Understanding WooCommerce order number creation and customization options
Why use WooCommerce?
Amongst many others on market, WooCommerce is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms for WordPress due to its simplicity, flexibility, and user experience, making up almost 30% of all e-commerce online platforms.
The basic WooCommerce plugin is a free installation (added bonus!) with the flexibility to add a huge number of plugins and extensions, some of which are also free, which greatly increases functionality.
As one of the largest e-commerce platforms available, WooCommerce also has a very smart development team, allowing the plugin to constantly evolve and improve to better suit the needs of the new age e-commerce integrated platform. Its only smart that you look at the possibilities with WooCommerce!
Getting to know your WooCommerce dashboard
Once you have set up your e-commerce store with all your required functionalities, familarise yourself with the WooCommerce dashboard and order processing. This can be done with the numerous YouTube videos and tutorial videos available online through WooCommerce.
Hey presto! You have just received a few orders through your online store, but you may be a bit shocked when you realise that the order numbers are all over the place, with no sort of sequential order. It may cause you distress to see thinking that something is amiss within the setup, but rest assured, there is a reasonable explanation for why this occurs.
WooCommerce’s default approach for generating order numbers
For those who are just starting out with WooCommerce, and WordPress for that matter, you may be unaware that the systems essentially work together to function. In simple terms, content actions across your WordPress website are monitored and tracked using sequential ID numbers that are recorded in WordPress’s core database. This includes content actions within WooCommerce as well.
every time you complete an action on your website (publishing a blog, adding a page, adding an image to the media library, or in the WooCommerce case, processing an order) it is assigned a sequential ID number. These numbers, while sequential in the WordPress database, can come across as jumbled in a list of WooCommerce orders.
For example, if you process an order and it is assigned ID number #2325. After that, you publish a new blog to the website which is assigned to ID number #2326. When your next order comes in, it will be assigned the next available ID number, in this case it would be ID number #2327.
Essentially, this looks strange as it’s like an order has been missed, but this is not the case. Each action in WordPress has its own unique ID number, including within WooCommerce.
The benefit of non-sequential order numbers
WooCommerce, while customisable with so many plugins and extensions, is, at its core, a very simple e-commerce plugin, designed to be fast and efficient in processing online transactions. By having the order numbers auto generated using the WordPress core ID, rather than generating specific order numbers just for WooCommerce, the data does not need to be stored within WooCommerce itself, hence keeping the plugin fast.
How do I get sequential order numbers in my WooCommerce setup?
If seemingly random WordPress-generated order numbers is not workable for your business, there are solutions available. Sequential Order Numbers Pro is a WooCommerce extension that allows you to generate sequentially ordered numbers every time you have an order come through.
While it doesn’t override the WordPress ID number from being assigned to that specific order – it essentially shows separate sequential order numbers that are specific to WooCommerce orders.
Where can I download Sequential Order Numbers Pro?
Sequential Order Numbers Pro is made by SkyVerge, a WooCommerce partner, and is available from the WooCommerce online platform. It is currently priced at 49USD, billed annually.
You can also search for, and purchase, the plugin from your WordPress dashboard. Once the plugin has been purchased and downloaded to your computer, you can add it to your website by uploading the ZIP file to the Plugins section.
Once installed, you can activate and then access the main settings from your WooCommerce dashboard dropdown. By default, the order numbers will be set to start at #001, but you have the flexibility to update this to start at any number of your choosing.
Special features of Sequential Order Numbers Pro
With the Sequential Order Numbers Pro plugin, you can also elect to add the year, day or time as the prefix or suffix to your order numbers. This can be highly beneficial for accounting purposes if you are storing order data and need them filed by year or date.
The plugin also gives you the flexibility to skip order numbers for orders that have zero cash exchange, i.e. free orders, so in terms of recording sales via order number, it becomes easier to distinguish between full price orders and discounted/free orders.
Are there any other alternatives to Sequential Order Numbers Pro?
There are multiple options on the market from different development companies. All plugins have different achievable functionality. For sequential order numbers within your WooCommerce store, we can also recommend Custom Order Numbers by WooCommerce plugin partner Addify. Also priced at $49U, billed annually, Custom Order Numbers gives you similar functionality to the Sequential Order Number Pro plugin, but additionally allows customisation of order numbers.
The Custom Order Numbers plugin gives you 11 variables in which to customise your specific order numbers, while the latter allows you to customise by number, year, and date. Which plugin you choose is going to depend on what functionality you are wanting to achieve.
As with any plugin purchase for your website, it’s important that you research the functionality that the plugin gives, its costs and associated features and also, when purchasing your plugin, make sure you online purchase from genuine online distributors such as WooCommerce or WordPress.org.
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