AffiliateWP Review Is It The Best Affiliate Plugin For WordPress?

AffiliateWP Plugin Review Your In-depth Guide

Those looking for a viable alternative to other affiliate solutions or indeed looking to harness more sales from the power of affiliate marketing look no further. AffiliateWP is a full affiliate solution built specifically for WordPress.

It’s brought to you by two individuals who’s names are etched in the annals of WordPress lore. Namely Pippin Williamson & Andrew Munro. Those familiar with WordPress will know of both of this individuals but those who do not know. Let me explain.

AffiliateWP is brought to you by the same team who developed easy digital downloads. So you can imagine my excitement at reviewing the AffiliateWP solution. Easy digital downloads has a solid reputation for the sale of digital goods in fact many WordPress theme stores are using it as a way to sell their themes and indeed plugins.

With his pedigree in mind I was expecting big things from AffiliateWP. It’s the one thing WordPress really needs a decent and versatile affiliate solution. AffiliateWP is designed to help individuals and companies maximize their profits through the power of affiliate marketing.

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What Exactly Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing rewards both parties. By this I mean your business from sales as well as an affiliate from commission. Affiliates drive traffic to your website often by writing reviews or placing the links in content or banners/images.

Affiliates are given a URL that is used for tracking purposes. Affiliates can find out how many sales they have generated and how much commission they have earned.

Affiliate marketing is incredibly popular and commissions can be quite sizeable over time. The beauty of affiliates for store owners is they a walking talking advert for your business.

These affiliates continue to send business your way, think of affiliates as advertisement’s however if they do not make a sale you do not pay for the advert. It’s win, win. You only pay the affiliate on a sale from a referring URL a commission rate you decide on.

Is AffiliateWP Right For My Business?

Perhaps you run a WordPress store or are at least thinking about it. If you can answer yes to either of those questions than you will know how difficult it is to attract paying customers.

Sure you can use advertising to try and generate new business for your online store however this costs money and is not always successful. AffiliateWP is designed to help your online store succeed where paid for advertising may fail.

Plugins Supported By AffiliateWP

Obviously WordPress is needed! Ecommerce solutions are aplenty for WordPress so it will come as no surprise that AffiliateWP works with a varied range of these systems. Currently AffiliateWP works with the following plugins:

Gravity Forms
Paid Memberships Pro
Easy Digital Downloads
Ninja Forms
Contact Form 7
Restrict Content Pro
iThemes Exchange
WP e-Commerce
WP EasyCart
Formidable Pro
Sprout Invoices

Getting Started With AffiliateWP

For the purposes of this review I am going to be using a domain I have purchased a while ago. I am going to use Easy Digital Downloads as the sales platform on a fresh install of WordPress so you can see at root level how it will work. So I am here to hold your hand and let you know how it works and what you can expect, are we ready? Then let us begin:

For WordPress theme purposes I am using the Shopfront theme which is freely available on Anyways that aside let’s get AffiliateWP installed so we can generate some sales for our test product.

Installing AffiliateWP

Installing AffiliateWP

Installing AffiliateWP is exactly the same process as every other plugin under the sun. Which means it’s easy. I like easy, no doubt you do to. So upon activating it what happens?

Welcome To AffiliateWP

Welcome To AffiliateWP

Those of you familiar with updating WordPress or indeed plugins etc will now notice that a splash screen upon activation is now becoming common place.

AffiliateWP gives you an overview of the plugin and a brief summary of what it will do.

As well as a nice credit tab to give you an insight into who helped build the system. You will also note that there is a new menu item in the WordPress back end entitled affiliates, what wonders will it contain? Let’s take a look blow by blow at this new menu item and what it contains.


AffiliateWP Overview Menu Item

Affiliate WP Overview Page

Upon activating the plugin and indeed accessing the menu we are given a number of new menu items. The overview page is first on the list and this gives us insight into earnings, referrals, visits and of course the latest registrations to your affiliate program.

Here you can keep tabs on what is happening to your site, sales made, commissions etc, etc.


Affiliates page

Next up is the Affiliates page, here we can see active affiliates, inactive, those pending and of course rejected affiliates. We can also add an affiliate to the program manually if we so wish. So let’s add an affiliate to get started.

Adding An Affiliate

Adding an affiliate

I have added myself as an affiliate manually via the back end, more on that later (for review purposes). Lets keep keeping on with other menu items to see what we have.

AffiliateWP Referrals Page

Here we see the total of referrals by users. Pending, rejected, unpaid and paid. We can also generate a payout file at the click of a button this will generate a CSV file of a date you decide from and to. It’s incredibly handy for you to make the necessary payments to your shiny new affiliates once they are on board and generating revenue for you.

Visitors Page

Here we can see the landing page the referring URL, the affiliate in question, referral ID as well as fields for IP address, date and conversion. You can search by affiliate name and filter by date also. Great if you have a specific push for affiliates such as a voucher or better commission rates for a limited time.

Creatives Page

This section allows you to upload images and banners for use in your affiliate system. We can create materials for our affiliates to use to help them attract new clicks via eye catching visuals. (This is obviously down to you!).

AffiliateWP Reports Page

So it might look empty sure! However this page gives you an overview of what is happening by referrals and how many visits are being sent to your site, you can filter by month and clicking on the visits tab gives you the total amount of visits and conversion rate and of course commissions. Lastly is the affiliate registrations tab which gives you a filterable section on how many sign ups you have accrued etc.

AffiliateWP Tools Page

Lets start with the export/import options. Here we have options to export all of our affiliates to a CSV. Also we have the ability to export via JSON all of our affiliates and import them into another install of AffiliateWP, handy if you have different websites focusing on different products. We can also import to this install as well, very handy indeed.

Recount stats gives you the option to get up to the minute stats on any of your affiliates for paid earnings, referrals and visits.

The last tab ‘migration assistant’ allows you to migrate data from Affiliates Pro & WP Affiliate. As well as might I add converting all your WordPress users into affiliates, in bulk.

AffiliateWP Settings page

Here we have the meat of AffiliateWP. All the reporting and features that are packed into AffiliateWP would be nothing without the ability to tinker around with some settings. Settings for me are like messing around with a car engine. I know nothing of cars. However I do like to mess around with settings!

Licence key: You will need one to get updates etc.

Pages: The pages section let’s you set up what page specifically will be used for the affiliate area, this is created by adding a short code. Upon activating the plugin it does automatically publish a page called Affiliate Area. You can change this of course.

You can also add some terms for new affiliate registrations, just to ensure you are signing up quality affiliates that will add value and generate revenue. Nobody likes a spammy affiliate.

Referring Settings: Referral Variable, here you can change the ref to whatever you want. Worth noting that you will have to save your permalink structure after changing this URL. Choose whether to allow ID or Username (used at the end of the referral URL)

Pretty Affiliate URLs: If you would like to show elegant URLs for your affiliates simply check this box.

Referral rate: you can set a site wide rate of whatever you choose either as a percentage or a flat rate. If however you have signed up a mega affiliate and want them to have a preferred commission rate thankfully you can change it per user.

You also have options to exclude TAX, shipping and can set the cookie expiration time to whatever you need. The longer the cookie rate length the more you will attract interested affiliates.

Currency settings are fairly self explanatory so I will assume you’re not a chump 😉

AffiliateWP Integrations

AffiliateWP Integrations

Here we get to choose which platform to link up AffiliateWP with. You will note I have Easy Digital Downloads selected. However there are a wealth of options for other platforms to select from. So you will be covered that’s for sure.

AffiliateWP Email Settings

This section helps you with sending out emails to affiliates. You can automate the sending of emails to new user registrations via the front end. You can add your logo in and select from a number of template tags such as the following:

{name} – The full name of the affiliate
{user_name} – The user name of the affiliate on the site
{user_email} – The email address of the affiliate
{website} – The website of the affiliate
{promo_method} – The promo method used by the affiliate
{login_url} – The affiliate login URL to your website
{amount} – The amount of a given referral
{site_name} – Your site name

You can also notify affiliates every time a sale is made, again we have rather handy template tags to streamline this down and keep it simple.

AffiliateWP Misc Settings

Under the misc settings tab, here we have more options. We can choose to allow affiliates to register for themselves, set affiliates to require approval before earning.

As well as rejecting referrals when customers request a refund, as well as ignoring referrals for free products.

How Does AffiliateWP Look To An Actual Affiliate?

Now I have tinkered with the settings and created my affiliate area and such I want to play with affiliates.

I have chosen to allow affiliate registrations as well. You can see the affiliate registration to the right.

As you will see we have the standard fair, such as username, account email, payment email, website URL and of course the all important how will you promote us.

You will of course receive an email if you have elected to receive them for new user registrations all of the adjacent info will be contained in an email for your perusal.

Quick note, I have forgotten to set the terms and conditions page (slaps wrists!).

If you have chosen a terms & Conditions page this page will open in a new tab for your affiliate to read and then click to agree to.

It’s common practice when signing up new affiliates. Especially ones of quality, so take your time and create some terms that fit your business and do not punish the affiliate.

Remember you want people to be an advertisement for your business. This will help separate the wheat from the chaff.

Affiliate Registration

The AffiliateWP Affiliate Page For End Users

For the purposes of this review/guide I have spliced the page into sections to show you each section. First up is the Referral URL Generator, this is the first thing that will greet the affiliate. Here they will have a note of their referral ID and a rather handy referral generator.

Simply cut and paste the product URL into the box to generate an affiliate link. Or simply make a note of the affiliate ID and add it to the end of a url including the trailing slash for example:

Frontend Statistics

Statistic is the next section here affiliates will get an insight into the amount of referrals made, visits made, commission rate and of course commissions made.

Also worth noting is the conversion rate so affiliates can get real insight into what is working for them and perhaps make a concerted effort to push certain products more.

Frontend Graphs

A useful section which gives you an overview of Unpaid Referral Earnings, Pending Referral Earnings, Rejected Referral Earnings and Paid Referral Earnings.

This is all filterable on a month by month basis, to give the affiliate a reflection of how well they are performing.

Frontend Referrals

Ok, so it looks a little lonely here at the moment. No referrals have been made boo. However this will depict how many referrals, the status of them the date they occured etc.

Frontend Referral URL Visits

Again another lonely section, however it does depict the referring URL and whether or not they have converted. Useful for affiliates to track what is working and what is not working so they can tweak and optimize.

Creatives, Banners & Resources

Remember the creatives section mentioned earlier? Well if you had added in a creative banner or image etc it will show here for affiliates to use.

Along with the code for affiliates to copy and paste into their blogs etc. It’s worth noting that this section automatically adds in the affiliates URL when show the copy and paste code. Pretty darn sweet.

Worth noting: As the admin of the site I specifically made this creative to link to a particular product. However you can make them generic by leaving the product link in the back end blank.

Affiliate Settings

This is what sets this apart from other affiliate systems. A notification system. Affiliates can elect to get notified of sales and referral notifications direct to there in-box.

This for me is a killer feature and it’s a shame same of the bigger companies do not offer this functionality (you know who you are).

Lets Create An Affiliate Sale

For testing I am going to create a referral link to the test product as per the screenshot.

I know that the URL is:

so I include my referral ID to make it:

I will now disappear and buy the product see you will see what happens. (back in five).

Purchased Item What’s Next As An Affiliate?

Back again and I have completed an affiliate link purchase and low and behold I have earned a commission. Yay! I’m in the money, well $6.00 actually as the product was $29.99 I set the commission at a percentage of 20% thus giving us a rounded off $6.00. I know I actually made an affiliate sale, as in real-time I received an email notifying me of it. I LOVE this feature!!!

You will see from the image that my statistics page shows an unpaid referral the amount of visits and conversation rate. Not to mention my commission rate etc. What about the other sections? Well take a look at the screenshots above to see them all filled in from an affiliates perspective.

AffiliateWP Backend Time For A Visit

We know we have an affiliate sale, mainly because I instigated it but from an administration aspect what does it look like and what does it contain? Well I received an email telling me there has been an affiliate sale for a start so lets revisit those admin screens and see what has happened.

As you can see from the gallery, our affiliate sale has been logged and all the data from this sale has been recorded in the AffiliateWP back end. We have a complete log of the successful affiliate along with the referring URL, conversion rate and more.

It’s very intuitive and easy to use and even easier to understand. No complex system here, which in itself could sound derogatory however it is not meant as such. It’s simplicity from and administration perspective and more importantly from an affiliate one, is of paramount importance.

It’s Extendable

The base version of AffiliateWP contains all of the above which is pretty darn awesome to say the least. However it is worth noting that it is entirely extendible, not only at a code level through the rather helpful and informative documentation provide but via plugins that work in conjunction with AffiliateWP.

Commercial AffiliateWP Extensions

The below AffiliateWP extensions are free with either a professional or ultimate licence. They are not available to purchase separately unlike the E-Junkie affiliate import plugin.

Free AffiliateWP Extension Downloads

Other Notable Features Of AffiliateWP

Well if the above was not enough for you there are a series of shortcodes that you can add into pages. These vary from adding an affiliate login to any page to redirecting an affiliate via shortcode once that are logged in. Very handy if you have a special promotion you would like them to view or indeed to showcase a new product and so on.

Set Affiliate Rate At Product Level

Also WORTH noting that you can set commission on a product basis. So let’s just say you have a product from a wholesale and the margin is tight you can set it to a lower amount specifically for that particular product. Have a high margin on a product? Then why not raise the commission on a product level basis to entice affiliates to push it!

AffiliateWP Pricing Structure

AffiliateWP comes in four flavors, you have the personal licence which which comes in at $49.00, the Plus at $99.00, Professional at $199.00 and lastly the Ultimate licence at $449.00 which gives you all the bells and whistles you would ever need. All come with full support for 12 months and 12 months of updates.

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