How to Setup Recurring Payments on WordPress Websites

As a webmaster, I’ll advise you to Setup Recurring Payments on your site — if you’d want to increase your revenue streams. Often times, it’s very hard to be creative when you’re worried about money. And although running ads on your site help, for many creators, ad revenue isn’t enough.

That’s why top publishers and creators sustain their businesses through other revenue streams. By building reliable income streams through ongoing contributions. And that’s just among many other reasons why they Setup Recurring Payments on their sites.

How to Setup Recurring Payments

The new Recurring Payments feature for WordPress.com and Jetpack-powered sites lets you do just that. Now that it’s a monetization tool for content creators who want to collect repeat contributions from their supporters. And it’s available with any paid plan on WordPress.com.

What are Recurring Payments?

In the simplest terms, recurring payments (also known as subscription payments, automatic payments, or recurring billing) take place when customers authorize a merchant to charge them repeatedly. Either for goods or services on a prearranged schedule (monthly, weekly, daily, or annually).

Initially, they were reserved for services like gym memberships and magazine subscriptions. But as of today, they’re quickly making their way into almost every industry. From subscription box services like Dollar Shave Club and Blue Apron to SaaS products like Shopify and Dropbox.

As well as utility payments to video streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Video. In short, all kinds of enterprises are optimizing their customers’ checkout experience. For as long as they Setup Recurring Payments to automate their systems.

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So, with this in mind, done correctly, recurring automated payments can be huge time-savers for your business! No longer do you need to chase down your customers for their payment information. All you’ll need to do is obtain one-time consent from your customer.

And in that case, in order to charge their card or electronic wallet. These charges will be made automatically on an ongoing basis until your customer cancels the subscription. Or rather, until the recurring payment plan expires.

Neither merchant nor payer has to be physically or virtually present for the transaction to happen. Today, in this guide, I’ll dwell much on how to Setup Recurring Payments on your WordPress website. But first, let’s answer the following question.

How do Recurring Payments work?

The easiest way to do recurring billing is through payment service providers. Being the all-in-one payment solutions, these services handle all aspects of e-payments. Like collecting and processing recurring payments on behalf of customers.

Or even taking care of payment security and depositing the funds into the merchant’s business account. Below are the main steps involved in recurring billing processing:

How do Recurring Payments work?

As I mentioned earlier, a recurring payment is a transaction that repeats multiple times on a specific date range and is charged on a periodic basis, such as online software.

Led by giants like Netflix, Spotify, DropBox, and Salesforce, the subscription economy is growing by leaps and bounds, and recurring billing lies at the heart of it.

What are the Benefits of Recurring Payments?

In general, recurring payments are gaining steam in the world of e-commerce. And it’s easy to see why. Not only do subscription payments simplify the entire billing process, but they also offer an impeccable checkout experience for your clients.

For your customers, the most significant value lies in inconveniences. The recurring billing process is entirely automated and hassle-free. Whereby, they don’t need to go through a tedious checkout process and enter their payment data every billing cycle.

What’s more, is that the transaction is between you and your subscriber. WordPress.com only facilitates the processing and management of the subscription. Meaning, they don’t save your subscribers’ credit card information.

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Either way — it’s stored by Stripe, the payment processor so that the charge can renew automatically. Furthermore, your subscribers can manage, edit, or cancel their recurring payments on their own. Without your intervention, by visiting Me > Manage Purchases > Other sites.

Once an automatic payment plan is confirmed, the money will automatically come out of their account without them having to actually do anything. Recurring payments can also benefit a merchant in many ways.

With recurring payments, you can:
  • Accept ongoing payments from visitors directly on your site,
  • Bill supporters automatically, on a set schedule,
  • Allow subscribers to cancel anytime from their WordPress.com account,
  • Offer ongoing subscriptions, site memberships, monthly donations, and more,
  • Grow your fan base with exclusive, mouth-watering, and relevant content,
  • Integrate your site with Stripe to process payments and collect funds, etc.

In short, let your followers support you with periodic, or scheduled payments. For example, you can charge for your weekly newsletter, and accept monthly donations.

As well as sell yearly access to your exclusive content — and do it all with an automated payment system. Other compelling perks of subscription billing include:

1. They speed up transactions saving time

Because automated billing happens electronically, it requires little to no maintenance. The cost to acquire a new customer is a one-time expense, but you benefit from it repetitively. The entire sales cycle is getting shorter and less expensive.

No longer do you need to chase payments or spend time creating invoices – the system will do everything for you. Once you set the initial payment schedule up and your customer agrees to predetermined billing dates, the money gets deposited into your business bank account automatically.

Recurring billing saves you and your customers a lot of time and energy. It minimizes the time spent on payment administration. Once you build a relationship with your returning customers, the customer service time and costs are reduced as well.

2. They help control budgeting guesswork

Equally important, automated billing allows you to take some guesswork out of budgeting. As a merchant, you can count on revenue from automated payments with a high degree of certainty. Recurring payments guarantee a reliable cash flow.

Thus making the process of managing your existing assets and planning your future financial endeavors much easier. If you want your business to grow big, embracing the subscription-based business model is the way to go. Enterprises that have adopted this revenue model have seen tremendous growth.

By implementing recurring billing, businesses can maximize their revenue potential and see a more consistent flow of cash. As they also foster relationships with their long-term customers. No matter what business you are in, automated recurring payments is something worth giving a try.

3. They offer a competitive fee structure

Last, but certainly not least, their competitive fee structure helps you share your work far and wide! Recurring Payments are available on all paid plans. For both WordPress.com and Jetpack-connected sites. As you make the most of their collection of monetizing tools.

Recurring payments are the latest addition to the monetizing tools available on WordPress.com. You’ll pay a percentage of the revenue your site generates through Recurring Payments, which varies depending on your plan. And as you collect more subscribers, you might consider switching to a different plan in order to retain more revenue.


Available Plans Include:
WordPress.com Plans Jetpack Plans Related Fees
eCommerce None
Business Professional 2%
Premium Premium 4%
Personal Personal 8%

Please note that in addition to the fees you pay, Stripe collects 2.9% + $0.30 for each payment made to your Stripe account.

According to the latest McKinsey & Company e-commerce consumer research, 46% of Americans said to have subscriptions for online streaming-media services like Netflix or Hulu. Whereby, 15% of respondents said they’ve signed up for subscriptions to receive products recurrently.

How to Setup Recurring Payments on WordPress Websites

To put the numbers in perspective, the subscription e-commerce market has grown by over 100%  annually over the past five years. How’s that for a track record? Being a “holy grail” of digital marketing, recurring payments are not something your business can’t afford to skimp on.

Generally speaking, it’s even easier than ever for your visitors to support your site. Recurring Payments make it easy to purchase a subscription or become a supporter of any WordPress.com or Jetpack-connected site. Your subscribers will be able to use the same payment information and manage all their subscriptions in one place.

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To do that, they’ll just need a WordPress.com account. During the checkout process, they will enter their email address. If they already have a WordPress account linked to that address, they’ll associate the purchase with that account. If they don’t, then they’ll create an account for them.

When they complete the purchase, they’ll receive an email with more info and login instructions for their new account. You can follow the following steps in order to Setup Recurring Payments on your WordPress Website:

Steps to Follow as you Setup Recurring Payments

First of all, you’ll need a Stripe account to use Recurring Payments on your site. Now that WordPress is in partnership with Stripe — one of the internet’s biggest payment processors. To make sure transactions are fast and secure.

That said, head on to your payments page and click Connect Stripe to Get Started. Not forgetting — they’ll even walk you through the setup and help you create a Stripe account if you don’t have one. The next step is to customize the details of the recurring payment.

Whereby, you can create as many payment plans for your site as you’d like. From different currencies, amounts, payment frequencies, and names, etc. So that you can offer different tiers or subscriptions.

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And not only that but you can also choose one of your previously created plans — when you insert a new button. Bravo! You just Setup Recurring Payments for your WordPress website. And now your fans can support you, just like they do on Longreads.com and around the web.

Besides that, there’re so many other options to grow your supporter base. So, in nutshell, with Recurring Payments, you can turn your content into revenue. As well as accept donations, or even fund your next big idea.

This form of monetization also allows you to:
  • Sell access to members-only newsletters.
  • Collect club membership dues automatically.
  • Let fans fund your next art project.

Some people even collect rent with recurring payments! And having said that, you can read and learn more about how to use recurring payments in detail with more examples. And having said that, below are the other tools you can find by visiting WordPress.com/earn.

Other tools to monetize your site include:
  • Firstly, you can use Simple Payments to take one-time payments or to sell digital or physical products with minimal configuration.
  • Secondly, you can add WordAds to run advertisements on your site, and earn revenue from your traffic.
  • Then again, you can move to WooCommerce when you’re ready to create a full shopping experience for visitors.

And by all means, WooCommerce is the most customizable online-store platform on the web, with thousands of extensions. So, are you ready to Setup Recurring Payments on your site? Head to your site’s Earn section right now and make your income life easy!

Finally, if you’ll need more support, you can Contact Us and let us know how we can help. You can also share some of your additional thoughts and questions in our comments section.

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