After adding support for Google Analytics 4 tracking codes, an update to the Google Ads Dynamic Remarketing codes are here as well as support for server-side containers with custom domains.
So that is new in v1.13?
Deprecated some options to head to the future
The list of new features is always the most interesting part of any version announcement. Let me do things differently this time, since there are many changes under the hood that does not alter the way, you can use GTM4WP after the update, but you should act as soon as possible to prepare for coming changes.
Classic / standard ecommerce tracking will go away soon
This used to be THE ecommerce tracking in Google Tag Manager and in Google Analytics. But this was many years ago. We have enhanced ecommerce since years which is now the only option if you would like to track ecommerce with Google Analytics 4.
This also means that I would like to encourage you to migrate to enhanced ecommerce tracking if you have not already upgraded yet. This will be a mandatory step soon with GTM4WP so do not give yourself much time to do so. It will not be hard, the Google Analyitcs 3 version of the enhanced ecommerce setup article mentions how to unplug standard ecommerce tracking in your Google Tag Manager container.
Minimum supported PHP version will be raised to PHP 7.2 or newer
PHP is the programming language behind WordPress. Just as every software, this evolves with new version releases year over year. What would you say if a friend of you would tell you he/she is still using Microsoft Word 2013? Or even Office 2000? Unfortunately, there are still many websites running on such old PHP versions which are not maintained anymore. No security updates, nothing.
While I am writing this article, PHP 7.2 is nearing its end of the product life-cycle which means any host running this version will lose security updates soon. You have the option to move to PHP 7.3, 7.4 or 8.0. This is not an easy task since some plugins and themes are not yet fully compatible with those PHP versions. Most of the well-maintained ones are however already done the job and you are safe to make the switch. Do not forget to first test your site on a separate test server.
GTM4WP works with PHP 7.4. PHP 8.0 will be fully tested soon.
Minimum supported WordPress version will be raised to 5.0 soon
Just as with PHP, WordPress has evolved a lot. Most WordPress instances are updated regularly therefore this planned change will not affect most GTM4WP users.
Minimum supported WooCommerce version will be raised to 5.0 soon
I guess you already know the reasons and again, hopefully this will not affect many of you.
Updating minimum supported versions will allow this plugin to remove lots of legacy code and to improve features in a more modern way.
Updated Google Ads Dynamic Remarketing support
GTM4WP already supports dynamic remarketing for Google Ads with WooCommerce. The implementation however was outdated. Since the Google Ads remarketing tag in Google Tag Manager now has a better option to track user interactions with products, it was time to implement this into GTM4WP as well.
The setup article for dynamic remarketing has been updated, you can now make the switch. This also means yet another deprecation in this plugin: the old-fashioned way will be removed later this year. If your Google Tag Manager setup still relies on ecomm_ data layer variables, you should update your tags and triggers and remove them from your container.
Support for server-side containers with custom domains
Server-side containers in Google Tag Manager is a great new way to collect data on your website maintaining data quality as well as user consent. One important opportunity is to load your web container using your own custom domain/subdomain. If you would like to use this feature, you can now enter your custom domain name under the Advanced tab of GTM4WP.
Support for automatic cookie blocking mode of Cookiebot
Getting user consent for data collection is your best option in 2021 to implement privacy safe tracking. You can use lots of consent management solutions to achieve this. One of the most known tools is Cookiebot that has an automatic cookie blocking feature which can integrate with Google Tag Manager as well. For this integration to work, a small addition is needed in your GTM container code. You can now turn on this integration.
What is coming next?
There are still many items on the roadmap, among other things v1.14 will focus on the following areas
- remove jQuery dependency to better support site speed improvement projects
- support for WooCommerce Blocks
I hope you will enjoy these additions and make your measurement more robust and insightful.