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Create Subscriptions on Your WordPress Store With the Subscriptio Plugin

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In this post, we’re going to discuss the Subscriptio WooCommerce subscriptions plugin, which allows you to sell subscriptions on your WordPress store. More importantly, it adds a recurring payments capability, which allows you to sell different types of subscriptions or memberships.

If you’re in the field of eCommerce and you’re looking for a way to sell subscription products on your store, you’re in the right place! Selling subscription products is going to take a whole lot of effort, from configuring subscriptions to handling automatic payments for those products, along with the checkout of regular products. You’ll soon discover that selling subscriptions has its own challenges.

So it would be great if you could find an all-in-one extension or plugin that provides all the necessary features that we’ve just discussed. When it comes to setting up subscriptions in WordPress, there are thousands of extensions and scripts available online. You’ll also find commercial options that provide ready-to-use features and extended support. In the case of commercial options, you should also expect quality code, bug fixes, and new enhancements.

Today, we’re going to explore the Subscriptio—WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin, which is one of the most popular plugins for selling subscriptions in the WooCommerce category. It allows you to sell different kinds of subscriptions and collect recurring payments automatically once the order is placed for such products. Along with the payment reminders, it's an all-in-one plugin one for those looking to set up recurring payments for a  WooCommerce store.

Let’s have a look at some important features this plugin brings:

  • integrate subscription features with WooCommerce
  • Stripe and PayPal support for automatic subscription payments
  • subscription support for all types of products
  • support for subscription and non-subscription products in a single checkout flow
  • powerful subscription management UI
  • hooks and filters for developers
  • and many more

In fact, this plugin provides a complete set of features to fulfill all the requirements of a complete subscription checkout flow on a typical eCommerce store, and that too at a very reasonable price!

What You'll Be Building

As it’s a WooCommerce specific extension, I assume that you’ve installed WooCommerce on your WordPress site and you’re familiar with it. We’re not going to get into the specifics of WooCommerce while setting up the subscriptions.

Let’s assume that you are selling different types of magazines online. Along with the regular magazines, users can also purchase subscriptions at a discounted price. In our case, we’re going to sell half-yearly and yearly subscriptions. In this way, you could also boost sales, since users would be tempted to buy subscriptions if they are regular users.

When a user purchases a product with a subscription from the front-end, it’ll create a subscription order, and thus it’ll send automatic payment reminders every month. If a user pays with a payment method that supports subscriptions, we can attempt to process automatic payments as well.

Throughout the rest of this tutorial, we’ll explore different aspects of this plugin while moving closer to our goal. Next, we'll see how to download and install this plugin.

Download and Installation

Let’s quickly go through the installation process of the Subscriptio—WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin once you’ve purchased and downloaded it from CodeCanyon. For this post, I’ve used the latest version of the Subscriptio—WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin: 2.4.9. I would recommend that you install it if you want to follow along with this post.

As soon as you purchase this plugin, you’ll be able to download the plugin zip file. It’s the WordPress plugin file which you could use to install this plugin from the WordPress admin side.

Go ahead and follow the standard WordPress plugin installation process, and you’re almost done.

Important Back-End Configurations

In this section, we’ll go through a couple of important back-end configuration settings. Head over to the WordPress admin side and access the Subscription > Settings section.

The General tab provides a couple of generic settings for the subscription cart. Among them, the settings under the Limits section are important. The Subscription limit setting allows you to configure subscriptions per customer. On the other hand, the Trial limit setting allows you to limit trials per customer.

In the Capabilities tab, you can enable or disable pausing and cancellation of subscriptions by customers.

Under the Flow tab, you can enable and configure the period of renewal orders, payment reminders, overdue, and suspensions. According to this, the email notifications will be sent.

So that was a brief introduction to the important configuration settings. From the next section onwards, we’ll go ahead and start working on subscriptions and related configuration.

Create Magazine Subscriptions

Before we go ahead and start creating subscriptions, let’s quickly go through what we’re going to achieve.

As discussed earlier, we’re going to sell magazine subscriptions, and we’ll create two types of subscriptions: half-yearly and yearly. If a user buys a magazine without any subscription, it would cost $10 per month. With a half-yearly subscription, the cost is $7 per month with a subscription fee of $8. On the other hand, it will take $5 per month with a subscription fee of $20 for yearly subscriptions.

Create Subscription Products

In this section, we’ll see how to create subscription products. In fact, it’s pretty similar to what you’re used to with WooCommerce; the only difference is that you need to enter data related to the subscription if you want the product to be a subscription product.

Let’s go ahead and see how to create our first subscription product, as shown in the following screenshot.

Product One Configuration

As you can see, you just need to select the Subscription checkbox if you want to make it a subscription product. When you check it, it displays a couple of extra fields related to subscription pricing. It’s important to understand these fields in the first place.

Firstly, we need to fill in the Regular price field for our product. As we’ve decided to charge $5 per month for a yearly subscription, you need to enter $5 in that field.

The Price is per field is the frequency which will be used to regenerate new orders and charge customers. As we’re creating a yearly subscription and want to charge every month, choose month in this field.

The Free trial field allows you to configure the trial period which you want to provide your customers. For example, if you enter 2 months in this field, customers won’t be charged for the first two months. In our case, we won’t give any free subscription, so you could leave it blank.

Next, the Sign-up fee field allows to configure a one time fee which you want to collect for the subscription. In our case, we will take $20 signup fees for a yearly subscription. Of course, you could leave it blank if you don’t want to charge it.

Finally, the max length field allows you to configure how long the subscription will run. In our case, we’ll select 12 months as we want to run it for a year.

Go ahead and enter the rest of the product details and save it. In the same way, go ahead and create a half-yearly subscription product as shown in the following screenshot.

Product Two Configuration

So we’ve created two subscription products, and we’ll see what that looks like on the front-end in the very next section.

Front-End Overview and Placing an Order

In this section, we’ll see how subscription products look on the front-end.

Start by navigating to the product detail page of the yearly subscription.

Front-End View

As you can see, the plugin clearly shows how much it’s going to cost you per month, along with the sign-up fee. Let’s add this to cart and see what it looks like on the cart detail page.

Cart View

So that’s what you pay: $25. It includes the first month fees plus sign-up fees. And for the next 11 months, subscribers will have to pay $5. And yes, they’re going to get automatic payment reminders before certain days as per the configuration settings.

Go ahead and complete the order as usual, and we’ll see what subscriptions look like on the back-end in the next section.

Subscription Management in the Back-End

As soon as an order is created that has a subscription attached, you can view it on the back-end. Go ahead and navigate to the Subscriptions > Subscriptions section. This will list all the subscriptions in your store.

Subscription Management

The Status column indicates the status of the subscription order. Also, as depicted in the screenshot, you can see all the important information like the start date of the subscription, the next payment due date, and the subscription expiration date.

Also, this plugin takes care of sending automatic payment and subscription expiration reminders. If the subscriber doesn’t pay in time, it’ll suspend the subscription. And finally, it’ll cancel the subscription if the subscriber doesn't take any action.

So as you can see, this plugin provides a complete flow of subscription management which allows you to create different types of subscription products in your store and sell them easily.

And with that, we’ve reached the end of this tutorial as well.

Conclusion

Today, we discussed one of the most popular plugins in the WooCommerce category in WordPress: Subscriptio—WooCommerce Subscriptions. It’s a commercial plugin available at CodeCanyon at a very reasonable price.

Throughout this tutorial, we discussed the different aspects of this plugin along with a real-world example to demonstrate how it works. If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to use the feed below, and I’ll be happy to answer your queries!

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