Tag: Payments

WooCommerce Payments, Now with Support for Subscriptions and Saved Cards

A little while back we shared the news that WooCommerce shipped a beta payments feature as part of its 4.0 release. It’s a free plugin with no monthly costs or setup fees. You only pay when you make a sale.

We’re actually using this right here at CSS-Tricks. In fact, Chris blogged it back in July. Back then, we were using the WooCommerce Payments beta so we could start selling memberships here on the site and do it while taking payments without anyone having to leave the site to complete the transaction with a third-party.

The big news now is that WooCommerce Payments now supports WooCommerce Subscriptions. This is game-changer. It means you can offer a recurring payment option on subscription-based products and have all of those payments integrated with WooCommerce Payments reporting and features.

WooCommerce Payments works alongside other payment methods! We’ve enabled PayPal for anyone who prefers paying that way.

Enter subscriptions

The thing that makes WooCommerce Subscriptions such a great extension is that it turns any WooCommerce product into a possible subscription. So, yes, even a t-shirt can generate recurring payments (a shirt is not a good example of a subscription product, but the point is that subscriptions can be tied to anything). Anything you want to renew after a period of time is fair game. That could be a publication subscription that renews annually, a record of the month club with a monthly subscription, or even a payment plan that allows customers to pay for large purchases in monthly installments.

No no, the poster is not a subscription… but you can buy it with a one-time payment!

Now that WooCommerce Payments supports WooCommerce Subscriptions, not only are recurring payments a thing, but it brings all of those transactions to your store’s dashboard, making it a cinch to track those payments, as well as your cash flow. Payment disputes can even be handled without ever having to leave WordPress.

Oh, and saved credit cards!

In addition to subscriptions, WooCommerce Payments also supports saved credit cards. So now, when someone purchases anything on your site — whether it’s a single product or a recurring subscription — they can choose to save their payment information with you for faster transactions on future purchases!

Heck yeah, checking out next time will be a breeze!

All the things, all on WordPress

WooCommerce has been great for a long time, but it’s these sorts of enhancements that make it not just a killer experience but makes powerful e-commerce capabilities open to big and small stores alike. Get started with WooCommerce and WooCommerce Payments — it’s totally free to pick up and try out.


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Accepting Payments (including Recurring Payments) on WordPress.com

I’m a fan of building websites with the least amount of technical debt and things you have to be responsible for as possible for what you wanna do. Sometimes you take on this debt on purpose because you have to, but when you don’t, please don’t ;).

Let’s say you need to build a site that can take money from customers, but on a recurring basis. WordPress.com can do that now, and it’s a fantastic choice because it’s all of the power and control and none of the debt.

Here’s my thinking…

1) WordPress.com is the fastest way to spin up a WordPress site.

Not only is it fast, but you don’t have to worry about anything. Servers, SSL, security, performance, accessibility… that’s all handled for you and you can focus on what you do best. Even if you’re a seasoned developer, I’m sure you can understand how this is compelling. Automating work is what the best developers do.

2) WordPress.com sites can be eCommerce sites.

Not only sell-a-product style sites, but also recurring payments sites. Meaning you can very easily set up a subscription service, membership site, or site for monthly donations.

The pricing is like this:

WordPress.com Plan Jetpack plan Related Fees
WordPress.com eCommerce  — None
WordPress.com Business Jetpack Professional 2%
WordPress.com Premium Jetpack Premium 4%
WordPress.com Personal Jetpack Personal  8%

So you do the math and figure out the most economical plan for you. That eCommerce plan on WordPress.com is only $ 45/month and means zero additional fees, so I imagine once you’re up and running and making sales, that plan becomes the obvious choice.

Ideas!

  • You build custom weekly meal plans for families and charge monthly for that.
  • You have a membership site for physical training videos where people have to be a member to see the videos.
  • Your site is has a bunch of completely free great content, and you offer a way to give yearly donations to support it.

Why roll your own eCommerce when you don’t have to?

3) It used to be that your WordPress site was a bit limited on WordPress.com, but those days are over.

eCommerce is one aspect of that, but I’m talking full SFTP and database access. You can build custom themes, use your own plugins, just like any other WordPress site. So if you’re thinking that you’re giving up too much control by going with WordPress.com, make sure to re-evaluate that.


So knowing all that, I’d say you really should give WordPress.com a hard look when you’re about to spin up an eCommerce site. I’ve seen far too much over-engineering and mountains of technical debt in my life, I’d rather see people use simpler tools and get started doing their actual business, especially to start.

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WooCommerce 4.0 & WooCommerce Payments Beta

Y’all know WooCommerce: it’s a plugin for WordPress that adds robust eCommerce functionality to your site. Notably, like WordPress itself, it’s open-source and free. You only pay for things if you need things like special plugins that extend functionality.

This is a huge month for WooCommerce! Two major releases:

WooCommerce is a major upgrade, to the point that there are things that aren’t compatible just yet. You should do all the normal best practices when upgrading, like making backups and testing on staging first. Once you’ve upgraded, you get:

  • New admin: You don’t need the separate admin plugin anymore, it’s baked right in! So you get very nice detailed reporting of just about any aspect of your sales performance. Stuff like comparing year-of-year sales and full customization of reports.
  • New onboarding: If you already use WooCommerce, you’re already all set, but for new users, you’ll be walked through setup in a much more clear way. Like a multi-step wizard that asks you questions about your business and gets things configured correctly.
  • Behind the scenes: A crucial bit to WooCommerce is the Action Scheduler and a change in 4.0 is moving that work to the database level for much better performance. For example, if you sell subscriptions, this is the thing that runs that updates all your users subscriptions and keeps them in the correct state and updates all the admin data.

If you’d like to read more about the 4.0 release…

WooCommerce Payments (Beta)

This is a brand new (free) plugin from WooCommerce. Funny name, right? Of course, WooCommerce could already take payments. If you wanted to take credit cards, your best bet was the Stripe plugin, as it worked great and also opened doors for taking Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others.

With WooCommerce Payments the entire payments experience is moved right into your WooCommerce dashboard. You go through a little onboarding experience as you activate it and then you’ve got a whole new area of your dashboard dedicated to payments.

This video does a good job of showing it off:

You can:

  • See all the payments
  • See deposits to your bank
  • Process refunds
  • Deal with your disputes

And all that type of stuff directly on your dashboard, rather than having to hop over to some other payment dashboard elsewhere to do things. It’s a totally custom-designed experience just for WooCommerce.

Want in? If you’re in the U.S., here’s a special link to skip the beta invite process and download the plugin. It’s not available quite yet for the rest of the world, but you can still sign up for the beta to help signal interest in your region.

What do we use it all for?

Here at CSS-Tricks, in the past, we’ve used WooCommerce for selling merchandise like t-shirts and the like. We’re not doing that at the moment, but maybe we will someday again! WooCommerce is still on the site and upgrading to 4.0 was painless for me.

Lately, I’ve been more interested in what it might be like to have memberships again. And actually, to be accurate, subscriptions to memberships, as those are different things and it took me a minute to wrap my brain around that. They are both separate plugins but work together:

So if you wanted a membership that you charged on a monthly or annual basis for (rather than a one-off cost membership), you use both plugins. Memberships deal with locking down the content and they expire at the end of a term. A subscription can keep a membership going by extending the membership upon recurring payments.

I’m still learning how all this can work, but here’s a whirlwind tour.

With the Memberships plugin in place, I can create a Membership plan for the site. Notice that’s it’s “subscription tied” to a length of time, thanks to the Subscription plugin.

Now say I publish something that I’d like to lock down to members. In the “Advanced Panels” area after the editor, there will be a content restriction area that comes from the Membership plugin.

I can choose to lock down content at the fine-grained post/page level if I like. I can also do whole hierarchies of pages or categories or custom post types or the like.

Now if I was to view that page as someone who wasn’t a member (and by the way, the User Switching plugin is nicely integrated so you can preview the site as people of different plans) I would see only an expert of the post and the rest of it hidden with a content-locked message.

From there, of course, the user could proceed with purchasing a membership to unlock the content.

I really like how easy this all is to set up and how well integrated into WordPress it is. Of course it is, that’s why WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform out there.

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