If your race website runs on WordPress, you can consider setting up your own registration page at a fraction of what it would cost to employ one of the big online registration platforms.
Provided your registration process isn’t too exotic, you could get away with 80%-90% lower registration fees than with a traditional registration service. And here’s 3 ways how you could do it:
Option 1: Ticket Tailor
You can use Ticket Tailor to take registrations both on and off your WordPress site, with deposits going directly into your nominated PayPal and Stripe accounts. What’s more, Ticket Tailor integrates with Mailchimp to help you keep your participants and mailing list in sync, and offers a full referral tracking system you can manage from your event dashboard.
Trialing Ticket Tailor is free with subscription plans starting at an all-in fee of $249. You’ll be charged nothing beyond that for entries you sell and can even add your own booking fee to help you recover your payment processing costs.
- Easy to use
- Excellent 24/7 support (if you ever need it)
- Powerful features: price tiers, referral tracking, sales stats, Mailchimp integration
- Fixed annual subscription with no additional ticket fees
- Custom booking fees you control passed on to participants
Option 2: Contact Form 7 + Payment Plugin
If you’re a bit more hands-on and don’t mind flying unsupported – and already use Contact Form 7, the most popular form plugin for WordPress – it doesn’t take much to turn your contact forms into registration forms.
Essentially, Contact form + Payment processing = Online registration page. Hello, PayPal & Stripe Add-on for Contact Form 7!
With this straightforward plugin you can integrate PayPal and Stripe credit card processing on any Contact Form 7 form. This way you can collect registration information through your form and collect payment by making the form button into a “Pay” button. All for $79 per year (Contact Form 7 itself is a free plugin so nothing to pay there).
- Probably the cheapest option for DIY online registration on WordPress
- Handles multiple registration prices and currencies
- Sends automatic confirmation email to user on payment completion
- Need to be comfortable using shortcodes to set up your form
- Don’t expect any help setting up your registration form
Option 3: WooCommerce
You probably know WooCommerce as WordPress’ in-house ecommerce platform – something you could perhaps use to set up a merchandise store on your website. Well, you can actually also use WooCommerce to set up an online registration page.
WooCommerce is a particularly good registration option if you run many races or race series out of a single website, or if you want to combine race registration with merchandise sales. That is because WooCommerce excels at bundled purchases and express checkouts.
The downside with WooCommerce is the limited options in building registration detail forms. Being primarily an ecommerce tool, WooCommerce was never intended for collecting
That said, even this limitation can be overcome with the use of the right extension plugin (of which there are hundreds). In this case, you can try using WooCommerce’s Checkout Field Editor to collect the information you need from participants on checkout.
- Excellent for multi-purchases and one-click shopping
- Wide range of extension options
- Limited registration form building options
- Store look & feel may alienate some participants
- You will have to figure out how to set things up
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