Dollar Shave Club. Universal Yums. Ipsy.
You probably instantly recognize the three brands listed above as three of the hundreds of successful e-commerce subscription services on the market.
Subscriptions are a solid business model and growing in popularity.
In fact, stats show that:
- Over 50 percent of online shoppers have signed up for at least one subscription service
- Almost 20% of male subscribers and 7% of females say they have subscribed to at least 6 e-comm services
- The subscription e-commerce market has grown by more than 100% a year over the past five years.
To say subscription services are hot right now is an understatement.
If you’re looking to hop on this fast-moving train, the first place to start is with a website. This article will cover everything you need to know to build a subscription service website.
How to choose a web hosting plan
The first step in setting up any new website—especially when you’re offering subscription services—is to pick a web hosting company.
While it’s true there are several web hosting companies on the market, not all of them offer the same reliability, uptime, and security.
When you’re selling subscription services, there are a few critical things to remember:
- You will be handling large volumes of traffic
- You’ll be capturing credit card numbers
- Your livelihood depends on how well your website works
As such, it’s critical that you find the best web hosting service and the right web hosting package to suit your needs.
Since eCommerce websites can grow so rapidly, it’s smart to start with a VPS hosting plan.
A VPS hosting plan from HostGator provides more RAM, security, and CPU than a shared hosting plan. Additionally, you have many of the same benefits of a dedicated server (e.g., RAM, security, and privacy), but at a lower cost.
If you’re ready to get your subscription website up and running, the first step is to start with a highly secure VPS web hosting plan with unmetered bandwidth and 99% uptime.
What website builder is best for a subscription service website?
There are several website builders on the market. However, if you’re looking to set up an eCommerce subscription service, we recommend building a WordPress site.
WordPress is the most popular content management system around the world with over 455 million websites.
The reason WordPress is so popular? It’s incredibly intuitive so even novice e-commerce website owners can create a website. Second, it’s open-source.
Open-source means everyone has access to the code and can develop themes, plugins, and tools to help WordPress sites run efficiently.
We recommend WordPress because there are several helpful eCommerce platforms, themes, and plugins that can help new eCommerce website owners get a subscription service website up and running in no time.
Let’s talk about some of them.
Helpful WordPress plugins & themes for your subscription site
To help you build a solid subscription service website, here are some handpicked eCommerce WordPress tools to consider implementing on your subscription website.
WooCommerce is one of the most popular open-source eCommerce platforms built on WordPress.
As such, it includes everything you need to start an eCommerce subscription store and more.
Once you set up your WordPress site, you can add the WooCommerce plugin and set up your new store in moments.
Some top features of WooCommerce include:
- Easy set-up
- Robust integrations
- Flexible and secure payments
- Convenient order management
2. WooCommerce Subscriptions
WooCommerce Subscriptions is a paid plugin, but it’s worth the fee if you’re planning on building your subscription site with WooCommerce.
WooCommerce Subscription is a stellar tool to help you manage and sell products and assets that require a recurring payment. This plugin:
- Manages automated and ongoing payment processing
- Integrates with 25+ payment gateways
- Supports renewals
- Sends automated invoices and receipts
- Allows subscribers to manage their subscription
- Keeps track of revenue, active subscribers, and more
Without a subscription plugin that automates your sales and order management, it’s difficult to scale your eCommerce store.
Another critical part of setting up a successful paid subscription website is to make sure you have a way to capture and convert leads.
Word of mouth can only get you so far, so it’s up to you to invest in tools that help you market successfully, grow your traffic, and boost your user base.
OptinMonster is an awesome tool that helps you capture email subscribers, reduce cart abandonment, increase your page views, retarget customers, and more.
Additional plugins to consider
While WooCommerce, WooCommerce Subscription, and a lead nurturing/email tool like OptinMonster will give you the basic tools you need to start your subscription business, there are some additional plugins worth reviewing.
Here are some other tools to check out:
- Teachable – If you’re planning on offering a subscription to an online course, a platform like Teachable is a great place to start.
- WooCommerce Memberships – This plugin is for subscription business owners that want to run a membership site.
- Yoast SEO – Every website should have an SEO tool to help with organic reach. Yoast is reliable and easy to use.
- BuddyBoss – BodyBoss is a WordPress membership theme worth checking out. It offers memberships, courses, and also the ability to build online communities.
- Ultimate Member – Ultimate Member is a cool membership plugin for people who aren’t sure how much functionality they will need. The basic service is free and then users pay an additional fee for the extensions they plan on using.
- MonsterInsights – Another important aspect of creating a subscription site is knowing how many people are visiting your site and converting. Keep track with a Google Analytics plugin like MonsterInsights.
Build your subscription site with HostGator!
eCommerce is growing faster than ever before, especially as more and more consumers are buying online.
Now is the best time to start your eCommerce subscription service website and it all starts with finding the perfect web hosting company.
HostGator offers various plans for shared hosting, VPS hosting, and dedicated hosting. Regardless of your web hosting and WordPress needs, we have you covered.
Krys Lambiase (aka “Lambo”) is the Senior Product Marketing manager of Hosting at Newfold Digital. He started his career in sales and support answering various customer inquiries until eventually moving into technical training, management, and product marketing. As a long-time WordPress enthusiast, he spends his time reading blogs, participating in meet-ups, and building websites for friends and family. Outside of work he enjoys video games, zombie movies, and touring breweries around Austin.