When I first started using WordPress, some 10+ years ago, I wanted to run my whole business from a WordPress multisite. Those of you new to WordPress (in the last 5 years) have no idea what a challenge that was.
We didn’t have the access to quality plugins like we do today. So we has to build our own plugins, or rig several plugins together to accomplish the goal of running our business from WordPress.
This post was originally written in 2011, and recommend a plugin that I use to use, however it is no longer available on the market.
To Keep Things Relevant … I’ve Got an Update
When I decided to update this article I did a bunch of research and found two articles that have been very helpful in narrowing down my recommendations below.
I also installed the free versions or played with the demo sites provided by the developers to ensure I could make an informed recommendation.
If you want another perspective before choosing your invoicing plugin, read this article from iThemes.
Picking the Right WordPress Invoicing Plugin
If you do a Google search or a search on WordPress.org for invoice plugins, you’re going to be overwhelmed with the options.
For me, it has always been helpful to have an idea of what features/functions are a mush and which are a nice to have before going on the hunt for a new software solution.
While your list might be different, I’ll use this short list as an example to help you get started.
- Automated Invoicing
- Payment Options
- Data Control
- Easy to Use
If the solution you chose doesn’t save you time and money, it’s not worth it! For leverage to really work, you need to save both time and money.
Option 1: WP Invoicing
This solutions offers both a Free version with limited features. With the Paid option, you can either purchase the specific addons you need, or purchase a subscription to have access to all the addons.
Advantages of WP Invoicing
When you start using the free version, you’ll have a nicely built lightweight solution that fills 80% of your invoicing needs.
- Create quotes and send them off
- Convert quotes into invoices for payment online
- Create invoice for one-time and recurring payments
- Integrates with 4 payment processors
- Ability to manage taxes
- Export data into reports
- Integrate with other plugins for invoice generation
WP Invoicing was forked from Easy Digital Downloads (EDD), and the UI was also borrowed from Sliced Invoices (also on my list).
I mention that because, if you’re familiar with EDD you know it is a well built plugin. Which tells me, the core of WP Invoicing is solid!
You also have the ability to create recurring invoices, and automatic invoice reminders, to save time when you have track down your clients for payment.
What I’m Disappointed With
One requirement for me, when considering a plugin to handle payment processing, is the integration of Stripe. Which is why we use WP Simple Pay for our online payments.
So to see that the Stripe integration is an addon, was disappointing. It’s only $39 for a single site, or you can get it in the membership bundle with all the other addons for $99/year/site.
Is Going Pro Worth It?
If you decide to go with WP Invoicing, I’d say it’s worth going with the membership and getting all the addons.
The price makes it extremely affordable, compared to an application like Freshbooks, you could save hundreds of dollars a year using the WP Invoicing membership.
The PDF addon is also a nice touch. With it, clients get a PDF invoice attached in their emails, which means they won’t be bugging you for a receipt come tax season.
Options 2: Sliced Invoices
This options, is a bit more advanced and offers a bit more robust features and function out of the box. Like WP Invoicing, this one offers a free core plugin with paid addons. It’s a bit more pricey, for access to all the extensions you’ll pay $199/year however that will also allow you use on unlimited sites.
Advantages of Sliced Invoices
Much the same, out of the box you free version comes with a powerhouse of features. I will highlight the differences in the list below.
- Pre-defined line items
- Customizable email templates
- Custom terms and conditions per invoice
- Control due dates
- More detailed reporting
- Clone invoices and quotes
- Multisite Support
I’d recommend you watch this demo video to see how easy it is to create an invoice (no sound):
What I’m Disappointed With
Unfortunately this is the same as with WP Invoicing. Stripe is not a default payment option, you have to purchase the extension at $30/yr/site.
Additionally, the pricing model sucks. I would think they’d sell more subscriptions if you could get all the extensions for a single site at a single subscription price, like WP Invoicing.
Is Going Pro Worth It?
I’m going to say yes and no.
It’s more ideal if you need to use this solution for a single site, to just purchase the extensions that you need individually, because chances are, you won’t need that many with as robust as the core plugin is.
At the most you may need to spend the $129/yr for 5 sites (the Business Bundle) to get the most likely to use plugin extensions.
The Wrap Up
When picking a plugin to fill your needs, you need to be clear as to what those needs are. What you will and won’t compromise on.
I’m a huge fan of leverage, but when you’re trying to save money by using WordPress as your software base, you can not do so with the expectation of sacrificing your time.
If your dumping weeks and months into getting your system setup and not working on growing your business, then it’s not worth it. You’d be better off paying for a solution like Freshbooks that is ready to go.