Be Like William

Research has shown that over 50% of people that die in the UK, do so without a Will.

This is a terrible statistic, which can cause serious problems for family members who need to be able to deal with difficult decisions regarding the estate and wishes of a loved one, without their guidance on what they would prefer to happen.

Recently, we worked with William, an online startup that has been developed to help busy parents complete their wills online quickly and easily rather than going through an expensive and lengthy process with a solicitor.

William was setup to make it easier for people to create a will, online, in their own time. It offers two packages – for singles and for couples – and the ability to pay a small annual fee to ensure that the will is stored securely until it may be needed.

As part of the setup of the new venture, Filter were engaged to develop the back-end account management, invoicing and subscription setup for the site. Key to the requirements was the ability for customers to purchase their will when completed, so that they could generate a PDF of their will to download locally and store offline, as well as a recurring subscription feature for the online storage function.

Key to the product is the ability to use a natural-language form process to ‘build’ your will, where users just need to enter content in specific fields, either free-text or from a pre-defined list and this helps with the legalese that many people often struggle with.

As the site was being developed on WordPress, we decided to use the WooCommerce framework, and bolt on the WooSubscriptions plugin. WooCommerce is the leading e-commerce plugin for WordPress. Now owned by Automattic which is run by the founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, it powers over 28% of all online stores on the internet.

With bolt-ons, you can extend the basic functionality of WooCommerce to add different types of accounts – and this is where WooSubscriptions came in handy. Developed by Prospress, this plugin enables developers to quickly add recurring subscription packages to products on a site.

For William, we were able to create an initial purchase price for users that wanted to buy their wills, and then offer a recurring annual subscription for storage. If customers weren’t sure initially if they wanted the storage option, we could add it as an option for the future, allowing them to come back and add it at a later date.

Payment processing was handled through the Stripe payment gateway, which is a free extension to WooCommerce and also offers similar behaviour and recurring subscriptions as needed.

With our work in place, William was launched successfully to the wider market after an initial beta and is fast becoming the number 1 will service in the UK. We’re anticipating further updates to the site in the near future as new products are launched and it continues to grow.