Help & Resource Center

WP Engine & Large WooCommerce Catalogs

Question

The integration seems to be taking a long time to update products on my WooCommerce website.  Can we speed it up so my products, inventory, and pricing get updated more frequently?

Answer

We took a look at your website and more importantly where your website is hosted.  Your website is being hosted by a company called WP Engine.  We've experienced a lot of problems with WP Engine when a customer has a large catalog like yours.  You sell around 5,000 shoes with various widths and sizes.  These additional widths and sizes mean your catalog is more like 50,000 items because each variation is a separate item.

The problem lies in WP Engine's use of WordPress's default cron, called WP-Cron, and the limits they place on it.  We typically see WP-Cron set to have a 1-minute timeout.  Meaning, an update will fail if it takes longer than one minute to complete.  To get around this problem we need to send smaller updates with fewer products so the updates complete within this one minute window.  Unfortunately, with a large catalog such as yours, this can be very problematic.  Not only is it hard to keep it updated on a "normal day" but it is also extremely hard to update all your prices when you run a big sale.  It can take hours to update your catalog in these cases.

Solution

Pick another plan with WP Engine that allows WP-Cron to be set higher.  We have many clients using dedicated plans with WP Engine and things run extremely smooth because it allows them to set WP-Cron's timeout at pretty much anything they want.  

WP-Cron vs Crontab

We also recommend using Crontab over WP-Cron whenever possible.  Crontab operates within the operating systems instead of WordPress, which we've found to be more reliable.

Please let us know if you have any more questions by submitting a support request in the Admin Panel.  Thank you.