It’s been a while in the making, but the WooCommerce Fast Filters plugin is finally here (in beta form anyway).
WooCommerce filters – Layered Nav Category filters, Attribute filters and price filters are all REALLY slow. The code they have written for these filters is dreadful – it’s almost like they deliberately wrote the code to be slow once you have more than a few thousand products.
The primary reason their filters are slow is because their code incurs multiple table scans – a table scan means your server has to search the ENTIRE set of tables – your biggest tables too (wp_posts and wp_postmeta). This is bad. It’s the reason indexes exist. A database which is not optimised to use indexes is very similar to just saying screw it, let’s just use text files to store everything.
I mean – there are two reasons databases are useful – one to store your data nicely – help you organise, structure, de-duplicate it etc – and two to retrieve your data quickly. That works so long as the queries against the database are sensible.
Anyway, most of the rant above won’t make it into the final release of this product – in fact – this product will be fully launched on a new sister site I am creating specifically for this plugin and it’s related bundled plugins – that site will be www.wpintense.com (nothing there yet so don’t look).
So – if you’re thinking about joining this beta, you’ll need to decide how far you want to support it so here’s the info you’ll need to help you make your decision. Whatever license you go for will be transferred across to the www.wpintense.com website when it launches.
Fast Filters Beta Launch Features
At this point in time, all you will get to download is the Fast Filters plugin. It has no admin interface yet – it adds replacement widgets which you will need to set up yourself in Appearance->Widgets.
Even if you are not using Widgets, the plugin does a lot of work behind the scenes to optimise what WooCommerce is doing in addition to far superior widget performance.
You get a number of widgets to use instead of the WooCommerce widgets – category, attribute and price – as well as an ajax-based ‘recently viewed products’ widget so you can cache your archive pages.
I’ve temporarily removed ajax filters from the plugin so I could get this launch out but ajax filters will be coming back. A very nice addition I have is that the product detail pages are fetched using Ajax. This means you can use continuous scroll on your archive pages, users can click through to the product detail page, and when they click back – because I used Ajax – I can just reveal the archive page again – i.e. the user doesn’t need to scroll all the way down again to get to the position they were at – they will be right back where they left. This is not in this release just because I need to make an admin interface for it, but if any of you want to test it out let me know and I’ll make a minor modification to your code to enable it.
This plugin gives you replacement widgets.
- Install the plugin and activate it
- Navigate to Appearance->Widgets
- Add the AWD Fast Filters widgets and use them to replace any existing WooCommerce filters you may have
Any questions, use the Q & A tab below.
If any of you feel like recording a screen-shot video of your performance before and after, I would sincerely appreciate your efforts! Any positive or negative feedback greatly appreciated too.
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