I talked to a lot of folks on the phone and via email, even on my website and comments about membership sites and membership plugins, and one of the questions that comes up regularly is this idea of needing to pause a membership. That gets us into prorating charges.
Prorating is a real thing
If you've ever had a gym membership or anything else were you are paying monthly and then something comes up and you know you are not going to be able to use your membership for three months, you contact the company. You say, “I need to put this membership on pause. I just need to put it on hold for just a little bit and then I'll circle backup to it,” and sometimes they will prorate that change. So instead of paying $50 a month, you might pay $5 a month to keep it on hold or sometimes they'll just downgrade you to a different kind of account or a different rate and then upgrade you back later.
But that kind of work in the WordPress word has been historically really difficult.
The kind of code that it takes to figure all that out and to figure out how do you prorations isn't easy. Just think about prorations for just a second.
This isn't easy code
You have to take whatever you are paying monthly then turn it into what's the daily rate for that (and every month has a different number of days) and then you calculate that and how many days have passed. You then use that to credit when you go up to the next level, and apply it to the new amount. But that new charge also needs to be prorated only for a certain number of days until the end of the month. Whew!
That's just a lot of work and then you get into – regardless of whether or not you and I can both do the math on that, whether or not we can create the formulas for that – the reality is that payment gateways don't all support it and they don't support us doing these things which means you have to write the code to manage it outside of the gateway and then send the gateway whatever specifics you need to in order for them to fulfill the goal of what you are trying to build in terms of that feature.
Until now, there were only two players doing this well
Up until now I've said, hey there is some folks who do prorations, iThemes, for example in their Exchange with membership extension does some prorations and MemberPress does prorations and even pausing.
Those two have been the two of the players that I've talked about and let you know that they do it.
Good news for WooCommerce fans!
But now there is another player that does it and I've dug into it recently and I just want to tell you that this is really good news if you use WooCommerce and you are excited about all the things WooCommerce membership sites can do.
The subscriptions extension now supports prorations and the kind of pausing, the kind of work that allows you to prorate or change up things, downgrade an account, upgrade an account and all that.
You can thank Prospress
They put in the hard work and the latest version of the subscriptions plugin does everything you want it to do.
If you've been thinking about an ecommerce site that also has membership components to it and you are shipping physical product and you have complicated shipping such that you are looking at WooCommerce and saying, WooCommerce and membership combined is the best approach, then by all means you want to look at the subscriptions extension.
Because what used to be impossible is now possible and that's good news for you, it's good news for me, it's good news for everybody out there that is trying to build this stuff and still not have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for people to hand custom code a solution like that.
Now it's in an extension that you can use with the WooCommerce plugin. Because of Prospress.