It can be a pain to sell subscriptions on WordPress. You are pretty much at the mercy of the plugin you are using, which generally tend to be missing a lot of capabilities as well as being a huge pain to get configured to your liking, also many WordPress payments plugins focus on physical products while subscriptions are a sidenote (Woocommerce for example) . Stripe Billing is a subscription management system loved by developers for their great API and rich set of subscription billing features. Stripe is ideal for many use-cases you see on WordPress; the problem is if you are using WordPress you might not be a developer, and those great APIs may look like a foreign language to you. In this article, we are going to dive into how you can utilize the power of Stripe Billing and WordPress by using the Servicebot WordPress Plugin, a drop-in UI designed explicitly for Stripe Billing so you can have customers signup and manage their subscriptions.

subscription management portal for self service

Getting Started With Stripe

Sign up for a Stripe Account

The first thing you will need to do if you haven't already is to sign up for Stripe. The process is pretty straightforward, but you will need to enter your bank account details if you want to receive funds.

Define your Products and Plans in Stripe

You will need to create some products and plans in your Stripe account. If you haven't registered for Stripe, you can do so here. For a more in-depth walkthrough of getting started with Stripe, check out this article.

For an example strategy, you can create a two-tiered pricing strategy, with a Basic $50/month tier and a Premium at $300/month tier defined as separate Products in Stripe.

For the plugin to pick up what tier is which, you will need to add metadata to these Products. In Stripe you should add sb_tier and sb_service to each product you created, for example, the Basic product will have sb_tier equal to `Basic` and sb_service will be "MyService",

Similarly, the Premium product will have sb_tier = Premium and sb_service = "MyService". For a more detailed guide on how to setup your Stripe, see this article.

Now that your Stripe is set up for subscriptions, you can move onto the WordPress plugin.

Using the Plugin in WordPress

Install The Plugin

In your WordPress, go to the "Plugins" sections and click "Add New". Search for "Servicebot" and install the plugin on your WordPress.

Get your Servicebot ID and Secret

If you haven't already, sign up for Servicebot, it's free to get started. Once you connect your Stripe account, you created earlier. You can get your Servicebot ID and Secret that will be used to configure the WordPress Plugin.

configuration snippet in servicebot

Configure the Plugin

With the plugin installed, a new Servicebot link should show up on the sidebar of the admin panel in your WordPress. This is where you can configure the plugin.

Add your Test Mode Servicebot ID, your Service Name (in this example "MyService") and your Secret Key to the configuration, afterward you can start embedding and see the fruits of our labor.

configure the wordpress plugin with the servicebot information

Embed The Pricing Page

Now that you have configured the plugin let's add your pricing and plans to a Wordpress page to display your plans and allow customers to pick and subscribe. The easiest way to do this is to use shortcodes. First, create a new Page in WordPress, in the body, type /, and pick "Shortcode" as the block to insert. The shortcode for Pricing is [servicebot_pricing_page_shortcode]
If you view the page you just created as an anonymous user, you will see your subscription tiers, and when you subscribe to one, a new WordPress user will be created (as part of the configuration in the previous step)

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Embed a Subscription Portal

Next, let's create a customer billing portal for your customers. Just like in the previous step, we create a new page and add a shortcode. For Subscription Portal the shortcode will be [servicebot_subscription_portal_shortcode].

If you view the page as a logged-in user with a subscription, you will see your subscription information, and the user will have the ability to add a credit card, change their plan, or download their invoices.

subscription management portal inside of wordpress

Customizations

Now that we have the plugin configured and our pages setup, you can add to the embeds various customizations to get your onboarding flow just right. For a complete list of properties, see this article for the pricing page configurations and this article for the subscription portal.

customize your servicebot code

You can add these configurations to the shortcode directly, for example, the shortcode [servicebot_pricing_page_shortcode options="{forceCard: true}"] will force a credit card to be entered even on free trials.

Conclusion

Using Servicebot and Stripe Billing, you can turn your WordPress into a subscription powerhouse in a short amount of time, as we have just demonstrated. The power behind this combination is that Servicebot allows you to utilize all of the features of Stripe Billing, such as coupons, customizable invoices, proration, and more. Other Subscription software in WordPress is generally lacking in capability and those that do integrate with Stripe, don’t integrate with Stripe Billing.