Drupal integration for Recurly's subscription billing platform delivers a compelling solution for membership-based sites

Welcome to our guest blogger series - this post is brought you by Lullabot, an interactive strategy, design, and development company.

Drupal is one of the most popular content management systems in the world. With tens of thousands of active developers contributing to this extensible system, it's always a matter of when, not if, a module that provides 3rd party integration will appear. However not all 3rd party integrations are equal, and we think that the Recurly module for Drupal is an example of truly great integration between a flexible CMS and a hosted service.

For those less familiar with Recurly’s platform, Recurly is a SaaS subscription billing platform that simplifies both the integration process and the ongoing billing management. By using Recurly, we can spend our time building out the features of our site and less time integrating with a payment solution. I'd like to walk through the Recurly module for Drupal and show some of the ways it can provide a seamless experience for your subscription customers.

Simple configuration

Setting up the Recurly module is straightforward so that you can stay focused on your customer experience and instead, offload all the billing management headaches to the Recurly platform. This means that the Recurly module for Drupal doesn't have a mountain of dependencies or a lot of complexity, it just needs the module from Drupal.org, plus the Recurly PHP library and the Recurly.js library (the module includes a README.txt for full installation instructions).

After installing, the Drupal module simply needs to be given your Recurly API Key, Private Key, and Subdomain name. Then it will connect to your Recurly account and allow you to choose which plans (set up in the Recurly dashboard) you'd like your Drupal site to integrate.

Drupal subscription plans

Choose which plans should be available in Drupal.

Customer sign-up

After you've enabled some plans, Drupal will add a new "Subscription" tab to your user account pages. Combined with Recurly.js, these pages allow your site to accept payment securely without needing to handle the credit card directly. The information goes straight to Recurly without touching your server, making PCI-DSS certification significantly easier.

Drupal sign-up screen

Signing up in Drupal through Recurly.js

After a user has signed up, the Recurly module provides hooks that your site can use to authorize the user, perhaps to add a different user role or grant them access to parts of the site through an access control system. The user can also interact with all of the services expected of a subscription site:

  • View their current account and payment plan.

  • View their past invoices and print them out as PDFs.

  • Update their credit card billing information.

  • Switch to a different plan.

  • Cancel their account.

And they can do it all directly from your site, never even knowing Recurly is handling the transaction.

Advanced integration

Besides these basic features, the Recurly module also sets up you to handle a wide array of situations. With an clean API and integration with Recurly's push notifications, you can have your Drupal site upgrade or downgrade a particular account automatically when a customer goes into the dunning process. It also provides ways to link your Drupal site directly in the e-mails sent by Recurly's servers. Again, making it so that the use of Recurly is completely transparent.

We're really excited about the possibilities of this new module. Combined with Recurly's great APIs, we think that it's a solution we'll be recommending for a long time to come.


Nate Haug is a long-time Drupal contributor and module maintainer. You can meet up with him at DrupalCon Portland May 20-24th. If you're interested in having Lullabot work on your next Drupal project, get in touch with Lullabot.