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The long awaited WooCommerce Subscriptions drop

Written by Mark Forrester on June 21, 2012 Product News.

Subscription Products

We know you’ve been waiting for this for a long while. Today we can happily report we have an extension allowing recurring billing using WooCommerce!

Start selling subscriptions

Not limited to services, you can sell physical goods!

WC Subscriptions makes it easy to create and manage products with recurring payments. Create a subscription product just like any other WooCommerce product, and you’re ready to start selling subscriptions.

With Subscriptions, you can charge recurring payments per day, week, month or year. You can add an optional sign-up fee and duration. Shipping fees, discounts & taxes are all applied to recurring payments.

Subscription management is also synced with the payment gateway. When a subscription is cancelled at PayPal, it will be cancelled with your site. And you can offer your customer’s multiple gateway options – PayPal Standard is supported out-of-the-box, and you can add PayPal Digital Goods or Stripe (with more to come).

What can you sell with Subscriptions?

  • Physical products that require shipping, like magazines;
  • Downloadable products, like e-zines;
  • Virtual products, like memberships;
  • Services, like business coaching;
  • Any other physical, virtual or downloadable, product or service you can imagine!
View the WC Subscriptions Extension

Groups for WooCommerce

Groups is an existing free plugin providing group-based user membership management, group-based capabilities and content access control. With the Groups for WooCommerce extension one can grant memberships based on products. It automatically assigns a customer to one or more groups based on the products they ordered.

Memberships can be sold through normal products where membership is granted for an unlimited time through one-time payments, or through subscriptions where the memberships lasts as long as the subscription is active, based on recurring payments and an optional setup fee.

If you want to charge a monthly subscription fee, the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin is required, which adds a new subscription product type. Groups WooCommerce controls the memberships for the duration of the subscriptions.

View the Groups for WooCommerce Extension
Groups for WooCommerce requires WordPress 3.3+, the Groups plugin, as well as the WC Subscriptions extension to be installed.

Updates to Stripe and PayPal Digital Goods

Both Stripe and PayPal Digital Goods have been updated today to support the new subscriptions extension – customers will be able to purchase subscriptions with these extension and be billed automatically.

Stripe has also been integrated with stripe.js which adds additional security by tokenising credit card details.

These updates require WooCommerce 1.5.8 which was released earlier today.


65 Responses

  1. Chris
    June 21, 2012 at 5:16 pm #

    Thank you.

  2. Sarah
    June 21, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Mmmm, been a bit disappointed with the themes lately but I must say I am VERY pleased to see this.
    Thank you very much!

  3. Dave
    June 21, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    I love woo!
    Way to go guys, this is awesome and well timed 😉

  4. deeptitanic
    June 21, 2012 at 5:26 pm #

    Sick! 🙂

  5. Eric Zentner
    June 21, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    You guys are SO on the money with this… was literally checking out competitors this morning for subscription services…

    awesome, awesome, awesome..

    Woo is literally the best subscription i’ve ever signed up for.

  6. Nick
    June 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    Would love to see Google Checkout and Amazon Payments added to options for payment subscriptions.

    • mike
      June 21, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

      For now we will be adding support for token based gateways/ones which handle the recurring payment (because we don’t want to hold onto card data). We need to look into each individually 🙂

      • Jonas Wiesel
        June 22, 2012 at 11:59 am #

        Ogone can manage this! would be great to offer a service for europeans! I will then stop concidering recurly or spreedly type of services!

      • NS
        June 22, 2012 at 7:48 pm #

        Can we use Stripe gateway within Mijireh Checkout?

      • Sylvain
        August 9, 2012 at 8:26 am #

        Please, please add Ogone support! It would rock so much!

    • Odot Jdot
      June 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

      yes! and ccbill too!! that would be sooooooo awesome!

      this is the second time you all have potentially saved me from software i hate lol.

      WooCommerce is one of the best things to happen to me in a while.

      does this work with custom post types as well?

  7. mashrur
    June 21, 2012 at 5:55 pm #

    This is great.

    Is there plans for a theme that is catered towards subscriptions? If yes, any timeline on estimated release date?

    • Mark Forrester
      June 21, 2012 at 6:11 pm #

      There definitely plans for one, but we can unfortunately not give you any ETAs at the moment.

  8. Norman
    June 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Congratulations!! This will be a boom for the platform. Will you provide support to allow managing subscription/payment from front-end? I think at a minimal “cancellations”. In particular, many of us develop for non-profits and the “recurring donation/cancellation” scenario is greatly needed. I need to investigate today’s drop to see if your subscription feature supports user-entered price. Does it?

    Thanks again for listening and bringing this feature to the marketplace.

    • mike
      June 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

      Cancellation is gateway dependent and does show on the my-account page. PayPal doesn’t because you cancel via PayPal, but Stripe does.

      No user entered prices yet – this will be added to add-ons at some point.

  9. Norman
    June 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    One more thing regarding subscription support…please support gateway.

    • Armand
      June 22, 2012 at 5:02 am #

      I definitely agree. Support for gateway is a must. Many of us have existing businesses which use as the primary gateway. Thanks, I hope this happens.

      • Chris
        June 24, 2012 at 5:18 am #

        I will join in on requesting as well. Every single WooCommerce install I have made has been for a business with an existing account – and recurring orders.

  10. Garrett
    June 21, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Now we need a Woocommerce extension/theme that creates a password-protected area so we can really leverage this puppy!

    • Odot Jdot
      June 21, 2012 at 8:45 pm #

      wait, thats not what this does?

    • Brent Shepherd
      June 21, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

      The “Groups for WooCommerce” extension can be used to create protected content based on membership level (and you can sell a subscription membership with groups using WC Subscriptions).

    • Ryan Ray
      June 22, 2012 at 7:09 am #

      Yup, the Groups extension highlighted with the Subscription extension does this. 😛

  11. Craig
    June 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

    Stoked. Looking forward to getting my clients onto this system.

    • Ryan Ray
      June 22, 2012 at 7:10 am #

      Whenever you get them on WooCommerce or WooCommerce & Subscriptions let us know! 🙂

  12. deeptitanic
    June 21, 2012 at 8:36 pm #

    Hadn’t heard of groups, but it looks nice, light and integrated with WP very well.

  13. John
    June 21, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    The Woo Team is amazing thanks for this drop! I am going to try it now and then wait for an update! thanks again!

  14. Mark
    June 21, 2012 at 11:49 pm #

    Awesome! Woocommerce just keeps getting better 🙂

  15. Anton
    June 22, 2012 at 12:00 am #

    Wouldn’t it be great if existing Woo subscribers/members got a discount on extensions or something … at least this way I would somehow feel included in these WooCommerce related postings!

    BTW – I really do like this extension and do plan on purchasing 🙂

    • mike
      June 22, 2012 at 12:09 am #

      Theres a coupon on your woo dashboard 😉

      • Anton
        June 22, 2012 at 7:32 am #

        Thank you for bringing back the love!
        Thank you!!!

  16. Krunal Bharatiya
    June 22, 2012 at 6:40 am #

    Hummm I like WooThemes….. Its Nice plan On Purchasing

  17. Pete Pasierb
    June 22, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    Can your existing GoCardless extension be integrated with either or both of these new subscription products

  18. Jan
    June 22, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

    Does it work together with

  19. Ronny
    June 22, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

    Another Woocommerce, what a miracle. Have you ever counted how many of you have already Woocommerce now or how many have you published in recent months? 8 of the last 12 were Woocommerce-themes. And you think that is fair, it is supposed to give customers who do not operate or store?

    And then if you time a magazine or blog published Tehme, sees everything from very cheap, see Daybook!

    • Magnus
      June 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      Hey Ronny,

      We missed you! 🙂

      6 of our last 12 (or 6 of our last 15) themes are WC-only.

      It will soon be 6 of the last 18 themes are WC-only themes (we have a biz and magazine theme coming up next).

      We believe this is fair since WC has grown immensly fast and our data shows that WC is in high demand.

      • Ronny
        June 22, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

        That’s nice but I’m stuck in my mind you. But many of your business Themes can also be converted to store theme. So I think it’s just not fair to publish Woo-commerce. Then indeed would be six of the next 12 Themes Magazine and Personal Blog Themes.

        I hope the new magazine theme is me again Sun uncreative and sometimes has something new and not the same thing over and over again. Look at my name linked, then you know what I imagine. 😉

        P.S.: I await the rest have been several weeks later that my site is included in the Showcase (Whitelaight)

  20. Stuart Duff
    June 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Fantastic addition to WooCommerce I can see this feature becoming very popular 🙂

  21. James
    June 22, 2012 at 11:55 pm #

    Wait so if i want to sell membership subscriptions I need BOTH groups for woocommerce AND WC Subscriptions??

    • mike
      June 23, 2012 at 12:44 am #

      Groups is really for access control (for your site). You can still have membership accounts with just subscriptions. See the docs for the user membership functions.

      • James
        June 23, 2012 at 12:57 am #

        Ok, so I can sell membership subscriptions with Subscription WC plugin (and Groups) without Groups for WC right?

        • Ryan Ray
          July 2, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

          If only after subscriptions to one of your products, you’d just need the Subscription extension.

          If you need to protect content on your site and sell a subscription with access to that protected content, you’d then need the subscription extension, the Groups plugin, and the Groups extension to tie it all into WooCommerce.

          • Gerry Humphrey
            August 15, 2012 at 4:42 am #

            What is I want to protect content, yet not have a subscription? Can I just use Groups, and PayPal for Digital Products?

  22. WP Warrior
    June 23, 2012 at 12:20 am #

    These are great additions, but there are some things that are not possible to do right now.

    For example, you can’t upgrade a user’s account correctly. Using a plugin like Dynamic Pricing you should be able to have an upgrade path for existing users to upgrade to a higher level at a lower price than the listed price since they have already paid something.

    The problem is that Groups does not change the user role in WordPress, which means Dynamic pricing cannot work since it is based on user roles.

    This is a very important issue to address because unless you can offer upgrades to users the system is very limited.

  23. Andy Joe
    June 23, 2012 at 2:21 am #

    So exciting! I can’t wait for WooBookings to integrate with this so that when people cancel their subscription they are automatically taken off the calendar! At that point I can use this. Good work folks!

    • el Rafa
      June 23, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      What is WooBookings?

      • el Rafa
        June 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

        Nevermind, I just saw in the ideas forum that WooBookings is the highly sought-after WooDojo plugin supposedly coming in the next 3 months or so. =)

  24. Stef G
    June 23, 2012 at 11:29 am #

    Uhh very exciting :·)

    Is it possible to have products that only members see?

  25. Jesse
    June 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Awesome, been hoping for this for a while! Does this drop support multiple concurrent currencies? Does it also support PayPal Pro/Websites?

  26. KC
    June 25, 2012 at 2:27 am #


    Your website has a few bugs and I can’t even use the contact form to contact you.. when I click contact you after I enter all the details, it shows the error:

    • Magnus
      June 25, 2012 at 8:50 am #

      Hi, sorry about this. It seems like a temporary server error. Please send us a mail to support at woothemes dot com 🙂

  27. Andy Joe
    June 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Do we still have to wait for a WooCommerce child theme for listings or will this work with it?

    • el Rafa
      June 26, 2012 at 7:00 pm #

      Hey Andy, I asked a similar question in the forum and this is the reply from Mike Jolley:

      “We’ve not built WooCommerce support into listings yet sadly, so there isn’t much guidance we can give.
      You could perhaps put your listing submission page behind a paywall, using groups and subscriptions but I don’t know how good a solution this would be.
      You can seek help with one of our Affiliated Woo Workers or post a job on our WooJobs website if you need further assistance with this customisation.”

      Here’s my reply:
      Thanks Mikey for the reply.
      Why haven’t the “Enterprise” themes been getting any love?

      If they’re not selling well enough, WooThemes should take a serious look at pricing them more affordably. Say, for example, $97 + 1 bonus theme (or even $70 without bonus themes) instead of $200. At $200 they’ve been priced into obscurity.

      One of marketers’ biggest mistakes is NOT testing pricing!

      This not only hurts sales but also in this case, the customer relationship: The customers that paid the most are being essentially ignored.

      In regard to your suggestion about getting a Woo Worker or posting on WooJobs, why base a business around a solution that looks likely to be retired by its creator soon?

      This is a serious problem that I hope is addressed at the next company meeting.

      Do we need to initiate a Kickstarter campaign just to get WooThemes to update Listings in the next 30 to 60 days? If so, please let us know a what the fundraising goal amount should be.

  28. Matt
    June 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

    Is it possible to automatically apply a discount for members of a group to all other products in the store?

  29. James Rodewig
    June 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

    Just in time. I was literally looking at other plugins and this came up in the search. Glad I can stay loyal to the Woo team (and know the plugins work and stay supported). Thanks, guys.

  30. Bozz
    June 30, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    I’m curious why you went with Groups over the Members plugin? I’ve used the latter quite a bit and it seems would provide the same functionality with a much larger user base. Interested in the rationale. Thanks!

  31. Steve
    July 24, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    I have a ton of customizations in the code of WooCommerce (1.5.6). Is there a way to get this and the newest version of WooCommerce without overriding all of my customizations? Or is there a “best practices” so I can add them back?

  32. Teodora
    July 27, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    Looks like a great extension, I am looking to purchase it, but does it support Sagepay?

  33. Charlie Cryder
    August 4, 2012 at 10:14 pm #

    Hey there great extension but I have one very important question. My client has a service that they sell at different prices depending on what territory you want access to(Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana). The service would be sold as a 1 year subscription which can be paid in one installment or monthly which is why we would need the subscription extension. The question I have though is is it possible to add multiple subscriptions to the customers cart like adding Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and pay for those three subscriptions through that extension? Thanks and look forward to hearing back from you.

    • Brent Shepherd
      August 6, 2012 at 2:03 am #

      Hi Charlie, it is currently only possible to purchase one subscription at a time, so your customer would need to checkout 3 times to purchase the three subscriptions, or you could create one subscription which includes all 3 territories.

      Purchasing multiple subscriptions is on the todo list, but I can not give an estimate of when it will be available.

  34. Steven
    August 8, 2012 at 5:34 pm #


  35. Crucible
    August 14, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    Hey guys, just pulled trigger on the extension for Stripe, one question though, during testing, one time product purchases to Stripe in Demo mode work great. All good. I did my 1st subscription purchase test, goes thru ok, but when I login to Stripe it doesn’t appear the subscription is created or passed to stripe. Just shows a 1 time charge of $29 bucks (my test case).

    Should the Stripe dashboard show a subscription is there? I’ve setup for month recurring, etc. Went thru all the docs, what am I missing here.

    Thanks couldn’t find any articles on this yet need some input.

    Great plugin though, even better when I get it working!