When the announcement came out yesterday that WooCommerce would no longer sell their well-known Canvas theme, I admit, I wasn’t surprised.
There had been a lot of chatter recently about Canvas and its future.
Heck, we were chatting about it earlier this month among members of our Metro Detroit WordPress group.
One of our members learned from a third-party that WooCommerce would not be investing more time into developing the popular theme.
Yet, nothing was announced by WooCommerce until this week.
WooCommerce’s Canvas Theme Announcement
Yesterday, Canvas lead developer Jeff Pearce announced:
We’ve come to a difficult decision: as of today, we’re no longer selling Canvas.
That announcement had to be difficult.
Canvas is one of the most popular WordPress themes. Seven years ago, it was one of the most talked about themes at our meetups.
What I liked about Pearce’s announcement:
- He was direct and to the point
- Explained that Canvas, with its old legacy code, could no longer work well as a site builder with the newer versions of WordPress
- Provided information for customers with active subscriptions and lifetime subscriptions
- Offered a migration path for current Canvas customers
Kudos to Pearce for being upfront and detailing what users can expect.
What You Need to Know
So, if your site is using Canvas, here’s what you need to know:
- Canvas theme will no longer be sold
- Canvas won’t immediately stop working, but it won’t support newer WordPress features (Customizer and new Editor features)
- Support for Canvas will continue for active subscriptions until the subscriptions end.
- Customers with lifetime subscriptions will continue to receive support through October 24, 2018.
- Existing documentation for Canvas is available online
- Reported bugs will continue to be fixed.
- You have a year to make a decision about what theme to move to.
- Get help for choosing and changing a theme
- Depending on your requirements, the free Storefront theme may be a good replacement for Canvas
- WooCommerce has put together a helpful Moving on From Canvas guide that covers templates, shortcodes, as well as hooks and filters
- WooCommerce Happiness Engineers are available for advice
Canvas is no longer for sale and is no longer the best choice for a successful WordPress site. Using a different, more modern theme will put you and your site on a better path for success.
From reading the comments in their post, the WooCommerce team have dedicated themselves to help customers in making a smooth transition to a new theme.
If you have an unusual circumstance, perhaps a few dozen Canvas sites that need to migrate, or other questions regarding your site move, contact their support team.