About Subscription Order Types
When a subscription is initially purchased an order is created. However, there are additional reasons that an order may be created and associated to a subscription.
Required: WooCommerce Subscriptions is a premium WooCommerce extension included with WordPress Ecommerce Hosting or as a standalone purchase.
Parent orders are created when a customer purchases a subscription product. The purpose of the parent order is to document the creation of the subscription and the associated transaction. Because it's possible to purchase multiple subscriptions in a single transaction, a single parent order may be assigned to multiple subscriptions. However, each of those individual subscriptions can only have a maximum of one parent order. It is also possible for a subscription to have no parent order at all, as will be the case for subscriptions that are created manually by an administrator through the Add Subscription administration screen.
Renewal orders are created automatically each time a subscription renews in order to keep a record of that transaction. They can also be created to record a manual payment, or to record a renewal where the total is $0. A single subscription may have several renewal orders associated with it, and a single renewal order may also have several subscriptions associated with it.
Resubscribe orders are created when a customer resubscribes to an expired or cancelled subscription. The order will be linked to both the old and new subscription. Because a subscriptions are also being created in this process, resubscribe orders will also be categorized as Parent orders.
Switch orders are created when customers upgrade or downgrade subscriptions. These orders can potentially be categorized as Parent orders - for instance, if the renewal schedule for the new subscription does not align with the existing products on the previous subscription. A single subscription can have multiple switch orders associated with it to reflect each time an upgrade or downgrade occured.