How to setup WooCommerce Subscriptions?

Featured, WooCommerce, WordPress
How to setup WooCommerce Subscriptions?

In this guide, you will learn how to successfully get started with selling subscriptions on your WooCommerce store.

Whether you need to sell physical products such as soap or coffee on a monthly basis, or virtual products such as hosting plans on a yearly fee, you are in good hands.

I would recommend setting up this plugin on a staging site first OR take a backup on the your live site.

If you are more of a visual learner, see the video tutorial for how to get started with WooCommerce Subscriptions.

Let’s begin!

Steps to setup WooCommerce Subscriptions

  1. Purchase, install and activate the plugin
  2. Configure your subscription settings
  3. Allow customers to create account
  4. Check your Payment methods
  5. Create your first subscription product
  6. Do a test order with a subscription product

1. Purchase, install and activate the plugin

To get started, purchase the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin.

Next, download the .zip file.

Then, on your WordPress dashboard, hover over Plugins and click “Add new”. Upload the .zip file and click “Install now”.

Finally, activate the plugin and go to the WooCommerce Subscription settings.

2. Configure your subscription settings

In your subscription settings, ensure that “Accept Manual Renewals” is unchecked. WooCommerce Subscriptions is setup to automatically run your customer’s payment method every billing interval (i.e. every day, every week, every month, every year). Unless their credit card is declined, this will continue to run without the need to re-add their payment method.

Next, scroll down to the bottom of the page and check “Retry Failed Payments”. If a customer’s payment fails on a renewal order this will allow the payment to be retried.

Finally, Save changes.

3. Allow customers to create account during checkout

Go to the Accounts tab in your WooCommerce Settings.

Make sure that you are allowing customers to create an account during checkout. You could also check the option to automatically create account for customer based on their email address. Their username and password will be emailed to them after Checkout.

For example, if John Doe ( was a previous customer and now tries to checkout with a subscription product, it will ask him to login or create his account for him.

4. Check your payment methods

To use WooCommerce Subscriptions, make sure you have at least 1 payment method that supports “Automatic Recurring Payments”.

Go to the Payments tab in your WooCommerce settings. If you see a checkmark next to your payment method, you are all set!

If you do not have a payment method that supports WooCommerce Subscriptions, see the full list of payment methods that support subscriptions including Stripe, Authorize.Net, and PayPal Standard.

5. Create your first subscription product

Add a new product to your store. Name the product.

Next, scroll down to the Product data section and update the Product type to “Simple subscription”.

Then, add the subscription price, billing interval, etc.

In this example I am selling Coffee Beans and charging $10/month.

Finally, upload an image of your product and “Publish” your product.

Pro tip: If you already have an existing non-subscription product and want to offer this product on subscriptions, it may be easier to just “clone” an existing product using the Duplicate Post plugin. Then, edit that product and scroll down to the bottom and update to a “simple subscription” or “variable subscription”. Looking to combine your products? See more here.

6. Do a test order with a subscription product

Now, let’s do a test checkout to simulate how a customer would go through this process.

Open up an incognito window and go to your Product page. Click “sign up now”.

Add the product to your Cart and go through the Checkout process. I would recommend using a email address that is not an administrator on your site. This will allow you to better understand how your customers will go through this process.

Check your email. You should have received a subscription order receipt.

On your Order Received page, click the “view” button to see more details regarding your subscription on your Account page. This will allow you to see the start date, last order date, next payment date, etc. You can also see the options to cancel, change your payment method, and renew now.

Video tutorial

Sound off in the comments what products in your store you are looking to start selling as subscriptions!

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Subscription Box
How to setup the synchronize settings for subscription boxes?

Let’s say you sell a subscription box for $100/month. In the WC subscription settings, you would need to enable “Synchronize renewals” so that you are able to align the subscription renewal date to the 15th of each month.

Next, under “Prorate First Renewal”, you would choose the option to Never (charge the full recurring amount at sign-up). Then, under “Sign-up grace period” add in 30 days prior to the renewal day.


Finally, edit the product and make sure you set this to 15th day of the month.


For example, if Matt subscribes to the subscription box on May 10th and Josef subscribes on May 28th, they would be subscribed to your box but not be charged until June 15th. If someone subscribes to the box on June 1st, they would be subscribed but not charged until their first renewal payment on July 15th.

1X Purchase Only
Can I buy 1 subscription product and a non-subscription product on the same order?

Yes, you need to purchase the All Products for WooCommerce Subscriptions extension on your WooCommerce site.