The Subscriptions extension for WooCommerce allows your customers to pay for products or services that require recurring payments. With this extension you can have a number of products as subscriptions, including physical products, virtual products, downloadable products, services offered and memberships.

How the Subscriptions extension works

The Subscriptions extension can be used from the WooCommerce product section. Creating a subscription product is the same as creating any other WooCommerce product.
Furthermore, there are two types of subscriptions that you can create from your Product Data meta box, namely a “simple subscription” or a “variable subscription”. A variable subscription product allows your customers to switch between subscriptions. This will allow them to upgrade and downgrade to suit their needs. From the admin side, you will be able to choose if your customers get a discount when downgrading or if they pay pro-rata when upgrading.
subscriptions extension
Let’s take a look at some of the features included in this extension:

  • Charge per day, week, month or year.
  • Charge an optional sign up fee.
  • Offer discounts on subscriptions.
  • Taxes and shipping fees are all applied to recurring payments.
  • When there is an update available for a downloadable subscription product, the product will automatically be given to subscribers.
  • Subscribers can change their payment method (for example, credit card or EFT) from their “My Account” page.
  • Use the WooCommerce Email system for your renewal emails. You can also set up a “cancelled subscription” email to notify store managers of a cancelled subscription automatically.

How PharosOnline used the plugin

PharosOnline is an extensive library of online dictionaries. They offer dictionary subscriptions to their clients and with the revamp of their website, they decided to use WooCommerce. Therefore, the Subscriptions extension was the ideal option for their service.
Now let’s take a look at how they used this extension. From the Product Data meta box they chose the “simple product” option. They chose to sell a “virtual” product and then for each type of subscription set their product expiry. For example, a free subscription only lasts 14 days whereas a paid subscription lasts 12 months.
Another feature that they use is emails. However, the base WooCommerce email system didn’t have enough subscription-related options. Therefore, they decided to use the Follow-Up Emails extension for WooCommerce. The Follow-up Emails extension for WooCommerce helps you to stay in communication with your customers by scheduling email campaigns.


The Subscriptions extension for WooCommerce allows you to offer recurring payments to your customers and it can be combined with many other extensions. One of these extensions that can make Subscriptions better is called Groups. In the next post, we’ll have a look at this extension.