Subscriptions General Settings

Once installed, WooCommerce Subscription extension settings can be found and set at WooCommerce > Settings > Subscriptions. This guide explains each section of settings and what it controls: 

WooCommerce Subscriptions Settings Screen
Woo Subscriptions Settings Screen

Button Text Settings

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“Add-to-Cart” and “Place Order” buttons include the default text “Sign-Up Now” when a subscription product is being added to the cart or purchased. You can customize this text by using the boxes in this section to change the text that displays to . Here is where each of t

  • Add to Cart Button Text – on the store page and individual product page for subscription products.
  • Place Order Button Text – at the bottom of the checkout page when the cart contains a subscription.

Role Settings

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Unlike non-subscription orders, a user must create an account on your store when signing up for a subscription. This is regardless of what is set in the general WooCommerce Settings. This is because a subscription is an agreement between the store and the customer for future transactions, therefore the customer’s information needs to be stored in an account on your store.

WooCommerce Subscriptions Roles Settings
Role Settings
  • Subscriber Default Role – choose the role assigned to customers when they create a subscription. By default, this is WordPress’ built-in Subscriber role.
  • Inactive Subscriber Role – choose the role assigned to subscribers when their subscription expires, is canceled, or is suspended (by you, the payment gateway or the customer). By default, this is WooCommerce’s built-in Customer role.

If you sell memberships and want to add a “member” role, WooCommerce Memberships may be a good option for you.  Memberships also allows setting different per-product permissions for users.

Miscellaneous Settings

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Miscellaneous settings is a group of options that adjusts various specialized behavior of Subscriptions. Let’s take a look at each:

Miscellaneous Subscription Settings
Miscellaneous Subscription Settings

$0 Initial Checkout

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This allows for a subscription product with a $0 initial payment to be purchased without providing a payment method. This is helpful if you offer a free trial on a subscription product and don’t want to force your customers to add a payment method right away. At the end of a free trial period, customers will need to add a payment method to continue their subscription. 

Drip Downloadable Content

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By default, after a customer has purchased a downloadable subscription product, they will be able to download any files associated with that product from their My Account page for as long as the subscription is active. However, you may also wish to provide existing subscribers with access to new files.

Woo Subscriptions provides two options to handle this situation: 

  • Default Setting: This requires no change in settings. Adding files to a downloadable subscription product gives existing customers access to those files immediately.  
  • Drip Downloadable Content: With this setting activated (checked tick box), existing customers only receive access to new downloadable content after the next renewal is processed (know as dripping).

Customer Suspensions

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This setting either allows or limits the amount of customer suspensions on a given subscription. You have three options, setting a maximum number of suspensions allowed, setting to unlimited, or deactivating the option entirely: 

  • Maximum Number of Suspensions: Set a maximum number of times a customer can suspend their account for each billing period. For example, with a subscription billed yearly, a value of 3 would mean that once a subscriber suspends their account 3 times that year, they cannot suspend their account again until the next billing year.
  • Unlimited: Instead of a number, set the amount to the word “unlimited” to allow any number of customer suspension during the billing period. 
  • Deactivate: By default, customer suspensions are set to 0, which turns off the customer suspension feature completely (no suspensions allowed). 

Store managers can always suspend an active subscription. If you’re a store manager looking at a test subscription on your My Account page and wondering why you still see the Suspend button, it’s because you’re an administrator. Users with a customer or other role will not see this button.

Mixed Checkout

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Activate Mixed Checkout to allow a subscription product to be purchased with other products in the same transaction. It includes simple, variable and other non-subscription products as well as multiple different subscription products.

Activating this feature makes it easier for customers to buy more from your store, and to include subscription products in bundles created with extensions such as Product Bundles. Because of this, it is on by default and is only disabled if manually unchecked.

With the default setting enabled, here’s how a mixture of products would appear on the cart and checkout pages:

Cart page:

Subscriptions and no-subscriptions in cart with mixed checkout enabled.

Checkout page:

Retry Failed Payments

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Disabled by default, toggling the setting to on activates Failed Recurring Payment Retry System. The setting applies from that point onwards and does not affect payments that have already failed.

Renewals Settings

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The Renewals section of Subscription settings is home to options that govern key aspects of the renewal process.

The subscription renewal process is a fundamental component of Woo Subscriptions. To understand the intricacies of how renewal settings affect subscriptions and subscription payments, see Subscription Renewal Process

Let’s take a look at the different settings:

Subscription Renewal Settings
Subscription Renewal Settings

Manual Renewal Payments

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It’s possible to accept subscription payments via payment gateways that do not support automatic recurring payments.

If you enable the “Accept Manual Renewals” setting, it offers all active payment gateways as a payment option when purchasing a subscription. Not just gateways that support Subscriptions. If a customer chooses to pay via a payment gateway that does not support automatic payments, then the subscription will use the manual renewal process.

To accept manual payments:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Subscriptions.
  2. Tick the Accept Manual Renewals option.

For a list of payment gateways that support automatic and manual payments, see Subscription Payment Gateways. For more information about the difference between automatic and manual renewal payments, see Subscription Renewal Process.

After turning on manual renewals, the setting only applies to new orders. Existing orders with an automatic payment system setup will continue to have renewal payments charged automatically.

Turn off automatic payments

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By default, manual renewals are only used for payment gateways that cannot process automatic payments.

If you do not want new customers to be automatically charged for a subscription renewal payment, even when the payment gateway used to purchase the subscription can process automatic payments, you can deactivate automatic payments.

To turn off automatic payments:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Subscriptions.
  2. Select Accept Manual Renewals.
  3. Select Turn off Automatic Payments when it appears.
  4. Save changes.
Turn off automatic payments

After turning off automatic payments, manual renewal will only apply to new subscriptions. Any existing subscriptions using automatic payments will continue to have renewal payments charged automatically. Similarly, if automatic payments are disabled but then enabled, existing subscriptions using manual renewals will continue rather than switch to automatic renewal. To change a subscription’s payment method, see Changing a subscription from automatic to manual renewal payments.

Auto Renewal Toggle

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By default, Subscriptions via a payment gateway that allows automatic renewals is set to automatically renew, unless automatic payments are deactivated. The “Auto Renew” toggle allows subscribers to easily turn off the auto-renewals and switch to manual renewals from their My Account page.

To enable the toggle switch:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Settings > Subscriptions.
  2. Enable the Display the auto renewal toggle setting.
  3. Save changes.

Early Renewal

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Accept early renewal payments setting – Enables a customer to manually renew a subscription ahead of schedule. The normal renewal interval remains unaffected. For example, if a monthly subscription renews on the 15th of every month, and a customer renews it on the 7th instead, next month it will renew on the 15th again. If a subscription as no expiry set, a customer would be able to renew (and extend) a subscription indefinately.

Accept Early Renewal Payments via a Modal – When check in addition to the above, a modal overlay opens the My Account > View Subscriptions page and allows a customer to renew the subscription without the need to go through the full checkout process.

A view of the renewals modal that bypasses the default checkout page
A view of the renewals modal that bypasses the default checkout page

Once payment is completed, the modal closes and message is displayed at the top of the screen. The customer stays in the My Account area.

The appearance of a subscription that was successfully renewed via the modal overlay
The appearance of a subscription that was successfully renewed via the modal overlay

Synchronization Settings

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To align subscription renewal dates to a specific day of the week, month or year, enable Synchronize Renewals. Much like the settings to switch subscriptions, Subscription Synchronization has specific criteria and options that require its own guide – Renewal Synchronization.

Switch Settings

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Customers are able to switch between variable subscription options or grouped subscription products if this setting is enabled. This process has a its own set of nuances that are best explained in a separate guide – Store Manager’s Guide to Subscription Switching

Subscriptions shortcode

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To display a list of subscriptions on pages other than the customer My Account page, add the [subscriptions] shortcode to a page or post.

Shortcode Arguments

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Optional Subscriptions shortcode arguments:

  • user_id: show only subscriptions owned by a user with this ID (default: 0, the currently logged in user).
  • status: show only subscriptions with this status. Can be active, on-hold, cancelled, switched or all (default: active).

Example usage

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[[subscriptions user_id="33"]]
[[subscriptions status="all"]]
[[subscriptions user_id="42" status="all"]]

More at: How to Use Shortcodes.

Questions and Support

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