How to Accept Recurring Payments With WordPress: 4 Easy Methods

Trying to figure out how to accept recurring payments with WordPress?

Recurring payments are awesome for your bottom line because they guarantee money coming in every month (or week…or whatever interval you want!). But their recurring nature also makes them a little bit more complicated to set up in comparison to one-time payments.

Don’t worry, though! You’ve got plenty of options when it comes to how to accept recurring payments with WordPress. And in this post, I’m going to share four easy solutions to help you start accepting recurring payments in no time.

Whether you want to use PayPal, Stripe, or an entirely different payment gateway, you should be able to find what you need on this list.

And, while you certainly can use these methods for any type of recurring payment, if you’re a web professional who resells our WordPress maintenance plans to your clients, these solutions will let you put your clients’ recurring maintenance payments on autopilot.

Ready to start building that recurring revenue? Let’s dive in!

1. WP Simple Pay – Easy Recurring Stripe Payments

A good option if…you just want an easy way to accept basic recurring payments and don’t need broader eCommerce functionality.

As the name suggests, WP Simple Pay is a simple way to start accepting recurring payments via Stripe.

If you’re not familiar, Stripe is a popular payment gateway that makes it easy to accept credit card payments (or other methods) with competitive fees (2.9% + $0.30).

One of the big perks of WP Simple Pay is its ease of use. Through its own streamlined interface and the Stripe interface, you get access to a really beginner-friendly recurring payments solution.

As of the latest version, you’ll first create a subscription product in the Stripe interface, which makes it easy to:

  • Choose the currency
  • Choose the price
  • Set the billing interval

accept recurring payments with wordpress and stripe

Then, once you add your pricing plan in the Stripe interface, you can select it in WP Simple Pay and easily embed a button/form on your WordPress site.

Here’s an example of what your subscription option might look like:

WP Simple Pay Demo

And you can also view the live demos here.

While there is a free version of WP Simple Pay at WordPress.org, you will need the $99 WP Simple Pay Pro Business plan for subscription payments.

2. WooCommerce Subscriptions – Recurring Payments On WooCommerce

A good option if…you need more control over your subscription payments, either in terms of payment gateways or functionality.

WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin, as well as the overall most popular platform to build an eCommerce store (that is, even more popular than platforms like Shopify).

While it has all the functionality needed to create a full eCommerce store, you’ll also find plenty of people using it in a more targeted fashion. One example of that more targeted fashion is…recurring payments!

If you stack the paid WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin on top of the core free WooCommerce software, you can create special WooCommerce “subscription” products that let you create both simple and complex subscription offerings:

WooCommerce Subscriptions

There are a few benefits to this approach. You:

  • Get access to the huge number of WooCommerce payment gateways (more details here)
  • Can get pretty creative with your subscription products. You can even stack on other WooCommerce plugins, like the WooCommerce Product Add-ons extension.
  • Can set up recurring payments for other plugins, like a membership plugin for membership sites or an LMS plugin for eCourses.

The potential downside, though, is that you have to install the entire WooCommerce plugin. So if you just want to create a few basic subscriptions, that’s a lot of features and code that you don’t need.

Overall, a good approach is to make something simple like WP Simple Pay your first stop. But if that doesn’t do it for you, using WooCommerce and WooCommerce Subscriptions will give you access to more flexibility.

The WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin starts at $199 for use on a single site.

3. WordPress PayPal – Easy Recurring PayPal Payments

A good option if…you just want a simple way to accept basic recurring payments and don’t need broader eCommerce functionality.

WordPress PayPal is another simple option to accept recurring payments on WordPress. It’s a lot like WP Simple Pay…but for PayPal.

It’s really easy to use…

First, you add your email address and currency in the plugin’s settings:

WordPress PayPal Plugin

Then, you can use shortcodes to create a subscription button. For example, here’s what the shortcode for a basic subscription payment looks like:

[wp_paypal button="subscribe" name="My product" amount="1.00" recurrence="1" period="M" src="1"]

All the shortcode options are documented on the plugin’s page.

All you do is add that shortcode to the post or page where you want your recurring payment to appear. Then, the Subscribe button will appear:

Example of button

And if users click on that Subscribe button, they’ll be taken to the PayPal interface, where they can see more information about how the subscription works:

PayPal Interface

Beyond being easy to use, another nice benefit of this method is that the plugin is 100% free.

4. Easy Digital Downloads – Recurring Payments Add-on

A good option if…you need more control over your subscription payments, either in terms of payment gateways or functionality.

Like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads is a full eCommerce platform, though it leans more towards digital products than WooCommerce.

With the paid Recurring Payments add-on, you can create digital products with automatic recurring payments.

With this approach, you get many of the same benefits as using WooCommerce. That is, you can:

  • Choose from a variety of popular payment gateways, including Stripe, PayPal, 2Checkout, and Authorize.net.
  • Integrate with other Easy Digital Downloads add-ons to create more customized subscription products.
  • Connect to other types of plugins to create recurring payments, including most popular membership plugins or LMS plugins.

So if you’re going to go the eCommerce route for recurring payments, why might you choose Easy Digital Downloads over WooCommerce?

I think the main benefit is that Easy Digital Downloads is a bit more lightweight and streamlined because it focuses exclusively on digital products (which is what most recurring payments are). But the downside is that you lose access to the huge marketplace of third-party WooCommerce extensions.

If you want to accept recurring payments with Easy Digital Downloads, the Recurring Payments add-on is $199. A better option, though, is to purchase the Extended Pass, which also costs just $199 and includes the Recurring Payments add-on as well as all the available payment gateways.

Start Accepting Recurring Payments On WordPress Today!

And there you have it – four easy ways for you to start accepting subscription payments with WordPress.

If you just want a simple solution, your best bet is to go with WP Simple Pay for Stripe or WordPress Paypal for PayPal.

And for more complicated recurring payments, an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads might offer a bit more functionality.

How to Accept Recurring Payments With WordPress: 4 Easy Methods
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