Democratizing access to publishing and entrepreneurship on WordPress.com

Bringing commerce into millions of websites with Stripe Connect

Automattic
Publishing platform WordPress.com makes it easier for people to build websites, blogs and businesses on the internet. The WordPress ecosystem powers 34% of the web and is used by nearly 200 million people around the world. WordPress.com wanted to make it easier for any creator or web publisher to add a subscription feature to their own website, helping them generate repeat payments from supporters, readers, fans or customers. They worked with Stripe to build this feature and make it available to the millions of WordPress.com users, as well as the millions of self-hosted WordPress sites using Jetpack.

Audiences turn into businesses on WordPress.com with Recurring Payments

WordPress.com engineer Artur Piszek explains they wanted to build a product that lets users “dip their feet in global ecommerce, start selling right away and see where their ideas can take them.” They partnered with Stripe to build this new feature and now it takes just a minute or two for WordPress.com publishers to set up a recurring payment plan for their audiences, making it easy to charge for premium newsletters, accept monthly donations, collect church dues, and more.

“We didn’t really know how users will use that feature, part of the complexity of this whole project is that people are always surprising us,” Artur says. This means they need to bake as much flexibility as possible in subscription plans: different currencies, payment frequencies and tiers of subscription are an important part of letting WordPress.com users experiment with all kinds of new business models.

Bob Ralian, Head of Payments at Automattic (the web development corporation behind WordPress.com), explained how they built this feature in response to user feedback: “Our users have requested this feature for a while. Our data told us this was something that people wanted, but we wanted to get this out there in people’s hands to really see what’s going to be the driving use cases. We’re letting our users show us the exciting use cases.”

Connecting publishers with buyers with Stripe Connect

Connecting buyers with publishers on the internet created the challenge of making it as easy as possible for sellers to sign up and get money in their bank account. Artur explained his concerns before getting started: “I was expecting there would be like a long road of research, we would have to do some kind of magical financial wizardry.”

But it was much easier than expected! The WordPress.com team built the platform on Stripe Connect to accept money and pay out to the publishers around the world. Stripe Connect took care of the complexity and eased the compliance burden by managing the flow of funds.

A trusted, like-minded partner for commerce at significant, global scale

More than 409 million people around the world view 20 billion pages on WordPress.com platform every month, and publishers produce around 70 million new posts per month. WordPress.com is working closely with Stripe to help infuse commerce into their huge platform and democratize access to publishing and entrepreneurship.

Passionate about making the web a better place, Automattic’s partnership with Stripe extends to other properties like WooCommerce and Jetpack in addition to WordPress.com. Over time, they’ve moved from a legacy payments set-up to a modernized, unified payment stack with Stripe. Commenting on the partnership, Bob Ralian said: “The Stripe partnership at a high level is to provide the best monetization features we can for our customers to help them be as successful as possible online. Working with Stripe is really valuable for us because we can trust that Stripe is doing a good job on the payment side of the business. We’ve found Stripe to be a good, trustworthy partner with integrity, and that’s important to us.”