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If you are using WooCommerce, you will need recurring payments at some point in time. If that’s the case with you, you are at the right place. We will see how you can setup WooCommerce recurring payments. We will see all the things that you need to know about the WooCommerce recurring payments. So, let’s start with the most basic thing that you need to know about it.

What are WooCommerce recurring payments?

We will first see what is WooCommerce recurring payments. Recurring payments are the payments where the customer is charged X amount every single month.

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It doesn’t have to be a specific month. You can setup WooCommerce recurring payments every week or you can even set it up for every year. In this way, the customer will be charged the same amount every week or month.

The customer doesn’t need to buy the product again to use this.

Why you need WooCommerce recurring payments?

Many people might have already started thinking about where they will need such a thing. Well, there are many places where you will need the recurring payment.

One of the main places where you need it is when you are offering a paid membership for your website. If you want to offer a premium membership, you can easily do that with the help of WooCommerce recurring payments.

You can set up recurring payments and customers can buy monthly membership where they will be charged the amount every single month.

You can surely configure it as per your wish and make it work as you want. We will see how you can set it up.

Before that, let’s see some of the use cases for the same. This is where we will see some of the places where you can start using it.

  • You can always a paid membership
  • Just like Amazon offers a Prime membership, you can offer a premium membership where you can allow people to get the deals early
  • For regular customers, you can offer free shipping to the members
  • If you have any digital product, you can surely offer it for free for the paid members.
  • You can set up a plan where the customers will get free delivery if they are the paid members. In this way, you will make more sales.
  • For some products, you can also offer free support and service. This does not apply to all.

These are some of the places where you can use WooCommerce recurring payments.

How to enable WooCommerce recurring payments?

To enable the recurring payment, you will need a plugin. There are many plugins that you can use. However, the best one that you can use is the WooCommerce subscription plugin.

You can get it from the official website of WooCommerce. There are many such plugins but the plugin available on the official website is the best one due to many reasons. We will surely see some of the reasons why it’s the best plugin and why you should be using it too. Before that, we will have a quick word about this plugin.

It’s a paid plugin that is compatible with almost all the plugins. In simpler words, you don’t need to worry if you are using any third-party payment gateway as this can easily be done.

There are many features available in this plugin that makes it the best one. We will now see some of the best features available in this plugin. This gives you enough reasons to use this plugin.


We will now see the features.

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Trial Version

The first thing that you need to do to get the people to buy your subscription plan is to offer them a free trial. The trial version of any membership is much needed. Even the biggest websites allow you to get a free trial. This is how you can lure your customers to buy your membership. You can easily offer a free trial using this plugin.

Weekly, Monthly, or Annual Recurring

Recurring payments means that you will have to charge them after a specific time. It can be weekly, monthly, or you can also charge them annually. The plugin allows you to use any of them as per your wish. You can either go with the monthly option where the user will be charged after every month. In the same way, you can also go with the annual option.

Further, the plugin allows you to set the date or day when you want the person to charge. You can set a specific date or you can set a particular day like the 2nd day of the week. This will allow you to do all the configurations.


It’s important to manage and monitor all your subscribers. When you are offering a paid plan, you might want to send an email only to the paid customers. In the same way, you might want to add something only applicable to the paid customers. Therefore, in that case, you can surely use the management features.

Customers can view their subscriptions directly from their accounts. They will see all the details on when the subscription will renew and when it was started. Customers can also cancel it directly from there.

In the same way, you can use the subscription directly. You will see a complete list of subscribers from where you can manage them with ease. This is what makes the entire process easier and faster. You can surely use it.

Multiple Plans for WooCommerce recurring payments

You can surely have multiple plans. The main aim of a subscription is to provide multiple plans. Users should be able to opt for any plan as per their needs. This is how you can easily make things work. You can add multiple plans with different charges. You can also add an annual plan and a monthly plan. This is where the customer

Payment Gateway

It depends on the payment gateway too because you are asking the customer to pay a monthly charge. The payment is from which the customer will make the payment. So, you will have to make sure that you are using the compatible payment gateway. Don’t worry, here, there are more than 25 payment gateways supported. So, the payment gateway that you are using will surely be on the list of supported payment gateway. In this way, you can easily use this plugin.

Upgrades and Downgrades

The next thing is the update and downgrades. Here, the customer can upgrade or downgrade any product they want. In simpler words, if your first plan costs 20 bucks and the second plan costs 50 bucks. Users can easily upgrade the plan and just say the difference.

How does it work?

You can create a product where you set up a subscription. There will be an option for the subscription when you install the plugin and activate it. You will just have to select a subscription from the product data. It’s in the same place where you type the single or variable product. At the same place, you will have to write “Subscription product”. Once you do that, you can easily configure the product.

Don’t worry, we will see all the steps in detail.

Thereafter, the user will be asked to make a payment when they buy the product. You will have to set up automatic payments in your payment gateway too. When you do it, users can buy the product and money will be deducted from their account. You will get the payment every month or every week. It depends on how you have confuted the plugin. That’s pretty much it.

Now, we will see how you can do the complete process step by step.

Step by step guide on how to add subscription -WooCommerce recurring payments

To add a subscription, you will have to first make sure that you have activated the plugin. You can activate it by clicking on the activate button. You can then follow the steps.

Step 1: Add the Product

You will have to add the product just like a normal one. You can head over to the products and then click on add new to add the product. This is the place where you will simply add the product to your WooComemrce store.

Step 2: Select the Product type

In the next step, you will have to select the product type. You can simply select it as “Simple Subscription” and then you can select “Downloadable”. You can simply select the subscription option from the same tab and you are all set to go.

You can also select variables if you want to offer multiple plans to the users. The simple subscription will just give one plan to the user where the user can select the desired option and you are all set to go.

Step 3: Configuration

This is the place where you will have to spend most of your time. Now, it’s time to do the configuration of the product. For that, you can first select whether you want to offer any trial version of the product or not. Thereafter, you can select whether you want to go with the monthly plan or you want to offer an annual plan.

It will also ask you to select when the subscription will end. You can select the time when you want to take the next payment from the user. You can select the time frame as per your need.

Once you select the time frame, you can save the changes and move on.

The next step is where you can enable or disable the upgrades/downgrades option.

Step 4: Fill in the rest of the details

In the next step, you will have to fill up the rest of the product details such as product title, short description, featured image, etc. Once you do all these things, you can publish your product and test it before it goes live.

Configuring the WooCommerce Recurring Payment Gateway

If the product doesn’t work, it’s because you have not yet configured the payment gateway.

You can first make sure that your payment gateway is on the list of the 25 payment gateways accepted by WooCommerce subscription. If the payment gateway is not on the list, there are good chances that your payment won’t be accepted. However, you can still try it. If it doesn’t work, you can also change your payment gateway or have multiple payment gateways.

If your payment gateway is accepted, you will have to make sure that you are accepting the automatic payments directly from the payment gateway. By default, many payment gateways don’t allow you to set up recurring payments.

You don’t need to worry as this is not a restriction but it’s just a default setting. You can easily change the setting and then start accepting the payments. You can visit the payment gateway’s official documentation page to learn more about it.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to waste your time there, you can also visit the documentation page of the Subscription plugin because they have also given the exact way on how you can turn on recurring payments in all the payments gateways. So, you can surely visit one of these websites and take help from the documentation to turn it on.

Thereafter, you can test the payment gateway by entering the sandbox details. This will tell you whether the payments are working or not. You can surely contact the support if something goes wrong.

Final Words about WooCommerce recurring payments

To conclude, this is how you can start accepting recurring payments from any customer. You need to make sure that you have configured the product in the right way. You also need to make sure that you have configured the payment gateway in the right way. If both of these things are great, you can surely continue and start accepting the subscription. You can surely use them and get the best out of them. Make sure you test the product properly before you make it live.

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Alexey Seryapin
Founder of WPServices