Troubleshooting WooCommerce – Fixing 10 Common WooCommerce Errors

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Problems

Troubleshooting WooCommerce is something every WooCommerce store owner and WooCommerce developer will need to do at some stage. WooCommerce is an excellent choice for any business owners looking to sell online. It’s flexible, customisable and extendable and powers hundreds of thousands of eCommerce websites across the world.

However, like any complex system, WooCommerce can sometimes hit snags that may appear overwhelming to users. Whether it’s the frightening white screen of death or puzzling payment gateway issues, troubleshooting WooCommerce can sometimes be akin to trying to untangle a giant ball of knotted wool. But fear not, in this guide, our expert WooCommerce developers will delve into each of some of the most common WooCommerce problems and teach you how you can troubleshoot WooCommerce yourself.

Identifying Common WooCommerce Issues

Being able to identify issues is the first step in troubleshooting WooCommerce. There are a myriad of problems that might arise when running a WooCommerce store. Common issues include:

  1. WooCommerce checkout and cart issues,
  2. Plugin and theme conflicts,
  3. Shipping and payment gateway issues,
  4. Login and database errors,
  5. Site performance and speed problems,
  6. Product display and import errors,
  7. Code and API errors,
  8. Tax, coupon, and inventory issues,
  9. SEO and multisite problems.
  10. WooCommerce Update problems

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Checkout and Cart Issues

Common WooCommerce Checkout Problems and Their Solutions

Checkouts are the lifeblood of any WooCommerce store. If customers can’t check out, you won’t make any sales. Some of the common checkout problems in WooCommerce include the infamous “cart is empty” error, payment gateway malfunction, and unexpected shipping options. Here is how you can troubleshoot WooCommerce to fix those issues:

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Cart Is Empty Errors

Are you encountering the frustrating “cart is empty” error while using WooCommerce? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. This common issue can arise due to various reasons, such as conflicts with plugins or themes, or even caching problems. In this detailed troubleshooting guide, we’ll explore the possible causes of the error and provide you with effective solutions to get your WooCommerce cart up and running smoothly again.

Identify Plugin or Theme Conflicts

One of the primary reasons for the “cart is empty” error is a conflict with a plugin or theme. To narrow down the culprit, follow these steps:

  1. Deactivate Plugins: Start by deactivating your plugins one by one. Begin with the most recently installed or updated plugins and test your cart after each deactivation. If the error disappears, the last deactivated plugin is likely causing the conflict.
  2. Switch to Default Theme: If deactivating plugins doesn’t resolve the issue, switch to a default theme like Twenty Twenty-One temporarily. This step helps determine if the problem lies with your current theme.

By systematically deactivating plugins and switching themes, you can pinpoint the source of the conflict and take appropriate action.

Check for Caching Issues

Caching can sometimes interfere with the proper functioning of your WooCommerce cart, leading to the “cart is empty” error. Follow these steps to troubleshoot caching problems:

  1. Clear Browser Cache: Start by clearing your browser cache. Browsers often store temporary data that can conflict with the latest changes made to your WooCommerce setup.
  2. Clear WordPress Cache: If you’re using a caching plugin, clear its cache to ensure it doesn’t interfere with the cart functionality.
  3. Disable Caching Plugins: Temporarily disable any caching plugins you have installed and test your cart. If the error disappears, it indicates a caching conflict.

By addressing caching issues, you can ensure a smoother shopping experience for your customers.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Payment Gateway Issues

Payment gateway problems can prevent customers from completing their transactions. Here are some steps to troubleshoot payment gateway issues:

  1. Verify Settings: Double-check your payment gateway settings to ensure they are accurate. Incorrect settings can lead to failed transactions or empty carts.
  2. Update Plugins: Outdated payment gateway plugins may not be compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce. Update all your plugins to their latest versions to ensure compatibility and fix any known issues.
  3. Compatibility Check: Check if your chosen payment gateway plugin is compatible with your WooCommerce version. Some plugins might require specific WooCommerce versions to function correctly. Refer to the plugin documentation or contact the plugin developer for assistance.

By ensuring accurate settings, updating plugins, and verifying compatibility, you can overcome payment gateway hurdles and streamline the checkout process.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Checkout Shipping Problems

If unexpected shipping options appear at checkout, it indicates a misconfiguration of your shipping zones or methods. Follow these steps to troubleshoot shipping problems:

  1. Verify Shipping Settings: Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping and review your shipping configuration. Ensure you have set up your shipping zones, methods, and rates correctly. Incorrectly configured shipping options can confuse customers and result in abandoned carts.
  2. Test Different Scenarios: Place test orders with various shipping addresses to verify if the correct shipping options appear. This step helps you identify any issues with specific zones or methods.
  3. Update Shipping Plugins: If you use shipping plugins, make sure they are up to date. Outdated plugins may cause conflicts or display incorrect shipping options.

By fine-tuning your shipping settings, you can provide accurate and reliable shipping options during the checkout process.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Plugin and Theme Conflicts

How to Identify and Resolve Plugin Conflicts

The extensive library of plugins that can enhance your WooCommerce store is both a blessing and a potential curse. While these plugins can supercharge your e-commerce capabilities, they can also cause conflicts, resulting in strange behaviour or outright errors on your site.

If your WooCommerce store is acting up, a plugin conflict is often the culprit. To troubleshoot, start by deactivating all your plugins except for WooCommerce. If the issue disappears, you’ll know a plugin is to blame. To pinpoint the troublemaker, reactivate your plugins one by one, checking your site after each one. When the problem reappears, you’ll have identified your problem plugin.

Resolving a plugin conflict can sometimes be as simple as making sure all your plugins, your theme, and your version of WordPress are all up to date. If the problem persists, you may need to replace the offending plugin with an alternative, or reach out to the plugin’s developer for support.

Fixing WooCommerce Theme Conflicts

Like plugins, themes can also be a source of conflict in WooCommerce. To identify a theme conflict, you can conduct a similar process to the plugin conflict test, but instead, switch your theme to a default WordPress theme, like Twenty Twenty-One or Twenty Twenty.

If the issue disappears after switching themes, you’ve got a theme conflict on your hands. To resolve this, ensure your theme and all plugins are up to date. If the issue persists, you may need to choose a new theme or contact the theme developer for support.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Shipping and Payment Gateway Issues

Resolving Common Shipping Method Problems

Incorrect shipping options, missing shipping methods, or no shipping methods at all – these issues can wreak havoc on your checkout process and leave your customers frustrated. Fortunately, most shipping issues stem from incorrect settings, and as such, can be easily rectified.

For instance, if your customers aren’t seeing the right shipping options, it could be that your shipping zones aren’t set up correctly. Check your settings under WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping to ensure they’re in order.

Similarly, if certain shipping methods are missing, it could be due to a conflict with a plugin or your theme. Follow the troubleshooting steps outlined above to identify any potential conflicts.

How to Troubleshoot WooCommerce Payment Gateway Issues

Payment gateway issues can range from the gateway not appearing at checkout, to transactions not processing, or even orders marked as ‘failed’. These problems can often be traced back to incorrect settings, outdated plugins, or compatibility issues.

Firstly, ensure that your payment gateway settings are correct. Check your WooCommerce > Settings > Payments section to ensure your desired payment methods are enabled and their settings are properly configured.

Secondly, ensure that your payment gateway plugin and WooCommerce are both up to date. An outdated plugin or WooCommerce version can often cause unexpected issues.

If your transactions aren’t processing or orders are marked as ‘failed’, your payment gateway’s API settings could be to blame. Check the API settings in your WooCommerce and payment gateway accounts to make sure they’re correctly configured.

Lastly, always check the WooCommerce System Status report for any outstanding issues or errors related to your payment gateway.

Fixing WooCommerce Login and Database Errors

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Login Problems

Login problems can frustrate your customers and result in lost sales. Common issues include customers not being able to log in, forgotten password functionality not working, or even new users unable to register.

If your customers can’t log in, it could be due to a caching or cookie issue. Ensure your caching settings are correctly configured and that cookies are enabled on your site.

In case the forgotten password feature is not working, check your email settings in WooCommerce > Settings > Emails to make sure the forgotten password email is enabled and correctly set up.

If new users can’t register, make sure customer registration is enabled on your site. This setting can be found under WooCommerce > Settings > Accounts & Privacy.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Database Errors

Database errors can be particularly daunting as they typically involve more technical aspects of your WooCommerce store. They might manifest as your website failing to load, certain features not working, or error messages popping up on your site.

WooCommerce uses your WordPress database to store all kinds of data, from product details to order information. Any issues with your database can thus have a significant impact on your site.

When dealing with database errors, it’s recommended to have a recent backup of your site at hand, as some troubleshooting steps might involve manipulating your database, which always carries some risk.

Common solutions to database errors include repairing the database, cleaning up database tables, or even restoring your database from a backup. If you’re not comfortable with these steps, it might be best to seek professional assistance.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Performance and Speed Problems

How often have you found yourself grumbling at a website taking ages to load, only to abandon it entirely? Don’t let your customers experience the same with your WooCommerce store. Here are some power-ups to help:

  1. Image Optimization: Our eyes love HD pictures, but our servers and connections, not so much. Fortunately, tools like Smush or EWWW Image Optimizer let us have our cake and eat it too, compressing images to a fraction of their size without losing quality. Your website then becomes lighter, faster and more responsive – a win-win situation!
  2. Use Caching Plugins: It’s simple: what you fetch frequently, you store closer to home. That’s the principle behind plugins like W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache. By storing regularly accessed data, these plugins can dramatically decrease server load and speed up your website.
  3. Enable Lazy Loading: Ever heard of the saying “Out of sight, out of mind”? Lazy loading takes it quite literally. It defers loading of offscreen images and content until the user scrolls to them, making your pages quicker off the mark.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Product Display and Import Errors

Ensuring your products are displayed without a hitch is vital. After all, customers can’t buy what they can’t see. Here’s your go-to guide:

  1. Check Import File Format: Importing products is like fitting pieces into a puzzle. The shapes must match. Ensure your import files, be it CSV or XML, are formatted as per WooCommerce guidelines.
  2. Validate Data Integrity: A tiny error can cause a big problem. Regularly validate product data such as SKUs, prices, and descriptions to prevent import errors.
  3. Conflicting Plugins: Sometimes, plugins don’t play nice with each other. If you suspect a conflict, temporarily disable other plugins to identify and rectify the issue.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Code and API Errors

Technical glitches can turn a smooth sail into a choppy ride. Don’t let code or API errors sink your store. Here are some lifeboats:

  1. Review Recent Changes: If you’ve recently tinkered with your codebase, go back and double-check. Your problem might be hiding there.
  2. Check API Credentials: The right key opens the right door. Make sure your API credentials are current and correct to prevent integration issues with external services.
  3. Utilize Error Logs and Debugging Tools: A detective follows the clues, and so should you. Enable WordPress debug mode and use error logging tools to track and eliminate code and API errors.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Tax, Coupon, and Inventory Issues

Behind every successful sale is a lot of careful planning and management. Here’s how you can resolve common transaction issues:

  1. Verify Tax Settings: The taxman waits for no one. Make sure your tax settings are accurately configured in line with your business needs and regulations.
  2. Address Coupon Conflicts: Imagine the frustration when a valid coupon doesn’t work! To prevent such mishaps, review your coupon settings regularly, ensuring they work as intended.
  3. Inventory Synchronization: In an ideal world, all systems would talk to each other perfectly. But we aren’t there yet. So manually verify that your WooCommerce inventory aligns with external systems to avoid any stock discrepancies.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce SEO and Multisite Problems

Attracting customers and ensuring seamless multi-site operations can often seem daunting, but fret not! Here are solutions for some common SEO and Multisite woes:

  1. Improve SEO: Your store must be easily found among the sea of online competitors. Use SEO plugins such as Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack to optimise your store’s visibility in search engine results.
  2. Fix Technical SEO issues: Technical SEO issues can prevent search engines from fully understanding and indexing your site. Sitemap plugins and Google Search Console can help identify and fix these issues, ensuring your site’s content is correctly indexed.
  3. Manage Multisites: Operating multiple WooCommerce stores can be challenging, but the right approach makes it easier. Use WordPress Multisite, which allows you to manage multiple stores from a single dashboard. To avoid potential issues, ensure your server has the necessary resources to handle multiple sites and that your configuration is correctly set up.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce Update Problems

Keeping WooCommerce up to date is key to keeping your website secure and performing well. However, as WooCommerce sites can have multiple WooCommerce extensions installed, updating WooCommerce can sometimes can issues such as lack of functionality or even a completely broken website.

When troubleshooting WooCommerce update problems you should:

  1. Check Plugins: If you have updated your WooCommerce site and it breaks you should already know which of the plugin updates broke the website. However, in instances where an auto-update may have broken your WooCommerce website you can find the culprit by disabling all plugins and reenabling them one by one until the site beaks again. You’ve now found the plugin that is causing the conflict and can look at either replacing it, rolling back all updates or reaching out to the WordPress plugin developer to alert them to the issue.
  2. Restore from a Backup: Every WooCommerce website owner should be taking regular backups of their site’s files and database. When troubleshooting WooCommerce issues it can be helpful to restore your site from a recent backup before systematically testing updates on a staging or development clone of your website.


By adopting these best practices and solutions, you can significantly improve the performance and reliability of your WooCommerce store, providing a seamless shopping experience for your customers and driving increased sales.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce can be a daunting task but one that it is vital you, as a site owner, are prepared for. Troubleshooting WooCommerce issues quickly can mean the difference between sales and no-sales and a broken website will result in losing customers who will simply buy elsewhere.

Need Help Troubleshooting WooCommerce issues?

Over the past 18 years we have encountered hundreds of WooCommerce issues – both big and small. Our WooCommerce experts regularly fix all kinds of WooCommerce problems and if troubleshooting WooCommerce is something your company needs help with, WP Focus is standing by to help you.

Troubleshooting WooCommerce can sometimes only take a minute or two so contact us today and we will investigate your WooCommerce problem immediately. When troubleshooting WooCommerce, we don’t charge anything for investigating WooCommerce problems so if we can’t fix your WooCommerce website problems, there’s no charge for you.

In a lot of cases, we may be able to identify something you can quickly fix yourself and if so, we’ll let you know that too! Troubleshooting WooCommerce issues with WP Focus is a quick, easy and affordable process so contact our WooCommerce experts today to get started.

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