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Everyone knows WooCommerce. It’s the biggest and most popular ecommerce platform on WordPress, due to its free pricing, rich-feature list, and massive extendability. If you’re planning on opening an ecommerce store, WooCommerce is likely the first plugin you’ll download.
It already comes with quite a few features at no cost, not even a cut of your sales. But the elements it includes are generic, suitable for the majority of websites. If you want to create a specialized store with unique features, you’ll need WooCommerce extensions.
Extensions help you tailor the platform to your exact needs, and there are thousands of them, adding essentially any feature you can think of.
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We’ll show you where to find the best WooCommerce extensions and how to install them on your site.
WordPress by default doesn’t come with any way to sell products or set up a functional online store. Many ecommerce plugins were created to rectify this, but WooCommerce has risen to the top in terms of popularity.
WooCommerce is a free, open source ecommerce platform that lets you sell products in WordPress. You can market physical and digital products, it’s easily modular using extensions, and it’s completely compatible with most themes.
And there are no strings attached. The core of it is all free with no product restrictions. With all its features, it’s no wonder 5 million small and large stores alike use it as their backend. You can download WooCommerce from WordPress’ official plugin repository and follow our guide on setting it up.
But how does WooCommerce make money?
While all the necessary features come at no cost, they sell premium themes and extensions, and many third-party developers also create their own WooCommerce extensions.
What Are WooCommerce Extensions?
Image source: WooCommerce
While the platform offers quite a lot of out-of-the-box functionality, it won’t be able to cover everything you might possibly need. Bloating the base program with functionality only some stores can use would make WooCommerce difficult to navigate and harder to learn.
That’s where third-party WooCommerce extensions come in. Similar to WordPress plugins, WooCommerce extensions add extra features to your store. They might include new types of products such as memberships or subscriptions, integrate with postal service APIs to track shipping or allow you to purchase through new payment gateways. Some add one small feature, while others are more like entire overhauls.
You can find WooCommerce extensions both on their official website and on various third-party extension repositories.
Why Use WooCommerce Extensions?
Why do you need WooCommerce extensions? Isn’t the core program good enough?
While the free main plugin will work well for most people, it might not include everything you’ll require to design the store you’re envisioning. What if you want to add optional add-ons to a product like gift-wrapping or create dynamic pricing that responds to factors like user roles?
Plus, the WooCommerce Extensions Store has many major payment integrations available for free. These let you accept credit cards, Amazon Pay, or PayPal. You’ll probably need to install an extension at some point, even if it’s just one of the free payment integration plugins.
Downloading third-party WooCommerce extensions does come with some drawbacks. By adding third-party plugins to your website, you’re opening up a potential security risk if they’re coded badly. Also, they aren’t covered by WooCommerce support, so if something comes up, you’re on your own.
However, the pros far outweigh the cons. You can’t go without key features for your store and extensions are the most effective way to get them. Your only other options are learning to code and making it yourself, or hiring a developer.
Overall, it’s safe to use WooCommerce extensions if you source them from reputable places.
WooCommerce Extensions vs. WordPress Plugins
WordPress plugins, WooCommerce extensions, and widgets: what exactly is the difference? All these terms can get pretty confusing.
WordPress is a CMS. Third-party developers have created thousands of plugins that extend its functionality.
WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin. In turn, it has its own set of user-made extensions that only work with WooCommerce.
It’s a hierarchy that goes like this:
WordPress > WordPress Plugins (WooCommerce) > WooCommerce Extensions.
You need WordPress installed to use WordPress plugins, and you need both WordPress and WooCommerce to use WooCommerce extensions.
While WordPress plugins can add any feature under the sun, like user registration management or a page builder, WooCommerce extensions are focused around ecommerce and fleshing out its parent platform.
What about widgets? These are often included in plugins and are blocks that add functionality to widgetized areas (think your sidebar or footer). Drop a widget into a widgetized area and the block will appear on the frontend.
For instance, say you download a plugin that adds social media icons. It may also include a widget you can add to your sidebar or footer. When you drop its widget into the sidebar, the icons will appear on your site.
In other words, widgets execute plugin functions, similar to a shortcode. Both WordPress plugins and WooCommerce extensions may use widgets.
How to Install WooCommerce Extensions
The process of installing WooCommerce extensions is a little bit different from normal WordPress plugins that you can get off the plugin repository.
First step: downloading a WooCommerce extension.
If you’re installing it off of WooCommerce’s official store, you’ll need to first log in to WooCommerce with a WordPress.com account. You won’t be able to download plugins from the Extensions Store or WooCommerce > Extensions > Browse Extensions without an account.
Once you’ve picked your plugin, click Download Now or Buy Now if it’s a premium extension.
Login to your WordPress backend and go to WooCommerce > Extensions > WooCommerce.com Subscriptions. Connect your WordPress.com/WooCommerce account to be able to manage your extension subscriptions.
Premium extensions you’ve purchased will appear in a list here. You can click the Download button next to them if you haven’t installed them yet.
If you’re getting an extension off a third-party repository, just download the file they give to you. It may be sent to you in an email after you purchase it or you may need to log in to your account on the repository.
Whether you download from a third-party store or WooCommerce itself, you should end up with a zip file.
Go to Plugins > Add New and click Upload Plugin. Upload the plugin zip file you downloaded.
Uploading a WordPress plugin
If you got the plugin from WooCommerce’s store, go back to WooCommerce > Extensions > WooCommerce.com Subscriptions and click the Inactive toggle next to your new plugin to activate it.
If you got the plugin from a third party, go to Plugins > Installed Plugins and click Activate.
Your new extension should now be active. Most will add a custom settings page under WooCommerce > Settings where you can configure it.
The Best Places to Download WooCommerce Extensions
There are quite a lot of WooCommerce extensions scattered across the internet and many are only hosted on certain repositories.
Where should you go to find the best ones, then?
Repositories, unlike websites dedicated to single plugins, host a collection of WooCommerce extensions ranging from a small handful to the thousands. Here are a few you should take a look at.
The best place to start is WooCommerce’s own Extensions Store. Here you’ll find over 300 extensions, including ones developed by Woo themselves. Not everything here is made by them, but they still have the official stamp of approval. Make sure to check out the Free section and browse some of their freebies.
Extensions on the official store are generally safer to download than from other sources. They can also be managed or activated from the WooCommerce screen in your WordPress backend, so it’s much more convenient.
The next best place to go is the WordPress repository. There are quite a few extensions to find here and every single one is free. They may not be as carefully vetted as they are on the WooCommerce Extensions Store, but WordPress.org plugins still need to pass certain guidelines to be hosted there.
Quality can be hit or miss, but downloading plugins off the WordPress repository is generally very safe.
CodeCanyon is one of the largest WooCommerce extension repositories. You’ll find all sorts of extensions and plugins there, with an extensive search system you can use to narrow down what you’re looking for. Everything is a paid product, with prices ranging from under $10 to over $100.
On Envato Elements you’ll find nearly 100 premium WooCommerce extensions/plugins that cover a variety of niches. The annoying part, though, is that you’ll need to subscribe to Envato to unlock them. There’s simply no way to just buy a single extension. On the bright side, you get access to each and every one for a relatively cheap price.
Lastly, you can find a handful of WooCommerce extensions each on Themeforest, PluginRepublic, and Tyche Softwares. These don’t take long to browse, so you should definitely glance through them.
Recommended WooCommerce Extensions
With hundreds of WooCommerce extensions to sift through spread across multiple repositories, where should you even begin?
running a WooCommerce store, this should be a big help for you.
Shipping, Payment, and Product Extensions
It’s time to get your store set up and running the exact way you want it. These plugins will help you optimize payment methods and shipping.
Stripe and/or PayPal
WooCommerce extensions: Stripe
Stripe and PayPal are two of the most famous and free WooCommerce payment gateways. Check out whether Stripe vs PayPal is the option for your needs.
WOOCS – Currency Switcher
WooCommerce Currency Switcher makes it easy to switch between currencies and support many from around the world.
You can use it also in any widgetized area on your site or via a shortcode for insertion within content. You can even choose how visitors can select their preferred currency (dropdown, flags, or a side switcher).
Woocommerce Checkout Manager
Add checkboxes, input forms, color pickers, and more to your checkout page, or edit and rearrange them using WooCommerce Checkout Manager.
You can also re-order or rename all checkout fields within the billing and shipping sections or enable an “additional fields” section that allows you to ask for more information before customers checkout.
One Page Shopping
WooCommerce One Page Shopping
One Page Shopping makes it easy to optimize and improve user experience by compressing store pages and checkout into one.
This way, when a shopper adds an item to their cart, the checkout fields immediately appear, making the purchasing process speedy and easy. Other options make it possible to customize the order and checkout page combination to suit your needs.
Smart Coupons is helpful for applying discounts, gift certificates, and supporting any type of coupon in your WooCommerce store.
You can also use it to create coupons in bulk, run giveaways, and setup limited promotions with ease. It also eliminates the need for developer assistance when setting up these promotions.
WooCommerce Advanced Shipping
Raise or lower shipping rates based on quantity or purchase, user area, product weight, and more with the WooCommerce Advanced Shipping plugin.
With conditional logic, you can establish conditions such as zip code, weight, quantity, stock, and more. You can also add several shipping methods, use table rate shipping, volume-based pricing, and many other features to suit your shipping needs.
With WooCommerce Subscriptions, you can sell recurring subscription-based products in your store, which makes it much easier to set up a residual-based business.
You can enable many different types of subscriptions for both physical and digital products or services, which provides the flexibility many store owners need.
WooCommerce Simple Auctions
With WooCommerce Simple Auctions, you can add comprehensive online auction functionality to your WooCommerce store with just a few clicks.
With this plugin, you can basically create an auction website or even an eBay-style clone with silent actions. Regular products can still be supported as well.
Bookings & Appointments
Booking and Appointment
The Booking and Appointment plugin allows users to make time-sensitive appointments and bookings in WooCommerce.
It provides everything you need to turn your store into a full-fledged booking system with time or date-based bookings, duration-based bookings, and it even adds a search feature so customers can find what they’re looking for faster.
In addition, here are some extensions that let you customize how you sell your products.
As its name suggests, with Product Bundles you can bundle products together in packages to encourage users to buy in bulk, or upsell and make recommendations.
It’s described as a “product grouping toolkit,” that makes it easy to better market to your customers. This makes it a snap to offer deals and discounts for purchasing products in a bundle rather than individually.
With WooCommerce Brands, you can assign product brands to allow users to sort and search by them.
This straightforward yet useful extension makes it easy to create brands and assign an image and description to each. This gives your store great search functionality and can be used to create a robust brand index for customers to browse.
Min Max Quantities
With the Min/Max Quantities extension, you can apply a minimum/maximum quantity or cost before customers can check out.
This is helpful if you have limited stock of certain items and want to ensure as many individual customers are able to get it as possible. It also allows you to set group or multiple min/max specifications.
Custom Product Tabs
Custom Product Tabs
Product pages getting too long? Add tabs to your products to split up information like specifications or variation info using the Custom Product Tabs extension.
So, right next to the product description, you can have tabs appear with further info without cluttering up the page and making customers scroll forever. The tabbed areas can contain text, images, HTML, and shortcodes.
YITH WooCommerce Zoom Magnifier
YITH WooCommerce Zoom Magnifier
What does the YITH WooCommerce Zoom Magnifier do, exactly? Well, by using this plugin, customers can zoom in on a product image when they hover over it.
This also adds thumbnail slider functionality to item pages and all around improves the user experience for customers.
Variation Swatches for WooCommerce makes it easy to add swatches for color, design, and other variations to your products. You can add as many product attributes as you want.
Plus, it’s highly customizable and plenty of tutorials are offered from the developer to make sure you’re getting the most out of the plugin as well.
WooCommerce Better Variations
WooCommerce Better Variations is a simple plugin that can make a big difference for users. It grays out product variations that are out of stock and lets you customize the message customers see as well.
The more information you can provide your customers, the better. Case in point, you can even add a “back in stock” date to product variations to encourage people to mark their calendars.
Fancy Product Designer
Fancy Product Designer
Do you run a business that sells custom-made items? Fancy Product Designer handles all the details of this process for you in an official way.
Whereas many online stores ask customers to just leave details about their customization preferences in a generic comment box, this plugin lets customers design a product, such as clothing, while tweaking colors, adding text, and uploading images.
Management and Marketing Extensions
You can never get enough management plugins. It’s not easy to run a business, so take the opportunity to automate whenever you can. These WooCommerce extensions can help you appeal to customers and keep things running smoothly.
Beeketing is automation software for sales and marketing in WooCommerce. It allows you to track your customers, automate conversions, and keep users engaged in the long-term.
It actually is made up of over 10 separate extensions including Better Coupon Box, Sales Pop, and Checkout Boost, each of which is designed to automate and simplify the marketing and sales processes on your WooCommerce store.
An automation service, Zapier connects to thousands of apps and chains them together when something is triggered. Sold something in your store? Automatically add it to a Google Sheet and notify shipping companies.
WhatsApp Chat and Share
WhatsApp Chat and Share
With WhatsApp Chat and Share you can offer support to your users with WhatsApp and improve customer satisfaction.
It also makes it possible for your site visitors to chat with you using WhatsApp directly on your website, which eliminates some of the need for phone support and puts your customers in direct contact with you more readily.
OpenPOS – WooCommerce Point Of Sale
OpenPOS is an extension that adds WooCommerce-compatible local store management, including restaurant mode, inventory management, and transaction reports. Basically, this makes it possible to sync data from your online store with a local, physical store for easier store management, inventory tracking, and more.
WooCommerce Memberships allows you to add membership functionality to your website, including selling memberships and setting up members-only content restrictions. You can also use this extension to set up drip feed content, add membership perks to your store, and manually assign memberships to products.
WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration
WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration
If you’re a fan of Google Analytics, you’ll love this nifty integration. WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration allows you to add a referral to purchases and add transaction info to your Google Analytics account. This plugin also includes support for Universal Analytics.
Advanced WooCommerce Reporting
Advanced WooCommerce Reporting
Google Analytics does work with WordPress, but this is a more tailored solution that integrates well into WooCommerce. Advanced WooCommerce Reporting offers detailed reports for all aspects of your WooCommerce store, including order status, stock, shipping, top products, and more.
Product CSV Import Suite
Product CSV Import Suite
Product CSV Import Suite allows you to Import or export CSV data to Google Product Feed, Bookings, and more. It’s a huge timesaver because you can basically sync your catalog — even bookable products — automatically. You can import special details for all your products with one-click as well.
SUMO Reward Points
Sumo Reward Points
With Sumo Reward Points you can incentivize customers to make purchases and reward them for their loyalty with a point system. Earn points from buying, social sharing, and signing up, and spend them on products or redeem prizes. You can even set up competitions to earn reward points and add expiration dates to the points, too.
These extensions don’t quite fit into any other category, but nonetheless, they’re great products you should definitely consider picking up.
Booster for WooCommerce
Booster for WooCommerce
Booster for WooCommerce is the ultimate WooCommerce plugin that adds dozens of small and large improvements, all of them invaluable. The extension covers a wide range of features including pricing and currencies, buttons, products, shopping carts, the checkout process, payment gateways, shipping, invoicing, email, and more.
YITH WooCommerce Wishlist
YITH WooCommerce Wishlist
YITH WooCommerce Wishlist gives your users the ability to save products they want to buy later, and share them with friends. Offering this feature increases sales because customers can save items they’re interested in for later. The plugin is also WPML compatible.
WooCommerce Waitlist is a super helpful extension. When items go out of stock, that doesn’t have to mean permanently lost conversions. With a waitlist, you can bring back potential customers by automatically notifying them when an item on their waitlist comes back in stock. Customers can also view and edit their waitlists at any time.
Is translating your ecommerce site proving to be a headache? WooCommerce Multilingual makes things much easier on you, and it integrates perfectly with WooCommerce.
With this plugin, you can translate product descriptions, change pricing, and take care of SEO as well.
Want to add custom text to buttons or other parts of the UI? WooCommerce Customizer lets you do just that without having to master PHP. You change what the Add to Cart button says, what sales badges say, change the Submit Order button, what the checkout page says, and more. All with just a few clicks.
A brand is nothing without colors. If you want to customize WooCommerce’s buttons, tabs, and UI palette, you’ll want to use WooCommerce Colors for sure. This plugin makes it a snap to change button colors as well as the colors of other frontend styles and elements.
Custom Product Designer
WooCommerce Custom Product Designer
Do you want to build and design products right in your backend? WooCommerce Custom Product Designer gives you the tools to make mockups without ever logging out of WordPress.
With it, you can customize your interface, design products from any device, and whatever you make will work with any printing method.
YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search
With the YITH WooCommerce Ajax Search plugin, you can add the ability to instant search products with a widgetized search bar that you can place anywhere on your store. This feature is easy to set up and use and adds just another layer of usability to your site that should make shopping a more straightforward experience for your customers.
This is just a small handful of WooCommerce extensions that seemed helpful to many store owners. There are plenty more out there to find.
WooCommerce is a great ecommerce platform for small and large stores alike, but it may not come with all the features you’re wanting. Luckily, WooCommerce extensions can help fill that gap, allowing you to extend this huge plugin even further.
There are many repositories you can use to find more extensions and we encourage you to look through them. This curated list of WooCommerce extensions is a great starting point for new users. See if any of them are right for your business.
What are your favorite extensions for WooCommerce? Which ones are you currently using and couldn’t live without? Tell us in the comments!
The post 34 Best WooCommerce Extensions to Enhance your Online Store appeared first on Kinsta Managed WordPress Hosting.
Although subscriptions are a common payment model, WooCommerce doesn’t support recurring payments out of the box. That’s where WooCommerce subscriptions come into play.
These can make offering memberships, paid content subscriptions, and other ongoing services such as website maintenance tricky to implement.
Fortunately, WooCommerce does offer an extension that enables you to easily create subscriptions for your products or services. There are also several alternative solutions available if you’re looking for a low-cost tool to create your subscription-based site.
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In this post, we’ll dive into the world of online subscriptions. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension, walk you through setting it up, and share some other plugin options you can try instead.
Let’s get started!
selling products or services with WooCommerce. However, individual sales on your website don’t constitute a steady income stream. This is why turning to a subscription pricing model can be a smart move.
Here’s an example you’re likely familiar with. If you’ve ever purchased a premium WordPress plugin, you’ve probably signed up for a monthly or annual subscription. You’ll pay this recurring fee in order to access plugin updates and support on a continuing basis.
Another familiar instance of subscriptions at work are subscription boxes. Services such as Stitch Fix, Birchbox, HelloFresh, and Dollar Shave Club send curated packages to customers on a monthly or weekly basis for a flat rate:
Example of a subscription-based company
Similarly, online publications such as The New Yorker and Harvard Business Review also require subscriptions for unlimited access to their content. As more magazines have moved online, they’ve found a way to maintain their recurring income by gating some of their content.
Membership sites are another way online retailers can generate recurring revenue. You can think of these like a Costco membership but online. Users might get exclusive access to certain products, special promotions, and discounts, or other unique offers in exchange for their monthly fees.
As you can see, there are many ways you can implement subscription-style products or services on your website. Each one of them can be a simple and effective method for creating a more reliable income stream for your business.
Plus, this model can offer your customers the benefits of convenience, and smaller payments that are spread out over time.
How to Add Subscriptions to WooCommerce
There are a few extensions you can use to add subscription options to your WooCommerce site. If you’re already using this popular ecommerce plugin, you can confidently invest in one of its dedicated tools and know that the new features will easily integrate with your existing content.
It’s important to note that, although the basic WooCommerce plugin is free, once you start adding on extensions it can become costly. Keep in mind that the tools we’ll be using and suggesting in this post require annual renewals of over $100 per year, so making it fit within your budget is key.
There are two extensions to choose from: WooCommerce Subscriptions and WooCommerce Memberships. The former is ideal for online magazines, Software as a Service (SaaS) providers, and anyone who wants to charge recurring fees. The latter is best for charging one-time signup fees.
Below, we’ll explore both extensions and their features in more detail.
The WooCommerce Subscriptions Extension Explained
If you’re already a WooCommerce retailer, the simplest way to set up subscriptions on your site is with the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension:
The WooCommerce Subscriptions extension
Using a plugin from the official WooCommerce extension marketplace is the easiest way to ensure that your subscription tool integrates seamlessly with your existing site. Plus, this solution includes a variety of features that will enable you to create whatever type of subscription service you wish to use in your storefront.
WooCommerce Subscriptions’ key features include that it:
- Enables you to create subscriptions for physical and virtual products or services.
- Includes options to set sign-up fees, free trial periods, and expiration dates.
- Integrates with over two dozen payment gateways.
- Provides manual and automated renewal options and notifications.
- Gives customers the ability to upgrade or downgrade their plans as needed.
- Summarizes subscription information and customer data in detailed reports.
WooCommerce itself is completely free, but WooCommerce Subscriptions is a premium extension. Pricing starts at $199 per year for use on a single site.
While this price tag is certainly on the high end, keep in mind the benefits of incorporating a recurring revenue stream on your WooCommerce site. If you’re planning to implement such a model, this plugin may be well worth the investment.
How to Set Up and Use the WooCommerce Subscriptions Extension
If you think WooCommerce Subscriptions could be right for you, there are just a few steps to take in order to start using it with your online store. Let’s outline the basics.
Step 1: Purchase and Install WooCommerce Subscriptions
The first thing you’ll need to do is acquire the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension. To do that, click on the green Buy Now button:
The WooCommerce Subscriptions purchase options
Then, you’ll be prompted to either log in to your WooCommerce.com account or create a new one:
The WooCommerce Login form for the purchase process
Complete the sign-up or login process, as well as your purchase. You’ll then see a confirmation page, where you will have two options for how to proceed.
First, you can click on the purple Download button to receive a .zip file of the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension. Then, in your WordPress dashboard, navigate to Plugins > Add New > Upload Plugin:
The plugin upload page in the WordPress dashboard
Here you can upload your .zip file. After that, click on the Install Now and Activate Plugin buttons to finish adding WooCommerce Subscriptions to your site.
Alternatively, instead of downloading the .zip file, you can connect your WooCommerce.com account directly to your store.
Start by logging into your WordPress dashboard and navigating to WooCommerce > Extensions > WooCommerce.com Subscriptions:
The WooCommerce Subscriptions Connect button
Then, click on the purple Connect button. You’ll be prompted to authorize the connection:
Authorizing the WooCommerce extension connection
Select the Approve button. You should then be able to see WooCommerce Subscriptions listed in the WooCommerce.com Subscriptions tab.
From there, you can click on the Download button and then toggle the switch to Active, in order to install and activate the plugin on your site.
This method is particularly useful if you also have other WooCommerce extensions for your store. You’ll be able to update, renew, and deactivate all of them from this same area.
Step 2: Create a New Subscription Product
You’re now ready to start using WooCommerce Subscriptions. You can start by setting up your first subscription product or service. This process is very similar to creating a regular WooCommerce product.
Start by navigating to Products > Add New in your dashboard. Then, scroll down to the Product Data section. There are now a few key differences from the usual WooCommerce product editor.
First, there are two new product types available in the General tab:
- Simple Subscription. This one works like a simple product. Customers can sign up for one subscription option at a set price.
- Variable Subscription. Alternately, this choice lets you provide several subscription options, similar to a variable product. This means you can create pricing tiers or offer multiple plans that focus on different features.
You’ll also need to fill out the following fields to set up your subscription’s pricing model:
- Price: The cost of the subscription.
- Billing interval: How frequently customers are charged (every one, two, three, four, five, or six periods).
- Billing period: How often customers are charged (daily, weekly, monthly, or annually).
- Length: How long the subscription will stay active before expiring.
- Sign up fee: The cost of an additional fee required at the time of signup.
- Trial period: How long customers may test the subscription service for free before signup is required.
Finally, you may want to visit the Advanced tab to limit subscriptions. This setting prevents customers from purchasing multiple subscriptions to the same product or service.
If you do choose to enable limitations for a variable subscription, you may want to also give customers the ability to upgrade or downgrade their plans.
You can do so by navigating to WooCommerce > Settings > Subscriptions > Switching. There, use the drop-down menus to enable switching and designate your associated fee preferences and button copy.
Step 3: Choose and Configure Your Payment Gateways
In order to accept payments for your subscriptions, you’ll need to use one of the 34 payment gateways that integrate with WooCommerce and also support recurring payments. Extensions for enabling these gateways on your site range from $0–$199.
Some of your options include:
- Amazon Pay
- Chase Paymentech
- PayPal Powered by Braintree
Each has different features you may want to consider when choosing which to offer on your site, such as:
- Subscription suspension: Enables customers to pause their subscriptions without canceling them completely.
- Subscription cancellation: Gives customers the power to cancel their subscriptions at any time.
- Subscription reactivation: Lets users reactivate suspended subscriptions.
- Multiple subscriptions: Enables customers to purchase more than one subscription service at a time.
- Modifications: Provides you with the ability to change the recurring cost or payment schedule of the subscriptions you offer.
- Payment method changes: Enables your customers and/or you to change their preferred payment methods.
Which payment gateways you want to enable will likely depend on which features you feel are most important to your customers. For instance, if you want to encourage customers to sign up for multiple subscriptions, PayPal and Amazon Pay may not be viable gateways for you.
Don’t forget to factor in the cost of each payment gateway’s extension as well. If you choose to offer multiple premium gateways, you’ll need a budget that can support those purchases.
Step 4. Update Your Subscriptions as Needed
Over time, you may decide to change your subscriptions in a variety of ways. You might raise or lower the price, add new products or services, or adjust a variety of other options for your customers.
Fortunately, updating your subscriptions with the WooCommerce extension is as simple as navigating to WooCommerce > Subscriptions in your WordPress dashboard. There, click on the subscription you wish to edit.
Once the editor opens you can make any necessary changes, then click on the blue Save Subscription button.
Finally, if you’re using a payment gateway supporting automatic renewals, you may not be able to make changes that impact your subscriptions’ recurring totals.
You can consult WooCommerce’s Payment Gateway Comparison Table to determine if yours supports modifications.
How to Use WooCommerce Subscriptions with WooCommerce Memberships
An extension that is often used alongside WooCommerce Subscriptions is WooCommerce Memberships:
The WooCommerce Memberships extension
While these two tools share many similarities and integrate each other well, there are some key differences you’ll want to understand.
Unlike WooCommerce Subscriptions, you cannot use Woocommerce Memberships extension to charge recurring payments. This feature can only charge one-time membership fees at signup.
Additionally, WooCommerce Memberships does not support free trials or enable users to upgrade, downgrade, or cancel their own memberships.
To create recurring membership payments, you’ll need to use these two extensions together. As a single WooCommerce Memberships license starts at $149 per year, the combined total for using both extensions accounts for almost $350 per year for a single site.
The most important thing to note is that these extensions do not provide the same functionality. You don’t want to purchase WooCommerce Memberships in an attempt to save $50 on WooCommerce Subscriptions, as you won’t be able to access the same functions.
WooCommerce Subscriptions vs WooCommerce Memberships
If you’re still having trouble deciding which WooCommerce extension is right for you, check out this summary of what both have to offer:
|Users can upgrade, downgrade, and pause their plans
Although subtle, the differences between these two extensions can make a significant impact on your subscription pricing model. Of course, keep in mind that you can also use them in conjunction with one another, in order to create recurring memberships.
Alternatives to WooCommerce Subscriptions
If you’re not using WooCommerce to power your ecommerce store, don’t worry. There are several other plugins that can add subscriptions to your WordPress site, regardless of what other tools you might be using.
Consider MemberPress, for instance:
MemberPress WordPress plugin
This premium plugin offers some features that even WooCommerce Subscriptions doesn’t include. On top of restricted content, member forums, and coupons, you can also use content dripping and track your revenue with MemberPress reports. Licenses start at $149 per year.
Paid Memberships Pro is another solid option:
Paid Memberships Pro WordPress plugin
The free version of this plugin offers integration with WooCommerce, BuddyPress, Constant Contact and more.
You’ll also have access to six different payment gateways. Premium licenses start at $297 per year and include over 60 add-ons.
Another contender is S2Member, which includes content protection for audio and video streams in addition to your posts:
S2Member WordPress plugin
The free S2Member plugin covers all the basics. However, you’ll need the paid plugin to use payment gateways other than PayPal, as well as to access unlimited paid membership tiers and more. Lifetime licenses start at $89 for a single site.
There are also some low-cost alternatives you might consider instead. Sumo Subscriptions comes in at just $39 for a regular license and includes many of the features available with WooCommerce Subscriptions:
Sumo Subscriptions WordPress plugin
The biggest difference is that Sumo Subscriptions offers only two payment gateway options: PayPal and Stripe. You may also need to purchase additional plugins to set up features such as donations and membership subscriptions.
There are also a few free plugins you can look into, although they’re geared more towards memberships than product subscriptions or ongoing services.
Paid Member Subscriptions is one such option:
Paid Member Subscriptions WordPress plugin
If you want to create a content subscription site such as an online magazine, this plugin can help you do it. Paid Member Subscriptions will hide content from visitors who aren’t logged in, so you get paid for your hard work.
Another popular option is Ultimate Member:
Ultimate Member WordPress plugin
This plugin focuses on creating online communities through site memberships, rather than setting up subscription plans. However, it does integrate with WooCommerce, and you can use it to restrict content and set up conditional navigation.
Finally, you can also try out Simple Membership:
Simple Membership WordPress plugin
This plugin enables you to create free or paid memberships with Stripe or PayPal. You can also restrict content, set up different membership tiers, and keep track of your users’ payments.
If you play your cards right, selling subscriptions can be highly profitable. Before you can start raking in the profits from your monthly fees, however, you’ll need to figure out how to set up a recurring payment option on your WooCommerce site.
The simplest way is by using the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension, which requires just three steps:
- Purchase and install the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension.
- Create a new subscription product.
- Choose and configure your payment gateways.
These steps alone will help you implement subscriptions on your store, sure. But you’ll also need to drive the right type of traffic towards your pages and create the perfect content your prospect subscribers will pay for.
Do you have any questions about WooCommerce subscriptions or offering recurring payments on your WordPress site? Let us know in the comments section below!
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