In the ever-evolving landscape of eCommerce, it’s crucial to stay updated. One significant change that’s been stirring the pot recently is the removal of the Legacy REST API from WooCommerce. This move is part of a broader effort to enhance the WooCommerce experience for both users and developers, by making the package lighter and the REST API more straightforward.
For those of you who’ve been using the Legacy REST API, or have it enabled in your WooCommerce install, this change might seem a bit daunting but now might be the time to update
What is WooCommerce Legacy REST API
With the launch of WooCommerce 2.6 in 2016, a fresh REST API was introduced, leveraging the WordPress JSON API. This update rendered the previously used REST API – now called the “Legacy” REST API – outdated, and it has been marked as deprecated since. To use it, activation through the admin area is necessary.
The decision has been made to phase out the Legacy REST API with the upcoming WooCommerce 9.0 release, expected in June 2024. However, for those who still require its functionality, a separate extension will be made available, containing all the code that’s being removed.
Effectively, installing and activating this new extension in WooCommerce 9.0 or later will mirror the experience of having the Legacy REST API enabled in versions 8.9 or earlier: there will be no change in how API clients operate, and existing client keys will remain valid.
It’s important to note that webhooks relying on the Legacy REST API for their data (known as “legacy webhooks”) will cease to function with the introduction of WooCommerce 9.0, unless this new extension is installed.
Why was WooCommerce Legacy REST API removed
You might ask, why was the WooCommerce Legacy REST API removed, especially if you’re familiar with its functionality. The truth is, it wasn’t an overnight decision but a measure taken after careful consideration.
The WooCommerce team is dedicated to continually enhancing the platform for both users and developers. This commitment often involves refining and updating their systems to ensure efficiency and usability. As part of this ongoing effort, the team has decided to phase out the Legacy REST API, a component they have advised against using for the past few years. The removal of this outdated API is expected to streamline the WooCommerce release package, making it more lightweight.
Additionally, this step is anticipated to simplify the WooCommerce REST API, making it more accessible and easier to comprehend for developers. This strategic cleanup is a testament to WooCommerce’s dedication to improving the overall experience and performance of the platform.
Separate Woo Extension fo Legacy REST API
Firstly, if you rely on the old Legacy REST API for connecting with third-party services, you’ll have to add a specific Woo extension. This extension contains the code that’s being removed. It’s crucial for keeping your access to the API the same and making sure your existing keys still work. Ignoring this or waiting too long to act could lead to issues for your customers, like not being able to buy products or see shipping costs.
Secondly, if your website uses webhooks — special triggers for sending data — that depend on the Legacy REST API, known as “legacy webhooks,” they won’t work once Woo 9.0 comes out unless you get this extension. Check how your site uses webhooks to see if you need to update them. If you see “Legacy REST API” mentioned anywhere, you’ll need to stick with the legacy plugin until there’s an update from your plugin provider.
Lastly, getting rid of the Legacy REST API means Woo’s updates will be smaller and quicker. This change should also simplify the Woo REST API, making it easier for everyone to use and improve the experience for both users and developers.
Alternatives to WooCommerce Legacy REST API
The WooCommerce REST API that integrates with the WordPress REST API is the alternative to the Legacy REST API. This modern API, unlike its predecessor, is enabled by default and is testament to the developments in WooCommerce over the years.
The REST API documentation for WooCommerce elucidates options for Node.js, PHP, Python, and Ruby integrations. This provides you with a fluid transition from the Legacy REST API to its current iteration, offering a more comprehensive toolkit for your e-commerce needs.
It’s essential to note however that the Legacy REST API was not entirely purged – it was merely deprecated. It’s still possible to enable it within WooCommerce through the Advanced Legacy API in the Settings. Although, it’s strongly recommended to switch over to the more efficient modern REST API.
Remember, progress is the key to growth, and this shift from the Legacy REST API to the current REST API marks a substantial step forward for WooCommerce. As we transition into this new era, users will need to rethink and reimagine their integrations to leverage the full potential of WooCommerce’s current REST API.
How can I tell if this affects me?
If you’re a WooCommerce user, the removal of the Legacy REST API might have struck a chord. So, the real question is – does this affect you? Well, if you’ve integrated the Legacy REST API within your installations, you might feel the impact. Indeed, many store owners are still operating under the wings of the old API, not knowing that its legacy status implies a cautionary tale.
Woo has provided a helpful guide here but here are the main ways
You have the Legacy REST API enabled in your WooCommerce install.
To verify whether the Legacy REST API is activated, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Advanced > Legacy API in your dashboard. If you see that the “Enable the legacy REST API” option is checked, it indicates that the Legacy REST API is currently enabled.
You have legacy webhooks in your WooCommerce install.
To find out if your store has any legacy webhooks, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Advanced > Webhooks in your dashboard. From WooCommerce version 8.3 onwards, you’ll notice a “Legacy” section displaying a number that represents the count of legacy webhooks present on your site.
What action should I take?
If your site falls into any of the categories mentioned above, such as using the Legacy REST API or having legacy webhooks, it’s crucial to install the new extension. This step ensures that external applications can still communicate with your site through the Legacy REST API and that your legacy webhooks keep functioning as expected. To prevent any potential interruptions in service, it’s recommended to complete this installation prior to your server’s update to WooCommerce 9.0. Doing so will help maintain a seamless operation and avoid any downtime or loss of functionality that could impact your site’s performance or the user experience.
WooCommerce Legacy REST API Support
Navigating the complexities of WooCommerce’s Legacy REST API and its extension can be challenging, especially when ensuring your online store operates smoothly without interruption. If you’re encountering difficulties or have questions about the WooCommerce Legacy REST API or its extension, we’re here to help.
At Marketing the Change, we understand the intricacies of WooCommerce and the critical role it plays in your business’s online presence. Our team of experts is equipped to provide you with the support and guidance you need to tackle any challenges head-on. Whether you’re unsure about installing the extension, transitioning to the modern REST API, or optimizing your WooCommerce store for better performance, we’re ready to assist.
Q: What is the WooCommerce Legacy REST API extension?
A: The WooCommerce Legacy REST API extension allows users to continue using the WooCommerce Legacy REST API even after its deprecation. This is particularly useful for sites that have not transitioned to the more modern REST API based on the WordPress JSON API.
Q: Who needs to install the WooCommerce Legacy REST API extension?
A: If your site has a dependency on the WooCommerce Legacy REST API, it’s recommended to install and activate the extension immediately. This ensures that your site continues to function properly when you update to WooCommerce 9.0.
Q: How can I install the WooCommerce Legacy REST API extension?
A: You can download the
woocommerce-legacy-rest-api-1.0.zip file from the dedicated GitHub release page and upload it to your site. Detailed instructions are available on the release page.
Q: Is the extension available on the WordPress.org plugins directory?
A: As of the last update, the extension was available as a GitHub release. It will be added to the WordPress.org plugins directory once the approval process is complete.