Management for Users
You may have already noticed in the User Permission section a field titled Settings can be modified by. It had one option labeled ‘Admins Only’, but not anymore! If you have other members of shop that need to be able to manage shipping, now you can give them that ability without opening access to all of your WooCommerce settings. Permissions can be granted on a user level or a user role level for each method separately. Once permission is granted, the user will be able to see a new page in their dashboard. (Note: Access to the dashboard is required for this feature to work. There is no frontend page for this ability.)
On the primary welcome page the user will see a list of shipping zones, the regions they cover, and which Table Rate methods they have access to manage. The user will only be given the ability to change the table of rates section. The general settings, user permissions, and miscellaneous options must still be configured by an admin. You can learn more about this feature in the knowledgebase article Shipping Controls for Non-Admins.
More UI Improvements
Table Rate Shipping 4.0 introduced a brand new settings page with a more intuitive process. Still, it lacked some coloring and more user interface improvements were needed. In this update, the Table of Rates section received a little more color and special styling to enhance the most important parts of the process.
City Based Shipping
One common question I have received was: how do I specify shipping for my country which has no postal codes? Truth is, there wasn’t a good way, until now! While WooCommerce zones do not have city support, this plugin was able to add a new section to its settings to allow for this. Postal codes are still recommended for countries that have them, so this optional feature was added as an extension instead of being part of the core. You can learn more and download the plugin on the Bolder Elements website: http://bolderelements.net/plugins/shipping-city-table-rates/
More Compatibility Patches
Further extensions were added to the core to help with other popularly used plugins. This is the small beginning to many partnerships I look forward to in the future. We have a long outstanding partnership with WPML, so first and foremost this update resolved an issue facing WPML users who enabled the Single Class Only option. New patches were also included for the following plugins:
Minor issues were also worked out with two restrictions plugins: Role Based Methods and Conditional Shipping and Payments. No specific patch was needed, but other changes made in version 4.1 made it possible to work properly so please update immediately if you are running either of these plugins.
And Many, Many More
In addition to these great changes, there were many updates and fixes, some that you cannot see but will appreciate. A list of additional enhancements can be found below:
- Added: Ability to change the order of options within a single method
- Added: New ‘Time’ condition for shipping options
- Added: Display amount in Description remaining to qualify for free shipping
- Added: Shortcut option to delete existing table rows when importing new ones
- Added: New ‘Cheapest Class’ option add to ‘Single Class Only’ feature
- Fixed: HTML in descriptions not showing up in Cart/Checkout pages
- Fixed: Product selections lost after moving rows within table
- Fixed: Escape characters appearing in titles and descriptions
- Fixed: Rows not sortable for newly added options until page reload
- Enhanced: Added br and p to description’s allowed tags
- Enhanced: Descriptions now appear in emails and order summary pages when applicable
- Enhanced: Exporter error messages are more specific to the exact problem
As always, if you find any issues or concerns with this plugin, please open a support ticket to report the problem.