How to add subscriptions to WooCommerce (free alternative)

Would you like to subscribe to WooCommerce in WordPress?

By adding subscriptions, you can offer memberships, create premium content, and generate consistent revenue for your business.

In this article, we are going to show you how to easily add recurring subscriptions to WooCommerce using multiple methods.

Why add subscriptions to WooCommerce?

There are many benefits to adding WooCommerce subscriptions to your WordPress site.

First, it helps automate the billing process and saves you a lot of time. You don’t have to manually bill your customers every month.

By adding subscription payments to your ecommerce business, you can get more consistent cash flow, fewer payment errors, and fewer payment delays.

It also gives you more flexibility in the types of ecommerce website you can build.

  • A recurring subscription to physical products like Dollar Shave Club
  • A members-only online store, like a virtual version of Costco
  • A curated membership box like Stitch Fix

Let’s look at how to add subscriptions to WooCommerce.

We’re going to cover different ways of adding subscriptions to WooCommerce, and you can choose the one that works best for your business.

Method 1.Add WooCommerce subscriptions (paid option)

This method is simpler and is recommended for most WooCommerce store owners.

We use the official WooCommerce Subscriptions extension for this.

WooCommerce subscription extension

This extension was created by the team behind WooCommerce. You can create and manage subscription products and create recurring payments.

For example, you can create subscriptions to digital and physical products, create monthly subscription boxes, yearly software packages, and much more.

The easiest way to get started with WooCommerce subscriptions is to sign up for Bluehost WooCommerce hosting.

Bluehost has agreed to offer our readers an exclusive discount that also includes the free WooCommerce subscription renewal for $ 199.

→ Click here to take advantage of this Bluehost exclusive offer ←

Aside from free WooCommerce subscriptions, this Bluehost plan also has nearly $ 1000 worth of free premium extensions, including online bookings and appointments, Jetpack Premium, and more.

Because of this, they are among the top WooCommerce hosting providers on our list.

Once you’ve signed up for hosting, both WooCommerce and the WooCommerce subscription extension will be installed automatically.

After that, you can easily add subscriptions to all WooCommerce products in your online shop.

On your WooCommerce product edit page, you have an option that allows you to set your subscription settings.

WooCommerce subscription options

For more help on WooCommerce, check out our ultimate WooCommerce tutorial.

Method 2.Add WooCommerce Subscriptions (Using a Free Plugin)

This method is for store owners on a budget who want to add subscriptions to WooCommerce for free.

We use the YITH WooCommerce Subscription Plugin for this. With this free plugin, you can easily add subscriptions to simple, digital, or downloadable products.

First you need to install and activate the plugin. For more information, see our step-by-step guide to installing a WordPress plugin.

After the plugin has been installed and activated, you will have a new menu item called “YITH” in your WordPress dashboard.

Navigate to YITH »Subscriptions and select “Settings” and make sure that the “Activate Subscription” field is set to “Yes”.

Activate the subscription setting of YITH WooCommerce

Next, open a product that you want to subscribe to by navigating to it Products »All products.

Then select your subscription product.

Select the WooCommerce product for subscription

After that, go to the “Product Data” checkbox and check the “Subscription” checkbox.

This will add a new option that will allow you to set the subscription price and maximum subscription duration.

Set the product subscription price with YITH

After adding your subscription settings, make sure to save your product by clicking the “Update” button.

Now when your visitors buy a product, they have the option to pay for a subscription.

Subscription product example

Method 3. Add WooCommerce subscriptions for memberships and courses

Are you creating a membership page or selling online courses and want to set up subscription payments for your visitors?

This is where MemberPress comes into play. It’s the best WordPress membership plugin out there.

This plugin allows you to sell subscriptions, online courses, premium content, and digital downloads.

MemberPress member site

To add membership subscriptions, you must first create your membership website. First, check out our step-by-step guide on how to create a WordPress member site.

After that, you can add recurring subscription memberships with MemberPress.

Read our step-by-step guide on how to accept recurring payments in WordPress.

Once you have set up subscription memberships, you can assign your WooCommerce products to your memberships.

This allows you to hide certain products and get users to sign up for a membership to view your products or to make a purchase.

To do this, navigate to MemberPress »Rules and click “Add New”.

MemberPress rule settings

Next, under Rules Options, select All Products from the drop-down list.

Then select the membership level that you want to give access to the products. In this case, we will only grant our monthly subscription members access to the products in our store.

Configure the membership rule

When you’ve made these changes, be sure to save your changes by clicking “Save Rule”.

You can also use MemberPress as a full LMS plugin to create courses. In addition to membership, MemberPress is also the best WordPress LMS plugin on the market.

You can use it to easily create online courses with a rich learning experience. Their course addon allows you to drain feed content and add engagement triggers to keep your students active. All of this with an easy-to-use drag and drop builder.

Add course sections in MemberPress

The course feature works seamlessly with any WordPress theme, and the classroom mode feature is our favorite as it provides a distraction-free learning experience.

The MemberPress course curriculum that users see shows their progress during the course

As soon as your customers have registered for a membership level with MemberPress, they will automatically be included in your courses. You can even bundle your courses at a discount and sell course access as a recurring subscription.

We hoped this article helped you add subscriptions to WooCommerce. You might also want to check out our list of the best WooCommerce plugins for your shop and our ultimate guide to WooCommerce SEO.

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