Comparing subscription options

NOTE: Previously, WooPayments offered a built-in subscriptions feature that did not require WooCommerce Subscriptions, and this page was a comparison between the two options. As of version 6.6.0, however, that functionality is no longer available to merchants who were not already using it. Please read the rest of this page for more details, including how to migrate existing subscriptions.

Transition to WooCommerce Subscriptions

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The transition to WooCommerce Subscriptions is occurring in four phases:

  • Phase 1 (July 19, 2023)
    • The built-in subscriptions feature was disabled by default for new stores.
  • Phase 2 (September 21, 2023)
    • The Stripe Billing setting was made available in WooPayments. Stores with both WooPayments and WooCommerce Subscriptions installed can now choose which billing engine they want to use. See that link for our full documentation.
    • We added a migration tool to WooPayments so that merchants with existing built-in subscribers could seamlessly move those over to being powered by the WooCommerce Subscriptions billing engine instead.
    • We reached out to all WooPayments merchants who did not yet own WooCommerce Subscriptions to help them get access to that extension.
  • Phase 3 (October 11, 2023)
    • We removed the WooPayments built-in subscriptions functionality for all merchants who were not already using that feature.
  • Phase 4 (January 24, 2024)
    • The WooPayments built-in subscriptions functionality will be removed, even for merchants who have existing subscriptions.

As such, our suggestion is to migrate off of the built-in subscriptions feature included in WooPayments and instead use WooCommerce Subscriptions for managing subscriptions. WooCommerce Subscriptions has several advantages when compared to WooPayments alone.

Migrating your subscribers

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If you would like to move your existing subscriptions over to the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension and its billing engine, follow these steps:

  1. Purchase, install, and activate the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension on your site.
  2. In your site’s admin dashboard, go to Payments > Settings and find the Advanced settings section at the bottom of the page.
  3. A notice will be shown offering you the option to migrate existing subscriptions from the built-in functionality to the on-site billing engine of WooCommerce Subscriptions.
  1. Click the Begin migration button to start the process.
    • An alert box will show that the migration is underway.

Depending on the number of pre-existing subscriptions you had that need to be migrated, the process could take some time.

Once the migration is finished, the notice will change to inform you that these subscriptions were successfully migrated:

This means that the migration is done, and all of your subscriptions are now using the on-site billing engine provided by the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension.

No other action is necessary, and all subscribers will continue to renew automatically just as before. The migration process happens entirely behind the scenes, and your customers should not notice any difference in behavior.

Migration log files

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If you need to view the migration log files (for example, if our support staff asks for them), you can do that like so:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Status > Logs in your site’s WP Admin dashboard.
  2. Use the dropdown to find a log beginning with woopayments-subscription-migration- and a date.
    • For example, to find the log file created for migration on November 19, 2023, use the dropdown to search for woopayments-subscription-migration-2023-11-19.
  3. Once you’ve selected a log, click the View button to load it.
  4. Select the entire log contents and copy them to the clipboard.
  5. Open a new text file on your computer and paste the log contents in.
  6. Attach that file to your email response to our support staff.