Web Agency advice: WooCommerce subscription solutions

At Sunbird Web Agency we often get questions about whether to build your own solution for recurring payments, or to rent it. Through the years we’ve tried different solutions, and will share our best tips to help you decide on what’s best for you.

Functions

When you rent a system, in general it’s less flexible for further development than if you built it yourself. It’s recommended that you investigate your need for functions – for now and for the future.

Rented solutions might come with great functions you might not have thought of yourselves. They are also developed from a long term perspective and take their competitors current actions into consideration. This means you don’t have to work on any further development – but on the other hand, you don’t control it either. If you can live with that, it’s much easier to rent the solution. But if you need a function that is very specific to fit your needs, you’d be better off building the solution yourself or with a web agency. When you need specific functions, chances are slim that a rented system comes with them.

We’ve looked over Reepay’s solutions for recurring payments in WordPress WooCommerce, and they fit well with most of our customer’s requests – but not all. 

Support

If you use a third party solution, they often come with a dedicated support team that only works with recurring payments, and who are experts on it.

When a Web Agency builds an adapted solution, usually there’s one or a few people in support who understands the solution, which can make it more vulnerable.

Expertise

Even if Sunbird as a Web Agency have the technical possibilities to build or modify a non-WordPress friendly solution, we’re not the experts on this specific branch. 

WooCommerce for WordPress is using a clear logic that changes with time. If you’re building a system on your own that isn’t built for the WordPress foundation, it will fail earlier and more often. Remember that a website isn’t supposed to be a static solution, it’s supposed to be working for a long time.

If you’re going to build a future-proof solution, you have to use a solution that understands and is built on the WooCommerce structure.

Want to know more about subscriptions and WooCommerce?

Focus

It’s not as easy as to just order, pay and get it delivered. If you intend to build a system, you should remember that it’s going to take a lot of time to plan and test the system, both before the first launch and reoccurring.

You as a CEO or IT manager get one less thing to worry about if you don’t have to continuously think about extended functionality, further development and to adapt to the laws. 

Price

Our experience is that it’s considerably more expensive to build your own system than to rent it, even if many are being hung up on the recurring costs. 

Even if renting your solution means a guaranteed recurring cost, the solutions you build yourself almost always need a lot of support – which means recurring costs.

The risk is also lower since you can easily change the system should your needs change. But you need to have a good understanding as a customer whether the Web Agency you hire can handle what you’re asking for.

Time to market

It’s always faster to implement a ready-made solution built for WooCommerce than to build it – fully or partly – by yourself.

When the deadline is important you should thus consider renting your solution. Please note that systems always take longer to build than you expect.

Summary

There’s no one solution that fits all. The most important thing you should ask yourselves is if you need specific functions that no solution has. If not – you should rent.

As a rule, we use ready made solutions to the more complex parts. From what we see of Reepay’s subscription functions, they fit well with the requests we as a Gothenburg Web Agency gets.

This article is a Partner’s post written by Sunbird, a Web Agency in Gothenburg, Sweden.
They specialise in custom made web sites, e-commerce and digital marketing.

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