Ever wondered how you can build a self-contained WordPress maintenance machine to add an additional revenue stream?
WooCommerce combined with MainWP can be used to complete the loop of a self-contained WordPress maintenance business with the help of WooCommerce’s Subscriptions plugin.
Here at MainWP, we provide the goods to help website developers build a WordPress Care service and help them build an extra revenue stream.
No doubt, you have been searching for a solution to managing the multiple WordPress installs that you are your agency manages.
You have tried other services and have been left wanting more.
For instance, you want more privacy. So, you began to look for other services, and you have come across MainWP.
There are a lot of benefits to using MainWP including a self-hosting install and an open source product.
There are dozens of extensions which allow you to do more for your clients.
Until now, you may operate your maintenance business a little more manually.
With WooCommerce, however, you can launch your own store and secure the signup process through the WooCommerce Subscription plugin creating more of an automated process.
MainWP/MainWP Child + WooCommerce + Managed Client Reports for WooCommerce + WooCommerce Subscriptions + Payment Gateway + SSL = a recurring payment machine
Let’s flesh this out, shall we?
To handle the logistics of managing multiple WordPress installs, you will need to set up your MainWP Dashboard to manage your websites using the MainWP child sites.
Using this setup and the tons of extensions that MainWP already has, you can handle almost any kind of task you need to tackle within your main dashboard.
Additionally, with the new Managed Client Reports for WooCommerce (in Beta), you can send your clients an automated report each month.
Choose which WordPress install you will use to sell your subscriptions. You may choose to use something like shop.yourwebsite.com or maybe you just want to use an install on yourwebsite.com. Either is fine. You will need an SSL to sell directly on your website.
To set up the subscriptions plan, you will need the WooCommerce plugin and the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin. This will allow you to create the product, set it up on a recurring payment and take the payments all in one place.
Once you have the plugin installed, you will need to determine your payment method.
When getting started, you will need to configure your General Woocommerce Settings – Dashboard > Settings > General
The General options allow you to select your Base Location, Selling Location and Shipping Location as well as Tax Calculations.
The second part of the General Options is Currency. Choose your currency, position, and other applicable settings.
The Subscriptions tab is the configuration page for items related to your product subscriptions.
Configuration details include the Button Text, Roles of those subscribing, manual renewals, the ability to switch subscriptions, the ability to synchronize renewal days and other issues related to subscription method.
This is important to review and make decisions before launching your subscription plan.
The Checkout tab allows you to make changes to the settings related to taking payments. These settings include your payment gateway.
The Subscriptions plugin has available Stripe and Paypal as well as Direct Bank Transfer, Check Payments and Cash on Delivery. Click on the appropriate link to set the settings for each option. More options are available with the WooCommerce Payment Gateway.
Some of the other features of WooCommerce Subscriptions include trials and sign up fees, subscription management, account management for subscribers, multiple subscriptions, email notifications including for renewals, the ability to create coupons and variable subscriptions.
Adding your product
Step 1- Create a new product.
WP Dashboard > Products > Add Product
Add the Title in the Title field.
In the main field is the long description. This is the same area you where you would usually write your blog post.
At the bottom is the Product Short Description. Add your Short Description in this field.
At this point, you will have the basis for your product title and product description, and you will need to customize the product data.
Step 2 – Add Product Data
In the area below the long product description is where you add your product data. In the drop down next to Product Data, choose Simple Subscription.
Next, click the appropriate checkbox for downloadable or virtual. In this case, the product is virtual as the user will not be downloading the product.
Then, fill in the fields for your subscription. You can choose a price, the length (annual or monthly, etc.), sign up fee if you have one, a free trial if you have one available, a sale price, and sale price dates.
Step 3 – Determine additional settings
Other settings to configure include Inventory, Linked Products, Attributes and Advanced.
If you are choosing a cap for these services, then you can configure Inventory. The Inventory setting has a place to add an SKU and stock management, and Stock Status.
Linked products will allow you to create upsells if you are selling other products or have some a la carte products to add such as content updates, etc.
Attributes are usually reserved for physical products like a shirt. This would include things like size, color, sleeve length.
The Advanced tab can be helpful, especially if you want to enable reviews. Limit Subscription is a setting in this tab that will allow you to cap the number of subscriptions per person.
Step 4 – Add a product image
The Product Image field is located it precisely the point where the featured image field is located.
Additionally, you can add a gallery of images. This is good for a physical product or if you choose to reinforce your subscription with additional images.
Step 5 – Click save or update
At this point, you can publish your product if you haven’t already done so.
Step 6 – Add additional products
Repeat the process for each additional products you choose to sell.
Step 7 – Add a product category
This isn’t a necessary step, but if you are selling more than one type of product, you can categorize the products for easier searching and navigation.
WooCommerce handles a lot of the heavy lifting on the front end creating a shopping cart, a My Account Page, archives for the products, a products page, and much more.
Users can create an account like they can with any WooCommerce website making it easy to come back and update information, change subscriptions and more.
Wrapping it up
It is important to execute a WordPress maintenance service in a way that works best for each one of us. WooCommerce gives us the ability to put the process in cruise control in a way that we may not have been able to before.
Now that you have an automated product let’s setup Automated Reports for the clients using Managed Client Reports for WooCommerce adding more value to the product you are offering.
Let us know how it goes.