If you’re a freelancer working with WordPress, sooner or later you will need a good invoicing application to generate estimates and bill your clients.
There are a few commercial non-WordPress systems out there, and I’m sure you’ve come across them. We’re talking about online services such as:
However, if you like to keep everything integrated into WordPress, or do not fancy paying the monthly fees these services charge, there are a few alternatives in the shape of WordPress invoicing plugins. That’s what we will be looking into today.
This is the latest plugin released and one that looks very very good. It’s my number one choice for invoicing with WordPress and what I love about it is that there is a commitment to continue improving it with new features coming up such as Time Tracking. You can in fact view the development timeline on the Sprout Invoices page.
What’s awesome is that you can try out this plugin in the provided sandbox before you make your decision to buy it, so go ahead and give it a spin, I’m sure you’ll love it.
WP-Invoice lets WordPress blog owners send itemized invoices to their clients. Ideal for web developers, SEO consultants, general contractors, or anyone with a WordPress blog and clients to bill. The plugin ties into WP’s user management database to keep track of your clients and their information.
Once an invoice is created from the WP admin section, an email with a brief description and a unique link is sent to client. Clients follow the link to your blog’s special invoice page, view their invoice, and pay their bill using PayPal. The control panel is very user-friendly and intuitive.
Credit card payments may be accepted via Authorize.net, MerchantPlus’ NaviGate, PayPal or Google Checkout account. For recurring billing we have integrated Authorize.net’s ARB API that will allow you to setup payment schedules along with invoices. Subscriptions implemented using PayPal Subscriptions and Google Checkout Subscriptions.
- Automatically import invoices from Web Invoice plugin.
- WP-CRM Integration
- Brand new user interface for much improved invoicing filtering and searching
- Minimum and Split / Partial Payments
- Invoices can be reassigned to a different recipient
- Receipt Page with Invoice Log
- Per-defined Line Items
- Discount Line Items
- Custom Payment Entry, and administrative adjustments
- Customizable Invoice and Receipt Templates
- Create invoices from the WordPress control panel
- Prefill customer information using the WordPress user list
- Send invoice notifications to customers with a secured link back to the web-invoice
- Accept credit card payment via Authorize.net or MerchantPlus NaviGate
- PayPal available if you don’t have a credit card processing account
- Setup recurring billing using Authorize.net’s ARB (Automatic Recurring Billing) feature
- Force web-invoice pages to be viewed in SSL mode
- Archive old invoices
- Easily use old invoices as templates for new ones
- Dynamic and intuitive user interface
- Custom tax label, states input, and PayPal button URL
- Insert an “Invoice Lookup” form using PHP or WordPress Shortcode anywhere
- Create users directly from WP-Invoice
- Customize billing settings per invoice
- Customize invoice notification email per invoice
- Invoice notification, reminder and receipt templates
This is a good plugin but there have been quite a number of requests for improvements which need to be implemented, it’s one of the most mature plugins for sure, but needs to be slicker in order to be a 100% viable solution.
WP Invoices Ultimate
The WP Invoices Ultimate plugin is not an attempt of world domination invoicing system.
The aim is to provide a system which is:
- Easy to configure
- Set and forget
WPIU Has very few options, which include a little bit about you business, notification email subject customisation, and your paypal information.
WPIU uses Paypal, and manual payments. Right now there is no agenda to add support for other gateways, so if you need multiple gateways please look elsewhere.
WPIU uses the Paypal IPN system and can update the “paid” amounts on each invoice when a user pays for it (part payments can be made).
The Paypal transactions are stored with each invoice and can be accessed both in the admin area, and on the invoice page (all paypal data captured).
Options foreach invoice include:
- Due Date
- Job Number
- Invoice Number (randomly generated, can be overidden)
- Paid Amount
- Send Email / Reminder
- Invoice Items (title / qty / unit cost / item total)
Page template can be overridden by adding a single-wpiu-invoices.php file to the current theme.
Included page template includes and uses the twitter bootstrap css framework http://twitter.github.com/bootstrap/ for simple styling.
Plugin is still in beta right now and has a few limitations:
- Only global tax rule apply, no per invoice tax percentage – available soon
This is something different in the sense that it is not a plugin but a theme. It transforms your WordPress site into an invoicing application. Therefore you don’t use it inside an existing WordPress site that you have running, but rather you create a new site specifically for the purpose of handling invoices.
Do you need to accept payments online for invoices or send quotes to potential clients? Are you tired of paying a monthly fee to do this online through 3rd party services, or worse yet, sending the invoices as an attachment in an e-mail? Shaken Invoice was created to address those issues plus others.
Creating Invoices and Quotes
The main focus of Shaken Invoice is its ability to accept payments (via Paypal) through your own website and have the invoice automatically marked as “Paid” upon success. In addition to invoicing capabilities, you’re also able to create a “Quote”, which you can send to your client and they can approve it directly from your website. After the client approves the quote, you receive an automated notification e-mail. After you complete that particular project, you can go back in and simply change the quote into an invoice and send it off to receive payment. We wanted to make getting paid as easy as possible for you, and we hope you like it.
Shaken Invoice allows you to store client information, such as their company name, address, phone number, e-mail, and VAT number. When you create an invoice or quote you can simply select what client it’s for and the theme will fill in the rest for you. You can even send an e-mail to the client with a link to the invoice directly from WordPress.
- Export invoices and quotes to a CSV file
- View visual statistical graphs based on the invoices and quotes you’ve sent
- Additional payment gateways like Google Checkout
- Multiple color scheme options
- A theme options panel that allows you to upload your own logo and customize the color of certain elements.
- Free theme support
Shaken Invoice takes care of security for you automatically. The URL’s that are created for each invoice and quote is encoded in a way that would be nearly impossible for someone to guess. This prevents unwanted users from viewing sensitive information. If you’d like to add an additional layer of security, you can also password protect each post.
The client dashboard, where a client can view all active and historical invoices and quotes assigned to them, can only be viewed by having the correct Client ID and Client Key, which are automatically set. When a client views an invoice or quote, their Client ID and Key are automatically set as a cookie in their browser so that they can view their dashboard without being nagged by a form requesting that information. When you send an invoice/quote through the admin panel, the client information is also sent along with a link to the invoice/quote.
What This Isn’t
This isn’t your typical WordPress theme. This theme was made strictly with the idea of creating invoices/quotes and managing clients in mind. You can create your own pages, but blogging functionality is not built in, so please keep that in mind before making your purchase.
This is a newish plugin, I’m not too much of a fan of the custom UI it uses, but let’s give it some time and see whether the developer can improve it enough to be able to compete with the above solutions. This is still an area within WordPress where there isn’t a clear cut leader that has gotten things totally right, so we should encourage new projects.
I’m listing this plugin here just to make sure you do not download this plugin. It has been abandoned by the developer. Originally a fork of WP Invoice, it is now not suitable for solid use, so I don’t recommend it.
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