WordPress.com sites can now accept subscriptions with new 'Recurring Payments' feature

Sarah Perez

The subscription model is today sustaining a number of businesses, including artists, creators, news publishers, game developers, entertainment providers and more. Now, top publishing platform WordPress.com is making it easier for any creator or web publisher to add a subscription feature to their own website, so they can begin to generate repeat contributions from their supporters, readers, fans or customers.

The feature is available to any of the millions of WordPress .com sites on a paid plan, as well as the millions of self-hosted WordPress sites using Jetpack, the company says. It's also fairly flexible in nature.

Once enabled, WordPress.com website owners could charge for weekly newsletters, accept monthly donations, sell yearly access to exclusive content or charge for anything else where they want to be able to bill their supporters on a set schedule.

WordPress.com partnered with internet payment processor Stripe on the new feature, which means WordPress.com blog publishers will also need to set up a Stripe account of their own before using Recurring Payments. Then, they'll head to the "Earn" page on WordPress.com and click on "Connect Stripe to Get Started" to be walked through the setup process.

Users are able to create as many different payment plans as they like -- including those that support different currencies, payment frequencies and names -- which enables them to offer different tiers or types of subscriptions to their customers, readers or fans.

They'll also be able to put a Recurring Payments button on their website.

Subscribers, meanwhile, can cancel their subscriptions at any time from their WordPress.com account.

Being able to quickly and easily add subscriptions to any website could convince some creators to move their subscription plans off larger platforms, like Patreon, for example, in order to save on fees and revenue share. However, they would miss out on the other platform resources by doing so. Instead, many may choose to simply add WordPress.com as another channel where they collect subscription revenue.

The feature isn't necessarily only for creators -- it also could be put to use by clubs and organizations that have to collect their own recurring membership fees and dues or anyone else who needs to be able to collect money easily on a regular basis. WordPress.com notes that some people even collect rent through recurring payments, for example.

The launch could have a major impact on the prevalence of subscriptions across the web, given the size of WordPress.com's footprint. The company today touts that more than 409 million people view 20 billion pages on its platform every month, and publishers produce around 70 million new posts per month.