Creating a membership/recurring subscription system can be challenging when you are running an online store. Maybe you have just developed a plugin/theme or set up a WordPress service and you want to accept payments on a recurring basis. Or maybe you just need to accept a recurring donation for a worthy cause. Regardless, having a plugin that manages recurring PayPal subscription for you can be a big relief.
Why PayPal Subscription?
PayPal is the most popular payment gateway at the moment. Since it’s supported by almost all the countries this gives your users the flexibility of making payments with a familiar payment method (which leads to more sales for you).
With the expansion of WordPress, several free e-commerce plugins have appeared over the last couple of years. However, most of them don’t offer any option to accept recurring subscription payments through PayPal. Since subscription payment is getting more popular these days I think it’s important that WordPress users get access to lots of free PayPal subscription plugin.
After doing some research, I have been able to make a list of the top WordPress PayPal subscription plugins that you can download for free to accept recurring payments on your site.
Paid Memberships Pro
Paid Memberships Pro offers advanced subscription or membership management system on your WordPress site. Even though you can set up recurring subscription payments with PayPal it does support other payment gateways like Stripe, Braintree, and Authorize.net.
Subscription can be free, paid, or recurring that renew annually, monthly, weekly or even daily. You have the option to offer a trial period as well. It currently has over 70,000 active installations with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5.
Simple Membership is a new yet powerful membership plugin which has the potential of becoming the best membership plugin for WordPress. It offers you the flexibility of creating free and premium content on your WordPress site.
With an easy-to-configure setup, this plugin allows you to create a PayPal one-time/recurring subscription button right from your WordPress dashboard. You also have the option to create a membership renewal/upgrade button to manage membership on your site easily. Currently, it has over 30,000 active installations with some stunning 5-star reviews from users (4.3 out of 5).
S2Member is a membership plugin which allows you to accept recurring/non-recurring payments on your WordPress site. s2Member is powered almost entirely by WordPress shortcodes which help make complex integration with it easily and sell recurring subscriptions with lots of flexibility.
S2Member core framework supports PayPal website standard. But if you upgrade you can get accept to other payment gateways like Stripe, PayPal Pro, Authorize.net and ClickBank. It currently has over 30,000 active installations with an average rating of 3.9 out of 5.
WordPress PayPal is a complete subscription plugin for WordPress. Although it allows you to create various types of buttons, it has almost all the features that PayPal provides for their standard subscription API. For example:
- Subscription with no recurring times (subscription that will continue to recur until canceled)
- A subscription that will recur for a specific number of installments
- Subscription with a trial
- Subscription with a free trial
Currently, it has over 4,000 active installations with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5.
PayPal WP Button Manager
PayPal WP Button Manager is a button creation plugin for WordPress. It creates a user-friendly button manager interface in your WordPress dashboard so you don’t have to login to your PayPal account for creating buttons.
It allows you to create a wide range of buttons including a subscription type button for accepting recurring payments. PayPal Subscription button is created using the PayPal button manager API which gives you the option to create hosted PayPal button. Hosted button code is saved in your PayPal account as opposed to a basic HTML button which does not offer the same level of protection. Currently, it has over 1,000 active installations with an average rating of 4.4 out of 5.
Recurring PayPal Donation
A Recurring donation plugin comes in handy when you just want to accept recurring donation instead of selling anything to the users. This PayPal donation plugin is a little different from other plugins since it allows you to accept a donation on a recurring basis. It works by adding a shortcode or widget anywhere on your WordPress site. You do have options to add multiple shortcodes or widgets for different purposes.
If you want to give your donators multiple donation options to choose from, you can do so by specifying various donation amount in the shortcode. This plugin is currently the best recurring PayPal donation plugin in the plugin repository with over 1,000 active installations with an average rating of 3.6 out of 5.