WooCommerce: Solving the “Cart is Empty” issue

For some reason, sometimes you add products to cart but the cart page stays empty (even if you can clearly see the cart widget has products). But don’t worry – it might just be a simple cache issue (and if you don’t know what cache is that’s no problem either).

Here’s your “Empty Cart” troubleshooting check-list you can follow without any technical knowledge.

Fix 1. Make sure there is no “red alert” under WooCommerce / System Status

WooCommerce System Status OK
WooCommerce System Status OK

Fix 2. Click the following buttons under WooCommerce / System Status / Tools

WooCommerce: fix the cart is empty issue
WooCommerce: fix the cart is empty issue

Fix 3. Check your Theme, WooCommerce & WordPress are using updated, compatible versions

Some premium themes won’t notify you if there is an update available. You have to make sure you’re using the latest, Woo-compatible version. Check with your theme vendor, plugin developers and see if anything has been reported.

For example, you might have updated WooCommerce too soon – sometimes premium plugins/themes require a few days/weeks before they can adapt to the new changes (if major) and become 100% compatible.

Fix 4. Save (flush) your permalinks

Go to WordPress/Settings/Permalinks and click on “save”. This should flush the permalinks and give you a chance to test the cart again.

Fix 5. Check you have no spaces in your checkout end-points

Go to WooCommerce/Settings/Checkout and make sure you have no spaces in your end-points. This happened to a client a while ago and it too me ages to find out (who would think the permalinks had been changed?):

WooCommerce Checkout Endpoints
WooCommerce Checkout Endpoints

Fix 6. Properly set up your WordPress cache plugin

Cart and Checkout pages should not be cached – if your WordPress cache plugin is for some reason caching WooCommerce pages, your cart will probably show as empty. Make sure to select a WooCommerce-compatible cache plugin 🙂

Also: ask your hosting to disable or properly set up server cache

Some hosts have their own cache system and this is sometimes applied to your website by default. Create a ticket or give them a quick call to find out if they have anything like that and if they can disable that as soon as possible.

For example: WPEngine uses its own cache. This might affect your WooCommerce Cart. Please contact support so they can create a caching exception list for WooCommerce and/or ajax files

Fix 7. Disable all plugins but WooCommerce

This is a typical troubleshooting operation. Disable all plugins and see if the Cart is back functioning. If YES, reactivate one plugin at a time and test the Cart again. As soon as you find the “guilty” plugin – yay! – time to substitute that plugin or see if there is an update available!

Fix 8. Try switching to a default WordPress Theme (e.g. TwentySixteen)

This is to prove the error is not theme-related. You won’t lose any content if you switch between themes, so don’t worry. If the error goes away, then check with your theme developers and report the bug 🙂

Where to add this snippet?

You can place PHP snippets at the bottom of your child theme functions.php file (before “?>” if you have it). CSS, on the other hand, goes in your child theme style.css file. Make sure you know what you are doing when editing such files – if you need more guidance, please take a look at my free video tutorial “Where to Place WooCommerce Customization?”

Does this snippet (still) work?

Please let me know in the comments if everything worked as expected. I would be happy to revise the snippet if you report otherwise (please provide screenshots). I have tested this code with Storefront theme, the WooCommerce version listed above and a WordPress-friendly hosting on PHP 7+.

If you think this code saved you time & money, please join other Business Bloomer supporters and avail of 365 days of WooCommerce benefits. Thank you in advance 🙂

Need Help with WooCommerce Customization?

Check out these free video tutorials. You can start learning how to customize WooCommerce without unnecessary plugins. Watch me code and learn by example!

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