Invoicing with WordPress: There’s a plugin for that!

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ MY DISCLAIMER FOR MORE INFO.

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

In full disclosure, we no longer use WordPress for invoicing our clients, we use FreshBooks, which with a little work could be used with Gravity Forms and Zapier to create a WordPress based solution.

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
  • Lightweight

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.

  • Ummm….yeah… Right now there are no good invoicing solutions for WordPress. WP-Invoice is broken and hasn’t been updated in a year. I tried using it, but there are so many missing features and errors and UI issues.

    Sadly there is no usable solution. Sucks…would be nice to be able to take care of all my freelancing needs from within WordPress.

    • Sorry to hear it’s not working for you! i agree some updates would be nice, but I have been using it for years!

      Let me know if I can help you figure something out with the WP-Invoice plugin.

  • I have been using this plugin for the last few months and have no complaints, i’m probably not using all of the features though so there may be areas that dont function as they should?

  • there are definatley bugs within the code but it has the makings of a great plugin its just a shame that it has been forgotten about

    • Yes, I agree. However, if you or anyone else needs help getting the plugin to work with your site and fixing bugs and patching code, please let me know. I have some of the best WordPress and PHP programs available to develop, fix, improve, or enhance any WordPress plugin.

      • Hi Christopher,

        I have tried to use this, but my hosting provider (budgetwebhosting.nl ) is blocking this addin because use of cross-site scripting. Do you have any ideas on this or a hosting provider which does not has this problem

        thanks, Marcel

        • Chris Eggleston says:

          Marcel,

          I am not complete sure what the “cross-site scripting” is, unless is has to do with connecting with merchants like paypal for processing payments.

          I have used this plugin with Godaddy.com, ixwebhosting.com, and backspace cloud hosting without any problems.

          To be honest it does not make sense that your hosting company will not allow it. Especially when they are allowing other programs like ZenCart.

          I would suggest that you check with the developers on the support form https://wp-invoice.com

          Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

          – Chris

  • Hey everyone, there was an update to this plugin today. Read my note at the top of the post for details before upgrading. Looks like they went back to work on this plugin!

  • Shad Gagnon says:

    Hi,
    I have a problem with the Paypal payment and I want to know how do you set-up it ?
    The Paypal button link to the Paypal sandbox site… I want to link to the real paypal payment site ?

    Thank you for your answer !

      • Shad Gagnon says:

        Thank you for your fast answer !
        I didn’t see Test Mode inside “Settings” and I dont have a Payment tab (I just have “Settings->Payment method” tab).
        … oups I just see Right now that I dont use the correct plugin or the lastest version…
        I just install the 3.03 version and I see the test mode !

        Thank you very much for your help loll…

  • WP-invoice while it appears to work very good, is very limited on payment gateways and support. So
    IF you are using one of the two gateways available you are good to go, IF NOT then you are out of luck using wp-invoice.
    My support request was denied.
    “At the moment the Usability Dynamics team is hard at work enhancing our product line and servicing larger external development projects. They are unable to provide custom development services at this time.”

    “A) Post a Premium Support Request, as outlined in the previous email (if you feel the issue is a software error).
    B) Seek independent development services either on our community forum, or at online technical service sites like elance.com.”

    So they might support software errors if you can figure out how to use the software or you can roll the dice at elance.com to get support from someone that may or may not even know what WordPress is.
    The follow up email from Usability Dynamics
    “I would gladly have our developers analyze your request, calculate the time this project would take and send you a quote, respectively. Take into account that we do not accept projects for under $2000.”

    Before you invest time in any plugin be sure to read the forum. If it is full of support request posts with no responses, then be sure you will be treated the same.

    I just wanted someone to help me install my payment gateway. I did not ask for anything customized.
    I even asked for a link to pay for the $50 support. They could not even supply the link to buy support.

    • Chris Eggleston says:

      Alan, sorry to hear about your frustrations with WP-Invoice and the Usability Dynamics team. Although I think these guys are doing great work and creating some really nice plugins, there are some limitations.

      Also, I think one of the misconceptions that many people have about Usability Dynamics is that they are larger than they appear. I think they are giving this impression of a “big business” when they are really a bunch of developers working remotely. And that is not a bad thing at all, but the canned emails, and the faceless communication presents issues when people such as yourself need real help right now!

      I do feel like they have been improving in their support, and knowing the amount of effort that is required to handle the number of forum topics and support request these guys get, they are doing a really good job. In these type of matters, there is only so much that can be done, and unfortunately things fall through the cracks sometimes.

      Ideally, instead of using elance.com, you should reach out to people in the WP community. People like me and other developers that can help you get what you need done.

      If you’re still looking for help setting up your gateway, please feel free to contact me! I’d be happy to help!

  • The problem with WP-Invoice that I’ve run into (and many others have run into without any apparent fix), is that invoice is fully filled out, submitted with credit card info, and after the progress graphics show for a short period of time, the invoice refreshes without completing the transaction. There isn’t even a warning that the transaction didn’t go through. I’ve gone through my settings, and I’ve even verified the settings with authorize.net. I’ve also checked to see if the credit card was charged (in live mode), and the order didn’t go through. I’ve seen about 15 posts relating to this issue with no one able to resolve it.

    Does anyone know of a fix for this? This plugin would be great if it worked, but there’s little hope from what I’ve seen. If someone charges $50 to get this up and running, it would be well worth it, at least for me. I could benefit from this plugin, but I’ve lost a couple of days trying to work with it. Any thoughts, Chris?

    • Chris Eggleston says:

      First question, are you using the premium feature “Single Page Checkout” or just the standard payment settings? Have you tested this in all browsers? Do you have your Invoice system setup somewhere I can take a look at it (you can email me this info, [email protected])? If not, can you send me, at that email, a snapshot of your settings and the payment page?

      From there I will be better able to assist…

      -Chris

  • Hi Chris,

    Do you still use WP-Invoice? I installed it about a month ago to start invoicing clients, but I cannot for the life of me get the PayPal IPN to work, and I know I’m doing everything in the instructions right.

    Would I be able to get in touch with you via email to talk some more about the plug-in?

    Thanks,
    Luke

    • Chris Eggleston says:

      Hey Luke, honestly I just switched to a different invoicing system. I’ve liked WP-Invoice, it’s been handy, but I wanted something that was easier for my accountant to access.

      The new PayPal invoicing system is also really nice!

      You can email me if you’d like, [email protected], and I’ll see what I can do to help you.

      -Chris

  • In my opinion WordPress has been lacking a true invoicing and customer billing plugin for a while now. I still don’t believe there’s a good one out there, but I prefer using SoftPay Solutions. Basically, you just drop in three lines of code and it allows you to have customer billing right on your site. Pretty cool product, and I know they are working to make it even better. I think a WP plugin is in the works in the near future.

    • Chris Eggleston says:

      Thank you for your comment and suggestion. You are right, we need a better plugin to meet our needs. I’ve been considering developing it, but at this point we are trying to decide, if we integrate with existing providers like SoftPay, or just build an independent solution…

      More to come on this topic soon…

    • Thanks for letting us know about your plugin. As a disclaimer, I’ve never used it, but it’s worth trying if you want to manage your invoices via your WordPress dashboard.

  • superpixelco says:

    WP-Invoice is probably the worst plugin I’ve ever used. Their support forums are lit up with constant complaints of issues, errors, and failed transactions.

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