Running an eCommerce site with platforms like WooCommerce can be quite lucrative. However, sometimes you might see something like “v=123f456j789” within a product’s link of a web browser. What is this link and why does it look so terrible compared to the other part of the URL?
A lot of website designers put effort into making permalink URLs more search engine friendly and “pretty.” So, when a seemingly random string of numbers appears in the URL, it’s understandable how some might panic.
In this tutorial, I’m going to explain what this part of the the WordPress URL is and how you may deal with it.
What Is the “v=XXXX” String and Why You Need It
The “v=XXXX” part of the WordPress URL is part of many eCommerce systems including WooCommerce. In most cases, it signifies a potential customer’s location so shipping plugins can calculate correct postage and tax rates during a purchase.
And you want your system to provide accurate quotes if you want to keep the buyer happy.
In WordPress, the v=XXXX part of the URL for WooCommerce is compatible with various caching plugins like W3 Total Cache. The end result is a website that is fast and easy to use for the customer as well as search engines.
Removing the v=XXXX Path from WooCommerce
Because of its function, you may want to reconsider disabling the v=XXXX part of the URL. Many customers would prefer to know how much an item is in total before making a purchase.
Some may simply want a clean URL appearance or don’t offer taxes and shipping costs in quotes. Regardless of your reasons, it’s easy to remove the WooCommerce v=XXXX from the URL.
Go to the Settings portion of WooCommerce in WordPress.
Scroll down to the “Default customer location” drop down window.
Change the option to “No location by default.” You can also use “Shop base address” as well. This tells WooCommerce that it doesn’t need to discover a shopper’s geographic location to estimate shipping or taxes.
Scroll to the bottom of the page and click, “Save Changes.”
This will remove the v=XXXX path from WooCommerce when someone visits a product.
Using Geolocate without Adding v=XXXX URL String
If you want to include shipping and taxes in estimations for guests without showing the v=XXXX part of the URL, you can always set the default customer location to “Geolocate.”
The problem with using “Geolocate” on its own is that it doesn’t support page caching. So if you use plugins to speed up your site such as W3, the system will not be compatible.
In the long run, you want caching enabled on your site if you want to keep it fast and efficient. Removing such elements puts your online store at a disadvantage as most shoppers will leave a website if it takes too long to load. This means you’ll easily lose customers.
Given the way WooCommerce and caching work, you may simply have to settle with the v=XXXX string being displayed in the customer’s web browser. In reality, this string isn’t going to impact a lot of decision making form serious shoppers. That’s going to be determined by your site’s layout, pricing scheme and overall performance.
Keep the Online Store’s System Streamlined
I suggest leaving caching enabled and don’t put much thought into the v=XXXX part of the WooCommerce URL if you offer shipping and tax estimates. There are far more important elements that will influence a shopper such as using SSL and providing detailed items descriptions. Don’t sacrifice the speed and performance boosts from caching just to make the URL pretty.
What kind of customization do you use to improve shopper experience for your store? What’s your favorite plugin for engaging customers?