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Accepting Payments (including Recurring Payments) on WordPress.com

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I’m a fan of building websites with the least amount of technical debt and things you have to be responsible for as possible for what you wanna do. Sometimes you take on this debt on purpose because you have to, but when you don’t, please don’t ;).

Let’s say you need to build a site that can take money from customers, but on a recurring basis. WordPress.com can do that now, and it’s a fantastic choice because it’s all of the power and control and none of the debt.

Here’s my thinking…

1) WordPress.com is the fastest way to spin up a WordPress site.

Not only is it fast, but you don’t have to worry about anything. Servers, SSL, security, performance, accessibility… that’s all handled for you and you can focus on what you do best. Even if you’re a seasoned developer, I’m sure you can understand how this is compelling. Automating work is what the best developers do.

2) WordPress.com sites can be eCommerce sites.

Not only sell-a-product style sites, but also recurring payments sites. Meaning you can very easily set up a subscription service, membership site, or site for monthly donations.

The pricing is like this:

WordPress.com PlanJetpack planRelated Fees
WordPress.com eCommerce —None
WordPress.com BusinessJetpack Professional2%
WordPress.com PremiumJetpack Premium4%
WordPress.com PersonalJetpack Personal 8%

So you do the math and figure out the most economical plan for you. That eCommerce plan on WordPress.com is only $45/month and means zero additional fees, so I imagine once you’re up and running and making sales, that plan becomes the obvious choice.

Ideas!

  • You build custom weekly meal plans for families and charge monthly for that.
  • You have a membership site for physical training videos where people have to be a member to see the videos.
  • Your site is has a bunch of completely free great content, and you offer a way to give yearly donations to support it.

Why roll your own eCommerce when you don’t have to?

3) It used to be that your WordPress site was a bit limited on WordPress.com, but those days are over.

eCommerce is one aspect of that, but I’m talking full SFTP and database access. You can build custom themes, use your own plugins, just like any other WordPress site. So if you’re thinking that you’re giving up too much control by going with WordPress.com, make sure to re-evaluate that.


So knowing all that, I’d say you really should give WordPress.com a hard look when you’re about to spin up an eCommerce site. I’ve seen far too much over-engineering and mountains of technical debt in my life, I’d rather see people use simpler tools and get started doing their actual business, especially to start.