Trusted WordPress tutorials, when you need them most.
Beginner’s Guide to WordPress
25 Million+
Websites using our plugins
Years of WordPress experience
WordPress tutorials
by experts

How to Add Subscriptions to WooCommerce (Free and Easy)

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Do you want to add subscriptions to WooCommerce in WordPress?

Adding subscriptions lets you offer memberships, create premium content, and generate consistent revenue for your business.

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

How to add subscriptions to WooCommerce (free alternative)

Why Add Subscriptions to WooCommerce?

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

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

By adding subscription payments to your eCommerce business, you’ll have more consistent cash flow, fewer payment errors, and fewer payment delays.

It also gives you more flexibility in the type of WooCommerce site you can create. Some of the most popular eCommerce brands in recent years have used a subscription model for their business.

  • Recurring physical product subscriptions like Dollar Shave Club
  • Members-only meal services, like Hello Fresh
  • Curated subscription box services like Stitch Fix

That being said, let’s take a look at how to add subscriptions to WooCommerce.

We’ll cover multiple ways to add 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 easier and recommended for most WooCommerce store owners.

For this, we’ll be using the official WooCommerce Subscriptions extension.

WooCommerce subscriptions extension

This extension was built by the WooCommerce team. It allows you to create and manage subscription products and create recurring payments.

You’ll be able to do things like create subscriptions for digital and physical products, create monthly subscription boxes, yearly software packages, and more.

Also, it offers 25 payment gateway integrations, including popular choices like PayPal and Stripe. This means your customers will have a smooth checkout experience. Customers can choose a manual subscription renewal method if they have unsubscribed and want to rejoin your plan.

It supports automatic rebelling on failed subscription payments as well, so you never lose revenue.

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

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

Aside from free WooCommerce subscriptions, this Bluehost plan also comes with close to $1000 worth of premium extensions for free, including Online Bookings & Appointments, Jetpack Premium, and more.

This is why they’re among the top WooCommerce hosting providers on our list.

Once you sign up for hosting, both WooCommerce and the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension will be automatically installed.

After that, you can easily add subscriptions to any WooCommerce products to your online store.

You’ll have an option in your WooCommerce product editing page where you can set your subscription settings.

WooCommerce subscription options

For more help with WooCommerce, see our ultimate WooCommerce tutorial.

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

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

To do this, we’ll use the YITH WooCommerce Subscription plugin. This free plugin lets you simply add subscriptions for simple, digital, or downloadable products. If you need even more features, you can upgrade to the Pro version for $199 per year.

YITH is a WooCommerce-centered developer, and you can find almost any feature you want for WooCommerce in one of their plugins. Check out their whole library here.

To start out adding subscriptions to the plugin, you’ll need to install and activate the plugin. For more details, see our step-by-step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

After the plugin is installed and activated, you’ll have a new menu item called ‘YITH’ in your WordPress dashboard.

Navigate to YITH » Subscriptions, select ‘Settings’ and make sure the ‘Enable Subscription’ box is set to ‘Yes.’

Enable YITH WooCommerce subscription setting

Next, open a product you want to turn into a subscription by navigating to Products » All Products.

Then, select your subscription product.

Select WooCommerce product for subscription

After that, go to the ‘Product data’ box and check the ‘Subscription’ check box.

This will add a new option where you can set the subscription price and maximum length of the subscription.

Set product subscription price with YITH

Once you’ve added your subscription settings, make sure you save your product by clicking the ‘Update’ button.

Now, when your visitors purchase a product, they’ll have the subscription payment option.

Subscription product example

Note: If you want to add different subscription plans at various price points, you can use YITH WooCommerce Membership. This allows you to set tiered pricing, where the higher plan offers more premium benefits than the basic membership levels.

Method 3. Add WooCommerce Subscriptions for Memberships and Courses

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

This is where MemberPress comes in. It’s the best WordPress membership plugin in the market.

You can sell subscriptions, online courses, premium content, and digital downloads with this plugin.

MemberPress membership page

To learn more, see our detailed MemberPress review.

To add membership subscriptions, you’ll first need to create your membership website. To get started, see our step-by-step guide on creating a WordPress membership site.

After that, you can add recurring subscription memberships with MemberPress. To do this, see our simple, step-by-step guide on how to accept recurring payments in WordPress.

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

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

To do this, navigate to MemberPress » Rules and click ‘Add New’.

MemberPress rule settings

Next, under the ‘Rule Options’ setting, select ‘All Products’ from the dropdown list.

Then, select the membership level you want to give access to the products. In this case, we’re only giving our ‘Monthly Subscription’ members access to the products in our store.

Configure membership rule

Once you’ve made these changes, make sure to save them by clicking ‘Save Rule.’

You can also use MemberPress as a complete LMS plugin to create courses, which you can set up for recurring subscriptions. MemberPress is also the best WordPress LMS plugin in the market.

You can use the simple drag-and-drop builder to create online courses with an immersive learning experience. With their course addon, you can drip-feed content to subscribers and add engagement triggers to keep them active.

Add course sections in MemberPress

The ‘Courses’ feature of MemberPress works seamlessly with any WordPress theme.

Their classroom mode feature is our favorite because it offers a distraction-free learning experience.

The MemberPress course curriculum that users see, showing their progression through the course

Once your customers sign up for a membership level in MemberPress, they’ll be automatically enrolled in your courses. You can even bundle your courses together for a discount and sell course access to those as a recurring subscription, too.

We hope this article helped you add subscriptions to WooCommerce. You may also want to see our list of the best WooCommerce plugins for your store and our ultimate guide on WooCommerce SEO.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

The Ultimate WordPress Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - a collection of WordPress related products and resources that every professional should have!

Reader Interactions

3 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

  2. Echo says

    #2 YITH you never mentioned a payment gateway for any of the subscriptions, if I missed it I apologize, I’m using Stripe. How is Stripe going to know this is a subscription if I’m using YITH?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      You would want to add their stripe integration and then you would be able to charge using Stripe.


Leave A Reply

Thanks for choosing to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our comment policy, and your email address will NOT be published. Please Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.